Learning to live with diabetes

Photo: Diabetes lettering

The World Diabetes Day takes place 14 November. Its motto is "Manage diabetes together"; ©panthermedia.net/ Rawpixel

Calculating bread units, measuring blood sugar and injecting insulin. These are just three of many things that diabetics have to observe. Especially for young type 1 patients it is difficult to see the new situation rightly after the diagnosis. A part of their lifestyle changes. In diabetics meetings everyone helps them in dealing with the disease and to "manage" the diabetes together.

There are more than 380 million people worldwide with diabetes mellitus. The causes of diabetes are different within the two types 1 and 2. While the type 1 - according to current knowledge - is an autoimmune process in people with a genetic predisposition for the disease, type 2 can be triggered by obesity, a lack of exercise and a high-carbohydrate diet. However, it is possible to prevent the outbreak of type 2 with a healthy lifestyle. Patients with type 1 on the other hand are dependent on a lifelong treatment with insulin, although they also may reduce the risk of consequential damages with a healthy lifestyle, according to the latest studies.

Type 1 diabetes mostly affects children, teenagers and young adults who receive early diagnosis. In addition to getting used to the treatment with insulin it is especially the new way of life - for example when it comes to the right diet – which poses one of the biggest challenges for the young patients and their families. Especially the fear of weight gain due to the insulin therapy is initially very high, especially among girls. Many reduce their insulin intake and thus risk ketoacidosis. This is just one of the problems for parents of young diabetics. Thus, puberty can be a real war of nerves. When the children rebel and also want to take the therapy in their own hands and handle it all by themselves the family environment is often at risk. Parents and children need to know how to properly deal with the diagnosis and what they have to consider as patients and relatives.

On occasion of the World Diabetes Day on November 14th, you can read what's new in dealing with the chronic metabolic disease on MEDICA-tradefair.com.