Type 1 Teen ..help? advice? please... im new.

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/29/2006 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
hello im Leighsah, im 14 and i was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in march. im really finding it hard to come to terms with, i understand i will have it all the time now. no one will tell me how i got it, is there a reason? or is it just bad luck?

i keep getting kidney infections and my doctor has really scared me telling me about kidney damage and dialysis. i dont think its that bad yet. im just frustrated. is it because im diabetic that i keep getting infections? im not sure and i dont like doctors at all.




Post Edited By Moderator (Jeannie143) : 8/29/2006 11:31:03 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 8/29/2006 8:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,
                        Susceptibility to type 1 diabetes is partly inherited,because the risk of type 1 is 6% in a person belonging to a family where type 1 exists.In genetically identical twins, the risk rises to 36%.Thus genetic pre-disposition accounts for 1/3 of susceptibility to type 1.
                        Viruses have also been implicated.Numerous viruses target the insulin producing cells,called the beta cells in the pancreas,by triggering an auto-immune attack against them.Mumps causing virus is one example!Coxsackie virus has been found to trigger type 1 diabetes in mice.12 to 20% of individuals infected by Rubella virus while  in the uterus(foetus),develop type 1 diabetes within 5 to 20 years after birth.Cytomegalovirus belonging to the Herpes family is another strong candidate virus:un-noticed infection in childhood is implicated.
                       Environmental(non-genetic)agents, investigated are chemicals,Cow milk protein and Wheat gluten.Most of the evidence is indirect.By far the most ivestigated diet component is cow milk protein.Exposure to cow's milk early in life has been linked to the development of type 1 diabetes.Thus lack of breast-feeding and early exposure to milk-powder based diets can precipitate diabetes in "susceptible"individuals.I will discuss wheat protein implication as the discussion progresses.
                      Excitingly,supplementation of Vit.D3 in the diet has been shown to reduce the incidence of type 1,in a study across 7 centers in Europe.The study has warned that even a single overdose can be very toxic to the child!
                      Finally,STRESS in children,like severe life events may be a major risk factor (in childhood),but not in young adults.
                      If your blood sugars are not tightly controlled,infections anywhere in the body can occur and are common."Kidney" infections are serious enough,but not serious enough to cause Kidney Disease in the short run.SO, TAKE CARE,DON'T GIVE UP AND KEEP SMILING.kEEP US POSTED about YOUR SUGARS!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 8/29/2006 10:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Glad to make a new friend here although not so happy for the reason. It's good that you were diagnosed before you have any complications and you will progress just fine as you learn more about coping with diabetes emotionally as well as physically. My nutrition instructor is type 1 like you and she has been living with diabetes for almost 40 years. She graduated from college with a degree, married, has three wonderful children, a full time job and is now on an insulin pump (so no more needles! :-) )

We have quite a few members who are type 1 diabetics although they dont' post very often because they have mostly gotten their sugars and diet pretty much figured out. Those of us who are type 2 are dealing with a deteriorating condition that we need to monitor constantly to help our doctors with figuring medication dosages and diet changes. Most of the stuff that you will see on this forum won't apply to you because you're on replacement insulin. I know this is scary for you and we will help you all we can. It might seem like a big horrible thing but just take it one day at a time. Before you know it you will be a pro at this and helping the other new teens that find their way here. You don't have to be really brave, just follow your food plan, keep testing your blood sugars, get enough rest and be good to yourself.

I'm going to change your subject heading to alert more type 1 members so they can let you know how they handled their first year after diagnosis. Take care and come back often with any questions you may have. We will try to help all we can.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 8/30/2006 1:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Leighsah,
Welcome to HealingWell!  I'm a type 1 diabetic - I was diagnosed when I was 12 and am now 27.  It's scary what the doctors tell you, and yes as a diabetic you are more likely to get complications but just because you are more likely doesn't mean that you will!  Just look after yourself best you can.  This means that you will need to watch what you eat - you need to count carbohydrates, not just sugar, and just try to eat as healthily as you can i.e. fruit and veg etc.  You can have treats (I definitely do!) but keep them to just that - treats.  You will find with time you will be able to experiment more with your diet.  You also need to monitor your own blood sugars and work out with your doctor how best to keep them down.  Eventually you will be able to do this by yourself.  Diabetes is a condition where you need to learn to look after yourself, and with time and experience you'll wonder why you ever worried!  Yes, sometimes even now I get a little scared but so far I have no complications and live a very normal life!  What insulin are you using?  Are you finding that your friends and family are supportive?
As Spooky says, type 1 diabetes is probably caused by you catching a virus - your autoimmune system made antibodies that also attacked your insulin producing cells by mistake, and therefore your body no longer makes insulin (or enough insulin) for your body to use.  So that means you have to inject it.  You will learn in time just how much insulin you need to cover certain meals, and how much carbohydrate you need when to have exercise etc.  I promise you, with time you will find it a whole lot easier.
With diabetes, you are more prone to get kidney infections but this doesn't mean that you will go on dialysis.  I guess once your body adjusts (you haven't been diagnosed very long) you will find that you don't get kidney infections any more or as often. 
Please look around on the internet for useful sites such as this:
Have a good look around, but do remember that as a type 1 diabetic you are less likely to get complications than an out of control type 2, and sometimes the advice given by well meaning people doesn't really apply to you so much.  What I mean is, if someone starts talking about complications don't take it to heart too much.
And finally, after my long essay I just wanted to say we are all here to listen to you or offer support and advice, so if you need it do please come back.
Claire xx

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 8/30/2006 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Leighsah...Welcome to HealingWell! I'm a Type1 Diabetic, diagnosed just over a year and a half ago at 37 years old. Diabetes IS hard to come to terms with so, try not to be too hard on yourself. You do need to know one thing and that is: there is nothing you could have done (or not done) to prevent Type1 Diabetes. As Spooky points out, they believe the insulin-producing beta cell destruction is triggered when the body fights off a virus. They're still trying to find out why.

I won't be surprized to learn that your frequent kidney infections significantly decrease or become a rare occurance, once your blood sugars are under control. The best thing you can do for yourself to obtain/maintain good blood sugars is to understand how food, exercise, and stress affect you personally. Hopefully, you are keeping a food/glucose/insulin log so that you can record your blood test readings, insulin injections and details on food? I can't tell you how helpful that kind of data is when trying to understand your own body's metabolism. What's not measured can't be managed. I won't lie - it does require some dedication and it can be frustrating but the results are well worth the effort.

We're here for you, Leighsah http://www.healingwell.com/community/emoticons/smurf.gif
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)

"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 8/30/2006 4:42 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Leighsah,

First of all, I sympathise. I became a type 1 diabetic at the age of 18 and at the time I thought it was the end of the world. Please believe me, it isn't.

For many years following my diagnosis, I think I was in denial. I rarely tested myself, ate whatever I wanted to eat and told no-one about my condition. I refused to let my life be controlled by the random chance of a chronic illness I had been powerless either to forsee or prevent.

Over the 25 years since then I have not only learned to accept it but almost become grateful for the discipline it's given me to look after my health. I'd like to keep the hubris to a minimum but I'm now heathier, fitter and far better informed about what that takes than any of my non-diabetic contemporaries. You'll already have heard the grim warnings of future complications resulting from long term diabetes but let me reassure you - they are entirely avoidable if you look after yourself properly.

The key, of course, is normalising your blood sugars. The tools at your disposal now are so much more advanced than they were when I started out so you've got an enormous head start there. Phishbowl is spot on with the observation that what's not measured can't be managed, so bear that in mind.

Finally, keep an open mind about the type of diet that works best for you. Personally, I extremely sceptical about the conventional low-fat high carb diet that the official agencies still recommend. It certainly doesn't work for me. But I won't bombard you with any more advice for now, you'll know where to come when you need it.

And stay positive!

Best wishes


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 8/31/2006 12:45 PM (GMT -7)   


Welcome to our little diabetic forum.  I also became a diabetic at the age of 14.  I am now 48, so I have been a type 1 for 34 years now.  I don't know where or how I got diabeties also.  We could not find anyone in the family with it.

Reading and being a part of the diabeties forums helps me to keep on track of what I need to do in my life to stay in tune.  I have found that the Dr can only help so much and the rest is yours to do to make it work.  The nice thing is that it is not too hard to stay within an acceptable blood glucose level, but I do have to stay on top of it or my blood sugars go up high.

My biggest problems is like yours. Not healing fast and easy to get infections.  I have found if I keep my blood sugars in check, my body will heal fast and I won't get infections. 

This is all easy said than done.  It takes being very aware of what is going on with your blood glucose to get control of it.  Don't worry, over time you will be a pro at keeping diabeties under control.  There is a learning curve and over time you will learn how to keep yourself in tune.

In the meanwhile, take your time and read over old posts and start new ones when you have questions or answers to share. And test your sugars so you will know where you are at and need to be.

Don't worry, You will do well, after all, You came here searching for answers to your problem.  We might not have all of the answers, but we will be with you in your search for the ones we don't know.

Hang in there


New Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/31/2006 3:31 PM (GMT -7)   

thanks for all the help and advice, it just goes to show i know nothing about diabetes, but hopefully i will learn fast.



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