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How To Test For Type 1 Diabetes


Can Diabetes Cause Hair Loss

Living with type 1 diabetes: How to test blood glucose

Yes, its possible for diabetes to cause hair loss. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to persistently high blood glucose levels. This, in turn, leads to blood vessel damage and restricted flow, and oxygen and nutrients cant get to the cells that need it including hair follicles. Stress can cause hormone level changes that affect hair growth. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks itself and can also cause a hair loss condition called alopecia areata.

How Often Do I Need To See My Primary Diabetes Healthcare Professional

In general, if you are being treated with insulin shots, you should see your doctor at least every three to four months. If you are treated with pills or are managing diabetes through diet, you should be seen at least every four to six months. More frequent visits may be needed if your blood sugar is not controlled or if complications of diabetes are worsening.

Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

If your test results show you have prediabetes, ask your doctor or nurse if there is a lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in your community. You can also search for an online or in-person program. Having prediabetes puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but participating in the program can lower your risk by as much as 58% .

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What Are The Treatments For Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes must be treated with insulin. To do this, a person with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin under their skin where it can be absorbed into their bloodstream to help glucose access the cells that require it. Insulin cant be taken in pill form because the digestive juices in the stomach would destroy the insulin before it could work.

Treating T1D is all about the amount and timing of insulin, as well as the best way to get the right dose of this essential hormone to assure that the glucose circulating in your blood is able to be properly absorbed by your body. Having too much glucose in your body can cause serious complications as can having too little glucose in your blood .

Insulin can be delivered by:

Lexie, known as the divabetic, is a Black diabetes advocate who posts everything from giveaways to advice on dating with type 1 diabetes. She frequently shares posts about diabetes-friendly food and humor.

Blood Tests For People With Type 1 Diabetes

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It is essential for people with type 1 diabetes to be aware of their blood sugar levels to avoid further complications. Certain blood tests are recommended for people with type 1 diabetes to help them gain greater control over blood sugar spikes. Find out more about these blood tests and what they mean to you.


Blood tests are a crucial part of staying healthy when you have diabetes type 1. It is necessary to determine your blood sugar levels and detect certain patterns that can affect them. Once you understand why these tests are being done, you will grow accustomed to them they simply become a regular part of your health care regime.

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What Types Of Healthcare Professionals Might Be Part Of My Diabetes Treatment Team

Most people with diabetes see their primary healthcare provider first. Your provider might refer you to an endocrinologist/pediatric endocrinologist, a physician who specializes in diabetes care. Other members of your healthcare team may include an ophthalmologist , nephrologist , cardiologist , podiatrist , neurologist , gastroenterologist , registered dietician, nurse practitioners/physician assistants, diabetes educator, pharmacist, personal trainer, social worker, mental health professional, transplant team and others.

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How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose Type 1 Diabetes

Health care professionals usually test people for type 1 diabetes if they have clear-cut diabetes symptoms. Health care professionals most often use the random plasma glucose test to diagnose type 1 diabetes. This blood test measures your blood glucose level at a single point in time. Sometimes health professionals also use the A1C blood test to find out how long someone has had high blood glucose.

Even though these tests can confirm that you have diabetes, they cant identify what type you have. Treatment depends on the type of diabetes, so knowing whether you have type 1 or type 2 is important.

To find out if your diabetes is type 1, your health care professional may test your blood for certain autoantibodies. Autoantibodies are antibodies that attack your healthy tissues and cells by mistake. The presence of certain types of autoantibodies is common in type 1 but not in type 2 diabetes.

Why Is My Blood Glucose Level High How Does This Happen

Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes (Conditions A-Z)

The process of digestion includes breaking down the food you eat into various different nutrient sources. When you eat carbohydrates , your body breaks this down into sugar . When glucose is in your bloodstream, it needs help a “key” to get into its final destination where it’s used, which is inside your body’s cells . This help or “key” is insulin.

Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts as the key that unlocks the cell wall door, which allows glucose to enter your bodys cells. Glucose provides the fuel or energy tissues and organs need to properly function.


If you have diabetes:

  • Your pancreas doesnt make any insulin or enough insulin.
  • Your pancreas makes insulin but your bodys cells dont respond to it and cant use it as it normally should.

If glucose cant get into your bodys cells, it stays in your bloodstream and your blood glucose level rises.

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What Are The Complications Of Diabetes

If your blood glucose level remains high over a long period of time, your bodys tissues and organs can be seriously damaged. Some complications can be life-threatening over time.

Complications include:


  • Dental problems.

Complications of gestational diabetes:

In the mother:Preeclampsia , risk of gestational diabetes during future pregnancies and risk of diabetes later in life.

In the newborn: Higher-than-normal birth weight, low blood sugar , higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over time and death shortly after birth.

Is Type 1 Diabetes Genetic

If one family member has type 1 diabetes, other relatives have an increased chance of developing the condition. One study of more than 1,400 children with type 1 diabetes showed that 12% had a first-degree relative who also had type 1in other words, a parent or sibling.

The same study also showed that children with type 1 diabetes had a slightly higher chance of having a father diagnosed with type 1 rather than a mother, brother, or sister. In some cases, family members of people with type 1 diabetes also have a history of autoimmune conditions such as celiac disease or lupus.


Type 2 diabetes is caused by lifestyle and other factors, while type 1 is either genetic or acquired after the onset of an illness.

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Blood Glucose And Ketone Monitoring

Optimal diabetic control requires frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose levels as this allows for timely adjustments in insulin doses. People with type 1 diabetes learn how to self-monitor their blood glucose levels using a pocket-sized blood glucose meter and adjust their insulin doses accordingly. Depending on whether daily insulin injections or an insulin pump is used, blood glucose levels will likely need to be checked at least four times a day. Careful monitoring is the only way to ensure that blood glucose levels remain within the target range. Blood glucose testing involves using a lancing device to prick the skin to draw a drop of blood, which is placed on a test strip. The test strip is then inserted into a blood glucose meter, which provides a blood glucose level reading. Blood ketone meters, which measure blood ketone levels, and work in a similar way to blood glucose devices, are available to test for ketoacidosis.

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

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As the body tries to remove the excess glucose through urine and break down fat as an alternative source of energy, people with type 1 diabetes typically experience the following symptoms:

  • Needing to urinate more, especially during the night
  • Often feeling thirsty
  • Loss of weight and muscle bulk
  • Itchiness around the genital area or regularly contracting thrush
  • Fruity-smelling breath

Whilst in adults Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop over a few months, for children it can be a matter of weeks or days. However, with the right treatment, they should disappear. If you have not been diagnosed with diabetes and frequently experience these symptoms, you should visit a health care professional as soon as possible.


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What Are The Complications From Diabetes

High blood sugar can lead to problems such as:

  • Hardening of the arteries . This can cause heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. This is a type of eye disease that can lead to vision loss.
  • Diabetic nephropathy. This kidney disease has no early symptoms, but it can lead to kidney failure.
  • Diabetic neuropathy. This is a nerve disease that can affect your internal organs as well as your ability to sense touch and pain, especially in your feet. It can also cause sexual problems.

Screening For Complications Before During And After Pregnancy

If you are a woman with diabetes who is planning to become pregnant, meet with your doctor before you get pregnant. Your diabetes puts your developing baby at risk for birth defects.

  • Have an eye examination before you get pregnant and sometime during the first 3 months. You’ll also need close follow-up during your pregnancy and for 1 year after you have your baby. Pregnancy may increase your risk for diabetic retinopathy. If you already have eye disease and get pregnant, the disease can quickly get worse.
  • Get screened for kidney disease before you get pregnant. Early diagnosis can help prevent complications for you and your baby.
  • Get screened for postpartum thyroiditis six to eight weeks after your baby is born. Thyroiditis is treated with medicine.

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How Common Is Type 1 Diabetes

Well, its a lot less common than type 2. According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.6 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, including 187,000 children and adolescents. Type 1 diabetes makes up between 5 and 10% of total diabetes cases in the United States, while type 2 diabetes covers the other 90 to 95%.


Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed before the age of 40, although occasionally people have been diagnosed later after an illness causes an immune response that triggers it. In the US, most type 1 diabetes diagnoses occur in children between the ages of 4 and 14 years old.

What Insulin Medications Are Approved To Treat Diabetes

How to check with ketones for Type 1 Diabetes

There are many types of insulins for diabetes. If you need insulin, you healthcare team will discuss the different types and if they are to be combined with oral medications. To follow is a brief review of insulin types.

  • Rapid-acting insulins: These insulins are taken 15 minutes before meals, they peak at one hour and work for another two to four hours. Examples include insulin glulisine , insulin lispro and insulin aspart .
  • Short-acting insulins: These insulins take about 30 minutes to reach your bloodstream, reach their peak effects in two to three hours and last for three to six hours. An example is insulin regular .
  • Intermediate-acting insulins: These insulins reach your bloodstream in two to four hours, peak in four to 12 hours and work for up to 18 hours. An example in NPH.
  • Long-acting insulins: These insulins work to keep your blood sugar stable all day. Usually, these insulins last for about 18 hours. Examples include insulin glargine , insulin detemir and insulin degludec .

There are insulins that are a combination of different insulins. There are also insulins that are combined with a GLP-1 receptor agonist medication .

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How Is Diabetes Diagnosed

Diabetes is diagnosed and managed by checking your glucose level in a blood test. There are three tests that can measure your blood glucose level: fasting glucose test, random glucose test and A1c test.


  • Fasting plasma glucose test: This test is best done in the morning after an eight hour fast .
  • Random plasma glucose test: This test can be done any time without the need to fast.
  • A1c test: This test, also called HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test, provides your average blood glucose level over the past two to three months. This test measures the amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin, the protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen. You dont need to fast before this test.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test: In this test, blood glucose level is first measured after an overnight fast. Then you drink a sugary drink. Your blood glucose level is then checked at hours one, two and three.
Type of test

Random Plasma Glucose Tests

As the name suggests, this test is usually advised by a physician on a random basis, especially when an individual has severe symptoms that appear related to diabetes.1

A level of blood glucose 200 mg/dL indicates that the patient has type 1 diabetes.1

Additionally, the doctors may also advise certain blood tests to detect the presence of autoantibodiesthose are common to type 1 diabetes. Such tests play a key role in differentiating type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes when the physician is unsure of the diagnosis. Also, the appearance of ketones in urine is highly suggestive of type 1 diabetes.2

Once an individual is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he has to be very vigilant about his health and visit the doctor regularly. The hemoglobin A1C test is certainly a better indicator of how well the diabetes treatment plan is working for an individual than the regular blood sugar tests. If the hemoglobin A1C level shows a rise, the physician might consider a change in the insulin regimen, meal plan, or both.2

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Can Hyperglycemia Be Misdiagnosed

High blood sugar can be accurately diagnosed with blood tests. However, the underlying cause of hyperglycemia might be misdiagnosed. The greatest concern is that those with hyperglycemia may be misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes instead of type 1 diabetes, resulting in delayed insulin treatment and a greater risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.

How Is Diabetes Treated

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Treatments for diabetes depend on your type of diabetes, how well controlled your blood glucose level is and your other existing health conditions.

  • Type 1 diabetes: If you have this type, you must take insulin every day. Your pancreas no longer makes insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes: If you have this type, your treatments can include medications , insulin and lifestyle changes such as losing weight, making healthy food choices and being more physically active.
  • Prediabetes: If you have prediabetes, the goal is to keep you from progressing to diabetes. Treatments are focused on treatable risk factors, such as losing weight by eating a healthy diet and exercising . Many of the strategies used to prevent diabetes are the same as those recommended to treat diabetes .
  • Gestational diabetes: If you have this type and your glucose level is not too high, your initial treatment might be modifying your diet and getting regular exercise. If the target goal is still not met or your glucose level is very high, your healthcare team may start medication or insulin.

Oral medications and insulin work in one of these ways to treat your diabetes:

  • Stimulates your pancreas to make and release more insulin.
  • Slows down the release of glucose from your liver .
  • Blocks the breakdown of carbohydrates in your stomach or intestines so that your tissues are more sensitive to insulin.
  • Helps rid your body of glucose through increased urination.

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When Should I Call My Doctor

If you havent been diagnosed with diabetes, you should see your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of diabetes. If you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should contact your provider if your blood glucose levels are outside of your target range, if current symptoms worsen or if you develop any new symptoms.


How Is Type 1 Diabetes Treated

Treatment means good diabetes control to minimize symptoms prevent health problems and help kids have normal physical, mental, emotional, and social growth and development. To do this, parents and kids should aim to keep blood sugar levels within the goal range as much as possible.

In general, kids with type 1 diabetes need to:

  • take insulin as prescribed

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Additional Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes In Babies And Toddlers

  • Weight loss
  • Failure to thrive, a condition involving weight loss or inability to gain weight combined with stunted growth
  • Colic or fussiness that just wont let up
  • Poor-quality sleep that doesnt improve no matter what you try
  • Bedwetting, especially after successful potty-training

All of these symptoms are a result of hyperglycemiatoo much glucose circulating in our bloodstream, also known as high blood sugar. Any person experiencing hyperglycemia, particularly after a viral illness, should seek immediate medical help.


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