Resource Page for Type 1 Diabetes

woman eating a diabetes snack food barType 1 Diabetes is diagnosed when the pancreas no longer produces insulin (or produces very little insulin.)

Insulin is a hormone that helps the body convert glucose from food into energy. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day in order to manage their blood sugar levels.

Currently there is no “cure” for type 1 diabetes; however, there are more tools than ever that can help you lead a perfectly normal, happy and healthy lifestyle with type 1 diabetes.

The most important aspect of diabetes management is blood sugar control.

For people with type 1 diabetes, the best way to improve blood sugar control is by making healthy food choices, increasing physical activity and taking diabetes medication.

Extend Nutrition Snacks are designed specifically to help stabilize blood sugar for up to 9 hours; this makes them a perfect snack for people with diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes Causes

There is no known exact cause for type 1 diabetes.

Many people develop type 1 diabetes because their body’s own immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. The immune system usually only attacks foreign objects such as bacteria or viruses, but if you have an autoimmune disorder the body sometimes makes a mistake.

It is also known that genetics play a role in the development of diabetes, as diabetes often runs within families.

Once the insulin producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed, your body no longer produces insulin and, therefore, is unable to effectively regulate blood sugar levels. Usually, insulin would help deliver blood glucose into the cells for energy; but because there is no insulin, excess blood glucose builds up in the bloodstream.

Consistently high blood sugar levels can cause damage to your body.

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

Type 1 diabetes symptoms can have a sudden onset. High blood sugar symptoms include:

• A fruity odor on your breath.

This occurs as the body attempts to get rid of excess acetone through your breathing. This is a sign of ketoacidosis - a dangerous condition most common in untreated type 1 diabetes which is cause by a shortage in insulin.

• Increased thirst and frequent urination.

When excess blood sugar builds up in the bloodstream, it pulls liquid away from other parts of the body in an effort to lower blood sugar. As a result, you may feel thirstier than normal. This can lead you to drink more, and as a result, you’ll end going to the bathroom more than often than usual.

• Extreme hunger.

Because your body is not producing insulin to provide cells with the energy they need, your muscles and organs signal that they need more energy. Those signals then trigger you to eat more in an effort to compensate. Without insulin, the sugar (glucose) in your food does not get delivered to the energy hungry cells.

• Weight loss.

Even though excess weight is commonly associated with diabetes, sometimes people with type 1 diabetes may unexpectedly lose weight. Without the energy from blood glucose, muscle tissues and fat stores may shrink.

• Fatigue.

When your cells are not getting enough glucose this can affect your mood. You may become tired or irritable.

• Blurred vision.

Consistently high blood sugar can pull fluid away from the lenses of your eyeballs. This can affect your ability to see detail or focus clearly. (Reference 1)

Type 1 Diabetes Tips

Tip #1 – Keep blood sugar within healthy ranges.

Through a combination of diet, exercise, and medication – you should aim to keep your blood sugar in normal ranges. ExtendSnacks are the only snacks clinically proven to help stabilize blood sugar for up to 9 hours.

Tip #2 – Find healthcare professionals that you feel good about.

There are several types of healthcare professionals that work with people with type 1 diabetes.

Endocrinologists are Medical Doctors (MD) specifically trained to treat patients with diabetes and other endocrine disorders. Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) help provide you with information specific to self management of type 1 diabetes. Registered Dietitians (RD) help you learn how to eat right for a type 1 diabetes diet.

Tip # 3 – Follow your unique diabetes regimen.

Your doctor will prescribe specific diabetes medications for you to use in conjunction with a healthy diet. Part of diabetes care includes yearly physical exams and eye exams, in addition to your normal visits to the doctor for blood sugar testing and medication adjustment.  

One of the most important aspects of diabetes management is choosing the right foods as part of a diabetic diet; Extend Nutrition snack foods are a simple choice, uniquely designed to be a daily addition to your diabetes regimen.

Tip #4 – Identify yourself in case of emergency.

It is smart for people with type 1 diabetes to wear medical identification in case of emergencies. You should also keep glucose tabs around you to quickly raise blood sugar in the case of an unexpected low blood sugar.

Extend Nutrition Snacks can help prevent low blood sugar for up to 9 hours; but, because they convert to glucose so slowly, they are not a treatment for low blood sugar once it occurs.

Tip #5 – Take care of your feet and your eyes.

High blood sugar due to type 1 diabetes can have damaging effects on your body’s blood vessels. This means that some of the areas furthest from your heart, particularly where blood vessels are very small, sometimes suffer damage from persistently high blood sugar levels.

If you keep your blood sugar within healthy ranges, you can avoid problems like diabetic vision loss, diabetic amputation, or diabetic neuropathy. You should check your feet routinely for sores that aren’t healing or any hot spots that may be a sign of infection. Consult your doctor immediately if you have a wound that is not healing.

Tip #6 – Maintain a healthier weight.

Carrying excess weight puts added stress on your internal organs. Losing excess weight can make diabetes control easier. (Reference 2)

Extend Nutrition snacks can help you lose weight, their unique formula has been clinically proven to help reduce calorie consumption by 21% compared to a typical snack. This helps prevent hunger from wreaking havoc on your weight loss plan. 

*The information provided above is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.

Reference 1 – Mayo Clinic

Reference 2 – Mayo Clinic