Project Blue November

November has become an important month for my family, but not because it symbolizes the start of the holiday season. November is the awareness month for a disease that both of my brothers have been diagnosed with, within the last nine months. 

 

Project Blue November spreads awareness for Type 1 diabetes (T1D). There are currently no known causes or cures for Type 1- even though more than 40,000 people are diagnosed each year. This disease is not well known due to Type 2 being more common.

 

Type 1 is an auto immune disease, which means their body is fighting itself. After a person develops Type 1; their pancreas no longer produces insulin (what breaks down sugar we need to produce energy). If Type 1 goes untreated sugar will build up into the bloodstream which will eventually cause damage throughout the body and leaving untreated will cause ketoacidosis. After the buildup the body will begin burning fatty acids which then produces ketones (turning the blood into acid). If ketoacidosis is left untreated it can lead to death. 

Type 1 diabetes is a 24/7 job and an inexact science that requires constant monitoring. To monitor blood sugar levels, it is either by seven to ten finger sticks a day, or a continuous glucose monitor. Once someone is diagnosed with Type 1 they become dependent on insulin to help keep them alive. Insulin is just a way to manage Type 1, it is not a cure. 

 

Type 1 becomes a major lifestyle change for anyone that has been diagnosed. You become insulin dependent. With Type 1 you are able to eat whatever you want, as long as you dose properly based on personal insulin ratios. 

 

Some effects that come with Type 1 is treating high and low blood sugar. A high is when the body needs more insulin and a low is when your body needs more sugar. Leaving a low untreated can result in being unconscious and seizures.  

 

After less than nine months of both of my brothers being diagnosed, they given themselves a minimum of four shots a day, and combined together, that is about 2,000 shots. After a year combined, the number of shots will be around 5,000. Which is a number that will continue to rise the rest of their lives.  

Symptoms:                                                           

  • Increased thirst                                                          
  • Frequent urination 
  • Extreme hunger 
  • Unintended weight loss 
  • Fatigue

Facts: 

  • T1D is not caused by eating too much sugar
  • It’s not caused by lifestyle 
  • Not preventable 
  • There is no present cure 

Explaining Type One Diabetes is like explaining the traditions of A&M…” From the outside looking in you don’t understand it, from the inside you can’t explain it”. 

 

To find out more go to: www.diabetes.org 

To help spread awareness go to: www.projectbluenovember.com