Type 1 diabetes is sometimes also called type 1 diabetes mellitus. With this condition, the pancreas either stops producing insulin or produces far too little pf the hormone to manage blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes typically develops in children, teens and young adults and requires lifelong diabetes care.

Why UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center?

The team at Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center provides expert consultation and ongoing care for patients with diabetes and any diabetes-related complications and conditions, including type 1 diabetes.

Our center is unique in that we offer care and treatment of pediatric and adult patients across their entire lifespan. Our multidisciplinary health care team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified diabetes educators, pharmacists and social workers. We have an education center that provides first-class diabetes education in individual, small group and large settings.

Our outpatient location at UK HealthCare – Turfland provides a convenient, single location where patients can easily access many of their related health care services. UK HealthCare – Turfland, which offers abundant free parking, is home to many other expert clinical health care providers, including those from primary care, urgent care, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology/MRI, ophthalmology and more.

Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center offers A1C testing, which provides rapid results while you wait. We will help you learn more about advancements in diabetes technology programs.

UK HealthCare’s state-of-the-art electronic health record uses the MyChart patient portal for communication between provider and patient.

How do providers work together to best serve their patients? 

  • We coordinate a specific treatment plan tailored to each patient using a team of multidisciplinary care providers that includes physicians, nurse practitioners/physician assistants, certified diabetes educators, pharmacists and social workers.
  • A comprehensive medical record network coordinates care among your healthcare team, as well as with local and regional health care facilities. The MyChart portal tool promotes quick and effective communication with our patients. 
  • Having our pediatric and adult teams housed in the same clinic offers a very smooth transition of care as pediatric patients reach adulthood.
  • Changes in vision, such as blurry vision or floating spots. High blood sugar can cause the lens of the eye to swell, leading to blurry vision. Over the longer term, elevated blood glucose levels can contribute to blockages of the tiny blood vessels in the eye. When this happens, the blood vessels can leak fluid or bleed, which can damage the retina, a layer of cells that senses light and sends signals to the brain.
  • Changes in weight, such as losing weight without trying. Unintentional weight loss after developing type 1 diabetes is typically caused by the body losing sugar in the urine instead of using or storing it.
  • Fatigue. Type 1 diabetes can make you feel tired. This may be associated with a change in blood sugar levels. The body also can’t efficiently produce the energy it needs.
  • Frequent urination. When the kidneys try to get rid of the excess sugar in the blood, they pull in more water. This leads to more urine.
  • Increased thirst. Type 1 diabetes causes you to feel thirsty because you are losing more water than normal through your urine. This water loss can lead to dehydration.
  • Increased hunger. You may feel hungry for the same reason you lose weight or feel tired. This may be because your body can’t produce the energy you need.

Type 1 diabetes is thought to be an autoimmune disease, in which the body attacks its insulin-making organ, the pancreas.  Experts are not sure of the exact cause of this autoimmune process, but they think it could be caused by:

  • Environmental factors. Early exposure to certain environmental factors, including certain viral infections, could trigger type 1 diabetes.
  • Family history. As genetics play a role in diabetes development, having a family member with type 1 diabetes increases the chance a person will develop the disease.

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. However, if you develop the condition, you can take the following steps to manage it:

  • Check your blood sugar and manage the levels. Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels and ensure they are in target. When they are frequently out of target, work with your healthcare provider to adjust your medication regimen. 
  • Eat well. With type 1 diabetes, you will need to focus on foods that will help keep your blood sugar levels in-range, such as non-starchy vegetables and lean protein. Limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels and are in foods such as bread, rice and pasta.
  • Exercise. Physical activity helps your body use insulin and lowers the risk of heart disease and nerve damage.
  • When your blood sugar is too low or too high, treat it right away. To prevent any complications from type 1 diabetes, know what to do when your levels aren’t in-target. If they’re too low, eat or drink food that is high in sugar. If they’re too high, take medication as instructed by your health care provider.

If you don’t manage your blood sugar, you are at higher risk for complications. These complications include:

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis. This occurs when your insulin levels are too low to allow enough sugar into your cells to use for energy.
  • Diabetic nephropathy. Also known as diabetic kidney disease, this condition is characterized by a loss of kidney function over time.
  • Diabetic neuropathy. Caused by damage to nerves by high blood sugar, this condition often begins as pain and numbness and can become more severe.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. This condition causes vision loss due to damage to the fine blood vessels in your eyes.
  • Gastroparesis. This condition is caused by nerve damage to stomach muscles, preventing food from moving into the small intestine.
  • Slow-healing or nonhealing wounds. Restricted blood flow can keep wounds from healing in a timely manner.

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