A diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes can be devastating to parents and children when it happens, not only because of the danger inherent in living with diabetes, but because there is no cure like there is for other serious diseases. In the past, when a person was diagnosed with diabetes, it required constant daily attention on the parents and the child's part to maintain healthy glucose levels to minimize the risk of complications to the heart, eyes, kidneys and nervous system. Fortunately, treatment for diabetes has come a long way.
There are several types of therapies that are effective to help control diabetes.
Multiple Daily Injection Therapy
, where the diabetic tests their Blood glucose
level throughout the day by having a fingerstick. The diabetic will then have an Insulin
shot based on the blood glucose level before meals, after meals and snacks, and during physical activities. While this treatment has been a standard for many years, it requires multiple fingersticks and injections by the diabetic each day, resulting in sore fingers and tender skin.
Insulin Pump Therapy
, where an insulin pump is carried by the diabetic and daily monitoring can be done without the need for a fingerstick and multiple injections several times per day. Using a device worn on a belt or put in a pocket and connected to the diabetic via an insertion needle, the insulin pump reads blood glucose levels throughout the day as needed based on food intake and physical activity level. The diabetic can then take a dose of insulin based on what they need.