Type 1 diabetes
Chandler Bennett was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2004.
She maintains a positive attitude to life, and has learned to manageher conditionby calculating the carbohydrates in her food and taking insulin.
"When I was diagnosed, my first thought was, 'Oh my God, why me?' I used to be terrified of injections, so that side of it completely scared me.
"I was self-conscious at first. I didn't want to inject myself in front of everyone. I thought it was going to be embarrassing and everyone at school would think I was injecting drugs in the middle of lunch.
"If I hadn't taken the medication, my blood sugars would haverisen and I would havestarted to feel dizzy. If I'd continued not taking insulin, I would havegot ill, probably thrown up and eventually Iwould havedied.
"When you have type 1 diabetes, you have to calculate the carbohydrates in your meals.A piece of toasthas 20g of carbohydrates, and I have one unit of insulin for every time I eat 20g of carbohydrates.
"It was a foreign idea. I hadn't ever considered food as something to be calculated. Sometimes school lunch can be a bit difficult because you don't really know what's in everything.
"It was tricky and I made mistakes at first. You have to expect that. However, you get into a pattern and everything becomes second nature.
"It definitely affects my sports. I have to check my blood sugars more frequently when I'm playing sport. I do quite like competitive sprinting, which is difficult because adrenaline in sport brings your blood sugars up rapidly.
"A few months after I was diagnosed, I moved on to the insulin pump. It was a good change for me. It definitely gives me a lot more flexibility. It's like a bigger injection, once every three days, and it pumps in insulin throughout the day.
"Sometimes I get little red spots on my body, which makes me self-conscious when I'm going to the beach. I don't really like to wear bikinis.
"It was definitely a bit of a nightmare at first, but if you approach diabetes with a positive attitude, it just becomes another part of who you are.
"Everyone can control diabetes. You just have to put in the effort. It's worth it, because when it's controlled, you feel you're just like everybody else."
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can develop very quickly (over a few days or weeks), particularly in children. In older adults, the symptoms can often take longer to develop (a few months).
It's important for diabetes to be diagnosed early so treatment can be started as soon as possible. If you experience the symptoms of diabetes , visit your GP as soon as possible. They'll ask about your symptoms and may request blood and urine tests.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you'll probably need insulin injections. Treatment for diabetes aims to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible and to control your symptoms.
If diabetes isn't treated, it can lead to a number of different health problems. High glucose levels can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs. Even a mildly raised glucose level that doesn'tcause any symptoms can have damaging effects in the long term.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you'll need to look after your health very carefully. You have to start eating a healthy balanced diet, exercise regularly, quit smoking, limit your alcohol, etc.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to control the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood. Type 1 diabetes is often inherited (runs in families), so the autoimmune reaction may also be genetic.
Chandler Bennett was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2004. She maintains a positive attitude to life and has learned to manage her condition.
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