Type 1 Diabetes

Basic Information for Type 1 Diabetes Patients

If you have diabetes, you are not alone. Worldwide there are millions of people living with diabetes – around 5% of them have type 1 diabetes and 95% have type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs at every age. It is a manageable condition and with proper diabetes treatment from an early age on, you can live a long and fulfilled life. Eating right, exercising, social support, monitoring blood sugar and insulin and other oral drugs management is important!

Bệnh tiểu đường – Những điều bạn nên biết

Bệnh tiểu đường là tình trạng lượng đường trong máu (đường huyết) cao hơn bình thường.

Bệnh tiểu đường týp 1 là tình trạng cơ thể sản xuất ít hoặc không sản xuất insulin. Cần có insulin để giúp đường đi vào tế bào của cơ thể. Đường đến từ thực phẩm bạn ăn và được sử dụng trong tất cả các tế bào và cơ quan để tạo ra năng lượng giúp cơ thể hoạt động.

Lượng insulin bị thiếu trong cơ thể bạn phải được thay thế. Cơ thể không hấp thụ insulin qua đường miệng mà phải được tiêm vào.

Người mắc bệnh tiểu đường týp 2 vẫn có thể sản xuất insulin, nhưng các tế bào không thể đáp ứng insulin một cách bình thường. Hầu hết những người mắc bệnh tiểu đường týp 2 đều cần dùng thuốc uống và/hoặc tiêm insulin để điều chỉnh lượng đường trong máu (còn gọi là mức đường huyết).

Phạm vi lượng đường trong máu khỏe mạnh

Quá trình nạp đồ ăn, đưa đường đến tế bào và chuyển hóa đường thành năng lượng là thiết yếu trong cơ thể chúng ta. Lượng đường trong máu là kết quả của các quá trình này. Nếu lượng đường quá cao hoặc quá thấp, sẽ có nguy cơ gây hậu quả nghiêm trọng cho cơ thể. Vì vậy, lượng đường trong máu ở mức bình thường rất quan trọng đối với sức khỏe.

Monitoring your Blood Sugar Levels is Important!

How to Monitor your Blood Sugar Levels

Your blood sugar level can be measured using a “blood glucose meter” or “blood glucose monitor”. You simply take a drop of blood by finger prick and the meter tells you how much sugar is in your blood at that time. This way, you can check if your blood sugar level is in the healthy range.

Monitoring blood sugar levels is the most important way you can check how well you are managing your diabetes!

Good Diabetes Management

To manage diabetes successfully, the blood sugar levels should be kept within the normal range by timely injections of the right dose of insulin. However, if you change your eating habits (ex. fast), or physical activities, your blood sugar levels may become too low or too high.

Self-monitoring blood glucose

Hyperglycaemia – High Blood Sugar Levels

When the sugar level in your blood rises above the normal range, you become hyperglycaemic. If your sugar level stays too high for a long time, there is a risk of damage to organs and other complications.

High blood sugar levels develop when your body does not produce enough insulin or does not respond well to insulin. It can also happen when a person with diabetes forgets an insulin injection or if the injected insulin dose was too low.

Hypoglycaemia – Low Blood Sugar Levels

Your blood sugar level can also fall below the normal range, resulting in hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia is often called an “insulin reaction”, because it can occur after taking too much insulin. Low blood sugar levels are common with type 1 diabetes patients – on average, episodes with symptoms occur twice a week. The number of unnoticed lows (without symptoms, at night) could be even higher.

If blood sugar levels fall too low, you can lose important functions, such as the ability to think and act normally. Low blood sugar levels require immediate action!

Contact your Healthcare Professional to discuss your individual blood sugar target range.

Insulin – What you Should Know

Insulin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pancreas. Without insulin, the sugar cannot enter the cells and piles up in the blood. Insulin is the medication for people whose pancreas does not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or whose cells do not respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes).


Insulin Management – It’s in your Hands!

When blood sugar levels rise after a meal, insulin is needed for type 1 diabetic people to bring the sugar levels back to normal. In healthy people, the pancreas provides the right amount of insulin. People with type 1 diabetes have to inject insulin several times daily with insulin pens, syringes, or insulin pump. Blood sugar monitoring helps you to determine when and how much insulin you need to inject.

Types of Insulin

There are several types of insulin, based on how fast and how long they act in the human body. Your Healthcare Professional will work with you to select the one that is best for you.

Man injecting insulin
Type of insulin Delivery (time taken to reach bloodstream*) Peak (time taken to reach highest level of effectiveness*) Duration (length of time it stays effective)
Rapid-acting ≈15 minutes ≈1 hour ≈2 to 4 hours
Regular or short-acting ≈30 minutes ≈2 to 3 hours ≈3 to 6 hours
intermediate-acting ≈2 to 4 hours ≈4 to 12 hours ≈12 to 18 hours
Long-acting Several hours Reduces blood sugar levels relatively steadily over 24 hours  

Living with Diabetes – Practical Tips

Eating Right

The food you eat has a large influence on the sugar levels in your blood. It is important to know your foods and to manage your insulin injections accordingly. A dietitian who has expertise in type 1 diabetes can help you set up a plan for a balanced diet, your insulin doses and the right level of activities. When your eating habits or preferences change, it is time to update your eating plan!


When you move, your body consumes more energy and uses up the sugar faster than when you rest. Being active is good! In the long run, exercise will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Finding Support

Social and emotional support can positively boost your well-being. It can be very helpful to share your experiences with other diabetics. A good network of support from family members, friends, and diabetes patients organizations really makes a difference!

Storing Insulin

For example, insulin may need to be refrigerated. If the injection of cold insulin is painful for you, the insulin can be held at room temperature (typically around 20°C in central Europe) before injection. Some insulin products can be stored in this way for about one month. Please make sure to always check and follow the supplier’s instructions.

Healthy lifestyle with type 1 diabetes

For more information and personalized advice about type 1 diabetes, please contact your Healthcare Professional.

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Sources: www.diabetes.org

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