Islets of Hope for persons newly diagnosed with diabetes

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Article by Lahle Wolfe. For reprint information e-mail:

diabetes forums
diabetes support lists
diabetes blog

Rick Mendosa - "Advice for Newbies"

JDRF - Life with Diabetes for the Newly Diagnosed

think like a pancreas  
Gary Scheiner, CDE
Think Like a Pancreas:  Think Like a Pancreas discusses: day-to-day blood glucose control and monitoring, designing an insulin program, measuring insulin to carbohydrate intake and physical activity ,  pluses and minuses of different insulin-delivery  methods, optimal manage- ment of diabetes using an insulin pump, hypoglycemia—the best ways to avoid it and treat it , the impact of emotions.  
  IOH Rating 5/5 

type 1 diabetes    Dr Charles Fox
Type 1 Diabetes:  It is an incredible book, which deals in depth with every detail of diabetes care in young people.  Dr. Fox is consultant physician at Northampton General Hospital, UK.

 American Diabetes Assn.
ADA Complete Guide to Diabetes:   American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes covers everything from how to manage types 1 and 2 and gestational diabetes, to traveling with insulin, sick-day action plans, and recognizing hypoglycemia,
symptoms, complications, exercise and nutrition, blood sugar control, sexual issues, drug therapies, insulin regimes, and much more. Plus, information for every parent about children, schools, and day care.

101 medication tips for people with diabetes  
101 Medication Tips for People with Diabetes by University of New Mexico Diabetes Care Team.

a diabetic doctor looks at diabetes  
Peter A.. Lodewick
A Diabetic Doctor Looks At Diabetes:  Written from the unique perspective of a doctor who has lived with diabetes for the past 30 years, A Diabetic Doctor Looks at Diabetes has been updated to give people with diabetes the up-to-the- minute tools and information they need to understand, cope with, and live with the disease.


Newly Diagnosed Diabetes Information
Information for those newly diagnosed with diabetes

What is type 1 diabetes?

Mini Site Index
What is type 1 diabetes?
Can I predict if my child will get type 1 diabetes?
What is the honeymoon phase?
Links to more type 1 diabetes information

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta islets cells in the pancreas.  Eventually, the pancreas will not be able to make insulin and a person with type 1 diabetes will need to take daily injections of insulin each day for the rest of their life.

A combination of genetic factors and an environmental trigger contribute to the onset of type 1 diabetes. Many people have the genetic predisposition for type 1 diabetes but will never get the disease.  It is thought that a virus (including votaviruses) may trigger the body's immune system to destroy the pancreatic beta cells.  

Even with a genetic predisposition for developing diabetes most people still do not get it.  This is why researchers focus on what environmental triggers contribute to the onset of diabetes in people.  More people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during winter months as well as in colder climates in general, so cold weather is a suspected environmental trigger.  Another trigger seems to be a virus, and diabetes is less common in breast-fed infants than those who started solid food at an early age.

People with diabetes often test positive (even years before onset) for a certain kind of autoantibody.  Antibodies are normally good; a protein that attack and destroy bacteria and viruses that invade the body.  But in diabetes autoantibodies (“auto” meaning self) mistake healthy cells for bad ones and these autoantibodies attack and destroy the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas.

People with type 1 diabetes may often also have autoantibodies for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  In this case, the thyroid gland is attacked and destroyed and a person may end up with hypothyroid (low thyroid) and require medication.  Women with diabetes (type 1 or 2) may also have another autoimmune problem called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

There are actually many forms of type 1 diabetes, but the most common is the juvenile diabetes form typically diagnosed prior to age 25.  Onset is usually rapid, over days or weeks.  Other forms of type 1 diabetes can occur over a slow period of time.  There is nothing you can do to prevent juvenile type 1 diabtes, and for now, there is no cure.  

Can I predict if my child will get type 1 diabetes?

There are genetic tests that can be conducted to help predict your child’s odds of developing type 1.  Most Caucasians with type 1 have either HLA-DR3 or HLA-DR4 genes.  If you and your child are Caucasian and share these genes, your child has greater risk of developing type 1. 

Glucose tolerance tests can be performed with children, as well as test to measure antibodies to insulin, especially if there are siblings with type 1.  This test measures antibodies to insulin, to islet cells in the pancreas, or to an enzyme called glutamic acid decarboxylase.  High levels can indicate that a child has a higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes.  

What is the honeymoon phase?

The honeymoon phase (or "period") is a period of time after diagnosis where the pancreas resumes making some insulin.  This can change how much insulin a person may need to inject since their body is temporarily and rather unpredictably producing some insulin.

What is the honeymoon phase?
How long does the honeymoon phase last?
Can I do anything to prolong the honeymoon phase?
Honeymoon hypoglycemia
Is this a time to strive of tight control?

Click on any link for more information about type 1 diabetes:

What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Other Names for Type 1 Diabetes
Subtypes of Type 1 Diabetes
Can I predict if my child might get type 1 diabetes?
What are the various forms of type 1 diabetes?
What is the chance of genetic transmission of type 1 diabetes?
Diagnostic Criteria for Type 1 Diabetes
Daily Concerns with Type 1 Diabetes
Long-Term Complications of Type 1 Diabetes
Lifestyle Management
Medical Treatment
Why Insulin?
Stress Management
Resource Links for Nutrition and Treatment
Resource Links for Diagnosis, Tests & Symptoms
Resource Links for General Type 1 Diabetes Information




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Page Updated 02/27/2006