diabetes

How many kinds of diabetes are there? Lots. Explore type 1, type 2, LADA and more

Confused about the different types of diabetes? Never heard of other forms of diabetes beyond “1” and “2”? You’re not alone. As American Diabetes Month comes to a close, we’re shedding some light on this topic. Overall, more than 30 million Americans (9.4 percent of the U.S. population) have diabetes. Here’s a guide to help you and your loved ones learn more about the various kinds of diabetes. Join PatientsLikeMe today to connect with and learn from members living with 10+ different forms of diabetes. Well-known (but still misunderstood) types of diabetes People are most familiar with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, so let’s start with some stats, facts and myths about those: Type 1 diabetes – About 5% of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes (previously called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults, but it can develop at any age (some members on PatientsLikeMe say they were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in their 60s). It’s caused by an autoimmune reaction (where the body attacks itself by mistake) that destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin (the hormone that lets blood sugar …

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What’s in my bag? Motherhood with a health condition = “Mary Poppins” purse

Happy (almost) Mother’s Day! I’m Erin, a PatientsLikeMe senior copywriter living with type 1 diabetes – and a very busy toddler. My sister recently joked that my purse is “quite the Mary Poppins bag.” And it is. Between my diabetes “jazz” and baby paraphernalia, I need a big bag. The spread of stuff I lug around is far from those sleekly styled “What’s in my bag?” features you see in tabloids, where celebrities flaunt their favorite eyeliner, seaweed snack and fur keychain. So what’s in my bag? This is just a sampling of things I bring when I’m running quick errands with my daughter (longer trips call for larger and/or multiple bags). Diabetes stuff Glucose meter and all the fixin’s: needles for finger sticks, test strips, alcohol wipes to use when I can’t wash my hands before testing Insulin, Humalog (insulin lispro), and needles for injecting it An empty medication bottle, which works well as a mini, childproof “sharps” container Snacks! I try to pack a few kinds – like popcorn, whole-wheat crackers, protein bars and string cheese – for a mix of carbs and protein. Manufactured foods have been demonized lately with the (positive) trends toward “clean eating” and …

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Member Chris finds the uplifting side of type 1 diabetes

“I am the only 7-fingered diabetic record-holding powerlifter and motivational speaker you know!” Chris (ChrisRuden) says in his profile. He was born with two fingers on his left hand and a shorter left arm. He was bullied in high school, and he struggled with depression, alcohol and drug use. Chris was diagnosed with diabetes at age 20, when he was in college studying law. His diagnosis inspired him to shift his focus to health and wellness (personally and professionally), and he earned a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from Florida Atlantic University. He runs an online nutrition and fitness coaching business and he published an e-book called The Art of Losing Body Fat. He holds four state records in powerlifting (with one hand)! He is also a motivational speaker who has given talks at schools, businesses and organizations like the American Diabetes Association across the U.S. We recently caught up with Chris about his interests, overcoming adversity and the upshot of his diabetes diagnosis. What are your three favorite things to do? What do you love about them? I love powerlifting, speaking and helping people get in shape! Powerlifting allows me to compete against myself and push my …

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Meet Lindsay from the PatientsLikeMe Team of Advisors

  Meet Lindsay (Shyandspicy), a member of the PatientsLikeMe 2016-2017 Team of Advisors living with bipolar II, fibromyalgia and diabetes. We recently caught up with Lindsay to learn how she finds purpose in her relationships with her family, her faith and helping others.  Keep reading to get to know her story and how she tackles the obstacles of living with her conditions through research, self-advocacy and connecting with others. What gives you the greatest joy and puts a smile on your face? There used to be not much that could give me joy or even make me smile. Now I can say one of my biggest joys in life is bringing pride to God and my family and other supportive loved ones. I have put them through a lot of strife and knowing that they recognize my hard work and attempts at trying to correct the past and become a better version of me brings joy. Along with that, I get a smile on my face when I spend time with my son, who is 13 and my little sister, who is 30 years younger than me. Experiencing life again through their eyes has a whole new meaning! What has …

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Member JoeSixPack shares his experience with diabetes

Say hello to Peter (JoeSixPack), a father of three and member of the diabetes community. He was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1998 when he was 34 years old. In a recent interview, he told us about his life-long struggle with his weight, managing treatment, and how he found the motivation to lose weight and quit smoking. Check out what he had to say about life with diabetic neuropathy and coming to terms with the realization that he’s not invincible. Tell us a little bit about who you are. What was life like before your diagnosis? How has life changed since your diagnosis? I am a 62-year-old male that was married to the same lady for 40 years prior to her death in September 2013.  When I married my wife I weighed in at 335 pounds.  I was an executive with a financial company for the previous 12 years and eventually Peripheral Neuropathy had gotten so bad it finally put me off work in January 2015.  I was diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic in August of 1988 and struggled with my blood sugar levels for most of my adult life.  Like most 34-year-old men, I regarded myself invincible so …

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Member Susan shares about life with type 2 diabetes

Meet Susan (sugarpolicewoman) from Montgomery, Alabama. She loves birds, flowers and kittens and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes over 40 years ago. Check out her story to learn more about how she manages her condition while living in an assisted living facility. Can you tell us a little about yourself? What are your passions? I caught diabetes from my dad, who had diabetes, type 1.  I have type 2. I grew up in a Methodist preacher’s homes. We moved around an average of every four years, although my dad was a District Superintendent for six years once.  I had to switch schools quite a bit due to moving, therefore I never did develop close friendships, only casual acquaintances. We lived in several towns and cities in the state of South Carolina. When I was 14 years old, I caught chicken pox from my younger sister. The case was bad, probably because I had the pox later in life instead of during my younger years. When I had mumps, doctors still visited and treated sick people in the home. In front of me, my doctor told my mother I could have all the Coca-Cola I wanted. Unconsciously perhaps, that might have been …

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Barry shares his story for National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month, and this year, we caught up with Barry (bjf2000): history lover, grandfather and member of the diabetes community. Below, see what Barry says about his journey to diagnosis (“a flipping mess”), what it’s like to manage multiple conditions and becoming his own advocate. Tell us a little about yourself. What are your hobbies and passions? Right now I like genealogy and the study of my family history. History is people. I wish someone had told that to me back in high school! One branch of my family came over on the Mayflower, and I only need to find two more marriage certificates to prove my line down to the present. My other passion is my grandchildren. I have six. One is an adult, one will be an adult in September, and the rest are 11, 8, 5, and 4. Four boys and two girls. Some are mine biologically, others by marriage. I, personally, do not differentiate. I don’t care how they got here, but they are mine now! What was your diagnosis journey like? My diagnosis was a flipping mess. As a teen, I was aware of diabetes, as my mother was diabetic, and taking …

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“I have been empowered to face the challenges of my condition” – Member Deb shares her journey with type 2 diabetes

Meet Deb (optimisticrealist), a self-described optimist who found no challenge too daunting, exercised daily and maintained a healthy diet. We recently caught up with her and she told us how her type 2 diabetes diagnosis changed the way she thought about what it meant to be healthy. Learn more about Deb’s story and what she had to say about empowering herself through education, finding veganism and learning to live with her new normal. Tell us a little bit about who you are. What was life like before your diagnosis? I have always been an optimist, nicknamed Pollyanna for my focus on the bright side. I had the sincere belief that with creativity and perseverance there was no challenge that I could not surmount. If all else failed, I could reframe the situation to find the positive. How has life changed since your diagnosis? Having had none of the classic symptoms, my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes completely blindsided me and caused me to wonder if optimism was just another word for denial. I was diagnosed while in the hospital and sent home with prescriptions but no instructions about how to live with my new reality. I will never forget standing …

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Patients as Partners: Christel on “finding your tribe”

Today, we’re sharing the final piece of the Patients as Partners series from Christel, who’s living with type 1 diabetes. Christel has relied on several of the Partnership Principles including respect, communication, and shared responsibility throughout her journey. Below, see what she says about connecting with others who know what she’s going through and discovering the “life-changing benefits of partnering with peers.” Whether you are newly diagnosed or a veteran in your health condition, there are always opportunities to learn, share, and create a group of trusted peers who become your tribe. Despite a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes over 30 years ago, it wasn’t until I recently “found” my tribe that I truly understood the life-changing positive benefits of partnering with peers — those who travel along a similar healthcare journey. How did I find my tribe? I created it, using many of the Partnership Principles. Know Your Needs In a quest to better understand diabetes and how to manage it, I attended conferences and meetings where experts would stand up and discuss research and treatment plans. These sessions were helpful, but what shocked me was where I truly learned to understand daily life with my disease: my peers, …

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Christel’s story

Last month, we introduced Christel, a member of your 2015-2016 Team of Advisors living with type 1 diabetes. Here she talks about the important role peer support has played in her journey. Here’s her story:   You can see how much good data can do. During the month of December, we’re celebrating #24DaysofGiving. Any data you share on the site will go toward a donation of up to $20,000 by PatientsLikeMe to Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island to help fund life-affirming wishes for seriously ill children.     Data for you. For others. For good. Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.

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