FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS?
New Mexico State resident.
Age 18 & under.
Insulin Pumps Only.
WHAT IS TYPE 1 DIABETES?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are erroneously destroyed by the body’s own immune system. As the pancreas cells are destroyed, levels of insulin in the body decrease. Insulin is necessary for the body to create energy from the sugar found in the food we eat, called glucose. As insulin levels decrease, glucose levels in the blood increase. Patients develop symptoms of frequent urination, extreme thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, weight loss, and problems with the immune system which make it difficult to heal cuts and wounds and make affected people more susceptible to infections from organisms such as yeast. If type 1 diabetes goes unrecognized as the cause of these symptoms, the body seeks alternative fuels to make energy and begins breaking down fat to create ketones. This accumulation of ketones in the body leads to a life-threatening condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis.
HOW IS TYPE 1 DIABETES TREATED?
Individuals with type 1 diabetes must monitor their blood glucose levels and inject themselves with insulin to prevent themselves from going into diabetic ketoacidosis. For those without a continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump, this means poking their finger to test their glucose and giving themselves a shot of insulin before every meal, before bed and sometimes overnight. When sick with even routine illness, the need for even closer monitoring is necessary and this brings even more finger pokes and insulin injections. Unfortunately, type 1 diabetes doesn’t take breaks or holidays, and it doesn’t go away. Those affected with type 1 diabetes must go through this arduous process of multiple finger sticks and shots to stay healthy and prevent death from diabetic ketoacidosis.
While this process is hard for anyone with diabetes, imagine being the parent of a child with type 1 diabetes. Having to stick your child’s finger, having to give your child multiple shots, spending sleepless nights worrying if your child’s sugar is too high or too low. Every Single Day. It is no wonder that more than 2/3rds of people with type 1 diabetes in the US are not consistently achieving target blood glucose levels.
There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, but newer technologies, including the continuous glucose monitor and the insulin pump, can make the management of type 1 diabetes less complex and more comfortable.
WHAT IS A CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITOR?
A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a device that consists of a sensor worn just under the skin that measures glucose levels continuously and can relay these real-time glucose numbers to a receiver device, smart phone or even an insulin pump. CGMs also provide more information regarding glucose levels such as trends up or down and can alert the wearer (or even a parent or caregiver) when their blood glucose gets to be low or high.
WHAT IS AN INSULIN PUMP?
An insulin pump is a device about the size of a pager worn on the belt or waistband or carried in the pocket of the wearer that allows for the delivery of insulin without the need for repeated daily shots. A catheter, attached to the pump by a small tube, is placed into the skin. Insulin is administered in a way that is much more like natural insulin from the pancreas in that it can be administered continuously (called the basal dose) or in a larger amount with meals (called a bolus dose) at the touch of a button. The CGM and the pump can even be tied together to act like an “external pancreas”. While the CGM and insulin pump do not completely eliminate the need for finger sticks and shots, they greatly reduce them making the management of diabetes more comfortable and more fluid resulting in better glucose control and improved management of type 1 diabetes.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM ORDER?
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HOW COMMON IS TYPE 1 DIABETES?
64,000 people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the US every year. This accounts for 1.6 million Americans currently living with type 1 diabetes, a quarter of a million of these individuals are children.