Diabetes Awareness Month

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Diabetes Awareness Month

Photo Credit Makenzie Moesly

Photo Credit Makenzie Moesly

Photo Credit Makenzie Moesly

Makenzie Moesly, Staff

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Every year during the month of November, I write an article on “Diabetes Awareness Month” talking about the two types of diabetes. Over the summer, my best friend Connor Malone was diagnosed with type one diabetes, so, this year, I decided to interview him about living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is when the pancreas does not produce insulin. Someone living with Type 1 Diabetes must rely on insulin pens or insulin pumps. Type 2 Diabetes, however, is when your body causes blood glucose levels to rise greater than normal, according to the American Diabetes Association. Type 2 can be managed with lifestyle changes, insulin, and medication.  

“It all started when I began to feel very lethargic and tired all the time,” says Malone. “Additionally, my hands became extremely dry and I was constantly thirsty.” Symptoms may include increased thirst, frequent urination, acute hunger, inadvertent weight loss, mood changes, and blurred vision, according to the Mayo Clinic. Malone adds, “I found myself urinating almost every 30 minutes.”

Malone found “it [to be] very hard emotionally for [him] and especially [his] mom. Getting used to [his] new diet took some time and there were moments where [they] both broke down.” Although, Malone does believe that there have been positive effects, too: “Once I got diagnosed and started taking my medicine, I became a lot more physically healthy. I started to gain weight and I felt energized and overall healthier.”

Living with diabetes can be challenging. Always remember to lean on your friends and family if you’re struggling or look into joining a support group to talk to people who understand. “Don’t let the short term struggles ruin your longer term health and success,” conveys Malone.

Many people stereotype people with diabetes as someone who eats a lot of sugar and is extremely unhealthy. Connor informs us that “they think you must be chubby to have diabetes; however, many diabetics are perfectly healthy in weight. Many individuals mistake Type 1 for Type 2 Diabetes. Type 1 is genetic and has nothing to do with your eating habits.”

Connor is one example of a teenager with Type 1 Diabetes. He concludes that “[he] still [does] the same activities like going to the gym and hanging out with my friends. [His] diabetes hasn’t really hindered [his] ability to do anything.”