Patients with type 1 diabetes may develop “double diabetes
Around seven million diabetics live in Germany. About five percent of them have diabetes type 1. These patients must always be treated with insulin. However, they should also make sure that their lifestyle is healthy, otherwise they run the risk of developing “double diabetes”.
Seven million Germans suffer from diabetes
According to health experts, around seven million people in Germany live with diabetes. 95 percent of them have diabetes type 2. A large proportion of these patients can also be well controlled without medication. A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and sufficient exercise is important. Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, must always be treated with insulin. However, type 1 diabetics must also be aware of an active lifestyle. Otherwise they run the risk of developing “double diabetes”.
Therapy has made great progress
As the non-profit organization diabetesDE – Deutsche Diabetes-Hilfe writes in a recent press release, the therapy of diabetes type 1 has made great progress in recent decades.
Thanks to modern insulins, intensified conventional insulin and pump therapy, and new methods of blood glucose control, patients no longer have to adhere to strict time and quantity guidelines for their meals and insulin doses.
And prohibitions are also a thing of the past: people with type 1 diabetes, like those with healthy metabolism, can basically eat anything.
However, they should pay attention to a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Experts advise that sweets and high-calorie foods should be the rule at an early age, with exceptions and daily physical exercise.
Just as more and more children and adolescents in western industrialized countries who have been healthy from the point of view of metabolism to date are already increasingly overweight or even obese among young people with type 1 diabetes.
As with people with type 2 diabetes, they can also develop insulin resistance and develop “double diabetes” as a result.
No special diets prescribed
As a general rule, neither type 1 nor type 2 diabetes require special diets or prohibit certain foods.
“Sugar is not forbidden either, but more than 25 grams a day should not be consumed by people with metabolic disorders or type 1 or type 2 diabetes,” explains Professor Haak, board member of diabetesDE – Deutsche Diabetes-Hilfe and head physician at the Diabetes Zentrum Mergentheim.
Because sugar consists of quickly digestible carbohydrates and ensures a rapid increase in blood sugar. Patients with type 1 diabetes have to counteract high blood sugar levels with individually adapted insulin doses.
“A dosage that is correct to the point is not always easy because numerous factors have an influence on the blood sugar level,” explains the diabetologist. If the insulin dose is too high, hypoglycaemia may result.
In addition, foods that cause the blood sugar level to rise sharply are often not only very sugary, but also fatty and therefore very rich in calories.
“Overweight now also affects many young people with type 1 diabetes,” says Professor Haak.
Balanced diet and active lifestyle
“Overweight people with type 1 diabetes have more unstable blood sugar levels and need more insulin,” explains Dr. rer. medic. Nicola Haller, Vice Chairman of diabetesDE – Deutsche Diabetes-Hilfe.
In the long run, insulin resistance can be the result, as with type 2 diabetes, which can ultimately even lead to “double diabetes”.
It is now also known that children of mothers with type 1 diabetes are more likely to be overweight.
One possible cause is suspected to be that temporarily high blood sugar levels in the womb have a long-term effect on the child’s metabolism and can later promote the development of a metabolic syndrome.
“People with diabetes type 1 should therefore prevent overweight and strong blood sugar fluctuations with a balanced diet and an active lifestyle,” advises Nicola Haller, who is also chairman of the board of the Association of Diabetes Consultancy and Training Professions in Germany (VDBD) and diabetes consultant at the Vincentinum medical center in Augsburg. (ad)