I was recently reading up on Type 1 Diabetes in order to get a better understanding of my diagnosis. I came across some interesting facts that I thought might interest you as well. The first diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes was in the 1970s. That is a fairly recent discovery. Even though researchers have made huge strides to improving the lifestyle of diabetics through insulin pumps in this relatively short period of time, I believe there is still a lot more research that can be done in the future. The disease was first known to only occur in children. However, recent discoveries have shown that adults can also be diagnosed later on in life. 

     Bushra Kafeel, from the  Onlymyhealth.com Editorial Team wrote an article in June of 2011 stating, "According to some studies, the maximum number of type 1 diagnoses is from the colder northern climates. Researchers consider viral infections due to cold climate as a triggering factor for the disease". I found this particularly interesting for two reasons. First, because no studies I have read thus far can find a definite cause for the disease (Only strong correlations). Also, I am from the North.

     According to the American Diabetes Association, only 5 percent of the diabetic population have Type 1. This is a very small percentage of Americans. This fact has motivated me to bring more awareness to this group of people that I am a part of. I have often been asked what the difference is between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. A simple explanation is that people with Type 1 Diabetes do not produce insulin in order to control their blood sugars and they are insulin dependent. People with Type 2 Diabetes cannot efficiently use the insulin that is produced in their bodies. Depending on the severity of the diagnosis, although rare, these people can also become insulin dependent.

     The risks associated with uncontrolled type 1 Diabetes are; loss of eyesight, heart problems, liver and kidney problems, susceptibility to infections and amputations due to disease. This fact is an amazing motivator for keeping myself healthy and following my nutritional plan. Thankfully, I have been diagnosed with a disease that only requires effort in order to control it. I must continue to eat properly and keep a food journal, exercise regularly, check my blood sugars consistently, and always take my insulin. When I think about it, I am almost fortunate for my diagnosis. Staying active and healthy is important regardless of whether you have diabetes or not. Now I have a reason to stay consistently focused.

     I am excited to continue to bring awareness to Type 1 Diabetes and to help support the research and development of devices that will continue to enhance the lifestyle of individuals who have it.

I look forward to writing to you again, soon!

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    Kris Fergus is training to run Red White and Blue 26.2 in Findlay, Ohio on October 7th, 2012. Though this is not her first marathon, it is the first race in which she will run after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Training began on Monday, June 18th, and Kris will be keeping a blog to bring you with her on her journey and she will be raising money for Lakewood Hospital during the process.

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