Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food.  It occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells.  Without insulin, a person is unable to break down carbohydrates/sugars that are found in food.  The carbohydrates/sugars remain in the blood stream and are not converted to energy.  

Although it is slightly different for each person, normally, blood sugar levels should be between 80 and 120 milligrams per deciliter. When a diabetic tests his/her blood, anything significantly above 120 or below 80 requires attention. 

Signs of High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar (or Hyperglycemia) is characterized by:

- Thirst (dehydration)
- Stomach pain
- Nausea
- Drowsiness
- Confusion
- Sweating

Signs of Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar (or Hypoglycemia) is characterized by:

- Dizziness
- Personality change
- Irrational  behavior
- Shakiness
- Crying
- Sweating
- Irritability
- Drowsiness
- Inability to concentrate

In case of an emergency, you should immediately call 911 or contact a medical professional. 


Short of an emergency, there are many things that you as a kid or teen can do in order to be prepared.

Whenever you go out of the house with your mom or dad, make sure that they or you are carrying:

  • A blood glucose meter
  • Insulin
  • Some form of sugar (glucose), which can include juice, Gatorade, soda, fruit or even glucose tablets/gel. 

I hope everyone has had a great summer so far! My family just got back from a trip, so I decided to make my first entry about traveling with a family member who is diabetic.