Living with diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, and 1.25 million American children and adults have type diabetes.
Living with diabetes — whether type 1 or type 2 — presents daily challenges. Managing a healthy diet and constantly trying to balance blood sugar levels is stressful, especially when living an active and hectic life. Diabetes symptoms can happen at any time, and they can quickly turn into an emergency.
During a diabetic emergency, you may feel confused, shaky, sluggish, or dizzy; you might even pass out. You may not be able to communicate what’s happening. A MedicAlert ID is vital for people living with diabetes — to alert others to your condition, and to ensure you get proper medical care in an emergency.
“As always, it is a good idea to wear medical identification that will enable colleagues, school staff members, and emergency medical personnel to identify and address your medical needs.”
– American Diabetes Association
How a MedicAlert ID membership can help people living with diabetes
Everyone with diabetes, whether a child or adult, can benefit from wearing a diabetes medical ID paired with a MedicAlert membership plan.
- We’re your voice: If you can’t speak for yourself, your ID will inform others about your diabetes and any medications you are taking.
- 24/7 emergency protection: Our team will relay all of your critical medical information to first responders in an emergency, no matter where or when it happens.
- Stay connected: No one should be alone during an emergency. MedicAlert will reach out to your emergency contacts in your moment of need, so they can be by your side as quickly as possible.
- Live with confidence: Enjoy the safety and peace of mind to live your life with diabetes, knowing that MedicAlert is there for you when you need us most.
The importance of a diabetes medical ID bracelet
Wearing a medical ID at all times ensures your medical conditions are immediately known in an emergency.
When first responders see your MedicAlert ID, they know to contact MedicAlert to get your complete health record.
Get protected 24/7 with a MedicAlert ID and membership.
What is the best medical ID for someone living with diabetes?
MedicAlert Foundation has a great selection of necklaces and bracelets for someone living with diabetes. Whether you prefer a fashionable, practical, or performance medical ID – choose an ID that best fits your personal style, lifestyle and what you will be most comfortable wearing every day. Our medical IDs are globally recognized by first responders and provide a great sense of security and peace of mind for those living with diabetes.
If you are an avid traveler – the American Diabetes Association travel tips recommends wearing a medical ID and carrying a copy of your full medical history when traveling. A benefit of MedicAlert membership plan is our digital health profile where you can store and easily update your complete medical history. You can also select a Smart Medical ID Card that uses proven QR code technology for access to your medical information, anytime, anywhere.
The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. When someone has type 1 diabetes, this means their body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by your body that allows you to control the amount of glucose, or sugar, that is in your body at any given moment.
When you do not produce insulin, this means your body cannot produce the fat that it needs, your blood sugar levels can easily run either too high or too low, and you can eventually go into a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis which can be fatal.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but it is believed that genetic and environmental factors (possibly viruses) may be involved. People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections and regularly monitor their blood sugar levels.
With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can initially produce insulin, but your body’s cells can’t respond to it effectively. This is known as insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes is commonly preceded by prediabetes. In prediabetes, blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be defined as diabetes. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), many people with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Prediabetes also increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. With modest weight loss and moderate physical activity, people with prediabetes can often delay or prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
- Age – people age 45 or older are at higher risk for diabetes
- Family history of diabetes
- Being overweight and/or not exercising regularly
- Race and ethnicity. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians populations
- Pregnancy and/or history of gestational diabetes, or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Low-level HDL (high-density lipoprotein–the “good cholesterol”)
- High triglyceride levels
In general, Type 2 diabetes is treated with lifestyle changes, oral medications (pills), and insulin.
By Gloria Ferreira In March of 2016, I started to develop symptoms that are typical of someone with type 1 diabetes: increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unintended weight loss, mood swings, fatigue and weakness, and blurred vision. The symptoms presented themselves slowly. I recall my first symptom was excessive […]
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy in women who have not previously been diagnosed with diabetes. All diabetic symptoms disappear following delivery; however, it is important to treat gestational diabetes to limit risk factors for the baby.
The CDC estimates that 9.2% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), women with gestational diabetes will have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years.
The causes of gestational diabetes are unknown, but there are some clues. Hormones from the placenta that help the baby develop also block the action of the mother’s insulin in her body, resulting in insulin resistance.
The American Diabetes Association recommends screening for undiagnosed type 2 diabetes at the first prenatal visit in women with diabetes risk factors. In pregnant women not known to have diabetes, gestational diabetes testing should be performed at 24 to 28 weeks of gestation.
Treatment for gestational diabetes focuses on keeping blood glucose levels in the normal range. Treatment may include a special diet, exercise, daily monitoring, and/or insulin injections.
Only MedicAlert’s 24/7 services protect people of all ages and types of medical conditions, especially diabetes. From communicating your health information, to storing your care wishes, to reuniting loved ones, we’re there when you need us.
As with any medical condition, you should consult your doctor for specific instructions on managing your condition.
What should I engrave on a diabetes medical ID?
MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our medical ID products. The engraving your diabetes medical ID should include any critical medical information that can protect and save your life if you are in an accident or have a medical emergency, including:
- Diabetes – can abbreviate as T1D or T2D
- Implanted devices such as a CGM
- Any additional medical information that needs to be communicated to first responders
The American Diabetes Association supports all those living with diabetes. Through advocacy, support and education – they’re dedicated to finding a cure.
Feel confident and enjoy peace of mind with MedicAlert