Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Type 2 to Type 1
avatar
LittleRed84 posted:
I was diagnosed Type 2 in January of this year, just a few weeks ago I ended up in the hospital because of DKA, due to this event I was then diagnosed as Type 1. I have been doing all the research I can about insulin and insulin pumps, but no matter how much or what I read, it's just confusing me more. I am also just getting used to the idea of giving myself insulin all the time. Does anyone have any tips to making the transition easier?

My husband is a Corpsman (medic) in the Navy, he and I have been going to all the classes that are offered, but it's difficult for me. I'm 26 years old and a "baby" diabetic. I'm finding it very difficult to make the transition from "being me" to "being me with diabetes". I'm the first one in my family, and my husband's, to be diagnosed with diabetes, so I don't really have anyone to bounce problems or ideas off.
Reply
 
avatar
MrsCora01 responded:
Hi LittleRed and welcome. The good news is that you can live a long, healthy, happy and fun filled life with type 1. It won't stop you from doing anything. I may offend a few folks here saying this, but as a T1 myself, I believe that in some ways we have it easier than type 2s. Because of the insulin we are allowed more freedom in diet (don't go overboard with the goodies) and can bring our sugars down more easily rather than waiting.

There are a number of tricks in getting insulin dosages regulated and I can go into those later if you want me to and you have questions. I won't inundate you with info now. Don't forget, you are still the same person, you just now have to test your blood sugar and count the carbs you eat. BTW, if you can get a pump, I highly recommend it. It's a lot of work, but well worth it. I loved mine.

This is a friendly community so feel free to ask lots of questions.

Cora
T1 1966, Dialysis 2001, kidney transplant and pump 2002, pancreas transplant 2008
 
avatar
YumaMamaLama responded:
Hi there -- I'm very sorry for your having to deal with diabetes at all!! It's a pain in the neck, but in reality, not the worst diagnosis that a person could get, right?

Let me ease your mind about the giving yourself insulin thing. The needles are SOOOOOOO fine, you probably won't even feel them most of the time. And if you do, it's only for a moment. If you have a problem getting past the psychological thing of actually poking yourself -- which was the hardest part of self-injecting for me -- get the syringe all lined up, the needle about a quarter of an inch away from the injection site, then close your eyes so you aren't watching, and just do it. It really, really helps until it gets easier to do it without hesitation.

Also, realize that at first the amount that you have to learn is enormous. After two or three months, though, things will ease up considerably. You can do it.
 
avatar
JerseyCatlover replied to MrsCora01's response:
You don't just go from a Type 2 to a Type 1...you were always a type 1, just misdiagnosed.....same thing happened to my husband ...I can remember the Dr. in the ER telling me it's like being pregnant, you are or you aren't....yes, it was scary, but knowledge is power. These days using an insulin pump gives you lots of freedom & will help prevent complications since you will get insulin 24/7....it might seem like lots of work & overwhelming at first, but trust me, you should feel better to have tighter control of your diabetes, I noticed it right away with my husband. In a way it was a benefit for me since I've had MS since I was a teen & by learning more about nutrition & counting carbs & fitness, this helps me to avoid other issues down the road so I can continue to be the best health care partner possible....the best advice I can give is to continue to be yourself...it is what it is, & the people who truly love & care about you will realize this is part of your life, but not who you are, I had to learn this when I was just 16, my husband feels the same way.This might sound crazy, but by dealing with this so young, it makes you a stronger person who appreciates life more than most people who are healthy. You'll see what I mean as you get older....reaching out online is a wonderful way to get support also, good for you LittleRed! FaceBook has several great groups for Type 1's & general diabetes info. Please take care of yourself!
 
avatar
Hootyowl2 responded:
LittleRed,

Using insulin is not as hard as it sounds. You can do a search for 'how to give insulin injections' and get tons of good websites with illustrated instructions. Most of them are from hospitals. Pick any that interest you. You can read, re read, and practice as much as you need. I just needed a refresher course in doing injections since I had had some nursing school, and it did not take long to relearn the basics. It hurts much less than the finger sticking that goes with diabetes, and you have to do that no matter what meds you use.

I was on pills at first, but they did not work and made me deathly ill. My sugars were up in the 400 range before I was able to convince my doc to give me insulin [and through several doctor changes>. I had undiagnosed gestational diabetes with my kids in the 70s, then intermitten diabetic symptoms from then until 03 when it was properly diagnosed. My mom is a nurse and thinks I might be T 1.5 because I do not exactly fit either T1 or T2. But then I read about some research a few years ago where they have ID'd at least 16 types of diabetes and they are mostly genetic. Who knows ? I am glad that I am on insulin, and personally, I do not want a pump. I hate doing math, and with regular shots the math is much less to do. I am on a sliding scale for my insulin, and it is based on my blood sugars. Most of the time they behave with my Lantus dose, at least since I am now retired and do not have the stress of a job.

Babies take baby steps, so take a deep breath and relax. You will learn a lot in a short time and be amazed at yourself. This is a great place to learn. I learned more here than I ever did from my doctors. One size does not fit all for diabetic information, some of it must be tailored to meet your own needs.

Hooty
 
avatar
Mom4vr25 responded:
I LOVE my pump!!, but I'm glad that I started with shots. There is a little more to learn with the pump, and for me it was good to have some experience controling my BG with shots before I moved on to a pump.

The pump is discreet... and you can adjust your basal rate to match your activity level. That was my biggest drawback with shots. Once I'd taken the shot, I was more or less locked into what and when I had to eat, and how active I could be.
The pump doesn't use long lasting insulin so you don't have to make choices in the afternoon based on insulin you took in the morning.

While you're taking shots make sure you have the finest needles available. The smallest syringes will only hold 30 units. My neighbor's 2-year-old had type1 and her pharmacist had told her that she had the smallest needles available, but after I saw what she was using (it held more than 50 units) I showed her mine and she and her son were very happy to make the change.

Another technology you should consider is a continous monitor. It isn't accurate enough to depend on for knowing exactly where your BG is, so you still have to use a meter. But when I'm using a continous monitor I only poke my fingers 2 or 3 times a day. The thing I like most about it is it shows you which direction you're going, and how quickly it's changing.

I tend to have a drop a few hours after I exercise, and the monitor helps me avoid those nasty lows that can catch you offguard at the worst times.

JerseyCatLover is right. Your initial diagnosis was wrong. I was originally diagnosed with gestational diabetes, but I have type1. The symptoms and complications of both type1 and 2 are basically the same. Diet and exercise are important to both. The biggest difference is the cause, type2 develops when the body doesn't respond properly to insulin, and type1 is an auto-immune disease, where the immune system gets confused and attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas completely disabling the production of insulin (type 1 can be confirmed by an antibody test).

There definitely is life after a type1 diagnosis (just look at Mary Tyler Moore). Don't be hard on yourself. It takes time to accept the diagnosis and it takes a lot of practice and adjustment. I'm still working at it after 14 years... but it doesn't consume my thoughts and plans anymore.

It's kind of like traveling with a baby, you have to do some extra planning, sometimes you're inconvenienced, and like a colicky baby, it can be frustrating and tiring, but eventually life feels pretty much 'normal' again.

Good luck!!
 
avatar
feelinghigh replied to Hootyowl2's response:
Hi Hooty,

It's my understanding that T1.5 (LADA) is T1. The only difference is that it's a slower form of T1 in adults in which only one or two types of autoimmune antibodies is present. Lots of doctors don't even acknowledge 1.5. They just say you have t1.

LittleRed,

I'm using Medtronics Insulin Pump and CGMS. Not sure which one you're interested in using but, if you choose the Medtronics brand I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. I'm fixing to get a new one next month because my warranty is going to expire.

I would also like to suggest that you purchase the book, Pumping Insulin by John Walsh. LOTS of valuable information.

Oh, something I would also suggest is that whichever pump company you choose, let them do all of the paperwork to send to your insurance company. All you'll need is a letter of medical necessity from your doctor.
 
avatar
Carolyntrumplerdavis replied to MrsCora01's response:
Hi, I am a 1 year diabetic. I am doing much better with testing but that needle. I hate it...I have to fool myself and play a game with myself to get my sugar tested. I do understan your feeling about being a diabetic. I felt that one day i would be a diabetic because my grandfather, my father, my brother and my mother are diabetics. Hand in their we want to live to be 100.....(:>
 
avatar
laura2gemini2 replied to feelinghigh's response:
I too use a medtronics pump, and I think it's wonderful. After figuring out all the settings, bolus-ing is a snap!

Funny enough, I started out as what they thought was a type 2, then a type 1, then a "we dont know what you are, but you have to take shots".
 
avatar
honeguy responded:
Control what you can control and you'll feel a lot better. My way is to exercise daily - step aerobics 5x/week and treadmill in between. Am now in the best shape of my adult life! Dropped 16 lbs., foot numbness went away, am feeling more attractive, HbA1C hovering around 6.0, and eating healthily but not fanatically - mostly vegetarian with fish 4x/week, wheatgrass drink daily, lots of veggies and fruit in moderation. If your endocrinologist isn't educating you about your condition and how to manage it . . . get a new one! Tackle this head on!


Helpful Tips

A Diabetes Reversal StoryExpert
Many people understand that they can probably improve their diabetes by eating right and exercising, but figuring out how to make it ... More
Was this Helpful?
73 of 144 found this helpful

Expert Blog

Conquering Diabetes - Michael Dansinger, MD

Dr. Michael Dansinger provides thoughtful tips for those with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes who want to reclaim their health...Read More

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.