Terms and Definitions for Your Diabetic Bracelet
Simple ways to engrave your conditions and meds so first responders know what to do and what not to do.
Use numbers to avoid emergency errors: DIABETES 1 or DIABETES 2—Every worldwide Diabetes Organizations strongly recommends using Arabic Numbers instead of Roman Numerals for "type" catagories to avoid serious mistakes.
DI (Diabetes Insipidus)
DM (Diabetes Mellitus)
GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus)
DIABETES 2-ON MEDS
See the ADA for more help...
How the ADA works with Medical ID Fashions:
• Alzheimer's Association. "Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes: A growing connection." 2007. ALZ info
• Mayo Clinic: DM1 Complications August 02, 2014 (accessed May 2016)
Diabetic ID bracelets for when every second counts.
In any accident, if you’re unconscious and can’t speak for yourself, paramedics may only have seconds to decide what to do and what not to considering your diabetic condition. That's not all they need to know such as if you have allergies, if you're taking critical meds, and if you have other medical condition to consider in your treatment. These are things first responders must know quickly to save your life.
What is Diabetes Mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus is the umbrella term that encompasses a group of diseases that affect the way in which the body breaks down or metabolizes glucose—a major source of energy for muscles, tissues, and the brain. An initial indicator of having any form of DM is a constant elevated blood sugar level. The two most widely diagnosed types of DM are Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. (Mayo Clinic Staff 2014)
Type 1 Diabetes – You may have heard type 1 called juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes in the past, but regardless of what it is called, it is all the same disease. It is typically diagnosed in children, but there is a possibility of late-onset type 1 in adults. This is a lifelong condition that causes the pancreas to produce little to no insulin as a result of an unknown genetic malformation. The body’s own immune system mistakes insulin-producing cells in the pancreas as being harmful and destroys them. Another name for this type of miscommunication between the body’s systems is an autoimmune disorder. Without these cells, the body cannot produce insulin to balance its blood sugar which forces people with Type 1 Diabetes to remain on insulin for life. There is not yet a cure for Type 1 Diabetes although with careful blood sugar management, people with Type 1 Diabetes can expect to live longer than ever before.
Types 2 Diabetes – Also called adult-onset or noninsulin dependent diabetes, this form of DM is chronic but can be eliminated by proper diet and exercise. It is unclear why, but the bodies of people with type 2 learn to resist the absorption of insulin. Irregular absorption of insulin causes glucose levels to skyrocket, and it becomes unmanageable without proper treatment. Excess weight, poor diet, and sedentary activity levels put one at an increased risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes, although, the exact connection between these factors and the inability to absorb insulin remains unclear. Severe cases of Type 2 Diabetes will require insulin therapy and careful monitoring of blood sugar levels while if caught early enough, a change in lifestyle can be the only medication needed. This is the most common type of diabetes in the United States, affecting more than 27 million Americans. The high prevalence of the disease has forced many doctors to become well-versed in treatment plans and options though, giving those afflicted with Type 2 Diabetes a great chance of living through and getting past their condition. (Mayo Clinic Staff 2014)
Types of Diabetes
The main factor differentiating Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes is the genetic component of Type 1. There is a genetic variant that causes the pancreas to not produce enough insulin, resulting in a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. There is not yet a cure or prevention method identified by the medical community, but usually it can be managed by keeping a vigilant watch on one’s blood sugar. Unfortunately, this does not eliminate the likelihood of complications occurring—making it all the more crucial to have a medical ID from the beginning.
Complications that cause a medical emergency. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Most common for individuals with type 1 diabetes, DKA occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones due to the body breaking down fat as fuel. It can lead to loss of consciousness and brain swelling if blood sugar levels are adjusted too quickly.
Nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy (DN). The excess sugar in the bloodstream, well-managed or not, injures the walls of tiny blood vessels called capillaries. These vessels are primarily responsible for carrying blood to one’s extremities and when damaged, loss of sensation or a burning sensation can begin at the finger tips and toes and spread upward. In advanced cases, it can cause a loss of a limb(s) and a decreased awareness of low blood sugar.
Kidney damage or nephropathy. The kidneys contain millions of nephrons which filter waste from the blood, and diabetes can upset this vital system similar to the way it affects capillaries—with uncontrolled or long-term ill-managed blood sugar. The destruction of nephrons can result in sudden kidney failure (ARF) or end-stage kidney disease (ESRD) both of which can produce sudden onset, and life-threatening, symptoms (Mayo Clinic Staff 2014).
These issues can strike any one of the 1.25 million Americans that already have Type 1 Diabetes. Be prepared and protect your health with a medical ID (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014)
Type 2 Diabetes
This type of diabetes is primarily a result of lifestyle choices, and it causes the pancreas to either become resistant to or to stop producing enough insulin. Researchers are unsure as to why this occurs although, excess weight, a sedentary lifestyle, and genetics all contribute to development of type 2 diabetes. All complications for type 1, except for DKA, are likely to arise in type 2 patients. The issues of weight and activity level though, make certain complications more steadfast in type 2 than in type 1.
Complications that warrant a medical emergency are as follows: Heart and blood vessel disease. The stress placed on one’s major organs from type 2 can manifest as cardiovascular problems over time such as coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, narrowing of the arteries (ATHERO), or high blood pressure (HTN). Increased weight and inactivity are major components that contribute to the development of these conditions independent of a diabetes diagnosis. When coupled with a type 2 diagnosis, the severity of these various cardiovascular diseases is only exacerbated.
Alzheimer’s disease (ALZ). Recent studies have suggested that there is a link between type 2 diabetes and development of Alzheimer’s disease. ALZ is a type of dementia that is marked by the progressive deterioration of neurons in the brain—leading to memory loss, among other symptoms. Similar to the way in which capillaries are damaged in the extremities by unmanaged blood sugar, the vessels of the brain are also damaged. When the small, but vital, blood vessels in the brain are damaged, it is hypothesized that this can contribute to the development of ALZ. The unbalance of insulin in the body may also have a negative effect on chemicals that the brain depends on. Changes caused by the upset of balance, may be a trigger for ALZ. (Alzheimer's Association 2007)
Type 2 Diabetes is 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases in the United States. Be prepared and protect yourself with a medical ID. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014)