I don’t know about you but when Eva is high, I notice that she becomes quite sluggish and slower than usual. Her ability to concentrate is lowered and even though she is a very tolerant child, her irritability becomes quite clear.
A small study in the April issue of the journal Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, researchers tested blood-sugar levels in non-diabetic bungee jumpers, and found that the actual stress of the jump caused their blood-sugar levels to rise significantly. In turn, their stress hormones also were higher due to the body’s normal fight-or-flight response.
In the beginning Eva’s diabetic journey, I always wondered what was actually happening to her body when she was going high. I think in order to understand why our Warrior’s are acting the way they do, we need to understand whats going on in the body at that exact time in the period of hyperglycemia. It’s important to mention, and it may seem so obvious to us Gatekeeper’s, that its not the high glucose levels that make them feel unwell but rather the lack of insulin in the body.
So, what actually happens? (without all the scientific jargon!)
When there’s no insulin in the body (insulin deprivation) this results in a lack of glucose inside the cells. This causes ketones to be produced. The blood glucose level will rise even when the insulin level is low and even if they don’t eat anything. This is because when there’s no insulin-it stimulates the liver to release more glucose to make up for the lack of glucose in the cells. This makes a lot of sense, since before our Warrior’s had diabetes, there was a lack of glucose inside the cells only when their blood glucose level was low.
Furthermore, when there’s too much sugar in the blood, the blood becomes thicker and more viscous and the heart has to work harder to pump it, and so it moves more slowly throughout the body to deliver nutrients to the cells. Additionally, when the body gets rid of this excess sugar through urination, the Warrior’s are literally flushing energy out of their body’s.
Think about when we’ve eaten one (or five) too many sweets. We feel lethargic, we want to take a nice nap or we become a little irritated. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve eaten too many Lindt chocolate balls, I feel like I have an urgent need for a big glass of cold water. This is our body’s natural response to the excess sugar it has. That sick feeling we get can be similarly compared to what our Warrior’s are experiencing, only we have the insulin to combat that feeling naturally.
Early detection symptoms of Hyperglycemia:
- frequently needing to pass urine
- feeling very thirsty more often
- sudden lethargy
- sudden irritability
- unusual sadness or anger
American Diabetes Association; April 2012, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics;
Type 1 Diabetes in Children, adolescents and young adults: Dr Ragnar Hanas: 4th US Edition
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