Summer Spellman will be seen struggling to come to terms with her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis in tonight’s Corrie (June 21), but what is Type 1 diabetes, and how is it different to Type 2?
After her worrying collapse, that Billy and Todd thought could’ve been down to an eating disorder, doctors have discovered what’s really wrong.
Summer Spellman actress Harrier Bibby has also spoke out about the storyline.
She said she only realised it was a life-long condition that had to be managed rather than cured after a chat with Diabetes UK.
“I think finding out you have a life-long condition that you’re going to have to deal with, you don’t wrap your head around it for a little while,” she said.
“We’ve spoken to Diabetes UK while we’ve been in the run-up to this storyline. I think what a lot of people struggle with when they’re diagnosed, is actually, I’m going to have to live with this for a long time.
“I don’t think Summer does really realise that,” she added.
So what is Type 1 diabetes and what are the symptoms?
Type 1 diabetes causes the level of glucose – or sugar – in your blood to become too high.
It happens when your body cannot produce enough of a hormone called insulin, which controls blood glucose.
Read more: Summer Spellman gets a devastating diagnosis
Those diagnosed with Type 1 need daily injections of insulin to keep the blood glucose levels under control.
You don’t wrap your head around it for a little while.
Signs that you could have Type 1 diabetes include extreme thirst, urinating more than usual, particularly at night and feeling very tired.
Losing weight without trying, thrush that keeps coming back, blurred vision and cuts and grazes that are not healing are also tell-tale signs.
Symptoms can come on quickly – particularly in children.
What happens if blood sugar gets too low?
Diabetics can suffer hypoglycaemia – a hypo – when the blood glucose level is too low.
This can happen when you delay meals, haven’t had enough carbs and do lots of exercise without having the right amount of carbohydrate or reducing your insulin.
Taking too much insulin and drinking on an empty stomach can also cause them.
Symptoms of a hypo include sweating, feeling anxious or irritable, feeling hungry, difficulty concentrating, blurred vision and feeling shaky.
So how is Type 1 different from Type 2 diabetes?
Ulike Type 2, Type 1 isn’t linked to age or being overweight.
Many people have Type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not always make you feel unwell.
Symptoms include urinating more than usual, particularly at night, feeling thirsty all the time and feeling very tired.
Unexplained weight loss, itching around the genitals or repeatedly getting thrush, blurred vision and cuts taking longer to heal can also indicated Type 2 diabetes.
You’re more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if you’er over 40, have a close relative with diabetes or if you’re overweight.
People of of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin are also more likely to be diagnosed with it.
Type 2 isn’t managed with injections.
Instead, in most cases, it’s managed by a change in diet and medication in tablet-form.
Some Type 2 diabetics can even reverse the disease – but this isn’t the case with Type 1.
So can Type 2 turn into Type 1?
No, Type 2 can’t turn into Type 1 because the two conditions have different causes.
But it’s not unknown for people to get a diagnosis of one type and later get the other separate condition.
For more details, visit the Diabetes UK website here.
Corrie airs tonight (June 21) at 9pm for an hour on ITV.
Coronation Street usually airs on Mondays and Wednesdays 7.30pm and 8.30pm with an hour-long episode at 7.30 on Fridays on ITV.
ED! also has a dedicated Corrie spoilers page here.
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