Type 1 Diabetes: Eric's Story

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Photo of patient Eric Dashen.

Yearly primary care visits were familiar territory for Eric Dashen. At 42, his visits had always been somewhat uneventful and followed the expected routine, including annual screenings, vaccinations, a wellness exam and a blood pressure check. So, when Eric received a call informing him that his test results indicated he was positive for Type 1 diabetes, he was understandably surprised. "After being diagnosed, I thought this can't be right. There must be something wrong. Even after I saw the doctor, I was in denial for a while," Eric recalls.

For many adults, a Type 1 diagnosis can come as a shock. In Eric's case, he didn't have a family history of the disease or notice any symptoms before being diagnosed. While more common in children and young adults, Type 1 diabetes can start at any age. In Type 1 diabetes, the body can't make enough insulin. Insulin is needed to help sugar (glucose) enter cells for energy. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the blood. If not treated, serious health issues can occur over time, including high blood glucose or high blood sugar. 

After his initial diagnosis, Eric was referred to Overlake's Diabetes Education Services team. Meeting with Diabetes Nurse Educator Noraileen Kato, RN, BSN, and Registered Dietitian Tianyue Zhao MS, RDN, Eric received a treatment plan customized to his needs. 

Today, using a combination of daily meal planning and carb counting, insulin treatment and a continuous glucose monitoring device, Eric is able to keep his diabetes on track. Eric says he's grateful to see his life returning back to normal, "I feel much less overwhelmed than I did when I was first diagnosed. Once you get into the habit of it, it's actually not too complicated."

Annual wellness visits with a primary care provider are essential for catching health problems early, when they are more treatable. If you are an established patient, make your appointment today or if you need a primary care provider, visit overlakehospital.org/primarycare

To learn more about how you and your family can reduce the risk of diabetes, register for our Break the Cycle of Diabetes class taught by Overlake diabetes educator Lisa Levinson, RN, CDES. 

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