Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's own immune system attacks the Beta cells in the pancreas, destroying them or damaging them sufficiently to significantly reduce the production of insulin. The reduced amount of insulin is unable to process the glucose in the blood, leading to high blood glucose levels.
Type 1 diabetes was formerly known as "juvenile diabetes," but it's not primarily a childhood problem. The adult incidence of Type 1 is similar to that for children , which is why "Type 1" is the preferred term. Many adults who contract Type 1 diabetes are misdiagnosed with Type 2, due to the misconception of Type 1 as a disease of children.
Mayo Clinic summarizes the condition of type 1 diabetes in these words: "Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar (glucose) into energy. Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence."
Signs & symptoms[edit | edit source]
The following are the major signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes :
- Increased thirst.
- Fatigue: As the cells are deprived of sugar, a feeling of fatigue ensues, the affected persons feels extremely tired and also become irritable.
- Rapid weight loss: Despite more than usual food intake, weight loss, generally rapid weight loss, takes place. This is why many overweight individuals are excited when they first find out that they have diabetes. Sugar supply to cells get drastically reduces resulting into use of stored fat by the body for energy requirements - this results in weight loss.
- Blurred Vision: Very high blood sugar results into pulling out of fluid from the tissues including the lenses of the eyes. This condition makes the vision blurred.
- Short term complications: Short term complications of type 1 diabetes require urgent and immediate attention and medical consultation as the delay may result into seizures and coma. Some of such complications include: .....
- Hyperglycemia(also known as matt pouge): It is the technical term for a blood glucose level that is too high. Hyperglycemia is the major cause of many of the complications associated with diabetes. Chronic hyperglycemia leads to organ damage; acute hyperglycemia can lead to life-threatening ketoacidosis and diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA): In short, it is a serious complications of untreated diabetes. In this complication, insufficient insulin levels in the body results into high blood sugar that leads to the buildup of substances called ketones in the blood (called ketoacidosis in medical terms). If remained untreated, the condition leads to diabetic coma and may be fatal. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) gets triggered by a stressful event like an illness or other health problems. DKA is more common in people with type 2 diabetes. In some cases, identification of KDA is the first indication that a person has a diabetes.
- Hypoglycemia: The term "hypoglycemia" literally means "under-sweet blood". It is the technical term for a blood glucose level that is too low. It is a medical emergency produced by a lower than normal amount of glucose in the blood.
- Long terms complications: Long term complications of type 1 diabetes develop gradually over a period of time - it depends on the blood sugar, continuous higher level of blood sugar accelerates the long term complications. These complications may turn out to be highly debilitating and life threatening. These complications adversely affect a number of vital organs of the body and give rise to a variety of other problems as indicated below;
Treatment[edit | edit source]
Untreated diabetes can lead ketoacidosis, which can be lethal. Insulin treatment must be continued indefinitely. Continuous glucose monitors have been developed which alert to the presence of dangerously high or low blood sugar levels. However, these are expensive and frequently not covered by insurance. Experimental replacement of islet cells (by transplant) is being investigated in several research programs and may become clinically available in the future. Thus far, islet transplantation has only been performed on patients over age 18, and with tantalizing successes mixed with nearly universal failure.
Prevalence[edit | edit source]
About 5-10% of North American diabetics have Type 1. The fraction of Type 1 in other parts of the world differs; this is likely due to both differences in the rate of Type 1 and differences in the rate of other types, most prominently Type 2. Most of this difference is not currently understood. Variable criteria for categorizing diabetes types may play a part in this difference.
Prevention[edit | edit source]
As of now, type 1 diabetes can't be prevented though studies and researchers are being conducted to identify the possibilities for prevention. Two major researchers are being conducted in the following direction:
- Taking orally can't lower the blood sugar. However, researchers are testing the possibilities of delaying or preventing type 1 diabetes by administering an insulin capsule in people who have "antibodies to insulin in their blood".
- Some studies are being conducted to "slow the development of type 1 diabetes and preserve insulin production in people recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes".
References[edit | edit source]
- "Incidence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults aged 30-49 years: the population-based registry in the province of Turin, Italy", G. Bruno et al. Diabetes Care, November 2005.
- Type 1 diabetes - prevention
[edit | edit source]
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- Children with Diabetes
- Type 1 Diabetes at the American Diabetes Association
- Sugar Sofa - Website for kids with type 1 diabetes
- National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
- Diabetes Happens
- Type 1 diabetes - a page from the Mayo Clinic
- Diabetes UK