Diabetes type I – Understand the facts

What is Diabetes Type I

 

It is thought about one in every 100 babies has genes that put them at increased risk of developing type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes.

Diabetes type 1 is an insulin-dependent diabetes, a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.

Different factors, including genetics and some viruses, may contribute to type 1 Diabetes. Although it usually appears during childhood or adolescence, it can develop in adults as well.

Despite active research, type 1 Diabetes has no cure. Treatment can be focuses on managing blood sugar levels with insulin, diet and lifestyle to prevent complications.

Some known risk factors for type 1 Diabetes include:

  • Family history. Anyone with a parent or sibling with type 1 Diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition.
  • Genetics. The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing type 1 Diabetes.
  • Age. Although type 1 Diabetes can appear at any age, it appears at two noticeable peaks. The first peak occurs in children between 4 and 7 years old, and the second is in children between 10 and 14 years old

 

Symptoms

Type 1 Diabetes signs and symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Bed-wetting in children who previously did not wet the bed during the night
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Irritability and other mood changes
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Blurred vision

 

Treatment

There is no known way to prevent type 1 Diabetes. However the researchers are working on preventing the disease or further destruction of the islet cells in people who are newly diagnosed.

A diagnosis of type 1 Diabetes means that your pancreas is no longer capable of producing insulin. Through multiple daily injections with insulin pens or syringes or an insulin pump, it will be up to you to monitor your blood glucoselevels and appropriately administer your insulin. You will need to work closely with your healthcare team to determine which insulin or insulins are best for you and your body.

After the diagnosis of type 1 Diabetes, health care providers will help patients learn how to self-monitor via finger stick testing, the signs of hypoglycemiahyperglycemia and other diabetic complications. Most patients will also be taught how to adjust their insulin doses

 

Tips

Exercise is also a key component of proper diabetes care. Along with all of the other benefits you will receive from being active, your diabetes will also respond in kind with more stable blood glucose levels.

Learning how different foods affect your blood glucose and how to manage that within your daily routine will be key. This will include a strategy for balancing food, insulin dosesand physical activity. It will be important to revisit your eating plan as your preferences and daily activities change over time.

Balancing nutrition, exercise and proper blood glucose management for the rest of your life isa priority.

 

References

American Diabetes Association

BBC Health

Mayo Clinic

Medical News Today

 

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