Diabetes Type 1
Type 1 diabetes is a rarer form of diabetes, (around 5% of all diabetes patients) in which the immune system destroys the beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for making insulin. Without insulin, glucose doesn’t move into the cells, and the cells starve. The glucose stays in the blood and builds up. The high level of blood sugar causes lots of problems. Diabetes type 1 is also called ‘juvenile diabetes’ as its effects start showing in children under 20, although it can happen to anybody. Men and women are affected equally.
Symptoms are caused by high blood sugar, and develop quickly, they are:
- Frequent Urination, because the body is trying to eliminate sugar in your blood through the water
- Increased thirst, due to dehydration as a result of frequent urination
- Weight loss, because you are dehydrated, as all sugar calories are being lost through urine.
- Increased hunger, as the calories are not being used properly
- Blurry vision, due to sugar build up in eye which sucks extra water into your eye, resulting in change in shape of lens.
When to see a doctor?
See a doctor if you or your loved ones experience any of the listed symptoms. Always trust premier institutions like Paras Hospitals Group, which have specialized departments and dedicated experts to take care of your condition.
Causes and Risk Factors
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. The immune system, which fights harmful bacteria, viruses and other foreign objects, mistakenly destroys the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. Possible causes include:
- Exposure to viruses and other environmental factors
Known risk factors include:
- Family History –Anyone with a family history of type 1 diabetes is at risk
- Genetics – presence of certain genes increase the risk of developing type 1 diabetes
- Geography – incidence of diabetes increases as you move away from the equator
- Age – Type 1 diabetes occurs at 2 different peaks, the first in children between 4 and 7 years old and the second in children between 10 and 14 years old.
Treatment and Management
The only treatment is managing to keep the blood sugar levels in target range by:
- Taking insulin injections, or using an insulin pump
- Monitoring blood sugar levels several times a day
- Eating a healthy diet with carbohydrates throughout the day
- Regular exercise, as it helps the body to use insulin more efficiently
- Not smoking
- Not drinking alcohol
- Getting regular medical check-ups