What Is Diabetes Type 1?
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. These are referred to as beta cells. Because the disorder is most diagnosed in adolescents and teenagers, it was previously known as juvenile diabetes.
Secondary diabetes is like type 1, only your beta cells are destroyed by something other than your immune system, such as a sickness or a pancreas injury.
Both conditions are distinct from type 2 diabetes, which occurs when your body does not respond to insulin as it should.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
The symptoms are usually minor, but they can become serious. Among them are:
- Excessive thirst
- The increased appetite (especially after eating)
- Mouth feeling dry
- Vomiting and an upset stomach
- Urinating frequently
- Unexplained weight loss despite eating and feeling hungry
- Vision is hazy.
- Breathing that is heavy and laborious (your doctor may call this Kussmaul respiration)
- Infections involving the skin, urinary tract, or vaginal area
- irritability or mood swings
- A child who had been dry at night develops bedwetting.
What Happens When Someone Has Type 1 Diabetes?
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system targets and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, the body is unable to produce insulin.
This is distinct from type 2 diabetes, in which the body produces insulin but it does not function properly.
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes in Some People?
Nobody knows why some people get type 1 diabetes. Doctors and scientists believe that a person’s genes increase their chances of contracting it. However, having the diabetes genes alone is unlikely to be sufficient. Other factors, like viral infections, a person’s birth weight, or their nutrition, are being investigated to see whether they can make someone with type 1 diabetes more likely. Type 1 diabetes is incurable and can strike persons of any age.
The following are symptoms of a type 1 diabetic emergency:
- Confusion and trembling
- Breathing quickly
- Your breath has a fruity scent.
- Consciousness loss (rare)
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
Insulin is a hormone that aids in the transport of sugar (glucose) into the body’s tissues. It is used as fuel by your cells.
Type 1 diabetes damages beta cells, which throws the process off. Because insulin is not present, glucose is not able to enter your cells. Instead, it accumulates in your blood, starving your cells. High blood sugar levels result, which might lead to:
- Dehydration. You pee more when you have too much sugar in your blood. That is your body’s method of eliminating it. Urine contains a huge amount of water, causing your body to become dehydrated.
- Loss of weight When you pee, glucose leaves your body and takes calories with it. Therefore so many people with diabetes lose weight. Dehydration is also a factor.
- Ketoacidosis in diabetics (DKA). When your body runs out of glucose, it turns to fat cells for energy. Ketones are the result of this process. To assist you, your liver releases the sugar it has stored. However, because your body cannot utilize it without insulin, it accumulates in your blood, along with acidic ketones. Ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition caused by a combination of excess glucose, dehydration, and acid accumulation.
- Your body will be harmed. High blood glucose levels can injure the neurons and small blood vessels in your eyes, kidneys, and heart over time. They can also increase your risk of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
- Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. All the causes are unknown to doctors. They are aware, however, that your genes have a role.
- They also understand that you can develop type 1 diabetes if something in your environment, such as a virus, triggers your immune system to attack your pancreas. Autoantibodies are present in the majority of persons with type 1 diabetes. They are present in everyone who has diabetes and high blood sugar.
- Other autoimmune disorders, such as Graves’ disease or vitiligo, can coexist with type 1 diabetes.
Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes affects just approximately 5% of diabetics. It affects both men and women equally. You are more likely to contract it if you are under the age of 20 and white or have a type 1 parent or sibling.
What Is the Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes?
A blood test is used to determine the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. A child with high blood sugar levels has diabetes. The doctor will then do additional blood tests to determine the type. A pediatric endocrinologist is frequently seen by children with type 1 diabetes. This type of physician detects and treats hormone-related issues such as diabetes.
What is the Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes?
Because there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, it requires lifetime therapy. A diabetes care plan is used by doctors to treat type 1 diabetes. The care plan outlines what you and your child should do daily to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
Each child’s diabetes treatment regimen is unique to them. However, all plans have the same four basic components:
- insulin injections (by injection or an insulin pump)
- eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet that includes carb counting
- At least four times a day, check your blood sugar levels
- acquire some regular exercise
Following the diabetic treatment plan keeps youngsters healthy now and in the future:
Insulin comes in a variety of forms. In about 15 minutes, rapid-acting medication begins to work. It starts working approximately an hour after you take it and lasts for 2 to 4 hours. Regular or short-acting medication takes 30 minutes to start working. It reaches its peak between 2 and 3 hours and continues to work for 3 to 6 hours. Intermediate-acting medications take 2 to 4 hours to reach your bloodstream. It works for 12 to 18 hours and peaks between 4 and 12 hours. Long-acting medication takes many hours to enter your system and lasts for around 24 hours.
Blood sugar levels that are too high or too low might cause:
- Hyperglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels are abnormally high. Hyperglycemia causes children to feel thirsty, pee more than normal, and lose weight. High blood sugar levels are treatable. If they are not, children may experience health problems later in life.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a dangerous illness that requires immediate attention. When the body lacks enough insulin to allow glucose into the cells, the body begins to break down fat rather than sugar. Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, rapid breathing, and, in extreme situations, unconsciousness are also symptoms of DKA.
- Hypoglycemia is when blood sugar levels are abnormally low, which can occur when someone is being treated for diabetes. Headaches, weakness, shakiness, anxiousness, and sweating are some of the symptoms.
- Problems with growth and development: Some children may develop slower than their peers or enter puberty (the period when children begin to mature into adults) later than expected.
Complications of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, if not effectively controlled, can lead to a variety of complications. Among the complications are:
- Heart and circulatory problems. Diabetes increases the risk of blood clots, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Chest pain, a heart attack, a stroke, or heart failure are all outcomes.
- Skin issues. Diabetics are more susceptible to bacterial and fungal diseases. Blisters or rashes can also be caused by diabetes.
- Gum disease is a condition that affects the gums. Mouth difficulties can be caused by a lack of saliva, excessive plaque, and inadequate blood flow.
- Obstacles to pregnancy. Early delivery, birth abnormalities, stillbirth, and preeclampsia are all risks for women with type 1 diabetes.
- Retinopathy. About 80% of persons with type 1 diabetes for more than 15 years develop this vision issue. No of how long you have had the disease, it is rare before puberty. Keep your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides under control to avoid them and preserve your vision.
- Kidney failure. Nephropathy affects approximately 20% to 30% of persons with type 1 diabetes. Over time, the chances improve. It is most likely to appear 15 to 25 years after diabetes begins. It can lead to significant complications such as renal failure and heart disease.
- Nerve injury and poor blood flow. Damaged nerves and hardened arteries cause a loss of feeling in your feet as well as a lack of blood supply. This increases your risk of damage and makes healing open sores and wounds more difficult. You could lose a limb if this happens. Digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can also be caused by nerve injury.
You can take precautions to avoid some of these issues
- Make every effort to keep your blood sugar in check.
- Keep track of your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Eat well and exercise regularly.
- If you smoke, give it up.
- Look after your feet and teeth.
- Regularly schedule medical, dental, and vision examinations.
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