Type 1 Diabetes

Juvenile Type 1 Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in only a small minority of diabetics. It ordinarily affects children and adolescents. It’s a chronic non-preventable autoimmune disease that was formerly known as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Autoimmune diseases

An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body mistakenly identifies good cells for foreign cells and destroys them. The body’s immune system mysteriously triggers antibodies that destroy cells and tissues rather than attacking infections. With type 1 diabetes, the antibodies destroy cells in the pancreas that are necessary for insulin production. The want of insulin production results in increased glucose in the blood and urine. Insulin operates to deliver glucose to body tissues and cells which in turn gives the body energy. Without insulin injections, type 1 diabetes is fatal.

Symptoms

The onset of type 1 diabetes symptoms might come on suddenly. They ordinarily include increased thirst and frequent urination, extreme hunger but significant unintentional weight loss, lethargy and blurred vision. Some individuals also experience numbness or tingling in the feet.

Diagnosis

Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed by blood testing. The fasting blood glucose test is administered at least eight hours after not eating. This is usually done twice. The random blood glucose test is given whether you’ve eaten or not. Measurements are taken throughout the day. Should glucose levels vary widely thought the day, there could be a problem that warrants further testing. The oral glucose tolerance test is performed after the patient drinks a certain liquid that contains glucose. With the hemoglobin A1c test, measurements are made to see how much glucose has adhered to red blood cells. The test is often used for purposes of monitoring how well type 1 diabetes is being controlled.

Treatment

There’s no cure for type 1 diabetes. The disease can only be managed and monitored. A daily routine is the key to managing it. Blood sugar levels must be monitored several times a day. Insulin injections are required several times daily. An insulin pump might also be used rather than injections. Proper diet is critical as is regular exercise or physical activity as it lowers the risk of cardiovascular and circulatory disease.

With regular medical checkups and a detailed management plan, type 1 diabetes can be controlled. Stay with your physician’s treatment plan, and avoid alternative treatments.