Type 1 Diabetes
What is it?
Type 1, earlier known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus is a type of diabetes. People with this type of diabetes make little or no insulin in their body, and need regular insulin injections for survival and management of diabetes. It usually starts in childhood, but can occur at any age.
What are the causes?
Type 1 diabetes affects a person when the beta cells in the pancreas are damaged. These are responsible for the production of insulin in the body. Insulin helps move sugar from the blood to the cells of your body. Doctors are not quite aware of the exact cause of type 1 diabetes but they do know that genes of a person have a role to play. It happens as a result of an autoimmune response when a virus in your environment asks the immune system to go after the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes can be accompanied by other autoimmune diseases as well.
What are the symptoms?
What are the risk factors?
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes can be anything which makes a person more prone to that condition. There is not much knowledge about the exact causes responsible for type 1 diabetes. However, the risk factors which make a person more prone to this condition are recognized. Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are family history and race. If a person in your family has suffered from this condition in the past, there is a good chance that you can also develop it in the future. Besides this, white individuals are also believed to have a higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
What is the treatment?
Type 1 needs treatment with insulin injections to replace the insulin that is not produced in the body. There are several types of insulin available. The most commonly used are the genetically engineered that are similar to human insulin. The difference in the various types of insulin is the times at which they "peak" or are most effective. Insulin schedule depends upon the meal pattern of the individual. This is required to avoid low blood glucose levels, causing hypoglycaemia. Insulin is administered with a syringe, and newer devices such as insulin pens and insulin pumps. The latter devices control diabetes more efficiently.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which transfers sugar or glucose from the blood to the cells where it is used as energy. In type 1 diabetes, insufficient levels of insulin is produced by the body. Due to this, the cells start to fall short of a source of energy. As a result, it starts surviving on ketones; excess of ketones can also be harmful for health. A person dealing with type 1 diabetes needs to inject insulin to make up for the body's requirement.
What are the prevention?
Type 1 diabetes can be prevented if you know how to go about it. Sticking to a healthy diet and following a balanced workout schedule can be helpful.
What are the complications?
Type 1 diabetes can result in some complications, both short term and long term. The short term complications of type 1 diabetes include low blood sugar levels. The long term complications of type 1 diabetes include damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, high blood pressure, cholesterol, skin infections and heart diseases. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening.
Heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes enhances your risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke, narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure.
Nerve damage (neuropathy). Increase of sugar can injure the layering of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Poorly controlled blood sugar could rob you of the sense of touch for a few minutes. Damaged nerves can affect the gastrointestinal tract can cause problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.
Kidney damage (nephropathy). The kidneys have millions of tiny blood vessel clusters that filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.
What is the homecare treatment?
You need to plan your exercise schedule to balance both the food intake and insulin dose. Before beginning to exercise, test your blood sugar, if possible. The results of the test will tell you if there is a need to adjust your insulin dose or to eat a snack. This will prevent hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels).
If your blood sugar levels are very high and at the same time urine test shows the presence of ketone bodies, it may indicate that there is very less amount of insulin available for activity. Exercise at this time may be harmful as it may result in increased levels of both blood sugar and ketone levels.
In case of type I diabetes, there are also higher chances of hypoglycaemia at night. A preventive measure for this is to exercise in the morning after breakfast and not to exercise before bed.
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