Type 1 diabetes Center

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system destroys beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells are responsible for the production of insulin. Insulin is responsible for the movement of glucose from the blood into cells. The glucose gives the cells necessary energy to carry out their functions. These cells can also be destroyed by diseases or injury to pancreas leading to a special condition known as secondary diabetes. Less beta cells results to inadequate insulin production. Subsequently, the glucose does not move into the cells and the blood sugar builds up.

Type 1 Diabetes Center

Type 1 Diabetes Center

Effects of type 1 diabetes

  • Dehydration. The body responds to excess blood sugar by expelling it through urine. This explains why people with this disease frequently urinate. The body therefore loses a lot of water through this process.
  • Weight loss. Loss of water through peeing, plus the large amount of calories the body is forced to expel in the urine lead to weight loss.
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). When the body is unable to get sufficient glucose, it is forced to turn to fat cells for fuel. The breakdown of fats produces chemicals known as ketones. These chemicals plus the excess glucose build up in the blood resulting to what is known as “ketoacidosis”- which may be life threatening.
  • Health hazards to heart, eyes and kidneys.

Prevalence

Type 1 diabetes is very rare and is only accountable for 5% of all diabetics in the world. It affects both men and women equally, although it is more prevalent in white women than other races. It is also more common in children and young adults under the age of 20.

Symptoms

  • Frequent urination
  • Belly pains
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Increased hunger shortly after eating
  • Heavy thirst
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections of the urinary tract, vagina or skin.
  • Heavy and labored breathing

Treatment

Keeping blood sugar levels within normal range is key to good health. This can be done by constant monitoring of the blood sugar, maintaining good diet, proper use of insulin injections and maintaining an active lifestyle.