Diabetes type 1: causes, symptoms, treatment, prevention

Type 1 diabetes is different from type 2 diabetes because in type 1 diabetes their is less or no insulin so it is insulin dependent but at the other side in type 2 diabetes there is normal amount of insulin but body is un able to use that insulin.

what is diabetes type 1?

It is pathological condition of your body when your body has low or no insulin hormone. insulin is necessary for the breakdown of sugar i.e. glucose (source of energy). So there is high level of sugar or glucose in the blood causing diabetes. In this diabetes mellitus type 1 body’s immune system (by mistake) destroys the insulin producing cells of pancreas known as beta cells resulting in less or no insulin in body. As it is due to deficiency of insulin in body it is also called insulin dependent diabetes. it is also called as juvenile diabetes because it is usually diagnosed in children and youngsters.

risk factors

the incidences and prevalence of type 1 diabetes is are increasing in the world. but is is less than type 2 diabetes. you are more susceptible to this if you are younger then 20, are white, have a sibling with this disease. 1 in every 430-530 persons has this disease which are mostly under 19.

Causes of diabetes type 1

  1. The first and most common cause of diabetes mellitus type 1 is by genes. It runs in genes from generation to generation. It is not always possible. Sometimes you have its genes from your parents but have no symptom at all. But when you are exposed to certain environmental situations i.e. viruses your body is triggered to that disease. lifestyle and eating habits are not the cause of this type.
  2. By autoimmune reactions of your body immune system by mistake destroys the beta cells of pancreas which are the factory of insulin. This process continuous even for moths before the onset of any symptoms. The reason of this auto immune attack is still unknown but the professionals are in research.

Symptoms of diabetes type 1

  • extreme thirst
  • increased hunger even just after eating
  • frequent urination
  • bedwetting of children who never did it before at night
  • dry mouth
  • weight loss to a very surprised level un explain ably
  • fatigue
  • blurred vision
  • mood swings and irritability

complications caused by diabetes type 1

over time diabetes can put your vital organs at risk like heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidney. Mouth and skin problems and most important in pregnancy early delivery is a major risk factor.

  1. cardiovascular diseases
    Due to high level of glucose in blood, blood vessels can get damaged. High blood pressure and high cholesterol level is caused. High cholesterol can block or narrowing the blood vessels called atherosclerosis causing stroke or even heart attack. Due to the damage of coronary arteries chest pain or angina is caused. So it dramatically can put your life in danger.
  2. kidney problems
    Due to high level of glucose in blood the filtration function of kidneys is damaged. More glucose is excreted out along with huge amount of water from kidney all the time. Normally kidney prevents the excretion of glucose but as there is very high amount of glucose in blood it is excreted out as it is. due to this kidney got damaged condition known as nephropathy. Kidney infection and kidney failure are the common complications of it can occur more frequently after 15 to 20 years of onset of this disease.
  3. eye damage
    About 80% of adults got retinopathy after 15 years of carrying this disease. This rate is low before puberty. diabetes potentially can cause blindness. This increases the risk factor of other eye problems like cataracts and glaucoma.
  4. pregnancy problem
    If mother is patient of type 1 than it is a potential risk factor for early delivery, still birth and even it increases the risk factor of miscarriage. It increases birth defects and can cause diseases like preeclampsia.
  5. skin and mouth problems
    it makes you more susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections. Gums are also effected and dry mouth is very common problem.

Diagnosis of diabetes type 1

  • Very advanced and easy to operate tools i.e. glucometer for testing of blood glucose are now available in market. So the first and very common approach of testing is blood test to check the blood sugar.
  • antibody test is recommended for the diagnosis of it.
  • urine test is ideal for diagnosis of diabetes type 1 which distinguish diabetes type 1 from diabetes type 2 on the basis of urine ketone level.

Treatment of type 1 diabetes

there is no cure for diabetes. un fortunately once you got it, you have to take medications and good health practice through your whole life till death. there are many treatment approaches are in practice i.e.

Diabetes type 1
  1. regular monitoring of blood glucose and maintaining its normal level
    blood sugar should be tested again and again, about 4 times a day. by doing this you can ensure a particular level of blood glucose. this is the only way to prevent any complications by long term high level of blood glucose unknowingly.
  2. injections of best insulin type according to the severity level of your blood glucose
    there are different types of insulins depending on their time of onset i.e. rapid acting insulin starts work within 15 minutes, short acting insulin starts its work within 30 minutes. in the same way intermediate acting, long acting and ultra long acting insulin is also available in market.
  3. exercise and manage your weight to ideal level
    over weight and obese person has more fatty acids which can be used as alternatives of glucose and produces ketones which is ultimate cause of ketoacidosis in type 1 diabetes.
  4. avoid glucose containing foods
    strictly follow healthy eating habits to control blood glucose. in this regard frequently use green vegetables, fruits, lean protein and whole grain.
  5. control stress, blood pressure and blood cholesterol

Prevention

unfortunately there is no way to prevent it yet. as there is no known reason behind mistakenly carried autoimmune reactions so there is no way to prevent it. as the destruction of islets cells of pancreas can not be prevented at late stages. but research is ongoing to prevent the destruction of beta cells producing insulin at earlier stages.

author

Dr. ANIFA YOUSAF


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