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A Brief Guide to Type 1 Diabetes

Author: Cathy Miller
by Cathy Miller
Posted: Mar 08, 2019

Despite the fact that we always hear type 2 diabetes much more often than we hear type 1 diabetes, both are serious disease conditions that inflict a lot of sufferings to patients. Sometimes people may totally unexpectedly to find their kids are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. According to relevant statistics, each year in the United States, nearly 13,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This is so daunting.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that may last for a whole life and it needs close attention and care. So it’s of vital significance to learn some basic knowledge so as to live better with the disease.

Definition of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes was formerly known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, because about half of people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in childhood. It occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce the hormone insulin, which is the sugar blood controller that we all need to keep the blood sugar at a normal level. In type 1 diabetes, the person's own immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Once those cells are destroyed, they won't ever make insulin again.

Causes of type 1 diabetes

The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown so far, yet scientists think it might have something to do with genes. Or otherwise, how can we properly explain it? But it’s too arbitrary to blame all the fault to genes, so scientists also predict that the patients probably would then have to be exposed to something else - like a virus - to get type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes can't be prevented, nor there any way to predict it. Such a fact might seem more serious than what you have imagined. Once a person was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he needs lifelong treatment. Kids and teens with type 1 diabetes depend on daily insulin injections or an insulin pump to control their blood glucose levels.

Signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes

Symptoms for all types of diabetes are very similar. If you find at least 3 or 4 of these symptoms, then be careful – you might have get this disease. The symptoms include:

Increased thirst and frequent urination;

Increased hunger;

Weight loss;

Fatigue;

Blurred vision;

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Treatment of type 1 diabetes

After explaining the definition, causes, signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes, now you may wonder how to treat this disease so as to achieve the best therapeutic effect. All patients with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin, either in the form of insulin injections or insulin pump or inhaling insulin. In order to tackle the problem from the root cause, implanted insulin-producing cells are used as an alternative therapy experimentally.

As an analogue of amylin and a small peptide hormone that is released into the bloodstream by the?-cells of the pancreas along with insulin, pramlintide has been approved by the FDA as a new injectable drug for type 1 diabetes. Likewise, exenatide is also used to treat diabetes by acting as a regulator of glucose metabolism and insulin secretion.

The purpose of taking enough insulin is to lower the high blood sugars, but you have to control the dose so that you won’t have severe low blood sugars. So this requires frequent checking of blood sugars with instruments like continuous glucose meter (CGM). Each day you need to monitor and manage the blood sugar level appropriately.

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Author: Cathy Miller

Cathy Miller

United States

Member since: Dec 17, 2017
Published articles: 17

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