Type I Diabetes is brought about when the body produces insufficient insulin. Studies have been unable to prove what brings about this condition in the body but evidence shows that genetics, triggered off by environmental factors could be a possible cause.
Insulin is necessary for the body for normal metabolism. During digestion glucose is produced, which is the main energy source of the body. The body uses insulin for the transfer of glucose to the various body cells from the bloodstream. The production of insulin in healthy people is carried out in the pancreas by cells known as beta-cells. When a person has Type I Diabetes the beta-cells are get damaged and insulin production is either decreased or ceases altogether.
An estimated one million Americans suffer from Type I Diabetes, which is almost 5% -10% of all Americans who suffer from Type I Diabetes as well as Type II Diabetes. An alarming ten thousand additional cases of Type I Diabetes are diagnosed annually in the United States alone. Type I Diabetes is seen more in men than in women and is more common among African Americans, Hispanic Americans and non-Hispanic whites.
Type I Diabetes is not a life threatening condition in itself, but it has led to a large number of premature deaths arising from diabetes complications including heart disease, visual difficulty, cerebral vascular disease, blindness, gangrene and vascular disease in the lower limbs and renal disease.
Some of the early symptoms commonly seen at the onset of Type I Diabetes include excessive urination, hunger and thirst accompanied by lack of energy and tiredness. These symptoms are caused by a glucose build-up in the blood. Other less common symptoms include blurred vision and nausea caused by excessive blood sugar.
Type I Diabetes is commonly detected with the onset of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is an emergency condition arising due to extremely high levels of blood sugar. Fats get broken down by the body in order to get the necessary energy leading to ketone build-up in the body. This causes stomach pains, vomiting and nausea and if it is not treated the condition goes on progressing resulting in rapid breathing, followed by coma and death.
Insulin administered regularly is the primary treatment for Type I Diabetes. Exercise and diet also help to keep the patient healthy and fit.