diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot produce an adequate
supply of insulin.The
hormone insulin helps cells use glucose (derived from food
intake and the liver) for energy.Glucose that can't be absorbed properly builds up in
the blood stream resulting in high blood sugar.Excessive blood glucose levels can severely harm
every system in the body.
type 1 diabetes normally occurs in children and young
adults, it is sometimes called juvenile diabetes.However, type 1 diabetes can strike at any time in
disease is evenly distributed among the sexes and is more
common among Caucasians than other racial groups.In the U.S., type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10% of
all diabetic cases diagnosed.
diabetes is believed to be caused by a genetic
predisposition to the disease.This genetic predisposition lies dormant until
triggered by a virus, toxin, or drug which attacks the
immune system and beta cells of the pancreas.
factors for type 1 diabetes include:
a parent or sibling with the disease
auto-immune disorder such as thyroid disease
history of childhood viruses such as rubella,
symptoms, however, could also be indications of other
confirm a type 1 diabetes diagnosis, the doctor will perform
a blood test.Usually, a plasma glucose test is administered.The patient must fast for 8 hours after which blood
is drawn for the test.Other tests for type 1 diabetes include the random
plasma glucose test in which blood can be taken any time of
the day, and, the oral glucose tolerance test at which blood
is drawn at three hour intervals after the patient drinks 75
grams of glucose.
detection of type 1 diabetes is critical to preventing diabetes complications and causing
serious damage to the body.Heart disease, nerve damage, kidney failure, and
blindness could result if the disease is left untreated.
of type 1 diabetes treatment is to maintain blood glucose
levels to as close to normal as possible.To do this, patients replace the insulin their pancreas
cannot produce by injecting themselves with insulin via a
insulin injection or an insulin pump.Self-monitoring blood glucose kits allow patients to
see how diet, exercise, and other factors affect their
addition to insulin replacement, type 1 diabetics must make
lifestyle changes that will keep their diabetes under
healthy diet, regular exercise, and regular blood glucose
monitoring are crucial to managing type 1 diabetes and
reducing the risk of serious complications from the disease.