Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes is known to be the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. When diabetes type 1 is not followed, it can lead to life-threatening diseases. It is stated that around the world 415 million people are suffering from diabetes. The worldwide number with diabetes is projected to grow to 642 million by 2040.

Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which your pancreas does not produce insulin, a hormone your body needs to maintain proper blood sugar levels. After you eat foods that contain carbohydrates, chemicals in your small intestine break them down into single sugar molecules called glucose. Next, the cells lining your small intestine absorb the glucose, which passes into the bloodstream. When the blood reaches your pancreas, beta cells inside the pancreas detect the rising glucose levels. The beta cells release insulin into your bloodstream to reduce glucose levels and to keep your blood glucose in a healthy range. Most cells of the body have certain receptors on their surface that bind to the circulating insulin. Insulin acts like a key in a lock to open up the cell so that the circulating glucose can get inside the cell. Now, your cell can use glucose to produce the energy it needs to function properly.

If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreatic beta cells lose their ability to produce insulin, resulting in high blood glucose levels and other complications. In type 1 diabetes, your immune system, specifically your white blood cells, mistake your pancreatic beta cells for foreign invaders. In an autoimmune response, your white blood cells secrete autoantibodies that destroy your own beta cells.

As a consequence, there is little or no insulin generate in your pancreas. Without insulin, glucose cannot get into your cells, so they are starved for the calories they should be receiving from glucose. Also, the glucose level builds up in your bloodstream, resulting in a condition called hyperglycemia. If type 1 diabetes is not treated, you can become severely ill. Because you do not have enough insulin circulating in your blood, your cells can not use glucose for energy. As a result, your body breaks down your fat and protein stores as an alternative source of energy.

When the fat meltdown proceeds, certain by-products, referred to as the ketone bodies, build up in the blood and cause ketosis. A life-threatening disease called diabetic ketoacidosis results in ketones increasing to extremely high levels. If your blood glucose remains high over time, long term health problems can occur, such as heart diseases, blindness, nerve damage, and kidney disease. If you have type 1 diabetes, your goal is to keep your blood glucose within a normal range.

This is done through a combination of proper insulin replacement, monitoring your blood glucose, and, just as importantly, eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Because your pancreas no longer produces insulin, you will need to take insulin to replace what your body should be making.

Professional healthcare can train you to inject the insulin just under the skin. You will need to give yourself injections several times each day and rotate injection sites to avoid tissue damage and absorption problems. Another way to get insulin is through an insulin pump, which is attached to your body and delivers insulin through a tube implanted just under your skin.

You will need to check the level of glucose in your blood several times a day with a glucometer. Knowledge of your blood glucose level allows you to adjust your insulin dose, calories you eat during meals, and physical activity. You will need to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise to manage your glucose level and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Type 1 Diabetes


We are still not sure what causes it.when you have type 1 diabetes. But type 1 diabetes is the result of a lack of insulin production because of the destruction of beta cells in the pancreas. These beta cells are responsible for the production of insulin that regulates blood glucose. Researchers have found that there is a combination of genetic ad environmental factors that increase a person’s risk for developing type 1 diabetes. If these factors can be identified through further research then it is feasible that scientists will be able to make recommendations for the prevention of this disease.

Researchers do know that the body attacks the beta cells in the pancreas because of the mistake made by the immune system. The theory is that type 1diabetes happens when an environmental toxin or pathogen triggers the immune system to attack itself. It can happen at any stage but most often happens in children and young adults.

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

  • Increased thirst
  • The need to urinate more than usual
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Thrush or itching around the genitals, caused by an overgrowth of yeast
  • Urinary tract infections

Type 1 Diabetes


Type 1 Diabetes Complications

When the glucose present in the blood is too high and is not controlled, then it can lead to certain problems that can affect the major organs of the body like heart, kidneys and even the functions of our eyes. These problems develop gradually and can lead to death when not managed properly. Here is a list of the common complications that occur due to the poor management of these metabolic conditions.

One of the complications of diabetes type1 is heart disease. The increased blood glucose level in the body can lead to poor circulation and when this happens it can cause occlusion in the blood vessels of the body those of the heart. This can cause heart problems like coronary artery disease which can lead to chest pain and even strokes.

Nerve damage is another problem that can occur when this type of diabetes is not controlled. Damage of the nerves is due to the problems that occur in the capillaries that provide nourishment to them when this happens the functions of the nerves will be affected and you will be experience problems in your sensation. An example of this complication is erectile dysfunction that occurs in men with diabetes.

Aside from the heart and nerves, it can also affect the function of your kidneys. The filtration system that is responsible for cleaning the wastes of the body are composed of very tiny blood vessels that can be damaged with increased sugar in the blood. This problem can damage the kidneys resulting in renal failure and shutdown that can only be treated transplant and dialysis.

Moreover, diabetes type 1 can lead to cataract and glaucoma. It can lead to even more serious problems like permanent blindness due to the damage of the retina. With the loss of vision, activities of daily living are affected.

Lastly, when you have increased blood glucose levels, you can be prone to different kinds of infections especially fungal types of infection in the body most commonly attacking the skin and the mouth. Glucose can be a rich medium for food of these types of organisms that is why infections of mouth and skin can happen. These are the common complications that occur for a person with a poorly managed type 1 diabetes.


Once type 1 diabetes has been diagnosed, it’s usually treated with insulin injections, which need to be administered daily. Because type 1 diabetes is a long-term condition, insulin therapy of this type needs to continue for life, to control blood sugar levels. Frequent blood glucose monitoring is also needed, to ensure glucose levels are constantly regulated.

As well as insulin treatment, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes taking plenty of exercises and eating a healthy, balanced diet that contains a controlled amount of carbohydrates. Monitoring the number of carbohydrates you’re eating, by learning to count carbohydrates, is a good way of keeping track of your blood glucose levels.

Type 1 Diabetes Self-Care Tips

While diet and lifestyle do not cause type 1 diabetes, it’s important to start leading a more healthy lifestyle once you’ve had a type 1 diabetes diagnosis, particularly if you have had some unhealthy habits in the past. These include:

  • Stop smoking
  • Don't drink too much alcohol
  • Exercise regularly

Please note that you may need to adjust your insulin dose accordingly, depending on how much exercise you do. This is because when you exercise, your body uses glucose as fuel. If you have burned off more glucose than normal, you may not need such a high dose of insulin.

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