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All About Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a disorder affecting how your body turns food into energy and is a condition which will continue throughout your life. Once food is eaten and digested, it is redistributed into glucose, which is vital for each part of the body to function correctly. However, when a person is affected with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas will stop producing insulin which is the hormone which enables the body’s cells to use the glucose to produce energy. This in turn keeps the glucose circulating throughout your bloodstream rather than using what is produced from the foods you eat.
5 Common Symptoms of Diabetes
When glucose builds up in the bloodstream and doesn’t get into the body’s cells, your body will go into crisis mode. Five of the most familiar symptoms linked with Type 1 diabetes are:
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Excessive hunger
- Weight loss
Feeling hungry and fatigued and losing weight are all symptoms that occur when the body is unable to use the glucose to produce energy and at the same time, urinating frequently and constant thirst happen because the body needs to excrete the surplus of glucose and dumps it into your bladder.
Those at high risk for Type 1 Diabetes
While anyone can be affected by Type 1 diabetes, it is generally diagnosed more in children and adolescents with approximately 15,000 being diagnosed per year in the U. S. African-American, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white cultural groups run a higher risk of having Type 1 diabetes while Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American have a greater risk for Type 2 diabetes.
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
While there is no known cause for Type 1 diabetes, there are several factors that have been
- Genetic – History of diabetes in family members.
- Virus – Medical evidence shows that some viruses can activate a reaction in the immune system which will shut down insulin production of in the pancreas.
- Environmental factors – Certain researchers believe that environmental factors, when mixed with genetic influences, can heighten the risk of Type 1 diabetes.
Contrary to popular belief, diabetes cannot be caused by eating food or drinking drinks that are high in sugar.
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: What is the difference?
The main difference in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is insulin production. With Type 1 diabetes the insulin production will stop; however, with Type 2 diabetes, insulin is still produced by the pancreas but the body doesn’t use it the way it should. This is called insulin resistance and is generally found in those who are overweight. Most people who have received a diagnosis of diabetes have Type 2.
Will there ever be a cure?
No cure is currently available for diabetes and the best medical option is a transplant of the pancreas. This is a risky procedure and anyone who receives a transplant will be on medication throughout their life so that the body does not reject the new pancreas.
You can however manage your diabetes and live a full and productive life by following the habits below:
- Eat healthy and plan your meals
- Take medications that are prescribed
- Talk with your doctor to make sure you are doing all you can for your health