Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease where the body does not produce any insulin and usually occurs in children, adolescents or young adults. Only five percent of the people with diabetes are affected by this type of diabetes. The pancreas, a small gland behind the stomach produces insufficient insulin to regulate the blood glucose levels and hence daily administration of insulin becomes necessary. This is because the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells. Generally, the immune system produces antibodies that fight infections from harmful bacteria, viruses and other microbes. In the case of autoimmune diseases, the immune system starts producing antibodies that instead of fighting infections attacks the body’s own tissues and structures as if they were foreign. If you are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes your body produces antibodies that targets and attacks the beta cells in the pancreas, which produces insulin.  Since insulin is essential to sustain life, the missing insulin has to be replaced in the form of insulin shots or by using an insulin pump.  

The Procedure

It is important that Type 1 diabetes should be diagnosed early in order to initiate effective treatment. Treatment for Type 1 diabetes includes

  • Administration of insulin
  • Regular blood sugar monitoring
  • Lifestyle modifications – making smart food choices and engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity
  • Incorporating a healthy and comprehensive diet plan with recommended amounts of carbohydrates, fats and proteins
  • Maintenance of healthy weight
The Symptoms

The symptoms of Type 1 diabetes may range from subtle to severe and include

  • Excessive hunger
  • Increased feeling of thirst
  • Frequent urination and excessive perspiration
  • Excessive fatigue and tiredness
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Blurry eyesight
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in the feet
  • Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
  • Dryness of mouth and fruity breath odor
  • Sores that heal slowly
  • Infections like thrush
  • Deep and rapid breathing
The Eligibility

You are eligible for Type 1 diabetes treatment if you have the commitment to

  • Follow your diabetes treatment plan round-the-clock to keep blood sugar levels within a specified target range
  • Monitor blood sugar level as often as daily or at least several times
  • Coordinate calorie intake with medication or insulin administration, physical activity and other variables to stabilize blood sugar levels
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
The Risks Involved

Insulin therapy aims at preventing the complications from diabetes by keeping the blood sugar levels within the normal range. However, this therapy can cause complications like hypoglycemia, lipodystrophy at injection sites, weight gain, allergy or hypersensitivity to insulin.

The Impact

Diagnosis of diabetes is not nearly as dire as it may sound. Diabetes is a manageable disease. You can still be free to do the things you love. Medication is just a band aid solution of treating the symptom rather than the underlying problem. Incorporating simple lifestyle changes ensures that you can manage your diabetes without much strife. Yes, in addition to medications, lifestyle modification, is an equally integral part of diabetes management

People with diabetes are ordinary people living with an extraordinary condition. An understanding of diabetes and the lifestyle changes makes living with diabetes easier and puts you in the driver's seat.