What is Type 1 Diabetes?

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Glaucometer for Measuring Blood Sugar
Glaucometer for Measuring Blood Sugar

We don’t completely understand what causes juvenile onset diabetes, but there is much research being done to answer the question. At present it seems that the body treats the beta cell in the pancreas as something “foreign” that does not belong in the body. The result is the beta cells get “zapped” and killed. We don’t understand why this only happens to certain people. Also, we cannot predict everyone who will get diabetes. We can decrease the damage with certain medicines, but each one of them has side effects and once the destruction occurs we cannot make the beta cells return.

Insulin is secreted in the pancreas along with digestive juices and several other hormones. The pancreatic cells known as beta cells produce insulin. For reasons that are not yet completely explained, the immune system of a person with Type 1 Diabetes tends to cause the destruction and death of beta cells. When a large number of beta cells die your pancreas can no longer make all the insulin that you need. As a result of this destruction, it is necessary to provide your body with insulin made outside the body.

Read more on: How can we control Type 1 Diabetes?

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India.She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore.Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

2 Replies to “What is Type 1 Diabetes?”

  1. This is in reply to Meera’s Query of 11th Dec, 2010.

    a) Type 1 Diabetes

    Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the body’s system for fighting infection—the immune system—turns against a part of the body. In diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. A person who has type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily to live.

    At present, scientists do not know exactly what causes the body’s immune system to attack the beta cells, but they believe that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors, possibly viruses, are involved. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of diagnosed diabetes in the United States. It develops most often in children and young adults but can appear at any age.

    Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop over a short period, although beta cell destruction can begin years earlier. Symptoms may include increased thirst and urination, constant hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, and extreme fatigue. If not diagnosed and treated with insulin, a person with type 1 diabetes can lapse into a life-threatening diabetic coma, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis
    b) Type 2 Diabetes

    The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. About 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2. This form of diabetes is most often associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes, physical inactivity, and certain health conditions.. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.

    Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents, especially among African American, Mexican American, and Pacific Islander youth.

    When type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin, but for unknown reasons the body cannot use the insulin effectively, a condition called insulin resistance. After several years, insulin production decreases. The result is the same as for type 1 diabetes—glucose builds up in the blood and the body cannot make efficient use of its main source of fuel.

    The symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually. Their onset is not as sudden as in type 1 diabetes. Symptoms may include fatigue, frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, and slow healing of wounds or sores. Some people have no symptoms.

    c) Gestational Diabetes

    The diabetes that affects pregnant women is called gestational Diabetes. This usually resolves once the pregnancy is over ,but these women may carry a risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

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