Home Endocrine system Type 1 diabetes: causes, symptoms and treatment

Type 1 diabetes: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas loses the ability to produce the adequate amount of insulin that our body needs; this makes the body not able to take advantage of the sugar we eat through food to convert it into energy, so it dangerously accumulates in the blood. It is a pathology that commonly occurs in children, adolescents, and young adults, and whose symptoms must be detected in time to receive the necessary medical attention and make changes in the diet that allow a healthy and uncomplicated life. . In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain the causes, symptoms and treatment of type 1 diabetes.

What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?

Unlike type 2 diabetes, which usually affects adults and is caused by unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle, type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin or significantly decreases its production.

But why is insulin so important? This hormone is secreted by the beta cells of our pancreas every time we eat food that contains sugar; its mission is to mobilize the glucose that we ingest into the cells to convert it into energy necessary to perform all our daily tasks. But when insulin production begins to fail, sugar accumulates in our blood, the body cannot produce energy effectively, and glucose levels start to rise because it is not being used properly. This situation leads to hyperglycemia and, subsequently, type 1 diabetes.

It is unknown exactly why the pancreas stops producing insulin effectively. However, it is believed that this reaction may be due to the immune system mistaking the cells that produce insulin for invaders and attacking them, giving rise to an autoimmune disorder. This immune system’s reaction could occur after the appearance of an infection or virus. People with direct relatives with type 1 diabetes have a greater chance of developing this condition; similarly, those who have an autoimmune disease can transmit to their children the genetic propensity to suffer from a disorder of this type, including type 1 diabetes.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes

Some signs indicate the presence of type 1 diabetes; therefore, because this condition occurs mainly in children and adolescents, it is essential to pay attention to any significant change in their behavior that could indicate an alarm signal.

The first symptoms that appear when the sugar is high in the blood or when there is type 1 diabetes are:

  • Urinate very frequently; the child may begin to wake up at night to urinate or pee in bed when they have not done so for a long time.
  • Frequent thirst and much higher than usual; this occurs because frequent urination causes a greater need to replace lost fluids.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy due to the body not using sugar properly.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Weight loss despite eating more than usual.
  • Other symptoms can be blurred vision and a tingling sensation in the feet.

If type 1 diabetes progresses undetected, the affected person may manifest other symptoms such as dry mouth, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fruity breath odor, dry skin, or breathing problems.

If diabetes is suspected, the doctor will request a glucose tolerance test that will evaluate the level of sugar in the blood and the existence of this condition. A ketone and hemoglobin test may also be ordered to diagnose this condition.

Type 1 diabetes medical treatment

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure. However, it is essential to take a treatment to control blood sugar levels and a diet that prevents them from rising too high. Once this condition is detected, it is necessary to level glucose; in some cases, hospitalization and frequent medical consultations are required.

Once the levels are acceptable, the patient can start their insulin treatment to control the disease. All people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily; this means that they must inject insulin or apply it through a pen or pump so that the body can effectively control sugar levels without running the risk of it rising.

The amount and type of insulin that must be administered daily will depend on the case of each patient and must be indicated by the doctor. It is also essential to know how to adjust the amount of insulin ingested when performing physical activity, consuming more calories, or suffering from any disease. The specialist must indicate to the patient or their parents all the fundamental aspects regarding using this product, how to administer it, the hours of the day when it should be used, and what to do when there is a low blood sugar due to an increase in insulin.

Other measures to treat type 1 diabetes

In addition to the consumption of insulin, people who have type 1 diabetes must implement other measures to ensure their well-being, which is why it is recommended:

  • Learn to measure blood sugar levels to determine which foods are most appropriate to consume at certain times of the day.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet low in foods prohibited for people with diabetes.
  • Perform moderate-intensity physical exercise regularly, which will help keep blood sugar levels under control. Your doctor will be able to tell you the best practices and how to control glucose levels when you do sports.
  • Check your sugar levels as often as recommended to ensure they are optimal.
  • Always wear comfortable and suitable footwear, as this area is susceptible, and due to this condition, nerve damage can occur that affects this area, causing severe injuries. It is also recommended to go to a podiatrist twice a year for a check-up and immediately visit a specialist if common problems such as foot fungus occur.
  • Keep this disease very well controlled to avoid possible complications such as damage to blood vessels, nerves, eye, kidney, or heart diseases.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Type 1 Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment , we recommend that you enter our Endocrine System category .

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