What You Should Know About Type 1 Diabetes
It is well known that there are 2 major types of diabetes, as it’s one of the biggest health issues in the world. According to the WebMD staff, type 1 diabetes is an insulin-dependent disorder while type 2 diabetes happens when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce the necessary amount.
Type 1 diabetes is used to be called juvenile diabetes. Symptoms of this disorder are more likely to develop in teenagers and young adults and this explains this name. But, a few recent studies proven that type 1 diabetes can develop in adults too.
The Mayo Clinic staff states that type 1 diabetes in the United States is less common than other diabetes types. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) says the following about this disease:
- About 1,25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, including 200 000 of people under 20 years;
- More than 40 000 Americans are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes annually;
- On average, Americans spend about 14 billion dollars annually for the treatment of diabetes type 1;
- Type 1 diabetes is more likely to occur in people under 30 years.
What is type 1 diabetes?
According to Mayo Clinic, type 1 diabetes is a chronic auto-immune condition in which the pancreas gland decreases production, creating little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone necessary for sugar (glucose) entering the cells to produce energy in the body. Without the proper amount of insulin, a person can experience the failure of important body organs or even die. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin daily to have a healthy life.
Type 1 diabetes: symptoms and signs
- Excessive thirst;
- Skin irritation, infections, and itching;
- Frequent urination;
- Lethargy and extreme fatigue;
- Always being hungry;
- Mood changes;
- The cuts heal slowly;
- Blurry vision;
- Rapid weight loss;
- Regular leg cramps.
What causes type 1 diabetes?
According to Healthline, there are no exact science-backed causes of type 1 diabetes. However, health care specialists name certain risk factors that may affect blood sugar levels leading to the development of type 1 diabetes. These risk factors can be:
- Family history;
- Decreased levels of Vitamin D;
- Drinking water with nitrates;
- If a baby was born with jaundice.
- Some viruses like cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr, Coxsackie, and mumps;
- Early (before 4 months) consumption of cow’s milk, cereal, gluten in an infant’s diet;
- A baby may have type 1 diabetes if the mother had preeclampsia during pregnancy.
The medical treatment for type 1 diabetes
If you are wondering – can diabetes be cured or not – you need to understand that type 1 diabetes may be only medically managed and controlled to prevent life-threatening complications. For now, scientists can’t offer a cure for type 1 diabetes that may completely treat this condition. However, there are certain medical precautions that have to be taken by type 1 diabetes patients daily:
Type 1 diabetes management with insulin
Daily insulin injections help people with type 1 diabetes to be alive, but insulin can’t be classified as a diabetes cure. Insulin doesn’t relieve the symptoms and only prevents more complicated and life-threatening complications, including limb amputation, kidney failure, and blindness. As an alternative to insulin injections, people with type 1 diabetes may use an insulin pump that can adjust the dose of insulin depending on physical activities, meals, and blood sugar levels.
Sometimes, a pancreas transplant can be the best option for the patients with type 1 diabetes. A successful pancreas transplant may save a person with type 1 diabetes from the necessity to take insulin daily. But, transplants may not be successful and can cause serious risks to the patient’s health.
Lifestyle with type 1 diabetes: management and control
If you are wondering – can diabetes be reversed or not, the answer is no. However, type 1 diabetes can be controlled and managed. People with type 1 diabetes need to change their lifestyle in order to prevent any risks and medical emergencies:
- Wear a bracelet informing that you have type 1 diabetes;
- Keep a glucagon kit nearby for a low blood sugar emergency;
- Regular eye exams and a yearly physical exam can help ensure good health;
- Manage your stress levels;
- Get enough rest and keeping the normal sleep patterns;
- Dental hygiene is essential because type 1 diabetes may cause gum infections;
- Drink alcohol responsibly and if you smoke, stop;
- Monitor your blood sugar regularly. The levels of blood sugar in diabetes patients can be monitored with a continuous glucose monitor. Keep in mind that blood sugar levels can be affected by certain foods, medications, illnesses, stress, alcohol, and excessive physical activity;
- Your doctor may recommend that you schedule A1C tests in order to measure your average blood sugar levels every 2-3 months. The American Diabetes Association notes that the results of the A1C test have to be below 7% to be considered healthy;
- Wash your feet every day in warm water. You need to dry them gently, particularly between the toes. Blisters, sores, cuts, swelling and redness on your feet won’t heal properly if you have type 1 diabetes, so you may need to visit a doctor when they appear.
Health care specialists claim that it is not possible to cure diabetes naturally but the mentioned guidelines can help people with type 1 diabetes have a normal lifestyle.
What is prediabetes?
People, who have high blood sugar levels can be diagnosed with prediabetes. Prediabetes may lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), prediabetes can be reversed, unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For prediabetes treatment, doctors may recommend following a balanced diet, monitoring blood sugar levels, and performing regular exercises. Sometimes, health care specialists can prescribe the daily intakes of Metformin (Glucophage or Glumetza) for the treatment of prediabetes.
The Mayo Clinic staff notes that type 2 diabetes may develop if prediabetes is left untreated during 10 years or longer.
Visit a doctor if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low, and you can’t regulate them with your daily insulin injections or medications.