To help you gain perspective on the condition called Diabetes, some insights into Type 1 Diabetes in children and adults may be helpful.
Type 1 Diabetes was once called Juvenile Diabetes, as it was believed that it only affected children. As we’ve learned, however, this is not true.
Almost anyone can develop Type 1 Diabetes.
What you may not know, however, is that it has nothing to do with what you eat or how much you exercise…Although both can help control the symptoms.
- Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune condition, a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells.
➡ Type 1 Diabetes develops when the islet cells which produce insulin in the pancreas completely shut down, and the body no longer has insulin available.
➡ It could also be the result of faulty beta cells in the pancreas that normally produce insulin.
This type of Diabetes may also be caused by a genetic predisposition.
➡ About Insulin:
Insulin is responsible for moving blood sugar into the cells so that energy can be produced. This is the powerhouse of the cellular system and what feeds the body and allows it to work correctly.
- Without insulin, the sugar builds up in the bloodstream and eventually spills over into the kidneys.
- The buildup of sugar results in complications which include damaging the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys, heart, eyes, or nervous system.
- Blood glucose (sugar) will often be higher in people who have Type 1 Diabetes than in those with Type 2.
The American Diabetes Association reports that 3 million people have Type 1 diabetes in the United States today, and 15% of those are children.
The exact cause of Type 1 Diabetes in children and adults isn’t known, but many believe that it is the result of an infectious agent or a toxic insult to the immune system.
It is not caused by obesity, diet or lack of exercise, which is what may trigger Type 2 diabetes.
- Frequently, the symptoms of Type-1 Diabetes will occur suddenly and must be addressed as an emergency situation to prevent tragic results.
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme weakness or fatigue
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- Lethargy and drowsiness
- A fruity odor to the breath
- Increased thirst
- Bed-wetting in children who previously didn’t wet the bed during the night
- Extreme hunger
- Irritability and other mood changes
- Blurred vision
New treatment protocols developed in Alberta, Canada involved transplantation of islet cells without the use of steroids to prevent rejection.
This new technique resulted in every cell transplant patient now having functioning islet cells (without rejection or medications to prevent rejection) for over one year.
Type 1 Diabetes means that your body will never produce insulin on its own. It is often called Insulin-Dependent Diabetes
In each type of Diabetes, the primary health issue is higher blood glucose. Type 1 Diabetes always needs to be controlled with insulin.
Risk Factors (Causes)
- Genetics and family history
If you have a mom, dad, sister, or brother with Type 1 Diabetes, it’s important that you get screened regularly for Diabetes.
- Make sure your Physician knows about your family history so that they will schedule routine laboratory tests.
The sooner this disease is diagnosed, the better your prognosis is for preventing other problems caused by Type 1 Diabetes.
It’s also important to remember that just because a relative has the disease doesn’t mean you will develop it. But, it’s always good to know your risk level so that you can take better care of yourself and be on the lookout for signs of the illness.
- Pancreatic disease, infection or illness
The pancreas is responsible for releasing insulin, which controls blood sugar levels.
Trauma can harm the beta cells in the pancreas, or make them less able to produce insulin
And, If the damaged pancreas is removed, Diabetes will occur due to the loss of the beta cells.
Although nothing you do will cure this condition, you’re still encouraged to take care of yourself by getting screened regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle including eating the correct foods and participating in regular exercises.
However, you can protect yourself by becoming aware of conditions that can cause pancreatic illnesses, such as Cancer, Cystic Fibrosis and of course, a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
Despite the great advancements made daily in modern medicine, following a nourishing eating plan and allowing time for physical activities every day, remains the best preventive measures, not just for Diabetes, but for almost all other serious medical conditions.