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Type 1 Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Topic: Type 1 Diabetes

The destruction of Beta cells in the Pancreas by the Immune System leads to Type 1 Diabetes. Beta cells are responsible for the production of insulin; due to the destruction of beta cells, the production of insulin varies in the body, which leads to major health issues. In some cases, the Beta cells are not destroyed by the immune system but are wiped out due to some disease or injury in the pancreas. This condition is called secondary diabetes.

Role of Insulin in Body:

Cells use glucose and sugar as a fuel for their proper functioning. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for the movement of sugar and glucose in the body tissues. When the Beta cells are damaged due to type 1 diabetes glucose doesn’t move into the cells because Insulin isn’t there to do it. Instead, the levels of insulin in the blood rises and the cells don’t get the amount of sugar needed for their proper functioning. This leads to high blood sugar levels which causes dehydration, weight loss, DKA (combination of extra glucose, dehydration and acid build up) and damages your eyes, kidneys and heart.

Causes of type 1 diabetes:

To doctors one of the main reason of diabetes type 1 is the role of genes, it happens when some external stimuli activate the immune system against pancreas, this attack is called autoantibodies and most people with type 1 diabetes face this attack. Type1 diabetes sometimes results with some other autoimmune disease like vitiligo and Grave’s disease.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes:

Following are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes:

  • Frequent skin, urinary tract and vagina infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Heavy thirst and increased hunger
  • Belly pain
  • Heavy breathing
  • Unjustified weight loss
  • Vomiting and Nausea

Emergency Situations:

  • Confusion and Shaking
  • Pain in your belly
  • Laboured breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Breath with a fruity smell

Diagnosis and Treatment:

It’s diagnosed by checking blood sugar levels, in many cases, the doctor checks the urine for glucose and other chemicals that are made in your body in the absence of insulin. The treatment of type 1 diabetes involves keeping your blood sugar levels in control, which can be done by adjusting the insulin level, food intake and other activities as prescribed by the doctor. Insulin levels are adjusted by using insulin injections; patients of type 1 diabetes must use insulin injections to control blood sugar levels.

About the working of insulin in the body three main things are:

  • Onset is the time before which insulin reaches the bloodstream.
  • Peak time is the time when insulin is lowering blood sugar to its full capacity.
  • Duration is how long insulin keeps working after onset.

Types of insulin:

  • Rapid-acting starts working in 15 minutes and continues to work for 2 to 4 hours.
  • Regular or short-acting starts working in 30 minutes and keeps working for 3 to 6 hours.
  • Intermediate-acting when injected gets in the bloodstream after 2 to 4 hours and works for 12 to 18 hours.
  • Long-acting lasts for almost 24 hours but takes several hours to enter into the system.

Injecting insulin is must for every type 1 diabetes patient but lifestyle changes like exercise, food balance and routine tests can help you live a healthy life because improper treatment can result in many serious problems like retinopathy, kidney and nerve damage and poor blood circulation.


About Naeem Akhtar

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