Type 1 diabetes occurs when the human body’s production of the hormone insulin drops severely. Insulin is responsible for processing the sugar glucose and turning it into instant energy for the body. However, the lack of insulin hinders the conversion process, resulting in an abundance of glucose in the body, which can cause severe, or even lethal complications.
Type 1 diabetes generally occurs during childhood, but can also develop later in life. It’s important to note that type 1 and 2 diabetes are vastly different from each other.
Symptoms and Treatments for Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can develop gradually or suddenly in some cases. The decrease in insulin levels can sometimes happen years before symptoms begin to manifest. When insulin reaches its lowest levels, blood glucose levels rise quickly, causing the following:
- Extreme weakness or fatigue
- Frequent urination
- Abdominal pain
- Wounds that don’t heal well
- Vomiting and/or nausea
The most common and easily identifiable symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:
- Rapid weight loss despite normal diet
- Accelerated heart rate
- A resting body temperature below 97° F
- Blood pressure falling below a 90/60 threshold
A physician will perform a blood glucose level test to make an official diagnosis. Researchers are unsure what truly causes type 1 diabetes, but they believe genetics play a role. Type 1 typically develops following a viral infection, when the body produces T-cell antibodies to fight the virus. However, if a virus strain has the same antigens as the beta cells – cells that are responsible for producing insulin in the pancreas – the antibodies seek out and eliminate them, resulting in decreasing insulin production.
This process can take years to occur depending on how many beta cells exist in the body. Notable viral infections that lead to type 1 diabetes include:
- German measles
Treating type 1 diabetes requires a combination of injecting insulin, dietary supplements and maintaining a healthy diet, but varies depending on the diagnosis and doctor’s recommendations.
A cure for type 1 diabetes doesn’t exist, but researchers have made advances toward one. Researchers have already found ways to cure type 1 in lab mice in initial test trials, however, years of additional testing lie ahead to perfect a cure fit for humans.
Get Treated for Diabetes at All Around Healthcare
All Around Healthcare’s mission is to improve the health of those in the Louisville area, providing them with a variety of treatments and resources necessary for improving their health. Our diabetic management program is designed to help our patients manage their diabetes effectively with nutrition plans, routine checkups, testing and more.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.