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    Overview of Diabetes Type I
    You are here: Home > Pharmacy News | Health Articles/Tips > Diabetes Type I


      Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar (glucose), starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Although Type I Diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence and hence called as juvenile diabetes. Type I Diabetes is known by a variety of names like insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), brittle diabetes, and sugar diabetes.

      What Causes Diabetes Type I?

      There is no defined cause for type I diabetes. Poor diet (malnutrition), genetic, and exposure to certain virus in the environment may also trigger the condition. Another cause could be the secretion of some hormones in blood which act as antagonists to insulin. Some of them include Adrenocortical hormone, Adrenaline hormone and Thyroid hormone. In general, it is said that the body’s immune system which fights against virus and bacteria, attacks and destroys insulin producing cells in the pancreas. There is no reason of why this happens. Insulin allows glucose to enter the cells of the body to provide energy. When glucose cannot enter the cells, it builds up in the blood and the body’s cell resulting in high blood sugar levels.

      What Are the Types of Diabetes Type I?

      Idiopathic type I diabetes: This is the rarest form of Type I Diabetes with no known cause. This kind of diabetes is mostly found in people with African or Asian ancestry. This form of type I diabetes in also referred to as Type 1B diabetes.

      Immune-mediated Diabetes: This is the most common form of type I diabetes. This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system destroys or attempts to destroy, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. It is found that majority of people with type I diabetes have abnormal antibodies. Antibodies are proteins in the blood that are part of the body’s immune system. The patient with type I diabetes must rely on insulin medication for survival.

      What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes Type I?

      Increased thirst and frequent urination, extreme hunger, weight loss, blurred vision and fatigue are some of the symptoms of type I diabetes. Women might have frequent vaginal infection and yeast infection while men face yeast infection alone. Dry mouth, slow healing of sores or cuts, itching skin, especially in the groin or vaginal area are some of the symptoms of type I diabetes. Seek medical attention if you feel nauseated, week, have fainting spells or breathing more deeply and rapidly than normal. Some people might fell sweet breath like that of nail polish remover. You require medical attention in such cases, which indicates the presence of ketoacidosis, a potentially deadly complication of type I diabetes.

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      What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Diabetes Type I?

      Once you report on the symptoms of diabetes, doctor might ask you to undergo a variety of blood tests which

      Random Blood sugar test: whereby a blood sample is taken at random, regardless of when you last ate. A random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher suggests diabetes.

      Fasting blood sugar test: whereby blood sample is taken after an overnight fast. A fasting blood sugar level between 70 and 100 mg/dL is normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL is considered prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes. If it’s 126 mg/dL or above, you are diagnosed with diabetes.

      Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, physician may ask you to undergo other tests to distinguish between type I and type II diabetes. You may also be recommended glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test indicates your blood sugar level for the past two or three months. This works by measuring the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin.

      What Are the Treatments Available for Diabetes Type I?

      Treatments for type I diabetes is determined by your physician based on various factors like your age, overall health, medical history, extent of the disease, and your tolerance to medications and procedures or therapies. Daily injection of Insulin will help to keep your blood sugar level within normal range. Appropriate diet, exercise, and careful self-monitoring of blood sugar levels at equal intervals as directed by your physician becomes major part of the treatment for type I diabetes. Regular monitoring of the hemoglobin A1C levels will also help you keep your blood sugars within range.

      Insulin and other medications: People with severe type I diabetes needs insulin to survive. Insulin is injected using a fine needle and syringe or an insulin pen or insulin pump. Oral insulin might interfere with the stomach enzymes and is not prescribed to lower blood sugar levels. Insulin comes in several forms that include rapid-acting insulin, long-acting insulin and intermediate options. Examples include regular insulin (Humulin R, Novolin R, others), insulin isophane (Humulin N, Novolin N), insulin lispro (Humalog), insulin aspart (NovoLog) and insulin glargine (Lantus). Depending on your needs, your doctor may prescribe a mixture of insulin types to use throughout the day and night.

      Transplantations: Researches have led to improved methods of managing and curing type I diabetes. Some of them include pancreas transplantation, islet transplantation and stem cell transplantation. With successful pancreas transplantation, you would no longer require insulin therapy. Islet cells are special cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Researchers are experimenting with islet cell transplants, which provide new insulin producing cells from a donor pancreas. Stem cell transplantation is little risky since it involves shutting down of the immune system and building it up again. This kind of treatment involves using stem cells made from their own blood.

      How Do You Cope Up with Diabetes Type I?

      You are not alone. More than 1 million Americans are affected by Type I Diabetes. Diabetes affects almost all individuals at one point of time in their life. Diabetes is controllable provided the medical attention is given immediately. Use these tips to cope with type I diabetes
      • Monitor your blood glucose levels periodically.
      • Take medications regularly, even if you are feeling better.
      • Plan your diet. Have a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
      • Try to eat at the same time everyday. This helps blood sugar levels remain constant.
      • Ensure to intake balanced nutrients as prescribed by your nutritionist.
      • Exercise regularly. This can lower immediate blood sugar.

      What Are the Ways to Prevent Diabetes Type I?

      Currently, there is no proven way to prevent type 1 diabetes. However, there are many studies underway to investigate the prevention of this disease. Back to top^

      Self Care

      Here are few simple, effective diabetes self-care tips that can reduce diabetes breakouts and control future breakouts.
      • Exercise regularly. Walking is the best treatment for sugar.
      • Eat food rich in nutrients and fiber.
      • Reduce carbohydrates.
      • Drink plenty of water.


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