Type 1 diabetes
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and 2. In type 1 diabetes , the body does not produce insulin. This is a hormone produced by the pancreas that the body needs to convert food into the energy needed for daily life. Diabetes type 1 is a chronic condition and despite active research, there is no cure. Luckily, the condition can be managed with proper treatment and people with diabetes type 1 can lead a long and healthy life.
Signs of type 1 diabetes
The warning signs of type 1 diabetes can sometimes be very subtle and often remain unnoticed. It’s important to keep an eye on the following symptoms:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Unwanted weight loss
- Fatigue and weakness
- Blurred vision
Causes of diabetes type 1
As mentioned before, people with diabetes type 1 are not able to produce insulin. Thanks to insulin, glucose can move out of the blood and into the cells where it is converted into energy. Without insulin, the body starts to break down its own fat and muscle tissue. Type 1 diabetes is essentially an autoimmune condition where your immune system mistakes the cells in your pancreas as harmful and attacks them.
Complications of diabetes type 1
With diabetes type 1, the amount of glucose in your blood is too high. This can seriously damage your body. People with diabetes 1 run a higher risk at heart and blood vessel disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, eye damage, foot damage and skin and mouth conditions.
Treating type 1 diabetes
Unfortunately, diabetes type 1 cannot be cured but if the condition is diagnosed at an early stage, a good treatment can be started. Treatment aims to keep the blood glucose at a normal level in order to control symptoms and prevent health problems from getting worse. People with type 1 diabetes have to inject insulin to keep glucose levels normal. It’s important to match the amount of injected insulin with the food intake.
Living with type 1 diabetes involves looking after your health very carefully. Keeping a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly will help controlling your blood glucose level.