What is Type-1 Diabetes?
Type-1 Diabetes, also known as Diabetes Mellitus type-1, is a condition which is characterised by the lack of sufficient amount of insulin in the body. This is a chronic condition and cannot be cured. The insufficient amount of insulin in the blood results in the spike in blood sugar levels, which in turn, can damage various organs in the body. However, with proper therapy and treatment, it can be controlled and the quality of life can be improved for the patient.
The tell-tale signs and symptoms of this type of diabetes are the frequent urges to urinate, increase in appetite, increased thirst and rapid weight loss. It is most commonly diagnosed in children or young adults and thus, it was previously known as juvenile diabetes.
Glucose and other types of sugars are essential for the body cells to absorb energy. The glucose that is present in the blood is taken up with the help of insulin and utilised for energy. The lack of this hormone renders the glucose useless as it is not being able to enter the body cells. This is precisely type-1 diabetes.
What Causes It?
The cause of type-1 diabetes is not known entirely. Although, there are certain theories that explain the cause –
Genetics: The chances of getting type-1 diabetes are increased in children if either of their parents suffers through from this disease. More than 50 genes are involved in diabetes type-1.
Environmental factors: Environmental factors are also thought to play a role in type-1 diabetes.
Viral infection: A theory suggests that viral infections are responsible for type-1 diabetes. According to this theory, the virus activates the auto-immune system of the body which in turn attacks the pancreatic beta cells along with the cells that are infected by the virus. Viruses like Epstein-Barr virus, Mumps virus, rubella virus etc. are considered to be responsible for the same.
How Is It Treated?
Many people with type-1 diabetes live long, healthy lives. The key to good health is to keep your blood sugar levels within the range your doctor gives you. You’ll need to check them often and adjust insulin, food, and activities to make that happen.
All people with type-1 diabetes must use insulin injections to control their blood sugar. Several types of insulin are available. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an endocrinologist and ask a free question.