Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas gland. Our body needs insulin to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells, in order to produce energy. Genetics is the major reason behind type 1 diabetes but some viruses are also known to cause it. Generally, it appears during childhood or adolescence. If you experience increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unintended weight loss, blurred vision, fatigue and weakness; you must consult a doctor as these could be signs of type 1 diabetes. Bed wetting by children who did not do it earlier is also a big sign that should not be ignored. Certain medications can keep your condition in control if your diabetes is detected at the initial stage. People with type 1 diabetes have to undergo lifelong insulin therapy.
Your diagnosis will start with glycated haemoglobin (A1C) test that will show your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Your blood sample will be taken randomly to check the blood sugar level. Blood sugar level above 200 milligram per decilitre indicates diabetes. The treatment will start with injecting insulin, through syringes or needle, in your body. The doctor will choose the type of insulin according to your condition. Humulin R and Novolin R are short acting (regular) insulins. Types of rapid acting insulins are insulin glulisine (Apidra), insulin lipro (Humalog) and insulin aspart (novolog). Intermediate acting insulins include NPH (Novolin N, Humulin N). Insulin can be taken through a pump, with a reservoir of insulin, which is supposed to be worn on the outside of your body. A tube connects the pump to a catheter that is inserted under the skin of abdomen. You must undergo frequent blood sugar monitoring to keep a check on your condition. Artificial pancreas is the latest invention in this field. However, it is not common yet.
Increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unintended weight loss, blurred vision, fatigue and weakness are some signs of type 1 diabetes. Also, if you have a family history involving diabetes, you must take care of your blood sugar level.
Minor diabetic conditions can be controlled by lifestyle changes.
Injections can cause temporary redness and irritation in skin. Other than this, there are no known side effects of the treatment.
You must take very good care of your health. Follow a diet filled with nutritious, low fat and high fibre foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You should avoid sweets. Exercise daily to keep your body active. Consult your doctor before deciding on the kind of physical activities you must indulge in.
Type 1 diabetes caused due to genetics is not fully curable. It can just be brought under control over a period of time, depending on the severity of your condition.
One session of consultation with a doctor may cost around ₹800 to ₹1500. Cost of injecting insulin one time may be between ₹2000 - ₹4500.
Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition. The condition can be brought under control through medications and insulin injections.
You can try to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid your blood sugar level from increasing. Eat well, exercise daily. This helps in bringing your diabetes in control.