What’s type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes also referred to as diabetes mellitus I is an insulin-dependent metabolic disorder whereby the body immunoglobulins see insulin as a foreign body and for such, they destroy insulin as it is produced in the pancreas. In complicated scenarios, the beta cells called islet of Langerhans in the pancreas may be consumed as well during the process thus leading to a serious deficiency of insulin.
Type 1 diabetes symptoms develops faster because of the autoimmune reactions of the body’s immune system as it tends to happen faster than usual. This may give rise to serious complications within a short frame of time.
An individual is said to have type 1 diabetes if any of the following conditions presents:
- Fasting plasma glucose level at or above 7.0mmol/L (126mg/dL).
- Plasma glucose at/or above 11.1mmol/L (200mg/dL) 2 hours after a 75 g oral glucose load as in a glucose tolerance test.
- Casual plasma glucose test at or above 11.1mmol/L (200mg/dL).
There are several theories as to the aetiology of type 1 diabetes, one of such is that type 1 diabetes results from a virus family called Coxsakie. One of the members of that virus family is rubella.
They are reported to have the tendency to trigger autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells.
One of the surest theories that explains how diabetes type 1 develops is through genetic transfer from parents to their offspring.
If a father has the genes, there is a 10% likelihood a child will have the disease, 10% if a sibling has it, about 4% if the mother has type 1 diabetes and was aged 25 or younger when the child was born, and about 1% if the mother was over 25 years old when the child was born.
Insulin has a very pivotal role to play in the management and absorption of glucose as they unlock body cells to admit glucose in so that energy can be released for physical activities, but glucose is allowed to build up in the blood since they cannot enter the body cells thus causing an over loading of body fluids with sugars.
According to statistics,about 80,000 children are diagnosed of type 1 diabetes yearly while the number of diabetes cases in USA alone ranges from 1-3million currently. So also, type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10% of all diabetes cases worldwide.
Type 1 diabetes is not easy to manage because of uncertainties that surround its causes.
The following are signs of type 1 diabetes:
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Sugary taste on the tongue which could lead oral infections.
- Extreme hunger
- Unexplained hunger
- fatigue and general body weakness, weakness at the body joints.
- In children, bed wetting is very common.
- Increased thirst sensation with a resultant sore dry throat and dehydration, and many others.
When these signs are not properly attended to, they might develop further into complications.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes
Type 1 and 2 diabetes shared most of the aforementioned accompanying signs and symptoms, however, the following symptoms are quite peculiar to type 1 diabetes:
1) Diabetic ketoacidosis- this is a condition whereby fatty stores are converted into energy bearing molecules since cells do not have access to glucose because of insulin deficiency.
This condition may result in the production of ketones a poisonous substance which gets excreted by the kidney, but as the concentration increases, the kidneys find it impossible to excrete the excess, this leads to storing of ketones in the body which may eventually lead to acetone breath, one of the the best ways to detect advance diabetes type 1 in any individual.
The inability of the cells to get glucose causes the body fats to be depleted thus causing weight loss.
2) Dry warty skin surface (xeroderma)
3) Clinical depression. About 12% of all cases of diabetes type 1 are reported to present depression.
4) Heart attack
5) Neuropathy resulting from nerve damage.
6) Visual problems.
This type 1 diabetes symptoms may further degenerate into kidney problems and failure thus the need to give urgent attention to the underlying signs as they presents.