The medical community contributes the name diabetes mellitus (or diabetes) to a group of disorders where the body cannot regulate its blood sugar, or blood glucose, levels. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 diabetes which is also called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, involves immune system disorders of the body. Our immune system protects us from bacteria, viruses, or other materials. Type 1 diabetes diagnosed in age 30+ adults may be LADA (or Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults). This is also called type 1.5 diabetes. Because of the age at which it first occurs, LADA is often incorrectly thought to be type 2 diabetes. However, with LADA, people are not insulin resistant like a person with type 2 diabetes. The characteristics of LADA are: age of onset, no known family history of type 2, positive antibodies, gradual increases in insulin demands, and lessened ability to make insulin which is indicated when the person has a low C-peptide. A fourth, rare diabetes strikes newborns,(monogenic) but is typically mistaken for type 1 diabetes.
Type One Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes happens when your body’s immune system suppresses specific cells in your pancreas. The pancreas is about as big as your hand and found behind the lower portion of your abdomen. These beta cells are held, along with others, within tiny islands known as pancreatic islets. Beta cells typically make insulin, which is a hormone that helps your body propel the glucose in your food into cells throughout your body which consumes it as energy. When these beta cells are attacked and destroyed, no insulin can be made and glucose remains in your blood, causing severe damage within your body’s organs.
Because of this, if you have type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin to live. This means numerous injections everyday or the use of an insulin pump, and also numerous blood sugar tests by finger pricks 6 or more times daily. People who are diabetic must also maintain a balance between what they eat and exercise to adjust their blood sugar level to avoid either low blood sugar (hypoglycemic) or high blood sugar (hyperglycemic) conditions that can be deadly.
Warning Signs of Type 1
Warning signs of type 1 diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, sugar in urine, lethargy or sleepiness, a bigger appetite, weight loss that occurs suddenly, fruity or sweet smell on your breath,sudden changes in your vision, heavy breathing, loss of consciousness, and dulled senses.
Type 1 diabetes is typically found in young children all the way through young adulthood. Scientist do not know the precise cause of this disease, but they do believe that genetic, environmental, and autoimmune elements make up a part of the disease’s process.
Thanks for stopping by my Dealing With Diabetes blog! My name is LeeAnna. I am certified as a diabetes care and education specialist (formally known as a certified diabetes educator). My goal is to answer questions you may have about diabetes or dealing with diabetes. Mixed messages are everywhere. Hopefully, this blog will help clarify some of the confusion!