An Understanding Of Type 1 Diabetes

An Understanding Of Type 1 Diabetes – Before we talk about type one diabetes, it is essential to fully understand the meaning of diabetes and the reason that it occurs. Ones body uses glucose as the main source of energy. This is the energy used to power the many functions of the body. After a meal, the body breaks down the food into glucose and other vital nutrients. These are then emitted into the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract. This causes the glucose levels in the blood to rise and causes the pancreas to generate the hormone called insulin. For the body to function properly, the cells have to be nourished. Insulin is the vital facilitator, which permits the glucose to enter the cells but in people with diabetes, the body is unable to make insulin or cannot react to it. Since the glucose is unable to enter the cells, they remain in the blood stream. This causes a build-up of blood sugar and subsequently triggers many health problems.
There are two kinds of diabetes, namely type 1 and type 2. In both cases, the blood sugar levels rise but are caused differently. In type 1 diabetes (it was originally called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes), the pancreas are unable to make the hormone insulin. The body’s immune system itself assaults and tears down the insulin creating cells in the pancreas. If the cells are thus demolished, insulin can never again be produced by them.
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are not particularly noticeable. It may come on gradually or suddenly. In young children or teens, parents can keep a watch for the following symptoms.
1) Frequency of urination: Due to the high level of glucose in the blood stream, the kidney flushes it out as the urine. The child will need to urinate more often than normal.
2) Thirst: The child will be unusually thirsty. This is because; a lot of fluid is lost by the body in urination and has to be replaced.
3) Weight loss: The child will start to lose weight despite having a healthy appetite. The body breaks down the muscle and the stored fat in order to feed the cells.
4) Feeling of tiredness: As there is no source of energy for the body to function, the child would be always fatigued.
There is still no clear-cut understanding of the causes of type 1 diabetes. It may have to do with the person’s genes or due to an exposure to a form of virus. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. Even if one were to change ones life style, there is no guarantee that one will not get it. A person with type 1 diabetes, requires lifelong treatment. An insulin pump or injection helps to control blood sugar levels.
For both, parents and child, living with diabetes is a trial but it is one that can be confronted and accepted. Both parents and child should understand that type 1 diabetes can be controlled and they both have to play a part in it.