What is diabetes? Diabetes is a disease caused by a lack of insulin (a hormone) in the human body. Insulin is needed by the body to metabolize (breakdown) the sugar that we eat. When insulin is not available the sugar levels in the body can rise to extremely high levels which can cause diseases of various body parts like the kidneys, eyes, nerves, hearts etc. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes develops when the body can't produce the natural hormone insulin. If left untreated, symptoms include excessive thirst, passing excessive urine and weight loss.
Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes only takes a few weeks to develop. The initial symptoms include:
o Increased production of urine (polyuria)
o Excessive thirst (polydipsia)
o Loss of weight
If type 1diabetes isn't treated at this stage, the body begins to produce chemicals called ketones. This is because it tries to use energy sources other than glucose. The ketones build up in the bloodstream, leading to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis causes additional symptoms, including:
o Stomach pain
o Rapid & shallow breathing
o Increased pulse rate
Without treatment, diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to coma and, eventually, death.
Having type 1 diabetes increases your risk for many serious complications. Some complications of type 1 diabetes include: heart disease (cardiovascular disease), blindness (retinopathy), nerve damage (neuropathy), and kidney damage (nephropathy). All patients need to be regularly screened for these complications to prevent long term damage.
People with diabetes type 1 need to:
o check blood sugar levels a few times a day by testing a small blood sample
o give themselves insulin injections, or use an insulin pump
o eat a balanced, healthy diet and pay special attention to the amounts of sugars and starches in the food they eat and the timing of their meals (carbohydrate tracking)
o get regular exercise to help control blood sugar levels and help avoid some of the long-term health problems that diabetes can cause, like heart disease
o work closely with their doctor and diabetes health care team to help achieve the best possible control of their diabetes and be monitored for signs of diabetes complications and other health problems
Treating type 1 diabetes
Type 1 is treated with insulin replacement therapy - usually by injection or insulin pump, dietary control, typically including carbohydrate tracking, and careful monitoring of blood glucose levels using Glucose meters. Oral medicines generally do not have much role to play in treating this disease since there is virtually no insulin production in this disease. For more information visit http://www.simplyanswer.com offers the much needed information and support to its user. Post your question freely and get the assistance of medical experts online.