Type 1 Diabetes – Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

Type 1 diabetes definition

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which pancreas produce very little or no insulin at all ,as Pancreatic cells are damaged or destroyed by the immune cells.

Insulin is a pacreatic hormone that transports glucose to your body’s cells for getting energy and also for storage. Your body gets glucose from your diet. Insulin allows the glucose to pass from your blood into the cells of your body.

When the cells have enough glucose, your liver and muscle tissues store the extra glucose, or blood sugar, in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is broken down into glucose and released into your blood when you need energy between meals,during fasting , exercise, or while you sleep.

In type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to process glucose, due to the lack of insulin. Glucose from your food cannot move into the cells. This leads to excessive glucose circulating in your blood. High blood sugar levels can cause both short-term and long-term complications.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes includes:

A person might also develop ketoacidosis, a complication of diabetes in which body produces excessive blood acid or ketones due to fast breakdown of fats. Symptoms of this condition include:

If you have any one of type 1 diabetes symptoms, you should visit your doctor. But if you have symptoms of ketoacidosis, you should take medical help immediately. Ketoacidosis is a medical emergency. Learn more about early signs, as well as advanced symptoms, of diabetes.

Type 1 vs. type 2 diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. They have similar symptoms, and over time, they can cause many of the similar complications. However, they have very different cause.

Type 1 diabetes is the because of the body not producing insulin on its own. Taking insulin is very important for survival, to move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of thebody cells.

For people with type 2 diabetes, the cells don’t respond properly to insulin. The body is unable to move glucose from the blood into the cells, inspite of having adequate levels of insulin. Ultimately, their bodies may stop making sufficient insulin.

Type 1 diabetes develops very fastly, and symptoms are clear. For people with type 2 diabetes, the condition can develop over many years. In fact, a person with type 2 diabetes may not know they are suffering from it until they have a complication.

The two types of diabetes are caused by different factors. They also have different risk factors. Read about similarities and differences between the types of diabetes.

Causes type 1 diabetes

The actual cause of type 1 diabetes is not known. Although, it is thought to be an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system wrongly attacks beta cells of the pancreas. These are the cells that produce insulin. Scientists don’t completely understand the reason behind it.

Genetic and environmental factors,microbes such as viruses, may have a role. Read more about each of the factors that may cause some people to develop type 1 diabetes.

Diagnosis of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed through a sequence of tests.. Some can be conducted quickly, while others need some time for preparation or monitoring.

Generally,there is a very fast onset of type 1 diabetes. People are diagnosed if they have one of the given criteria:

  1. fasting blood sugar > 126 mg/dL on two different tests
  2. random blood sugar > 200 mg/dL, together with symptoms of diabetes
  3. hemoglobin A1c > 6.5 on two different tests

These criteria are also used for the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Actually, people with type 1 diabetes are sometimes misdiagnosed as having type 2.

A doctor may not realize you have been misdiagnosed until you begin having problems or worsening symptoms in spite of treatment.

When blood sugar gets extremely high and leads to diabetic ketoacidosis , you become very sick. This is generally the reason people end up in the hospital or their doctor’s office, and type 1 diabetes is then diagnosed.

If you have any of the symptoms of diabetes, your doctor will probably order some tests. Learn how each of these tests is performed and what they show.

Type 1 diabetes treatment

If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, your Pancreatic cells can’t produce insulin. You’ll need to take insulin from outside to balance your blood sugar level . Other treatments may also control the symptoms of type 1 diabetes.


People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day. You usually take the insulin through an injection.

Some people use an insulin pump. The pump injects insulin through a port in the skin. It can be more convenient for some people than sticking themselves with injections. It may also help to check blood sugar highs and lows.

The quantity of insulin you need differs throughout the day. People with type 1 diabetes regularly test their blood sugar to know how much insulin is required. Both diet and exercise can affect blood glucose levels.

There are so many types of insulin. Your doctor may have you try more than one to find what works more efficiently for you. Read about the differences in insulin and how it’s administered.


Metformin is a type of oral diabetes medication. Earlier, it was only used for type 2 diabetic people. Although, some people with type 1 diabetes can develop insulin resistance. That means the insulin they get from injections is not that effective as it should.

Metformin helps in reducing sugar in the blood by reducing sugar production in the liver. Your doctor may advise you to take Metformin along with insulin.


The tuberculosis vaccine may treat type 1 diabetes in some people.In a very small study it is found that people with type 1 diabetes who received two injections of the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine saw their blood sugar levels normalize for minimum five years.

This option is not on the market so far. It is still under research and doesn’t have approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Still, it promises for future treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Diet and exercise

People with type 1 diabetes should eat at regular interval to keep blood sugar stable. A dietitian who is also a certified diabetes educator can help to make an eating plan.

Exercise also helps in reducing blood sugar levels. Insulin amounts may required to be managed according to your level of exercise.

Type 1 diabetes risk factors

Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not clearly understood. Although, some possible factors have been identified.

Family history

Family history can be a risk factor for type 1 diabetes in some cases. If your family member have type 1 diabetes, your risk of developing it increases.

Several genes have been linked to this type. But not everyone who has these genes develops type 1 diabetes. Many researchers and doctors think some type of trigger or stimulant causes type 1 diabetes to develop in some people but not others.


Race may be a risk factor for type 1 diabetes. As It is more common in white people than in people of other races.

Environmental factors

Some viruses may trigger type 1 diabetes. It is not clear which ones are actual triggers.

Probably, people from cold climates are more chances to have type 1 diabetes. Doctors also diagnose more cases of type 1 diabetes in winter season than in summer.

So many other components may effect who develops type 1 diabetes. Read about these possible risk factors and the research underway to better understand why some people develop the disease.

Type 1 diabetes in children

Type 1 diabetes was earlier known as juvenile diabetes. That is because it’s commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. Comparatively, type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in older adults. However, both types can be diagnosed at in almost any age.

Symptoms of diabetes in children are:

Like adults, children having type 1 diabetes are treated with insulin.

The first generation of an artificial pancreas has been recently accepted for use in children. This device is inserted under the skin. Then, it checks blood sugar continuously, automatically releasing the appropriate amount of insulin as required.

Most children still use manual methods for insulin injections and blood glucose monitoring. Mainly in young children, this needs a lot of effort by parents to keep them safe and healthy.

Children with type 1 diabetes can live normal, healthy and happy lives. Get answers to questions about how children with diabetes can eat, play, and stay healthy.

Life expectancy and statistics

Now, more than 1.25 million Americans are suffering from type 1 diabetes. Every year, another 40,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with this condition. In spite of these huge numbers, type 1 diabetes cases are only about 5 percent of all diabetes cases in the country.

Both types of diabetes (type 1 and type 2) is the seventh major cause of death in the United States. An Australian study of data from 1997 to 2010 found that the average life expectancy of a person with type 1 diabetes was 12 years smaller than the normal people.

Perfectly managing the condition can help to lower complications and increases life expectancy.

Diabetes is a condition that affects people of the whole world. Read more about where and how often it occurs.

Ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet has shown some benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. Diet having low-carb may help in lowering blood sugar levels and can even contribute to weight loss, which is wish for many people with type 2.

However, the keto diet for type 1 diabetes has not been studied in detail. To date, the usual dietary suggestion for this type of diabetes is a low-carb diet. Although, doctors and researchers are searching for the possible benefits and safety of a diet that limits carbs even more for people with type 1 diabetes

In a small study it is found that people with type 1 diabetes who sticked to the keto diet for more than two years showed better A1C results and suger control. However, these people also had higher blood lipids and more low blood sugar episodes. Long-term safety is not cleared.

If you want to try the keto diet and you have type 1 diabetes, take advice of your doctor. They may suggest you a registered dietitian or nutritionist to help you find an adequate diet plan for you. You can learn more with this beginner’s guide to the keto diet.


Pregnancy bringd different challenges to people who have type 1 diabetes. Although, it is possible to have a normal pregnancy and healthy baby in inspite of having the disease.

The most important thing to keep in mind if you are expecting or trying to concieve and have type 1 diabetes is that everything you do for your body. Women who have high blood sugar, give birth to babies with high blood sugar level.

High blood sugar levels at the time of pregnancy can lead to problems such as a more birth weight, complicated C-sections, preterm birth, low blood sugarhigh blood pressure, and even stillbirth.

It’s best to plan ahead for a pregnancy and discuss your diabetes and blood sugar goals with your doctor.

If you have type 1 diabetes and want to concieve or find out that you are pregnant, consult your doctor as soon as possible. They can suggest any changes you may required to make your blood glucose levels normal, stable and safe for you and your baby.

During your pregnancy, you will probably nee to take advice of your healthcare provider more frequently. You may also need to adjust medication and insulin throughout the pregnancy. Doctors and patients share their tips for managing pregnancy with diabetes.

Exercising safely

Exercise can be tricky for people with type 1 diabetes, but it is very important part of the healthy lifestyle. that is important for people with this type. Exercise of 150 minutes is required in a week.

What is unclear, although, is the best thing for managing blood glucose during exercise. That is because blood sugar levels can spike or even crash during and after exercise, because your body’s cells start using insulin or moving glucose more effectiently.

Still, experts suggest people with diabetes do regular exercise for normal health. It may be essential to talk with your doctor or other expert to find appropriate plan for you. This guide to blood sugar target levels and ranges for insulin may help you get started.

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