Type 1 Diabetes Report
Norah Badr 9B
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 is diabetes that cannot be prevented. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the pancreas makes not enough, or no insulin at all. It also represents around 10 percent of all cases of diabetes and is one of the most common chronic childhood conditions. A few symptoms of type 1 diabetes can include excessive thirst, weight loss, weakness and fatigue, and blurred vision, mood swings headaches, feeling dizzy, and leg cramps.
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not yet known, but it is known to have a to do with family genetics and cannot be prevented. It also can be caused by exposure to viruses and other environmental dangers. It has nothing to do with one’s lifestyle, although maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important in helping to manage type 1 diabetes. It will also help prevent type 2 diabetes. Some known risk factors for type 1 diabetes include family history, genetics, geography, and age. Anyone with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition. The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes. The incidence of type 1 diabetes tends to increase as you travel away from the equator. Although type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, it appears at two noticeable times. The first peak occurs in children between 4 and 7 years old, and the second is in children between 10 and 14 years old.
Glucose, a sugar, is a main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues. Glucose comes from two major sources: food and the liver. Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the help of insulin. The liver stores glucose as glycogen. When glucose levels are low, such as when one hasn’t eaten in a while, the liver breaks down the stored glycogen into glucose to keep the glucose levels within a normal, average range. In type 1 diabetes, there’s no insulin to let glucose into the cells, so sugar builds up in the bloodstream. This can cause life-threatening complications. Over time, type 1 diabetes complications can affect major organs in the human body, including heart and blood vessels. Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain, heart attack, stroke, narrowing of the arteries and high blood pressure. Type 1 diabetes can also affect nerves. Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels that nourish nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Poorly controlled blood sugar could cause one to eventually lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections that may ultimately require toe, foot or leg amputation. Type one diabetes can affect the kidneys as well. The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters that filter waste from blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. Type 1 diabetes can affect the eyes. It can damage the blood vessels of the retina, potentially causing blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious vision conditions.
To prevent any severe complications, certain methods should be practiced to a person with type 1 diabetes such as: take insulin as prescribed, eating a healthy, balanced diet with accurate carbohydrate counts, check blood sugar levels as prescribed, and regular physical activity. People who have type 1 diabetes must take insulin as part of their treatment. Because their bodies can’t make insulin anymore, they need to get the right amount to keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
The only way to get insulin into the body now is by injection with a needle or with an insulin pump. If someone tried to take insulin as a pill, the acids and digestive juices in the stomach and intestines would break down the medicine, and it wouldn’t work. People with type 1 diabetes have to pay a little more attention to their meals and snacks than people who don’t have diabetes. They need to eat a balanced, healthy diet and pay closer attention to what they eat and when they eat it. They also have to balance the food they eat with the amount of insulin they take and their activity level. That’s because eating some foods will cause blood sugar levels to go up more than others, whereas insulin and exercise will make blood sugar go down. How much the blood sugar level goes up after eating depends on the type of nutrients the food contains. The three main types of nutrients found in foods are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which all provide energy in the form of calories. Foods containing carbs cause blood sugar levels to go up the most. Foods that contain mostly protein and/or fat don’t affect blood sugar levels as much. Our bodies need all of these nutrients, in different amounts, to function normally. By keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range, one will feel better and reduce the risk of developing diabetic problems later. Exercise is also an important part of diabetes treatment. Regular physical activity helps keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. It also can reduce the risk of other health problems that people with diabetes may be more likely to get, like heart disease.
The statistics of type 1 diabetes are the following: Some 1.25 million Americans are living with type 1 diabetes, including about 200,000 youth (less than 20 years old) and more than 1 million adults (20 years old and older). 40,000 people are diagnosed each year in the United States. By 2051, nearly 5 million people will have type 1 diabetes, including nearly 600,000 youth. Between 2001 and 2009, there was a 21 percent increase in the occurrence of type 1 diabetes in people under age 20, which is mainly the youth. In the United States, there are $14 billion in type 1 diabetes-associated healthcare expenses and lost income annually. Less than one-third of people with type 1 diabetes in the United States are consistently achieving target blood-glucose control levels.
People with type 1 diabetes go to many doctor for their diabetes. The primary care doctor is who one sees for general checkups and when they get sick. This doctor is usually an internist or family medicine doctor who has experience treating people with diabetes, too. Because the primary care doctor is the main source of care, he or she will most likely head up the diabetes care team. An endocrinologist is a doctor who has special training and experience in treating people with diabetes. A registered dietitian is trained in the field of nutrition. Food is a key part of diabetes treatment, so a dietitian will help figure out food needs based on weight, lifestyle, medication, and other health goals like lowering blood fat levels or blood pressure. A diabetes educator or diabetes nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with special training and background in caring for and teaching people with diabetes. Nurse educators typically help with the day-to-day aspects of living with diabetes. Either an ophthalmologist or an optometrist should check one’s eyes at least once a year. Diabetes can affect the blood vessels in the eyes, which can lead to losing eyesight. For anyone with diabetes, which can cause nerve damage in the extremities, foot care is important. A podiatrist is trained to treat feet and problems of the lower legs. These doctors have a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from a college of podiatry. They have also done a residency in podiatry. People with diabetes are at somewhat greater, and earlier, risk of gum disease. The excess blood sugar in your mouth makes it a nice home for bacteria, which can lead to infection. People with type 1 diabetes who use insulin shots usually see their doctor at least every 3 to 4 months. People who take pills or who are managing their diabetes through diet alone should have an appointment at least every 4 to 6 months.
Some people do not think type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are different. However, they very much are. The onset of type 1 diabetes tends to be sudden. If symptoms are present, the person should see a doctor as soon as possible. A person with prediabetes and the early stages of type 2 will have no symptoms. People with type 1 diabetes are born with it, while those with type 2 get it diagnosed in adulthood. Type 1 is not associated with excess body weight while type 2 is often associated with it. Type 1 is often associated with higher than normal ketone levels at diagnosis while type 2 is often associated with high blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels at diagnosis. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections or insulin pump and cannot be controlled without taking insulin. Type 2 is usually treated initially without medication or with tablets and it is sometimes possible to come off diabetes medication.
There is no cure for type 1 diabetes and it cannot be reversed. However, it can be managed. Patients need to control their blood sugar with insulin, other diabetes medication if needed, weight loss (or maintaining a healthy weight), healthy eating, and exercise. These lifestyle changes will help control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing complications from the disease. People with type 1 diabetes have to just live life in a very healthy way because of their disease. They must eat well and maintain exercise. They must also take their insulin properly. If they do not, the consequences could be fatal. Even if someone does not have type 1 diabetes, they should still maintain a healthy diet and exercise because if they do not, they could be in danger of type 2 diabetes. Though it is not the same as type 1, it is diabetes none the less. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, but there may be in the future. Until then, people with type 1 will have to follow a lifestyle different than others without it. The main reason for type 1 diabetes is genetics, so it won’t be gone from peoples’ lives for many years to come.
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