People with Type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin. In contrast, those with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin but the body cannot use it adequately. Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas. Its role is to transfer blood sugar into the cells to provide energy. Those with diabetes 1 have damaged beta cells, thus hampering insulin production. With little or no insulin, glucose accumulates in the blood to excessive levels.
The cause of diabetes 1 is not fully understood but many medical experts believe it can be an autoimmune disorder. Type 1 diabetes is often hereditary.
The first signs of type 1 diabetes are:
If you experience diabetes symptoms, you should consult a doctor without delay. The following blood tests are used in the diagnosis of diabetes: Fasting Blood Sugar, Random or Nonfasting Blood Glucose Level, Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, and Hemoglobin A1c Test. For example, you may have diabetes if your Fasting Blood Sugar is higher than 126 mg/dL, or if your Random Blood Sugar level is higher than 200 mg/dL.
If you have diabetes 1 you must watch your diet and physical activity. You must learn how to control your blood sugar. Home blood sugar monitoring is often necessary to manage your condition.
People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin everyday to move the glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells. Usually, insulin is injected under the skin. An alternative method makes use of a pump that continuously delivers measured amounts of insulin.
Different types of insulin are available and they differ in how quickly they start to work and how long they remain effective. By reviewing the results of your blood tests, your doctor will be able to recommend the best type of insulin for you, and at what time during the day to use it. You will also need to know how to adjust the amount of insulin you are taking when exercising, traveling, eating more or less food, or when you are sick.
Managing type 1 diabetes is very important to prevent complications from the disorder such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and vision problems.