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Type 1 Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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Type 1 Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
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Diabetes has been affecting more people globally and around 10 percent of the patients suffer from type-1 diabetes.

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas, a gland behind the stomach, does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or the body can't use insulin properly.

Insulin is an essential hormone and allows the transfer of glucose from the blood to the cells in order to produce energy. This leads to the build up of the glucose and gives rise to symptoms of diabetes.

What is type-1 diabetes? What are the causes, symptoms and treatment for the disease?

Type-1 Diabetes: Causes

Type-1 diabetes is the autoimmune disease that is caused due to autoimmune destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas. This leads to low levels of insulin in the blood, higher levels of glucose in the blood due to restriction in mobilisation of glucose from the blood to the cells.


The destruction of beta cells may be either due to genetic problems in which the body treats the beta cells as foreign bodies or due to external stimuli like a viral infection.

In type-1 diabetes, body cannot produce enough insulin whereas in type-2 diabetes body becomes resistant to insulin.

Type-1 Diabetes: Symptoms

Dr Nagaraj S, a consultant diabetologist claims that usually children are affected by type-1 diabetes. But in rare cases, adolescents and adults can also experience few symptoms of type-1 diabetes.

The type-1 and type-2 diabetes show different symptoms. Here are the symptoms of type-1:

  • sudden weight loss

  • extreme fatigue

  • blurred vision

  • frequent urination

  • feeling thirsty more often

  • bad breath, usually smells like acetone

  • nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort

  • loss of breath

Type-1 Diabetes: Diagnosis

Doctors advise a few blood tests for detecting type-1 diabetes.

  • Fasting blood sugar test in which a person has to fast over night and then take a blood test. The results are considered normal if it is less than 100 mg/dL, prediabetic if it is between 100 and 125 mg/dL and diabetic if it higher than 126 mg/dL.

  • A1c test is taken every 3 months and it indicates the percentage of sugar in the blood. The result equal to or higher than 6.5 percent is considered to be diabetic.

  • Random blood sugar test can be taken at any random time irrespective of the fact when you had your last meal and the results higher than 100 mg/dL is considered to be diabetic.


Type-1 Diabetes: Treatment 

After a person has been diagnosed with type-1 diabetes, he or she needs to visit the doctor regularly for the A1c tests and it shouldn't exceed the 7 percent mark.

The doctor will also help you manage your blood sugar levels. The range may differ for every patient depending on his situation or age. The doctor may also examine the liver, kidney and thyroid function regularly. The treatment options may include:

  • insulin injections or pumps

  • staying active and eating healthy

  • Keeping check on the fats, carbs and protein counts

  • maintaining a healthy weight

  • regular check-ups

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