If you've just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, here's what you need to know to get started:
Type 1 diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus type 1, juvenile diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition. But what does that mean? What is type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system is unable to recognise your beta cells as belonging to your body. As a result, it attacks and destroys them – making it an autoimmune disease.
Unfortunately, beta cells are the cells in your pancreas which produce insulin, and insulin is an essential hormone that converts glucose into energy. Without insulin, the glucose in your body can’t be broken down and your blood glucose levels will increase. This can lead to serious health problems.
Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in childhood or adolescence, but it can also develop in adults.
While the exact type 1 diabetes causes are unknown, it’s generally believed that people with an underlying genetic predisposition are more likely to get type 1 diabetes.
However, that’s not always the case. Research has shown that some viruses and environmental factors might also contribute to the appearance of type 1 disease in children and adults.
Here are some of the risk factors associated with type 1 diabetes:
Again though, it’s important to remember that the specific causes of type 1 diabetes aren’t known. And it’s not uncommon for someone with no family history or pre-existing conditions to develop type 1 diabetes, even as an adult.
So even if you don’t have any of these risk factors, if you’re experiencing the symptoms of type 1 diabetes you should get yourself tested for it.
There are several different types of diabetes. The most common are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and people often get confused between the two.
So, what is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
The main differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the cause, and the level of insulin produced.
Type 1 diabetes is generally thought to be an inherited autoimmune disease, and type 1 diabetics produce either no insulin or very little.
Type 2 diabetes on the other hand typically develops due to lifestyle, and type 2 diabetics still produce a normal level of insulin. However, their cells have lost sensitivity to insulin, and the insulin they produce is not sufficient to keep their blood glucose at a healthy level.
Here are some of the other ways type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different:
Now that you know what type 1 diabetes is, and what causes it, it’s time to think about how to live with it:
Type 1 diabetes is a disease that requires a lot of awareness and control. However, with the right planning and lifestyle choices, you can still lead a healthy and complication-free life.
And it starts with getting informed, staying active, and keeping a positive mindset.