Formerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes, 10 percent of those diagnosed with diabetes suffer from type 1. Its symptoms, and the resulting diagnoses, most often occur in childhood or early adolescence, but can strike adults as well.
When a person is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it means that their pancreas does not generate insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps move glucose from food into cells to generate energy. Without insulin, too much glucose, or sugar, stays in the blood. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to many serious complications, including:
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes may include the following:
Although it is a lifelong condition that requires constant treatment and management, there is a lot that can be done in order to prevent further health complications:
Make a commitment to diabetes management.
See doctors often. Regular diabetes checkups do not replace yearly physicals or routine eye exams.
Keep immunizations current. High blood sugar can weaken the immune system.
Take care of your teeth. Diabetes may leave you prone to gum infections.
Pay attention to your feet. High blood glucose from diabetes can cause nerve damage and low blood flow.
Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
Do not smoke. Smoking increases your risk of various diabetes complications, including heart attack, stroke, nerve damage or kidney disease.
Drink responsibly. Alcohol can cause either high or low blood sugar, depending on how much you drink and if you eat at the same time. If you choose to drink:
Take stress seriously. Stress makes it easy to abandon your usual diabetes management routine. The body’s hormones produced in response to prolonged stress may prevent insulin from working properly, which only makes matters worse. To take control: