Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the body's system for fighting infection (the immune system) turns against a part of the body. In diabetes, the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroys them. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. Someone with type 1 diabetes needs to take insulin daily to live.
At present, scientists do not know exactly what causes the body's immune system to attack the beta cells, but they believe that both genetic factors and environmental factors, possibly viruses, are involved. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of diagnosed diabetes in the United States.
Type 1 diabetes develops most often in children and young adults, but the disorder can appear at any age. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop over a short period, although beta cell destruction can begin years earlier.
Symptoms include increased thirst and urination, constant hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, and extreme fatigue. If not diagnosed and treated with insulin, a person can lapse into a life-threatening diabetic coma, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis.
Treatment of type 1 diabetes: Lack of insulin production by the pancreas makes type 1 diabetes particularly difficult to control. Treatment requires a strict regimen that typically includes a carefully calculated diet, planned physical activity, home blood glucose testing several times a day, and multiple daily insulin injections.
Diabetes Disaster Preparedness Patient Information
As a person with diabetes, your daily routine involves schedules and planning. An emergency can seriously affect your health. It may be difficult to cope with a disaster when it occurs. You and your family should plan and prepare beforehand even if the event is loss of electricity for a few hours.
Travel Tips for Diabetics
As any travel agent or stranded tourist will tell you, planning ahead is the key to a successful trip. And this is particularly true for people with diabetes.
On the Horizon of Glucose Monitoring: A Review
Doctors recommend that diabetics who take insulin check their blood glucose levels four times a day. But piercing a nerve-rich fingertip and squeezing out a drop of blood onto a test strip is painful, and often deters people from checking any more than just once.
Inflammation: A New Link to Disease
One of the current "hot topics" in health research is how a certain kind of inflammation might affect our risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even cancer.
Endocrinology and Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, in which the body's white blood cells kill the islet cells that make insulin in the pancreas. Endocrinologists treat diabetes with diet and medications, which may include insulin.
Diabetes in Hispanic Americans
Diabetes in Hispanic Americans is a serious health challenge because of the increased prevalence of diabetes in this population, the greater number of risk factors for diabetes in Hispanics, the greater incidence of several diabetes complications, and the growing number of people of Hispanic ethnicity in the United States.
Diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most serious health challenges facing American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States today. The disease is very common in many tribes, and morbidity and mortality from diabetes can be severe.
Diabetic Children and Diet
The goal of any dietary plan is to maintain levels of glucose in the blood. Therefore, foods rich in simple sugars - candy, cookies, sugary snacks and non-diet sodas - must be limited. A healthful, varied diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables is the best way of ensuring overall health for your child.