Type 1 diabetes is a condition characterized by high levels of sugar or glucose in the blood. Unlike type 2 diabetes that occurs due to insulin resistance or because the body’s cells become immune or unresponsive to insulin, type 1 diabetes occurs when the body produces less or no insulin. As a result, people with type 1 diabetes require additional insulin from the outside.
Normally, sugar levels in the blood are controlled by the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas. When a disease occurs in the pancreas, the insulin hormone it produces can be disrupted. When food that enters the body is digested and enters the bloodstream, insulin binds to glucose in the blood and carries it into cells to be converted into energy. But in diabetics, the body cannot process glucose into energy. This condition occurs because there is no insulin to carry glucose into the cells. As a result, glucose will accumulate in the blood.
Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factors
Some risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:
Family history or hereditary factors
Family history or hereditary factors, i.e. when a person will be more at risk of developing type 1 diabetes if a family member has the same disease, because it is related to a particular gene.
People living in areas far from the equator, such as in Finland and Sardinia, have the most type 1 diabetes. This is due to the lack of vitamin D that can be obtained from sunlight, thus eventually triggering autoimmune diseases.
The disease is most commonly detected in children aged 4-7 years, then in children aged 10-14 years.
Other trigger factors
Other trigger factors, such as consuming cow’s milk at an early age, water containing sodium nitrate, cereals and gluten before the age of 4 months or after 7 months, having a mother with a history of preeclampsia, as well as having jaundice at birth.
Causes of type 1 diabetes
Immune system abnormalities are considered to be the cause of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Under normal conditions, immune cells attack viruses and bacteria. However, immune abnormalities make immune cells attack pancreatic cells that produce insulin.
In addition, type 1 diabetes mellitus can also be caused by genetic abnormalities in pancreatic cells, viral infections, and environmental influences.
When no insulin is produced, glucose that should be converted into energy is not processed as it should. As a result, sugar levels in the blood will accumulate and can develop into a variety of life-threatening complications.
Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
Type 1 diabetes can usually be experienced by children aged 4-7 years or 10-14 years. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes in this child can also appear quickly within a few weeks.
Here are the symptoms that become a warning to immediately get the help of a doctor.
- Quickly thirst and frequent urination
- Quickly hungry, but weight loss drastically
- Wounds are difficult to heal and easy to infected
- The body gets tired quickly
- Myopia or blindness
- Numbness of the hands or feet
- Renal failure.
The appearance of these symptoms indicates that the condition of diabetes has caused more severe damage, namely to the nerves and organs.
Basically, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes almost cause the same symptoms. However, it is still preferable to undergo further examinations to ascertain the type of diabetes experienced.
When should I see a doctor?
If you start to feel the symptoms mentioned above or have other questions, consult your doctor immediately.
Everyone’s body is different, so the symptoms of diabetes can also be different from one person to another.
Discuss with your doctor to find the best solution to overcome diabetes while improving your health.
Easy Ways – How To Avoid Getting Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis
Doctors diagnose type 1 diabetes by looking at the symptoms of diabetes and laboratory tests such as:
This test is done to determine blood sugar levels for the last 2-3 months. If the test results show HbA1c levels ≥ 6.5% on two separate tests, then the doctor will detect the presence of diabetes.
Random blood sugar test (RBS)
This examination is performed using blood samples taken at random times. Blood sugar values during ≥ 200 mg/dl indicate diabetes.
Fasting blood sugar test (FBS)
This test requires the patient to fast for an hour. After fasting, blood samples will be tested in the laboratory. Normally, fasting blood sugar values range between 100-123 mg/dl. If the value exceeds the value on two examinations, then the patient is declared diabetic.
2 hour postprandial blood sugar test (2HPP)
After fasting blood sugar (FBS) examination, patients will be welcome to eat and drink. In the next two hours, blood will be taken again for a 2-hour postprandial blood sugar test (2HPP). The procedure is the same as FBS.
Screening in the form of an Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
This examination is required by patients with test results that do not meet the normal criteria or diabetes criteria, namely the prediabetes group. Blood sugar is measured 2 hours after the patient drinks 75 grams of glucose solution or 1.75 gr/kgBW (for children). Diabetes is diagnosed if blood sugar levels after 2 hours reach 200 mg/dL or higher.
Type 1 Diabetes Treatments
Treatment in people with type 1 diabetes aims to keep blood sugar levels in normal conditions and prevent complications. The method of treatment can be with changes in lifestyle until the use of drugs.