Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus type 1 

Diabetes mellitus type 1 (also known as type 1 diabetes) is a form of diabetes mellitus in which not enough insulin is produced. The lack of insulin results in high blood sugar levels. The classical symptoms are frequent urination, increased thirst, increased hunger, and weight loss.  Additional symptoms may include blurry vision, feeling tired, and poor healing. Symptoms typically develop over a short period of time.

The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. It however is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.  Risk factors include having a family member with the condition. The underlying mechanism involves an autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.  Diabetes is diagnosed by tests the level of sugar or A1C in the blood. Type 1 diabetes may be distinguished from type 2 by autoantibody testing.

There is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes. Treatment with insulin is typically required for survival. Insulin therapy is usually given by injection just under the skin but can also be delivered by an insulin pump. A diabetic diet and exercise are an important part of management. Untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. Complications of relatively rapid onset include diabetic ketoacidosis and nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Long-term complications include heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, foot ulcers and damage to the eyes. Furthermore, complications may arise from low blood sugar caused by excessive insulin treatment.

Type 1 diabetes makes up an estimated 5–10% of all diabetes cases. The number of people affected globally is unknown, although it is estimated that about 80,000 children develop the disease each year. Within the United States the number of people affected is estimated at one to three million. Rates of disease vary widely with approximately 1 new case per 100,000 per year in East Asia and Latin America and around 30 new cases per 100,000 per year in Scandinavia and Kuwait. It typically begins in child and young adults.

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