Type I Diabetes
Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, known as juvenile diabetes. As it is an autoimmune disease, the immune system destroys the beta cells of the pancreas which are responsible for insulin secretion. Due to lack of insulin, glucose cannot be absorbed by muscles and cells so that blood sugar level increases in our body and causes diabetes that’s why it is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes.
Cause of Type I Diabetes
The exact cause of type I Diabetes is unknown. Some of the known causes are:
- Autoimmune destruction of body cells but not know why destruction takes place.
- Genetic factors (including family history
- Environment factors
- Viral infection (can trigger autoimmune disease)
Sign & Symptoms of Type I Diabetes
Early sign and symptoms are important to recognize the diseases types. Let’s know the sign and symptoms of type I diabetes:
Excessive urination is an early sign of diabetes. In diabetes, glucose or sugar level increases into the bloodstream which causes the kidney to expel out extra sugar or glucose in the form of urine. More sugar means more you will pee. It is also called polyuria.
Extreme Hunger(polyphagia) or Increased Appetite:
In diabetes, you feel the loss of appetite even after taking the meal. Glucose which is a source of energy for cells and muscles, absorbed by the help of insulin but when insulin lacks, glucose is not absorbed by cells and muscles and lack of energy remains in cells which leads to person feels hungry.
It is fact that if the person has diabetes, frequent urination will take place which causes dehydration in the body and the person feels extreme thirsty at that point.
Dry Mouth and Itching:
Due to an extreme urination in diabetes, dehydration occurs which causes dryness in our mouth.
Fatigue and Tired:
Body is not using calories that you are eating due to lack of insulin so, you will feel tired.
All the sugar calories are wasted in urine and your body gets dehydrated which causes unexplained weight loss.
This happens when a high level of sugar gets the deposit into the lens of your eye. It contains extra water into your eye and gets swell which changes the ability to see.
Urinary Tract Infection:
Many bacteria and yeast are balanced in our bladder. These bacteria start to grow on sugar (when the high level of glucose) and cause infection. In some people, their bladders are not empty properly during urination. Due to the lazy bladder, some bacteria are not flushed out and remain in a bladder, cause UTI’s.
Skin Infection, Yeast Infection:
Yeast grows on sugar when the level of glucose increases and cause yeast infection on vagina and penis and a yeast like a fungus grows on the skin which causes skin infection.
Stomach Pain, Diarrhea:
Diabetes affects the works of GI tract which lead to stomach bloating, pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Due to a high level of glucose and lack of insulin, ketones form which are acetone in nature and release sweet or fruity odor in your breath.
In diabetes, headache is associated with the high or low level of glucose in your body. People who are early diagnosed with diabetes might have such type of symptom because they are on their first level to manage their diabetes.
Sometimes managing sugar level can be irritable and stressful. Fluctuations in glucose level can cause mood swings in diabetic persons.
Diagnosis of Type I Diabetes
Diagnosis is a term to explain the sign and symptoms of a person. If you have some symptoms like diabetes, health care professional would measure your symptoms by performing some blood test to explain disease types.
Test performed during type I diabetes:
Random or non-fasting blood sugar test
First to understand, what is the normal sugar level and when you are non-diabetic?
In person, who is not diabetic and on fasting (on empty stomach), sugar level exists between 4.0-6.0 mmol/L which is 72 to 108 mg/dL while not fasting or 2 hrs after eating, sugar level will be up to 7.8 mmol/L that is 140 mg/dL. Random blood sugar test is taken at an unspecified time or randomly. The value which comes after random sugar test depends upon the last time you eat. According to ADA (American Diabetes Association) criteria, the value between 79-160mg/dL (4.4-7.8mmol/L) in an adult is average. When the value lies between 160-200 mg/dL is considered prediabetes while the value >200 mg/dL considered diabetes. This test is less clear than a fasting glucose or oral glucose tolerance test.
Fasting Plasma Glucose or Fasting Blood-Glucose Test
This is another test which is more accurate than a random plasma test. In this test, the person remains on overnight fast. After overnight fasting, a blood sample is taken to get the actual amount of glucose in our blood. This is helpful because there is no inference of food intake occurs.
In fasting glucose test, normal value is less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). when value lies between 100-125 mg/Dl (5.6 to 6.9mmol/L) is considered prediabetic while if value is 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher considered diabetes.
Glycated Haemoglobin Test (HbA1C)
This test is used to determine your sugar level over the past two or three months. In this test, how much amount of sugar attached to hemoglobin (an oxygen-carrying protein found in red blood cells and gives color to blood cells) in blood. RBC lifespan is 3 months, so this test can measure the glucose in our blood for the past 3 months. If the glucose level was higher in the last few weeks, a HbA1c test will be higher. In the normal person, the normal range is 4 and 5.6% while 6.5% or higher mean you have diabetes. With the help of this test, diabetic patients can adjust their diabetes medicines. Further, the doctor will also take urine and blood samples to check the thyroid function, liver function, kidney function and cholesterol level.
Treatment: Type I Diabetes
Before start to treatment let’s start an overview on type I diabetes-
In type I diabetes glucose or sugar level increases our blood due to lack of insulin so type I diabetes treatment starts with the administration of insulin. So, our first treatment will start with insulin. Insulin is given by two methods of administration-injection and pump.
In this method, insulin is given by injection on regular basis. Most people require two or three injections in a day. You cannot skip your routine which is unpleasant at first but can be manageable once you get the hang of it. but if you want to get over this hassle, you can have another alternate of insulin injection as an insulin pump.
The insulin pump is a small device that holds insulin and releases as much as you required. A battery-operated device helps you to control and monitor your insulin release. This insulin pump is inserted under your skin. Some people insert the pump into their stomach, hips, buttocks, and arms. Insulin flows through a flexible tube called cannula to your body. When you eat foods, you can release insulin through use of this device as much you required. Insulin enters fat cells and then mixes with blood. The tube can be left for two or three days or until needs to be replaced. However, it is not preferable for everyone. Doctor or nurse will suggest you whether to use it or not or if you have sudden episodes of hypoglycemia.
Control Your Blood Glucose
Your blood glucose should be controlled. For that, you should take the reading of your glucose level every three or six months. This will help you to set up a treatment plan according to a report. HbA1c is a test to know about your glucose level in your blood. This test helps you measure the glucose level in your blood over the past two or three months. For more information, please read above described test (HbA1c).
Control Hyper and Hypoglycemia
Hyperglycemia means high glucose into the blood. This condition occurs when your diet is not adjustable, or you are not taking insulin properly. Hyperglycemia can be the danger if not treated immediately. When it occurs, the body starts to break down fats instead of glucose for energy requirements. This will lead to higher production of glucose in our blood and ketones body will form. This condition is known as diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition can lead to unconsciousness and death if not treated fast. So, if you have diabetic ketoacidosis, urgent hospitalization is required. You’ll be given insulin through intravenously and other fluids are given by a drip in case of dehydration.
Hypoglycemia means the low level of glucose into the blood. This happens when insulin increases in your body and this is due to using insulin and tablets in large quantity. If you have type I diabetes, this can happen to you. In this case, you will feel drowsy, weak, hungry and confuse. In such type of cases, you should keep inside a chocolate or sugar candy which will act quickly. If the case is more severe than you may need to have an injection of glucagon (the hormone that increases your blood glucose levels) into your muscle.
The artificial pancreas has three types of devices:
- Continuous glucose monitor
- Computer controlled algorithm
- Insulin fusion pump
This will monitor your blood glucose automatically and adjusts the delivery of insulin to reduce high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) and minimize the incidence of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia).
Type I diabetes can originate long-term complications such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. So, the doctor advises taking other medications also.
To control high blood pressure.
To reduce the high level of cholesterol.
Ace Inhibitor- Enalapril Ramipril etc
To reduce the early sign of diabetic kidney disease.
Low dose to prevent stroke
7 Lifestyle Changes To Control Your Type I Diabetes
- Take low sugar and carbohydrates food, always consider foods that will help you to control diabetes.
- Exercise for daily 30 min. you don’t need to do a rigorous activity. Just walk and do a breathing exercise.
- Get regular check up as your doctor advised. Don’t skip any test or check-up.
- Control over alcohol because this can make your blood sugar high.
- Say no to smoking because diabetes can lead to other complications such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney diseases. If you smoke, your chance can get higher.
- Remain peace and calm by adopting habits such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. This will help you to control your stress level also.
- Take your insulin properly and don’t skip it.