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Diabetes (type 1)

What is Diabetes Type 1 ?

Diabetes is the disease affecting the metabolism of glucose.  Glucose is required by the body’s cells for energy production and normal functioning. This glucose comes in the blood from the food we eat and is carried to the cellular level by an important hormone known as insulin.  Once the meal is consumed by the body, it breaks down into glucose and other nutrients which are then absorbed in the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract.  This glucose is then transferred from the blood stream to the cells.  Diabetes develops when the body either can’t prepare insulin or can’t respond to the insulin. Diabetes can be mainly differentiated into two broad categories such as Type 1 & Type 2.


Type 1 diabetes also known as insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, when the pancreatic ability to produce insulin is reduced. 


How prevalent is Diabetes Type 1?

In 2013, 9.3% of children were determined to be suffering from Juvenile diabetes. In general, diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death globally. The rates of diagnosed diabetes on the basis of race and ethnic background are:

  • 5% Non-Hispanic or white adults
  • Less than 1% of Asian Adults
  • 8% of Hispanics
  • 2% of Non-Hispanic blacks
  • 9% of American Indians/Alaskan Natives

Factors responsible for Juvenile Diabetes:
Various risk factors for the development of juvenile diabetes such as age, race, sex, geographical location and seasonality have been reviewed and confirmed.

  • Age – Age is the major risk factor accounting for more than 85% of all the diabetes cases of patients less than 20 years of age. In general, the incidence rate is progressively observed by birth and increase in age. However, an increasing incidence of the disease has been detected between the age group of 10-14 years.
  • Gender – It has been evidently observed that girls are less susceptible to autoimmune diseases than boys. However, the cases of juvenile diabetes are found to be equally affecting irrespective of gender discrimination.
  • Genetic – The expressions of some of genes are known to be responsible for the susceptibility to diabetes type 1. Of the multiple genes implicated, the HLA class II complex on chromosome 6 are considered to be the prime cause.
  • Geography – The incidence tends to increase for people who are living away from the equator. For instance, those who are living in Finland are known to be having higher rates as compared to people living in Venezuela.

Apart from these stated above many other factors are known to be responsible for the higher incidence of Juvenile Diabetes such as:

Exposure to certain viruses such as EB virus, Mumps and Cytomegalovirus.

  • Early exposure to cow’s milk.
  • Low vitamin D levels.
  • Drinking water containing many pesticides such as nitrates.
  • Introduction of cereals or gluten in the diets of babies.
  • The preeclampsia of the mother.
  • Being born with jaundice.

Symptoms Associated with Type 1 Diabetes:

The signs and symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes can come on quickly and may include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination.
  • Bedwetting.
  • Extreme hunger.
  • Unintended weight loss.
  • Irritability and mood swings.
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Vaginal yeast infection in females.

Prognosis associated with Type 1 Diabetes:
Diabetes can be diagnosed generally with blood tests for examining blood sugar level at fasting and after meals. Apart from that many other examinations can help diagnose the problem at the early stage such as:

  • Skin and bones of the feet and legs are brittle or get numb.
  • Illness such as pneumonia.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Mouth odor.

Tag: auto-immune

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