Type 1 Diabetes Causes
Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar, or glucose, into your body’s tissues. Your cells use it as fuel.
Damage to beta cells from type 1 diabetes throws the process off. Glucose doesnât move into your cells because insulin isnât there to do the job. Instead, it builds up in your blood, and your cells starve. This causes high blood sugar, which can lead to:
- Dehydration. When thereâs extra sugar in your blood, you pee more. Thatâs your bodyâs way of getting rid of it. A large amount of water goes out with that urine, causing your body to dry out.
- Weight loss. The glucose that goes out when you pee takes calories with it. Thatâs why many people with high blood sugar lose weight. Dehydration also plays a part.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis . If your body can’t get enough glucose for fuel, it breaks down fat cells instead. This creates chemicals called ketones. Your liver releases the sugar it stores to help out. But your body canât use it without insulin, so it builds up in your blood, along with the acidic ketones. This mix of extra glucose, dehydration, and acid buildup is known as ketoacidosis and can be life-threatening if not treated right away.
- Damage to your body. Over time, high glucose levels in your blood can harm the nerves and small blood vessels in your eyes, kidneys, and heart. They can also make you more likely to get hardened arteries, or atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Genes And Family History
As in type 1 diabetes, certain genes may make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The disease tends to run in families and occurs more often in these racial/ethnic groups:
- African Americans
- Native Hawaiians
- Pacific Islanders
Genes also can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing a persons tendency to become overweight or obese.
Symptoms And Risk Factors
It can take months or years for enough beta cells to be destroyed before symptoms of type 1 diabetes are noticed. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months. Once symptoms appear, they can be severe.
Some type 1 diabetes symptoms are similar to symptoms of other health conditions. Dont guessif you think you could have type 1 diabetes, see your doctor right away to get your blood sugar tested. Untreated diabetes can lead to very seriouseven fatalhealth problems.
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, though family history is known to play a part.
Also Check: Printable Low Carb Food List For Diabetics
It Cant Be Cured With Lifestyle Changes
As with other autoimmune disorders, the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not known. There is no cure or way for a person with type 1 to eliminate their need for insulin therapy, which is an important distinction between type 1 and type 2.
Morgan McKean, 29, who currently works abroad in health promotion for a charity foundation, sees a lack of knowledge about both types of diabetes. People think only overweight people get diabetes or that you can always get rid of it through a better diet and exercise. Thats not the case in type 1, and it isnt always true in type 2 diabetes either, she says.
Testing For Type 1 Diabetes
A simple blood test will let you know if you have diabetes. If youve gotten your blood sugar tested at a health fair or pharmacy, follow up at a clinic or doctors office to make sure the results are accurate.
If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also be tested for autoantibodies that are often present with type 1 diabetes but not with type 2. You may have your urine tested for ketones , which also indicate type 1 diabetes instead of type 2.
Also Check: Non Insulin Injections For Type 2 Diabetes
Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes In Adults May Occur Suddenly
Its important to realize that early signs of type 1 diabetes in adults often develop quickly and may sometimes be brushed offor mistaken for illness. Heres what you should look out for:
Frequent UrinationIf youre constantly running to the bathroom, your kidneys may be trying to rid your blood of excess sugar, resulting in an increased need to urinate.
Extreme thirstIncreased urination can then result in dehydration, which will leave you feeling more thirsty than normal.
Increased appetiteIf youre suddenly hungry all the time it may be because your body isnt able to get proper energy from the food you eat.
Unexpected weight lossAlong the same lines, if your body is losing sugar in your urine instead of absorbing it, you may lose weight without trying.
Other Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes In Adults
Other diabetic symptoms in adults include feeling drowsy or lethargic sudden vision changes fruity or sweet-smelling breath heavy or labored breathing and stupor or unconsciousness. If you do have high blood sugar and it goes untreated, it could develop into diabetic ketoacidosisa life-threatening condition. So please see your doctor immediately if you are exhibiting these warning signs.
Read Also: Insulin Pump Basal Rate Calculator
Getting Good Medical Care
Beyond diagnosis, adults living with type 1 diabetes may face another challenge: finding a doctor who has as much knowledge about diabetes as they have. Many adults who have been living with type 1 diabetes since childhood have become experts over the years, both by learning as much as they can about managing their condition, and by simply carrying out their own self-care year after year. These adults as well as those diagnosed later in life seek out physicians who have just as much information and insight as they do, sometimes without success.
For Douglas Deatrick, a 49-year-old who has been living with type 1 diabetes since age 9, a good endocrinologist can be hard to find, but a good primary-care doctor or internist is even harder. According to Deatrick, There has not been one who is willing to just take care of the regular stuff, and they all think they can manage my diabetes for me. My first question is What is Symlin? When they dont know it, I just leave.
Some adults with type 1 diabetes deal with this by using a primary-care doctor mainly to get referrals to an endocrinologist or by seeking out an endocrinologist on their own for their diabetes care. However, an individuals ability to do this may be limited by a scarcity of endocrinologists in his area, a health insurance plan that limits visits to specialists, or an inability to pay out of pocket for visits not covered by health insurance.
Measuring Blood Glucose Levels
There is a test called the hemoglobin A1c blood test that is used to help determine how well a person is managing their blood glucose levels. This test is taken at the doctor’s office and measures how well the blood sugar has been controlled over a 2- to 3-month span. If the results show poor blood sugar control , this suggests that the person’s insulin therapy, dietary habits, and/or physical activity be modified to lower blood sugar levels into a more healthy and normal range.
Recommended Reading: Can You Reverse Blindness From Diabetes
What Is Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes was also previously referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus , or adult-onset diabetes mellitus . In type 2 diabetes, patients can still produce insulin, but do so relatively inadequately for their body’s needs, particularly in the face of insulin resistance as discussed above. In many cases this actually means the pancreas produces larger than normal quantities of insulin. A major feature of type 2 diabetes is a lack of sensitivity to insulin by the cells of the body .
In addition to the problems with an increase in insulin resistance, the release of insulin by the pancreas may also be defective and suboptimal. In fact, there is a known steady decline in beta cell production of insulin in type 2 diabetes that contributes to worsening glucose control. Finally, the liver in these patients continues to produce glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis despite elevated glucose levels. The control of gluconeogenesis becomes compromised.
While it is said that type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in individuals over 30 years old and the incidence increases with age, an alarming number of patients with type 2 diabetes are barely in their teen years. Most of these cases are a direct result of poor eating habits, higher body weight, and lack of exercise.
What Is The Long
Over a period of many years, high glucose levels can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
Lifelong insulin treatment is essential for people with type 1 diabetes. Maintaining healthy glucose levels over the long term greatly reduces your childs risk of developing diabetes complications later in life. Your diabetes team will teach you how to balance insulin, food, and exercise to maintain safe and healthy blood glucose levels.
Read Also: How To Stop Sugar Diabetes
What Causes These Symptoms
Diabetes symptoms occur because some or all of the glucose stays in the blood, and isnt being used as fuel for energy. The body tries to reduce blood glucose levels by flushing the excess glucose out of the body in the urine, making you more thirsty. High levels of glucose being passed in the urine are a perfect breeding ground for the fungal infection which causes thrush. But not everyone gets symptoms. In fact, 6 out of 10 people have no symptoms when theyre diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
How Is Type 1 Diabetes Treated
People with Type 1 diabetes need to replenish their insulin each day. There are different types of insulin. Some insulin starts acting as soon as you take the medicine other insulins take several hours to work. The various types of insulin also last in your body for different lengths of time. Some are more expensive than others. Work with your doctor to find the right type of insulin for your needs.
Also Check: How Much Is Levemir Insulin Without Insurance
Treating Type 1 Diabetes
It’s important that diabetes is diagnosed as early as possible. If left untreated, type-1 diabetes is a life-threatening condition. It’s essential that treatment is started early.
Diabetes can’t be cured, but treatment aims to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible and control your symptoms, to prevent health problems developing later in life.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll be referred to a diabetes care team for specialist treatment and monitoring.
As your body can’t produce insulin, you’ll need regular insulin injections to keep your glucose levels normal. You’ll be taught how to do this and how to match the insulin you inject to the food you eat, taking into account your blood glucose level and how much exercise you do.
Insulin injections come in several different forms, with each working slightly differently. You’ll most likely need a combination of different insulin preparations.
Insulin is given to some patients by a continuous infusion of fast acting insulin . This is where a small device constantly pumps insulin into your bloodstream through a plastic tube that’s inserted under the skin with a needle.
There are alternatives to insulin injections and pumps, but they’re only suitable for a small number of patients. They are:
Read more about diagnosing diabetes and treating type 1 diabetes
Choose Us Med For Your Type 1 Diabetes Needs
Thats all for this article! We hope youve learned some valuable information on type 1 diabetes risk factors and symptoms in adults, along with how to keep this disease under control if you do have it.
Of course, the team at US MED has put together many more resources for people with all types of diabetes. Take a look at our regularly updated blog, or explore our massive collection of diabetes-friendly recipes.
US MED can also keep you fully stocked on the diabetes supplies you need most. We have over 20 years of experience in the diabetes supply industry. In addition, weve earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Are you ready to get started? If so, check out our selection of products!
Medical Review by Shirley DeLeon, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
Don’t Miss: Blood Testing Meters For Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes And Exercise
People with type 1 diabetes benefit from exercise, but they need to take precautions to prevent sudden drops in blood glucose levels. Diabetics should check their blood sugars before exercising and may require eating a snack before or during exercise. They may need to adjust their insulin dosage before exercising to ensure they stay within normal ranges of blood glucose. People with type 1 diabetes may also need to check their urine for ketones â ketones suggest that your blood sugar is too high. Strenuous activity needs to be avoided if ketones are detected or if your blood sugar level is either high or low before exercise.
How Do I Take Insulin
You can take insulin in one of the following ways:
- Injection:Injectable insulin uses a vial and syringe. With each injection, you use a syringe to get the correct dose of insulin out of the vial. Insulin can be injected into the fatty tissue of your belly, upper arm, thigh or buttocks. Injections are usually the least expensive way to take insulin.
- Pen: Insulin pens are similar to injections, but the pen is pre-filled with insulin. The disposable pen needles are usually more convenient than shots. They can also be a good option for people with low vision.
- Pump:Insulin pumps are devices that deliver insulin continuously and on demand. They mimic the way your pancreas would naturally release insulin. Pumps deliver insulin through a tiny catheter that goes in your belly or another fleshy area of your body.
Your healthcare provider may recommend three to four doses of insulin each day. Long-acting insulin usually works best when taken at about the same time every day. Take rapid-acting insulin within 15 minutes before a meal. This ensures its ready to work when glucose from food enters your blood.
You May Like: Type 1 Diabetes And Anxiety
Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes Onset In An Infant Or Child
The young child who is urinating frequently, drinking large quantities, losing weight, and becoming more and more tired and ill is the classic picture of a child with new-onset type 1 diabetes. If a child who is potty-trained and dry at night starts having accidents and wetting the bed again, diabetes might be the culprit.
Although it is easy to make the diagnosis diabetes in a child by checking blood sugar at the doctors office or emergency room, the tricky part is recognizing the symptoms and knowing to take the child to get checked. Raising the awareness that young children, including infants, can get type 1 diabetes can help parents know when to check for type 1 diabetes.
Sometimes children can be in diabetic ketoacidosis when they are diagnosed with diabetes. When there is a lack of insulin in the body, the body can build up high levels of an acid called ketones. DKA is a medical emergency that usually requires hospitalization and immediate care with insulin and IV fluids. After diagnosis and early in treatment, some children may go through a phase where they seem to be making enough insulin again. This is commonly called the honeymoon phase. It may seem like diabetes has been cured, but over time they will require appropriate doses of insulin to keep their blood sugar levels in the normal range.
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Diabetes
Endocrinology is the specialty of medicine that deals with hormone disturbances, and both endocrinologists and pediatric endocrinologists manage patients with diabetes. People with diabetes may also be treated by family medicine or internal medicine specialists. When complications arise, people with diabetes may be treated by other specialists, including neurologists, gastroenterologists, ophthalmologists, surgeons, cardiologists, or others.
Also Check: Is Keto Diet Safe For Type 1 Diabetes
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
The fasting blood glucose test is the preferred way to diagnose diabetes. It is easy to perform and convenient. After the person has fasted overnight , a single sample of blood is drawn and sent to the laboratory for analysis. This can also be done accurately in a doctor’s office using a glucose meter.
- Normal fasting plasma glucose levels are less than 100 milligrams per deciliter .
- Fasting plasma glucose levels of more than 126 mg/dl on two or more tests on different days indicate diabetes.
- A random blood glucose test can also be used to diagnose diabetes. A blood glucose level of 200 mg/dl or higher indicates diabetes.
When fasting blood glucose stays above 100mg/dl, but in the range of 100-126mg/dl, this is known as impaired fasting glucose . While patients with IFG or prediabetes do not have the diagnosis of diabetes, this condition carries with it its own risks and concerns, and is addressed elsewhere.
The oral glucose tolerance test
For the test to give reliable results:
- The person must be in good health .
- The person should be normally active , and
- The person should not be taking medicines that could affect the blood glucose.
- The morning of the test, the person should not smoke or drink coffee.
Evaluating the results of the oral glucose tolerance test
Glucose tolerance tests may lead to one of the following diagnoses:
Please Dont Tell Me What I Should And Shouldnt Eat
People try to tell me all the time what I can and cant eat, says Cecile. Ill be out or at work and someone will say, You cant eat that cupcake. They wouldnt dream of saying that to someone else, but because of my diabetes, they think they should tell me what to eat.
Ramage agrees: People often intervene on what would otherwise be a strangers decision-making, she says. It goes back to that stigma. People think youve made poor choices that have led to your condition, therefore, they should share what they know to help you make better choices.
Also Check: Diabetes How To Control Blood Sugar