Type 1 diabetes – causes, symptoms and treatment

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease for which there is currently no cure and which is characterized by a constant high level of sugar (glucose) in the blood.


Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age. It is most often diagnosed in children, adolescents or young people.

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by special cells called beta cells. The pancreas is behind the stomach. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar (glucose) into the cells.

There it is stored and later used for energy. In type 1 diabetes, the beta cells produce little or no insulin.

Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood instead of entering the cells. The body is unable to use this glucose for energy and this eventually leads to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes.

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but it is most likely the result of an autoimmune disease. This is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue .

In type 1 diabetes, an infection or something else causes the body to mistakenly attack the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes can be passed down in families from one generation to another or to the next.


High blood sugar is manifested by the following characteristic symptoms:

Feeling very thirsty
– Feeling hungry
– Feeling tired all the time
– Blurred vision
– Numbness in the legs
– Loss of weight without trying
– Urinating more often than normal

For many people, these serious warning symptoms can be the first signs of type 1 diabetes, but they can also happen when blood sugar is very high (diabetic ketoacidosis):

– Deep, rapid breathing
– Dry skin and mouth
– Flushing of the face
– Fruity-smelling breath
– Nausea or vomiting; inability to retain fluids
– Stomach pain

Low blood sugar

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can develop quickly in people with diabetes who take insulin.

Symptoms usually appear when a person’s blood sugar level falls below 70 mg/dl.

Watch out for:

– Headache
– Hunger
– Nervousness
– Rapid heartbeat (palpitations)
– Dizziness
– Sweating
– Weakness


Type 1 diabetes can start quickly and symptoms can be severe. People who have just been diagnosed may need to stay in the hospital.

If you have just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you may need to go for checkups every week until good blood sugar control is achieved.

Your doctor will review the blood and urine test results. Your doctor will also monitor your diet and insulin injections.

In general, it can take up to several weeks before good synchronization is achieved between your insulin doses and your diet and activity.

Once diabetes is under control, there will be fewer follow-up visits to the GP. With regular visits to your GP, you will be able to monitor any long-term diabetes problems and live a completely normal life.

You are the most important person who must control your blood sugar. You need to know that basic steps to manage diabetes include:

– How to recognize and how to react to symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
– How to recognize and react to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
– How to plan your meals
– How to take the right amount of insulin
– How to test blood sugar and urine
– How to adjust the balance insulin – food when you exercise
– How to cope on days when you don’t feel well
– Where to buy insulin and how to store it


This hormone lowers blood sugar by allowing glucose to leave the bloodstream and enter the cells. Everyone with type 1 diabetes needs to take insulin every day.

Insulin must be injected under the skin using a syringe, insulin pen or insulin pump. It cannot be taken orally because stomach acid destroys insulin.

Insulin differs in how quickly it starts working and how long it will last. Your doctor will choose the best type of insulin for you and tell you what time of day to take it you use.

Some types of insulin can be mixed together in one injection to get the best blood sugar control. Other types of insulin should never be mixed. You may need insulin 1 to 4 times a day.

Your doctor will teach you how to give yourself insulin injections. First of all, injections of a child can be given by a parent or other adult. After the age of 14, most children can give themselves insulin injections.

People with diabetes should know how to adjust the amount of insulin in the following cases:

– When they exercise
– When they are sick
– When they eat more or less food and calories
– When they travel

Diet and exercise

By testing blood sugar levels, people with type 1 diabetes learn which foods and activities cause blood sugar levels to rise or fall the most.

This helps them adjust their insulin doses when eating different types of food or when practicing different forms of physical activity to prevent blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low.

Regular exercise helps control the amount of sugar in the blood. It also helps burn extra calories and fat to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. People with type 1 diabetes should take special precautions before, during and after physical activity or exercise.

Checking your blood sugar level and recording the results will give you an idea of ​​how well your diabetes is being managed and how well you have it under control. Talk to your doctor about how often to get checked.

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