Diabetes Type 1 in Children and Adults

by Jerry Goodwin - Date: 2006-12-29 - Word Count: 706 Share This!

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes Mellitus (Sugar Diabetes) is a disease characterized by the body's inability to produce or regulate the production of the hormone Insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas and used by the body to regulate glucose. When the body fails to produce sufficient insulin the glucose rises and can get dangerously high. If the body produces too much insulin a person can have a condition known as hypoglycemia whereby the blood glucose levels are too low. The blood glucose level being too high or too low can be extremely dangerous and in some cases even fatal if not corrected.

What Causes Diabetes Mellitus Type 1?

The cause of diabetes mellitus type 1 or any type of diabetes is not known for sure. It is thought that diabetes may be an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are those in which the body's defense system attacks the body's own cells. In type I diabetes the cells in the pancreas are often destroyed this keeps the pancreas from doing its job of regulating insulin.

What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?

Probably the most notable symptoms are a severe increase in thirst and frequent urination. Other symptoms often include a sharp increase in appetite, losing weight without trying, and sometimes blurred vision.

How is Diabetes Mellitus diagnosed?

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is diagnosed using blood tests. Usually a physician will do an exam then have blood taken for a FBS (Fasting Blood Sugar) he may do other tests such as a Lipid or Liver profile at the same time to be sure there are no other health problems. If the FBS runs high the physician then may order an OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test or GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test). The GTT and OGTT are the exact same test; it is just that different facilities use slightly different terminology.

If you are the patient you will go to the lab or collection center after fasting a given length of time, usually 8-12 hours. The lab may require you to be on a specific diet for 1-2 days prior to the collection. You would have a blood sample drawn and the fasting blood sugar would be run. Once the result of the FBS is determined you will likely be required to drink a liquid that has a predetermined amount of glucose in it. You will then have blood drawn at 1 hour intervals for the duration of the test period. The GTT can last anywhere from 1 to 5 hours but 3 hours is the most commonly ordered.

What is the treatment?

The most common treatment for type 1 diabetes is the use of insulin by injection. In fact Diabetes Type I is often referred to as IDDM or Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. It is also sometimes referred to as juvenile onset diabetes since it does occur more often in children, but can occur at any age.

If you are diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 it is very probable that you will have to make some adjustments to your life style. You will need to be very careful of your diet and you should set up a regular exercise schedule. You will also need to monitor your blood glucose levels. Most people diagnosed with diabetes check their glucose with a blood glucose meter at least one and more often 2 times daily.

Can it be cured?

The simple answer is No; at this point we can not cure diabetes of any type. Most types of diabetes can be controlled and if they are not controlled then other problems such as kidney failure, nerve damage, heart attack and stroke may follow.

You would control the diabetes by controlling the blood sugar and control the blood sugar by the use of insulin. You would also want to eat healthy foods and try to keep a reasonably good exercise routine to help control your weight.

For more information or to find support groups you may want to check out these sources:

* American Association of Diabetes Educators
100 West Monroe Street, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60603-1901
Phone: 1-800-338-3633
Web Address: http://www.aadenet.org

* American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone: 1-800-342-2383
Web Address: http://www.diabetes.org

* National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
1 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3560
Phone: 1-800-860-8747
Web Address: www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/

Related Tags: diabetes, diabetes type 1, sugar diabetes, diabetes mellituis, iddm

Jerry Goodwin has been certified as a Medical Technologist since 1977. He is also certified as a Personal Trainer, Cardiovascular Trainer and Medical exer-therapist. He is a Veteran of the US Navy having served during the Viet Nam era. Jerry also served in the Army National Guard in Ohio, Texas, Kansas and Georgia as a field medic with Infantry, Armored Cavalry, Artillery and Mechanized Infantry Units. He has earned several medals including the Army Commendation Medal. Jerry is the editor of Body Mind and Goals Ezine and the owner of BMG Services Fitness and Nutrition at www.bmgfitness.com

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