What to Know About Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes definition is it is a chronic metabolic disease where the body does not produce the hormone insulin. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, the type 1 diabetes cause is a flaw in the person’s immune system. In this case, the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that create insulin, which is necessary to break down glucose, or blood sugar to provide energy for the body. Because the disease often manifests in childhood, it is also called juvenile diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin to replace the stores their body does not produce. Insulin must be injected because it is destroyed during the digestive process.
Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:
- Raging Thirst
- Weight Loss Despite Increased Appetite
- Increased Urination
- Susceptibility to Infections
Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes
In the past, a person with type 1 diabetes had to take insulin derived from animals like pigs. Now, type 1 diabetes treatment offers the option of several types of insulin. They can be long-acting, pre-mixed, short-acting, rapid-acting and intermediate-acting. Though these types of insulins are synthetic, they are more compatible with human biology. People who take these insulins on a regular schedule under their doctor’s care should have a good control over their condition.
A type 1 diabetes diet needs to made up of foods that have a low glycemic index. This is a measurement of how food influences the glucose levels in the blood. Foods good for type-1 diabetics include green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, beans and orange, yellow and red foods such as tomatoes and sweet potatoes. These foods tend to be high in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. A person who has type 1 diabetes should also reach for whole grains, nuts and fat free dairy products. They also benefit from eating fatty fish from cold waters such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. These fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which control cholesterol.
As of 2016, there is no type 1 diabetes cure. However, scientists are looking for treatments that effectively cure this disease. These include pancreas transplants or transplants of the pancreas’ islet cells. These cells produce insulin. Stem cell therapy also holds some promise. In at least one study, type 1 diabetes patients were able to forgo insulin injections for several years when they were injected with stem cells harvested from their own blood.