Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. This condition causes the pancreas to reduce, or even halt, the production of insulin, a hormone that is essential to allow the glucose (sugar) to be absorbed by the cells in order to procedure energy. Unlike type 2 diabetes, in which the body becomes resistant to insulin, this diabetes only causes the production of insulin to be affected.
What are the signs and symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?
These are the commonly-seen signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes:
- Constant thirst
- Frequent urination
- Bedwetting by children
- Severe hunger
- Unexplained weight-loss
- Mood swings
- Blurred vision
What are the causes of Type 1 Diabetes?
Although the exact cause for development of type 1 diabetes is yet unknown it causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly destroy the islet (insulin-producing cells) in the pancreas.
Genetics have been found to play a major role in determining if you face the risk of acquiring Type 1 diabetes, as well as exposure to certain environmental factors, such as viruses, that may initiate this disorder in a person.
How is Type 1 Diabetes diagnosed?
Type 1 diabetes is detected with the onset of its typical symptoms and signs. To determine the presence of this disorder that doctor will run a number of diagnostic tests to confirm the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.
These are the diagnostic tests that are performed by a doctor normally to check for Type 1 diabetes:
Also known as the glycated hemoglobin test this blood test displays your average blood sugar level for the previous 2-3 months. It measures a percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin in the red-blood cells. The amount of sugar attached to the hemoglobin determines the level of blood sugar in you.
A level of 6.5%, or higher, indicates the presence of Type 1 diabetes in a person.
Random Blood Sugar test
This test is performed in case the A1C test is inaccurate in case you are pregnant or have a hemoglobin-related medical disorder.
The random blood sugar test requires the doctor to take a blood sample at random. This is used to detect the level of sugar in the blood. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL, or higher, suggests the presence of Type 1 diabetes when combined with the signs and symptoms of diabetes.
Fasting Blood Sugar test
This test requires taking a blood sample after an overnight fasting. If two separate overnight fast blood tests show the level of blood sugar to be 126 mg/dL, or higher, it indicates the presence of Type 1 diabetes.
What are the treatments for Type 1 Diabetes?
There are a number of options for treatment, or control/regulating, of Type 1 diabetes. These are:
- Insulin injections
- Carbohydrate monitoring
- Regular blood sugar level monitoring
- Healthy diet
- Regular physical exercise/activity
- Weight maintenance
The aim of these treatments is to keep your blood sugar level closest to normal and delay/prevent the complications associated with Type 1 diabetes.
Administering insulin as prescribed by the doctor is one of the most important parts of maintaining your blood sugar levels for life. There are mainly three types of insulin:
- Rapid-acting insulin
- Long-acting insulin
- Intermediate options
As the insulin cannot be taken orally because of interference to it by the enzymes in the stomach it must be administered through an injection or a pump.
An insulin injection has a very fine needle to the syringe (or insulin pen) that helps to deliver the insulin under your skin. Insulin pens are more sophisticated as well as disposable or refillable. The needles for these insulin injections come in a variety of uses for individual user’s comfort.
Most injections use a combination of long-acting and rapid-acting insulin types for injecting.
This is an artificial device that is about the size of a cell phone and can be worn outside the body easily. There is a tube that connects the insulin reserve to a catheter that is inserted under the skin in your abdomen. The insulin pump can be worn as desired, on the waistband, in the pocket or with a special pump belt anywhere else.
Another modern and sophisticated model of an insulin pump in the wireless type of insulin pump that requires the user to wear the small pod (containing insulin reservoir) on the body (abdomen, arms, leg or lower back) and has a small catheter that goes directly under your skin. A wireless device is used to program the device to dispense the proper amount of rapid-acting insulin automatically. The dose of insulin can also be regulated to differ according to your requirement while having a meal.
Certain cases of Type 1 diabetes may require the doctor to prescribe additional medicines that will also help regulate the blood sugar levels in the body, such as:
- High blood pressure medicine – These medicines help to keep your kidneys healthy and are recommended for people with blood pressure levels of 140/80 mm Hg.
- Aspirin – This medicine helps protect your heart.
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines – Cholesterol maintenance is more rigorous for people with Type 1 diabetes than normal people as it raises the risk of a heart disease significantly in diabetic persons.
Blood Sugar Monitoring
You will be required to check your daily blood sugar levels at least 4 times a day if you are taking insulin injections. Doctors usually suggest checking your blood sugar levels before meals and snacks, before sleeping, before driving or exercising as well as anytime you may feel that the blood sugar level is low.
Careful monitoring is essential to maintain your blood sugar levels in the safe range. Even with the insulin injections and adhering to a proper diet the level of sugar in your blood may change suddenly at times. The doctor will educate you about all the different factors such as food, illness, physical activity, medications, hormonal changes, alcohol and stress that affect the blood sugar levels.
There are new and latest models available for monitoring blood sugar levels today. CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) is one of the more efficient ways to monitor your blood sugar levels and has been found to lower A1C in people of 25 years of age and more.
CGMs are attached to your body with a very fine needle going into your skin which checks the blood glucose level continuously.
Although there is no particular ‘diet’ for diabetic control doctors usually recommend nutritious, low-fat and high-fiber food in your diet, such as:
- Whole grains
The dietician will recommend you the better-suited foodstuff that you can eat which have lesser animal products and refined carbohydrates such as sweets and white bread to maintain safe blood sugar levels.
People with Type 1 diabetes have an added advantage of maintaining their health with aerobic exercises regularly. Walking, swimming and cycling are the most recommended physical activities by the doctor for patients with Type 1 diabetes.
Around 30 minutes of physical exercises should be made a part of the daily routine. Children with Type 1 diabetes are recommended to have at least an hour of physical activity.
As physical activity lowers your blood sugar levels for a long time it is recommended that you monitor the blood sugar levels closely so as to adjust your diet and insulin intake accordingly.
Are there any complications associated with Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is known to affect major organs such as your heart, nerves, kidneys, blood vessels and eyes as well. Maintaining your blood sugar levels in the safe region can help reduce the risk to these vital organs.
There are certain long-term complications associated with Type 1 diabetes which develop gradually and over a long period of time. These complications, if not treated, can be disabling or even fatal.
Heart and Blood Vessel disease
Diabetes is known to significantly increase the risk of acquiring cardiovascular disorders such as coronary heart disease, angina (chest pain), stroke, heart attack, atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries) as well as high blood pressure.
Excess of sugar can affect the tiny capillaries (blood vessels) that supply blood to the nerves through injuring their walls. This causes a numbing and tingling sensation as well as intense pain in some cases. This is signified by the slow spreading of the tingling feeling from the tips of the fingers and toes to the arm or the leg. If left untreated, this can cause severe disability in the affected limb.
Diabetes can damage the large network of intricate blood vessel clusters inside the kidney that are important filters for separating waste from your blood. Severe damage to this delicate filtering system can cause kidney failure as well as other kidney diseases.
Diabetes also affects the blood vessels in the retina (diabetic retinopathy) and can lead to blindness also. Diabetes also raises the risk of other severe eye diseases and disorders such as glaucoma and cataracts.
Connect with Travcure Medical Tourism Consultants to get treatment for Type 1 Diabetes in India
Travcure Medical Tourism Consultants are at the forefront of diabetes management and treatment in India. Travcure helps hundreds of patients from abroad to get treatment for Type 1 diabetes at the best and most well-equipped hospitals and clinics in major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
Travcure ensures that each individual patient is offered a special bespoke treatment package that is efficient and most affordable in cost but which also guarantees that the patient is treated at the best hospitals under the care of extensively-experienced doctors.