Diabetes Type 1

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Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. This is how Diabetes type 1 occurs: When the destruction of insulin is formed by beta cells occurs with an autoimmune condition, and the pancreas becomes insensitive towards insulin production. People who get affected by type 1 diabetes are young adults (20-22), teenagers (13-19), and children (12 or below). In some cases, it is seen in infants (newly born) and toddlers (6 months -1 year) also. Read More

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Diabetes Type 1

What is type 1 diabetes mellitus?

This is how Diabetes type 1 occurs: When the destruction of insulin is formed by beta cells occurs with an autoimmune condition, and the pancreas becomes insensitive towards insulin production. People who get affected by type 1 diabetes are young adults (20-22), teenagers (13-19), and children (12 or below). In some cases, it is seen in infants (newly born) and toddlers (6 months -1 year) also.

Diabetes Type 1
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causes of type 1 diabetes mellitus
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Insulin helps to distribute glucose and sugar to other body parts, but beta cells don’t function properly, and glucose stays in one place by increasing its blood sugar level and eventually skyrocketing blood sugar.

Genes also play a prominent role in causing type 1 diabetes. Autoantibodies are often seen in this condition. It causes dehydration, weight loss, strokes, etc.

T cells are also responsible for the cause of this condition because T cells fight with beta cells and harm them, and eventually, insulin doesn’t form in the absence of beta cells. It is commonly believed that cow’s milk can cause type 1 diabetes; however, it isn’t yet proven.


diabetes type 1 symptoms
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In diabetes type 1, some symptoms or signs of diabetes type 1 starts appearing slowly and could be a signal of the onset of the disease,

  • Excessive hunger
  • Repetitive urine release
  • Always thirsty
  • Sudden Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Skin infection

If the above-mentioned symptoms of Diabetes type 1 are not taken seriously, they may convert into other major symptoms such as:

  • Fast breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Uncontrollable body shaking

What are the risk factors for type 1 diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes Type 1 Risk Factors
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  • Hereditary (Genetic factor) – If one of the parents, grandparents, or siblings has diabetes, then the chances of acquiring diabetes type 1 increases by 10% and more than 10% if the child’s father has diabetes rather than their mom, grandparents, or siblings. Tests should be done as early as possible.
  • If the patient has a problem within the pancreas, then type 1 diabetes can occur.
  • Type/race – African-Americans, Chinese, and South Americans are usually candidates for type 1 diabetes. Caucasians predominantly have the propensity to acquire it.
  • Environmental factors – People who belong to cold climatic countries have more chances of Diabetes type 1 rather than hot and humid countries people.
  • Diabetes Type 1 arises because the insulin-producing capability of the pancreas is almost zero or is in trace amounts. First and foremost thing which type 1 diabetes patients should do is to start taking insulin shots or other forms of insulin. If insulin is not available due to any reason, or insulin is not the right choice, then the alternate option is Symlin.

If opting for insulin, then there are different forms with different outcomes, such as:

Short-acting – Gives a good and effective change but takes time to give relief takes around 45-50 minutes.

Example – Humulin

Intermediate – It normalizes diabetes type 1 but does not give quick relief. Stays for 13-15 hours.

Example – Novolin

Rapid or quick-acting – This one gives instant relief in a fraction of a second. Begins showing its positive impact in 10-15 mins.

Example – Apidra

Long-term – This helps for several hours or days.

Examples – Tresiba, Lantus and Levemir

Either go to the doctor’s office for regular blood glucose tests or learn it from the doctor to make it more convenient because, on the basis of the test, one can figure out the dose of insulin and its exact consumption proportion.

Type 1 Diabetes Diet Changes

Balanced diet is the key to fighting against Type 1 diabetes. Insulin shots will not work alone. Diet is a pillar in supporting and building self-control.

Request a dietician about the diet plans that balance carbs-proteins-vitamins and healthy fats in your diet.

How is type 1 diabetes mellitus diagnosed?

Picture Courtesy: cdc.gov

There are numerous methods of testing diabetes type 1. Some are time-consuming, and some can be done within minutes.

Doctors usually conduct blood and urine tests to see the level of sugar in the urine. The blood test is also done after fasting and after a regular meal to find the sugar level and the cause for the same.

  • Fasting blood sugar level- is greater than 126mg/dl on two separate tests.
  • Random blood sugar level- is greater than 200mg/dl along with symptoms of diabetes. 
  • HbA1c test- is greater than 6.5 on two separate tests.

What are the complications of type 1 diabetes mellitus?

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Whenever diabetes type 1 reaches above its limit, serious complications can happen anytime, which leads patients to the hospital or the emergency room.

Some complications are listed below:

  • Kidney Damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Retinopathy
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Poor blood supply to other body parts
  • Affects the pregnancy


What is the life expectancy of a person who has Diabetes type 1?

The life of diabetic patients is 6-10 years less than a normal person but maintaining health, testing blood sugar levels, and indulging in some exercise can prolong the life of diabetic patients.

Is Type 1 diabetes common? It mostly happens in which gender?

No, it is not common, only 5-10% of people get affected by this, and it can happen to anyone, be it male or female.

What is Diabetic ketoacidosis? How does it affect type 1 diabetes?

When the formation of ketones in the blood exceeds its limit, diabetic ketoacidosis takes place. As the pancreas doesn’t form insulin, DKA mostly affects type 1 and happens to people with certain illnesses, infections, stress, skipping insulin vaccines or shots, etc. DKA can also happen in type 2 diabetes patients but very rarely.

Is drinking alcohol bad for type 1 diabetes people?

Drinking frequently is bad and can spike the blood sugar level, but once in a while, it is ok. Testing blood sugar level before and after drinking alcohol is a wise thing to do.

Can type 1 diabetes mellitus be prevented?

There is no way that type 1 diabetes mellitus can be prevented. However, studies are still going on regarding how to prevent this condition or further damage to the islet cells in newly diagnosed people [1].

What is the prognosis of type 1 diabetes mellitus?

This condition is considered to be one of the most challenging conditions, and one has to manage it properly. The patient has to take medications for the rest of their life. Approximately 50% of the people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus will develop serious complications over their lifetime [2]. 


  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20353011
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21500-type-1-diabetes