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Understanding Type 1 Diabetes

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Type 1 Diabetes is also called Insulin-dependent diabetes or Juvenile diabetes. Being diabetic means that your blood glucose, or blood sugar, can be too high at times. Those who have been diagnosed as being Type 1 diabetic, have pancreas that do not manufacture enough insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that the body uses to help the glucose to be absorbed into your cells of the body where they can be utilized as energy. If your body does not manufacture insulin or enough insulin than the glucose just stays in the blood and is not able to be used by the cells of your body.

Over time high levels of blood sugar (glucose) can lead to serious health issues such as problems with vision, heart, kidneys, nerves, and your teeth and gums.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes are:

Being thirsty, urinating a lot, feeling hungry or tired frequently, losing weight without the intention to lose weight, experiencing sores that do not heal properly, noticing that you have dry and itchy skin, experiencing tingling in your feet or losing the feeling in your feet, and experiencing blurry vision.

Diabetes is diagnosed by a blood test.

Individuals who have been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes need to check their blood sugars levels often, give themselves insulin shots, or use a insulin pump, exercise on a regular basis, follow a healthy eating plan, and also have regular doctor checkups.

Type 1 diabetes is the second most common chronic disease in children. There are approximately 13,000 new cases of type 1 diabetes diagnosed each year in the United States. The typical age of onset of type 1 diabetes is age 14. It can occur at any age but is usually first diagnosed in children and teens or young adults.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas. The result of this attack is that the pancreas does not make enough insulin. Insulin is needed to help use the blood sugar (glucose) in our bloodstream. Without the glucose, our cells become starved for energy.

Proper diet, exercise and home blood sugar monitoring are how those with type 1 diabetes manage the disease.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease that can be effectively managed with insulin and a healthy lifestyle that includes proper nutrition and adequate daily exercise.

It is important that individuals with type 1 diabetes understand the disease and learn how to effectively live with the disease in such a way that they are in control of the disease.

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