In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population had some form of Diabetes mellitus (diabetes). Diabetes isn’t just one single disease but rather its a group of diseases with glucose or, sugar, intolerance being the one commonality. Type 1 Diabetes ,commonly referred to as juvenile diabetes, usually affects children and is easily diagnosed because of the symptoms.
People today living with Diabetes, live much easier lives because of new treatments but still have to be cautious of some complications. Type 1 Diabetes belongs to group of conditions known as autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are diseases where the body incorrectly identifies its own cells as an invading organism. In Type 1 Diabetes it is antibodies created by the immune system that kills off beta cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. Scientist have discovered a number of genetic regions that are closely related to diabetes but many believe that environmental factors “trigger” the initial development of type 1 diabetes. Some of the triggers that scientist believe cause diabetes include viral infections, vaccines, low levels of vitamin D, increased insulin demand, and even cow’s milk. Researchers today are still investigating what causes the immune system to act this way but as of now there are only theories and no concrete proof. Diabetes is life altering disease, meaning that once you get you have to deal with its everyday and even long term effects.
Some symptoms are worse than other but they are all a pain to deal with. The most common and noticeable symptoms are excessive thirst, excessive urination, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. Other symptoms such as blurred vision, vision lost, and skin infections can also be caused by diabetes but are less common. In extreme cases where someone isn’t properly taking care of their diabetes or an illness is present ketoacidosis can develop. Ketoacidosis occurs when the body has insufficient insulin, and the body begins to burn fatty acids that produce ketone bodies. Diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to loss of consciousness and, eventually, it can be fatal, but luckily in today’s world treatment has gotten better, severely reducing the number of cases. Taking care of diabetes has gotten much easier recently, but it is still one of the most tedious and important task you have to do each day.
Central to treating diabetes is keeping a balance of the right amount of insulin to keep you blood sugar at a healthy level as a result, insulin needs to be taken by injection or by infusion through an insulin pump. When giving insulin though you can’t just give any amount, you have to give specific amounts at certain times. The amount of insulin needed varies from person to person and the only real way to see how much you need is to test your blood sugar.
In general a person with diabetes has to test their blood sugar four to eight times a day, not including when they eat. Based on the results from the test you can determine how much insulin you need for your next dose. On top of checking your blood sugar you also have eat healthy and determine how many carbohydrates (carbs) you eat for each meal, this requires you to count out specific serving sizes then calculate the amount of insulin needed to take for however many carbs. In general treating diabetes is easy but if you put it off for you can have very serious consequences.