Diabetes (medically known as Diabetes Mellitus) is a disorder characterized by high blood glucose levels in the blood. Glucose in the blood comes from food (sugar, starches and other carbohydrates) and from other organs in the body including liver and muscles. Insulin is a hormone that is needed for glucose to move inside the cells where it is converted into energy. Diabetes occurs when there is either deficient or no production of insulin. There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is the commonest type of diabetes in children and adolescents. Usually patients are young and lean. It is an autoimmune disease in which the antibodies destroy insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, the body starves to death. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes occur mostly when more than 90% of cells have been destroyed. It is a lifelong condition that is treated with insulin. Insulin must be given each day and multiple injections a day (3+1, minimum 3 short acting and 1 long acting) are required to maintain blood glucose control. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments including healthy eating and regular exercise, young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long and healthy lives. Type 1 diabetes most often affects people under 20 years of age. It was previously called Juvenile-Onset Diabetes or Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM).
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes:
The cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown, although many have speculated that it is a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors such as viruses that serve as the immediate reason for the disease’s onset.