Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus type 1 (Type 1 diabetes, IDDM, or juvenile diabetes) is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. The subsequent lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose. The classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), polyphagia (increased hunger), and weight loss result.

Type 1 diabetes is fatal unless treated with insulin. Injection is the most common method of administering insulin; insulin pumps and inhaled insulin has been available at various times. Pancreas transplants have been used to treat type 1 diabetes however is still in experimental trials.

There is no preventive measure against developing type 1 diabetes. Most people who develop type 1 are otherwise healthy. Although the cause of type 1 diabetes is still not fully understood it is believed to be of immunological origin. Type 1 can be distinguished from type 2 diabetes via a C-peptide assay, which measures endogenous insulin production.

Type 1 treatment must be continued indefinitely in all cases. Treatment need not significantly impair normal activities, if sufficient patient training, awareness, appropriate care, discipline in testing and dosing of insulin is taken. However, treatment is burdensome for many people. Complications may be associated with both low blood sugar and high blood sugar. Low blood sugar may lead to seizures or episodes of unconsciousness and requires emergency treatment. High blood sugar may lead to increased tiredness and can also result in long term damage to other organs such as eyes and joints.

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