Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic disease in which the pancreas makes little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed for sugar (glucose) to get into cells for energy.
Various factors, including genetics and some viruses, can contribute to type 1 diabetes. Although type 1 diabetes usually begins in childhood or adolescence, it can develop in adults.
Despite active research, type 1 diabetes is incurable. Treatment focuses on controlling blood sugar levels with insulin, diet, and lifestyle to avoid complications.
The signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes can come on relatively suddenly and include:
Bed-wetting in children who had not previously wet the bed at night
Involuntary weight loss
Irritability and other mood swings
Fatigue and weakness
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Normally, the body’s immune system – which normally fights off harmful bacteria and viruses – mistakennly destroys insulin-producing cells (islets of Langerhans or islets) in the pancreas. Other possible causes are:
Exposure to viruses and other environmental factors
Some known risk factors for type 1 diabetes are:
Family history. Any parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the disease.
Genetically. The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Geography. The incidence of type 1 diabetes tends to increase as you move away from the equator.
Age. Although type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, it occurs at two notable peaks. The first peak occurs in children between 4 and 7 years of age, the second in children between 10 and 14 years of age.
There is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes. However, researchers are working to prevent the disease or further destroy islet cells in newly diagnosed people.
Ask your doctor if you might be eligible for any of this Hospitalal trials, but carefully weigh the risks and benefits of any treatment available in a trial.