Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (also known as juvenile onset diabetes), is an insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). It is a chronic condition where the pancreas of the patient cannot produces insulin hormone, a hormone that allows glucose from the blood to enter cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue, and storing it as glycogen. Insulin stops the use of fat as an energy source.
Various factors may contribute to type 1 diabetes but the actual cause is still unknown. Genetics may play an important role, and certain viruses may also trigger the disease. In most type 1 diabetic patient, the body's immune system wrongly destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Type 1 diabetes tends to appear during adolescence, usually in young, lean individuals before 30 years –old. However, it is currently found out that older patients can also develop this kind of diabetes. Although American Diabetes Association currently not recommend general screening for type 1 diabetes, screening of high risk individuals who have type 1 diabetes relatives should be encouraged. Despite active research, type 1 diabetes has no cure but it can be managed. Insulin medication is currently a must for type 1 diabetes patient to survive.
Early diagnosis is important for type 1 diabetes as it can prevent further complications caused by diabetes and early treatment can be given. Therefore, recognizing the symptoms is important. Type 1 diabetes symptoms and signs may include extreme thirst and frequent urination, extreme hunger, abnormal weight loss, extreme fatigue and blurred vision.
When too much sugar is present in the bloodstream, water is drawn out from body tissue. Dehydration makes diabetic patient feel thirsty and as a result, drinking and urinating more frequent. Since water is also withdraw from eye tissues, it will affect the patient’s ability to focus clearly and thus having blurred vision. Without enough insulin to convert glucose into glycogen, the muscles and organs become depleted of energy and trigger the feeling of hunger. Also, in the absent of glycogen, the muscle tissues and fat stores are burned to produce energy and resulted in abnormal and rapid weight loss. Since the body cells are sugar-starved, the patient will always feel extreme tired.
- MedicineNet, Ruchi Mathur, MD, Diabetes Mellitus. http://www.medicinenet.com/diabetes_mellitus/article.htm
- MayoClinic, Type 1 diabetes-Definition, Symptoms, Causes, June 13 2009. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/type-1-diabetes/DS00329
This page was last modified on: July 30, 2012