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What is Type I Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes requires regular monitoring through blood glucose home tests and insulin medications to match blood sugar levels to avoid complications.

What is Type I Diabetes?

Of the three types of diabetes, Type 1 is considered the most severe, requiring regular insulin treatments for the 5 percent of patients dependent on medical help. Type 1 or juvenile onset diabetes causes the immune system to abnormally attack the pancreatic cells that produce needed insulin in mainly people under 30 years old. Insulin is the all important "key" that unlocks the doors to the cells so the blood glucose can be easily accessed for needed energy. Environmental influences seem to have a great effect on the occurrence of diabetes type 1, in addition to the hereditary influences. Attacks on the body like this are called autoimmune diseases but unfortunately both researchers and scientists do not know why this happens.

Blood Glucose Levels

A Type 1 diabetic person will have to have regular insulin injections as treatment so the body can process the glucose for energy in the cells. Without the insulin hormones, the body is not able to convert digested foods into usable energy allowing unused glucose to build up. If the this blood sugar cannot be utilized by the cells, the glucose remains in the blood and continues to increase to higher levels. This can become dangerous, as the high level of blood glucose can cause injury to eyes, kidneys, the nervous system and the heart, if left untreated. In severe cases it can even progress to glucose induced coma and death.

Insulin Requirements

Those with Type 1 diabetes require insulin sshots that match the amount of blood glucose generated by the body. Defining the correct dosage is affected by several conditions such as stress, emotions, exercise, diet and general health issues. Since these conditions vary during the day, it becomes very difficult to know just how much insulin to take in each treatment. Your doctor or healthcare provider should be able to help you monitor and manage your insulin treatments without serious complications.

If too little insulin is taken then there is risk for hyperglycemia to set in, which is too high a blood sugar level, causing a starvation in the body for energy. If too much insulin is taken, then blood sugar levels can suddenly drop severely low in a condition known as hypoglycaemia, which can become life-threatening. These high and low fluctuations in insulin levels can cause increased risk for long-term problems. Adults and even young children must learn how to manage and administer their insulin treatments safely to continue living healthy lives.