Diabetes: Type 1 Basics

Daily Health Solutions, Diabetes, Diabetes Type 1, Healthy Living
on January 26, 2012

Diabetes is a common condition that people must manage all their lives. Type 1 diabetes was once called juvenile diabetes, but it can happen at any age. This is a chronic condition that needs lifelong management. Get the diabetes type 1 basics and live a long and healthy life.

What causes type 1 diabetes? The exact mechanism that triggers the disorder is not known. There may be a genetic predisposition, a family history of type 1 diabetes and even how far you live from the equator. The Mayo Clinic reports that the closer you live to the equator, the less likely you are to develop type 1 diabetes. People living in Finland are two to three times more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than those that live in the United States. Compared to Venezuela, folks from Finland have 400 times more of a risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes. The signs of diabetes can be subtle and hardly noticeable or come on strong. Common symptoms are:

  • Extreme hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss that is unexplained
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision

Risk factors for type 1 diabetes. A link to certain risk factors in the development of the disease has been observed. Some of these possible risk factors include:

  • Some viruses may trigger type 1 diabetes. The Mayo Clinic states coxsackie virus, mumps, cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr may play a role in triggering the malfunctioning autoimmune response that infects and destroys islet cells.
  • It is thought that the timing of an infant’s first cereal intake adds a propensity for getting type 1 diabetes later in life.
  • Water with nitrates may be a risk factor in type 1 diabetes.
  • Drinking cow's milk may be a risk factor.
  • Low vitamin D levels may be protective against type 1 diabetes
  • Omega 3 fatty acids are also thought to be protective.
  • If your mother was younger than 25 or had preeclampsia when she was pregnant, you might have a propensity for developing type 1 diabetes.

Visit the doctor. If you suspect type 1 diabetes, you will need to get help from your doctor. Blood tests, fasting blood sugar tests and a random blood sugar test will be performed. If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, do not despair. The treatments available today are very effective.

Treatments for type 1 diabetes. You will need to take care of your blood sugar levels throughout your life. The more vigilant you are with treatments, the more effective they are likely to be. Some treatments include:

  • Monitoring blood sugar
  • Taking insulin
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a varied, healthy diet