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How Is Type 1 Diabetes Caused

Overweight Obesity And Physical Inactivity

How Does Type 1 Diabetes Work?

You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index charts.

What Is Type 1 Diabetes

People of all ages can develop type 1 diabetes.

If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make insulin or makes very little insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps blood sugar enter the cells in your body where it can be used for energy. Without insulin, blood sugar cant get into cells and builds up in the bloodstream. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and causes many of the symptoms and complications of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults, but it can develop at any age.

Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2approximately 5-10% of people with diabetes have type 1. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes, but it can be managed by following your doctors recommendations for living a healthy lifestyle, managing your blood sugar, getting regular health checkups, and getting diabetes self-management education and support.

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Type 2 diabetes treatment is all about the four-step management process.

  • Healthy eating: Though there is no specific diet for people with type 2 diabetes, healthy eating by consuming fewer calories, cutting down on carbohydrates and sugars, and adding in more fibres and fresh veggies and fruits can help manage diabetes. Dieting can also help reduce weight.
  • Exercising regularly: Irrespective of being diabetic or not, exercise must be a part of your daily routine. And if you have diabetes, daily physical activity of 30 to 40 minutes is a must.
  • Insulin therapy: People with diabetes should not miss their regular medications or insulin injectables. Medications and injections must be taken as per the prescribed dosage and on time.
  • Regular blood sugar monitoring: When you are on insulin, you will need to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and sometimes more often especially when the glucose levels fluctuate.
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    How Is Type 2 Diabetes Managed

    Theres no cure for Type 2 diabetes. But you can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication if needed. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your:

    • Blood sugar: A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring can help you meet your blood sugar target. Your healthcare provider may also recommend regular A1c tests, oral medications , insulin therapy or injectable non-insulin diabetes medications.
    • Blood pressure: Lower your blood pressure by not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood pressure medication such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.
    • Cholesterol: Follow a meal plan low in saturated fats, trans fat, salt and sugar. Your healthcare provider may recommend statins, which are a type of drug to lower cholesterol.

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    Rick Factors: Who Is Affected


    Only about 5% to 10% of diagnosed diabetes cases are type 1. The disease is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can technically strike at any age. Scientists do not know yet exactly what causes type 1 diabetes but suspect the disease involves a combination of genetic, environmental, and autoimmune factors.

    An overweight person who does not exercise, is over 30, and/or has close relatives who have type 2 diabetes, runs a very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Higher-risk ethnic groups include African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Asians, and those with Pacific Islander American heritage.

    People are more likely to get diabetes if they smoke, have high blood pressure or cholesterol, or, in women, if they had gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds. A free diabetes risk test is provided by and only takes a few minutes to complete.

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    There Are Two Main Types Of Diabetes:

    • Type 1 diabetes is an incurable, autoimmune disease, not a lifestyle disease. T1D accounts for roughly 10% of the more than 420 million global cases of diabetes, and people with Type 1 are insulin-dependent for life.
    • Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot properly use insulin, also known as insulin-resistance, and can often be treated through diet, exercise and medication.

    Learn about Type 2 diabetes here and other forms of diabetes here.

    Types Of Blood Tests Used To Diagnose Diabetes

    • Random blood glucose level: This blood test for the level of glucose in your blood can diagnose diabetes, but the result depends on what food you have eaten before the test.
    • HbA1c: This blood test measures the amount of glucose that has accumulated in your blood over a 3-month period. A high HbA1c result confirms the diagnosis of diabetes.
    • Fasting blood glucose: This is a measure of how much glucose is in your blood when you have not eaten anything for the past 810 hours.

    7.0 mmol/l

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    What’s The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

    The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is simple. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which your bodys immune system mistakenly targets insulin-producing beta cells for destruction.

    The process of autoimmunity begins with molecular mimicry, a sneaky tactic used by various bacteria and viruses in which pathogenic proteins attempt to evade detection by the human immune system by disguising themselves as mammalian proteins.

    In both young children and adults, microscopic holes in the gut lining allow pathogenic proteins to pass directly from your digestive system into your blood before they have been sufficiently broken down by digestive enzymes.

    Once these pathogenic proteins are present in your blood, your immune system recognizes them as foreign proteins and mounts an immune response that targets them for destruction.

    But because these pathogenic proteins contain specific regions that mimic proteins found in your body, your immune system can mistakenly target proteins on human cells in tissues all over your body for destruction, setting the stage for an autoimmune reaction.

    Think of type 1 diabetes as a form of biological friendly fire in which your immune system is hijacked by a pathogenic protein that tricks it into destroying critical human cells containing proteins with a similar structure on the surface of insulin-producing beta cells.

    Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is not an autoimmune condition.

    Eating A Healthy Balanced Diet

    Type 1 diabetes (autoimmune diabetes) | cause and consequences

    What you eat can make a difference to how you feel and how you manage your condition. Thats why weve got a huge range of tasty and nutritious recipes ready for you to try.

    Whether youre cooking up a feast for dinner, or looking for something lighter for lunch, weve got you covered. Simply search by ingredient, meal type or dietary requirement and enjoy eating with diabetes.

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    How Is Type 1 Diabetes Managed

    Although there is currently no cure, type 1 diabetes can be managed with insulin and by having a healthy lifestyle.

    If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need insulin replacement, through injections or an insulin pump, to control your blood glucose levels.

    Having a healthy diet and being physically active can also help control your blood glucose levels and improve your health.

    How Is Diabetes Diagnosed

    In most cases the diagnosis of diabetes is simple. A blood test is used to diagnose diabetes. Sometimes your doctor may do a urine test to look for sugar or ketones in your urine. This is a simple test and the results are available immediately but a urine test is not accurate enough to be used to diagnose or rule out diabetes all the time.

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    Which Diets Are Recommended For Diabetes

    Nutritional management is an important part of life for people with diabetes.

    If you have type 1 diabetes, work with your doctor to identify how much insulin you may need to inject after eating certain types of food.

    For example, carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to quickly increase in people with type 1 diabetes. Youll need to counteract this by taking insulin, but youll need to know how much insulin to take. Learn more about type 1 diabetes and diet.

    People with type 2 diabetes need to focus on healthy eating. Weight loss is often a part of type 2 diabetes treatment plans, so your doctor may recommend a low-calorie meal plan. This could mean reducing your consumption of animal fats and junk food.

    Southern Cross Medical Library

    Type 1 diabetes. Causes, symptoms, treatment Type 1 diabetes

    The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.

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    Manage Type 1 Diabetes

    Apart from insulin and metformin, there are several different medications and treatment options available on the market, but these two are one of the most researched and popular treatment options.

    Even though we should have discussed the management of diabetes in the first place, we like to discuss it at the end so that you can understand it better.

    One of the best treatments for type one diabetes is the management of the same. Usually, people try to manage their diabetes and lower the reliability of different medications, including insulin.

    First of all, you have to change your diet. You should not let your blood cholesterol levels increase. Always try to maintain your blood cholesterol levels.

    You can start your diet by following a Mediterranean diet plan. This diet plan is loaded with different vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and healthy fats. At the same time, it also cuts every sugary item, including raw sugar, candy, cakes, soda, ice cream, etc.

    Apart from the diet, you should also start exercising. Usually, doctors recommend person affected with type one diabetes exercise at least 30 minutes a day. You can choose any mode of exercise such as walking, running, swimming, etc.

    Viruses Use Insulin Sacs Like A Trojan Horse

    The researchers think that a virus may be hopping a ride in these insulin sacs into the beta cells. Then the virus replicates inside the beta cells. The bodys immune system attacks the virus by attacking the beta cells of the pancreas.

    Is type 1 diabetes caused by a virus? This study points to yes, and provides a new view on how type 1 could develop.

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    How Should I Manage Sick Days

    People with diabetes need to monitor their health especially carefully if they get sick. Illnesses as common as a cold or the flu can be dangerous if they interfere with your food intake, insulin delivery, and blood sugar levels. Make a sick day plan with your healthcare provider so you know how often to check your blood sugar and what medications to take.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Type 1 diabetes is a disease that prevents your pancreas from making enough insulin. It causes glucose to build up in your blood. High blood glucose levels can lead to serious health problems, including nerve damage, heart disease or stroke. People with Type 1 diabetes need to monitor their blood glucose levels closely and take insulin regularly.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/07/2021.


    Complications Of Untreated Type 1 Diabetes

    What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?
    • kidney damage
    • increased likelihood of infections such as thrush and also more serious infections
    • damage to the eyes
    • poor blood circulation in the legs and feet, potentially leading to lower limb amputation
    • damage to the nerves of the feet
    • much higher risk of heart disease and stroke
    • sexual impotence.

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    Is Diabetes Treatment Different Too

    A good diabetes diet and regular exercise matters for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, Knapp explains. The big difference is that everybody with type 1 diabetes needs to take insulin, she says. People with type 1 diabetes need to check their blood sugar level with a device called a glucometer about four times a day to know how much insulin to take.

    Treatment for type 2 diabetes also starts with diet and exercise, and oral medication can also be used to increase the amount of insulin the pancreas makes, Knapp says. Over time, if the pancreas stops making insulin, some people with type 2 will also need insulin. People with type 2 diabetes also need to check their blood sugar, from one to several times a day, depending on their state of health.

    Are There Other Ways To Manage Type 1 Diabetes

    People with Type 1 diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar closely. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar range is the best way to avoid health complications. You can monitor your blood sugar in the following ways:

    • Blood glucose meter: You prick your finger and put a small drop of blood on the meters test strip. Your blood glucose level appears on the meter. A blood glucose meter is usually the least expensive home testing option, but it only reports your blood sugar at the time of the check.
    • Continuous glucose monitoring : There are different types of CGMs. Most CGMs require you to insert a small sensor under your skin at home every seven to 14 days. Some CGMs are implanted by a healthcare provider. The sensor continuously records your blood glucose levels. People using a CGM require fewer finger sticks. CGM systems can be more expensive than fingerstick blood glucose meters, but they provide much more information about your glucose levels, including where they have been and where they are going.

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    In The General Population

    A study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimates that 42.5% of adults aged 20 and over in the US have obesity, including 9.0% with severe obesity, and another 31.1% are overweight1.

    Children are also affected. According to an international report published in 2013, in kids aged 11 years, the highest percentage of overweight cases were found in Greece , Portugal , Ireland , and Spain the countries with the lowest percentages were the Netherlands and Switzerland 2.

    The NHANES1 study shows that:

    • About 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are overweight.
    • Almost 1 in 5 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 have obesity.
    • About 1 in 16 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 have severe obesity.

    Is Type 1 Diabetes Reversible

    Latest Treatments for Type 1 Diabetes

    The idea that type 1 diabetes can be reversed is misleading. Though much research is being done on type 1 diabetes, at the moment type 1 diabetes has no known cure.

    However, type 1 diabetes can be effectively managed, so that the risk of developing long-term complications is minimized.

    Currently, the most effective way to manage the underlying causes and risks of type 1 diabetes are through a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet as described below.

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    How Are The Signs And Symptoms Similar

    There isnt a difference between the symptoms of either disease. The classic symptoms are the same for both diabetes type 1 and type 2:

    For both type 1 and type 2, early symptoms of untreated diabetes arise due to elevated blood sugar levels and the presence of glucose in the urine. High amounts of glucose in the urine can cause increased urine output and dehydration. Dehydration, in turn, causes increased thirst.

    A lack of insulin or an inability of insulin to work properly affects protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Insulin normally encourages the storage of fat and protein, so when there is inadequate insulin or poorly functioning insulin, this eventually leads to weight loss despite an increase in appetite.

    Some untreated diabetes patients also experience generalized symptoms like fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. People with diabetes are also at risk for infections of the bladder, skin, and vaginal areas. Changes in blood glucose levels can lead to blurred vision. When blood sugar levels are extremely high, lethargy and coma can result.

    Can Symptoms Appear Suddenly

    In people with type 1 diabetes, the onset of symptoms can be very sudden, while in type 2 diabetes, they tend to come about more gradually, and sometimes there are no signs at all.

    Symptoms sometimes occur after a viral illness. In some cases, a person may reach the point of diabetic ketoacidosis before a type 1 diagnosis is made. DKA occurs when blood glucose is dangerously high and the body can’t get nutrients into the cells because of the absence of insulin. The body then breaks down muscle and fat for energy, causing an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine. Symptoms of DKA include a fruity odor on the breath, heavy, taxed breathing and vomiting. If left untreated, DKA can result in stupor, unconsciousness, and even death.

    People who have symptomsof type 1 or of DKAshould contact their health care provider immediately for an accurate diagnosis. Keep in mind that these symptoms could signal other problems, too.

    Some people with type 1 have a “honeymoon” period, a brief remission of symptoms while the pancreas is still secreting some insulin. The honeymoon phase usually occurs after someone has started taking insulin. A honeymoon can last as little as a week or even up to a year. But its important to know that the absence of symptoms doesn’t mean the diabetes is gone. The pancreas will eventually be unable to secrete insulin, and, if untreated, the symptoms will return.

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