Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Options And All About It

The human body is a complicated invention of the Creator. It runs as a machine made from thousands of delicate parts, each of which performs one or more specific functions. A machine, once any of the parts gets broken there are plenty of spares that are available for fixing. However, things are not easy like that when we talk about the human body. Many diseases, syndromes or illness people have to suffer from the everyday result from the malfunction of humans’ parts. Act as a shield to protect the body from strange invaders, the immune system, in fact, is a source of many health problems. One of the most common issues that receive many concerns is type 1 diabetes. According to study, only 5% of Americans getting trouble with this diabetes. Although it is a rare condition, its risk and complications still put scientists and doctors under pressure to find out type 1 diabetes treatment. Moreover, based on a study published in June, 2009, the number of type 1 diabetes cases in Europe children who are younger than 15 has a tendency to increase by 70% in the period between 2005 and 2020 [1] .  So, what is exactly type 1 diabetes and how risk is it to our life? As an attempt to help you get to know more about this dangerous condition, VKool.com would like to provide useful information about type 1 diabetes in details.

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Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Options And All About It

I. Type 1 Diabetes Definition

Type 1 diabetes, or also known as juvenile diabetes is a condition happening when the immune system [2] abolishes cells existing in human pancreas. Theses beta cells are responsible for producing insulin, a hormone needed to support glucose in entering the tissues and producing energy. In the body machine, insulin is the fuel that allows the operation. When the pancreas cannot produce an enough amount of insulin, the chronic condition named type 1 diabetes will happen. While for the type 1 diabetes, immune system only destroys the beta cells and blocks the insulin producing, the type 2 diabetes is a little bit different.  Instead of being attacked by the immune system, they are harmed by something else, such as a disease or damage in your pancreas, which makes the body resistant to insulin.

Most cases of type 1 diabetes are recorded during childhood or adolescence; however, sometimes adults can also be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at any age. In spite of the effort of scientists and doctors, the type 1 diabetes still has no cure. However, the proper type 1 diabetes treatment can help to manage to condition, allowing people with this problem to live a longer and healthier life than those in the past.

Learn more: Ways to Prevent Diabetes

II. Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

The good news for anyone is worry about getting type 1 diabetes is that it will not take a long time to tell whether you have type 1 diabetes or not. The symptoms and signs of type 1 diabetes are very clear and easy to be recognized. These symptoms include increased thirst, extreme hunger, frequent urination, unintended weight loss, irritability or other mood changes, blurred vision. In females, a significant sign that can be observed is a vaginal yeast infection. In children, the sudden bedwetting can be a warning of type 1 diabetes problem.

The followings are the most common symptoms that have been observed:

  • Dehydration

It may sound strange but when your blood sugar level is high, you will pee more as a way of the body to get rid of the extra amount of sugar. When the symptom happens more frequent, your body will dry out as the result of losing a large amount of water.

  • Weight Loss

You may know that water is not the only thing getting out of your body when you pee. Calories do it, too. The glucose going out of your body also brings a number amount of calories with it. Therefore, weight loss often happens to people with type 1 diabetes because they have a high level of sugar in the blood. Dehydration can be also a reason that should be counted on. It is funny that for many female patients who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, this symptom actually brings them a little pleasure.

See more: Weight Loss Soup Recipes

  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

When your body has the low level of blood sugar level, the liver will work out to produce the compensative amount. Without out the insulin, this amount of glucose cannot be used, therefore it builds up in the blood. Meanwhile, the lack of glucose will break down the fat cells, which creates chemicals called ketones. This extra glucose, acid buildup, and dehydration are mixed into a combination known as “ketoacidosis”. This ketoacidosis is proved to be very dangerous and life-threatening if the patients are not treated right away with type 1 diabetes treatment.

Learn more: How To Reduce Lactic Acid

III. Type 1 Diabetes Causes

type 1 diabetes treatment - type 1 diabetes causes

Before learning about type 1 diabetes treatment, it is necessary to know why this condition appears in our life. As mentioned before, for most of the type 1 diabetes cases, the reason is the mistakenly destroying the beta cells of immune system, which is supposed to fight against the bad or harmful viruses and bacteria to protect our body. When the cells are damaged, their performance is worse, leading to the lack of insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that can affect the body on a large scale. It is produced by the pancreas, a grand lying near the stomach. The lack of insulin can lead to many troubles. When the pancreas emits the insulin, this hormone will be transferred into bloodstream. It allows sugar to enter the cells during its circulation. This process will keep the sugar amount in the bloodstream low and drop the level of blood sugar. Without insulin, the amount of sugar is out of control and problems with type 1 diabetes will be born. This sugar level is also the key to type 1 diabetes treatment, which will be revealed later in the article.

There is also a question about the effect of sugar or glucose on our body. We all love candy and sweet stuff. Without sugar, the world’s miracle for children will no longer exist. This magic glucose comes from the food we digest every day and from our liver. It is brought to calls with the help of insulin. If the amount of sugar from the food is too low, the liver will produce more to make up for the lack. If the level of glucose is not stable, type 1 diabetes will be more likely to happen.

Learn more: Drinks for Diabetics

IV. Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factors

There is a common question people often ask their doctors whenever they get diagnosed with any condition or diseases. This is “Why me?” Why there are some people have to suffer from type 1 diabetes while the others don’t? There are actually some risk factors that make a person more vulnerable to type 1 diabetes than the rest of the world.

  • Age

The first risk is age. Even though it is proved that type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, there are some periods of time that are noticeable. The first time happens often happen in children aged from 4 to 7 years old and the second peak appears in children from 10 to 14 years old.

  • Family History

If there is one person in your family, such as your parent or even siblings, getting type 1 diabetes, you will bear a higher risk of getting that condition than those people who have no type 1 diabetes record in their family history.

See more: Fruits For Diabetics

  • Genetics

It is proved that there are a certain number of genes that are more susceptible than other genes. This factor is somehow out of our control so the only thing you can do is to wish yourself a good luck.

  • Geography

If you come from the equator, you should be concern about type 1 diabetes. People who live in Finland and Sardinia bear the highest risk of type 1 diabetes. This rate is about three times higher than the number in the United States. It is also recorded to be 400 times the frequency among people who live in Venezuela.

Some other risk factors have been investigated to support for type 1 diabetes treatment but they are not proved. These risks include the exposure to certain viruses (for example the Epstein-Barr virus, mumps virus, Coxsackie virus, and cytomegalovirus), drinking nitrates water, low vitamin D levels, early disclosure to cow's milk or even being born with jaundice. The relationship between the Dietary vitamin D supplementation and the type 1 diabetes has been recognized in a research by Dr. Elina Hyppönen in 2001 when he showed children who took vitamin D regular had lower the risk of diabetes than those who did not use vitamin D [3] .

Learn more: Home Remedies for Diabetes

V. Complications

type 1 diabetes treatment - complications

Even only 5% of people have to suffer from type 1 diabetes, a humble number in comparison to other conditions and diseases; it still receives a lot of attention from scientists due to its dangerous complications, which is a true hindrance for type 1 diabetes treatment.

Causing from the improper performance of the immune system, type 1 diabetes can badly affect many major organs such as heart, nerves, blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys. The severe is various, sometimes disabling or life – threatening can also happen. Maintaining the level of blood sugar close to the normal is considered as the effective type 1 diabetes treatment for most of the conditions because it can reduce the risk of many serious complications that results from type 1 diabetes. These complications include:

  • Blood And Heart Vessel Disease

Once you get type 1 diabetes, the risk of you getting various cardiovascular diseases [4] will increase as a consequence. These cardiovascular problems include coronary artery disease with a heart attack, chest pain (angina), stroke, high blood pressure and even narrowing of the arteries (also known as atherosclerosis).

Learn more: Blue heron guide to beat diabetes

  • Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)

One complication that is very common for people with type 1 diabetes is the irritating in toe or finger. It is because the extreme level of sugar damages the walls of blood vessels. These blood vessels are supposed to nourish the nerves in many parts of the body, especially in the legs. The symptoms of nerve damage that people may experience are numbness, tingling or pain and burning on the tips of fingers or toe. The pain will spread upward and finally end up with the loose of sense feeling if the type 1 diabetes treatment is not applied in time. Sometimes, when the nerves affecting gastrointestinal tract get damaged, problems with nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation can appear.

Learn more: Herbs for Diabetes

  • Eye Damage

It will be a mistake to underestimate the risk of type 1 diabetes because it can lead to blindness. This problem is the consequence of retinal blood vessels (diabetic retinopathy) damage. When the type 1 diabetes treatment is not effective or in time, type 1 diabetes can increase the risk of many serious vision conditions, for example, cataracts and glaucoma.

  • Kidney Damage (Nephropathy)

Because the kidneys comprise millions of small blood vessel clusters which filters waste from your blood, type 1 diabetes can cause many kidney- related problems when this diabetes hurts the delicate filtering system. If the damage is severe, the performance of kidney will decrease, making a failure. The situation can get worse and lead to irreversible end-stage kidney disease. At that time, a kidney transplant or dialysis are required as type 1 diabetes treatment.

  • Pregnancy Complications

Type 1 diabetes can be very dangerous for pregnant women due to its serious complications. When the blood sugar level is high, both the mother and baby are at risk. The frequency of birth defects, stillbirth and miscarriage will go up if diabetes isn't well-controlled with proper type 1 diabetes treatment. Moreover, the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy, diabetic ketoacidosis, preeclampsia and diabetic eye problems (retinopathy) is also high for the mothers if they get type 1 diabetes during the time having a baby.

Learn more: Honey for Diabetes

  • Foot Damage

It is a surprise to some people that type 1 diabetes can also lead to foot damage. When the nerves in the feet are damaged or poor blood flow happens, many foot complications will occur. The condition will get more serious if people try to ignore or left the situation untreated. Serious infections will result from cuts and blisters, leading to the requirement of the toe, foot or leg amputation due to its poor health.

  • Skin And Mouth Conditions

One of the rare complications people with type 1 diabetes may suffer from is the skin sensitive. This problem may irritate and cause uncomfortable feeling for people in daily life.

Learn more: Common Problems Skin Treatments

VI. Type 1 Diabetes Treatments

No matter which diabetes treatment you prefer, all of them are supposed to achieve one goal. It is keeping the blood sugar level stable and as close to the normal level as possible. Once the amount of glucose in your blood is enough, things will get better. The ideal number is between 70 and 130 mg/dL or from 3.9 to 7.2 mmol/L. One thing to remember when you first get diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is that type 1 diabetes treatment can be overwhelming. Take steps gradually and work with the diabetes treatment team so that they can support you in this fight.

There are a number of type 1 diabetes treatments suggested by doctors; however, all of them can be divided into four main methods: Taking insulin, frequent blood sugar monitoring, eating healthy food and exercising.

Learn more: How to Treat Gestational Diabetes

1. Taking Insulin

It is so obvious that taking insulin as type 1 diabetes treatment will be the first thing you should concern if your whole body’s problem is about insulin inefficiency. A study conducted by Jay S. Skyler suggested that a small dose of insulin can indeed help to decrease the type 1 diabetes situation in examined children [5] . When your body does not produce enough amount of this chemical, it can be transferred into your blood by medical treatment. Anybody who has trouble with type 1 diabetes will need lifelong insulin therapy. Even, there is a period after diagnosis, in which the level of blood sugar is in the control without insulin, this phase will not last long. Therefore, let see how to convert insulin into your body.

Read more: Master Your Diabetes

1.1. Types Of Insulin

Insulin can be categorized into Rapid-acting insulin, Long-acting insulin, and Intermediate options. There are some examples such as regular insulin (Novolin 70/30, Humulin 70/30, and others), insulin isophane (Novolin N, Humulin N), insulin lispro (Humalog), insulin glulisine (Apidra), and insulin aspart (Novolog). Some long-acting insulins that should be listed out are detemir (Levemir) and glargine (Lantus).

Learn more: Diabetic Friendly Recipes

1.2. Insulin Administration

type 1 diabetes treatment - insulin administration

For people with low blood sugar level, insulin is advised not to be taken orally due to the interaction of stomach enzymes to insulin. Therefore, two available options have been recommended: Injections or using an insulin pump.

Learn more: Reverse Diabetes Now

  • Injections

You will be given an insulin pen, a fine needle to inject insulin into your body. Sometimes, a syringe can also be an option to choose. A diabetes care team can help you with your first insulin injection. Then, when you know how to do it, you can practice on your own at home. You will also be shown how to store the insulin and dispose of the needles in a proper way. Normally, it is required that taking insulin should be practiced from two to four times a day.

  • An Insulin Pump

Using an insulin pump is one of the suggested type 1 diabetes treatment and a good alternative to injecting insulin. It is a device that is as small as a cellphone and holds insulin. There is a long piece of tubing used to connect the pump with your skin. Insulin will be transferred through this tubing and it will be inserted under the skin, with a needle at the end of the tubing. One advantage of this type 1 diabetes treatment method is that you can control the rate of insulin pumped into your blood stream. It means that you no longer have to inject insulin but still know how to keep your blood sugar level at an acceptable number. Normally, people choose to put the needle into the stomach, but the decision is up on you. You can offer to insert it into your thighs, hips, arms or even buttocks. This type 1 diabetes treatment method is suitable for children (with adult supervision), teenagers or adults who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

2. Blood Sugar Monitoring

No matter which method you choose, blood sugar monitoring is definitely the type 1 diabetes treatment you need to carry on. This method is advised to be taken together with other treatment solutions. All people with type 1 diabetes will be required to check their blood glucose with the diabetes care team. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has done a study that showed the tight control over blood sugar in patients who are 25 or above can reduce the risk of biochemical hypoglycemia events [6]. They will help you to take a record of your blood sugar level with the frequency of two to six months a year. There is a test that you should care about if you get type 1 diabetes. It is the HbA1c test. HbA1c is known as a form of hemoglobin. This chemical is supposed to carry oxygen into red blood cells, which has glucose enclosed to it. This HbA1c test is applied to measure blood sugar levels over the last two to three months. If you get a high result for the test, it means that your blood glucose has been gradually high over the recent weeks and you should think about changing your type 1 diabetes treatment. Your target for the test after any kind of type 1 diabetes treatment is less than 59mmol/mol (7.5%). However, for some people, the ideal number can be lower, about 48mmol/mol (6.5%).

Not only asking the diabetes care team to check your blood sugar every 2-6 months, you also have to keep an eye on it at home. The blood sugar level is affected by many factors such as illness and stress even when you follow a healthy diet, take tablets, and use insulin therapy as well as exercise. Some unhealthy habit like drinking alcohol or taking medicines can also change your level. Therefore, the blood glucose regular check will ensure your condition is fine and the type 1 diabetes treatment is as effective as expected. If you find out that the blood glucose fluctuates, monitor it several times per day to keep track of your situation.

Learn more: Cure Diabetes Naturally

3. Eating Healthy Foods

One of the easiest type 1 diabetes treatment methods is eating healthy food. It is a natural solution that you can apply without inserting anything into your body. In contrast to the common perception, there is not a diabetes diet. However, you still have to put your diet under the control with nutritious, high-fiber, and low-fat food. For example, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables are perfect for your daily meals. The refined carbohydrates (for example white bread and sweets) and animal products are recommended to be consumed less while the healthy eating plan is suggested to be the first choice for all people, not only the one with diabetes.

It is also important for you to learn how to measure a number of carbohydrates that you get from eating food to make sure you give yourself enough insulin. If you cannot learn it on your own, ask for help from a registered dietitian, who can help you set up a meal plan that is suitable for your health goals, lifestyle, and food preferences.

Learn more: Foods For Diabetics

4. Exercising Regularly

Actually, exercise is not only one of the type 1 diabetes treatment methods for people with type 1 diabetes, it is also a habit with high recommend for everyone. This practice can improve your health condition and shape your body. For people who have type 1 diabetes, they have to ask the doctor’s opinion first. Then, choose any activities that you prefer, from swimming, walking or biking and make it one part of your daily habit. Those physical activities can lower blood sugar, which is helpful for your condition. The practice time is at least 30 minutes every day for adults and shorter for children. Strength and flexibility training exercises are also important.

Learn more: Smoothies for Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is not a common condition that threatens the life of all human beings. However, for those who get this diabetes, it can be a true nightmare. Many severe complications can appear as consequences of the insulin inefficiency. Proper type 1 diabetes treatment need applying in time to reduce the risk the condition brings to our life. The intensive diabetes therapy was proved to reduce up to 42 % of cardiovascular event risk and reduce severe clinical events such as stroke or death, based on a study published in 2005 by a group of scientists [7]. It is a tough fight against this dangerous diabetes but you are not alone. Ask for the help from your family, your friends and also the diabetes care team to support you in this long, hard road. Things will be fine if you can diagnose the condition early and receive the right type 1 diabetes treatment. If you have any more idea, please share with us. For more information, please visit the page Health

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