Still not a verdict: type 1 diabetes

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Still not a verdict: type 1 diabetes

According to statistics, about 400 million people suffer from type 1 diabetes in the world. Moreover, this figure is increasing every year. It has not yet been possible to cure the disease at the moment, and therefore many perceive the diagnosis as a sentence. But in reality, everything is not so simple. There are methods for monitoring the progress of the disease, and therefore it is simply necessary to understand how the pathology stands out, how it is diagnosed and treated.

Types of diabetes mellitus and its differences

In general, diabetes mellitus is called an endocrine disease, which is provoked by an impaired metabolism, in particular, glucose. As a result of pathology, there is an absolute or relative deficiency of insulin, which is synthesized by the pancreas. If there is not enough insulin in the body, then the blood sugar level rises sharply. In addition to all of the above, the disease is manifested by metabolic disorders in several aspects: water-salt, fat, mineral, carbohydrate, protein balance. Diabetes mellitus is divided into two types.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus

It is also called juvenile or youthful. The reason lies in the fact that mostly children and adolescents are ill with it. But for some time now the disease began to “age”, manifesting itself in older people. The disease is of an autoimmune nature. Controlling it is quite difficult, and sometimes even impossible. This happens due to the destruction of beta cells by the immune system. It is these elements that are responsible for the production of insulin in the body. Accordingly, patients have to compensate for the lack of hormone with daily injections. In this case, insulin is produced in insufficient quantities, and therefore it must be compensated for with appropriate drugs and other types of treatment. Practice has shown that children get sick with this type of diabetes quite often. This is explained either by heredity or by external factors. In particular, the latter play even a much larger role, for example, lack of food culture, stress, lack of sleep. In infancy, artificial nutrition, lack of vitamin D and poor quality water play an important role. Diabetes mellitus of this type can manifest itself with diaper rash in boys and candidiasis in girls. In parallel, the risk of developing diabetic coma is increasing. Therefore, if the child smells of acetone, breathing becomes intermittent, hoarse, then a visit to a doctor should occur immediately.

The correct approach to therapy allows you to restrain the progress of pathology. Therefore, an early visit to a doctor and diagnosis help to stop the active phase of this type of diabetes.

Differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

This type of disease usually manifests itself in people after 40 years of age, although rare cases of the development of the disease in children have also been recorded in medical practice. In fact, in this case, the process is reversed: insulin is produced in sufficient volume, but it does not work as expected. That is, there is no insulin deficiency with this type of pathology, and therefore the condition is corrected with medication. Medications are commonly used to help lower blood glucose levels. If you follow a diet and moderate exercise, then the disease can be controlled. The second type of diabetes mellitus in general can be quite easily corrected with the help of lifestyle and diet without the use of medication. Therefore, it can be successfully treated with therapeutic methods. Moreover, many patients have a mild symptomatic picture, due to which many years can pass before this type of diabetes develops fully. Accordingly, if the second is compared with the first, significant discrepancies in the state can be found. That is, there are certain differences between them. If the first is characterized by a lack of insulin, then with the second it is quite enough. Accordingly, the first is treated with insulin, and the second with drugs that help lower glucose levels. This is very important, since the wrong effect on the body can lead to the rapid death of the patient.

The reasons

Returning to type 1 diabetes, you should pay attention first to the causes. After all, they affect the course of the course of the disease and are able to accelerate its progression. In general, the pathology has not yet been studied enough and the main reasons have not been identified. But it is reliably known that a weakened immune system plays an important role. Also, the following can affect the patient’s condition:

  • Heredity. If one of the parents is sick, then the risk of transmitting the pathology to the child is 5-10%; 
  • Eating disorder. A sedentary lifestyle and obesity are the factors that create the background for the onset of the disease; 
  • Infectious and viral pathologies. Diseases like rubella, measles, retroviruses can negatively affect the work of the pancreas; 
  • Dysfunction of the nervous system. Stress, nervousness, breakdowns help weaken the immune system, as well as affect the work of internal organs, including the pancreas; 
  • Environment. It has not yet been proven exactly whether the climate and environment affect the course of diabetes, but many scientists still agree that it significantly affects the immune system and internal organs, and therefore can become a risk factor. 

Accordingly, if diabetes has not yet developed, then it is worth eliminating these factors as far as possible. But even if there is a diagnosis in the patient’s history, it is worth taking care of strengthening the body and normalizing its work. Statistics show that diabetes mellitus can be inherited, but this is far from the determining factor. So, for example, if he walks along the mother’s line, then the probability of type 1 disease in a child is no more than 5%. If the disease goes exactly along the father’s line, then the chances increase to 10%. But two sick parents can increase the risks by up to 70%. But naturally, such coincidences are quite rare. Moreover, according to the same statistics, the first type is found in 17% of people, while the second – in the remaining 83%.


Diabetes mellitus has many symptoms that are often confused with other diseases. Moreover, from case to case, the disease can manifest itself in different ways. Symptoms can depend on a number of factors – from the patient’s emotional environment to age. If we talk about general manifestations, then these can be considered:

  • Intense thirst;
  • Drastic weight loss;
  • Vomiting and / or nausea;
  • Profuse, frequent urination;
  • Prostration;
  • Itching;
  • Cramps in the calf muscles;
  • Irritability;
  • The smell of acetone from the mouth.

The early stage of type 1 diabetes mellitus is most often manifested by intense thirst and frequent urination. This is explained by increased kidney function. Because of the increase in glucose levels, they have to work harder to remove excess glucose from the body. In this case, mainly fluid is taken from the cells. Due to dysfunction of the brain, severe drowsiness appears.

Confusion, fainting can also be signs of an approaching diabetic coma. In such cases, urgent hospitalization is required.

It is noteworthy that the weight goes away quickly enough, but at the same time the patients themselves often experience an overwhelming feeling of hunger. Signs similar to the clinical picture of influenza may also occur. The second type of pathology is characterized by the presence of obesity. That is, in fact, doctors say that patients bring themselves to such a state.


To diagnose type 1 diabetes mellitus, laboratory tests are performed. In particular, blood is taken and checked by one or two methods: Blood sugar test. The study is carried out on an empty stomach in the morning. The norm is considered to be 5.8 mmol / l, but at 7.0 mmol / l, they already talk about type 1 diabetes mellitus. Glucose test. The patient drinks sweetened water and, after a couple of hours, donates blood for analysis from a vein. With indicators of 11 mmol / l and above, doctors make an appropriate diagnosis. In the first case, when conducting a study, even with the first indicators exceeding the norm, repeated studies are usually prescribed. This will help establish an accurate diagnosis. Moreover, blood is taken at different times of the day.    

Defining the disease as a whole is not difficult. But the main problem is that it proceeds against the background of other pathologies of the chronic type. Therefore, they often find it in a neglected form.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is treated comprehensively. Only medication will not give the required results and will not stop the disease. Only a versatile effect will allow you to take control of the disease. Accordingly, you need to start by keeping a diary, where daily blood sugar values ​​are recorded. Accordingly, this will allow you to correctly calculate the dose of insulin. A doctor can explain how to do this. Over time, this becomes a habit in patients. This type of pathology develops due to the fact that the cells of the pancreas, which are responsible for the production of insulin, are destroyed. Accordingly, the level of the hormone falls. It is impossible to restore them, but it is quite possible to prevent or suspend destruction.

Blood glucose meters

Portable blood glucose meters are now available to help with home blood sugar self-monitoring. They are small devices where a strip with a drop of blood applied to it is inserted. Due to the biosensor of the glucose oxidase type, the required parameters are determined in a few seconds. The kit usually includes additional elements, such as a pen with a lancet for taking blood, test strips, scarifiers. Especially for people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus, the set also includes a pen-syringe with which insulin is injected. It is worth paying attention to the fact that various companies produce their own strips for glucometers and scarifiers, which can be combined with only one model of the device from this manufacturer. In pharmacies, you can usually find a fairly wide range of devices of this type. Also recently used are non-invasive agents that do not require a puncture of the finger and blood. They determine the glucose level through special sensors.

Insulin injections

The number of insulin injections per day will generally depend on the complexity of the particular case. In severe manifestations, two injections are prescribed per day, and in all others – one. It is usually done in the morning and before going to bed at night. At the very beginning, this may seem rather difficult, but at the moment there are already injections that replace insulin, which are administered quite painlessly. As a result, from the moment of getting used to it, patients can already give injections on their own. The drug can be administered using one of three devices:

  • Insulin syringes;
  • Syringes-pens;
  • Insulin pumps.

The first is the classic and cheapest option for introducing the composition. The latter already allow injections to be carried out much faster and more conveniently. But the latter allow for the introduction of insulin subcutaneously. Moreover, they not only inject the substance, but also measure blood sugar subcutaneously, and then automatically calculate the dosage. That is, in the context of ease of use, it is the most convenient and practical. After installation, a person does not need to remember about drug therapy – all that remains is to follow a diet.

The introduction of insulin is relevant only with the correct calculation of the dosage, taking into account nutrition. That is, you must also use a blood glucose meter . Otherwise, an incorrectly selected volume of the drug can lead to serious consequences.

Diet therapy

Diet therapy is the mainstay of type 1 diabetes mellitus treatment. It often provides a long period of remission in patients. Therefore, when establishing this diagnosis, it is not recommended to consume:

  • Products from 1 grade of flour, baked goods and bakery products;
  • Potatoes;
  • Sweets like sugar, candy, chocolate
  • Sauerkraut;
  • Spicy, fatty foods;
  • Fried foods;
  • Smoked products;
  • Raisins and grapes.

These products and foods can trigger a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. It is better to include in the diet those foods and dishes that will help reduce its volume in the blood:

  • Eggs;
  • Bran bread;
  • Cereals;
  • Dried fruits, fruits with low glucose;
  • Lean fish, meat;
  • Skim cheese.

Cereals can be cooked either in low-fat milk or in water. In general, there are special diets that already involve a scheduled diet based on fractional nutrition. But nevertheless, it is better to visit a nutritionist who will help create a unique system that will take into account all the pathologies the patient has in history. It is unacceptable to completely exclude carbohydrates from the diet. There is a daily amount of required elements for a diabetic, according to which dietitians and endocrinologists are usually guided.

Modern supermarkets have entire departments that contain products exclusively for diabetics. So it is possible to diversify the menu without harming health.


In parallel with the diet, the patient must also drink multivitamins, which compensate for the deficiency of a number of substances required by the body. These include:

  • Tocopherol, which restores kidney function (vitamin E);
  • Ascorbic acid strengthens the immune system and blood vessels (vitamin C);
  • Retinol improves vision, helps cells in the process of their growth and belongs to antioxidant substances (vitamin A);
  • Biotin lowers blood sugar levels, compensates for the body’s energy reserves (vitamin H);
  • Group B has a positive effect on the nervous system;
  • Lipoic acid helps to normalize the body’s metabolism.

Ideally, most of the vitamins should come from the diet, but vitamin preparations should not be excluded from therapy. You need to focus on the recommendations of doctors.

You can also use herbal collections that will help normalize blood sugar levels, but only after consulting a doctor, so as not to provoke complications from taking drugs with the same properties.


Doctors say that diabetes itself is not as bad as its complications and consequences. When carrying out insulin therapy and diet therapy, remission of pathology often occurs. Accordingly, the need for insulin decreases. This period also has a very peculiar name – “honeymoon”. It can last for months, and sometimes years. But it is worth understanding that the disease has not been completely stopped, and therefore the destruction of various body systems continues. As a result, either a diabetic coma or ketoacidosis develops . Both conditions are life-threatening. Therefore, if you smell acetone, confusion or loss of consciousness, you need to take the patient to the hospital, or go to an ambulance. Another complication of type 1 diabetes mellitus is renal failure. It develops due to the heavy load on the kidneys. Moreover, in parallel to the kidneys, the cardiovascular system also begins to suffer due to high blood pressure. As a result, frequent complications of diabetes are heart attack, stroke, blindness. Moreover, in case of refusal from inpatient treatment, death occurs very quickly.

The misuse of antidiabetic drugs can also cause serious complications.


Preventive measures are the only true alternative to treatment. In particular, it is much easier to prevent disease than to administer therapy. And it is completely impossible to recover from type 1 diabetes. It is important to understand that even when the following factors are taken into account, the disease can still develop, but the measures taken help to reduce the likelihood of risks:

  • Feeding the child with breast milk, since it is the “artificial” more than others in the infant group that have every chance of developing this type of diabetes;
  • Prevention of infectious, viral diseases by strengthening immunity;
  • Monitoring of weight, nutrition, adequate correction of the diet;
  • Normalization of the daily routine;
  • Measuring blood sugar using a glucometer ;
  • Rejection of bad habits;
  • Commitment to sports and physical education.

But even if the child is sick, then you need to teach him to live correctly with such a diagnosis. At the same time, it is important to clearly describe how to behave, what you can and cannot eat and drink. The parent must control the course of the disease to prevent complications from developing. The above points are also not avoided by an adult. Accordingly, it is much easier to prevent the development of the disease than to control it later. You should not rely on medicine in this matter, since the results will directly depend on the patient’s actions. A negligent attitude towards one’s own health can affect, significantly reducing the life span of the patient. Therefore, the correction of all aspects of life will extend its duration. Thanks to this, it is possible to keep diabetes under control and significantly delay the progress of the disease.


Even though attempts to cure diabetes mellitus have not yet been crowned with success, treatment can be carried out without problems with the right approach. Gradually, various methods of influence appear, including therapy with stem cells, pancreatic cells. It is hoped that in the future, therapy for type 1 diabetes will be as simple as for normal angina. But until then, you need to strictly adhere to a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition and conduct drug therapy. Moreover, the doctor will write down exactly how you can improve your condition and bring the disease into remission. In particular, you will need to learn how to inject yourself, monitor your diet, determine and record blood glucose levels. Remember that type 1 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, not a death sentence.

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