Know about Diabetes

If you think diabetes is a single entity or disease, you are mistaken, because diabetes or diabetes mellitus is actually a group of metabolic disorders which all have a common symptom, i.e. hyperglycemia (high blood sugar level). There are at present four types of diabetes that are recognized, namely Type-I diabetes, Type-II diabetes, Gestational diabetes (diabetes occurring or diagnosed at the time of pregnancy) and ‘Other specific types of diabetes’. All the above four types of diabetes occurs due to complex interaction between genetical and environmental factors.

Out of the four types of diabetes mentioned above, the most common is type-II diabetes and the next common and important is type-I diabetes. The other two types are comparatively less common. Type-1 diabetes is due to complete or near complete lack of insulin due to destruction of insulin producing cells and type-2 is due to relative deficiency of insulin or due to insulin resistance.

Diabetes causes a huge burden to the health care system, economy as well as to the individual who is suffering from diabetes. Diabetes causes several common complications, many of which are serious and life threatening. Diabetes is one of the common predisposing factors for cardiovascular diseases. Diabetes directly and by causing complications, cause great burden to not only individual but to the health care system of a nation.

Know about Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is also known as IDDM or Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, as insulin must be taken by the patients suffering from type 1 diabetes, as they can not secrete insulin due to destruction (autoimmune destruction) of insulin secreting beta cells of pancreas. Formerly, type 1 diabetes was known as juvenile diabetes, because, type 1 diabetes occurs at young age group.

What are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes?

Due to lack or absence of insulin, glucose concentration in blood increase and also there is excretion of glucose in urine. Increase of blood glucose and excretion of glucose in urine gives rise to classical symptoms of diabetes, polyuria (frequency of urination due to increase production of urine), polydipsia (increase thirst) and polyphagia (increase hunger). Despite increase in hunger, patients of type 1 diabetes suffer from weight loss and fatigue, which are also in important symptoms of diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes mellitus.

There is no cure for diabetes (all types of diabetes including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and other forms of diabetes). But there are several organizations and research foundations which are trying to find type 1 diabetes cure.

Treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus:

Type 1 diabetes mellitus may be fatal, unless treated appropriately with insulin. Injection form is the most commonly used form of insulin, although there are other forms such as inhaled insulin and insulin pumps (both of these forms are used only rarely).

There are some other methods (treatment modalities) of treatment of type 1 diabetes, although most are still in experimental stage, such as pancreatic islet cell transplantation or pancreas transplantation etc. and many individuals are opting for these treatment modalities for type 1 diabetes treatment.

Treatment of type 1 diabetes has to be carried out indefinitely at present and most commonly, insulin therapy is used. The aim of treatment of type 1 diabetes currently is to help the diabetic maintain normal activities and with appropriate training, awareness, care, discipline in testing and dosing of insulin, it is possible to maintain normal activities of life by type 1 diabetes patients. But many patients find the lifelong rigorous insulin injection schedule cumbersome and find problem to comply.

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