Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin dependent diabetes. It is generally recognized that Type 1 Diabetes is caused by an auto immune reaction, which means the body’s defence mechanism attacks the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. These cells called beta cells produce little or no insulin after the attack.
Insulin is a very important hormone, which helps the body to transport sugar to cells where it is converted to energy or stored for future use. This may explain why people with diabetes complain of being tired as they are not converting sugar to energy because they are producing little or no insulin.
Cause of Type 1 Diabetes
We do not fully understand what causes the body to destroy its own insulin cells when you have Type 1 Diabetes. You need insulin for life…..to survive…..so therefore a person with Type 1 Diabetes needs to take insulin injections otherwise they will become seriously ill and can be fatal.
Type 1 diabetes can occur at any stage in life, but is predominantly seen in children and young adults. The onset of Type 1 Diabetes is sudden and a person can become very ill, very quickly.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes:
- Abnormal thirst and a dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Extreme tiredness/lack of energy
- Constant hunger
- Sudden weight loss
- Slow-healing wounds
- Recurrent infections
- Blurred vision
Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes
Usually diagnosis is made on hospital admission and once treated with insulin, a person will begin to feel much better and symptoms quickly dissipate. Also like everyone else in the population, healthy lifestyle choices such as stop smoking, healthy diet, exercise and reduce alcohol intake are encouraged.
It is estimated that about 30,000 people in Ireland have Type 1 Diabetes.