Diabetes (type 1)
Diabetes is the disease affecting the metabolism of glucose. Glucose is required by the body’s cells for energy production and normal functioning. This glucose comes in the blood from the food we eat and is carried to the cellular level by an important hormone known as insulin. Once the meal is consumed by the body, it breaks down into glucose and other nutrients which are then absorbed in the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. This glucose is then transferred from the blood stream to the cells. Diabetes develops when the body either can’t prepare insulin or can’t respond to the insulin. Diabetes can be mainly differentiated into two broad categories such as Type 1 & Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, is when the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin is reduced.
How Prevalent is Diabetes Type 1?
In 2013, 9.3 percent of children were determined to be suffering from juvenile diabetes. In general, diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death globally. The rates of diagnosed diabetes based on race and ethnic background are:
- 5 percent non-Hispanic or white adults
- Less than 1 percent of Asian adults
- 8 percent of Hispanics
- 2 percent of non-Hispanic blacks
- 9 percent of American Indians/Alaskan Natives
Factors responsible for Juvenile Diabetes
Various risk factors for the development of juvenile diabetes such as age, race, sex, geographical location and seasonality have been reviewed and confirmed.
Age – Age is the major risk factor accounting for more than 85 percent of all diabetes cases of patients less than 20 years old. In general, the incident rate is progressively observed by birth and increases in age. However, increasing incidence of the disease has been detected between the ages of 10-14.
Gender – It’s been observed that girls are less susceptible to autoimmune diseases than boys. However, the cases of juvenile diabetes are found to be equally affecting irrespective of gender.
Genetic – The expressions of some are known to be responsible for the susceptibility to diabetes type 1. Of the multiple genes implicated, the HLA class II complex on chromosome 6 is the primary cause.
Geography – The incident tends to increase for people living away from the equator.
Apart from those stated above, many other factors are known to be responsible for the higher incidence of juvenile diabetes such as:
- Exposure to certain viruses such as EB virus, mumps and cytomegalovirus.
- Early exposure to cow’s milk.
- Low vitamin D levels.
- Drinking water containing many pesticides such as nitrates.
- Introduction of cereals or gluten in the diets of babies.
- The preeclampsia of the mother.
- Being born with jaundice.
Symptoms Associated with Type 1 Diabetes:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination.
- Extreme hunger.
- Unintended weight loss.
- Irritability and mood swings.
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Blurred vision.
- Vaginal yeast infection in females.
Prognosis Associated with Type 1 Diabetes
Diabetes can be diagnosed generally with blood tests that examine blood sugar levels at fasting and after meals. Apart from that, many other exams can help diagnose the problem at the early stage:
- Skin and bones of the feet and legs are brittle or get numb.
- Illness such as pneumonia.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Mouth odor.
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