Type 1 diabetes is the body’s inability to produce any or sufficient levels of insulin. Lack of insulin means glucose in the bloodstream cannot be processed efficiently, which, if left untreated, leads to dangerously high blood sugar levels. As type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition sufferers are often born with a predisposition for it; this is why type 1 is most often found in children than adults.
It is a common misconception that type 1 is solely hereditary; there have been cases which have not originated in any previous family disposition. Type 1 diabetes can be triggered by factors such as viral infections, consumption of certain toxins in food or damage to the insulin producing pancreas caused by tumours or injury.
There are also non-fatal complications that can result from badly controlled diabetes. If the individual develops peripheral vascular disease for instance, serious problems such as gangrene can arise. High glucose levels not only have an effect on arteries, but on the smaller blood vessels too. If these blood vessels are located in the eye, vision impairment can result. One of the most frequent causes of blindness is diabetes.
Current treatments for type 1 diabetes are compulsory daily insulin injections, a strict diet and often a good physical exercise regime. It is also recommended that those with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes go for regular check-ups to measure their blood glucose levels and check the levels of protein in the urine to determine any early signs of kidney failure.
Issues that affect life expectancy in type 1 diabetics are often avoidable when the diabetes is dealt with rather than ignored. Similar to conditions such as asthma or any controllable illness, the sooner the diabetes is diagnosed and the healthier the lifestyle the person leads, the better. The tighter the rein the individual maintains on type 1 diabetes more often than not determines the life expectancy they can look forward to.
Find out more about the effects of type 1 diabetes online.
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