Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin dependent diabetes. The body usually has its defence mechanism (immune system) which helps our bodies to fight infection. In type 1 diabetes the body’s defences mechanism attacks and destroys the cells within the pancreas specific for producing insulin. This is often referred to as an autoimmune disease.

 

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas (a gland behind the stomach). It controls the amount of glucose in the blood stream and enables the body to use the glucose (from food) for energy. When insulin is not produced, glucose cannot get to the cells and the amount of glucose within the body is accumulated.

This leads to symptoms like 

  • Increased thirst and urination 
  • Fatigue (when you are very tired)
  • Blurred vision 
  • Unexplained weight loss (you lose weight without trying)

 

Although type 1 diabetes is more prevalent in the young, it can sometimes be develop in adulthood. 

 

At present there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. It is managed with insulin primarily with the addition of diet and lifestyle advice to prevent complications arising.  

This video by Diabetes UK provides a very detailed explanation of this process as below.