Type 1 Diabetes
Diabetes has been among the illnesses that need rigid and proper attention to maintain the normal condition of the patient’s body. Among the stages and types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes is the illness type that usually hits both the young and adults. This disease is preventable though. However, if the health condition of the patient with type 1 diabetes is not properly managed, the risk to serious complications such as heart ailments, damage in kidney and nerve, blindness, and many others, is high.
In any kind of illnesses, it is essential that one acquire enough information to prevent from getting or developing a disease. In view of this, in relation to type 1 diabetes, this paper finds it important to discuss the pathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes. This paper aims to provide useful information on the following.
History of Type 1 Diabetes
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
Treatments to Type 1 Diabetes
Current/Near future diabetes research
Cures on the horizon
History of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes was recognized in 1951 as a type of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is an insulin-dependent type in which the body needs insulin injections as alternative to insulins that the body is unable to produce. Insulin was already invented long before Type 1 Diabetes has been recognized. The first insulin was discovered in 1921 by Dr. Frederick Banting. However, through time, insulin was improved. In 1922, the testing of insulin on human was conducted in which the treatment became a success after a month. In the same year, insulin was mass- produced by Eli Lilly and Company and the University of Toronto.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough amount of insulin that the body needs. Our body uses glucose as source of energy. For our body to use glucose, it needs insulin. When the body is unable to produce enough insulin, the glucose that is supposed to be a source of energy builds in our bloodstreams, causing negative effects such as high blood. The condition in which the body contains too much amount of glucose is also known as hyperglycemia.
The lack of insulin may affect the body that may cause the following symptoms to develop.
Incessant feeling of thirst
Abnormal eyesight or vision
Weight loss in spite of a normal appetite
Sores, cuts, and bruises that heals slow.
Aside from the above symptoms, a patient with Type 1 diabetes may always feel fatigue and may be vulnerable to other diseases.
Type 1 Diabetes Treatments
According to experts, the most effective way to treat Type 1 Diabetes is to control the amount or glucose in our body. Maintaining a regular visit to a physician is important to facilitate the process of determining the present condition of one’s body. Self-monitoring of glucose is also a regular habit to Type 1 Diabetes patients. Though patients of this disease are in high risk of acquiring other diseases, the disease is still preventable as long as the patient takes all the necessary precautions.
Patients of Type 1 Diabetes need to take insulin injections everyday. According to studies, 3 times of insulin injection per day can help in reducing the patient’s risk to other diseases. Foot sores is also a risk that a patient may suffer from Type 1 Diabetes. When not attended seriously, this can lead to an amputation that happens to a great number of patients yearly. To prevent this, medical experts recommend the dressing of wounds to foster skin growth. Aside from medications and treatments, patients also need to change to their lifestyles. This includes having a balanced healthy diet and a proper amount of exercise. Eating foods that are low in sugar and high in nutrients can help in balancing the insulin that the body produces with the amount of sugar in a patient’s body.
Current Diabetes Research
According to Ackinson and Wilson (2002), in their study on Type 1 Diabetes, several discoveries from recent researches and studies have revealed the difference in findings regarding the causes of Type 1 Diabetes. Some of them are the following.
Old Notion: Blymphocytes play no role in type 1 diabetes. (Ackinson & Wilson, 2002).
New Notion: Blymphocytes play vital roles in presenting autoantigens necessary for disease development (Ackinson & Wilson, 2002).
Old Notion: Aspects of immune system were overlooked
New Notion: A new life in the aspects of immune system was found in relation to Type 1 Diabetes. An instance of which are the antigen-presenting cells.
Cures to Type 1 Diabetes
Current medical practice performs islet cell transplants or pancreas transplants as potential cures and methods of treating Type 1 Diabetes. In islet cell transplants or pancreas transplant, beta cells that produce insulin are planted in the patient’s body. This procedure aims to provide the body with cells that are capable of producing insulin that the body lacks. After islet cell transplantation, the body will need immunosuppressive drugs to help maintain the transplanted cells. If this procedure is not followed, there will be a possibility of loosing the transplanted islet cells.
There are many methods that are being studied and researched by medical professionals to discover other possible cure to Type 1 Diabetes. This includes insulin patch and painless ways of monitoring the patient’s blood sugar. On top of these, however, experts indicate that nowadays there are no better cure to Type 1 Diabetes but proper and healthy diet and a good habit of regular exercise. A healthy diet would include foods that are rich in nutrients and low in sugar. This is important so as not to add more sugar to those that are already building up in the patient’s body. Regular exercise is also important to burn the sugars in our body, thus helping in the regulation of the amount of sugar and insulin.
In the current medical practice, there is no permanent cure yet for Type 1 Diabetes. The road that Type 1 Diabetes patients take would require a lot of effort and patience particularly in the regular monitoring of a patient’s health condition, as well as the monitoring of the patient’s blood glucose level. However, from proper treatment, Type 1 Diabetes patients will benefit a lot.
Any disease that is not properly managed may result into more serious risks. Though Type 1 Diabetes is a disease that makes millions of people suffer, patients must be informed that the risks and sufferings can be reduced if a strict management and care of the disease is performed. Type 1 Diabetes is a disease that gradually develops. Hence, if treatment and care is conducted after diagnosis, the disease is still preventable and can prolong health.
2002). Clinical practice recommendations: 2002. Diabetes Care.
American Diabetes Association. 25, 21.
Ackinson, M.A., Wilson, S.B. (2002). Fatal Attraction: Chemokines and Type 1 Diabetes.
The Journal of Clinical Investigation, (110)11, 1611.
2000). Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC). NEJM (2).
2003). The Other Diabetes.
Consumer Reports on Health, 11.
2003). Study Compares Insulin Treatments.
Biotech Week, 278-279.
2004). Study: Gene Therapy Technique Could Aid Islet Transplants for Diabetes.
Immunotherapy Weekly, 7-8.
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