Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is basically an autoimmune disorder in which pancreas in the body can’t make enough insulin. In this condition, the body’s immune system (antibodies) damages the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.

Insulin is nothing but a hormone that helps sugar (glucose) in the blood to get into cells of the body to be used as fuel. This creates a condition when glucose can’t enter the cells and it builds up in the blood which is termed as high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. High blood sugar can probably cause problems all over the body. It can damage the blood vessels, nerves, eyes, kidneys and heart. It is also responsible for symptoms such as tiredness.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is considered a long-term chronic condition that may start at any age. Lack of insulin from the pancreas must be replaced with insulin injections or an insulin pump.

There are basically two forms of type 1 diabetes:

  • Immune-mediated – this is the most common kind of type 1 diabetes which is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system damages the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
  • Idiopathic – this kind of type 1 diabetes is the rare form of the disease with no known cause.

How does it differ from Type 2 Diabetes?

While in type 2 diabetes, the cells in your child’s body don’t respond to the insulin thereby glucose builds up in their bloodstream. This is termed insulin resistance. Gradually, the sugar levels in their bodies get too high to handle which can lead to other conditions in the future like heart disease, blindness, and kidney failure.

Also, once a child gets too heavy, she is twice as likely to get diabetes. Things that actually contribute to the extra weight or obesity are:

  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Lack of physical activity or exercise
  • Family members who have been overweight
  • Few hormone problems or any other related medical condition

Type 2 diabetes is more likely to affect children who carry extra weight around the middle.

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