ABC Medical Center > Padecimientos > Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes

21:54 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Type 1 diabetes?

It is a chronic disease, where the pancreas has deficiencies or is unable to generate insulin, which is responsible for controlling glucose to be absorbed at cellular level allowing energy production.

The origin of this incurable but controllable condition is unknown. However, it has been identified that the immune system, which defends the body from infections and foreign agents, mistakenly attacks and eliminates the islets of Langerhans, which are the pancreatic cells that produce insulin.

Similarly, genetic predisposition, some viral infections, and environmental issues have been identified as potential causes. 

If you suffer from type 1 diabetes, by not having enough insulin to allow sugar or glucose to enter the cells, the blood is filled with it, causing various health problems that can be fatal if not treated promptly and efficiently. 

Normally, this disease appears in children and adolescents, although it is also possible to appear in adults.

A cure has not yet been found, so the treatment seeks to control the blood sugar level through insulin, combined with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, factors that can prevent complications. 

If a proper treatment is not followed, type 1 diabetes seriously damages the body, causing complications that affect the patient’s quality of life and can be fatal:

  • Cardiovascular diseases: stroke, atherosclerosis, heart attack, and high blood pressure, among others. 
  • Kidney failure: by irreversibly damaging the kidneys, the patient develops kidney failure, whose only treatment is regular dialysis or kidney transplant. 
  • Eye involvement: glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness. 
  • Damage to the lower limbs: when the feet nerves and circulation are affected, recurrent infections appear that usually end in amputation. 
  • Neuropathy: by affecting blood circulation, the thin veins are damaged causing a lack of irrigation in the limbs’ nerves causing numbness and insensitivity. 
  • Problems for mother and baby during pregnancy: spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, and birth defects. The mother may develop retinitis, hypertension, preeclampsia, and diabetic ketoacidosis.

Symptoms

Symptoms sometimes take time to appear clearly, but they also usually appear suddenly, including the following:

  • Intense hunger.
  • Weight loss.
  • Sudden mood swings.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy.
  • Visual problems.

Diagnosis and treatment

In addition to analyzing the symptoms and clinical history, your doctor will request, among other tests, a glycosylated hemoglobin test, which indicates your blood sugar level in three months. If your measurement exceeds 6.5%, the diagnosis is confirmed. 

The treatment to follow includes:

  • Insulin.
  • Frequent measurement and control of glucose level. 
  • Have a healthy diet.
  • Carbs, fat, and proteins monitoring.
  • Avoid obesity.
  • Exercise daily.

The purpose of treatment is to stop the progression of the disease by keeping the blood sugar level within normal parameters for as long as possible, thus avoiding serious complications.

In ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • medlineplus.gov
  • mayoclinic.org
  • msdmanuals.com
  • healthline.com
  • cigna.com
  • cun.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • Brito-Álvarez M, Hernández-Arizpe LM, Martínez-González GI. Evaluación del conocimiento del método de conteo de carbohidratos y estado nutricio en adolescentes con diabetes tipo 1 que acuden al “Campo Amigo” de La Asociación Mexicana de Diabetes, Nuevo León A.C. 2016-2017. Rev Salud Pública Nutr. 2019;18(3):11-20.
  • Espinoza AA, Fernández VR. Lo nuevo en diagnóstico y tratamiento de diabetes mellitus gestacional. Revista Médica Sinergia. 2019;4(04):41-54.
  • Calderón C, Carrete L, Vera J. Validación de una escala de creencias de salud sobre diabetes tipo 1 para el contexto mexicano: HBM-T1DM. Salud Pública Mex. 2018;60(2):175-183.
  • Real CRM, Licea PME, Pacheco GY, et al. Frecuencia y tipo de disfunción sexual en mujeres con diabetes mellitus tipo 1. RSS. 2016;22(1):98-112.

						
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