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.