In the case of type 1 diabetes the beta cells of the pancreas (the cells responsible for producing insulin) are being destroyed (possibly by autoimmune destruction) and so the pancreas is unable to produce the right and necessary amounts of insulin. Usually the disease occurs in childhood. In some cases it can occur later in life (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes) in adults.
If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes your doctor is going to prescribe daily injections of insulin.
Some of the usual symptoms of the disease include frequent urination (especially during the night hours), excessive thirst, weight loss, fatigue and mouth dryness.
Treatment by specialised doctors is necessary. The doctor will prescribe blood checks, regularly check the health of eyes and feet of the patient, will check for signs of neuropathy, osteopenia, thyroid disease and kidney health among others. Patients’ blood sugar levels must be measured on a daily basis so that the doctor can adjust the prescribed dose of insulin. Type 1 diabetic patients should maintain a healthy diet and work out regularly. In early childhood the proper education and even psychological support for the disease is very essential and helpful. Lately there is an increasing interest about the use of alpha lipoic acid as an extra protective agent in many studies conducted by scientific teams. Vitamin D has also been used in studies with type 1 diabetic children. Its supplementation found to be safe, helpful in preventing osteopenia and in some patients is slowing down the destruction of pancreas beta cells in cases of recently diagnosed insulinodepedant diabetic patients.
The research in various levels of treatment of the disease is ongoing. New methods and different approaches are currently studied and evaluated. Several approaches regarding pancreas transplantation are ongoing. In process are also researches for the optimization of techniques for the substitution of the islet cells of pancreas with transplantation of β-cells or by using stem cells of the body. The method of injecting of immune cells to patients on an early stage is still on a primary level. A great effort is being made regarding the manufacturing of devices for monitoring the blood sugar levels that can function without using blood, which means no piercings, but with lasers or infrared rays.
Stay updated through our page “Science News and Updates” and often discuss the various options with your treating doctor.