What is Type 1 Diabetes

What is Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a condition that affects how your body processes food and then turns it into energy.  Glucose is a simple sugar that is needed for every body function, which is created when you eat and digest food.  The role of your pancreas is to produce a hormone called, insulin, which allows your body’s cells to take in glucose for energy.  Those that suffer from Type 1 diabetes have a pancreas that stops producing insulin.  Instead of using the glucose, which is supposed to be created by the pancreas, from the food you eat and using it for energy, it constantly circulates in your body. 

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
When food is unable to turn into energy because of the breakdown with your pancreas and the lack of insulin it produces, a person can start experiencing some of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes.  Some of these symptoms include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Continual thirst
  • Severe hunger urges
  • Unexplained weight loss

Risk Factors
Type 1 diabetes is most frequently diagnosed in children and adolescents.  Furthermore, these children typically hail from specific races including African-American and Hispanic ethnic groups.  Children from Native American ethnic groups are also at risk for type 1 diabetes, but have a stronger risk for type 2 diabetes. 

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
The primary cause of cells being destroyed in the pancreas, which are responsible for producing insulin, is when the immune system turn on itself and kills these cells.  Some of the causes of this are believed to be due to genes and viruses.  A family history of diabetes could mean a higher probability of obtaining type 1 diabetes.  Some viruses may also trigger a response in the immune system that triggers a “search and destroy” mechanism which would shut down all insulin production in the pancreas.

Diabetes Education
At the Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic, our Certified Diabetes educators are educated and licensed healthcare professionals who possess distinct and specialized knowledge in diabetes self-management education.  The credential demonstrates that they have mastered in depth knowledge and skills in the biological, social sciences, communication, counseling, and education to provide self-management education for those with, or at risk for diabetes.

If you would like to learn more about our approach to diabetes education or if you have questions about type 1 and type 2 diabetes, please contact us. 

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