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For 300 000 of Poles, type 1 diabetes is an everyday occurrence. Although it is a condition that cannot be prevented at the moment, it can be managed appropriately to reduce the risk of complications.

Let’s take a closer look at what type 1 diabetes is, where it comes from and how to control it.

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It is also called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes.

Why insulin dependent? People with type 1 diabetes are completely dependent on an external supply of insulin. They need it for their body to function properly and maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

The immune system of people with type 1 diabetes, normally responsible for fighting infections, instead attacks and kills the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.

This stops insulin production. Without it, glucose cannot enter the cells, which causes blood sugar levels to rise.

Why youthful? Because type 1 diabetes usually begins before the age of 30, and the peak incidence is between the ages of 4 and 7 ( source: “Diabetology of developmental age” edited by M. Myśliwiec, P. Jarosz-Chobot).

However, the fact that type 1 diabetes has not shown any symptoms at this time does not mean that it will not appear again. You can get it at any age.

Type 1 diabetes: symptoms that should worry

The first symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually appear within a few weeks. Some of them may be similar to symptoms of other diseases.

This is why it’s important not to self-diagnose. If you suspect you have type 1 diabetes, see your doctor to have your blood sugar levels checked.

The main symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:

  • greater desire,
  • urination more frequently
  • unexplained weight loss,
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue, weakness,
  • heavy breathing,
  • visual disturbances,
  • fainting may also occur
  • acetone can be felt on the breath (characteristic of ketoacidosis).

Diagnosis for type 1 diabetes

The most popular tests used to diagnose diabetes are:

  • random blood glucose test (Random Plasma Glucose – RPG),
  • test examining the level of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c),
  • fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test
  • oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

The first step to diagnosis is usually a random glucose test, which measures blood sugar levels at a specific point in time. A result of ≥ 200 mg/dl (≥ 11.1 mmol/l) in combination with symptoms indicates diabetes.

Even if random blood glucose is normal, diabetes can be diagnosed using two other diagnostic scenarios approved by Polish Diabetes Association.< /span>

Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is tested to determine the duration of high blood sugar levels. If it is ≥ 6.5% (≥ 48 mmol/ mol), we are dealing with diabetes.

Fasting blood glucose level in either of two measurements ≥ 126 mg/dl (≥ 7.0 mmol/l) also indicates diabetes.

Even if the level of glycemia and glycated hemoglobin is normal, but in the oral glucose tolerance test at the 120th minute of the OGTT the patient’s result will be ≥ 200 mg/dl (≥ 11.1 mmol/l ), there is reasonable suspicion that he has diabetes.

These tests can confirm the presence of diabetes, but do not distinguish between types.

The approach to treatment depends largely on the type of diabetes, so it is important to know which type you are dealing with.

If your doctor suspects type 1 diabetes, he or she may test your blood for autoantibodies because this type of diabetes is an autoimmune disease.

The presence of autoantibodies indicates that the body is attacking itself, which is common in type 1 but not type 2 diabetes.

Urine testing for ketones may also be performed. The body produces ketones when it uses fat as an energy source. If ketones are found in your urine, it may indicate type 1 diabetes.

What causes type 1 diabetes and can you avoid getting the disease?

Factors< /span> that contribute to the development of this type of diabetes include, in particular, genetic conditions and viral infections (including rubella, mumps, cytomegalovirus).</span >

Type 1 diabetes is not directly transmitted genetically. However, there is ahereditary tendency to autoimmune diseases.

This tendency towards autoimmunity, where the immune system attacks and destroys the body’s own cells, can be passed on between generations.

Risk factors also include the mother’s age at delivery, over 40, stress factors and contact with chemicals.

Unfortunately, there is currently no way to prevent type 1 diabetes, but it can be controlled without causing serious complications.

Effective management of type 1 diabetes depends largely on the patient himself

In the treatment of type 1 diabetes, insulin therapy is the basis. Patients must take insulin because their body is unable to produce this hormone naturally.

There are different types of insulin administered, with different speed of action and duration of effect. You may need to use more than one type.

Patients take insulin using an insulin pen or an insulin pump.

The effectiveness of insulin therapy can be enhanced by a carefully planned diabetic diet, physical activity, control of cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Patients also need to test their blood glucose levels regularly to closely monitor and adjust their insulin therapy and diet. The traditional method of measurement is glucometers, but there are also alternatives that increase patient comfort.

One of such innovations is Diabetomat, which determines blood sugar levels by measuring diabetes biomarkers in the exhaled air. Check how it works.

Type 1 diabetes complications

What 6 seconds</ b> in the world, someone dies from complications of diabetes! Over time, elevated blood glucose levels can result in problems such as :

  • diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA),
  • kidney problems (diabetic nephropathy),
  • cardiovascular diseases,
  • heart attack,
  • stroke,
  • sight problems,
  • nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy),
  • diabetic foot syndrome,
  • gingivitis,
  • sleep apnea,
  • depression.

Very high blood glucose levels and low insulin levels lead to life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It occurs when the body lacks insulin to deliver sugar to the cells.

Ketoacidosis may include trouble breathing, feeling confused or unable to concentrate, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, acetone-smelling breath, dry or red skin.

Too much insulin or an amount that is inappropriate for your diet and activity (not enough food, waiting too long or extra physical activity) can lead tohypoglycemia , i.e. too low blood sugar level.

Knowing how to manage type 1 diabetes is the first step to improving your quality of life

When facing the difficulties associated with type 1 diabetes, it is very important to make a quick diagnosis, self-monitor blood glucose levels, appropriate diet, physical activity and strict adherence to recommended insulin doses.</ span>

Diabetomat is one of those technologies that focuses on improving the quality of life with diabetes. Revolutionizes daily sugar monitoring. Please contact us if you would like us to inform you when the device will be available for sale.

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