What is type 1 diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where the sugar or glucose levels in the blood rise very high, but this glucose cannot move into body cells. For every cell in the human body, energy is required for all its processes and glucose or sugar is the source of this energy. Normally, when we eat food, it gets metabolized into glucose and other nutrients that enter blood stream. This glucose is the fuel for our body cells and it will be able to move into the body cells only in the presence of a hormone called insulin. In type 1 diabetes, either the insulin is not produced or is produced in low amount, thus impairing blood sugar regulation, causing retention of sugar in the blood stream itself.
Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes. As the name infers, type 1 diabetes is a state totally dependent on insulin levels, and develops when there is little or no insulin production in the body. This form of diabetes represents up to 5% of total diabetic population, mostly seen in children or young adults, so it is also called ‘juvenile diabetes’.
Development of type 1 diabetes is closely linked to family history and often runs in families. It cannot be prevented but can be managed by taking appropriate diet, regular exercise, and glucose monitoring, and insulin supplementation.
Until scientists have perfected ways to better treat and possibly even prevent or cure type 1 diabetes, parents can help their children lead happier, healthier lives by giving constant encouragement, arming themselves with diabetes information, and making sure their children eat properly, exercise, and stay on top of blood sugar control every day. Doing so will enable kids to do all the things that other children do while helping them grow up to be healthy, well-adjusted, productive adults.