What is type 1 diabetes? A Mayo Clinic expert explains – Learn more about type 1 diabetes from endocrinologist Yogish Kudva, M.B.B.S. I’m Dr. Yogish C. Kudva an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic. In this video, we’ll cover the basics of type 1 diabetes. What is it? Who gets it? The symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Whether you’re looking for answers for yourself or someone you love. We are here to give you the best information available. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the insulin making cells of the pancreas. It’s estimated that about 1.25 million Americans live with it. People with type 1 diabetes don’t make enough insulin.
An important hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin allows your cells to store sugar or glucose and fat and produce energy. Unfortunately, there is no known cure. But treatment can prevent complications and also improve everyday life for patients with type 1 diabetes.
Lots of people with type 1 diabetes live a full life. And the more we learn and develop treatment for the disorder, the better the outcome. We don’t know what exactly causes type 1 diabetes. We believe that it is an auto-immune disorder where the body mistakenly destroys insulin producing cells in the pancreas.
Typically, the pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. The insulin circulates, letting sugar enter your cells. This sugar or glucose, is the main source of energy for cells in the brain, muscle cells, and other tissues. However, once most insulin producing cells are destroyed, the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin, meaning the glucose can’t enter the cells, resulting in an excess of blood sugar floating in the bloodstream.
- This can cause life-threatening complications.
- And this condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Although we don’t know what causes it, we do know certain factors can contribute to the onset of type 1 diabetes.
- Family history.
- Anyone with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing it.
Genetics. The presence of certain genes can also indicate an increased risk. Geography. Type 1 diabetes becomes more common as you travel away from the equator. Age, although it can occur at any age there are two noticeable peaks. The first occurs in children between four and seven years of age and the second is between 10 and 14 years old.
- Signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes can appear rather suddenly, especially in children.
- They may include increased thirst, frequent urination, bed wetting in children who previously didn’t wet the bed.
- Extreme hunger, unintended weight loss, fatigue and weakness, blurred vision, irritability, and other mood changes.
If you or your child are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor. The best way to determine if you have type 1 diabetes is a blood test. There are different methods such as an A1C test, a random blood sugar test, or a fasting blood sugar test.
They are all effective and your doctor can help determine what’s appropriate for you. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor may order additional tests to check for antibodies that are common in type 1 diabetes in the test called C-peptide, which measures the amount of insulin produced when checked simultaneously with a fasting glucose.
These tests can help distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes when a diagnosis is uncertain. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you may be wondering what treatment looks like. It could mean taking insulin, counting carbohydrates, fat protein, and monitoring your glucose frequently, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly to maintain a healthy weight.
Generally, those with type 1 diabetes will need lifelong insulin therapy. There are many different types of insulin and more are being developed that are more efficient. And what you may take may change. Again, your doctor will help you navigate what’s right for you. A significant advance in treatment from the last several years has been the development and availability of continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pumps that automatically adjust insulin working with the continuous glucose monitor.
This type of treatment is the best treatment at this time for type 1 diabetes. This is an exciting time for patients and for physicians that are keen to develop, prescribe such therapies. Surgery is another option. A successful pancreas transplant can erase the need for additional insulin.
- However, transplants aren’t always available, not successful and the procedure can pose serious risks.
- Sometimes it may outweigh the dangers of diabetes itself.
- So transplants are often reserved for those with very difficult to manage conditions.
- A successful transplant can bring life transforming results.
However, surgery is always a serious endeavor and requires ample research and concentration from you, your family, and your medical team. The fact that we don’t know what causes type 1 diabetes can be alarming. The fact that we don’t have a cure for it even more so.
- But with the right doctor, medical team and treatment, type 1 diabetes can be managed.
- So those who live with it can get on living.
- If you would like to learn even more about type 1 diabetes, watch our other related videos or visit mayoclinic.org.
- We wish you well.
- Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how the body uses blood sugar (glucose).
Glucose is an important source of energy for the cells that make up the muscles and tissues. It’s also the brain’s main source of fuel. The main cause of diabetes varies by type. But no matter what type of diabetes you have, it can lead to excess sugar in the blood.
- Too much sugar in the blood can lead to serious health problems.
- Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
- Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include prediabetes and gestational diabetes.
- Prediabetes happens when blood sugar levels are higher than normal.
- But the blood sugar levels aren’t high enough to be called diabetes.
And prediabetes can lead to diabetes unless steps are taken to prevent it. Gestational diabetes happens during pregnancy. But it may go away after the baby is born.
Can you be diabetic without knowing?
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes – Type 2 diabetes symptoms often take several years to develop. Some people don’t notice any symptoms at all. Type 2 diabetes usually starts when you’re an adult, though more and more children and teens are developing it. Because symptoms are hard to spot, it’s important to know the risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Where does it hurt if you have diabetes?
Peripheral nerve damage – Have you felt “pins and needles” or tingling in your feet? Maybe you feel like you’re wearing socks or gloves when you aren’t. Your feet may be very sensitive to touch—even a bed sheet can hurt. These are all symptoms of peripheral nerve damage.
Pain or increased sensitivity, especially at night. Numbness or weakness. Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, and bone and joint pain.
You may not notice pressure or injuries causing blisters or sores, which can lead to infections, sores that don’t heal, or ulcers. Sometimes amputation (removal by surgery) is necessary. Finding and treating foot problems early can lower your chances of developing a serious infection. Learn how to care for your feet, including how to check them yourself and what kind of shoes to wear.
Can diabetes cause weight gain?
What’s the connection between diabetes and weight gain? – When the bloodstream has excess blood sugar and insulin, the body is signaled to store sugar. Some sugar can be stored in the muscles and liver; however, most sugars are stored as fat when they have nowhere else to go.
- Thus, people with diabetes are more likely to be overweight or obese than those without the disease.
- While weight gain is one of the most common side effects of diabetes, it is not inevitable.
- One factor is medication.
- A recent study showed that most antidiabetic agents result in weight gain.
- This research could have important implications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes,
Weight gain varies from person to person, depending on several factors, including medications. Other factors that affect weight gain include:
Age, sex, height Insulin amount released with each meal and the level of insulin resistance Genetic makeup, family history, and ethnicity Diet and exercise habits
If you’re undergoing diabetes treatment and consume overly fatty foods, you increase your risk of gaining weight. The same can be said if you maintain an inactive lifestyle. Currently, this lifestyle is still indirectly affected by COVID-19. With the pandemic, many jobs have become home-based. The increased sedentary lifestyle brought about by working from home has become a menace to weight gain.
How can I check for diabetes at home?
How to test your blood sugar – Blood sugar testing requires the use of a blood sugar meter. The meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip, that you place on a disposable test strip. Even if you use a CGM, you’ll still need a blood sugar meter to calibrate your CGM device daily.
- Wash and dry your hands well. (Food and other substances can give you an inaccurate reading.)
- Insert a test strip into your meter.
- Prick the side of your fingertip with the needle (lancet) provided with your test kit.
- Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood.
- The meter will display your blood sugar level on a screen after a few seconds.
Some meters can test blood taken from an alternate site, such as the forearm or palm. But these readings may not be as accurate as readings from the fingertips, especially after a meal or during exercise, when blood sugar levels change more frequently. Alternate sites aren’t recommended for use in calibrating CGMs,
Can I check if I’m diabetic at home?
– Anyone who wants to understand their risk of diabetes should take an at-home diabetes test. Because these kits only require blood from a finger prick, they’re safe for most people to use. You can then use the results to see if you need medical guidance.