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- Type 1 diabetes facts
- What is type 1 diabetes?
- What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
- What causes type 1 diabetes?
- What are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes?
- What are the risk factors for type 1 diabetes?
- How is type 1 diabetes diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for type 1 diabetes?
- What role does insulin play in type 1 diabetes?
- Is there a type 1 diabetes diet?
- What about exercise and type 1 diabetes?
- What if I have type 1 diabetes and become pregnant?
- What are the complications of type 1 diabetes?
- Can type 1 diabetes be prevented?
- What is the life-expectancy for someone with type 1 diabetes?
What are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes can be subtle or life threatening. Some people have no symptoms (asymptomatic) and type 1 diabetes isn't detected until blood or urine labs are run. If a person does have symptoms, early symptoms are
- weight loss,
- thirst, and
- excessive urination.
Other signs and symptoms are
- an unusual odor to the urine,
- urinary tract infections (UTIs),
- yeast infections,
- unexplained weight loss,
- feeling hungry even after meals,
- stomach pain,
- swollen ankles,
- night sweats,
- blurry vision,
- fruity or unusual breath,
- hair loss, and
- just generally feel unwell.
People with type 1 diabetes may experience more frequent infections of the skin or respiratory tract.
Undiagnosed type 1 diabetes can become life threatening if a person goes into ketoacidosis (a state where an elevated blood sugar leads to other metabolic changes).
What are the risk factors for type 1 diabetes?
The risk factors for developing type 1 diabetes include family history (genetics)2, prenatal exposures, exposures to foods and environmental toxins early in life, and geography. Prenatal exposures include whether the mother had preeclampsia or had metabolic syndrome.. Environmental exposures include chemicals, especially those found in plastics and foods, specifically introduction of gluten before four months of age or after seven months of age or early introduction of casein (the protein in dairy).3 4 Viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus or EBV (mononucleosis), Coxsackie, CMV, and other infections can also be risk factors for developing type 1 diabetes.5 Living in a Northern Climate is a risk factor that has not been fully explained.
How is type 1 diabetes diagnosed?
Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test for blood glucose. If it is greater than 125 when fasting or greater than 200 randomly, a diagnosis of diabetes is made. To confirm whether it is type 1 or type 2 diabetes, blood tests measure antibodies. Additionally, a presumptive diagnosis can be made based on glucose or ketones in the urine. A c-peptide test can determine how much insulin the pancreas is producing.