Fast facts about type 1 diabetes
What is type 1 diabetes?
Short answer: Type one diabetes is a disease where the body stops producing insulin, a hormone that opens cells to glucose. Without insulin, blood glucose rises to dangerously high levels. Unable to use glucose for energy, the body breaks down fat, making the blood acidic with ketones.
Want to know more?
Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease, which means the body inflicts the disease upon itself.
Insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed so that the body no longer makes insulin.
Insulin is a hormone needed to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells, where it can be broken down to produce energy and make muscles work.
Without insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells. It stays in the blood and rises to dangerous levels.
If a person with type 1 diabetes does not receive insulin, he or she develops a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, slips into a coma, and eventually dies. This is what happened to patients before the invention of insulin for injection in 1921.
If a person has too much insulin in his body and does not balance it by eating, blood sugar becomes too low, causing a condition called hypoglycemia.
Mild hypoglycemia can be treated by eating glucose tablets or drinking juice. Severe hypoglycemia is very serious, causing the person to pass out if it is not treated.
By David Hay Jones