Type 1 Diabetes – causes and impact on your health

 

Type 1 diabetes (aka juvenile diabetes)

The skyrocketing global incidence of diabetes in America has a dark underside. According to a new diabetes study, in 2011-2012, 52 percent of the population had diabetes (or pre-diabetes) and didn’t even know it.

Fortunately, most were suffering from a more treatable, form of diabetes called type 2. The other form of diabetes is type 1, where the body’s own immune system destroys not only dangerous bacteria but also the cells that prompt the pancreas to make insulin, which regulates blood sugar.

Researchers are now suggesting that type 1 diabetes may be in our genes – a potential triggered by environmental factors like viruses, gluten and cow’s milk (factors that can be offset by beneficial gut bacteria and adequate amounts of Vitamin D). The most dangerous of these is congenital rubella, when the fetus acquires the measles virus from the mother during pregnancy.

Unchecked, type 1 diabetes can damage the heart and/or blood vessels, as well as nerves and kidneys, leading to disability and even death. Other health risks of type 1 involve the eyes, mouth, and feet. Type 1 sufferers may experience blurred vision, eyestrain, frequent gum, mouth and skin infections, and tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.

Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed by measuring blood glucose. This type of screening, called an A1C, is now recommended for overweight children, or children having a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or high cholesterol.

This diabetes test can be conducted in any qualified medical facility, and provides a three-month blood sugar average. In addition, or instead of an A1C, medical professionals may perform a random blood sugar test, a fasting blood sugar test, or an oral glucose tolerance test, all of which confirm the presence of diabetes.

If diabetes is suspected, a urine test will reveal the presence of ketones, and further diabetes testing will show if the blood contains the autoantibodies typical of type 1 diabetes. These tests are known by the acronyms ICA, GADA, IA-2A, and IAA.