type 1 diabetes

Because of the way most Americans live, it is speculated that the majority of people might be suffering from different forms of diabetes since their diet consists mostly of junk foods. However, owing to a shortage of evidence on this disease, the National Health and Diet Review Survey has failed to determine this (Menke et al. 2013). As of 2014, 9.3 percent of Americans, or 29.1 million people, were confirmed to have type 1 diabetes; only 21 million of these people had been diagnosed (Menke et al. 2013). Since then, up to 40000 individuals have been diagnosed with this disease each year (Menke et al. 2013). Most of the people living with the disease are above 20 years. Diabetes type 1 is one of the most costly diseases due to the huge amounts of money spent on caring for the patients. In fact, it is also one of the leading causes of death close after stroke and heart diseases. People living near the equator are believed to be more prone compared to those living nearer to the poles.

Etiology and Risk Factors

Diabetes type 1 arises in a case where the beta cells of the pancreas are destroyed, and as a result, unable to produce enough insulin. According to Guariguata et al. (2014), the greatest risk factor for diabetes is family history. This is one of the diseases that is able to be carried by the genetic makeup of a person. As such, if the parents have this condition, the offsprings will most likely develop the condition as well. Age is also considered a risk factor as during particular ages, children are at a higher risk of developing the condition. These ages are between 4 and 7 years and 10 and 14 years. The — has established that Caucasians are more prone to the condition compared to other races (Guariguata et al. 2014).

Also, a person’s diet has a great impact on the diseases. Children who started consuming cow milk at early ages are prone to the condition (Guariguata et al. 2014). Other than that, people with low vitamin D intakes are highly likely to suffer from this condition. People are advised to consume water with fewer nitrates as a higher intake of nitrate may increase the risk of the condition. Also, children born with jaundice may develop the condition.

Pathophysiology of the Disease

As a stated earlier, the condition results when the beta cells of the pancreas fail in their function, of producing insulin. When the beta cells are destroyed, the level of insulin slowly declines up to a point where it is unable to regulate the blood sugar level. When more than 80% of these cells are destroyed, then a patient develops hyperglycemia (Atkinson, Eisenbarth & Michels, 2014). It is at this point that one can be diagnosed with diabetes. When a patient reaches such levels, they need extra insulin in their metabolism to revert hyperglycemia and thus return the metabolism of proteins and lipids to normal levels.

Individuals who are susceptible to the condition due to their genetic makeup, may develop autoimmunity and thus lower their chances of developing diabetes type 1 (Atkinson, Eisenbarth & Michels, 2014). When such an individual develops any type of viral infection, their body will automatically produce antibodies, which in turn trigger the production of beta cells of the pancreas. This way, the body will be able to produce insulin once again and thus lower their chances of developing the condition.

There are some instances where an individual may develop two types of diabetes. Usually, such patients are obese and may exhibit type two diabetes signs rather than type one. It is vital to note that such patients will still have low production of insulin (Atkinson, Eisenbarth & Michels, 2014). Such conditions are mostly due to different environmental factors.

Clinical Manifestation (Sign and Symptoms)

Diabetes type 1 manifests itself in four major ways; these are extreme fatigue, frequent urination, excessive thirst levels and noticeable weight loss. These four signs are commonly referred to as 4Ts symptoms of diabetes type one (Patterson et al. 2014). Other than these, the patient may experience itchiness around their genital areas. The patient may have episodes where there visions becomes totally blurred. This is mainly due to dryness of the eyes. The patient may also suffer from various skin infections such as rashes or even allergic reactions. When these symptoms are noted, the patient needs to seek medical advice before the condition becomes more severe.

When these signs and symptoms are ignored, the patient may begin to experience, nausea or even vomiting, loss of appetite and stomach pains. Also, body temperature fluctuations may be noted (Patterson et al. 2014). When it reaches this point, the condition has manifested itself to great lengths and thus will require specialized attention and care.

Diagnostic Testing

The glycated hemoglobin test is used to test for the presence of diabetes type one. For this test, a patient is required to have tested blood sugar, monthly, for the last three months. The average blood sugar is the calculated and the percentage measured by attaching the sample to hemoglobin. If the level is 6.5$ higher, then the patient is said to have diabetes (Wang et al. 2017). Nevertheless, this is not the only test available. Other tests include random blood sugar test and fasting blood sugar test.

As the name suggests, a random test is carried out at a random time. The blood sugar of the patient is tested in mg/dl. When the level is above 200 mg/dl, the patient is said to have diabetes type 1 (Wang et al. 2017). For such levels, the patient must have frequent urination and severe thirst. Fasting blood sugar test is usually done in the morning, after an overnight fasting period. For this test, the blood levels needs to be 100mg/dl (normal level). If the sugar level is above 126mg/dl, the patient has diabetes (Wang et al. 2017). Depending on the diagnoses, the physician must advice the patient on what to do. Even those without the condition after diagnoses need to seek medical advice, especially on diet, to help them avoid the diseases.

Common Treatment

Diabetes type one usually has no cure but can be maintained so as to prolong the patient’s life. With proper handling, it is possible to revert the condition. Recall, for this condition, the body is unable to produce its own insulin (Beagley, Guariguata, Weil & Motala, 2014). Therefore, when supplied with insulin, the body may return to its normal functioning. There are different types of insulin, depending on the mode of preparation. Some types of insulin are designed to last the whole day whereas some are designed to last only a few hours, say eight hours. The most essential bit of the treatment is to find a way for the body to regulate its sugar levels. The artificial insulin will play the role of regulation of blood sugar. The insulin may be administered in form of injections or pump therapy (Beagley, Guariguata, Weil & Motala, 2014). The patient may be advised to take medication which will help control their blood pressure or statin, to reduce their cholesterol levels. In doing so, the blood sugar will be returned to normal levels.


From the above, it is clear that diabetes type one not only results from poor diet, but also other factors such as genetics and prevalence of other infections. As such, in addition to proper diet, one needs to be aware of their genetic makeup and any sort of diseases that they are susceptible to due to their genes (Desisto, Kim, & Sharma, 2014). Also, people need to avoid any infection which may raise their susceptibility to diabetes. In case one is diagnosed with the disease, they should immediately seek medical attention, to reduce the risk factors which may accelerate the condition. All in all, people should practice proper living styles which prevent their susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes among others.


Atkinson, M. A., Eisenbarth, G. S., & Michels, A. W. (2014). Type 1 diabetes. The Lancet, 383(9911), 69-82. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(13)60591-7 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673613605917

Beagley, J., Guariguata, L., Weil, C., & Motala, A. A. (2014). Global estimates of undiagnosed diabetes in adults. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 103(2), 150-160. doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2013.11.001 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168822713003847

Desisto, C. L., Kim, S. Y., & Sharma, A. J. (2014). Prevalence Estimates of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in the United States, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), 2007–2010. Preventing Chronic Disease, 11. doi:10.5888/pcd11.13041, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4068111/

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Patterson, C., Guariguata, L., Dahlquist, G., Soltész, G., Ogle, G., & Silink, M. (2014). Diabetes in the young – a global view and worldwide estimates of numbers of children with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 103(2), 161-175. doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2013.11.005 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168822713003884

Wang, S. Y., Andrews, C. A., Herman, W. H., Gardner, T. W., & Stein, J. D. (2017). Incidence and Risk Factors for Developing Diabetic Retinopathy among Youths with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes throughout the United States. Ophthalmology, 124(4), 424-430. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.10.031 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161642016309976

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