Type 1 Diabetes


Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. It is a chronic condition where pancreas secretes little or no insulin, a hormone required to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. On the other hand type 2 diabetes results when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or it secretes less of insulin.

Type 1 diabetes may occur due to various factors, which may include genetics and contact to certain viruses. Generally type 1 diabetes typically appears during childhood or adolescence, but it can also develop in adults. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes but still it can be managed. People who have type 1 diabetes can expect to live longer and healthier lives with proper treatment.


Various signs and symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Recurrent urination
  • Excessive hunger
  • Loss of weight
  • Exhaustion or tiredness
  • Hazy vision


The exact cause for type 1 diabetes is still not known. Type 1 diabetes may occur due to dysfunctioning of the body’s own immune system which mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing (islet) cells in the pancreas. This process may be because of genetics or exposure to certain viruses

  • Insulin is secreted from pancreas into the bloodstream
  • The circulating insulin helps sugar enter into cells
  • Amount of sugar in ones bloodstream is lowered by insulin
  • Whenever blood sugar level drops, the secretion of insulin from pancreas also reduces


Insulin is required by anyone who has type 1 diabetes. Different types of insulin are available to suit individual requirements. Insulin pumps are extremely useful devices to help control diabetes.

There is no method of taking Insulin orally and it has to be taken subcutaneously because stomach enzymes interfere with insulin’s action. Sometimes other medications are prescribed and include

  • Medications for high blood pressure.
  • Blood thinners like aspirin.
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Dr Sonali Kagne

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