Type 1 diabetes: facts and details

Normally, in a healthy person, insulin is released when the blood sugar rises, which helps the glucose molecule to get into the cell and provide it with the necessary energy. With diabetes, including   Type 1, insulin is not produced enough, so   glucose   cannot penetrate the cell. As a result, the concentration of sugar in the blood and urine increases, the body begins to suffer from a lack of energy.

If you neglect the treatment of diabetes mellitus, this disease can be fatal. This is due to the fact that the body will use fats as alternative energy sources.   “When converting fats, so-called ketone bodies are formed – acetone acetate, acetone and others . – explains   Elena Yakovenko, endocrinologist of the Visus Medical Center , –   These are not very useful substances for the body, which are normally utilized in the muscle tissue. But if the ketone bodies form too much, the muscles cannot cope with their function. The products of fat splitting accumulate in the blood and have a toxic effect on the body, in particular, on the brain. This condition is called ketoacetosis or diabetic  coma  “It was precisely it that was fatal at a time when diabetes, in particular, type 1 diabetes, did not respond to treatment . 


Trigger for development   type 1 diabetes   either an infection or an autoimmune disease can become (immune cells take the body’s tissues for foreign ones, start attacking and destroying them).

Risk group

It primarily includes people who have a hereditary predisposition to the development of hormonal pancreatic insufficiency. Sick type 1 diabetes mainly children, less often young people under 30 years of age. It is not by chance that this disease is called   juvenile (youth) diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes

There are a number of signs by which one can determine the initial stage of development of type 1 diabetes mellitus.   “One of them is a feeling of weakness after 1.5-2 hours after eating ,” explains Elena Yakovenko, “   Should alert and increased need for sweets. It is connected with the fact that glucose entering the body is not absorbed, and the body continues to demand its norm. The person becomes aggravated by the feeling of hunger, characteristic headaches appear . 

Vivid manifestations of type 1 diabetes mellitus are intense thirst, frequent urination, and an unpleasant smell of acetone from the mouth.   “In order for the kidneys to be able to remove excess sugar from the body, you need many times more water ,” says Elena.   –   Hence the increased need for fluid and, as a consequence, frequent urination. Acetone is released during the breakdown of fats.  –  alternative energy sources. As a rule, such a symptom appears in the later stages of the disease, when up to 70% of pancreatic cells synthesizing insulin are destroyed . 

Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

In the case of type 1 diabetes, several diagnostic tests can be used:

  • Level   glucose in blood plasma on an empty stomach. Normal values ​​of this value should be in the range of 5-6.1 mmol / l in adults, 3.3-5.5 mmol / l in children. If the blood glucose level is higher than 7 mmol / l, the presence of type 1 diabetes mellitus can be suspected.
  • Blood glucose level 2 hours after meals. Normally, it should not exceed 7.8 mmol / l. An indicator above 11 mmol / l is a criterion for diabetes. It is important to note that this analysis should be carried out several times in order to obtain reliable results.
  • General urine analysis. Detection of glucose in the urine is an indirect sign of type 1 diabetes (normally there is no sugar in the urine).
  • Blood test for antibodies. A relatively new type of diagnosis that allows you to determine the risks of developing diabetes mellitus type 1 by the concentration in the blood of specific antibodies that destroy pancreatic cells. This analysis allows you to identify the disease at an early stage and start its treatment in a timely manner.


Type 1 diabetes mellitus is insulin-dependent, in other words, the only way to treat it is by injection.   insulin.   “Even if the disease is detected at an early stage, it will still require hormone replacement therapy ,” adds Dr. Yakovenko, “   Of course, with early diagnosis, insulin doses will be significantly lower.Moreover, in this case, it will be possible to maintain healthy pancreatic cells that can produce hormones . 

Due to the fact that insulin injections will have to be done   all my life, doctors advise you to get comfortable gadgets for this, for example, to get a pen-shaped syringe. Another convenient medical device that allows you to enter insulin is the insulin pump.   “This is a tank into which a certain amount of insulin is loaded, later it is fixed on the belt ,” explains Elena Yakovenko.   – A tubule with a catheter, which is inserted under the skin and secured with a plaster, departs from the container. Using this device, insulin can be administered according to a given individual program, which greatly helps to support patients with severe type 1 diabetes. Also, an insulin pump can be recommended to children – in this case, the parents may not be afraid that the child will miss the scheduled injection . 

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