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What Is Type I Diabetes? How It Is Diagnosed?

There are mainly two forms of diabetes mellitus. Type I diabetes is characterized by the lack of insulin. This is a hormone, which is secreted by some specific groups of cells in pancreas, known as Islet of Langerhans. These are the cells which secret insulin in order to control blood sugar, whenever they receive signals from higher centers in brain.

In type I diabetes mellitus, the pancreatic cells become unable to secrete insulin. One of the major causes of such condition is hereditary or genetic predisposition. The genes responsible for the proper functioning of islet cells are malformed. Type I diabetes usually presents at early age. There are some cases, in which this condition presents in early childhood. However, the most common age of presentation is after the age of 15 years.

Type I diabetes mellitus may also develop due to the exhausted pancreas. If in any case, the development of insulin stops completely, a person develops this form of diabetes. Hence this is not true completely that type I diabetes can only present during young age. However, majority of cases are seen in early ages.

Type I diabetes mellitus is diagnosed incidentally. There are several cases, in which this form of diabetes remained hidden for a long time. The signs and symptoms of this form are vague and hence it is much difficult to judge whether a person is suffering from diabetes or not.

Unlike type II diabetes mellitus which is developed due to insufficient insulin inside the body, type I is more prone to develop complications. The only treatment of type I diabetes is insulin. Oral medications are ineffective in this form and they are reserved for type II diabetes mellitus only.

Once it is diagnosed, an individual having type I diabetes mellitus should try to control his blood sugar level. He can achieve these targets by doing some exercise and by controlling his dietary habits. Additionally he will be required to take any form of insulin so that the blood sugar level would remain in range.

Since high blood sugar is the root cause of several illnesses, therefore, those who develop type I diabetes usually develop terminal and life threatening illnesses more frequently. Diabetic Ketoacidosis, a complicated form, is mainly developed in type I diabetes mellitus. A patient may acquire problems in his eyes, blood vessels, heart, kidneys and brain, etc.

By: Shanti Libbie

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