Type 1 Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Type 1 Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
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Type 1 diabetes is a type of diabetes that especially affects children. Type 1 diabetes is a type of chronic autoimmune disease due to blood sugar (glucose) levels that rise above normal limits. The body of a person with type 1 diabetes is unable to produce enough insulin, or even not to produce it at all.

Insulin is a glucose regulating hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin has a very important role in processing blood sugar into energy. When the body does not have enough insulin, very little glucose is absorbed by cells. As a result, glucose accumulates too much in the blood, causing severe complications.

Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is more often suffered by boys than girls, especially those born with pancreatic problems. A child's risk is also higher if you have a family member who has also had type 1 diabetes.


Type 1 Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
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Type 1 diabetes often starts at 4-7 years or 10-14 years. Symptoms of diabetes in children can appear quickly within a few weeks. The following are symptoms of type 1 diabetes:
  • Frequent urination
  • Faster thirst and hunger
  • It's easier to fall ill
  • Fatigue that attacks every time
  • Old wounds heal
  • Often feel stiff feet or pins and needles
  • Decreased weight
  • Blurred or blurred vision
  • Very easy to get fungal infections, both on the skin, vagina, and teeth and mouth

If you begin to feel these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. Everyone's body is different. Discuss with your doctor to find the best solution for your body condition and health.


The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not clearly known. However, this type of diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are characterized by immune system problems that actually attack and destroy healthy cells.

In type 1 diabetes, the child's immune system actually destroys healthy pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. As a result, the pancreas of a diabetic child does not produce enough insulin. In certain cases, pancreatic cells cannot produce insulin at all.

This condition causes glucose cannot enter the cells to help the body absorb energy, so the glucose level in the blood becomes high and hyperglycemia occurs.

Other causes are based on other diseases, such as cystic fibrosis that affects the pancreas, surgical removal, and severe inflammation of the pancreas.


Here are some of the triggers for type 1 diabetes that you need to know about.

Family history factor

Type 1 diabetes includes hereditary diseases. This means, if you have a grandfather, grandmother, parent or sibling who has type 1 diabetes, you are at greater risk for experiencing it too. This one risk factor cannot be prevented and avoided.


Although type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, it is usually detected from a certain age. First in children aged 4-7 years, then in children aged 10-14 years.

Many triggers for type 1 diabetes have been investigated, although none can be proven. Some other trigger factors include:
  1. Certain viral infections such as Epstein-Barr virus, coxsackie virus, mumps virus, and cytomegalovirus
  2. Drink cow's milk at an early age
  3. Lack of vitamin D
  4. Drink water containing sodium nitrate
  5. Introduction of cereal and gluten foods that are too fast (before 4 months) or too slow (after 7 months)
  6. Having a mother who has preeclampsia during pregnancy
  7. People who are born with jaundice


Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that starts in childhood and lasts a lifetime. If you don't get the right treatment, you have a high risk of experiencing serious complications.

The threat of this diabetes complication makes people with diabetes even worse. Not infrequently, its downturn triggers a variety of other health problems.

According to the American Diabetes Association, here are some complications of type 1 diabetes that you need to be aware of.

1. Nerve disorders

Blood sugar that is not well controlled can cause nerve damage that makes you more often experience tingling or numbness in the fingers, both toes and hands. In medical terms, this condition is called diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathy occurs when the walls of capillaries that provide nutrients to nerves in the body are damaged. In addition to tingling and numbness, this condition can also make sufferers experience pain or heat sensations such as burning on the tip of a toe or hand that slowly spreads upwards.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 25 to 30 percent of people with diabetes have experienced nerve pain. This nerve damage makes people with diabetes (the term for people affected by diabetes) experience sleep disorders and even vulnerable to stress.

2. Diabetic retinopathy

One of the most common diabetic eye complications is diabetic retinopathy. This condition occurs when blood vessels in the retina become swollen which causes leakage of blood vessels.

As a result, the back of the eye is blocked by the flow of blood that continues to come out. If left without treatment, this condition has the potential to cause blindness.

Diabetes can also increase the risk of other serious vision problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts.

3. Diabetic foot

Diabetic foot, or also known as diabetic foot / diabetic foot, is a condition that occurs due to various complications of damage to the nervous system in the foot due to diabetes.

Blood sugar levels that are not controlled properly cause various nerves in the body to numb and lose sensation due to nerve damage.

In addition, poor blood circulation in the legs of diabetics also makes the wound healing process so hampered.

As a result, if the diabetic wound is not treated properly it can become a serious infection that may require amputation, either partially or completely.

4. Germ infections

Diabetes makes sufferers more susceptible to various bacterial and fungal infections. High blood sugar levels cause the body's immune system response to slow to fight germs that cause disease.

On the other hand, high sugar levels actually become an ideal place for germs to spread and colonize the body. Some types of infections that are susceptible to diabetes sufferers include urinary tract infections, teeth and mouth, skin, ears, vagina, etc. etc.

5. Diabetic ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition that should not be underestimated by people who have type 1 diabetes. This condition occurs when the body is deficient or completely unable to produce insulin to process blood glucose.

This makes the body burn fat as energy. As a result, acids are formed called ketones. When ketones are produced in good amounts, they can poison and damage various organs of the body, including the brain.

If left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis can cause coma or even death.

6. Kidney failure

Diabetes can damage blood vessels in the kidneys. When the blood vessels in the kidney are damaged, the function and performance of the kidneys will be disrupted. As a result, kidney failure or advanced stage kidney disease occurs. If you have this, the child may need a kidney transplant or dialysis.


The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.
Type 1 Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
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Type 1 diabetes can not be cured. Existing treatment aims to reduce or alleviate the symptoms of sufferers. Here are some types of type 1 diabetes treatment that is often done by doctors.

1. Insulin therapy

This type of diabetes occurs because the body is deficient or even unable to produce insulin at all. Instead, doctors will usually do insulin therapy to control the sufferer's blood sugar.

Insulin therapy can be given in the form of injections, insulin pens, or insulin pumps. Giving insulin therapy varies in each person. Some people may need insulin injections a day, while others can get three to four injections a day.

The duration of insulin therapy will also be different, depending on the needs and conditions of each person. Some people may only need insulin therapy within a few months. While others, may have to undergo therapy for years or even a lifetime.

2. Certain medications

Treatment of type 1 diabetes is also often combined with certain types of medications to help control your blood sugar and prevent other complications. Here are some diabetes medications that are often prescribed by doctors:
  • Metformin
  • Pramlintide
  • Aspirin
  • High blood pressure medications, such as ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB)
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs

3. Healthy eating patterns

Live the diet according to doctor's advice. Make sure you choose foods with balanced nutrition which include fiber, protein, carbohydrates, and good fats. Avoid consuming too much food that is high in sugar, fat, and salt.

Don't forget, also pay attention to your portion of food every day. It's better to eat less food but often rather than having to eat large amounts at one time.

4. Be diligent in sports

Increase physical activity and start exercising regularly every day. No need to do strenuous exercise, just do light physical activities such as walking, biking, swimming, and running.

5. Avoid stress

Avoid stress and make sure you get enough quality sleep every night. Remember, stress can cause an increase in blood sugar!

6. Diligently check blood sugar levels

It is important for you to check blood sugar levels before and after eating. You can check yourself at home with a blood sugar check tool that can be purchased at the nearest pharmacy or drug store. However, read the usage instructions carefully.

7. Take medication regularly

Follow your doctor's rules as closely as possible regarding the use of insulin and other diabetes medications. Do not stop or double the dose of insulin carelessly.

Immediately consult a doctor when you feel dizzy, blurry, lethargic, lack of energy to just get up from bed. If you have questions, consult your doctor for the best solution for your problem.

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