When you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas produces no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that aids the entry of blood sugar into cells, where it can be used for energy. Blood sugar cannot enter cells without insulin, accumulating in the bloodstream. High blood sugar harms the body and contributes to many symptoms and consequences associated with diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes (also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes) is most commonly diagnosed in children, teenagers, and young adults, but it can strike anyone at any age. Secondary diabetes is similar to type 1, but your beta cells are destroyed by something other than your immune systems, such as a disease or an injury to your pancreas.

These conditions are distinct from type 2 diabetes, which occurs when your body does not respond to insulin as it should. Type 1 diabetes is less frequent than type 2 diabetes; roughly 5-10% of diabetics have type 1. No one knows how to avoid type 1 diabetes at this time, but it can be treated by following your doctor’s advice for a balanced lifestyle, blood sugar management, and frequent health examinations.

If you live with type 1 diabetes, you will face some challenges in obtaining personal insurance coverage.  Matt Schmidt with Diabetes 365 mentions, ” Those living with type 1 diabetes will have a hard time qualifying for life, health, disability and long-term care insurance products.  Also, you will end up paying much higher premiums compared to a person with type 2 diabetes.  Insurance companies will always view a type 1 individual as a higher risk, which in turn leads to higher rates.  As an example, life insurance with type 1 diabetes might be 20% to 40% more expensive over the lifetime of the insurance policy.”

What causes type 1 diabetes?

Before type 1 diabetes symptoms appear, enough beta cells must be damaged. This might take months or years. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can appear in as little as a few weeks or months. Symptoms might be severe once they emerge.

World diabetes day awareness concept. The diabetes measure set and different kind of sugar, a symbol of diabetic control in the blood, 14 November.

Some of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes are similar to those of other illnesses. If you suspect you may have type 1 diabetes, see your doctor straight away to check your blood sugar levels. Diabetes, if left untreated, can cause serious, even fatal, health concerns. Here are some signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes to be aware of.

Type 1 diabetes symptoms:

The signs can be modest at first, but they can quickly escalate. They are as follows:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Hunger has increased (especially after eating)
  • Mouth is parched
  • Vomiting and an upset stomach
  • Urination regularly
  • Weight loss that is unexplained even though you are eating and feeling hungry
  • Fatigue
  • Vision is blurry.
  • Breathing that is heavy and laborious (your doctor may call this Kussmaul respiration)
  • Infections involving the skin, urinary tract, or vaginal area
  • irritability or mood swings
  • A child who had been dry at night develops bedwetting.

Sign of emergency in type 1 diabetes:

  • Shaking and confusion
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fruity smell to your breath
  • Belly pain
  • Loss of consciousness (rare)

Testing for Type 1 Diabetes

If you have diabetes, a simple blood test will reveal it. If you had your blood sugar checked at a health fair or pharmacy, go to a clinic or doctor’s office to double-check the results.

Your blood may be examined for autoantibodies (substances that show your body is attacking itself) if your doctor suspects you have type 1 diabetes. Autoantibodies are common in type 1 diabetes but not in type 2. Ketones (made when your body consumes fat for energy) may be detected in your urine, indicating type 1 diabetes rather than type 2.

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