Facts About Type 1 Diabetes
Insulin dependent diabetes is a lifelong disease caused by lack of insulin.
Insulin is a hormone - a substance of vital importance that is made by your
body. Without insulin your body can't make proper use of the food you eat.
This causes your blood glucose (blood sugar) to rise too high.
Type 1 diabetes is characterized by complete destruction of the beta
cells in the pancreas by the bodyís immune system (auto-immune disease).
Since the beta cells are the endocrine gland secreting insulin, which
regulates the blood glucose levels in the body, destruction of the beta
cells results in high blood glucose levels, and if untreated can result in a
potentially fatal consequence, ketoacidosis.
Type 1 diabetes can occur in
anyone, although it most commonly occurs in children and adolescents or
young adults. It usually occurs spontaneously and quite abruptly without
any warning and is not associated with a family history of diabetes. Insulin
treatment is life saving.
Once the beta cells are destroyed, insulin
therapy will be necessary for the rest of an individualís life or until a
cure is found. About 5-8% of all diabetics have Type I diabetes.