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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS
Type 1 Diabetes mellitus
Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Diabetes mellitus or simply diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by elevation of blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger).

Type 1 Diabetes mellitus results from the body's failure to produce insulin and presently requires the person to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. This form was previously referred to as "insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus" (IDDM) or "juvenile diabetes".

See also: 

Symptoms
  • Excessive thirst and appetite
  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual weight loss or gain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, perhaps vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • In women, frequent vaginal infections
  • In men and women, yeast infections
  • Dry mouth
  • Slow-healing sores or cuts
  • Itching skin, especially in the groin or vaginal area
  • Breathing more deeply and rapidly than normal -- perhaps with sweet breath that smells like nail polish remover

Long-term complications of poorly controlled diabetes include:

  • Eye complications which may lead to cataracts and blindness
  • Cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension, heart attack, and stroke
  • Poor blood circulation (poorly healing wound, limb amputation)
  • Kidney failure
Risk Factors
  • Age
  • Genetics and family history
  • Diseases of the pancreas
  • Infection or illness
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
Commonly Prescribed Drugs

Insulin may be of human insulin or a synthetic insulin analog. Three types of insulin based on their onset, duration & intensity of action following subcutaneous administration:

  • Short-acting
  • Long-acting
  • Intermediate-acting

Insulin is the primary mainstay therapy for type 1 DM but it may also be given to type 2 DM patients whose condition is not properly controlled by diet, exercise & weight reduction.

Treatment and Management
  • Diet modifications. Use of alternative sweeteners should be weighed against their safety. Eating a smaller meal more often is recommended because the smaller the meal, the less insulin is needed to handle the glucose influx from each meal. Instead have complex carbohydrates like rice, pasta, cereals and fresh fruits.
  • Exercise. Repetitive, rhythmic movements involving the large muscles (e.g. walking, jogging, swimming, rowing or bicycling) are best for diabetics. Lifting weights or engaging in any activity that involves pushing or pulling weights may cause a raised blood sugar level and blood pressure.
Home Remedies
Suggested Readings
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Other Health Conditions
Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnant women without a previous diagnosis... read more
Type 2 Diabetes mellitus results from insulin resistance, a condition... read more
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