Type 1 Diabetes
By Maya Stadler
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. That means when your immune system, which defends your body against disease and unknown cells, decides your healthy cells are foreign. The Digestive system is the affected system in the body when you have type 1. Diabetes can affect many major organs inside your body such as eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels. The gland that causes diabetes is your Pancreas.
What Happens In Your Body When You Have Type 1?
Inside your body, you have a gland called your Pancreas. Every time you eat, Glucose (sugar) enters your body. You pancreas creates a hormone called Insulin. Insulin keeps your blood sugar in range so bad things don't happen. Insulin is like the key that opens the cells and lets the glucose in. People with type 1 diabetes, their pancreas stops creating insulin, so all the glucose gets clogged up in side and your cells die off. People with type 1 must take insulin through either a shot or a pod to receive the insulin their body needs.
Who Is Affected?
There are currently 3 million americans affected by type 1, and 5 million around the world. Type 1 diabetes is now becoming one of the fastest childhood growing diseases. Even though there is no "target age" for getting diabetes, it mostly affects children and young adults.
How Can You Tell If You May Have Type 1?
Some of the signs or type 1 are:
- Intense thirst
- Frequent Urination
- Unexplained weight loss
- Vision changes, loss, or problems.
How Does Type 1 Diabetes Arise?
Type 1 is mostly a genetic disease, but it can be caught by a virus. If a family member has type 1, you are more likely to get it than someone who doesn't, but it is still as possible for someone to receive is without any family relations. There are currently 5 billion people around the world who are affected by this disease.
How Many Types of Diabetes Are There?
There are 3 types of diabetes; Type 1 or Juvenille Diabetes, Type 2 which is based on diet and obesity, and Type 3 which is very rare. Type 3 is for pregnant women.
What is the Mortality of Living With Type 1 Diabetes?
Although there is no certain death expectancy, you can make bad things happen by not taking insulin. Like when you take too much insulin, your blood sugar will go down to dangerously low levels and you could potentially pass out or if not treated immediately, die. That is also known as Hypoglycemia. If you take too little insulin, your blood sugars will skyrocket and you can faint and/or pass out. That is known as Hyperglycemia.
How Do You Treat It?
Although there is no cure, the treatment to keep your blood sugar in range is taking insulin through either a shot or an insulin pump after or before eating it the most common treatment. Some side treatments are exercising daily, keeping your weight maintained and having a healthy diet.
My sister, Addy (10), was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in March 2013. I chose this disease for my human body project because I am so very proud of my sister and how she takes care of her diabetes so well. Addy has a pump, called an Onmi-Pod, which is a wireless pod that she can put anywhere on her body. From her arm, thigh, butt, or stomach. The pod is waterproof so she can swim and go to waterparks.
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