What is Type I Diabetes?
Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the body fails to produce insulin. Insulin–a hormone produced by the pancreas—is crucial to the process of breaking down glucose and converting it into a useful source of energy and fuel for the body. Individuals who do no produce insulin, thus, cannot properly break down necessary sugars, which in turn prevents them from obtaining necessary nutrients, and results in glucose build-up in the blood. Type I diabetes most often occurs in children and young adults, but can appear at any age.
What are some symptoms of this condition?
Symptoms include: extreme fatigue, unusual weight loss, constant hunger, blurred vision, increased thirst and urination, nausea, dry mouth, and frequent yeast infections.
How does the condition progress?
After a diagnosis of type I diabetes is made, a doctor will discuss treatment options to control blood sugar levels. There is no cure for type I diabetes, but the condition is highly manageable if the inflicted individual carefully monitors his diet and medication. Without careful self-management, type I diabetes can cause major long-term complications like heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage in the feet and legs, eye damage, osteoporosis and bacterial or fungal infections. Physical activity, a healthy diet and good medical care greatly reduce the risk of such complications occurring.
How can the condition be treated?
Treatment includes insulin supplements, regular exercise, healthy eating, and monitoring blood sugar levels. Individuals with type I diabetes take insulin every day, either by injection or pump. By means of a small needle or insulin pen, insulin injections deliver insulin to the body quite quickly. An insulin pump is worn outside the body and connects to a catheter inserted under the skin near the abdomen. The pump automatically injects the body with insulin at a steady rate to regulate the sugar in the bloodstream.
Our approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy
At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, we offer a variety of beneficial services for individuals with type I diabetes. Our registered dietitians and licensed professional counselors work with clients to create healthy meal plans and identify coping strategies, since we knowhow important it is for people with type I diabetes to make their physical and emotional health a priority.