Diabetes Mellitus: What is Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus?
Type 1 diabetes mellitus is different from type 2 diabetes mellitus. But what’s the difference between the two forms of diabetes mellitus? Who should get tested for type 1 diabetes mellitus? If you are not confident about the answers, we can help you clear your doubts on type 1 diabetes mellitus. This is a complete guide to type 1 diabetes mellitus.
There are two types of diabetes mellitus:
Type 1 diabetes mellitus – Here, diabetes mellitus is hereditary. It is known as insulin-dependent or childhood-onset diabetes, which is characterized by a lack of insulin production.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus – This is caused by lifestyle changes like regular consumption of unhealthy food plus sedentary life and increase in weight. It is also called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is caused by the body’s ineffective use of insulin.
What is Type 1 diabetes mellitus?
‘Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. The subsequent lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose.’ As mentioned on Wikipedia, Type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Causes of Type 1 diabetes mellitus:
‘It’s in your genes’, you may have heard it over and over again. But it is true for type 1 diabetes mellitus. If your family members are known to go through diabetes, then there are chances that it can affect you.
But this may not be so for everyone, type 1 diabetes mellitus can be triggered by virus or diet earlier on in life. Type 1 diabetes mellitus can be caused if the virus or food when triggers a reaction to autoimmune response.
In most cases of type 1 diabetes, people need to inherit risk factors from both parents.
Type 1 diabetes refers to cell-mediated autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta islet cells which leads to absolute insulin deficiency. The autoimmune nature of type 1 diabetes has been intensively investigated and thus it is said that the pathogenesis of the disease can be explained by interplay between genetics and environment.
Genes alone are not enough. One proof of this is identical twins. Identical twins have identical genes. Yet when one twin has type 1 diabetes, the other gets the disease at most only half the time. When one twin has type 2 diabetes, the other's risk is at most 3 in 4.
Type 2 diabetes has a stronger link to family history and lineage than type 1, although it too depends on environmental factor such as food intake and exercise. Studies of twins have shown that genetics play a very strong role in the development of type 2 diabetes but the genes involved remain poorly defined.
Lifestyle also influences the development of type 2 diabetes. Obesity tends to run in families, and families tend to have similar eating and exercise habits.
If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, it may be difficult to figure out whether your diabetes is due to lifestyle factors or genetic susceptibility. Most likely it is due to both. However, don’t lose heart. Studies show that it is possible to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes by exercising, eating right and thereby losing weight and delaying or preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes mellitus:
- Increase in thirst
- Increase in appetite
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss and weight gain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Vision loss
- Itchy skin
- Slow healing
Type 1 diabetes mellitus management:
Insulin therapy so far seems to be the most popular way to manage diabetes. But rare cases involve pancreas transplant too.
*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images