How Can Type-1 Diabetes Be Treated and Prevented?

Juvenile diabetes or more familiar called as type-1 diabetes is a kind of insulin-dependent diabetes. Most patients have and get it for a lifelong condition (chronic condition). In people with this disease, the production of insulin (a kind of hormone that is crucial to help glucose in the bloodstream to enter into the cells of the body) is no longer to be produced optimally. Even some patients don’t have any insulin in their pancreas. Can this disease be prevented? How can it be treated? What else you need to know?

The number of patients with type-1 is much fewer than the number of type-2 diabetes. But fortunately, type-1 is slightly easier to be understood than type-2.

Moreover although doctors often say that there may be no cure for type-1, but most patients can cope with the disease and they also can expect to have healthier lives & live longer with the appropriate treatment – according to Mayo Clinic.

Does type 1 diabetes run in families – who is at highest risk?

The disease is most often diagnosed in under age of 20 (young adults, adolescents, and children). However it can occur at any age. According to Diabetes dot Org (the American Diabetes Association), about 1 out of every 400 adolescents and children is diagnosed with diabetes – especially for type-1.

If you have a family history of this disease, do you have an increased risk of having the same condition? –Yes, you do! For this case, your risk is higher than others who don’t have family history of the disease. But this doesn’t mean that you will definitely have or develop the disease later in your life!

Additionally, according to an article published on the National Library of Medicine, type-1 diabetes can run in families or can be passed through families.

Can type 1 diabetes be prevented?

Unfortunately, currently it cannot be prevented. But some studies are ongoing to find the clearly answer in preventing it and the exact cause of the disease.

Is there any vaccine to prevent this disease? No, there is still no vaccine for type-1 diabetes. Moreover there is opinion that certain vaccines may have contribution to cause this disease. In fact there also is still no clearly scientific evidence to confirm the link between vaccines and the development of type-1 diabetes. So, children and kids who are at risk of developing diabetes still require taking the recommended immunizations – according to an article published on Health Wise in 2010.

In addition, if you are diagnosed with this disease, you can ask your doctor whether you are eligible to take a clinical trial. But before making decision, don’t forget to carefully consider the benefits and risks of your choice – discuss more this issue with your doctor for more advice!

How does type-1 diabetes differ from type-2 diabetes?

About 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases are type-2, and the rest (about 5 to 10 percent) is type-1. The following are major checklists for the differences of both conditions:

Generally patients are diagnosed with type-1 have a total lack of insulin – in other words, the pancreas of patient doesn’t produce any insulin.

Experts believe that the autoimmune disorder is the most responsible. Without known reason, the body immune system fights insulin or inhibit the production of insulin in the pancreas. If there is no insulin, cells of the body lose their ability to absorb glucose (sugar) taken from foods. As a result, the production of energy will be affected and there will be more sugar /glucose in the blood (the level of blood sugar can increase drastically).

Typically, the symptoms of the disease start in young adulthood or even in childhood. Patients often seek help (medical help) since they are seriously ill from drastically increased blood sugar that can occur suddenly.

Moreover, patients are also more likely to experience more episodes of hypoglycemia (low level of blood sugar). And as mentioned before, there is still no clearly answer about the effective ways to prevent type-1 diabetes! In other words, doctors often say that it cannot be prevented.

Generally patients with this kind of diabetes still have some insulin or their pancreas still works in producing insulin but the production of insulin is not enough to meet the body needs. Furthermore, the body of patient also often cannot use insulin optimally and effectively. These reasons can cause a condition called insulin resistance.

While type-1 is more common in the age of before 20, type-2 often affects adults – but today there is increasing number of children who diagnosed with type-2.

Patients with type-2 may not notice any symptom before the diagnosis. And unlike type-1, there is almost no episode of hypoglycemia unless patient is taking certain oral medicines for diabetes or taking insulin.

How about the chance of preventing type-2? The good news, there are some steps that you can do to lower your risk of this disease. Doctors say that it can be delayed or prevented with some healthy habits, such as maintaining your healthy weight, eating healthfully (a well-balanced diet), regular exercise, and so on.

Can type 1 diabetes be misdiagnosed?

There is always a chance for misdiagnosis. But doctors know exactly about this issue and what they will do before making a diagnosis of this disease. If you experience some type-1 diabetes symptoms, there are several tests that you need to take to find the underline problem.

In other words, there are already available some standard tests (such as A1C test ‘Glycated hemoglobin test’) to make a diagnosis of type-1 diabetes so thus the chance of misdiagnosis is now much pretty lower. Most of these tests are blood tests that commonly purposed to analyze the fluctuation of your blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, there are also certain tests that purposed to analyze autoantibodies to find the presence of autoimmune disorder – this is one of very crucial steps to determine whether you have type-1 or type-2 diabetes.

The chance of misdiagnosis may be slightly higher if you also have other certain health conditions (such as hemoglobin variant –unusual form of hemoglobin) or if you are being pregnant. If you in doubt with the issue of misdiagnosis, ask your doctor!

How can type 1 diabetes be treated?

In general, the goal of the treatment is purposed to keep the level of your blood sugar as close to normal range as possible in order to prevent /just delay the complications.

The major checklists of the treatment

how_can_type-1_diabetes_be_treated_illustrationTypically, the treatment plan is a lifelong commitment to the following crucial points:

  1. Monitoring and maintaining the blood sugar level. This is not only important to prevent the recurrence symptoms but also important to prevent complications from diabetes!
  2. Maintaining your healthy weight. If you are being overweight, it’s more difficult to control and manage your blood sugar levels.
  3. Doing moderate exercise regularly. Getting adequate physical activity a day is important to improve the performance of your body in using insulin. Furthermore exercise is also good for your overall health.
  4. Staying on a well-balanced diet to eat healthy foods and to spread your carbohydrate intake throughout the day so thus will be helpful to eliminate the risk of increasing blood sugar level – particularly after meals. Ask your dietitian for more advice about best diet for your diabetes!
  5. Taking insulin! You may need to get some insulin injections – how many times you need them, ask your doctor! In addition, there are several methods to take insulin. It can be administered using an insulin pump (a method that uses a special device worn on the outside of the patient’s body), an insulin pen (as the name suggests, it seems like an ink pen and has cartridge that filled with insulin), and with a fine & appropriate needle (the injection method).
  6. Regularly medical checkups – this is purposed to adjust the treatment if required and to monitor the progress of the disease. These regular checkups sometime may also involve some tests & screening exams to watch and analyze any sign of complications.
  7. And keep far away from unhealthy habits – such as cigarette smoking and abusing alcohol.

In addition, for children with type-1 diabetes, the goal of treatment is also purposed to allow them to get the normal development and growth.

Oral medications

In line with the treatment plan, doctors may also prescribe some oral medications. The following are some of medications that commonly prescribed by doctors for people with type-1 diabetes:

  1. If necessary, doctors may prescribe aspirin to be consumed regularly in order to protect heart of patient.
  2. Medications to control blood pressure! Though even you don’t have hypertension, certain drugs to treat high blood pressure may be prescribed by your doctor. They are not helpful to reduce your risk of hypertension but also can help promote good health for your kidneys. Generally, the normal levels of blood pressure in patients with diabetes are around less than 130/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury).
  3. Cholesterol-controlling drugs! There is no sign of elevated cholesterol. In fact people with diabetes are also often linked to the high risk of heart disease. Therefore, it’s important for them to control their cholesterol level as well. If you have diabetes, you need to take monitoring the level of your cholesterol regularly – sometime your doctor may also prescribe some medications to help manage or lower your cholesterol.

What is the best insulin for your type-1 diabetes?

There are some types of insulin for people with diabetes. In general, they are classified based on how fast they work and the length of duration of their effect lasts.