Type 1 diabetes
What is Type 1 diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus type 1 (also known as type 1 diabetes, or T1DM; formerly insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes) is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from the autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The subsequent lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose. The classical symptoms are polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), polyphagia (increased hunger) and weight loss.
The cause of diabetes mellitus type 1 is unknown. Type 1 diabetes can be distinguished from type 2 by autoantibody testing. The C-peptide assay, which measures endogenous insulin production, can also be used.
Administration of insulin is essential for survival. Insulin therapy must be continued indefinitely and does not usually impair normal daily activities. People are usually trained to manage their diabetes independently; however, for some this can be challenging. Untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. Acute complications include diabetic ketoacidosis and nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Serious long-term complications include heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, foot ulcers and damage to the eyes. Furthermore, complications may arise from low blood sugar caused by excessive treatment.
Diabetes mellitus type 1 accounts for between 5% and 10% of cases of diabetes. Within the United States the number of affected persons is estimated at one to three million. The United States and northern Europe fall somewhere in between with 8-17 new cases per 100,000 per year.