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Everything About Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10% of all diabetes cases. This form of the disease appears most often in childhood or adolescence.

At the very beginning, type 1 diabetes does not cause any symptoms because the pancreas remains partially functional. The disease does not become apparent until 80-90% of the pancreatic insulin-producing cells are already destroyed.

This is because individuals who have type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin at all due to an autoimmune reaction that partially or completely destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. The latter’s role is to synthesize insulin, which is essential for the body to use blood glucose for energy. In this type of diabetes, it is absolutely necessary to take insulin regularly, hence the name that is often attributed to “insulin-dependent diabetes (IDD)”. In fact, this disease was fatal before it could be controlled with insulin.

 Causes :

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It is not known what exactly causes the immune system to respond to beta cells. Certain individuals would be predisposed to the disease, by their heredity. A family history of type 1 diabetes is found in just under 10% of cases. The disease is likely the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Exposure to certain viruses or foods early in life could, for example, play a role in the onset of the disease.

Possible complications :

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In the long term, type 1 diabetes increases the risk of several health problems: cardiovascular disease, kidney problems, loss of sensitivity in the fingers and feet, vision problems that can lead to blindness, etc.

The best way to prevent these complications is to regularly monitor your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol regularly.

 Watch out for celiac disease

Celiac disease is particularly common in people with type 1 diabetes: 20 times more than in the general population, according to one study. Celiac disease is another autoimmune disease whose symptoms (mainly digestive) are triggered by the consumption of gluten, a protein found in several grains. Therefore, screening for celiac disease is recommended in type 1 diabetics, even in the absence of obvious symptoms.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes:

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• Excessive elimination of urine (it is common to get up at night to urinate);

• An increase in thirst and hunger;

• Significant fatigue;

• Weight loss;

• Blurred vision.

Remark. More frequent infections, slower wound healing, or loss of sensitivity in the feet are some of the possible signs of complications. It is then necessary to consult your doctor without delay.

People at risk and risk factors for type 1 diabetes:

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People at risk :

• People with a hereditary predisposition (family history). When a close relative has type 1 diabetes (father, mother, brother or sister), the risk of having it also fluctuates between 5% and 10%. In identical twins, when one of them is affected, the other develops the disease 30% to 50% of cases1;

• As shown by epidemiological studies, type 1 diabetes is more common in populations living far from the equator. In Finland, for example, the disease is 2 to 3 times more common than in the United States, and 400 times more than in Venezuela. An insufficient intake of vitamin D, the manufacture of which depends on exposure to the sun, may partly explain this phenomenon.

Risk factors :

There is no established risk factor. Here are some assumptions.

•     Cow milk: Early consumption of cow’s milk in infants may contribute to the development of allergies and type 1 diabetes in children with a family history of diabetes. Public health authorities advise against giving cow’s milk to newborns before the age of 12 months. Type 1 diabetes is rarer in people who have been breastfed;

• Early introduction of cereals: Introducing cereals too early (before the age of 4 months) could contribute to the disease; do not give it to the baby before the age of 6 months.

•     Viral infection: Infection with Epstein-Barr virus, Coxsackie virus, or cytomegalovirus, for example, could trigger the autoimmune reaction against the pancreas.

Prevention of type 1 diabetes :

Basic preventive measures

To prevent type 1 diabetes, the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin in people at high risk for the disease should be prevented from being destroyed. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, there is not yet an effective and safe method to prevent this disease, even if you consult very early in the life of a child considered at risk. Therefore, any steps to prevent type 1 diabetes should be done in close collaboration with a doctor and in some cases, as part of an experimental study.

 Ongoing research

Vitamin D: Several observational studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation of young children significantly lowered the risk of developing type 1 diabetes (daily dosages ranged from 400 IU to 2000 IU). However, no clinical trial has yet confirmed this. Due to the lack of risks associated with taking vitamin D and its many health benefits, some doctors recommend it as a preventive measure;

Immunotherapy: This is the most promising path, and the one in which scientists are investing the most. Immunotherapy aims to allow the immune system to “tolerate” the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin. Several forms of immunotherapy are being tested, for example: a vaccine composed of antigens of the pancreas of the person to be treated; an autologous transplant of immune cells to remove the destructive cells and allow the development of new tolerant cells; and transfusion of blood taken from the umbilical cord at the time of birth (in young children);

Vitamin B3: In vitro data and animal studies have supported the hypothesis that niacinamide (vitamin B3) may have a protective effect on beta cells in the pancreas. Some preliminary clinical trials have also fueled this hope. However, larger studies have not produced convincing results. For example, in the framework of the European Nicotinamide Diabetes Intervention Trial (ENDIT) , high doses of niacinamide or a placebo were given to 552 people at risk of type 1 diabetes (close relative affected, presence of autoantibodies against pancreas and normal glucose tolerance test). Niacinamide did not reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

Injection of low doses of insulin: One of the preventive approaches tested is to administer small doses of insulin to people at risk. This approach has been evaluated as part of the type 1 diabetes prevention trial (1,2). Insulin therapy had no preventive effect except in a high-risk subgroup, in whom the onset of diabetes was slightly delayed.

One of the research challenges is targeting the people most at risk of developing the disease. One of the indicators studied is the development in the blood of antibodies to pancreatic beta cells (autoantibodies). These antibodies can be present years before the onset of the disease. Since there are several types of these antibodies, it is a question of finding out which ones are the most predictive of the disease, and from what quantity.

Medical treatments and complementary approaches to type 1 diabetes:

Medical treatments:

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Diabetics can hope to lead an active, independent and dynamic life provided they respect, throughout their existence, a strict discipline by:

• checking the blood glucose level using a blood glucose meter;

• an appropriate diet;

• a physical exercise program.

• ways to better manage stress.

People with type 1 diabetes often need to be treated for health problems that may be associated with this disease.

 Medication:

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People with type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin to compensate for the insufficient production of the pancreas. Injection rather than taking insulin by mouth is necessary because it is destroyed by digestive juices. As the treatments are daily (often several times a day), the patient must learn to administer the injections himself.

The dosage and type of insulin used vary according to the subject’s actual insulin needs at each time of the day. Hence the need for close medical monitoring. At the start of treatment, it may take a while for you to find the right dosage.

There are different types of insulin, with different rates of action. The majority of patients give 3 to 5 injections per day, or even use an “insulin pump”, a small device installed on the body and designed to provide, 24 hours a day, a continuous infusion of insulin. The goal is to make sure that blood sugar is as close to normal as possible at all times. In this way, the incidence and severity of complications associated with type 1 diabetes are significantly reduced. Long-acting insulins, which require only 1 injection per day, are also available. The choice of the type of insulin should be made with the attending physician.

 Surgery:

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In recent years, researchers have increasingly focused on the therapeutic benefits of transplantation of the pancreas or islets of Langerhans in type 1 diabetics. Due to the risks, pancreatic transplantation is reserved for cases where diabetes does not. can be controlled with insulin injections or with severe complications. Less expensive and less risky, the transplantation of the islets of Langerhans is still at the experimental stage.

Complementary approaches:

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It is logical to admit that functional medicine cannot restore an organ if it has completely lost its function or if it is dispersed. For example, if a person loses an organ like a hand or a leg, functional medicine or a complementary approach cannot restore it, same as the function of an organ like the kidneys and pancreas. In our topic today, type 1 diabetes, an immune virus has destroyed the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, so these cells have lost their function and can no longer produce insulin, which is the main key to supplying the cells of every organ in the body with fuel, which is called glucose (except for the brain which produces the insulin it needs. Glucose can not enter the cells of any organ without the presence of insulin, which causes the accumulation of sugar in the blood. Thus, the cells of the body are destroyed and die, and the person dies. But thanks to science, the patient was able to use injections of insulin to replace it in the body. But to protect the body from serious complications that affect the person in the long term, the patient must use the complementary approaches. In this article, we present you some successful steps to protect type 1 diabetics from serious complications.

-It is necessary to monitor the hemoglobin accumulated under number 6, in this case you will not suffer from any of the serious symptoms.

-Refrain from all starchy grains, such as wheat, corn, rice, and other starchy grains, and be satisfied with the starches found in vegetables. You can eat all vegetables and a lot of them except potatoes of all kinds as they contain a high percentage of carbohydrates.

-Do not eat any fruit except strawberries and berries

-Reduce the meat and only a small amount. You can eat good red meat, poultry, good eggs, canned fish and tuna, but in small amounts.

-Eat only beneficial fats (like avocados, nuts, olive oil, butter from natural pastures, seeds like chia, flax, and sesame), while avoiding processed oils.

-Do light exercises to activate the organs of the body.

-Monitoring the insulin in the body, by following these tips, will reduce the need for an insulin dose, so it is recommended to constantly monitor the insulin. Some people who took this advice were able to reduce their insulin dose from 3 times to once per day.

With these important steps, you will live without severe symptoms, but you will still need to use insulin injections, and you can reduce the doses and only be once a day.

Here is this link on living testimonials from people who have been able to live comfortably with the disease. This link will motivate you to follow a healthy lifestyle to live with type 1 diabetes in a safe and healthy way.

How a Low-Carb Diet Might Aid People With Type 1 Diabetes – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Last word :

In the past, type 1 diabetes caused death shortly after diagnosis, after symptoms set in. Today, insulin saves lives. But the repercussions on daily life, as well as the constraints related to the disease and its treatment are often very heavy for the patient and his family.

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A patient who is extremely well informed about his disease is the key for success in order to live as well as possible. It also helps to overcome the drawbacks attached to it. The family must also become an expert in the matter. The patient will benefit greatly from the help offered by the multidisciplinary diabetes team.

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