Type 1 Diabetes Overview, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Type one diabetes is a chronic condition associated with the inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin. This makes the body dependent on synthesized insulin for the individual’s survival.

Essentially, the condition has been referred to as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes due to the fact that it is common among juveniles and that individuals suffering from it depend on insulin for survival. The hormone insulin makes it possible for glucose to find its way to the body cells where it undergoes conversion to form energy. This article provides an overview of this chronic condition and how to manage it.



The actual cause of this condition has never been established. The only thing that is known is that the body’s immune system ends up destroying the islets. Islets are the cells in the pancreas that are known to produce insulin. When insulin is secreted, it enters the bloodstream where it circulates into the whole body allowing glucose to enter the body cells. However, it is not all the glucose that should be absorbed into the body cells hence insulin serves as a way of reducing the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. A drop in the amount of glucose in the bloodstream triggers a reduction in the amount of insulin secreted.

The body, on the other hand, survives on the energy produced by glucose hence its constant flow is needed to make cells and muscles. With the main sources of glucose being the liver and food, the amount of glucose available in the bloodstream needs to be kept in check. However, the destruction of a significant number of islets impairs the whole process. Incidentally, the body no longer produces insulin of its own which makes the individual rely on externally synthesized insulin. Otherwise, there would be a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream which is life-threatening.

Other causes of the same maybe exposure to certain environmental factors, viruses and genetics

Signs and Symptoms

Just like any other condition, type 1 diabetes has its own signs and symptoms. The appearance of these signs and symptoms may be sudden or even relative. They range from blurred vision to weakness and fatigue, mood swings and irritability, weight loss, extreme hunger, sudden bed wetting in juveniles who had already been past this stage, frequent urination and increased thirst. If you notice such conditions in your child, you should consult a doctor to have the kid checked for this life-threatening condition.


With the advancement in technology, a lot of effort has been projected towards seeking a long lasting solution to chronic type 1 diabetes condition. Glucose monitoring and sensing are one of the technologies that have been advanced in recent years.

With over 8 types of insulin having been developed, a lot of effort has to be further employed in the diabetes control and complications trial in order to administer the available treatments effectively.

Currently, insulin therapy is the only means used to control this condition. The actual cure has not yet been found which makes victims rely on injecting themselves with laboratory-made insulin. Initially, NPH insulin was being used but its varied durations of action in different patients made it ineffective calling for improvements. This led to the introduction of the U 100 insulin that functioned like the insulin produced by the human body.

However, the use of this form of insulin requires the patient to be actively involved in exercises as well as improving their diet. The two  help in glycemic control as a part of the DCCT regime. There is also the inhaled and oral insulin regime also known as Exubera that involves the use of insulin powder that can be ingested into the body via inhaling or taking it orally. There are also diabetic socks and foot creams to help alleviate leg fatigue and promote healthy circulation.


Unfortunately, there is no known way in which an individual can prevent juvenile diabetes. However, intensive research is being carried out on how to prevent the islet cells from further being destroyed in those that have recently been diagnosed with the condition. Those suffering from the condition should consult a doctor and weigh the benefits and risks of the available treatments.


Unlike most of the other treatable diseases, type 1 diabetes has no actual cure. Patients should, therefore, focus on managing it as researchers continue to seek the cure. Once diagnosed with the disease, the best option is to weigh the risk factors as well as the benefits of every treatment in a trial that you are eligible for.

Before going for any treatment. Keeping your body fit through constant exercises as well as having a healthy diet also helps to control the condition

Sexual Issues and Type 1 Diabetes

Type one diabetes has been associated with sexual dysfunction in both men and women since it was discovered. Therefore, the patients should recognize that they are charged with the responsibility of keeping their sexual life healthy through managing and controlling all the diabetic associated factors that may impair their sexual health. It has been a relief to many people experiencing this type of complication since advancement in technology has made it possible to prevent and treat such sexual conditions. This article will shed light into some of these sexual issues and how they can be managed

Men Associated Issues

Men Associated Issues

In a number of instances, diabetes can lead to complications in the nervous system. At times also, blood circulation in the body may be affected when diabetes is not well managed. Since nerves and blood circulation play a major role in ejaculation and erection, men suffering from the nervous system and circulation system complications may also suffer from erectile dysfunction. Hyperglycemia tends to negatively impact on the blood vessels in all parts of the body such as the kidney, the eyes, the heart and the penis. When the blood vessels are changed or affected, it becomes hard for men to maintain an erection which negatively affects their sexual life. This occurs since the blood vessels in the erectile tissues of the penis are hardened and become narrow which hampers the flow of blood into these tissues. In other instances, nerve damage may make the ejaculate to go to the bladder rather than flowing through the penis.

Solutions in Men

There exists a number of ways through which diabetes sexual dysfunction condition in men can be treated. The patient may receive the normal erectile dysfunction treatment that is administered to the overall population. However, the administered dose should be somewhat higher than the usual dose administered to the other people who are not suffering from this condition. Other forms of treatment such as injecting the treatment directly into the penis tissues, placement of medicinal pellets into the urethra or even using a vacuum pump can be considered. A surgery is also another form of treatment that one can opt for. Cases of retrograde ejaculation can be treated by administering a special type of medication that helps the bladder’s sphincter muscles grow sturdier.

Women Associated Issues

Women are also victims of sexual dysfunction due to diabetes. This, however, is associated with poor control of blood glucose which leads to hormonal changes and reduced flow of blood to the genitals. The hardening of blood vessels around the walls of the vagina leads to an estimate of 15% of women diabetic patients experiencing sexual dysfunction. This leads to problems like the inability to achieve an organism, a reduction of genitals sensation, arousing difficulties, the sex drive decreases, discomfort when performing the coital activity and vaginal dryness. Moreover, women suffering from type 1 diabetes are at a high risk of contracting yeast infections.

Solutions in Women

Women suffering from sexual dysfunction associated with diabetes can adhere to a number of simple solutions. In cases where there is discomfort or even pain during coitus or in cases of vaginal dryness, the vaginal lubricant can help alleviate the associated conditions. Kegel exercise is also another solution that can work in most women suffering from this condition. This form of exercise helps the pelvic floor muscles to grow stouter hence improving the response of a woman to sex


In order to have a healthy sexual life, the amount of blood glucose must be controlled. This is a prevention measure that is worth being taken by everyone. The recommendations given by the doctor should be perfectly followed in order to keep your glucose level in control. This is because the doctor may have found out that the problem you are suffering from can be diabetes unrelated. In such a case, the doctor would then administer other forms of medication or suggest other treatment options such as a change in the lifestyle. When these instructions are taken seriously, you have a chance of having the problem solved.


Despite the numerous challenges associated with type 1 diabetes, one can always have a healthy sexual lifestyle. If your sexual performance is being negatively affected, you should first consider going for psychotherapy in order to reduce the emotional issues or find a solution to the stressing factors that are hindering your sexual performance. Alternatively, you should visit the doctor to help you evaluate the available treatment options for a healthy sexual life.

Common Type 1 Diabetes Complications

Victims of type 1 diabetes are at risk of developing other complicated health issues. There before, patients of type 1 diabetes were assured of suffering from most of these common health issues.

However, with the advancement in technology, these health risks have significantly been reduced. Most of these complications affect different people differently hence there is a need to look out for their existence and have them addressed accordingly before they become more complicated.


This article will address the most common issues in patients suffering from type 1 diabetes.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The DKA condition arises from complex hyperglycemia. It is associated with the existence of large amounts of glucose in the bloodstream which lead to the hurried breakdown of body fats. With the breakdown of fats, fatty acids are then released and converted into ketones. These are very toxic chemicals if they exist in large amounts in the body.  When one is suffering from this condition, pneumonia-like symptoms are prevalent. The victim can also experience from nausea and dehydration as well as hyperventilation.

The condition is such severe that if not immediately addressed, the patient may die, experience cerebral adema or even go to a coma. However, the instances of DKA occurrence and severity have largely been reduced hence reducing the number of deaths arising from DKA

The condition is most prevalent in diabetic patients with problems in handling their blood glucose especially when sick or in times of stress. Drug abuse, physical injuries, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections are the main factors indicating the onset of DKA. Parents should watch out for their teenage girls who at times fail to take the recommended amount of insulin in order to avoid weight gaining. This is very detrimental and the main cause of DKA among teenage girls.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Patients of type 1 diabetes are exposed to a higher risk of heart disease than healthy people. Research shows that 60% of the deaths among diabetes patients are as a result of heart attack. Stroke, on the other hand, raises this mortality rate to 3 deaths in every 4 diabetic patients. Type 1 diabetes is associated with an increment in triglycerides in the bloodstream and a reduction of HDL which is a good form of body cholesterol. This leads to atherosclerosis. The condition is also associated with impaired kidney functioning which makes the heart to be rather strained. Another associated condition is nerve damage that may cause some unpredicted heart reactions. Measures such as healthy exercises, taking heart-healthy meals and routine screening should be taken by patients suffering from this condition.

Retinopathy and Blindness

Most of the blindness cases among adults that have been recorded in developing countries are as a result of diabetes. Diabetes causes weakening and bursting of blood vessels in the eyes as a result of the heart and circulatory system complications arising from the condition. Regrowth of these blood vessels then occurs abnormally with some experiencing micro blood clots. When such blood vessels enter the eyeball or the retina, they may cause detaching of the retina. Keeping the heart healthy and being checked by an ophthalmologist can help patients of type 1 diabetes remain healthy.

Kidney Disease

Nephropathy is a condition that has largely been recorded in diabetic patients who tend to poorly control their condition. This problem has been persistent for many years despite the modern control measures of type 1 diabetes that have been established. An estimate of 20-30% of the people suffering from diabetes tends to develop nephropathy at one point in their life. When this happens, little can be done apart from the patient undergoing dialysis till death. To avoid this, a healthy diet, as well as strong glucose control measures, should be established


This is a nervous system condition where the nerves function unpredictably or even fail to function completely. It can either be autonomic or peripheral neuropathy. It is associated with heart problems, impotence, incontinence rapid breathing or even loss of sensation or tingling of the toes and the fingers. Maintaining a well-controlled blood glucose and taking a healthy diet is the only measure that can work against neuropathy.


The conditions discussed above are pretty serious and can lead to death. Therefore, taking the necessary precautions like maintaining a safe blood glucose range through taking the available medication, profusely engaging in exercises, and taking a healthy diet can save you and ensure that you live a longer life. This can help reduce and manage these risk factors and allow you to live a normal life. We wish you good luck and a healthy life.