Type 1 Diabetes : Causes, Mechanism, Symptoms and Treatment

Type 1 Diabetes is far less common than type 2 Diabetes and it affects younger individuals. It is mostly found in people under the age of 40 and more commonly, under the age of fourteen. It is associated with the lack of insulin.  It is a dysfunction of the pancreas where pancreas stop making insulin in the amount the body needs to maintain a normal level of glucose in the blood. 


The cause of the disease is not well known. An auto-immune response attacking the insulin producing cells in the pancreas is the most probable cause. Virus infection may be another cause. The disease also is to some extend inherited.

Since enough insulin is not produced, the glucose uptake into cells is reduced. When the glucose uptake into the body cells is reduced, but glucose instead accumulates in the blood, the following physiological effects occur:

-The body cells do not get enough fuel for the work they do.

-The molecular thickness (osmality) of the blood increases. This causes water to be pulled out from the body tissues and into the blood. The tissues thus get dried out and the urine production increases.

-The tissues begin to break down protein and fat to get energy, causing weight loss and muscular reduction.

The symptoms of diabetes type 1 are a consequence of these mechanisms. 


The disease often starts suddenly. The lack of insulin causes an increased amount of blood sugar. Early symptoms of the disease are:

  • Increased urine production
  • Dehydration (lack of water in the body)
  • Abnormally high thirst as a consequence of increased urine production
  • Dryness in the mouth
  • An abnormal high appetite
  • Feeling extremely tired and weak
  • Weight loss, even when one eats well
  • Impaired vision

If the blood sugar level is not stabilized to a normal value, there will be an accumulation of chemicals in the body called ketones, and this condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis. This serious condition can lead to coma and death. The signs of ketoacidosis are:

  • Vomiting,
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Rapid breathing,
  • High pulse rate
  • Somnolence (abnormal tendency to sleep)

Diabetes type 1 is treated with insulin injections. Another important module of the treatment is regulation of the amount of sugar and fat consumed through the diet so that it fits together with the insulin-amount injected. Also regular monitoring of the blood sugar level to regulate the insulin amount is an important part of the treatment.

Check your blood glucose levels with Control D regularly to manage your Diabetes

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