What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong medical condition in which your blood sugar level, is too high. This may result in serious health conditions. In your body, insulin is responsible for regulating the amount of glucose in the blood. No insulin or too little insulin being produced by the pancreas results in diabetes. People with diabetes need to control their disease to keep healthy.
What is Type I Diabetes?
Type I Diabetes is usually diagnosed in children to early teens. In Type I Diabetes, your body does not produce insulin or produces too little insulin. Without insulin, your body is unable to break down glucose to provide energy for daily activities. Glucose builds up in the blood and results in a high level of glucose in the blood.
What are the symptoms of Type I Diabetes?
Common symptoms include:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Frequent urination
- Extreme fatigue and weakness
- Unintentional weight loss
- Blurred vision
What causes Type I Diabetes?
In Type I Diabetes, your immune system attacks your healthy body cells mistakenly. The pancreas which produces insulin is damaged and no longer able to produce insulin. As such, glucose in the blood is not broken down and accumulates in the blood.
Type I Diabetes is often genetic, or caused by environmental factors such as exposure to certain viruses. You have an increased risk of having Type I Diabetes if you have a first degree relative e.g. parents or siblings with Type I Diabetes.
How is Type I Diabetes diagnosed?
If you experience any symptoms, please consult a doctor immediately. Your doctor may collect a urine sample from you. If your urine sample contains glucose, you will be asked to undergo specialised blood tests such as glycated haemoglobin (A1C) test, fasting plasma glucose test and oral glucose tolerance test to determine if you have diabetes.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, the doctor may perform other tests to distinguish between Type I and Type II diabetes. The two conditions require different treatments in many cases.