Type 1 Diabetes

What Are The Treatment Options For Type I Diabetes?

The most common cause of Type I diabetes is the beta cell loss by autoimmune destruction, accompanied by antibodies, directed against insulin and islet cell proteins. It is caused by genetic and environmental factors.

Some of the major symptoms of Type I diabetes are: frequent urination, unusual thirst, hunger, sudden weight loss, weakness, extreme tiredness, blurred vision, irritability, extreme case vomiting and nausea.

Patients with type 1 diabetes may also have diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) as an added complication which is characterized by the smell of acetone in the patient's breath.

The diagnosis of Type I diabetes is normally done on the basis of the onset of the symptoms outlined above, particularly excessive urination and excessive thirst accompanied by sudden weight loss. These symptoms worsen in a matter of weeks and by the time the blood tests are done almost 20 to 25 % of the patients start experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Till now Type I diabetes could only be treated with subcutaneous injections or inhalations of insulin and also with careful monitoring of blood glucose levels using blood testing monitors. A drastic change in lifestyle is also necessary. This change should incorporate exercise and healthy diet. Along with these measures there are different experimental ways to inject insulin into the body, some of them are:

1) Through a pump.
2) Infusion of insulin 24 hours a day at preset levels.
3) Ability to program a push dose of insulin as needed at meal times.
4) Delivering insulin as an inhaled powder.

As Type I diabetes is a chronic condition treatment, you need to handle it with lots of care and discipline. The glucose level for the Type 1 diabetes patient should be as close to normal (80–120 mg/dl, 4–6 mmol/l) as possible. Anything below this will cause Hypoglycemia (low sugar) and make the patient go into diabetic coma. Anything above this will cause Hyperglycemia (high sugar) and cause extreme discomfort and frequent urination.