Diabetes Type I

Diabetes Type I: Overview

Type 1 diabetes (often called Juvenile Onset Diabetes) is categorized as a childhood or young adult disease but can in rare instances occur at a later age.  Diabetes symptoms sometimes begin out of nowhere and can develop over just a few days.  If the sufferer does not have a family history of the disease, the possibility of diabetes may not even be considered.

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Fortunately many of the common diabetic symptoms are similar to the more controllable form of the disease, Type 2 diabetes.  Only 5-10% of the people expressing the classic diabetic symptoms will in the end be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Causes and Development

Type 1 diabetes sufferers have high blood glucose levels because their body does not have enough of the hormone insulin.  This happens when the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroys them, causing the pancreas to make little or no insulin.  The body needs insulin to use sugar, which is the basic fuel for cells.  Insulin allows the sugar in the blood to enter the cells.  No one knows why type 1 happens.

Previous research has suggested that children exposed to the insulin which can naturally be contained in cow's milk may develop antibodies to insulin.  It is possible that in some genetically susceptible children, a continuous, even small-dose early exposure to bovine insulin in cow's milk may lead to loss of tolerance to insulin and subsequent Type 1 diabetes.  Interestingly, one study found that in cases where the child had a diabetic mother rather than a diabetic father, this effect was less marked.  [Science 155:26, June 26, 1999]

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Diabetes Type I:

Symptoms - Food - Beverages

Excessive/constant thirst

Intense thirst and hunger are classic signs of diabetes.

Symptoms - Food - General

Very strong appetite

Intense hunger is a sign of Diabetes I.

Symptoms - Head - Eyes/Ocular

Symptoms - Metabolic

Conditions that suggest Diabetes Type I:

General

Metabolic

Organ Health

Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy will occur in 90% of persons with type 1 diabetes.

Skin-Hair-Nails

Dry skin

Signs of Type 1 Diabetes, as it progresses, may include dry skin, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss and a thin, malnourished appearance.

Symptoms - Glandular

Counter-indicators

Uro-Genital

Risk factors for Diabetes Type I:

Autoimmune

Personal Background

Caucasian ethnicity

Type 1 diabetes is rare in most Asian, African and American Indian populations and more common in Caucasians.

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Diabetes Type I suggests the following may be present:

Autoimmune

Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease

Relatives of people with Type 1 Diabetes, as well as the sufferers themselves, run a 6% risk of developing celiac disease.

Diabetes Type I can lead to:

Aging

Alzheimer's Disease

According to a new study in Neurology, diabetes mellitus may not only damage the function of the eye, limbs, kidneys, and heart – it may also impair the function of the brain and hasten the process of senile dementia.

Researchers found that diabetes mellitus nearly doubles the risk of developing both vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease, according to the Rotterdam Study, a large prospective analysis which tracked dysglycemia and dementia in over 6,000 individuals over age 55.  Diagnosis of diabetes was based on World Health Organization criteria using a glucose tolerance test.

A related editorial called Alzheimer's a possible "brain-type diabetes".  Besides damaging important blood vessel networks and increasing the risk of small "silent" strokes deep inside the brain, dysglycemia may be directly involved in the development of the neurofibrillary tangles, the clumping of nerves and fiber tissue inside the brain characteristic of Alzheimer's.

The researchers noted that advanced glycation endproducts (AGE), proteins damaged by chronically high blood sugar levels, are commonly found inside these tangles.  "In brains of AD patients the receptor for AGE appears overexpressed," they noted.  "Activation of this receptor leads to increased oxidative stress that may result in cellular damage."

Diabetes also disrupts insulin signaling to other cells in the body.  This altered signaling may increase the activity of a neuronal enzyme that stimulates phosphorylated tau proteins to build up, a key trigger mechanism cited as one of the earliest signs of Alzheimer's.

NOTE: This study strongly suggests the important potential role of glycation products and insulin response, not just glucose levels, in the etiology of degenerative disease.

Circulation

Megaloblastic Anemia / Pernicious Anemia

Relatives of people with Type 1 Diabetes, as well as the sufferers themselves, run a risk of developing celiac disease.  The resulting inflammation and tissue damage reduces vitamin B12 absorption and may lead to Pernicious anemia, which occurs in approximately 1 in 50 adults with Type 1 Diabetes.

General

Metabolic

Organ Health

Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy will occur in 90% of persons with type 1 diabetes.

Skin-Hair-Nails

Dry skin

Signs of Type 1 Diabetes, as it progresses, may include dry skin, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss and a thin, malnourished appearance.

Uro-Genital

Recommendations for Diabetes Type I:

Hormone

Insulin Therapy

If you have type 1 diabetes, and in some cases if you have type 2 diabetes, you need insulin injections to manage your blood sugar (glucose).

Vitamins

Vitamin Niacinamide

Niacinamide improves ATP mitochondrial production in the face of diabetogenic chemicals and thus allows Islet cells to stay alive.  The Type I honeymoon period can just be extended 12-18 months and insulin requirements may be less.

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