Type 1 diabetes: learn in detail about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, prevention of complications. The following describes effective treatment methods that allow keeping blood sugar at 3.9-5.5 mmol / l consistently 24 hours a day, like in healthy people. The system of Dr. Bernstein, who has been living with diabetes mellitus for over 70 years, allows adults and children with diabetes to protect themselves from formidable complications on the legs, kidneys, eyesight and other systems of the body.
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which the pancreas loses its ability to produce insulin. Beta cells that synthesize a hormone are destroyed due to erroneous attacks of the immune system. Type 1 diabetes often begins in childhood or adolescence, but it also happens in adults. This is a serious metabolic disorder that can cause acute and chronic complications. However, it does not make the patient disabled. You can lead a normal life, following a diet and giving treatment no more than 10-15 minutes a day.
Type 1 diabetes: detailed article
Autoimmune diabetes cannot yet be cured once and for all, but it can be well controlled by guaranteed protection against complications. At this link you will learn all about treatment with diet, pills and insulin. And below describes the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and consequences of the disease. It is told about promising new methods of healing that scientists are working on.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is that the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. These are special cells that produce the hormone insulin, which helps to digest food and reduces the level of glucose in the blood. After 80-90% of beta cells die, insulin begins to be sorely missed, sugar rises significantly and symptoms of the disease appear.
Why does the immune system decide to launch attacks on beta cells? Because the patient’s body is genetically predisposed to this. There should also be some kind of event triggering the process. The level of glucose in the blood often begins to rise after a viral infection, for example, rubella.
Unfortunately, vaccination against viruses today does not help reduce the risk of this disease. It is possible that the frequency of autoimmune diabetes is increased among children who received artificial formula based on cow’s milk in infancy.
The influence of some environmental factors on the risk of type 1 diabetes has not been proven. Scientists do not yet know why in some countries the incidence of this disease is much higher than in others. With age, the risk of autoimmune attacks on beta cells decreases significantly. The older the person, the less likely it is that the disease will begin and the easier it will be if it does happen.
Is the main cause of type 1 diabetes bad heredity? Many people are carriers of adverse genetic mutations. However, few of them have the misfortune to get sick during their lifetime. It seems that the state of the environment and lifestyle play a big role.
Worst of all, if a child has both parents, they have type 1 diabetes. If only one of the parents – the risk for the child is not very big. In the presence of autoimmune diabetes in the mother, the risk for the child is only 1-1.5%, for the father – 5-6%, for both parents – about 30%.
How fast is type 1 diabetes?
In children, from the beginning of the attack of the immune system on the beta cells of the pancreas until the first symptoms appear, several months pass. In adults, this disease develops much longer. It can proceed without symptoms for about 10 years. If you accidentally check blood sugar, it will be moderately elevated. The number of beta cells in the human body is much more than necessary. Even after 50-70% of them die, the remaining more or less satisfy the need for insulin. Therefore, type 1 diabetes develops slowly in all categories of patients except infants.
What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
With type 1 diabetes, the patient lacks insulin. With type 2 diabetes, insulin may be enough or even too much, but the tissues lose sensitivity to it. Type 1 diabetes begins with the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas dying as a result of attacks of the immune system. In patients with type 2 diabetes, these cells do not turn off immediately, but only at the late severe stage of the disease. The main reason for their death is overload.
Although it should be noted that in type 2 diabetes, autoimmune attacks also occur. Type 1 diabetes is not preventable and cannot be avoided. Type 2 diabetes is not very difficult to treat and can be 100% prevented with a healthy lifestyle, even with a genetic predisposition.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes develop because the patient has a very high level of glucose in the blood, sometimes several times higher than normal. The body is trying to dilute the blood to reduce the concentration of glucose, as well as remove excess sugar in the urine. Because of this, patients usually experience intense thirst and frequent urination.
Tissues lose their ability to absorb nutrient glucose. They send alarms that cause severe hunger, inability to get enough. Usually, patients feel very tired, which in the early stages of diabetes is taken for cold symptoms or work overload. There may also be:
- visual impairment;
- non-treatable fungal infections;
- non-healing wounds.
Unfortunately, the symptoms listed above are usually mistaken for general malaise that does not require a visit to a doctor.
- loss of appetite;
- nausea and vomiting;
- abdominal pain;
- the smell of acetone in the exhaled air;
- loss of consciousness, coma.
The condition described above is an acute complication of impaired glucose metabolism caused by the lack of treatment. It is called diabetic ketoacidosis and is characterized by the fact that acid accumulates in the blood. In cases of disturbed consciousness, the patient requires emergency medical care. Most often, treatment begins in intensive care, where they are due to ketoacidosis. Few of the patients manage to guess in time about the true reason for the deterioration of their state of health, measure the level of glucose and take action before the symptoms of the catastrophe appear.
Read also the article "Symptoms of diabetes in women". Find out how the symptoms of this disease differ in 30, 40 and 50 years.
Why do type 1 diabetes lose weight?
Due to the lack of insulin, the tissues cannot digest the eaten glucose and it continues to circulate in the blood. In the absence of glucose, the cells are forced to switch to fat intake. Burning its fat reserves, the body loses weight. There may be a smell of acetone in the exhaled air and all the other symptoms listed above.
Rapid, unexplained weight loss is an unhealthy process. Because the level of glucose in the blood is kept very high and chronic complications are rapidly developing. Some girls and women with autoimmune diabetes are obsessed with mania to lose weight. To this end, they may intentionally skip insulin shots that are vital to them. In such situations, the help of a psychotherapist or even a psychiatrist is required.
Type 1 diabetes, stage of decompensation – what does this diagnosis mean?
The stage of decompensation is when the patient’s blood glucose level is very high due to the fact that the disturbed carbohydrate metabolism was treated incorrectly or not treated at all. There is a high risk of acute complications that are accompanied by impaired consciousness and coma. Not to mention the fact that chronic complications develop very quickly. On this page you will read how to control type 1 diabetes. Follow the recommendations carefully.
Treatment of type 1 diabetes: patient review
What is the labile course of type 1 diabetes?
Labile means changeable. Such a diagnosis is made in severe type 1 diabetes, when the pancreas has completely lost its ability to produce insulin. An insignificant amount of carbohydrates eaten can cause a significant increase in blood glucose levels. At the same time, even a slight excess of insulin dosage causes hypoglycemia.
Sugar jumps up and down, because the course of the disease is considered changeable. Type 1 diabetes is the hardest type. Nevertheless, even it can be taken under control, using a low-carb diet and other tricks of Dr. Bernstein. Read more about the treatment here. It will require high motivation and discipline.
If the pancreas has retained the ability to produce at least a little insulin, the disease is much easier. Type 2 diabetes is easier to control than type 1, precisely because production of your own insulin is preserved. It disappears only in the most severe and neglected cases.
Endogenous (produced in the body) insulin serves as a “cushion” that smoothes out fluctuations in blood glucose levels. To keep a part of beta cells alive and working, you need to switch to a low carbohydrate diet as soon as possible after the onset of the disease. Also, do not be lazy as you need to prick insulin in low, precisely calculated doses. It supports the pancreas, protects it from overload. Read here about methods for calculating insulin dosages.
Complications and their prevention
Complications of impaired glucose metabolism are divided into acute and chronic (late). Patients with type 1 diabetes are most afraid of problems with their kidneys, eyesight, and feet. This disease affects almost all systems of the body, except, perhaps, the hair on the head. Read the detailed article “Diabetic Complications.” The threat of serious complications should give you the motivation to carefully follow the regimen and control your blood sugar.
Acute complications occur if the glucose level drops sharply or stays very elevated for a long time. Read more about the article “Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and“ Diabetic ketoacidosis ”. Learn about prevention methods. Understand how to provide emergency patient care.
The achievement of consistently normal sugar of 4.0-5.5 mmol / l, like in healthy people, helps to block the development of complications of impaired carbohydrate metabolism. It even reverses some of them. Official medicine does not encourage achievement of normal glucose values. It is believed that this requires the use of high doses of insulin, creating a high risk of hypoglycemia. In fact, switching to a low-carb diet lowers insulin dosages by 2–8 times, stops sugar jumps in the blood and allows it to stabilize at the desired level.
The method of treating type 1 diabetes, based on a low carbohydrate diet, has convincingly proven to be effective in preventing complications. Damage to the nervous system, called diabetic neuropathy, is reversible. In diabetics who keep their sugars stably normal, the nerve fibers are gradually healed. In particular, the sensitivity is restored in the legs. Complications on vision and moderate to moderate kidneys can also be reversed.
How can you predict the patient’s life expectancy?
The life expectancy of a patient with type 1 diabetes depends most of all on his motivation. As the saying goes, if a patient really wants to live, then medicine is powerless … Dr. Bernstein fell ill at the age of 12, more than 30 years before the invention of home blood glucose meters. He had many serious complications. Analyzes even showed a high content of protein in the urine, which is a precursor to the imminent death due to kidney failure. Nevertheless, with the help of a low-carb diet, an accurate calculation of insulin dosages and other tricks, he managed to live to the age of 83, while maintaining his good physical shape and sound mind.
At the time of the preparation of this article, Dr. Bernstein is alive and well, every day for many hours working with patients, iron in the gym and is not going to stop. He even recovered his kidney function thanks to consistently normal blood sugar. However, it takes a lot of motivation to follow the regimen daily. Life expectancy is low for diabetics who are blind, undergo dialysis, have serious leg problems or have experienced amputation.
Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes
Pregnancy with type 1 diabetes carries significant risks that women often do not want to take into account. Disturbed glucose metabolism increases the frequency of problems for the mother and fetus several times, compared with people who have consistently normal blood sugar. Worst of all, pregnancy can accelerate the onset of blindness and renal failure. Conception is not desirable with the following indicators:
- glycated hemoglobin 7.0% and higher;
- chronic kidney disease of moderate severity and higher;
- proliferative retinopathy (severe diabetic eye disease);
- ischemic heart disease, unstable angina;
- infectious inflammatory diseases – tuberculosis, pyelonephritis, etc.
Pregnancy is also undesirable for women who are forced to take pills to control hypertension. Because for the period of carrying a child and breastfeeding, medication for hypertension will have to be canceled. This can worsen the course of the disease, adversely affect the kidneys and cause other complications.
It is recommended that several months before conception to achieve a good compensation of carbohydrate metabolism. Glycated hemoglobin should be no higher than 6.0%. A woman should have good self-control skills, in particular, the calculation of suitable insulin dosages. If you managed to control type 1 diabetes with a low-carb diet, you do not need to increase the amount of carbohydrates in your diet during pregnancy. The appearance of ketones in the urine does not increase the risk of miscarriage. In recent years, Americans have gained a lot of experience in managing pregnancy on a strict low-carb diet. This experience was positive. Read more about the article “Diabetes pregnant.”
What are the effects of type 1 diabetes in men?
Possible consequences of type 1 diabetes in men:
- weakening of potency;
- premature ejaculation, or vice versa, its delay;
- retrograde ejaculation;
- lowering blood testosterone levels;
Most of the problems listed above are caused by neuropathy — a lesion of the nervous system. The good news is that you can get rid of this complication. By following Dr. Bernstein’s recommendations, you can keep blood sugar at 4.0–5.5 mmol / L 24 hours a day. Because of this, your male capabilities improve over time.
Unfortunately, in addition to neuropathy, impaired glucose metabolism accelerates the development of atherosclerotic plaques in the vessels. And the blood vessels that fill the penis with blood are the first to suffer because of their small diameter. This problem does not have a good solution yet. Viagra, Levitra and Cialis can temporarily help. New technologies promise to develop methods for cleaning vessels, but for now they are not. You can find out a lot of interesting things about the solution of potency problems in the article “Treatment of type 2 diabetes” This information is useful for men with type 1 diabetes.
Read also the article "Diabetes in men". Learn in detail about testosterone and male thrush.
What vitamins should be taken?
Many people with type 1 diabetes hope that some kind of magic vitamins will protect them from the complications of the disease. Unfortunately, these vitamins today do not exist yet. The only real treatment is careful control of blood sugar with maintaining it stably at the level of healthy people.
You can try vitamin complexes containing active ingredients in high dosages. For example, American vitamins Alive. But we can not promise that they will bring at least some benefit in the prevention of complications of impaired carbohydrate metabolism. Standard vitamins for diabetics, which are sold in pharmacies, contain insignificant doses of active substances and therefore are practically useless.
Food supplements picolinate and chromium polynikotinat help to cope with the painful dependence on carbohydrates. But this is usually the problem of patients with type 2 diabetes, and not type 1. Taking magnesium in pills can increase the sensitivity of tissues to insulin and eliminate many other unpleasant symptoms. If you have developed insulin resistance, you can use magnesium in addition to the drug metformin (Siofor, Glucophage).
Drug Mildronat, and also vitamins of group B at all do not help from numbness in legs, caused by diabetic neuropathy, and other symptoms of this complication.
Many patients are looking for some miraculous eye drops or vitamins for the eyes. Nothing like this exists. Eye drops with taurine (for example, Taufon) do not even have diabetic retinopathy in the list of official indications for use. Do not count on them. Only strict control of sugar in the blood, based on a low carbohydrate diet, can actually protect against complications of vision.