Is it Possible to Reverse Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a condition that occurs when your immune system destroys the beta cells in your pancreas. The beta cells are necessary for insulin production. Some people develop a condition called type 2 diabetes. This is very similar to type 1, except the immune system doesn’t attack the beta cells. They’re actually destroyed by other things such as an injury to your pancreas or a disease. Check out Diabetes Escape Plan to learn more about diabetes and how to counteract it. In the meantime, many people ask, can type 1 diabetes be reversed?
What is the purpose of insulin and can it reverse type 1 diabetes?
Insulin is a hormone that assimilates glucose into your body’s tissues for your cells to use as fuel. When there is damage to the beta cells in your pancreas, this process is thrown off. Glucose is no longer able to move into the cells because there is no insulin to do it. Instead, your cells starve because the insulin builds up in your blood leading to high blood sugar. High blood sugar causes complications such as:
When you have extra sugar in your blood, you have to use the bathroom more. This is the way your body gets rid of it. You lose a lot of water when you urinate, which causes your body to become dehydrated.
- Weight Loss
When you urinate, you also lose calories along with the glucose. This is why many individuals with high blood sugar experience weight loss. Dehydration also is involved in the weight loss.
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
If your body is not able to get enough glucose, it begins to break down fat cells. This results in chemicals known as ketones. To counteract this, your liver releases the glucose it has been storing. However, your body is not able to use the glucose without insulin from your pancreas, so it just builds up with the acidic ketones. This combination is referred to as ketoacidosis and if not treated early, can be life-threatening.
- Damage to Your Body
Over time, the small blood vessels and nerves in your heart, kidneys, and eyes can be damaged by high glucose levels. In addition, this can make you more susceptible to atherosclerosis, which can result in strokes and heart attacks.
Who is at Risk of Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a rare condition- only about 5 percent of people have it. It occurs in men and women equally and is more common in Caucasians than other races. Though it typically affects people under the age of 20, it can happen at any age.
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?
Unfortunately, the medical community has not been able to pinpoint all of the things that lead to type 1 diabetes. However, they are aware that genes do play a role. In addition, they know that some environmental factors (such as viruses) tell your immune system to attack your pancreas. Most people who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have evidence of this attack- known as antibodies. These antibodies are present in nearly everyone with this condition when their glucose levels are high. In addition, type 1 diabetes can co-occur with other conditions such as vitiligo oar Grave’s Disease.
What are the Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are often understated- but can become severe. These include:
- Blurry vision
- Extreme thirst
- Belly pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Increased hunger
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Heavy breathing
- Frequent infections
Signs of an emergency with type 1 diabetes are as follows:
- Belly pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Fruity smell to breath
- Rapid breathing
Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes
If your physician believes that you may have type 1 diabetes, he/she will check your blood sugar levels. He/she may also test your urine for chemicals/glucose that your body makes when you don’t have adequate insulin.
According to the medical experts, at this time there is no prevention or reversal for type 1 diabetes. However, many people who have this condition will live a long and healthy life. The key is to make sure that you keep your glucose levels within the range recommended by your physician. You will need to make sure you check them often and make adjustments to your activities, food, and insulin to ensure good health.
In addition, you must keep in mind that exercise is critical for treating this condition- but you must make sure that your insulin and food is balanced out with your activities.
Keep in mind that if you are not keeping your type 1 diabetes controlled, you will be setting yourself up for health disasters- possibly even life-threatening issues. Be sure to check out Diabetes Escape Plan to learn more about diabetes and how you can maintain good health with type 1.