Type 1 Diabetes : Symptoms, Causes, Complications and Treatment

Sonali Kapoor

, Health A2Z

Type 1 diabetes, is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes.  It is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar to enter cells to produce energy.


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What is Type 1 Diabetes?


Type 1 diabetes happens when your immune system destroys cells in your pancreas called beta cells. They are the ones which make insulin. As juvenile diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence, it can develop in adults.


What are the Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?


There are some common symptoms of juvenile diabetes:


1. Increased thirst


2. Frequent urination


3. Bed-wetting


4. Extreme hunger


5. Unintended weight loss


6. Irritability and other mood changes


7. Fatigue and weakness


8. Blurred vision


9. Pain in your belly


10. Dry Mouth


What is the Causes of Type 1 Diabetes?


There are some risk factors for juvenile diabetes :


1. Family History 


If a parent or sibling with juvenile diabetes it increased the risk of developing the condition.


2. Genetics


The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing juvenile diabetes.


3. Geography 


The amount of type 1 diabetes tends to increase as you travel away from the equator.


4. Age


As juvenile diabetes can appear at any age, it appears at two noticeable peaks. The first peak appears in children between 5 – 7 years old, and the second is in children between 10 and 14 years old.


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What are the Complications of Type 1 Diabetes?


There are some complications of juvenile diabetes :


1. Heart and Blood Vessel Disease:


Diabetes remarkably increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke, narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure.


2. Nerve Damage 


Excess of sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels,  which nourish your nerves, especially in the legs. It causes tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Badly controlled blood sugar could cause you to eventually lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs.


3. Kidney Damage:


The kidneys carry millions of small blood vessel clusters which filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system. Terrible damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.


4. Eye Damage:


Juvenile diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), potentially causing blindness. It also increases the risk of other serious vision conditions, like cataracts and glaucoma.


5. Toe Damage:


Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections which ultimately require toe, foot or leg amputation.


6. Skin and Mouth Conditions:


Diabetes leaves you more susceptible to infections of the skin and mouth, including bacterial and fungal infections.


7. Pregnancy Complications:


High blood sugar levels are quite dangerous for both the mother and the baby as well. The risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and birth defects increases when diabetes isn’t controlled. It increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic eye problems (retinopathy), pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and preeclampsia.


How to Treat Type 1 Diabetes?


There are a few ways to treat juvenile diabetes:


1. Taking insulin – Rapid-acting insulin, long-acting insulin, short-acting (regular) insulin and Intermediate-acting (NPH) insulin.


2. Eating healthy foods – Fresh fruits, green vegetables, and whole grain items.


3. Exercise regularly – Daily exercise, yoga would help to maintain a healthy weight for type 1 diabetic patient. At least 20- 30 minutes of daily exercise would make you fit and happy. It also helps to control your diabetes.




It majorly affects the age factor of 6 – 50.  As we all know diabetes is very dangerous for your health it works slowly and steadily. Usually, it happens any age, But exceptions are there in some cases, there is a particular age for juvenile diabetes. If you feel any of the above symptoms so consult to your doctor as earlier as you can. It requires diagnosis treatment.


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