Type one diabetes is the condition when the pancreas stops producing insulin, which is a hormone that helps food transform into energy. It happens when the immune system destroys the beta cells or the cells that produce insulin.
The reasons why this process occurs can be different. Sometimes environmental factors are to blame, but sometimes even if we are careful and have healthy lifestyles genetics play their role. We cannot get rid of this chronic disease, and the sad news is there is nothing we can do to prevent it too.
This type can affect adults and children as well. It leads to complications or injecting insulin for the rest of our life.
Living with this condition can be a constant struggle. Insulin doses need to correspond with the activities that we make throughout the day and also with our diet. Even though people with T1D overcome this on a daily basis that doesn’t mean they are not at risk of high or low blood glucose levels.
We said above that we cannot cure T1D. Insulin injections only help us stay alive. But infusions or injecting insulin after a longer period can have serious side effects such as nerve damage, stroke, blindness, or kidney failure.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Founding every day strikes for as their motto says ”the world without Diabetes.” Even though T1D is serious, the treatment for this disease is getting better and better. Organizations like this help people remove the influence that this disease has on their lives.
- This disease is connected with the loss of life expectancy of up to 13 years.
- There was a 21% increase in people affected by T1D by the age of 20, between 2001 and 2009.
- The annual healthcare costs in the United States for T1D are $14B.
- In the United States, There are 40.000 people who are diagnosed with T1D every year.
- In the United States, less than one-third of the population affected by this disease archives target blood glucose levels.
- 200,000 people (under 20 years old), and over one million adults (20y.o. and older) live with this condition.
Indications That We Don’t Have to Ignore
- Unusual weight loss;
- Sugar in urine;
- Change of heart rate;
- Changes in vision;
- Frequent urination;
- Increased appetite;
- Heavy breathing;
This life-threatening disease is very difficult, and people who suffer from it are here as our inspiration and show us that nothing can stand in our way to live the life we want and strive to achieve our dreams.
These are the stories of a couple of brave people who have this condition:
To stay alive, I need to act as physician to check blood sugar, mathematician- to be always factoring, personal trainer- to give myself insulin injections.
Mary Tyler Moore – JDRF International Chairman
I never have the luxury to eat what I want, exercise as much as I want. It is a job that you get for the rest of your life: insulin injections, blood sugar tests, and the impact of stress. For us, every day is a risky adventure.
Mary Vonnegut – Rhode Island
It is hard when you are not like others girls in the school. I have to measure everything I eat, check my blood sugar ten times a day. Too much running or not eating my food is risky. I am too young to have this problem.
Jonathan Platt – California
It affects your life and you are controlled by it that the people who don’t have it can`t see. Right now my heart goes to my three children and hopes they won`t develop these disease.
Nicky Hider – New York
- CDC National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014
- Imperatore, et al. 2012. Diab Care 35: 2515-2520
- Dabelea, et al. 2014. JAMA 311: 1778-1786
- Boyle, et al. 2010. Pop Health Metrics 8:29
- JDRF Estimations
- T1D exchange data
- Jama 2015; 313(1):1-9)