Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as “juvenile diabetes” or “insulin-dependent diabetes,” is a chronic disorder in which the pancreas produces too little or no insulin at all. Insulin is a hormone that regulates sugar (glucose) in the blood, produced by the pancreas.
Several factors can contribute to type 1 diabetes, such as genetics and certain viruses.

Although type 1 diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence, it can also begin in adulthood.

Despite intense research, type 1 diabetes has no cure. The treatment focuses on controlling blood sugar levels with insulin and through diet and lifestyle to prevent complications.
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The signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes can appear relatively suddenly and include the following:

• Increased thirst
• Need to urinate often
• Urinary incontinence in children who previously did not wet the bed during the night
• Extreme hunger
• Unintentional thinning
• Irritability and other mood swings
• Fatigue and weakness
• Blurry vision


The exact cause of type 1 diabetes in young people is not known. In general, the body’s own immune system, which normally fights harmful viruses and bacteria, mistakenly destroys insulin-producing pancreas cells (islets or islets of Langerhans). Other possible causes are the following:


Once a significant amount of islet cells has been destroyed, very little or no insulin will be produced. Insulin is a hormone that comes from a gland located behind and below the stomach (pancreas).

• The pancreas secretes insulin in the bloodstream.
• Insulin circulates, allowing sugar to enter the cells.
• Insulin reduces the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.
• As the blood sugar level drops, the secretion of insulin from the pancreas decreases.


Glucose (a type of sugar) is the main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues.

• Glucose comes from two main sources: food and liver.
• Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters the cells with the help of insulin.
• The liver stores glucose as glycogen.
• When glucose levels are low, such as when you have not eaten for a while, the liver converts stored glycogen into glucose to keep the glucose level within normal limits.
In type 1 diabetes, there is no insulin for the sugar to enter the cells, so sugar accumulates in the bloodstream. This can cause complications that can be life-threatening


Some of the known risk factors for type 1 diabetes are:

• Family background. Anyone with a father, mother, brother or sister with type 1 diabetes has a slightly higher risk of suffering from the disease.
• Genetics. The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of suffering from type 1 diabetes.
• Geographic location. The incidence of type 1 diabetes tends to increase as one moves away from the ecuador.
• Age. Although type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, it appears at two critical times. The first critical moment occurs in children between 4 and 7 years and the second in children between 10 and 14 years.

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Over time, the complications of type 1 diabetes can affect the major organs of the body, such as the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Maintaining a normal blood sugar level can greatly reduce the risk of various complications.

Over time, the complications of diabetes could lead to disability or life-threatening.Heart and circulatory diseases. Diabetes greatly increases the risk of having several cardiovascular problems, such as coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke, narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure.

Nerve injury (neuropathy). Excess sugar can damage the walls of the small vessels (capillaries) that feed the nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or hands and gradually spreads upward. The poorly controlled blood sugar level can cause you to lose sensitivity in the affected extremities over time.

Damage to the nerves that affect the gastrointestinal tract can cause problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. In men, erectile dysfunction can be a problem, since it affects the circulatory system directly.

Kidney damage (nephropathy). The kidneys contain millions of groups of small blood vessels that filter waste from the blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtration system. Severe damage can cause kidney failure or irreversible end-stage renal disease, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. Damage to the eyes. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), which could cause blindness.

Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious eye disorders, such as cataracts and glaucoma.

Damage to the feet. Injuries to the nerves of the feet or poor blood flow in the feet increase the risk of various complications. If left untreated, wounds and blisters can cause serious infections that may eventually require amputation of the toe, foot or leg.

Disorders of the skin and mouth. Diabetes can make you more prone to infections of the skin and mouth, such as fungal and bacterial infections. Gum disease and dry mouth are also more likely.

Disorders of the skin and mouth. Diabetes can make you more prone to infections of the skin and mouth, such as fungal and bacterial infections. Gum disease and dry mouth are also more likely.

Complications in pregnancy. High blood sugar levels can be dangerous for both mother and baby. The risk of having a miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects increases when diabetes is not well controlled. In the mother, diabetes increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic eye problems (retinopathy), high blood pressure caused by pregnancy and preeclampsia.


There is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes. However, researchers are working to prevent the disease or the destruction of islet cells in newly diagnosed people.
Ask your doctor if you might be eligible for one of those clinical trials, but carefully consider the risks and benefits of any treatment available in a trial.