Adolescent and Type 1 Diabetes
Diabetes milletus, or simply diabetes, is a medical condition wherein a person’s metabolism is disrupted and his blood sugar is disturbingly high,
both circumstances resulting from low levels of insulin – the hormone necessary to transform glucose, an important sugar in the blood and which
we get from foods, into energy – or from resistance to insulin without enough insulin secretion to enable the person’s system to cope.
There are three main forms of diabetes recognized by the World Health Organization. These are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. All
three forms share the same signs, symptoms, and consequences; however, they differ in causes and population distribution. All three forms also
share the same cause: the inability of islet cells, found in the pancreas and responsible for insulin production (also known as pancreatic beta
cells), to make enough insulin to avoid hypoglycemia, a condition when the blood sugar becomes inappropriately high.
For type 1 diabetes, the autoimmune destruction of these islet cells is the most common cause. Adolescent and Type 1 diabetes may not be a popular match. But do you know about juvenile diabetes or adolescent diabetes? This form of the disease usually occurs during childhood or adolescence (although it can, however, still appear at any stage in a person’s life), is an unceasing medical condition where the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, or when it does, it produces only an insufficient amount to allow successful conversion of glucose into energy.
In the United States alone, approximately 13,000 young children are diagnosed with the disease every year and, because type 1 diabetes can also occur at any stage, an estimate of one million Americans – children and adults alike – have the disease.
Type 1 diabetes is said to be caused by many factors. Among these factors are genetics and exposure to certain viruses. However, there are medical
experts who maintain that children and adults who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have actually done nothing to cause the disease.
Since 1921, when insulin first became medically available, type 1 diabetes, as well as the other two forms, has become treatable. Many medical innovations, made possible and further developed by technology, to help fight the disease have been practiced since then, including the production of insulin, either as a direct copy of human insulin or as a genetically modified copy, through genetic engineering.
Type 1 diabetes is directly treated by injecting levels of insulin into the diabetes patient or having the diabetes patient inhale insulin. Of course, adjustments in lifestyle have to be made and maintained by the patient to allow him to cope with the condition.
It is important to note, however, that frequent blood monitoring and insulin delivery – whether through injection or inhalation – do not really kill the disease, for despite progressive research, type 1 diabetes has no cure. This is why it is imperative to stock up on knowledge regarding the disease even when one has not been diagnosed yet. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” This is equally true of young children or adolescents and type 1 diabetes sufferers.