Causes of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

“Does Type 1 Diabetes get cured when a child becomes an adult?” 

“Do I need to take insulin life-long?”

“What caused Type 1 Diabetes, my sugar intake or my genes?”

“What should be the normal range of my blood sugar level?”

A lot of confusion & myths goes around Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Sometimes even after years of being diagnosed, people are not able to manage their blood sugar levels well through their lifestyle and insulin changes.

Did you know that at present, there are more than 1.25 million children and adults worldwide dealing with the sudden change in their sugar levels and require insulin unit adjustments. Across the world, the cases of Type 1 Diabetes are increasing gradually with time.

Management of Type 1 diabetic’s health needs physical care and mental strength and that’s the best way to treat it lifelong. Nowadays we have Doctors, dietitians, lab centres etc and all this has made it easier to diagnose and deal with it. But an individual must know a little bit more about what exactly is going on in their bodies and how they can manage it in an easier and better way.

In this article, we will be discussing all the things you need to know about Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and how you can deal with it in the right manner. 

What is Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus?

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus is an autoimmune disease, that means the body’s immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin hormone. In our pancreas, beta cells are present which produce insulin hormone that helps in managing blood sugar levels. Beta cells are damaged in the case of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, due to which there is no production of insulin hormone. So, this disease is not curable.

Whenever we eat something, it is broken down from its complex form to its simplest form called glucose. The insulin hormone helps in carrying glucose from blood to cells to produce energy, thereby managing sugar levels in our blood. 

Since most of the beta cells of pancreas are destroyed, insulin is either produced very less or not produced at all and as a result, the sugar level increases in our blood. To manage high sugars level in blood, the individual has to take insulin from an external source throughout their life and so it’s also called Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus.

Risk Factors of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Knowing the risk factors of any disease helps greatly in managing the disease as people get aware about the factors on which they have to focus upon and they can start following a healthy routine to prevent any further issues or risks. So a few of the factors are mentioned below:

  1. Age: It’s most commonly diagnosed before the age of 18 and so it’s also called Juvenile Diabetes.
  1. Genetics or family history: Genetics plays a very important role here. So people who have a family history of type 1 diabetes are at high risk as they might contain a few genes that can lead to diabetes.

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

As mentioned above, Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus is an autoimmune disease that means the individual’s immune system attacks the beta cells of the pancreas. This destruction damages the beta cells resulting in very less or no production of insulin hormone which causes an increase in blood sugar levels of an individual.

Another reason for having Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus can be our genetics. If anyone in our family, like both or any of the parents or cousins or uncle/aunt is a Type 1 Diabetic then chances of having Type 1 Diabetes increases.

A person having Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, a long standing illness, must make sure to have proper consultations with his or her Doctor and follow his Type 1 Diabetes treatment guidelines accordingly. Regular & timely intake of insulin, as per Doctor’s advice is the most important thing.

He or she must take good care of their health through a proper diet and exercise to prevent high blood sugar levels i.e. hyperglycemia symptoms as well as low blood sugar levels i.e. hypoglycemia symptoms. This can also be done with the help of the respective experts. 

Levels and Normal Range of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Here is some information regarding the high, low and normal sugar range in blood with respect to the time of measurement and it will give you a clear idea of how much blood sugar level you must target and achieve in order to have a healthy life:

StagesFasting Blood Sugar (FBS)Post Prandial Blood Sugar (PPBS: 2 hours after meal)Random Blood Sugar (RBS)
Low<60<70<70
Normal70-12090-16090-180
High>120>200>200

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Whenever someone experiences symptoms as mentioned below, they must notice and consult a nearby doctor and take the right action at the right time to prevent any further damage to the body. The common type 1 diabetes mellitus symptoms are: 

  1. Weight loss
  2. Extreme thirst
  3. Extreme hunger
  4. Frequent urination
  5. New episodes of bed wetting
  6. Weakness & tiredness
  7. Blurred vision
  8. Mood swings
  9. Confusion

Well, a few of the above mentioned symptoms can also be experienced in some other health conditions so a doctor consultation is required for the proper diagnosis. 

Home Remedies for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Home remedies are something which is there with us since a long time that our parents or grandparents tell us and it keeps on passing from generations to generations. And the interesting thing is that these actually help in improving our health issues. So here are some of the home remedies for type 1 diabetes treatment that one can try at home to make a difference in sugar levels:

  1. Fennel (Saunf) tea: 
    • The component of fennel seeds helps in improving blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, high BP, liver health, gas and acidity. They have antimicrobial and anti-ageing properties also. 
    • One can include fennel in your routine by drinking fennel tea on a regular basis. Boil 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in 1 glass of water and then drink the water and chew the seeds.
    • One can have a cup of fennel tea after meals also to improve post prandial sugar levels.
  1. Ginger (Adrak): 
    • Ginger is a commonly used spice having multiple health benefits. It not only helps in treating common cold but also helps in increasing glucose absorption by cells, reduces risk of heart diseases, body pains, nausea and gastric issues.
    • You can add 1 inch ginger in your dal and sabzi or else you can boil 1 inch ginger in the above mentioned fennel tea.
  1. Fenugreek (Methi) seeds: 
    • Fenugreek seeds also helps in improving sugar levels and also in improving hemoglobin levels, weight, gastric health and BP levels.
    • Soak 1 teaspoon of methi seeds overnight in 1 glass water. In morning drink water and chew seeds
  1. Karela (Bitter gourd)
    • Karela has some properties that are quite similar to insulin function and hence it helps in managing blood sugar levels.
    • One can have karela as a vegetable preparation with chapati.
    • You can also have 20-30 ml of karela juice diluted in water daily in the early morning to get its benefits.
  1. Jamun 
    • Jamun is a very good source of fiber that helps in reducing blood sugar levels.
    • One can have jamun seed powder also that helps greatly in reducing blood sugar levels.
    • Have a handful of jamun in mid meals or 1 teaspoon of powder with 1 glass of water before meals to manage your sugar levels.

Best Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

At Zyla, we help you with personalised management of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus through a unique Triple Combination Therapy (TCT) approach of Medical nutrition therapy, Naturo therapy and Allopathic therapy.

  1. A personalized diet that focuses on small, frequent and balanced meals as per the insulin units.
  2. Educational guidance on insulin usage and it’s real time titration according to the blood sugar levels.
  3. Proper exercise regime for management of body weight along with blood sugar levels.
  4. A list of food that one should have or avoid or to take in moderation.
  5. Replacement of sugars that can be taken in diet or to fulfill sweet cravings.

Frequently Asked Questions:

So at the end, after knowing much about type 1 diabetes, you must be having some other questions as well in your mind like how it is diagnosed, how it is different from type 2 diabetes etc. Do not worry, I have answers of those questions as well:

1. What Causes Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus?

Type 1 diabetes mellitus can be hereditary or could be due to some autoimmune disease (in which the body starts attacking itself). Due to these reasons the body is not able to produce enough insulin and as a result sugar levels start increasing in our blood.

2. What is the Difference Between Type 1 and 2 Diabetes?

In Type 1 diabetes there is mostly no production of insulin by pancreas and the person has to take insulin from an outside source. While in type 2 diabetes there is less or no production of insulin and also if the insulin that is produced by pancreas, it is not being utilized well by the body which is known as insulin resistance. The person with type 2 diabetes may or may not require insulin from an outside source.

3. How is Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosed?

Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in a lab test. Firstly the blood sugar levels and HbA1C is tested and as per the results it is identified whether the person has diabetes or not. Then to diagnose further the type of diabetes, your doctor may ask you to go through a few other tests as well like C-peptide test, anti GAD test and insulin fasting.

4. What Foods Should Type 1 Diabetics Avoid?

Type 1 diabetic people should avoid foods like white sugar, brown sugar, jaggery, honey along with other sugary foods, drinks and sweets. Other than these, one should avoid refined foods, fried foods, juices, processed foods and should limit potato and colocasia (arbi) as their starch content can increase sugar levels.

5. Can Diabetes Type 1 be Reversed?

This is one of the most asked questions, can type 1 diabetes be reversed or not. So the answer is one can control diabetes by keeping sugar levels and HbA1C under normal range with the help of diet, physical activity and insulin but it cannot be reversed as the body needs insulin to transport glucose to cells which is not getting produced by the pancreas in our body and has to be taken from an outside source.

6. What Happens in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus?

In type 1 diabetes mellitus, the pancreas in our body is not able to produce insulin. Insulin helps in transportation of glucose from blood to cells. So when we eat food, the glucose is not transported to cells and as a result the levels start increasing in blood itself and cells don’t get enough energy.

7. What are Good Snacks for Type 1 Diabetics?

Well there are many snacks that people with type 1 diabetes can easily consume. Few of them are: roasted makhana, roasted murmura bhel, roasted chana, boiled peanut chaat, dry fruits, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fruits, salads, soups, sauteed vegetables etc. These snacking options are healthy and easily available/ prepared. You must avoid adding extra salt over them.

Reviewed by
Dr Rebecca Shweta Gladwin
MD (Medicine), PG (Diabetology), PG Diploma (Endocrinology)

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