Perhaps you or a family member have just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Or a family friend or co-worker you know has been diagnosed. You want more information on diabetes, but have found that many sources of information either assume you already know the basics, or are technical, confusing medical texts. All you really want is some basic information: what it is, what the symptoms and complications are, and how it’s managed.
That’s what this site does: it provides the reader with a solid, basic understanding of the condition. You won’t find diabetic recipes and such here (although you will find links to sites that provide them). Instead, you’ll discover the basics you need in understanding diabetes, from causes to complications.
A Juvenile Diabetic… At age 40!
You may have heard type 1 described as juvenile, or juvenile onset diabetes. How can you be diagnosed with a juvenile disease at age forty? While type 1 is usually diagnosed before the age of thirty, it can occur at any age… Most often during childhood—hence the juvenile tag.
What is it?
Cells in the human pancreas produce insulin, a hormone that allows the body to convert blood sugar to energy. The Type 1 condition occurs when insulin-producing cells are not present or not functioning.
Who’s at Risk?
Over seven hundred thousand Americans suffer from the disease. Native Americans and Caucasians are more likely to develop the condition than other ethnic groups. Incidence rates amongst Native Americans and Native Canadians are exceptionally high—in one Arizona tribe, 50% of the population suffers from the condition.
Being one of the most common conditions, diabetes benefits from huge research and clinical trial investments, increasing both our medical knowledge and the number of treatment options available. Research has also contributed to an understanding of ways to reduce diabetic complications. Blood sugar monitoring devices that can be worn on the wrist have been developed, and the use of inhaled insulin instead of injections is now close to becoming a reality.
One of the most exiting developments has been the ability to create insulin-producing cells in the laboratory and transplant them into the human body. If proven effective in long-term clinical trials, such research may hold the key to a cure for diabetes.
It Was Type 2 After All. If you’re an adult with a recent diagnosis, chances are you’re able to keep your symptoms under control with exercise, good nutrition and possibly medication.