Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by high blood glucose levels (BGL’s).
Under normal conditions the body takes glucose from the food consumed and converts it to energy that it can use. It does this with the help of a substance called insulin which is produced by an organ called the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes comes about because the pancreas cannot make insulin at all. It is less common than Type 2 Diabetes, affecting 10-15% of the Australian population1, and is most frequently diagnosed in early childhood, although in some cases it may come about suddenly during adult life.

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

Despite much research, the exact cause of Type 1 Diabetes remains unknown. Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by poor dietary or lifestyle choices. What is known however is there is a strong genetic link, and that unfortunately it cannot be prevented or cured.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes can include:

  • Being excessively thirsty
  • Passing more urine
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Having cuts that heal slowly
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Leg cramps

Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes

Whilst lifestyle and dietary choices do not contribute to the development of Type 1 Diabetes, they do play a very important role in its management. Additionally, because of the absence of insulin, people with Type 1 Diabetes undergo lifelong treatment of daily injections to give the body the insulin it needs. Depending on the type of insulin prescribed by the doctor the injections may need to be given as frequently as with every meal and doses may need to be adjusted depending on BGL’s and food consumed.

Next Steps

If you or anyone you know experience the symptoms above and are concerned, call or visit your local Pharmacy 777. Your Pharmacy 777Pharmacist will be able to give you more information and if necessary will refer you to your Doctor for full diagnosis.

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1Diabetes Australia