Type 1 diabetes is called an autoimmune disease because the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. When the body doesn't produce enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood, which can lead to serious health problems.
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People with certain genetic markers are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, but not everyone with these markers will develop the disease. There is also some evidence that certain environmental factors, such as viruses, may trigger the onset of type 1 diabetes in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease.
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can develop suddenly or gradually. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Extreme hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away. Type 1 diabetes is a serious condition, but it can be managed with careful treatment.
Here are some of the ways that type 1 diabetes affects the immune system:
- The body's immune system mistakenly attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
- This leads to a decrease in insulin production, which can cause glucose levels to rise.
- High glucose levels can damage cells and tissues throughout the body.
- If left untreated, type 1 diabetes can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure.
There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, but it can be managed with careful treatment. Treatment for type 1 diabetes typically includes insulin injections, blood sugar monitoring, and a healthy diet. With proper care, people with type 1 diabetes can live long and healthy lives.