The Facts about Juvenile Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, more commonly known as juvenile diabetes, is a disease that affects millions of people. The onset of this disease is usually recognized in early childhood and requires the afflicted person to become insulin dependent for the rest of their lives. This happens due to the body’s inability to break down sugar within the body and store it in the typical fashion. Put simply, the body begins an attack on itself by targeting the beta cells of the pancreas. Since these cells are responsible for insulin production, they can no longer function and the result is juvenile diabetes.
The symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes are extremely similar to other types and include:
- Blurry vision
- Intense thirst
- Frequent urination
- Irritable behavior
- Excessive hunger – though weight loss typically occurs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and weak muscles
If left untreated or uncontrolled, the disease can cause long-term effects and medical conditions. These include heart attack, blindness, the loss of appendages, or kidney failure. However with proper methods of treatment, suggested by your physician, these serious side effects can be avoided altogether.
Insulin production is an essential part of our body’s natural processes. It enables us to convert food to energy. With cases of juvenile diabetes, the afflicted person’s body does not produce this necessary component. As a result, the person becomes insulin dependent. This can require the administration of insulin shots many times each day, as well as close monitoring of a person’s blood sugar levels. However, keep in mind that insulin is in no way a cure for diabetes. It is only a step to prevent other, more serious complications.
The specific cause of juvenile diabetes has not been determined by scientists. However many concur that genetics play a role in the development of the disease. Another common belief is that root of the disease is whether a person is exposed to certain viruses. These theories have not been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt – much of this is speculation.
In addition to using insulin for controlling diabetes, a person’s physician may recommend a healthy diet and a regular exercise regimen. However, any person afflicted with this disorder should understand there is no “diabetes diet” that can control the disease. While diet is one contributing factor, it is not enough to completely control the disease. One of the hardest aspects of this disease for many individuals is keeping their weight down with their increased appetite. But by eating fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water, a person can curb their appetite naturally. This helps with controlling the disorder, as well as their weight.
Since insulin is necessary for the breakdown of sugar to convert to energy, diabetic people will have extreme bouts of hunger because the element is not present; this gives the body a “starved” feeling. In order to compensate, a person will eat more. However this may cause more problems. Following a physician’s specific recommendations is essential for successfully controlling the disease and leading a normal life. While this disease will always play a role in a person’s life, it does not have to control every aspect.
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