Type 1 Diabetes
How Is Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosed?
If your health care provider suspects type 1 diabetes, he will first check for abnormalities in your blood (high blood sugar level). In addition, he may look for glucose or ketone bodies in the urine.
There is currently no way to screen for or prevent the development of type 1 diabetes.
Learn more about diabetes blood tests.
How Is Type 1 Diabetes Managed?
Many people with type 1 diabetes live long, healthy lives. The key to good health is keeping your blood sugar levels within your target range, which can be done with meal planning, exercise, and intensive insulin therapy. All people with type 1 diabetes must use insulin injections to control their blood sugar.
You will also need to check your blood sugar levels regularly and make adjustment of insulin, food, and activities to maintain a normal sugar.
Consequences of Uncontrolled Type 1 Diabetes
When type 1 diabetes isn't well controlled, a number of serious or life-threatening problems may develop, including:
- Retinopathy. This eye problem occurs in about 80% of adults who have had type 1 diabetes for more than 15 years. Diabetic retinopathy in type 1 diabetes is extremely rare before puberty no matter how long someone may have had the disease. Medical conditions such as good control of sugars, management of high blood pressure, and regulation of blood fats like cholesterol and triglycerides are important to prevent retinopathy. Fortunately, the vision loss can be prevented in most people with the condition.
- Kidney damage. About 20% to 30% of people with type 1 diabetes develop kidney damage, a condition called nephropathy. The risk for kidney disease increases over time and becomes evident 15 to 25 years after the onset of the disease. This complication carries significant risk of serious illness -- such as kidney failure and heart disease.
- Poor blood circulation and nerve damage. Damage to nerves and hardening of the arteries leads to decreased sensation and poor blood circulation in the feet. This can lead to increased risk of injury and decreased ability to heal open sores and wounds, which in turn significantly raises the risk of amputation. Damage to nerves may also lead to digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.