Typically diagnosed in childhood and with most cases occurring before the age of 30, this is the end result of an autoimmune attack. Special kind of cells in the pancreas called beta cells are destroyed, and this means the individual can no longer produce insulin and must rely on medication (insulin) to survive. While less common (just 10 percent of all diabetics in the United States have either Type 1, gestational diabetes, or secondary diabetes), Type 1 diabetes is also the most serious. Symptoms include weight loss, frequent urination, and thirst. If it's untreated, these same signs and symptoms can occur, along with nausea, dehydration, and vomiting.
Once diagnosed, it is imperative that blood-sugar levels be well-controlled or a number of complications, including loss of vision and kidney disease, can occur. Those with Type 1 diabetes are also at an increased risk for hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and problems with the teeth and gums. So obviously, keeping a vigilant watch on blood-sugar numbers is a constant challenge for those with Type 1 diabetes.
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