Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Alternate Names : Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, IDDM, Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
What are the treatments for the disease?
Treatment for type 1 diabetes is focused on controlling blood
glucose levels. This is done with insulin shots. Insulin can be injected
under the skin a certain number of times per day, or may be given with an
insulin pump. Home blood glucose monitoring
is also used to help guide dose adjustments. There are many
types of insulin. The doctor can help decide what will work best
for each person. Insulin levels must be balanced with meals, daily activities,
and illness, as all of these can affect the glucose level in the blood.
Treatment also includes following a proper diet for people with diabetes
and getting the right amount of exercise.
Less often, treatment may require a pancreas transplant,
which may get rid of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Careful monitoring
and management helps keep diabetes under control and can reduce long-term effects.
People who have type 1 diabetes can help manage it by following these steps:
Adjust for blood glucose levels when sick or stressed.
Have regular visits with a doctor.
Know the symptoms of hypoglycemia,
which is also called low blood glucose, and how to treat it.
Monitor blood glucose levels
Perform proper skin care and foot care
and get regular eye examinations.
Plan meals and eat the right diet for a person with diabetes.
Take all medicines, including insulin, exactly as prescribed by the doctor.
Treating the complications of diabetes may involve several
specialists. For example, eye, heart, foot, hormone, and circulation specialists may
be needed. Dietitians can help people with diabetes set up an eating plan with
suggestions for calorie intake and types of foods to eat.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Too much insulin in the body means blood glucose levels
can drop too low. This condition is known as hypoglycemia.
It can cause nervousness, shakiness, and
confusion. If this
condition goes untreated, a person can pass out. The usual treatment for low
blood glucose is to eat or drink something sweet. If symptoms progress to passing
out, or if the person has spasms or seizures, immediate medical attention is needed.
Side effects of other treatments depend on the treatment used.
A pancreas transplant
is a major operation. It carries the risk of bleeding, infection, and
allergic reaction to
prevent rejection of the new pancreas, powerful medicines with many side effects
have to be taken for a long time.
What happens after treatment for the disease?
Treatment of diabetes lasts a lifetime. Type 1 diabetes cannot
usually be cured, but it can be controlled with careful management and
treatment. Any complications that do occur must be treated promptly.
How is the disease monitored?
Monitoring type 1 diabetes is a lifelong process. People with
type 1 diabetes should check their blood glucose
at least 3 times a day at home with a finger-stick blood glucose test. There are portable devices on the
market that can measure blood glucose at home. Blood tests, urine tests,
foot and skin exams, eye exams, and visits with specialists are all part of
routine monitoring for diabetes. Any new or worsening symptoms should be
reported to the doctor.