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How Does Type 1 Diabetes Affect The Body


Type 1 Diabetes Can Affect My Moods And Emotions

How Diabetes Affects The Body

According to the American Diabetes Association, depression is more common in people with type 1, although a study published in November 2016 in Diabetic Medicine suggests that much of what has been thought of as depression is actually emotional distress that comes with managing a demanding chronic disease.

When my sugar is really high, it can definitely affect my moods and decision making, says Cecile. I feel like my brain doesnt work as well.

McKean adds: I;manage it, and generally do so with a smile, but it is a huge part of my life that can be quite difficult at times.

How Does Diabetes Lead To Amputation

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to poor blood flow . Without oxygen and nutrients , you are more prone to the development of cuts and sores that can lead to infections that cant fully heal. Areas of your body that are farthest away from your heart are more likely to experience the effects of poor blood flow. So areas of your body like your toes, feet, legs and fingers are more likely to be amputated if infection develops and healing is poor.


Cholesterol And Triglyceride Tests

Have a cholesterol and triglyceride test at least once a year. Aim for total cholesterol less than 4.0 mmol/L and triglycerides less than 2.0 mmol/L.

There are a number of causes of high cholesterol, including your family history and your diet. Too much saturated fat in your diet can increase the LDL cholesterol in your blood and result in the build-up of plaque in your blood vessels.

Foods high in saturated fats include full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, pastries, biscuits, cakes, coconut cream or coconut milk, palm oil and fatty take-away foods.

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What Insulin Medications Are Approved To Treat Diabetes

There are many types of insulins for diabetes. If you need insulin, you healthcare team will discuss the different types and if they are to be combined with oral medications. To follow is a brief review of insulin types.


  • Rapid-acting insulins: These insulins are taken 15 minutes before meals, they peak at one hour and work for another two to four hours. Examples include insulin glulisine , insulin lispro and insulin aspart .
  • Short-acting insulins: These insulins take about 30 minutes to reach your bloodstream, reach their peak effects in two to three hours and last for three to six hours. An example is insulin regular .
  • Intermediate-acting insulins: These insulins reach your bloodstream in two to four hours, peak in four to 12 hours and work for up to 18 hours. An example in NPH.
  • Long-acting insulins: These insulins work to keep your blood sugar stable all day. Usually, these insulins last for about 18 hours. Examples include insulin glargine , insulin detemir and insulin degludec .

There are insulins that are a combination of different insulins. There are also insulins that are combined with a GLP-1 receptor agonist medication .

High Blood Pressure Risks

Cholesterol and the Complications of Living with Type 2 ...

Type 1 diabetes damages arteries and makes them susceptible to hardening , which can lead to high blood pressure and other heart and circulation problems. Unfortunately, undiagnosed or prolonged high blood sugar levels can result in damage to organ systems in the body over time. People with type 1 diabetes have a high risk of vision problems, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, gum disease, tooth loss, and nerve damage . Other organs may also be damaged.

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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes

A person can have diabetes without knowing it because the symptoms aren’t always obvious and they can take a long time to develop. Type 1 diabetes may come on gradually or suddenly.

But kids or teens who develop type 1 diabetes may:


  • Need to pee a lot. The kidneys respond to high levels of glucose in the blood by flushing out the extra glucose in urine . Kids with high blood sugar levels need to pee more often and make more pee.
  • Drink a lot of liquids. Because they’re peeing so often and losing so much fluid, they can become very thirsty and drink a lot in an attempt to keep the levels of body water normal.
  • Feel tired often. This is because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly.
  • Lose weight . Kids and teens with type 1 diabetes may have an increased appetite, but often lose weight because the body breaks down muscle and stored fat in an attempt to provide fuel to the hungry cells.

In some cases, other symptoms can be the signal that something is wrong. Sometimes the first sign of diabetes is bedwetting in a child who has been dry at night. Diabetes also should be suspected if a girl who hasn’t started puberty yet gets a vaginal yeast infection.

What Your Immune System Does

You dont need to be an immunologist to understand how your immune system works. For the most part, your immune system has one job, and thats to prevent infection. Its like having your own Secret Service detail, 24/7.

Your immune system is clever in that it can distinguish between normal, healthy cells and unhealthy cells by recognizing a variety of danger cues called danger-associated molecular patterns . Examples of unhealthy cells are cells that might be damaged due to an infection, a sunburn or cancer. Microbes, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi can also damage cells by releasing another set of signals called pathogen-associated molecular patterns .

Basically, these DAMP and PAMP signals activate the immune system to respond. If ones immune system isnt working as it should, problems occur, such as an infection. Likewise, if ones immune system is activated when theres no need, or it goes into overdrive, it can cause issues such as allergic reactions or autoimmune disease.

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Type 1 Diabetes And Exercise

People with type 1 diabetes benefit from exercise, but they need to take precautions to prevent sudden drops in blood glucose levels. Diabetics should check their blood sugars before exercising and may require eating a snack before or during exercise. They may need to adjust their insulin dosage before exercising to ensure they stay within normal ranges of blood glucose. People with type 1 diabetes may also need to check their urine for ketones â ketones suggest that your blood sugar is too high. Strenuous activity needs to be avoided if ketones are detected or if your blood sugar level is either high or low before exercise.

What Does It Mean If Test Results Show I Have Protein In My Urine

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Body

This means your kidneys are allowing protein to be filtered through and now appear in your urine. This condition is called proteinuria. The continued presence of protein in your urine is a sign of kidney damage.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Theres much you can do to prevent the development of diabetes . However, if you or your child or adolescent develop symptoms of diabetes, see your healthcare provider. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner steps can be taken to treat and control it. The better you are able to control your blood sugar level, the more likely you are to live a long, healthy life.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/28/2021.


References

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Hearing Smell And Taste

Your vision isnt the only sense thats at risk. Diabetes doubles your chances for hearing loss. Prediabetes ups your chances by 30%. Experts arent sure why. The reason could be nerve damage, but more research is needed to know for sure.

You may lose your hearing slowly so that you arent even aware. If you ask people to repeat themselves a lot, get your hearing checked.

Diabetes even affects the nerves that handle these senses. If you take insulin, you may be more likely to have trouble noticing scents. This may make food taste off. You may even catch a whiff of something thats not there.

Experts suspect it could stem from nerve damage or a glitch that starts in the brain. It may be an early sign of trouble with thinking skills. People who have Alzheimers disease or dementia often report problems with their sense of smell before their diagnosis.


Diabetes In Older People

Diabetes is a serious disease, and it affects many older adults. People get diabetes when their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. The good news is that you can take steps to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease to develop in older adults. If you already have diabetes, there are steps you can take to manage the condition and prevent diabetes-related health problems.

Also Check: Symptoms Of High And Low Blood Sugars

What Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes Are The Same In Men And Women

There are diabetes warning signs and symptoms that both women and men have in common, for example:

    Men who have type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to have low testosterone than men who do not have diabetes. Because of the low levels of the hormone testosterone, men with diabetes can have unhealthy symptoms that are not seen in women with diabetes.

    Low testosterone can cause , depression, lack of energy, and reduced muscle mass. It can also cause male-specific sexual problems and urological problems.


    Erectile dysfunction , or inability to get or maintain an erection, is a common symptom of diabetes in men. Diabetic men experience erectile dysfunction at earlier ages than men who do not have diabetes.

    Another diabetes-related sexual dysfunction symptom in men is reduced amounts of ejaculation, or retrograde ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation is a condition in which the semen goes into the bladder, rather than out of the body through the urethra. Diabetes and damage to the blood vessels causes nerve damage to the muscles that control the bladder and urethra, which results in this problem.

    Are There Other Treatment Options For Diabetes

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    Yes. There are two types of transplantations that might be an option for a select number of patients who have Type 1 diabetes. A pancreas transplant is possible. However, getting an organ transplant requires taking immune-suppressing drugs for the rest of your life and dealing with the side effects of these drugs. However, if the transplant is successful, youll likely be able to stop taking insulin.

    Another type of transplant is a pancreatic islet transplant. In this transplant, clusters of islet cells are transplanted from an organ donor into your pancreas to replace those that have been destroyed.

    Another treatment under research for Type 1 diabetes is immunotherapy. Since Type 1 is an immune system disease, immunotherapy holds promise as a way to use medication to turn off the parts of the immune system that cause Type 1 disease.


    Bariatric surgery is another treatment option thats an indirect treatment for diabetes. Bariatric surgery is an option if you have Type 2 diabetes, are obese and considered a good candidate for this type of surgery. Much improved blood glucose levels are seen in people who have lost a significant amount of weight.

    Of course other medications are prescribed to treat any existing health problems that contribute to increasing your risk of developing diabetes. These conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other heart-related diseases.

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    A Little Something About Diabetes

    Diabetes is a health condition that affects the ability of your body to deal with your blood sugar. Your blood sugar comes from the food you eat. To break this sugar into energy, your body needs a hormone called insulin. Insulin is a chemical your body produces that helps you break sugar down into energy.

    Can Prediabetes Type 2 Diabetes And Gestational Diabetes Be Prevented

    Although diabetes risk factors like family history and race cant be changed, there are other risk factors that you do have some control over. Adopting some of the healthy lifestyle habits listed below can improve these modifiable risk factors and help to decrease your chances of getting diabetes:


    • Eat a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean or Dash diet. Keep a food diary and calorie count of everything you eat. Cutting 250 calories per day can help you lose ½ pound per week.
    • Get physically active. Aim for 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. Start slow and work up to this amount or break up these minutes into more doable 10 minute segments. Walking is great exercise.
    • Lose weight if you are overweight. Dont lose weight if you are pregnant, but check with your obstetrician about healthy weight gain during your pregnancy.
    • Lower your stress. Learn relaxation techniques, deep breathing exercises, mindful meditation, yoga and other helpful strategies.
    • Limit alcohol intake. Men should drink no more than two alcoholic beverages a day; women should drink no more than one.
    • Get an adequate amount of sleep .
    • Take medications to manage existing risk factors for heart disease or to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as directed by your healthcare provider.
    • If you think you have symptoms of prediabetes, see your provider.

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    What Complications Are Associated With Type 1 Diabetes

    Having type 1 diabetes increases a persons risk of developing long-term health complications. Over time, the high blood sugar levels that are associated with diabetes can damage the body, affecting the nervous system, blood vessels, eyes, heart, and kidneys. Careful management, and maintaining stable blood glucose levels, can reduce a persons risk for complications. To read more about complications, click here.;

    In the short term, type 1 diabetes can cause hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia , as well as diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.;

    What Is The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

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    Type 1 diabetes usually starts in childhood or young adulthood, whereas type 2 diabetes usually starts in adulthood. In people with type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys pancreatic cells that produce insulin. In people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is not attacked and usually produces insulin. However, people with type 2 diabetes, for numerous reasons, cannot use the available insulin effectively.

    People with type 2 diabetes can have the same symptoms as those with type 1 diabetes, however, people with type 1 diabetes usually have symptoms that occur more rapidly. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle.


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    Why Is My Blood Glucose Level High How Does This Happen

    The process of digestion includes breaking down the food you eat into various different nutrient sources. When you eat carbohydrates , your body breaks this down into sugar . When glucose is in your bloodstream, it needs help a “key” to get into its final destination where it’s used, which is inside your body’s cells . This help or “key” is insulin.

    Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts as the key that unlocks the cell wall door, which allows glucose to enter your bodys cells. Glucose provides the fuel or energy tissues and organs need to properly function.

    If you have diabetes:

    • Your pancreas doesnt make any insulin or enough insulin.
    • Your pancreas makes insulin but your bodys cells dont respond to it and cant use it as it normally should.

    If glucose cant get into your bodys cells, it stays in your bloodstream and your blood glucose level rises.


    How Diabetes Affects Wound Healing

    Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not effectively use sugar. It is estimated that there are nearly 18 million Americans with diabetes, and approximately 15 percent of diabetics will develop a foot ulcer at some point. Foot ulcers are the most common wounds for this patient population.

    Wound healing can be slowed when the patient is diabetic. An important point to remember about a diabetic patient wound is that it heals slowly and can worsen rapidly, so requires close monitoring. There are several factors that influence wound healing in a diabetic patient, and may include:

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    I Need To Track More Than Just My Sugar Intake

    In the simplest terms, insulin keeps sugar levels regulated in the body, but managing how much insulin to take requires more than just monitoring sugar consumption. All carbohydrates need to be tracked since they are converted into glucose in the body, and exercise impacts blood sugar levels as well.

    Diabetes is always in the back of my mind, says McKean. I have to track every bit of food and every minute of exercise. Even things like stress or being nervous can impact blood sugar.


    Do I Have Other Treatment Options For My Type 1 Diabetes

    Diabetes powerpoint

    The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has played an important role in developing artificial pancreas technology. An artificial pancreas replaces manual blood glucose testing and the use of insulin shots. A single system monitors blood glucose levels around the clock and provides insulin or a combination of insulin and glucagon automatically. The system can also be monitored remotely, for example by parents or medical staff.

    In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a type of artificial pancreas system called a hybrid closed-loop system. This system tests your glucose level every 5 minutes throughout the day and night through a continuous glucose monitor, and automatically gives you the right amount of basal insulin, a long-acting insulin, through a separate insulin pump. You still need to manually adjust the amount of insulin the pump delivers at mealtimes and when you need a correction dose. You also will need to test your blood with a glucose meter several times a day. Talk with your health care provider about whether this system might be right for you.

    The illustration below shows the parts of a type of artificial pancreas system.

    Starting in late 2016 and early 2017, the NIDDK has funded several important studies on different types of artificial pancreas devices to better help people with type 1 diabetes manage their disease. The devices may also help people with type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

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