Type 1 Diabetes : An Autoimmune Disorder

988 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 4 Pages
Type 1 diabetes, previously called juvenile diabetes, is an incurable condition that is normally diagnosed in children and young adults. Type one diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease with an unknown cause. Symptoms can be subtle and if gone undiagnosed and untreated, T1D can be fatal. The treatment of T1D requires daily injections of insulin to break down excess sugar in the blood. Treatment costs of diabetes are high and the complications associated with T1D only increases those costs. Historically people with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) did not have long life expectancy. Today with advancements in treatment, commitment to managing insulin levels and living a healthy life style, T1D patients can lead a long an full life.
For unknown reasons, the body of a T1D attacks the insulin producing cells, called islets, that are formed in the pancreas and destroys them. This type of attack is known as an autoimmune disorder (Diabetes Research Institute Foundation [DRIF], n.d.). Insulin is the hormone that allows sugar to enter cells, and produce energy. The body now sees islet cells as foreign and eventually the pancreas yields little to no islet cells. Once there are no more islet cells to produce the insulin hormone the sugar levels in the blood become high, called hyperglycemia. This disturbance in homeostasis is not like type 2 diabetes (T2D), where the body becomes insulin resistant. In a T2D, the pancreas still produces islet cells and they are still…
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