Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Diabetes Fact Sheet

{Taken from the JDRF website}

Type 1 Diabetes Facts
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved.

Affects Children and AdultsType 1 diabetes strikes people at any age. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications.

Needs Constant AttentionTo stay alive, people with type 1 diabetes must take multiple insulin injections daily or continually infuse insulin through a pump. They must also test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. While trying to balance insulin doses with their food intake and daily activities, people with this form of diabetes still must always be prepared for serious hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, both of which can be life-limiting and life threatening.

Not Cured By InsulinWhile insulin injections or infusions allow a person with type 1 to stay alive, they do not cure diabetes, nor do they necessarily prevent the possibility of the disease's devastating effects, which may include: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputations, heart attack, stroke, and pregnancy complications.

Difficult to Manage Despite paying rigorous attention to maintaining a meal plan and exercise regimen and always injecting the proper amount of insulin, people with type 1 diabetes face many other factors that can adversely affect efforts to tightly control blood sugar levels. These factors include stress, hormonal changes, periods of growth, physical activity, medications, illness/infection, and fatigue.

Statistics
  • As many as three million Americans may have type 1 diabetes.
  • Each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults - approximately 80 people per day - are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the U.S.
Warning Signs
Warning signs of type 1 diabetes may occur suddenly and include:
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Drowsiness or lethargy
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sugar in the urine
  • Fruity odor on the breath
  • Heavy or labored breathing
  • Stupor or unconsciousness
     

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