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Diabetes, Type I

Type I diabetes is also known as childhood onset diabetes. The condition usually occurs in children between the ages of 5 and 10, although in rare cases, the affliction can be present at birth. The disease can be linked to heredity or the transmission thereof, yet recent research indicates that acquisition can also occur through unknown viruses capable of attacking and destroying islets of Langerhans existing inside the pancreas. These islets are a crucial part of the autoimmune system function; once compromised, the pancreas will cease to secrete insulin into the bloodstream. Blood glucose levels will rise, creating symptoms such as excessive thirst, clamminess, lightheadedness, and frequent urination.

Diagnosing the condition can be ascertained through blood testing. One test in particular is called “A1C hemoglobin,” which determines average blood sugar levels over a 90 day span. This procedure calculates the amount of glucose in the blood; targeted ranges may vary from 4 to 7 percent to be considered “normal.” Anything above 7 percent is an indicator of pancreatic malfunction. Depending on how high the level exceeds this percentage will determine the difference between type I and type II diabetes. The two conditions are often confused; type II diabetes means that the pancreas operates at approximately half capacity, which can be treated with oral medication. Type I diabetics are required to administer subcutaneous injections on a daily basis to offset or compensate for caloric ingestion.

Daily glucose monitoring is also mandatory. The targeted daily range should fall between 80 to 140 mg/dl. Testing frequently, usually once every 4 to 6 hours, is the best way to maintain normal blood sugar levels. A healthy and balanced diet also plays an important part of overall wellness. Staying away from refined sugars is also a plus, not to mention regulating carbohydrate and protein intake.

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