As you might know, Type 1 Diabetes is a subject near to my heart because two of my three children have Type 1 Diabetes.
My daughter Kelli was diagnosed when she was 9 years old, and my son Andy was diagnosed when he was 13 years old.
There is a genetic component to Type 1, although no one in our family had it before Kelli and Andy.
In this Note, I want to explain a little bit about what Type 1 Diabetes is, and some of the differences between it and the more common Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 1 vs. Type 2
Type 1 Diabetes is fairly common, and it’s becoming more common. Back before insulin was discovered it was a fatal disease because they need insulin to survive.
Type 1 Diabetes, or what they used to call Juvenile Diabetes, mostly occurs when you’re a kid. It can however occur in adults as well, it’s just much less common.
Type 2 Diabetes is much more common, and is caused by obesity and not regulating carbs.
Type 1 Diabetes is not preventable.
Type 2 Diabetes is.
You can cure Type 2 Diabetes.
There isn’t a cure for Type 1 YET.
It’s estimated that we spend 13 billion dollars on Type 1, and we spend much more than that on Type 2.
Type 1 Diabetes can have the same bad consequences as Type 2 Diabetes:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. As we’ve talked a lot about in this newsletter, an autoimmune disease is where your body attacks another part of your body.
For Type 1 Diabetes your body attacks and destroys the beta cells of your pancreas.
It’s thought that a virus might predispose you to attack your own pancreas beta cells.
Type 1 comes on suddenly. Some signs are:
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination
If these signs are happening and you’re not watching, a child could go into diabetic ketoacidosis and then into a coma.
So it’s important that you look out for these signs.
There are some preventative measures we think you can take. Taking Vitamin D and avoiding cow’s milk are a few things you can do. Being hyper vigilant about vitamins and keeping your immune system strong is very important in terms of prevention.
At Performance Medicine we talk a lot about hormones and autoimmune diseases. Type 1 Diabetes is one of the bad ones.
It’s a difficult disease to have in that it requires daily insulin, and you’re constantly tending a fire. You have to watch the carbs you’re consuming, as well as the insulin you’re giving and how much exercise you’re getting. You’re trying to avoid highs and lows all day long.
If you don’t control it, you will have consequences.
And remember, these are usually young kids when it happens and it’s a disease they’ll have for the rest of their lives.
The research is going on so that we can make the lives of these kids and adults as easy as possible.
And believe me, it’s not easy.