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Type 1 diabetes (or juvenile diabetes) is when the pancreas can no longer make insulin. The body needs insulin to move the glucose (sugar) to the cells for energy. Our hearts can't pump without energy, and our lungs can't breath without energy. Without insulin we couldn't live. People with type 1 diabetes need to get insulin another way since their bodies can't make it on its own. This can be done by getting shots of insulin or by using an insulin pump.
Juvenile diabetes starts because the body starts to make antibodies that attack cells in our pancreas. These cells are called beta cells. Beta cells make insulin. Slowly the beta cells will die off. When all of the cells are gone the body can no longer produce any insulin.
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are: extreme thirst, frequent urination, hunger, weight loss, and fatigue. These come on very suddenly. Without being diagnosed the diabetic will keep loosing weight, they will have a hard time focusing their eyes, they will become very sick. This is because the blood sugar is so high without any insulin. The body will begin to use it's fat, for energy, since the insulin isn't there to move the glucose. This is why they lose weight. When all the fat is used up the body will use muscles and organs. A long time ago before we knew what diabetes is and how to treat it, it was called "the melting disease."
For diagnosis the doctor will do a blood test to check the blood sugar. They will usually do a urine test that will see if there is sugar in the urine or to see if there are ketones present. Ketones are caused when there is not enough insulin and the body is using fat for energy. When ketones are present in the urine it is serious. You need to get the blood sugars down or you can go into ketoacidosis. People with diabetic ketoacidosis will usually have nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and rapid breathing. This is a medical emergency.
Diabetics need lots of education on managing their disease. It takes a lot of blood testing, carbohydrate counting, insulin injections, and doctors visits to control diabetes. With the right care a diabetic person can live a long, healthy life.