Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms – Identifying The Problem

There are definite type 1 diabetes symptoms that affected individuals exhibit, and these can be noted in order to identify the condition.

Type I diabetes mellitus, also termed Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or Juvenile Diabetes Mellitus, occurs in people with insulin deficiency. The absolute or partial loss of beta cells (cells that secrete insulin) causes this condition.

Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in children and young adults, and it is uncommon as it accounts for close to 5% of all diabetes cases. Both men and women are susceptible to type 1 diabetes, and Caucasians are more susceptible to the disease than African Americans.

When Are Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms Exhibited?

In people with type 1 diabetes, sugar is not absorbed by various cells of the body because of deficiency of insulin. This leads to a rise in sugar level in the blood. When sugar builds up in the blood instead of going into these cells, the cells in the body are deprived of nutrients and therefore, other systems in the body need to provide energy for many important bodily functions.

This is when the symptoms start showing.

type 1 diabetes symptoms

Frequent thirst is one of the primary type 1 diabetes symptoms

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms To Watch Out For

There are certain key type 1 diabetes symptoms that affected patients present with:

  • Frequent Urination, Increased Thirst, Dry Mouth:  More urine is formed in order to clear the excess sugar in the blood. Along with the clearance of glucose, there is also considerable loss of water, leading to dehydration. The patient might experience dryness in the mouth due to such dehydration, and a constant feeling of thirst.
  • Increased Hunger: In spite of frequent food intake, people who suffer from type 1 diabetes might feel hungry regularly. This happens when the cells fail to utilise the glucose in the blood due to the lack of insulin. The energy is not absorbed, leading to constant hunger.
  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Significant weight loss is one among the primary type 1 diabetes symptoms. More so, it is unintentional weight loss, due to the inability of the cells to utilise glucose.
  • Fatigue: Diabetics tend to feel weak and tired even after minimal work that they routinely do.
  • Blurred Vision: Excessive glucose in the blood causes damage to the blood vessels in the eyes. This leads to retinal damage, thus causing disruption in normal vision.
  • Frequent Infections of the Skin, Urinary Tract, or Vagina:  The elevation of blood sugar levels leads to increased amounts of glucose in all body secretions. This also weakens the normal immunity of the body, causing frequent infections.

Many people experience one or more of these type 1 diabetes symptoms. In some cases, people with very high blood sugar may face an acute complication called diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency. These people have symptoms like:

  • Deep, rapid breathing
  • Dry skin and mouth
  • Flushed face
  • Fruity breath odour
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach pain

When diabetes is not well controlled, a number of serious or life-threatening problems may develop due to the deposition of fatty substances in the blood vessels, otherwise termed atherosclerosis. This affects the major organs of the body including the cardiovascular system, the kidneys, brain and eyes. For this reason, treatment should be immediately started once the initial type 1 diabetes symptoms start showing.


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This entry was posted in Diabetes by Dr. Kiran Kishore. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dr. Kiran Kishore

Dr. Kiran Kishore (M.D., MBBS) is a Consulting Physician and Diabetologist at Srinivasa Clinic & Diabetes Care Center, Hyderabad. He also serves as the Assistant Professor at Bhaskar Medical College. Dr. Kishore specializes in Pharmacology and Diabetology, and has over six years of experience as a Diabetologist.

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