What is Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects about 15% of the global population. This condition is specified by the loss of insulin production leading to an extreme imbalance in blood glucose level. A healthy body controls the levels of glucose with the help of insulin.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas to manage the blood sugar level. It assists the glucose transportation from the bloodstream to cells. Normally, the level of insulin secretion lowers with the level of glucose in the blood.
However, in type 1 diabetes the production of insulin is affected due to auto-immune damage to pancreatic cells. This type of diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes because the damaged pancreas produces little to no insulin.
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
Like other autoimmune diseases, the exact reasons behind the development of diabetes type 1 are still not known. Even so, studies suggest the following elements contribute to the development of this condition.
We all have a specific type of protein known as HLA that aids our immune system in detecting and eliminating foreign toxins from the body. Yet a specific class of HLA increases the risk of autoimmune diseases like Multiple sclerosis, Diabetes type 1, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Anemia.
About 30-50 percent of type 1 diabetes risks are caused by HLA DR3 and HLA DR4 CLASS II. These HLA proteins are passed down through the generations genetically. This is why family history matters in autoimmune diseases.
– Environmental factor
Factors like viruses and infections influence the immune system to respond in quite an irregular manner.
The weather also contributes to the occurrence of type 1 diabetes to some extent. It is observed that people residing in the colder regions have a higher tendency of developing type 1 diabetes.
Nonetheless, the researchers believe that both elements somehow work simultaneously. some environmental factors might trigger a specific gene resulting in cell-mediated immune response or hypersensitivity. For instance, identical twins inherit the same set of genes but in most cases, only one develops type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes can strike anyone at any age, but it is most frequently diagnosed among children and adolescents. Type 1 diabetes affects children in the same way that it affects adults. The deterioration of pancreatic cells begins early in life, with up to 90% of cells destroyed before symptoms appear.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
Diabetes type 1 symptoms are known to surface suddenly. Depending on the patient’s state and how the disease is managed, these can be moderate or severe.
Polyphagia: The body’s inability to convert glucose into energy causes the cell to starve. This causes the body’s muscle and adipose tissues (fat) to break down. The patient loses weight involuntarily as a result of this phenomenon. It causes exhaustion and fatigue despite the patients’ extreme hunger.
Polyuria: The kidneys filter the glucose in the circulation, resulting in frequent urination.
Polydipsia: Dehydration and thirst rise significantly because of frequent urination. This dehydration in turn brings out a variety of symptoms, including:
– Frequent skin infection; especially on hands and feet.
– Dry mouth
– Blurred vision
– Tingling sensation or numbness due to lack of proper blood circulation.
– Upset stomach and vomiting.
– Mood fluctuation and irritability.
– Increased acidity in blood can lead to labored breath
– Rapid breathing
– Breath has a fruity scent to it.
– Loss of consciousness.
With time, uncontrolled type 1 diabetes can escalate to further complications. Many vital organs can be affected as a result of these issues.
– Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Due to a lack of insulin, acidity in the blood increases rapidly. This phenomenon results in life-threatening complications which are caused by damage to the nerves.
– Neuropathy: Neuropathy is nerve damage caused by high levels of blood glucose. Excessive blood sugar can harm the walls of blood vessels, especially in the lower limbs and vital organs like the heart and kidneys. Infections and Ulcers can easily result from small foot injuries and cut. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation can all be symptoms of nerve injury to the gastrointestinal tract. It can induce erectile dysfunction in men.
– Kidney damage: The kidneys are quite vulnerable to nerve damage because of their structure and function. The copious amount of glucose can damage the nerves of the filtration system over the years. Severe disruption can cause kidney failure.
– Cardiovascular disease: The threat of nerve impairment can extend to the coronary artery. This elevates the risk of developing angina, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, and arterial constriction.
– Eye damage: Insufficient management of diabetes can cause potential blindness. With time, the blood vessels of the retina can get injured leading to conditions like glaucoma and cataracts.
When too much insulin is introduced to the body the blood sugar level drops dangerously. It occurs when a diabetic person skips a meal or exercises too much
When diabetes is poorly managed, the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects increases. Preeclampsia, diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic eye problems (retinopathy), pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, and diabetic ketoacidosis are all concerns for diabetic mothers.
Treatments for Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is not treatable nor can it be prevented. Despite that, there are still ways in which a patient can manage to maintain a healthy life and avoid the risk of the above-mentioned complications.
Type 1 diabetes requires the patients to be reliant on insulin. With so many variations of conditions and equally vast options for treatment, the patient must have a team of professionals to assist them.
The amount of insulin that requires administration depends on the blood glucose levels. This is why the insulin doses that are being introduced need professional supervision. The fluctuation of the blood sugar influences the insulin intake that can increase to 4 to 5 times a day.
There are around 5 types of insulin available in the market to choose from.
- Rapid-acting Insulin: as the name suggests it starts working between 3 to 10 mins. It is best to use it right before or immediately after the meals
- Short-acting insulin: this insulin starts working within 30 minutes with effects that linger for about 7 hours
- Intermediate-acting insulin: often considered predated kind of treatment, intermediate insulin needs to be prepared before use. It usually starts working in about 60-80 mins and can last for 16-24 hours.
- Long-acting insulin: it is slow but it lasts for up to 24 hours.
- Mixed insulin: It is usually a mixture of very rapid-acting insulin together with intermediate-acting insulin.
The methods of insulin administration also vary and can be chosen according to patients’ liking and condition.
Insulin syringes: Insulin syringes can only be used once. The unit of doses of insulin that are to be administered should be considered before choosing the size of the needle.
Insulin pens: users need proper instructions from their health professionals about using the right type of pen. These pens are available in both; reusable and disposable types. The pen cartridge needs to be changed after a month.
Insulin pumps: An insulin pump is a small pre-programmed device that stores a supply of insulin and is worn outside the body. The insulin pump is designed to deliver insulin to the body’s fatty tissue using a thin plastic tubing known as an infusion set or delivering set. An only rapid-acting insulin is employed in the pump.
Oral medication and drugs:
Oral medication is the primitive treatment for diabetes. It is still a preferred option of treatment. For a long period, it was only used for patients with type 2 diabetes. When patients with type 1 develop insulin resistance, the administered insulin does not work unless supported by oral medication.
These drugs help lower blood sugar either by urination or by reducing the blood sugar production in the liver. Many of these drugs are created to take along with insulin.
Regenerative Medicine for Diabetes
The past two decades of research on regenerative medicine have proved that soon enough the spell of expensive and inefficient methods of treatment will break. Research has shown that regenerative medicine is more beneficial than the rest of the conventional treatments. Regenerative medicine is a treatment that uses a stem cell rather than a pill to restore cells, tissues, and organs that have been damaged by age, injury, or disease.
The human body is a product of stem cells that have evolved into different organs, tissues, and nerves. There are three crucial abilities that characterize stem cells.
– The stem cells can self-replicate and grow in number both in lab or organism. This ability makes them an outstanding option of treatment because the increasing number can extend their effectiveness.
– Stem cells are multipotent/ pluripotent: the stem cells have the ability to specialize into different kinds of cells like blood cells, muscles, organs, and bones.
– These cells can also adapt according to the changes in the immune system.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a type of regenerative medicine that can help treat a vast range of diseases. These stem cells can be used as a treatment for many diseases which were thought untreatable previously. It can be used to treat autoimmune illnesses, neurodegenerative disorders, orthopedic, inflammatory conditions, and traumatic injuries, among other things. It treats the diseases by:
– Stopping the progression of the disease.
– Minimizing the symptoms of the disease
– Boosting the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
The two most valued sources for attaining stem cells are the umbilical cord and amniotic fluid. Stem cells attained from these sources can easily be differentiated into Mesenchymal stem cells.
Demonstrated by research, Mesenchymal stem cells cause tissue regeneration by influencing existing cells into changing their behavior. These cells also support the formation of new blood vessels, limit inflammation and adapt according to changes in the immune system.
How is Stem Cell Therapy beneficial for Type 1 Diabetic patients?
Many clinical trials prove the effectiveness of stem cell therapy for type 1 diabetes. Umbilical cord stem cells have shown a massive improvement in the overall condition of the patient. Following are the key points that elevate the status of stem cell therapy from the rest of the conventional treatments.
– Stem Cell Therapy is non-invasive: From extraction to administration, the entire process of stem cell therapy is completely ethical and unaggressive. This is especially beneficial for the diabetes patient because undergoing an invasive treatment or surgery can risk the danger of complications.
– They delay the disease progression: autoimmune diseases are known for getting worse with time. the stem cell can put off the progression of the disease. when a type 1 diabetic is administered with stem cell therapy it influences the body to stop and reduce the damage caused by the illness.
– Stem Cell Therapy is cost-effective: the management and dedication other treatments require to take up a lot of patients’ energy and resources. The conventional methods of treatment are very costly in the long run.
– It is adaptive: one of the best features of stem cells is that it adapts to the immune system as well as change according to it. This adaptability assures the authenticity and effectiveness of this treatment for a wide range of patients.
– Stem Cell Therapy is risk-free: no blood match is needed from the donor. So no risk rejection exists.
– It focuses on overall health improvement: The aim of stem cell therapy is to improve the body’s ability to heal itself. Stem cell therapy boosts the anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive responses of the body. Stem cells improve cell-to-cell communication which leads to a healthy, responsive body.