What exactly IS Type 1 Diabetes? If you already follow me or my site, you likely already know. This post is for everyone else, for the people who might not already know. If you share this post with your Facebook feed, or your network of people who aren't already IN the diabetes life, then those are the people that this post is for.
That's what Diabetes Awareness Month is all about, after all. We teach the world around us about T1D and help to spread awareness. There are other types of diabetes, but I will be focusing on one type this month: Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes (aka T1D) is a condition in which the pancreas makes little or no insulin. The pancreas is not "dead," nor is it "useless" like some in the community might joke from time to time, but it IS true that it can no longer produce insulin, or at least not enough of that beautiful, miraculous clear hormone. The pancreas has other functions, too, which is why we don't jump immediately to transplanting it when someone is diagnosed with T1D.
Insulin is vital for survival. To be blunt, without it, a body would die. You need insulin in order to convert the food you eat into energy to live. The only difference is that instead of the beta cells in the pancreas actually making insulin automatically, a person with T1D has to inject it into their bodies somehow.
Type 1 Diabetes has no cure, currently. It can only be treated and managed with insulin therapy, and a wellness plan including a balanced diet and exercise can help one to manage effectively. But again, I must reiterate: diet and exercise cannot cure it. Neither can any miracle shakes, pills, oils, or the best holistic medicine you can find.
Type 1 Diabetes happens to people through no fault of their own or their parents or guardians. It is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks and kills the insulin-creating beta cells in the pancreas. It's not fully known exactly what tips the scales to cause diabetes, but it is a combination of genetic factors and environmental factors, like viruses.
I will elaborate more on some of the topics I touched on in this post later in the month on other days, in other posts. Stay tuned! And share away!