Type 1 Diabetes: What it is
When food is consumed, the digestive process converts carbohydrates into glucose and moves that into the bloodstream. In a healthy person, specialized cells in the pancreas detect changes in blood glucose. When it detects a rise in blood glucose, those cells secrete insulin into the bloodstream. The insulin helps the glucose enter the cells where it is used as fuel. Without insulin, the glucose stays in the bloodstream and rises, eventually reaching potentially dangerous levels if left unchecked.
In Type 1 Diabetes, the body is unable to produce insulin.It is also unable to detect and react to changes of blood glucose. The patient has to perform that function with a machine called a Blood Glucose Meter.
To keep blood glucose (BG) within normal limits, the person with diabetes has to inject insulin (with a syringe or an insulin pump) when it gets to high, or before a meal. When it gets to low, they have to carefully consume glucose in carefully measured quantities, frequently checking changes in BG with the Blood Glucose Meter.
Prevalence: about 10% of all people with Diabetes have Type 1
Type 1 Diabetes Population: 1,250,000 (est), 200,000 under age 20, over 1,000,000 over age 20.
New Diagnoses: 40,000 annually
Cost of Diabetes Healthcare: $14,000,000,000 annually
Life Expectancy: decreased by 13 years.
Source: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation