So the other day I found out that one of my bestfriends (i have 2, which both have a child) her daughter (age 2) has Type 1 diabetes. This came so sudden, she got really sick and was seen at the hospital, where they determined she had Type 1 diabetes. I LOVE her very much & have been there and seen her grown up since day one. So this has impacted my life greatly. So I did some research to find out more about this disease: Here is what i found:
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys certain cells in the pancreas, an organ about the size of a hand that is located behind the lower part of the stomach. These cells -- called beta cells -- are contained, along with other types of cells, within small islands of endocrine cells called the pancreatic islets. Beta cells normally produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body move the glucose contained in food into cells throughout the body, which use it for energy. But when the beta cells are destroyed, no insulin can be produced, and the glucose stays in the blood instead, where it can cause serious damage to all the organ systems of the body.
For this reason, PEOPLE WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES MUST TAKE INSULIN IN ORDER TO STAY ALIVE =(. This means undergoing multiple injections daily, or having insulin delivered through an insulin pump, and testing their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. People with diabetes must also carefully balance their food intake and their exercise to regulate their blood sugar levels, in an attempt to avoid hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, which can be life threatening.
The warning signs of type 1 diabetes include extreme thirst; frequent urination; drowsiness or lethargy; sugar in urine; sudden vision changes; increased appetite; sudden weight loss; fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath; heavy, labored breathing; stupor; and unconsciousness.
Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. Scientists do not yet know exactly what causes type 1 diabetes, but they believe that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved.
There is no real reason why kids get type 1 diabetes, but Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is try to find a cure. You can visit their website at www.jdrf.com to learn more about this disease, or if you'd like to donate, or would like to participate in next years Walk To Cure Diabetes!!!
WHY WE NEED A CURE!!!
It's only been 10 months. Ellie has calluses on her fingers. Her bottom has scar tissue from her insulin pump sites. She's had 1,494 finger pricks. Her blood has been drawn five times with two nurses holding her down and one drawing the blood. She's had 98 pump site changes. It's only been 10 months.... I would give everything I have, even my own life, for Ellie not to have to endure another day of this dreadful disease.—Katie Clark, mother of Ellie, age 4, diagnosed in August of 2004
One Road To Hope: JDRF's Artificial Pancreas Project at the University of Virginia