The non-infectious disease which I have chosen to research is Diabetes Mellitus, more commonly known just as Diabetes. There are several different types of Diabetes but the type I have chosen to research is Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin because the cells that produce the insulin have been attacked by the body’s immune system. This is different to Type 2 Diabetes, where the pancreas still produces insulin, however it does not produce a sufficient amount, or the insulin that it does produce does not work and so is unable to maintain regular blood glucose levels.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which helps to move glucose from the blood into the cells. When there is no insulin being produced, the blood glucose level rises. Unless treated, people with type 1 diabetes are at risk of accumulating dangerous chemical substances in their blood. These are produced when there is no insulin being produced and the body burns fat as a substitute.
Contrary to popular belief, lifestyle does not play any part in causing Type 1 Diabetes, although a healthy lifestyle can help to manage it. In fact, there is no exact cause for Type 1 Diabetes, but there are risk factors. Those at a higher risk are commonly under 40 years of age and/or have a family history of the disease. It has also been thought that if a person is genetically predisposed to diabetes and they are then exposed to certain viral infections (particularly when children) which trigger the immune system. The body’s own immune system then attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
The effects or symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes usually occur suddenly and include:
• Excessive thirst, urination and hunger.
• Unexplained tiredness and weight loss
• Blurred vision
• Itching and/or skin infections
• Mood swings
• Leg cramps
• Vomiting and nausea...