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Who’s at Risk for Type 1 Diabetes?

Who’s at Risk for Type 1 Diabetes?

Of the more than 37 million people in the United States with diabetes, only about 5%-10% have Type 1 diabetes. Though less common than Type 2 diabetes, rates of diagnoses for Type 1 diabetes are on the rise. 

Are you at risk for Type 1 diabetes?

At East Side Primary Medical Care on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, our compassionate and experienced primary care physician, Dr. Daniel Klein, specializes in diabetes management.

In this month’s blog post, we want to talk about who’s at risk for Type 1 diabetes.

What is Type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. 

Insulin is the hormone that moves glucose from the blood into the cell. Without insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream, damaging the blood vessels and organs. People with Type 1 diabetes must inject insulin to survive.

By comparison, people with Type 2 diabetes continue to produce insulin, but the insulin they make is ineffective. Or, their pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to meet demands, leading to elevated glucose levels in the blood.

Both types of diabetes are chronic diseases and are with you for life. But Type 1 diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence, increasing risk of health complications. Type 2 diabetes most commonly affects adults, appearing during middle age. 

Are you at risk?

Who gets Type 1 diabetes? Researchers are still learning about this type of diabetes and what triggers the immune system to attack the insulin-producing cells. 

However, they theorize that genetics may play a role. People at risk for Type 1 diabetes often have a close relative (parent or sibling) with the condition. Researchers have also identified genes linked to this type of diabetes that put some people at risk.

It’s also theorized that exposure to viruses or other environmental factors may trigger the immune system reaction. 

Though having a family history of Type 1 diabetes is a significant risk factor, anyone can develop this chronic disease. 

Treating Type 1 diabetes

Because the body doesn’t produce insulin, people with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin to manage their disease. There are many types of insulin that help with blood glucose control, and finding the right type and dose takes time and requires expert care and attention.

People with Type 1 diabetes must track their blood glucose levels to find the right type, dose, and timing of insulin. Diet and exercise are also important parts of the treatment plan. What you eat may increase blood glucose levels, and exercise helps lower blood glucose.

The longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk of developing diabetes-related complications like heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetic retinopathy. Keeping blood glucose levels within the normal range is the best way to lower your risk.

We provide care for people with all types of diabetes. If you have Type 1 diabetes and need help managing your blood glucose levels, we can provide the attentive and comprehensive care you need through our concierge primary care services. 

Give our office a call today at 680-206-2794 or book an appointment to learn more about how we can help you. 

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