Type 1 diabetes: what is it exactly?

Type I diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), is an autoimmune disease. It is due to the destruction of pancreatic cells specialized in the production of insulin, which makes treatment by insulin injections mandatory.

Normally, after eating a meal, the sugar (glucose) level in the blood increases, and the body consequently releases a major hormone, insulin. This allows the entry of glucose into muscle cells, adipocytes (fat cells) and hepatocytes (liver cells) to be stored and provide energy.

In type 1 diabetes, specific autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells (which produce insulin) prevents the body from storing sugar and is therefore responsible for glucose levels in the blood (glucose) too high.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) usually occurs before age 35, with peak in adolescence, but can occur at any age. It accounts for about 10% of diabetes cases (more than 300, 000 people in France).

Type 1 diabetes continues to grow in every country in the world, at a rate of 3 to 4% per year for the last twenty years, suggesting the involvement of environmental factors that are conducive and sensitive to changes in lifestyle.

There is also a decreasing gradient in the incidence of type 1 diabetes from northern to southern Europe, affecting both men and women.

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Read also :

> All about diabetes
> 50 gourmet recipes AND adapted to diabetics
> Living with a diabetic: my child, parent, spouse ... is diabetic

Author: Dr Iléana de Lameth, Hospital Practitioner in Endocrinology, Diabetology, Nutrition

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