Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes or “Juvenile diabetes” is insulin dependent and it is often developed in childhood or young adults. The cells of pancreas which produce insulin is destroyed, it is also known as auto-immune reaction (the body starts to attack and destroy its own cells).

In pancreas, there are several types of cells including alpha and beta cells. The roles of beta cells are to produce the insulin and monitor blood sugar levels. The beta cells are being destroyed, and this could take place over period of 5-7 years. Unfortunately, the symptoms of type 1 diabetes do not appear until 80% of these cells are destroyed.

Consider some facts:

  • The body is unable to produce insulin due to the cells being destroyed by immune system.
  • With the absent of insulin, the glucose in the bloodstream cannot be converted to energy.
  • The person has to depend on outside insulin such as regular insulin injection to survive.

Another health problem that may arise is the person can also develop Ketoacidosis.


Ketoacidosis (Diabetic acidosis) occurs mainly in people who have juvenile (or type 1) diabetes. If left untreated, it can lead to coma and death. Ketoacidosis is the condition when the pH of the blood becoming acidic.

What is Ketone and How Does Ketoacidosis Form in Your Body?

With the absent of insulin or not enough insulin, the body not able to convert glucose to energy. As a result, the body will burn body fat as fuel and when it is burning too much, it forms a waste product called Ketone. There are 2 ways of Ketone being formed, in the blood stream and urine. The one that remains in the blood stream is called Ketosis, and the one that are released in the urine is called Ketonuria.

Process of Ketoacidosis

How to Detect Ketoacidosis?

Symptoms of Ketoacidosis

  • Frequent urination or thrist
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Breath odor
  • Tired

Infection, trauma, heart attack, surgery or missing doses of insulin in people with type 1 diabetes can lead to ketoacidosis.

Another way to test if your blood sugar levels are over 200mg/dl for 2 consecutive testes, test your urine for Ketones. Ketones are also known as acetones, can be detected in the urine by acetone test.

Return to › Type 1 Diabetes


Ketoacidosis. Available from Netdoctor.co.uk (Assessed 27th April 2009)

Ketoacidosis. Available from Health.nytimes.com (Assessed 27th April 2009)

Dr. Anjali Arora, 5 Steps to Control High Blood Sugar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Synergy Media.

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