Diabetes accounts for a huge share of lifestyle diseases all over the world and India is no exception. But the surprising part is that a lot has been spoken about type 2 diabetes, while type 1 diabetes has remained relatively overlooked. According to Dr Pradeep Gadge, consultant diabetologist, Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai, nearly 5 lakh children under the age of 15 years are affected by type 1 diabetes, making it one of the most common diseases among children and young adults.
‘Type 1 diabetes is a condition that is mainly seen in children (also called juvenile diabetes). It occurs due to self-destruction of insulin-producing cells of the pancreas called beta cells. This means, the body’s immune system generates antibodies against the beta cells and destroys them. Insulin is a hormone that is needed for the conversion of starch and other foods into energy. As the body is unable to produce insulin, it struggles with increased glucose levels in the blood and urine. In type 2 diabetes, although insulin is produced by the body it cannot be utilised in a normal way. In simpler terms, you could say that getting type 1 diabetes is bad luck, whereas type 2 diabetes is just a result of faulty lifestyle,’ says Dr Gadge.