Type I Diabetes
Type I Diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes is characterized by the body's inability to produce sufficient amount of insulin. In the vast majority of Type I Diabetic patients, insulin production is decreased due to autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that facilitates transportation of glucose into cells, when this is absent glucose levels can rise to dangerous levels. The onset of this disease is typically between 7-15 years, but may present at any age. Type I Diabetes accounts for about 10% of all diabetes. 
|Causes||Genetics, Dietary Factors, Stress, Infections|
|See Also||Diabetes, Type II Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome|
|Books||Books on Endocrine Diseases|
|Articles||Articles on Endocrine Conditions|
|Article||Type I Diabetes Mellitus, Vital Link; 2005 Winter|
The assessment of type I diabetes typically occurs due an abrupt change in a person's health, especially the young. It's onset is typically associated with key symptoms such as weight loss, increased thirst and urination and fatigue. The aim of a naturopathic assessment is to determine the factors that contributed to the abrupt change and to address accordingly.
In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. Type I is often considered a genetic form of diabetes, yet other factors need to be considered especially if the onset of Type I Diabetes is later in life.
|Check out this book||Healing Diabetes: Complementary Naturopathic and Drug Treatments|
|Check out this book||The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book: Protect Yourself and Your Family From Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies - and More|
|Article||Whole-fat Dairy Consumption Associated with Lower Metabolic Risk Factors and Lower Incidence of Diabetes, NMJ, , 2012 March|
- Blood tests are generally used to diagnose Type I Diabetes.
Additional tests that are often used in the assessment or management of diabetes include Hemoglobin A1C (Hb1aC), Cholesterol Panel, Kidney Function Test, Amylase, Lipase and blood insulin levels, Liver Function Tests
- Every 3 to 6 months
- Yearly Tests
- Blood pressure, eye exam, dental cleaning and checkup and examination of the skin and sensitivity of the feet should be done on a yearly basis as part of diabetes management along with the the blood tests listed above.
Related Symptoms and Conditions
Type I diabetes is associated with other autoimmune disorders:
Type I Diabetes generally starts with an abrupt onset of symptoms. Typically, there is a long asymptomatic period while beta cells are being destroyed. Once destruction reaches a certain threshold, the following symptoms develop quickly:
- weight loss
- typically lean body build
- increased urination (polyuria)
- increased thirst (polydipsia)
- increased hunger
- loss of feeling or tingling in the feet
- blurry eyesight
- urinary, genital or skin infections (bacterial or fungal).
Type I diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease which involves destruction of the pancreatic beta cells which results in absolute insulin deficiency and dependence on exogenous insulin for life.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Kidney damage
- Nerve damage
- Eye damage, including cataracts or retinal disease
The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Type I Diabetes is typically a chronic disease treated with lifelong exogenous insulin supplementation. However, naturopathic medicine can be used in conjunction with this medication to improve glucose control, quality of life, and prevent development of associated conditions.
It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.
Home Care strategies include:
- Blood Sugar Monitoring
- Daily blood sugar monitoring is a critical step in the management of Type I Diabetes.
- Recognize the symptoms for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and make sure you know how to treat them.
- Learn how to adjust insulin and food when you exercise, when you're sick or as there are changes to your overall health.
- Pay special attention to changes in blood sugar levels with any dietary changes.
- Foot Care
- Diabetes damages the blood vessels and the nerves, especially in the feet. This increases the likelihood that of foot injuries, infections and ulcers.
- Proper and ongoing foot care and hygiene is important to prevent and/or manage any peripheral neuropathy, edema, or foot infections.
- Check your feet on a daily basis, especially if you have any signs of decreased sensation or any numbness.
- Get a foot exam by a qualified professional at least twice a year.
- For many individuals diabetic shoes and socks are extremely beneficial.
Lifestyle recommendations include:
|Article||Low Carbohydrate Diet & Other Nutritional Considerations for Treatment and Prevention of Complications of Diabetes, Vital Link; 2005 Winter|
|Article||Diabetes: Diet and lifestyle- based management- Update 2010, IHP, Nov/Dec 2010|
- Achieving optimal weight is beneficial in blood sugar regulation and prevention of complications.
- Consider a dairy and gluten free diet to conserve beta cell function. Avoid processed foods and added sugars.
- Consume a diet high in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Choose low glycemic index, low glycemic load carbohydrates.
- Identify and avoid all food allergies and food sensitivities.
- Ensure you drink adequate water. Diabetes will worsen if chronically dehydrated.
|Article||Exercise & Diabetes: From Benefits to Precautions, Vital Link; 2005 Winter|
The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.
Naturopathic Therapies for Type I Diabetes include:
- Clinical Nutritional Supplementation includes
- Vitamins such as a multi-vitamin supplement, vitamin D, niacinamide and vitamin E., , biotin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C
- Minerals such as magnesium, chromium, vanadium
- Amino Acids such as taurine
- Other supplements such as Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, alpha lipoic acid, Coenzyme Q10, Cod Liver Oil
- Herbs such as Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestra), Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Burdock (Arctium lappa), Cinnamon (Cinnamomum), Goat's Rue (Galega officinalis), Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), Bitter melon (Mormordica charantia), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Onion (Allium cepa), Capsicum frutescens
|Article||Energetic Viewpoint on Diabetes, Vital Link; 2005 Winter|
- Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture In Traditional Chinese Medicine, conditions are diagnosed based on patterns of symptoms. Diabetes is not considered to be caused by the same process in each individual, but several processes are possible and would each be treated uniquely:
- Lung-Stomach Heat Accumulation & Fluid Damage, Intense & Exuberant Stomach Heat, Qi & Yin Dual Vacuity, Kidney Yin Vacuity, Spleen-Stomach Qi Vacuity, Damp Heat Obstructing the Center, Spleen-Kidney Yang Vacuity.
- Cydulka R, Maloney Jr GE (2009) Chapter 124: Diabetes Mellitus and Disorders of Glucose Homeostasis. In Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 7th Edition. Mosby.
- Canadian Diabetes Association [internet]. The prevalence and costs of diabetes [cited 2012 Feb]. Available from: http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/what/prevalence/
- Goldfarb MF (May 2008) Relation of time of introduction of cow milk protein to an infant and risk of type-1 diabetes mellitus. J Proteome Res;7(5):2165-7. PMID: 18410136
- Wahlberg J, Vaarala O, Ludvigsson J (Mar 2006) Dietary risk factors for the emergence of type 1 diabetes-related autoantibodies in 21/2 year-old Swedish children. Br J Nutr;95(3):603-8. PMID: 16578935
- Pizzorno Jr. Joseph E, Murray Michael T, Joiner-Bey Herb (2007) The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Medicine Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
- Vlajinac H, Sipetić S, Marinković J, Bjekić M, Kocev N, Sajić S (May 2006) The Belgrade childhood diabetes study - comparison of children with type 1 diabetes with their siblings. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol;20(3):238-43.PMID: 16629698.
- Friedman M, McLellan A (2007) Healing Diabetes: Complementary Naturopathic and Drug Treatments CCNM Press.
- Ziegler AG, Schmid S, Huber D, Hummel M, Bonifacio E (Oct 2003) Early infant feeding and risk of developing type 1 diabetes-associated autoantibodies. JAMA;290(13):1721-8. PMID: 14519706
- Norris JM, Barriga K, Klingensmith G, Hoffman M, Eisenbarth GS, Erlich HA, Rewers M (Oct 2003) Timing of initial cereal exposure in infancy and risk of islet autoimmunity. JAMA;290(13):1713-20. PMID: 14519705
- Krentz Andrew J (2000) Churchill's pocketbook of Diabetes. Harcourt Publishers Limited.
- Gaby AR (2011) Nutritional Medicine Fritz Perlberg Publishing.
- Gupta S, Sharma TK, Kaushik GG, Shekhawat VP. (2011) Vitamin E supplementation may ameliorate oxidative stress in type 1 diabetes mellitus patients. Clin Lab;Vol57(5-6):379-86. PMID: 21755829
- Locke A (1998) The Family Guide to Homeopathy: The Safe Form of Medicine for the Future. Penguin.
- Flaws B, Sionneau P (2002) The Treatment of Modern Western Diseases with Chinese Medicine: A Textbook and Clinical Manual. Blue Poppy Press.