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Type 1 diabetes

What is type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are destroyed. Type 1 diabetes often occurs suddenly. Less than 100 people have type 1 diabetes in Greenland.

What causes diabetes? In healthy people, the pancreas produces insulin, which is a hormone. Insulin helps to get the sugars from the bloodstream into the cells, where it is converted into energy. When you have type 1 diabetes, your body stops producing insulin. It is not known with certainty why some people develop type 1 diabetes, but hereditary conditions are contributory.

Who should be examined? It is a good idea to be examined for diabetes if you have symptoms such as: fatigue, weight loss, thirst, nausea, frequent urination, frequent infections, sensory and visual disturbances. The symptoms are caused by too high blood sugar in the body.

How is the diagnosis made? You will have a blood sample taken where your long-term blood sugar is measured.

What are the most common complications of type 1 diabetes? If your blood sugar is too high for an extended period of time, your nerves and blood vessels may be damaged. This can result in vision problems, damage to the kidneys, reduced sense of touch and poor blood circulation with an increased risk of blood clots in the brain and heart.

What can you do for yourself? Type 1 diabetes requires treatment with insulin. Smoking increases the risk of secondary diseases. Physical activity has a major effect on the regulation of blood sugar and helps to protect against complications. It is often easier to control diabetes with a healthy lifestyle.

What is the medical treatment? The primary treatment for type 1 diabetes is insulin in the form of slow-acting insulin in combination with fast-acting insulin for meals. The need for insulin varies from person to person and depends on what you eat, how you feel and how much you move.

Diabetes status: It is very individual how often your diabetes should be controlled, but typically 3 to 4 times a year where long-term blood sugar (HbA1) is measured. In Greenland, all people with type 1 diabetes are offered a glucose sensor that measures blood glucose 24 hours a day and can alert in the event of too high or low blood sugar.
Kidneys, blood pressure and feet should be examined every year. In addition, an eye examination is offered approximately every 2 years. Controls can prevent your diabetes from getting worse, and can help avoid or delay complications.