Type 1 diabetes is caused by failure of insulin secretion from the pancreas. Lack of insulin causes rise in the blood sugar levels (glucose). Glucose is a fuel, which the cells of the body use to generate energy for the proper functioning. Deficiency of insulin output in Type 1 diabetes prevents effective uptake and utilisation of glucose in blood. Therefore, the blood sugar (glucose) level increases and glucose spills from blood into the urine. As glucose is not used efficiently and spills into the urine, people with untreated Type 1 diabetes develop symptoms such as:
In type 1 diabetes, the symptoms develop rapidly and over a brief period of time, therefore, these symptoms may be mistaken initially for a virus in the stomach (because of nausea, vomiting and pain in the abdomen).
Diabetic ketoacidosis: When the cells cannot use blood glucose for energy, they start using fats as energy source. The process of burning fat for energy causes formation of ketones, which are toxic to the body and can even be life threatening. Build-up of ketones in the body causes symptoms of ketoacidosis that usually develop slowly. The initial symptoms include:
Other symptoms, which develop as the blood ketone levels increase, are: