About Type One Diabetes
Imagine hearing a doctor say..."Your child will have to fight each and every day for the rest of their life to stay alive."
Each year, approximately 15,000 children and families face the fear of being diagnosed with this life-threatening, life-altering, and widely misunderstood disease. The carefree lives of children become filled with rigid medical protocols, measuring out everything they eat, checking blood sugar and paying attention to a single number (their blood glucose number) in an effort just to stay alive. It is a tragedy that changes the lives of the child and their family members forever.
Type One Diabetes is NOT caused by diet or lack of exercise, and there is NO CURE...YET
What is Type One Diabetes?
Type One Diabetes is an auto-immune disease in which a person's immune system is triggered to attack the insulin-producing Beta cells located in the Pancreas. Insulin is essential to survival...it is the hormone that turns glucose (from the food we digest) into the energy our cells need to perform their jobs. Without insulin (the key that allows glucose in), cells are starved of the energy they need and glucose "piles up" in the bloodstream. This is called Hyperglycemia (or high blood sugar). Starved cells resort to burning fat to produce energy; however, this process releases ketones that can build up in the body and, if left untreated, can quickly result in Diabetic Ketoacidosis (D.K.A) which can lead to life-threatening complications including seizure, coma, brain damage, and possible death. Frequent and prolonged Hyperglycemia can lead to life-altering consequences including neuropathy (nerve damage), amputation, blindness and heart disease. Research and technology continue to improve the health outcomes of those with T1D, but there is lots of room for improvement. Type One Diabetes is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week JOB. People with T1D must check their blood 6-10 times each day and administer insulin via multiple daily injections or through pump infusion. Insulin dosing must be calculated and re-calculated several times a day and balanced with food intake, exercise, stress, and the natural hormonal fluctuations of a growing body. It is essentially a "guessing game" much of the time. The risk of low blood sugar (referred to as Hypoglycemia) is also a constant worry. Hypoglycemia can progress very quickly and, if left untreated, can lead to seizure, coma, brain damage, and death.
Causes of Type One Diabetes
It isn't completely clear what causes the body's T-cells to attack the Beta cells in the Pancreas. Genetics play a role, but something has to trigger the attack...typically a virus of some sort. If researchers can figure out how the triggers occur, they can work on developing ways to prevent them...essentially a CURE. This important research could be used to help cure other auto-immune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Irritable Bowel Disease, Psoriasis, Vitiligo, Celiac's Disease and some Thyroid conditions. Research continues to progress in this area and your donations are vital to that progress.
TOPP Foundation supports research that leads to a "PRACTICAL CURE"
TOPP Foundation is hopeful that a biological cure will be discovered in the near future and we support research that leads to a biological cure. We also support research that leads to a "practical cure. "According to the Juvenile Diabetes Cure Alliance (JDCA) a practical cure is defined as "any solution that can be widely available in the near future which enables people with established type 1 diabetes to have a near-normal lifestyle, free from daily disease management routines. There are four main characteristics of a Practical Cure: 1. Minimal Monitoring - 1 test per week while maintaining A1C level of 5-7. 2. Worry-free sleep. 3. No dietary restrictions and no carb counting. 4. Minimal side effects.
Our goal is to bring you the most current information available regarding Type One Diabetes Research. Please note that NONE of these articles were written by any member of TOPP Foundation. Each article notes its own credits including sources, author(s), etc.