Diabetes - Type 1

Type 1 Diabetes affects many children and adolescents throughout our area. This condition was previously called Juvenile Diabetes or Insulin Dependent Diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when our pancreas stops making insulin. Insulin is the key that opens the door allowing energy as sugar to reach our muscles. Without insulin, this sugar stays in our bloodstream and cannot be used effectively.

Our bodies try to get rid of this sugar build up in the blood through our kidneys and into the urine.

Thus, the most common symptoms of diabetes are excessive thirst and urination. Other features include weight loss despite an increase in appetite, fatigue and poor sleep because of too many nighttime trips to the bathroom.
Our bodies need energy and if sugar is not available, we breakdown fat and muscle to use as energy. Unfortunately, using fat as an energy source has a cost. That cost is the production of substances called “ketones”. Ketones can be a helpful energy source over the short-term but, over time, these ketones also build up in our blood and make our blood more acidic, like vinegar. Built up ketones cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, and eventually decrease our consciousness and can cause a coma. When we become sick because we have built up ketones and diabetes, we call this “Diabetes KetoAcidosis” or “DKA” and emergency treatment is necessary.

Type 1 Diabetes cannot be cured but can be managed. Type 1 Diabetes is treated with insulin. There are many different types of insulin but all insulin must be administered under the skin by either an injection or a catheter. 

Young boy receiving a finger stick blood sugar test. Pediatric Endocrinology of RI.

To evaluate the effectiveness of insulin, blood sugar tests must be done using a finger-stick and a glucometer. Testing blood sugars frequently improves the overall control of this disease.

Knowing how many sugars you eat at each meal and snack is a big part of treating diabetes as well. A food sugar is called a carbohydrate and adding these up is called carbohydrate counting. Very few foods are forbidden but every carbohydrate must be taken into account.

Our goal is to balance good control of diabetes with childhood. Working as a team with family members is the best way to accomplish this goal.

Now Accepting New Patients

Caring for Children & Adolescents with diabetes, general endocrine concerns, and obesity who live in Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and nearby Connecticut.