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Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is a disorder of glucose homeostasis characterized by autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing pancreatic β-cell that progressively leads to insulin deficiency and resultant hyperglycemia. If left untreated, insulin deficiency leads to progressive metabolic derangement, with worsening hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis, starvation, and death. In an effort to restore and maintain euglycemia, treatment attempts to mimic the action of the native β-cell by exogenously replacing insulin and includes frequent monitoring of blood glucose levels.
As the visionary pioneer Dr. Elliott P. Joslin believed, the best possible outcomes of T1DM treatment are realized when a sense of empowerment, rather than victimization, is imparted to both patient and family. Achieving this empowerment through diligence and education enables an individual living with T1DM to attain optimal health and well-being and constitutes the ultimate goal—and challenge—of the medical team.
The epidemiology and pathophysiology...