Type 1

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to regulate the level of glucose (sugar) in the body. The body's immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, which leads to the eventual destruction of the pancreatic beta cells. This lack of insulin results in a rise in the level of glucose in the blood, a condition known as hyperglycemia.

Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, but may be experienced at any age. Currently, type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but with proper treatment, the symptoms of the disease can be managed and individuals can live a full, healthy life.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

The most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling or numbness in the feet or hands

Treatment Options for Type 1 Diabetes

Treatment for type 1 diabetes typically includes a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. Typically, individuals with type 1 diabetes will need to monitor their blood sugar closely with a glucometer. This involves regularly testing blood sugar levels and adjusting the type and amount of insulin medication. Depending on the person’s lifestyle, additional medications may be required to control blood sugar levels. Diet and exercise are also important components of any diabetes management program.

It is also important to be aware of the potential risks associated with diabetes including the development of long-term complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and eye problems.