Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. We do not know what causes this auto-immune reaction. Type 1 diabetes is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors.
Type 1 diabetes:
Occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin
Represents around 10% of all cases of diabetes and is one of the most common chronic childhood conditions
Onset is usually abrupt and the symptoms obvious
Symptoms can include excessive thirst and urination, unexplained weight loss, weakness and fatigue and blurred vision
What happens to the pancreas?
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach, stops making insulin because the cells that make the insulin have been destroyed by the body’s immune system. Without insulin, the body’s cells cannot turn glucose (sugar), into energy.
People with type 1 diabetes depend on insulin every day of their lives to replace the insulin the body cannot produce. They must test their blood glucose levels several times throughout the day.
The onset of type 1 diabetes occurs most frequently in people under 30 years, however, new research suggests almost half of all people who develop the condition are diagnosed over the age of 30. About 10-15% of all cases of diabetes are type 1.
What causes type 1 diabetes?
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not yet known, but we do know it has a strong family link and cannot be prevented. We also know that it has nothing to do with lifestyle, although maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important in helping to manage type 1 diabetes.
Being excessively thirsty
Passing more urine
Feeling tired and lethargic
Always feeling hungry
Having cuts that heal slowly
Itching, skin infections
Unexplained weight loss