All You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes – Type 1 diabetes is a chronic (lifelong) autoimmune disease that prevents your pancreas from producing insulin. It requires daily management with insulin injections and blood sugar monitoring. Both children and adults can be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually start out mild and gradually get worse or more intense, which can happen over days, weeks, or months. See your provider as soon as possible if you or your child has these symptoms.

All You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

All You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

Insulin is an important hormone that regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Under normal conditions, insulin functions in the following stages:

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If you don’t have enough insulin, too much sugar builds up in your blood, causing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), and your body can’t use the food you eat for energy. It can cause serious health problems or even death if left untreated. People with type 1 diabetes need synthetic insulin every day to live and be healthy.

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Although type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are both forms of diabetes (as opposed to diabetes mellitus) that cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), they are different.

In type 2 diabetes (T2D), your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or your body doesn’t always use that insulin as well as it should—usually because of insulin resistance. Lifestyle factors, including obesity and lack of exercise, contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, as do genetic factors.

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Type 2 diabetes usually affects the elderly, although it is more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can develop the disease.

Anyone can develop type 1 diabetes (T1D) at any age, although the most common age at diagnosis is 4 to 6 years and early puberty (10 to 14 years).

In the United States, people who are non-Hispanic white are the most likely to develop type 1 diabetes, and it affects people who were born female and who were born male almost equally.

All You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

Although you don’t have to have a family member with type 1 diabetes to develop the condition, having a first-degree family member (parent or sibling) with type 1 diabetes increases your risk of developing it.

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Type 1 diabetes is relatively common. Approximately 1.24 million people in the United States are living with type 1 diabetes, and this number is expected to increase to five million by 2050.

Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children in the United States, although adults can also be diagnosed with the disease.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually start out mild and gradually get worse or more intense, which can happen over days, weeks, or months. This is because your pancreas produces less and less insulin.

If you or your child has these symptoms, it’s important to see your healthcare provider and get tested for type 1 diabetes as soon as possible. The sooner the diagnosis is made, the better.

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If the diagnosis is delayed, untreated type 1 diabetes can be life-threatening due to a complication called diabetes-related ketoacidosis (DKA). Get emergency medical help if you or your child has any combination of the following symptoms:

Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. This destruction can occur over months or years, eventually leading to a complete lack of insulin (deficiency).

Although scientists do not yet know the exact cause of type 1 diabetes, they believe there is a strong genetic component. The risk of developing the disease without a family history is about 0.4%. If your biological mother has type 1 diabetes, your risk is 1% to 4%, and your risk is 3% to 8% if your biological father has it. If both of your biological parents have type 1 diabetes, your risk of developing the disease is up to 30%.

All You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

Scientists believe that certain factors, such as a virus or environmental toxins, can trigger your immune system to attack pancreatic cells if you are genetically predisposed to developing type 1 diabetes.

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Diagnosing type 1 diabetes is relatively easy. If you or your child has symptoms of type 1 diabetes, your healthcare provider will order the following tests:

Your provider will also order the following tests to evaluate your overall health and to see if you have diagnosed ketoacidosis, a serious acute complication of undiagnosed or untreated type 1 diabetes:

An endocrinologist—a health care provider who specializes in the treatment of hormone-related conditions—treats people who have type 1 diabetes. Some endocrinologists specialize in diabetes.

You should see your endocrinologist regularly to make sure your type 1 diabetes is being managed well. Your insulin needs will change throughout your life.

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People with type 1 diabetes need synthetic insulin every day, several times a day, to live and be healthy. They should also try to keep their blood sugar in a healthy range.

There are several different types of synthetic insulin. Each one starts working at a different rate and they last in your body for different amounts of time. You may need to use more than one type.

Some types of inulin are more expensive than others. Work with your endocrinologist to find the right type of insulin for your needs.

All You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

Along with your background insulin level (often called the basal rate), you need to give yourself a specific amount of insulin at meal times to correct high blood sugar levels.

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The amount of insulin you need each day will vary depending on your life expectancy and specific circumstances. For example, you usually need larger doses of insulin during puberty, pregnancy, and taking steroid medications.

Because of this, it’s important to see your endocrinologist regularly—usually at least three times a year—to make sure your insulin doses and overall diabetes management are working for you.

People with type 1 diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar closely throughout the day. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar range is the best way to prevent health complications. You can monitor your blood sugar in the following ways:

Your healthcare provider will tell you what your target range for blood glucose levels should be. This depends on many factors, including:

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A large part of managing type 1 diabetes involves counting the carbohydrates (carbohydrates) in the foods and drinks you eat so that you get the right insulin doses.

Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient found in certain foods and beverages, such as grains, sweets, legumes, and milk. When your body digests foods and drinks that contain carbohydrates, it turns them into glucose, which is your body’s preferred form of energy. This raises your blood sugar levels.

Because of this, people with type 1 diabetes must give themselves insulin doses when they consume carbohydrates.

All You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

Basic carb counting involves counting the number of grams of carbohydrates in food (by reading nutrition labels) and matching that to your insulin dose.

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You’ll use what’s known as the insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio to calculate how much insulin you need to take to manage your blood sugar levels during meals. Insulin carb intake varies from person to person and can vary at different times of the day. Your endocrinologist can help you determine your insulin-to-carb ratio.

A major side effect of insulin treatment for diabetes is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Low blood sugar can occur if you take too much insulin based on your food intake and/or activity level. Hypoglycemia is usually considered below 70 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).

Symptoms of low blood sugar can start quickly, and people experience them differently. The signs of hypoglycemia are unpleasant, but they provide a good warning that you need to take action before your blood sugar levels drop further.

If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia but can’t test your blood sugar, use the 15-15 rule until you feel better.

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There is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, but scientists are working on ways to prevent or slow the progression of the disease through studies like TrialNet.

Scientists are also working on pancreatic islet transplant research – an experimental treatment for people with diabetes.

Pancreatic islets are clusters of pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Your immune system attacks these cells in type 1 diabetes. Pancreatic islet transplantation replaces the destroyed islets with new ones that produce and release insulin. This procedure takes islets from an organ donor’s pancreas and transfers them to a person with type 1 diabetes. Because researchers are still studying pancreatic islet transplants, the procedure is only available to people enrolled in the study.

All You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

Because type 1 diabetes can run in families, your healthcare provider can test your family members for the autoantibodies that cause the disease. Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, an international research network, also offers autoantibody testing for family members of people with type 1 diabetes.

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Having autoantibodies, even without symptoms of diabetes, means you have more

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