What is type 1 diabetes?
An individual can be affected by type 1 diabetes at any age. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body suddenly stops producing the insulin hormone which would normally control glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. If you have type 1 diabetes you are categorized as insulin dependent. Type 1 diabetes is far less common than type 2 diabetes in adults. The symptoms usually occur more rapidly and are more noticeable than type 2 diabetes.
What causes type 1 diabetes?
The cause of type 1 of diabetes is still relatively unknown; however, it is believed that type 1 diabetes presents because the body’s defenses attack insulin producing (beta) cells, which stop producing insulin, resulting in high blood glucose levels and the signs and symptoms of diabetes.
Preventing type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented but it can be controlled.
How is type 1 diabetes treated?
Treatment of type 1 diabetes requires a multidisciplinary team approach. Your diabetes team will discuss your condition with you, prescribe medication and provide education on living your life with diabetes. Treatment includes:
- Insulin - regular injections are needed to provide the body with insulin
- Patient education – informing patients how to make healthy choices around their diet, controlling their weight, activity levels and stopping smoking
- Regular blood glucose monitoring
- Regular check-ups with your doctor for the detection, prevention and treatment of complications
It is important to recognize that type 1 diabetes has no known cure but it can be managed. Your diabetes team is here to support you so ask questions and seek help if you are at all worried.
Type 1 treatment diagram: