What I Need to Know About Type 1 Diabetes

One of the more severe forms of diabetes is known as “juvenile” diabetes, otherwise known as Type 1 Diabetes. This usually develops inside of people under the age of eighteen, but it can develop at any age. However, this kind of diabetes is rare. According to WebMD, only 5% of people with diabetes have type 1 (Dansinger, 2016). Caucasians are more likely to get this form of diabetes than other minorities, such as African Americans.

If someone has Type 1 Diabetes, then their white blood cells attack the cells, known as islets, that produce insulin because they read them as a foreign substance according to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, DRIF (DRIF, 2016). These are cells mainly found inside of one’s pancreas.

Islets are cells that read the levels of glucose in the blood, producing the proper amount of insulin to normalize the blood. When insulin is not able to allow glucose to be transferred into energy, it causes a high blood sugar. According to the DRIF, “if left untreated, the high level of ‘blood sugar’ can damage eyes, kidneys, nerves, and the heart, and can also lead to coma and death” (DRIF, 2016).

According to WebMD, high blood sugar can also lead to dehydration, weight loss, Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and possible damages to one’s body (Dansinger, 2016).

The main way to treat the disease is through insulin injections. This allows the body to still turn the glucose into energy, an attempt to prevent high blood sugar. There are some negatives to this system because it is very difficult to pinpoint how much insulin is needed. There are factors that can affect the amount, such as food, exercise, stress, emotions, and several other factors.

Doctors still have not found the cause of Type 1 Diabetes. They do know that genetics plays some role, but there is still a lot of research to do. Most people who have the disease have autoantibodies in their system whenever their blood sugar is high. It can occur alongside other serious autoimmune diseases.

There are several systems showing that someone has Type 1 Diabetes. They are as follows: heavy thirst, extreme hunger, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, pain in your stomach, weight loss, fatigue, blurry vision, Kussmaul respiration, and frequent infections of the skin (Dansinger, 2016).

If someone with Type 1 Diabetes experiences the following symptoms, they should seek medical help right away: rapid breathing, shaking, confusion, pain inside your stomach, and unconsciousness, although this is rare.

There currently is not a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. However, a lot of people are able to live long, healthy lives with the disease. One of the necessary components of this is keeping blood sugar levels inside of the range that your doctor prescribes you. Exercise is also a key role in maintaining a healthy life. However, you have to balance insulin levels and food with the amount of exercising you are doing.

Type 1 Diabetes is a serious condition. Even though there is not a cure, a person can live a fairly normal life if they follow their doctor’s instructions.


Dansinger, M. (2016). Type 1 Diabetes. WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-1-diabetes-guide/type-1-diabetes

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. (2016). What is Type 1 Diabetes?. Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.diabetesresearch.org/what-is-type-one-diabetes