Type 1 Diabetes: Overview

Health Monitor Staff
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Every year approximately 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. You can develop type 1 diabetes (also called juvenile diabetes) at any age, but most people are diagnosed when they are children, teens or young adults.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which your body's immune system attacks the pancreas. This prevents the pancreas from making the hormone insulin, which regulates glucose (sugar) levels in your blood. Without insulin, your body is unable to convert the sugar from what you eat and drink into the energy your body needs.

There are several types of diabetes, including type 1, type 2 and gestational. About 5%-10% of all people with diabetes have type 1. Although it's still unclear what causes type 1 diabetes, having family history of the disease and environmental triggers can increase your chances of developing it.

Although there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, consistently taking insulin medication can regulate your blood sugar levels and help manage your condition.

While living with diabetes is not always easy, many people successfully control their blood sugar levels through proper insulin use, diet and exercise. You can, too!

April 2013