What is type 1 diabetes?

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Matthew J. Freeby, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a disease that occurs when glucose levels rise due to loss of insulin production within the pancreas. Insulin is a natural hormone made by the beta cells of the pancreas. It functions to help in regulating glucose in the muscle, liver and adipose tissue and allows for the body to use glucose for energy.

Although type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in childhood, it can develop at any age. Current research suggests this form of diabetes occurs after the body’s immune system selectively destroys the beta cells in the pancreas. Unfortunately, the reason behind this immune destruction is still not fully elucidated. Ongoing research continues to explore the interaction between the immune system and the pancreas and development of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called insulin-dependent diabetes and previously known as juvenile diabetes, is a condition in which the pancreas doesn't produce enough -- or any -- insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that your body needs to let sugar (glucose) into your cells to produce energy. Type 1 diabetes usually develops during childhood or adolescence, but it can occur in adults.

If you notice that you feel very thirsty, urinate frequently, feel extremely hungry, are losing weight, feel fatigued or experience blurred vision, talk to your healthcare provider. These can all be symptoms of diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need insulin therapy.
Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children. It is also called juvenile onset diabetes mellitus or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In this type, your pancreas does not make enough insulin and you have to take insulin injections for the rest of your life.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas are destroyed and fail to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body's cells use glucose for energy. Blood glucose (or blood sugar) is manufactured from the food we eat (primarily carbohydrates) and by the liver. If glucose can't be absorbed by the cells, it builds up in the bloodstream instead. Untreated, the high blood sugars that result can be toxic to every system of the body, causing serious complications.

Although type 1 diabetes develops most often in children and young adults, the disease can be diagnosed at any age, and is more common in males than females. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes is more common in whites than in those of Latino, black or other non-white backgrounds.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the body does not produce insulin and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas that help regulate blood glucose levels. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children and young adults between the ages of 6 and 15 years and cannot be prevented. Since the pancreas can no longer produce insulin, people with type 1 diabetes are required to take insulin daily, either by injection or via an insulin pump.
Type 1 diabetes occurs most often in children and young adults. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing (beta) cells.
Type 1 diabetes is a form of diabetes in which the body produces little or no insulin. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells to be used for energy.

Unlike the more common type 2 diabetes, type 1 is most likely an autoimmune disorder, in which the body attacks its own cells -- specifically, the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed in children, adolescents and young adults. It is a lifelong disease, and no cure has yet been discovered. But with proper care, the outcome for people with type 1 diabetes can be good.
Eric Olsen
Fitness
Type 1 diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), most often occurs in men and women under the age of 20. It results from the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, which investigators believe occurs when the body's own immune system attacks these cells, a malfunction that may be precipitated by a viral infection.
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Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Type 1 diabetes (T-1) is an autoimmune disorder. The body’s immune system attacks and kills off the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas (the small ugly-looking organ that hides behind your stomach and causes so much trouble for all us D-folk).

T-1 used to be called “Juvenile Diabetes” because it often struck early in life. All people with T-1 must take insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that allows sugar to be used by the body. Every cell in your body—from a brain cell, to a coronary artery cell, to a skin cell in your little toe—eats a type of sugar called glucose. That’s how the cells live.

In people with type 1 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin. This is because most of the cells of the pancreas that make insulin have been destroyed by the immune system. Eventually, all of the cells that make insulin are destroyed and no insulin is produced. That is why type 1 diabetes is also called an autoimmune disorder. People with type 1 diabetes must take injections of insulin in order to live.

Type 1 diabetes is also called immune-mediated diabetes. It is a form of diabetes that tends to develop before age 30 but may occur at any age. It’s usually caused when the immune system attacks the beta cells of the pancreas and the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. People who have type 1 diabetes must take insulin to survive.

Tonya Bolden
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the body’s system for fighting infection (the immune system) turns against a part of the body. In diabetes, the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroys them. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. A person who has type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily to live.

At present, scientists do not know exactly what causes the body’s immune system to attack the beta cells, but they believe that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors, possibly viruses, are involved. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of diagnosed diabetes in the United States. It develops most often in children and young adults but can appear at any age.
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Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which there is very little or none of the hormone insulin, which is needed to help the body use fuel for energy. Watch the video to learn more about type 1 diabetes.


Type 1 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone required to produce energy. Although it may develop at any age, type 1 diabetes is also referred to as juvenile diabetes, as it usually develops during adolescence. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that must be managed daily with insulin treatments. However, with recent improvements in care, those with type 1 diabetes can live productive, healthy lives.

Continue Learning about Diabetes Type 1

Diabetes Type 1

Diabetes Type 1

A serious and life-long condition, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that confuses the body's own immune system into attacking the pancreas, destroying the insulin-producing beta cells. As a result, the pancreas is unable t...

o produce enough insulin to regulate glucose levels, the main source of fuel for the body.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.