Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes affects people from all walks of life globally. A total of 537 million adults between the ages of 20 and 79 live with diabetes. Diabetes was once said to be a disease of the rich, but three-quarters of those affected are citizens of low- and middle-income countries.

1 in every 12 persons suffers from diabetes worldwide. 1 in every 2 people with diabetes does not know they are diabetic. 1 life is lost globally every seven seconds due to diabetes. By 2030, it is predicted that the number of people living with diabetes will rise to 643 million, and by 2045, it will reach 783 million.

So what is diabetes?

To answer that, you must first understand the role of insulin in your body.

Our body is made of different organs, and they do different things. One of them is the Pancreas. The pancreas is where your body makes Insulin. When you eat something, your digestive systems break the food down so that it can move through your blood and into your cells.

Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose a type of sugar. Your cells use glucose as fuel. Insulin moves glucose out of your blood and into the cells. That is so, your body can create enough energy to get you through the day.

How does insulin work

Type 1 Diabetes

When you have type 1 diabetes, your body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing cell in your pancreas, so you can’t produce any insulin at all. This process destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, called beta cells. This process can go on for months or years before any symptoms appear.

When you have type 1 diabetes, your body still breaks down the carbohydrates from food and drinks and turns them into glucose. But when the glucose enters your bloodstream, there is no insulin to allow it into your body cells. More and more glucose builds up in your bloodstream.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

So, what does this means? Well before diagnosis, your body tries to get rid of the glucose through your kidneys and that makes you pee a lot. Peeing too many times leads to another symptom of diabetes, which is extreme thirst. Because glucose can’t enter your cells to give you energy, you will feel incredibly tired. To try and get energy the body breaks down fat stores to provide fuel, which is why people often lose weight before discovering they have got type 1 diabetes. These symptoms tend to come quickly, over just a few days or weeks.

Anyone who has these symptoms should see a doctor as possible.

Frequent urination
Always thirsty
Sudden weight loss/gain

Check if you are already diabetic, based on the symptoms you may be experiencing by clicking here

Testing for Type 1 Diabetes

A simple blood test will let you know if you have diabetes. If you were tested at a health fair or pharmacy, follow up at a clinic or doctor’s office. That way you’ll be sure the results are accurate.

If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also be tested for autoantibodies. These substances indicate your body is attacking itself and are often found with type 1 diabetes but not with type 2. You may have your urine tested for ketones too. Ketones are produced when your body burns fat for energy. Having ketones in your urine indicates you have type 1 diabetes instead of type 2.


If you have type 1 diabetes, you get insulin into your body by injecting it or using a pump that delivers a constant supply to you. You will also need to check that your blood glucose levels are not too low or too high by using a blood glucose testing device several times a day. When you start taking insulin you will begin to feel better and your blood glucose levels will go down.


Managing glucose levels is important because over a long period of time high glucose levels in your blood can seriously damage your heart, your eyes, your feet, and your kidneys. But with the right treatments and care the long-termed effects of diabetes and high glucose levels can be managed.

Managing your Type 1 Diabetes

Unlike many health conditions, diabetes is managed mostly by you, with support from your healthcare team. Managing diabetes can be challenging, but everything you do to improve your health is worth it!

If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take insulin shots (or wear an insulin pump) every day. Insulin is needed to manage your blood sugar levels and give your body energy. You can’t take insulin as a pill. That’s because the acid in your stomach would destroy it before it could get into your bloodstream. Your doctor will work with you to figure out the most effective type and dosage of insulin for you.

You’ll also need to do regular blood sugar checks. Ask your doctor how often you should check it and what your target blood sugar levels should be. Keeping your blood sugar levels as close to the target as possible will help you prevent or delay diabetes-related complications.

Difference between Type 1 and Type 2

The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition that often shows up early in life, and type 2 is mainly lifestyle-related and develops over time.

With type 1 diabetes, your immune system is attacking and destroying the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. In type 2 Your body is unable to make enough insulin or the insulin you do make doesn’t work properly.

Type 1 Diabetes affects 8% of everyone with diabetes. While type 2 diabetes affects about 90%.

Type 1 Diabetes cannot be prevented, but Type 2 can be prevented.


It is still not understood why some people get type 1 diabetes, and others do, or why the immune system of someone with type 1 attacks the cells that produce insulin. Research on this is still going on, and researchers are learning more and more about type 1 diabetes, one day we may find a cure.

Type 1 Diabetes

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