What is type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce any insulin. It is an ‘auto-immune’ condition which means that insulin producing cells in the pancreas (called beta cells) are destroyed by the body’s own immune system. As a result the body does not produce any insulin. People with type 1 diabetes need insulin to manage their diabetes.
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not yet known, however it is thought that certain environmental factors or viruses as well as genetic factors may have an impact. Unlike type 2 diabetes, it cannot be prevented. We also know that the development of type 1 diabetes is not linked with lifestyle, although maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important in helping to manage type 1 diabetes.
When does type 1 occur?
Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in childhood, however it can occur at any age.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes:
- Passing more urine
- Bedwetting (in children who previously didn't wet the bed during the night)
- Feeling tired and lethargic
- Always feeling hungry
- Having cuts that heal slowly
- Itching, skin infections
- Blurred vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Mood swings
- Feeling dizzy
- Leg cramps
These symptoms may occur suddenly. If they do occur, see a doctor. Through a simple test, a doctor can find out if they’re the result of type 1 diabetes.
Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes?
Currently there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. However it can be managed by using insulin and those living with type 1 can and do, live long, active and healthy lives.