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 body’s own immune system. As a result the body does not produce any insulin. People with type 1 diabetes use insulin injections 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
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Having cuts that heal slowly
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • 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. Check out Helping Yourself for ways to manage your diabetes and read inspirational stories about others who are staying well with diabetes.