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Type 1 diabetes is a disease that starts when your body stops making a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps your body use sugar from your food as energy or store it for later use. If you don't have insulin, too much sugar stays in your blood.
Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but it usually starts in children or young adults. It is a lifelong disease, but with treatment and a healthy lifestyle you can live a long and healthy life.
You'll keep hearing about how important it is to keep your blood sugar within a target range. That's because over time, high blood sugar can lead to serious problems. It can:
A more sudden problem can happen when the blood sugar level gets so high that a serious chemical imbalance develops in the blood. This condition can be life-threatening and needs quick treatment.
When people hear the word "diabetes," they often think of problems like these. But daily care and treatment can help prevent or delay these problems. The goal is to keep your blood sugar in a target range. It is the best way to reduce your chance of having more problems from diabetes.
You experience most symptoms of type 1 diabetes when your blood sugar is either too high or too low.
Common symptoms of high blood sugar include:
Common symptoms of low blood sugar include:
If you wait too long to get medical care when your blood sugar goes too high, you may develop diabetic ketoacidosis. Symptoms include:
To treat type 1 diabetes, you need insulin. You can give yourself insulin through an insulin pump, an insulin pen, or a syringe (needle).
When you have type 1 diabetes, it's more important than ever to have a healthy lifestyle. Here are other things you can do to stay healthy:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: December 20, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
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