Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition that is treated with injections of insulin. Injections must be given each day and some people require multiple injections a day to help maintain blood glucose control.

Type 1 diabetes develops when an "autoimmune reaction" destroys beta cells in the pancreas. Autoimmune reaction means that the body creates antibodies against its own cells. As a result, the pancreas stops producing insulin or cannot produce enough insulin on its own.

Watch the video to learn more about type 1 diabetes.

Treatment involves daily insulin injections, in conjunction with healthy eating and regular exercise. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are usually:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Sugar in the urine
  • An acetone-like smell around the body
  • Fatigue, weakness, drowsiness
  • Excessive weight loss over a short period of time, for no apparent reason

Although the cause of diabetes is unknown, there are certain risk factors that can increase the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:

  • Ethnic background or race (more common in people of Caucasian descent)
  • Having a parent with type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes most often affects people under 20 years of age. It was previously called juvenile-onset diabetes or Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM). 
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Support material

Parent pack

Support material intended for parents of children and teens living with type 1 diabetes.

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Kid pack

Type 1 diabetes support material intended for children aged 2-12 years.

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Teen pack

Type 1 diabetes support material intended for children aged 13-19 years.

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