Type 1 diabetes

What is Type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a serious condition where your blood glucose (sugar) level is too high because your body can’t make a hormone called insulin.

This happens because your body attacks the cells in your pancreas that make the insulin, meaning you can’t produce any at all.

We all need insulin to live. It does an essential job. It allows the glucose in our blood to enter our cells and fuel our bodies.

When you have type 1 diabetes, your body still breaks down the carbohydrate from food and drink and turns it into glucose. But when the glucose enters your bloodstream, there’s no insulin to allow it into your body’s cells. More and more glucose then builds up in your bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar levels.

We’re still not sure what causes type 1 diabetes to develop. It’s got nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. But researchers and scientists around the world are working hard to find answers.

In children and young people the most common symptoms are known as the 4 T’s:

  • Toilet- Going to the toilet a lot for a wee; bed wetting by a previously dry child or heavier nappies in babies; Getting up in the night to go to have a wee.
  • Thirsty- Being very thirsty and not being able to quench the thirst. A child may ask for drinks more often, finishing drinks very quickly or being drinking more than usual.
  • Tired- Feeling more tired than usual. Having less energy, not playing as much or having less energy for sport.
  • Thinner- Losing weight or looking much thinner than usual.

The symptoms tend to come on quickly – over just a few days or weeks. This is especially true in children. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the signs.

If a child or young person has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes Digibete may help you with the daily management of diabetes: with topics such as What is Type 1 Diabetes?, checking blood sugars, giving insulin injections, carbohydrate counting, healthy eating.

Digibete also covers topics such as diabetes technology, sports and activities, school and teachers, food and drink.

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