Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition that 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.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are usually:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Sugar in the urine
  • 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 develops in childhood or adolescence. It was previously called juvenile-onset diabetes or Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM).

About 10% of people with diabetes have type 1.