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Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes means daily injections or possibly an insulin pump

Confused about the different types of diabetes?

It's normal to want to understand about the body, and what has happened. 

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children, teenagers or adults under 40.

It can also be known as insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM), childhood diabetes, or juvenile-onset diabetes.

It is a long term condition caused by a failure of the body to make insulin, in fact those cells which usually make insulin have been destroyed. Diagnosis in children may often be followed by a day or two in hospital

It's thought to be due to a auto immune disease which attacks and damages the insulin producing cells in the body.

Although the experts think that it can arise following cold or flu, it does seem that the real cause is, at present, unknown.

Whatever the cause, the result is that anyone diagnosed with this type, will need daily insulin injections or possibly an insulin pump. 

This can help them to control their blood sugar levels and to live normally.

What is Insulin ?

Insulin is the hormone which helps you use the sugar which is in your body and turn it into energy.

At present there is no known cure or prevention for Type 1 diabetes, but the latest research on islet transplants is very promising.

You may also find reading the latest issues of Juvenile Diabetes magazine most helpful in knowing what research is currently being carried out and what the prospects are.

Unlike Type 1, it is not possible to reduce it with exercise or diet, although both of these can help to control it together with insulin.

Alissa - diagnosed with type i diabetes in 1998Early diagnosis will prevent the weight loss that is typical in newly diagnosed children and teens - so being aware of the symptoms of diabetes, such as thirst, sleepiness, frequent urination and weight loss is important.

However, there's some really great research going on that looks very hopeful and may bring about a successful treatment within the next ten to twenty years.

One of the most promising is the injection of islet cells (from a pancreas) into the body to enable it to produce it's own insulin. You can find out more by checking the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation website.

So, what is Type 2 Diabetes ? 

Type 2 diabetes tends to occur in people over the age of forty, though there are instances of younger people being diagnosed.

Diabetics diagnosed with type two will have some insulin in their body,  but often their body is not making best use of it.

It is possible for some patients to be treated successfully with diet and exercise.

Just Diagnosed ?

If you've just been diagnosed with Type 1 (or juvenile) diabetes , you might find want to check out some of our informative articles:-

Help - My Child's Got Diabetes - how do you cope with diagnosis, learning about treatment, insulin injections and more?

Alissa - a teenage diabetic- my 19 year old daughter (that's her in the picture), who has diabetes, tells how she copes with being a diabetic teenager

Hypos & Hyperglycemia - what they are and why you need to know about them

Notes & Info for New Pumpers - what we needed to know when Alissa was first placed on an insulin pump, what foods she could eat, what to bolus and how to cope!