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Type 1 diabetes may also be known by a variety of other names, including the following:
There are two forms of type 1 diabetes:
Immune-mediated diabetes is the most common form of type 1 diabetes, and the one generally referred to as type 1 diabetes. The information on this page refers to this form of type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in the US. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but can start at any age.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but it is believed that genetic and environmental factors (possibly viruses) may be involved. The body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin allows glucose to enter the cells of the body to provide energy.
When glucose cannot enter the cells, it builds up in the blood, depriving the cells of nutrition. People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections and regularly monitor their blood sugar levels.
Type 1 diabetes often appears suddenly. The following are the most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
In children, symptoms may be similar to those of having the flu.
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Type 1 diabetes may cause the following:
Complications that may result from type 1 diabetes include:
Specific treatment for type 1 diabetes will be determined by your physician based on:
People with type 1 diabetes must have daily injections of insulin to keep their blood sugar level within normal ranges. Other parts of the treatment protocol may include:
Advances in diabetes research have led to improved methods of managing diabetes and treating its complications. However, scientists continue to explore the causes of diabetes and ways to prevent and treat the disorder. Other methods of administering insulin through inhalers and pills are currently being studied. Scientists are investigating gene involvement in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and some genetic markers for type 1 diabetes have been identified. Pancreas and islet cell transplants are also being performed.