Type 1 diabetes means that the body no longer makes insulin. It is caused when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.

Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas. It helps to move glucose into the cells. Once inside the cells, glucose is used for energy. Without insulin, glucose builds up in your blood. This can cause symptoms of high blood sugar and cause long-term problems.


Risk Factors

The cause of type 1 diabetes is not clear, but genetics and triggers in the environment such as viruses and cold weather climates may increase risk. It is more common in whites than nonwhites. It occurs most often in young people but can occur at any age.

Symptoms of High Blood Sugar

Symptoms can develop over hours or days. Common symptoms of high sugars include:

  • Frequent urination

  • Hunger

  • Thirst

  • Weakness

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea and vomiting


Blood tests are needed to diagnose diabetes.

  • A1C test result of 6.5% or higher

  • Fasting blood glucose 126 mg/dL or higher

  • Symptoms of diabetes and blood glucose of 200 mg/dL or higher


Since your body must have insulin, you will need to take insulin every day. Learning about diabetes and how to treat it will help you stay healthy. Some of the things you will need to learn include:

  • How to check your blood sugars

  • How to give yourself insulin

  • How to eat healthy

  • How to balance insulin, meals, and activity to prevent low or high blood sugars

  • How to treat low blood sugars

  • How to manage diabetes when sick

The more you know, the better you can manage your diabetes.