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Type 1 diabetes happens in people of every age, every race, every shape and size. It happens when the pancreas no longer produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body regulate blood sugar (also called blood glucose).
Here’s what happens: The body breaks down the carbohydrates we eat into blood sugar. Insulin moves blood sugar from the blood stream into cells throughout the body. Without blood sugar, the cells are starved of the energy they need to work properly.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can include:
People with type 1 diabetes may also have problems with:
People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have to inject insulin since their bodies don’t make it.
Along with insulin injections, a healthy diet, regular exercise and not smoking are all things that can make a positive difference in managing type 1 diabetes.
Of course, working closely with your doctor, nurse and local diabetes group to keep your blood sugar level in check is important too.
Although type 1 diabetes can’t be cured, people diagnosed with the disease can live healthy and well when they take positive steps to manage it.
Originally published 2/29/2016; Revised 2021
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