About Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly destroys its own insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin is the instrument for transporting nutrients in the form of glucose into the cells, and people with type 1 diabetes need to supply insulin artificially to stay alive.

The cause of the autoimmune reaction is not fully understood, but research suggests that the combination of genetic susceptibility and an environmental trigger, such as a viral infection, can initiate the immune activation. Toxins or some dietary factors may also be implicated.

The disease, unlike type 2 diabetes, is not lifestyle-related, it strikes randomly, most often in children and adolescents, and cannot be cured or prevented through healthier lifestyles.

A subtype of type 1 diabetes is LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults), also known as type 1½ diabetes. It is a slow progressing form of type 1 diabetes, and most commonly symptoms do not develop before 30 years of age.

The lifelong treatment consists of many daily measurements of blood sugar, with a blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), combined with multiple daily insulin injections, with an insulin pen or insulin pump, together with constant balancing of diet and activity.