What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. Five to ten percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

Those with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include intense thirst, being very tired, urinating often, losing weight and blurred vision. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms and/or think you might have type 1 diabetes, your doctor can do a blood test to measure the amount of sugar in your blood. This test will show if you have diabetes.

People may inherit the gene that causes type 1 diabetes. Then, something in their environment, maybe a virus, maybe stress causes their body to destroy cells of the pancreas gland that make insulin. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy, happy lives.

At its core, proper type 1 diabetes management is composed of a handful of elements: blood glucose control and insulin management, exercise, nutrition and support. It is important to keep blood sugar close to normal. Having high blood sugar can cause serious problems over time and can lead to nerve damage, kidney disease, vision problems, pain or loss of feeling in hands and feet, amputation, heart disease and strokes. Low blood sugar can cause one to have a fast heart beat, shake and sweat. People with very low blood sugar can get headaches, get very sleepy, pass out, or even suffer from seizures.

The Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center offers services, support, education, and events for those with type 1 diabetes.

The Herbert Family Program focuses on meeting the unique needs of young adults with type 1 diabetes (age 18-30s). The program addresses the financial, psychological, social and physical changes that challenge not only the young adult but also their family and support system. Also, the center offer its Sweet Success program to ensure a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby as it is essential to carefully manage diabetes during pregnancy.

CHOC Children's (CHOC) in collaboration with the Allen Diabetes Center now offers pediatric diabetes services including endocrinology care, education and support services for children with diabetes and their families.