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Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

What is Type 1 diabetes?

Watch this helpful Diabetes UK film HERE

Type 1 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition in which your blood glucose levels are too high due to your pancreas being unable to produce any insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is sometimes referred to as ‘juvenile’ diabetes or ‘early-onset’ diabetes because it often develops before the age of 40. However, it is important to note that type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease and can happen at any age.

What causes Type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is when the body attacks the pancreas which prevents it from producing any insulin, a hormone that regulates your blood glucose levels.

We’re still not sure what causes Type 1 diabetes as it does not have anything to do with diet or lifestyle – it just happens!

Type 1 diabetes causes high blood glucose levels because when you consume carbohydrates from food and drink, your body turns it into glucose (sugar). However, because you cannot produce any insulin, the glucose in your bloodstream is not allowed into your body’s cells. Instead, the glucose builds up in your bloodstream, resulting in high blood glucose levels.

Managing Type 1 Diabetes

Those living with Type 1 diabetes will need to replace their missing insulin either by injecting it or using an insulin pump. It is also important that you regularly monitor your blood glucose levels to make sure they are not too low or too high.

It is important because if your blood glucose levels are high for a long period of time, it can cause serious damage to your heart, eyes, feet and kidneys. These are known as complications of diabetes.

If you have been diagnosed as having Type 1 diabetes, you will need to take insulin for life. This condition can be self-managed and you can lead a full and healthy life.

Further information about living with diabetes can be found HERE.

Key facts about Type 1 diabetes:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of managing your diabetes. The right food choices can help you maintain your long-term health.
  • It is important that your blood glucose levels remain as near to normal as possible. This is individual to each person, so target levels must be agreed between the person and their diabetes team.
  • The type of medication you require will depend on your own individual needs and situation. It is important that diabetes medication is taken properly and regularly.

Other Resources:

FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring

Essex Diabetic Eye Screening Programme

Coeliac UK – Live Well Gluten Free

  • Coeliac disease is more common in people who have Type 1 because they are both autoimmune diseases.
  • For further information, visit the Coeliac UK website:

T1 Resources


Did you know?

“About 8% of people with diabetes in the UK have Type 1 diabetes.” (Diabetes UK)

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