Diabetes Type 1

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a form of diabetes wherein the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is needed to convert sugar into energy. The body destructs the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, resulting in high blood and urine glucose levels.

It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and only 5-10% of people with diabetes have this form. Common symptoms of diabetes are feeling very thirsty, the need to urinate often, feeling very hungry even when you have just eaten, fatigue, vision problems, slow-healing bruises and cuts, and weight loss. Twin studies have shown that when one twin has T1D, then the other has a 50% chance of getting it, so there are environmental and genetic factors.

Environmental factors might be early childhood diet (T1D is less common among people who were breastfed), living in a cold climate, and viruses. If the father or sibling has T1D, the risk for a child is 10%, and 4% if the mother has it and was aged 25 or younger when the child was born. Treatment involves insulin therapy and diet, with which even young children can manage and live healthy lives.

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