What is Type 1 Diabetes? Click through the slides or watch the video to learn more.
It's an Autoimmune Condition
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks the islet cells in the pancreas. The islet cells produce a hormone called insulin. Without insulin, glucose rises to dangerous levels in the blood.
Type 1 diabetes can happen at any age, but it is usually diagnosed in childhood. This is why it used to be called juvenile diabetes.
Very Few People Get It
Most people who have the genetic risk do not develop type 1 diabetes. In fact, about 85% of people who get type 1 diabetes are the only person in their family who have it.
Scientists believe that something in the environment triggers the disease. Research studies like TEDDY will help us understand what the trigger might be.
The Immune System Makes A Mistake
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system makes a mistake and attacks the islet cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. However, the rest of the pancreas is still working. Your doctor can confirm this by ordering lab tests to identify blood markers called auto-antibodies.
The islet cells are destroyed in the autoimmune attack. At this time, doctors don’t know how to stop this attack or how to replace the cells that have been destroyed.
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.