Unfortunately, there is no clear cause of type 1 diabetes. There is an inherited genetic susceptibility, but no obvious trigger that turns the immune system against itself (leading to the development of type 1 diabetes). At this stage type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. Research continues!
Symptoms can appear suddenly. A doctor can confirm if they are the result of type 1 diabetes through a simple test.
People with type 1 diabetes must closely manage their condition every day. This involves testing blood sugar levels several times a day and replacing insulin either by injections (up to 6 times per day) or through use of an insulin pump. While type 1 is not caused by lifestyle factors, lifestyle modifications can reduce the impact of complications such as blindness, kidney disease & limb amputation.
Managing lifestyle factors can reduce the risk of diabetes-associated complications. Keeping blood glucose levels at optimal levels (as discussed with your doctor or one of our Credentialled Diabetes Educators) is a careful balance between what food is eaten, physical activity and medication. Following a healthy diet and exercise plan is vital as part of a diabetes management plan.
Without insulin, the body burns its own fats as a substitute. This releases chemical substances into the blood. These chemical substances will accumulate and can be life threatening (a condition called ketoacidosis).