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Common Questions About Type 1 Diabetes

7mar11Answers to your questions from Joslin Diabetes Center, the world leader in diabetes treatment and research.

What is type 1 diabetes?

In type 1 diabetes (formerly called ‘juvenile-onset’ or ‘insulin-dependent’), the pancreas completely stops producing any insulin, a hormone that enables the body to use glucose (sugar) found in foods for energy. Instead of the body converting glucose into energy, it backs up in the blood stream and causes a variety of symptoms, including fatigue.

Type 1 diabetes is different from type 2 diabetes because it is treatable only with insulin, delivered either via multiple syringe injections subcutaneously (under the skin) or through an insulin pump. Many of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes, however, are also those of type 2. Your doctor will perform a test to determine your pancreatic function and confirm a diagnosis.

What causes type 1 diabetes?

The cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown, although many have speculated that it is a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors such as viruses that serve as the catalyst for the disease’s onset.

Who gets type 1 diabetes?

You can have type 1 diabetes at any point that your pancreas completely ceases to produce insulin to regulate glucose levels, although most people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are usually children or young adults.

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