Type 1 Diabetes: Recently Diagnosed - Topic Overview
Is this topic for you?
This topic provides
type 1 diabetes for adults and for parents of children
who have been diagnosed with the disease in the past 6 weeks. If this topic
doesn't answer your questions, one of the following topics may meet your
- Type 1 Diabetes, if you want to learn about type 1
diabetes but do not have the disease.
- Type 1 Diabetes: Living With the Disease, if you or
your adolescent has type 1 diabetes. If you have not read the topic, Type 1
Diabetes: Recently Diagnosed, you may want to read it first.
- Type 1 Diabetes: Children Living With the Disease, if
your child age 11 or younger has type 1 diabetes. If you have not read the
topic Type 1 Diabetes: Recently Diagnosed, you may want to read it
- Type 1 Diabetes: Living With Complications, if you have complications caused
by your diabetes, such as eye, kidney, heart, nerve, or blood vessel
What is type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes mellitus
is a lifelong disease that develops when the
pancreas can no longer produce
insulin. Insulin lets sugar (glucose) enter your
body's cells, where it is used for energy. Without insulin, sugar builds up in
your blood. The level rises above what is safe for your body. Over time, high
blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves throughout your body and
increase your risk of eye, heart, blood vessel, nerve, and kidney
Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age. But it usually
develops in children and young adults. In the past, type 1 diabetes was called
juvenile diabetes and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).
What causes type 1 diabetes?
Insulin is made by
certain cells (beta cells) in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes develops because
the body's immune system destroys the beta cells and therefore the pancreas's ability to
Some people inherit the risk for type 1
diabetes. But even these people may not develop type 1 diabetes unless something else triggers it, such as being exposed to certain viral infections.
What are the symptoms of high blood sugar and low blood sugar?
The main symptoms of high blood sugar from diabetes
These symptoms usually develop over a few days to weeks.
Some people have these symptoms before they are diagnosed, but they do not
realize the symptoms are caused by diabetes. They may believe the symptoms are
caused by the flu or some other illness.
insulin levels drop very low, blood sugar can rise
very high and a life-threatening situation called
diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can develop. DKA is an
emergency. Symptoms include:
- Flushed, hot, dry skin.
- A strong, fruity breath odor.
- Restlessness, drowsiness, or difficulty waking up. Young
children may lack interest in their normal activities.
- Rapid, deep breathing.
- Loss of appetite, belly pain, and vomiting.