Type 1 diabetes is a condition where your body doesn’t make enough insulin. Your body’s own immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Because of this, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease.
Your body uses insulin to get glucose from your blood to your body’s cells. Blood glucose (blood sugar) comes from the food you eat. It is the main source of your body’s energy. Without enough insulin, glucose can build up in your blood and not reach the cells.
Type 1 is usually found while you are a child or young adult. But it can appear at any time. To stay alive, people with type 1 diabetes have to take insulin every day. People have type 1 diabetes for life. About 1.4 million American adults have type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes is a serious condition. If it is not treated, it can cause permanent damage. It can damage your eyes, kidneys, heart, brain, nerves, and circulation. Diabetes also raises your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It is a common cause of blindness and lower leg amputations in the US.