Type 1 diabetes happens when the immune system harms cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Insulin is needed to move glucose from the blood to the cells. Without it, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being used by the cells for energy. This health problem is more common in children and young adults, but it can start at any age.

Insulin must be taken every day. Diet and exercise are also needed. Blood glucose levels that are not controlled can lead to problems such as peripheral artery disease, stroke, and diseases of the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

How Type 1 Diabetes Occurs
EDT00015_type 1 diabetes.jpg

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes-2019. Diabetes Care. 2019. Jan; 42 (Suppl 1):S1-193.

Diabetes mellitus type 1. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/diabetes-mellitus-type-1-34. Updated June 28, 2019. Accessed November 22, 2019.

Type 1 diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-1. Accessed November 22, 2019.

Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD