just the facts

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a condition where your blood glucose (sugar) level is too high because your body can not make a hormone called insulin. Your body attacks the cells in your pancreas that make the insulin, meaning you can NOT produce any insulin at all.

Insulin does an essential job. It allows the glucose in our blood to enter our cells and fuel our bodies.

When you have type 1 diabetes, your body still breaks down the carbohydrate from food and drink and turns it into glucose. The problem is that when the glucose enters your bloodstream, there is no insulin to allow it into your body’s cells. This means that more and more glucose builds up in your bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar levels.

What causes type 1 diabetes?

We’re still not sure what causes type 1 diabetes to develop. It’s got nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. But researchers and scientists around the world, including our own, are working hard to find answers.


It’s a serious and lifelong condition. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage your heart, eyes, feet and kidneys. These are known as the complications of diabetes. But you can prevent many of these long-term problems by getting the right treatment and care.

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