What is type 1 diabetes?

Accurate and detailed information about Type 1 Diabetes can be found on medical websites, such as NHS, JDRF, Diabetes UK and many others. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not work as it should. Sometimes this happens because it runs in the family and sometimes unfortunately, it just happens. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 where the pancreas does not work at all and type 2 where the pancreas tends to work a little. The most common form of diabetes is type 2 and is very different to type 1. Often type 2 diabetes is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle and occurs at a more mature age, but this is not always the case. Type 1 at the moment cannot be prevented, although vaccines are being developed all the time, so maybe one day people will be able to be protected against it. It is not caused by eating sweets, or any lifestyle choice. Type 1 Diabetes just happens. It mostly occurs during childhood, but can occur in any age particularly under 30. It is a lifelong condition that requires intensive treatment to stay safe and healthy.

Management

Type 1 diabetes is managed with frequent tests or by wearing a sensor, to show blood glucose readings. This is then married with a combination of carbohydrate counting and doses of insulin. Insulin can be administered through small injections during the day, tailored to suit the individual, or through a pump which provides insulin continually into the body at a rate that suits the individual. Obviously, in the case of children, the doses will often need to be adjusted as children have a habit of growing, being spontaneously active, having the odd bug, and changing eating patterns. The paediatric diabetes team will be available to help you though and parents needn’t feel alone.