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Type 1 Diabetes

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes means the pancreas does not make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone released from the pancreas. Insulin acts as a key to unlock the cells to allow glucose to enter, providing energy.

Type 1 diabetes means that without insulin, the glucose from food collects in the blood and cannot enter the cells to provide the body with energy. However, the cells do not realise this and send signals to the liver to release more of its glucose by breaking down fat and muscle. This releases ketones which can make you feel very unwell. As more and more glucose builds, the body tries to get rid of it in the urine so you will need the toilet more and you will feel thirsty, lose weight and feel tired.

Once Type 1 diabetes has been diagnosed, insulin can be given immediately which will lower the glucose level in the blood as it allows glucose to enter the cells.

Why does Type 1 Diabetes Develop?

It is not known what causes diabetes. It is known that it can be triggered by a viral infection and that it can run in families.

Useful links

Useful information and resources

Support groups

Financial assistance


Glucose monitoring

Insulin pump

Closed loop (“artificial pancreas” system – Continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pump working together)