Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Type 1 Diabetes

Font Size

Understanding type 1 diabetes is the first step to managing it. Get information on type 1 diabetes causes, risk factors, warning signs, and prevention tips.

What Is Type 1 Diabetes?

Normally, the body's immune system fights off foreign invaders like viruses or bacteria. But for unknown reasons, in people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks various cells in the body.


Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop quickly, over a few days to weeks, and are caused by blood sugar levels rising above the normal range (hyperglycemia).


You can inherit a tendency to develop type 1 diabetes, but most people who have the disease have no family history of it.


If a person is not in ketoacidosis, the American Diabetes Association's criteria for symptoms, a medical history, a physical exam, and blood tests are used to diagnose type 1 diabetes.


Type 1 diabetes requires lifelong treatment to keep blood sugar levels within a target range.


There are many forms of insulin to treat diabetes. They are classified by how fast they start to work and how long their effects last. 

Currently there is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes, but ongoing studies are exploring ways to prevent diabetes in those who are most likely to develop it.


Type 1 Diabetes Tools

See animated illustrations of how type 1 diabetes works.

WebMD offers a pictorial overview of the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of type 1 diabetes.

This type 1 diabetes assessment was designed to explore and evaluate your personal health and lifestyle history to help you manage your health and your family’s health better.

Test your Type 1 Diabetes knowledge.

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner