Type 1 Diabetes: Living With the Disease - Topic Overview
Is this topic for you?
This topic provides
information for teens and their parents and for adults who have
type 1 diabetes. Before reading this topic, you may
want to read Type 1 Diabetes: Recently Diagnosed.
If this topic
does not answer your questions, see:
- Type 1 Diabetes, if you want to learn about type 1 diabetes but do not have
- Type 1 Diabetes: Recently Diagnosed, if
you have been told recently that you or your child has type 1 diabetes.
- Type 1 Diabetes: Children Living With the Disease, if
your child age 11 or younger has type 1 diabetes. Before reading this topic,
you may want to read Type 1 Diabetes: Recently Diagnosed.
- Type 1 Diabetes: Living With Complications, if you have complications such as
eye, kidney, heart, nerve, or blood vessel disease caused by diabetes.
What is type 1 diabetes, and what is it like to live with the disease?
Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease
that develops when the pancreas stops making
insulin. Your body needs insulin to let sugar
(glucose) move from the blood into the body's cells, where it can be used for
energy or stored for later use.
Everyone experiences type 1
diabetes differently. But the treatment is the same. You need to take insulin,
eat a balanced diet that spreads
carbohydrate throughout the day, and exercise. Part of
your daily routine also includes checking your blood sugar levels regularly, as
advised by your doctor.
The goal is to keep your blood sugar in a
target range. It is the best way
to reduce your chance of having more problems from diabetes. These are called
Taking care of your diabetes takes time and
energy every day. It is a big part of your life. But it will help you feel
better and may prevent, or at least delay, complications. If your teen has
diabetes, tight control of blood sugar levels may help prevent complications
from developing in early adulthood.
What symptoms do you need to watch for?
important to watch for signs of low and high blood sugar:
- Early symptoms of low
blood sugar are sweating, weakness, shakiness, and hunger. But your symptoms
may vary. After you have had diabetes for a long time, you may not notice these
symptoms anymore. Low blood sugar happens quickly. You can get low blood sugar
within 10 to 15 minutes after you exercise or take insulin without eating
- Early symptoms of high blood sugar
are increased thirst, increased urination, increased hunger, and blurred
vision. High blood sugar usually develops slowly over a few days or
Both low and high blood sugar can cause problems and need
to be treated. Check your blood sugar often during the day.
What are the complications of diabetes and their symptoms?