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Type 1 Diabetes - Topic Overview

These symptoms usually appear over a few days to weeks. Sometimes people notice symptoms after an illness, like the flu. They may think that the diabetes symptoms are because of the flu, so they don't seek medical care soon enough.

If you wait too long to get medical care, you may get diabetic ketoacidosis, which is very dangerous. Symptoms of this problem include:

  • Flushed, hot, dry skin.
  • Not feeling hungry.
  • Belly pain.
  • Vomiting.
  • A strong, fruity breath odor.
  • Fast and shallow breathing.
  • Restlessness, drowsiness, or trouble waking up.
  • Confusion.

Your doctor can diagnose diabetes with a physical exam, your medical history, and blood tests.

Some people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes because they have symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes focuses on keeping blood sugar levels within a target range and doing things to reduce complications. To control your blood sugar, you:

  • Take insulin through daily shots or an insulin pump.
  • Eat a healthy diet that spreads carbohydrate throughout the day.
  • Check blood sugar levels several times a day.
  • Get regular exercise.

High blood sugar can lead to problems such as:

  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). This can cause heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. This is a type of eye disease that can lead to vision loss.
  • Diabetic nephropathy. This kidney disease has no early symptoms, but it can lead to kidney failure.
  • Diabetic neuropathy. This is a nerve disease that can affect your internal organs as well as your ability to sense touch and pain, especially in your feet. It can also cause sexual problems.
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