Type 1 diabetes happens when the immune system harms cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Insulin is needed to move glucose from the blood to the cells. Without it, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being used by the cells for energy. This health problem is more common in children and young adults, but it can start at any age.

Insulin must be taken every day. Diet and exercise are also needed. Blood glucose levels that are not controlled can lead to problems such as peripheral artery disease, stroke, and diseases of the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

How Type 1 Diabetes Occurs
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Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2019 -
  • Update Date: 11/25/2019 -