Type 1 Diabetes
About 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1. Although its cause remains unknown, people who have a family history of diabetes are considered at a higher risk of developing the disease. It usually begins in childhood and occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucose in the blood.
Those affected require insulin therapy, which can be injected by pen, syringe, or pump. The number of injections needed per day varies, as do the timing and dosage. People with type 1 diabetes must keep their blood-glucose levels in the target range. To measure levels, they can use a portable glucose meter that usually works by pricking a fingertip to draw a drop of blood. Until a cure is found for type 1 diabetes, this is a lifelong process.
There is a misconception that diabetes is caused by consuming too much sugar or that it is a result of poor diet or lack of physical activity. While it’s true that a healthy diet and physical activity may help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, there is no way to prevent type 1.