Insulin-dependent diabetes; Juvenile onset diabetes; Diabetes - type 1
Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood.
Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age. However, it is most often diagnosed in children, adolescents, or young adults.
Insulin is a hormone produced by special cells, called beta cells, in the pancreas. The pancreas is found behind your stomach. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar (glucose) into cells, where it is stored and later used for energy. In type 1 diabetes, beta cells produce little or no insulin.
Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells. The body is unable to use this glucose for energy. This leads to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes.
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Most likely it is an autoimmune disorder. An infection or some other trigger causes the body to mistakenly attack the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. This kind of disorder can be passed down through families.
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