Type 1 diabetes

A lifelong condition where the pancreas makes little or no insulin, which leads to high blood sugar levels.


It's not clear what causes type 1 diabetes. The body's immune system, certain viruses and genes seem to play roles. People of any age can get this type of diabetes, but the condition often starts before adulthood. Having a family member with the disease can raise a person's risk of getting it.


Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can start quickly. Thirst and hunger may increase. Urination may happen more often. Children who never used to wet the bed at night might start to do so. Other symptoms can include unexplained weight loss, mood changes, feeling tired and weak, and getting blurry vision.


With type 1 diabetes, lab-made insulin needs to be taken for life, often several times a day. Blood sugar levels need to be checked throughout the day. Healthy changes also are key. Eat a balanced diet full of low-fat, high-fiber foods. Learn how to count carbohydrates. And work up to at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week.

© 1998-2023 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. | Terms of Use