Diabetes type 1 is a chronic condition in which little or no insulin is produced by the pancreas, resulting in high sugar levels. It is the less common form of diabetes, accounting for around one in ten diabetes cases in the United States, according to figures from the CDC.
Common symptoms of diabetes type 1 include frequent urination; hunger; weight loss; mood changes and irritability; increased thirst and fluid intake; fatigue; and blurry vision. Bed-wetting may also be a sign of diabetes type 1 in children. Over time, diabetes type 1 can lead to a number of other health complications, including heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy), skin conditions, and eye damage.
Possible causes of diabetes type 1 include the body's own immune system destroying insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, genetics, or exposure to certain viruses or other environmental factors. Among the known risk factors for diabetes type 1 are family history, the presence of certain genes, and age. The condition is usually diagnosed when patients are either between 4 and 7 years of age or between 10 and 14.
Treatment of diabetes type 1 may include lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet and more exercise; insulin; and other medication. Drug classes commonly prescribed to treat diabetes type 1 include rapid-acting human insulins and analogs, long-acting human insulins and analogs, and intermediate-acting human insulins and analogs. A variety of other products are also used to treat diabetes, including insulin syringes, needles, and other devices and test strips.