Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that usually appears during childhood or the teen years in which the pancreas doesn't produce insulin, states Mayo Clinic. Type 1 diabetes can sometimes occur in adults too.
For unknown reasons, the immune system of people with type 1 diabetes attacks various cells in the body, including the insulin-producing ones of the pancreas. This results in the body having a total depletion of the insulin hormone, WebMD explains. When insulin is not present, it disrupts the process in which the body's cells use sugar to convert to energy. In turn, this causes the build up of sugar in the blood, leading to problems such as dehydration, weight loss and, ultimately, serious damage to the body.
There are multiple factors that can cause this ailment, including genetics and exposure to certain viruses, Mayo Clinic claims. The more common type 2 diabetes usually happens in adults when their bodies become resistant to insulin, or don’t produce enough of it. While type 2 diabetes can happen due to high glucose levels in the blood, or as a result of other diseases, type 1 diabetes is not preventable.
There is no cure for type 1 diabetes; however, it can be managed when treated properly, allowing people with the disease to live long, healthy lives, WebMD states. By taking regular insulin injections, exercising and eating well, people with type 1 diabetes can keep their blood sugar levels in check.