Type 1 Diabetes

Very simply, in type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make insulin. The body can still get glucose from food but the glucose is not able to get into the cells where it is needed. Glucose therefore stays in the blood, which makes the blood sugar level very high and causes health problems.

Insulin is essential, the best way to think of insulin is to think of it being like a key. It opens the doors to the cells of the body. It lets the glucose in. Then the glucose can move out of the blood and into the cells where it is needed. To overcome the lack of naturally produced insulin from the pancreas, someone with type 1 diabetes needs to take insulin through regular injections or a continuous insulin pump.

Here is a video explaining type 1 diabetes in more detail:


These are the main symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes, please seek medical attention if you have these:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • passing urine more than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • losing weight without trying
  • thrush that keeps coming back
  • blurred vision
  • cuts and grazes that are not healing
  • fruity-smelling breath

Type 1 diabetes symptoms can come on quickly, particularly in children. Do not wait till tomorrow, or after the weekend, to seek medical attention.