Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease in which there is a high level of sugar, called glucose, in the blood. This condition occurs because an organ in the body, the pancreas, produces an insufficient amount of insulin or no insulin at all.

Insulin, a hormone normally produced by beta cells in the pancreas, is needed to move blood sugar into cells. Sugar stored in the cells can be used later for energy.

Without insulin, too much sugar remains in the blood rather than moving to cells.

Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but is most often diagnosed in children, teen or young adults. The exact cause of diabetes is not known. It may be the result of an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly destroys healthy tissue. There may also be an inherited factor.


Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Frequently feeling hungry or tired
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Sores or wounds that heal slowly
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet
  • Blurred eyesight


A blood test can help determine if you have type 1 diabetes. If you do, your Ohio State doctor will help you determine a course of treatment to maintain and improve your health.


Treatment could include insulin therapy, medications, nutrition counseling and a physical activity program. Working with your Ohio State doctor can help you manage your type 1 diabetes and its symptoms, avoid diabetic-related complications and achieve your wellness goals.

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