Matehuka momo 1 Type 1 diabetes

You develop type 1 diabetes if your body is not creating enough insulin to keep blood glucose (sugar) levels in the normal range. High blood glucose can cause damage to your body over time.

Causes of type 1 diabetes

In Type 1 diabetes, your body sets up an attack against the cells that make insulin. These cells are called beta cells and are isolated in the pancreas in your stomach. The result is that the body does not produce any insulin (or very little).

We do not know what triggers this to happen.

It usually starts in childhood, but it can happen in any age group from babies to older people.

Someone else in your whānau having type 1 diabetes slightly increases your risk of getting it.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • being hungry, thirsty, and drinking more fluids
  • weeing (urinating) more often
  • losing weight
  • feeling tired
  • having blurry vision
  • getting infections.

Diagnosing type 1 diabetes

An HbA1c blood test is the most common way to diagnose diabetes.

This test will measure the amount of glucose attached to your red blood cells over the previous 2 to 3 months.

Self care for type 1 diabetes

You can manage type 1 diabetes by:

  • eating well to help control your diabetes and prevent complications
  • staying physically active to help reduce blood glucose
  • checking your blood glucose levels regularly.

Food and nutrition for type 1 diabetes — Diabetes New Zealand (external link)

Treating type 1 diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes you will need to treat it by injecting insulin to manage your blood glucose levels. There are different types of insulin and methods of taking it. Your healthcare provider will find the type and method that will suit you best.

You will also need regular check‑ups for complications of diabetes. You will need treatment if you develop complications.

Complications of diabetes

Related website

Type 1 diabetes in children — KidsHealth NZ

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition. You can minimise the long-term risks and complications for your child.

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