Text Box: What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a non-preventable autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food.

Type 1 diabetes strikes children and adults suddenly, but lasts a lifetime. 

Insulin is not a cure for diabetes nor does it prevent its eventual complications which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, nerve damage, stroke, and amputation.

Type 1 diabetes affects over 300,000 Canadian children and adults.

Type 1 diabetes can happen to anyone and is not caused by anything the person with the condition, or their parents, did or did not do.

Signs and symptoms of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes: 

fruity odour on breath
heavy or laboured breathing
stupor or unconsciousness
extreme thirst
frequent urination
drowsiness or lethargy
increased appetite
sudden weight loss
sudden vision changes

What causes type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking and destroying the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
The triggers for this autoimmune response are currently unclear.
Scientists think the condition is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Type 1 diabetes…

is not caused by eating too much sugar or the wrong kinds of food.
is not caused by being overweight.
is not the same as type 2 diabetes.
does not mean you cannot eat sugar.
does not mean you cannot play sports.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is rare in children and young people, although numbers are rising.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by the cells in the body becoming resistant to insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in people who are overweight or obese, but this is not the only cause of the condition.
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