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Type 1 Diabetes in Adults: New Diagnosis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a disease that affects how your body makes insulin and uses glucose (sugar). Normally, when the blood sugar level increases, the pancreas makes more insulin. Insulin helps move sugar out of the blood so it can be used for energy. Type 1 diabetes develops because the immune system destroys cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The pancreas cannot make enough insulin, so the blood sugar level continues to rise. A family history of type 1 diabetes may increase your risk. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin.


What are the signs and symptoms of uncontrolled type 1 diabetes?

How is type 1 diabetes diagnosed?

Any of the following may be used to diagnose type 1 diabetes or to check that it is well controlled:

What is diabetes education?

Diabetes education will start right away. Diabetes education may also happen later to refresh your memory. Your diabetes care team may include physicians, nurse practitioners, community health providers, and physician assistants. It may also include nurses, dietitians, exercise specialists, pharmacists, dentists, and podiatrists. Family members, or others who are close to you, may also be part of the team. You and your team will make goals and plans to manage diabetes and other health problems. The plans and goals will be specific to your needs. Members of your diabetes care team will teach you the following:

What else can I do to help manage type 1 diabetes?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can happen if I do not manage type 1 diabetes?

Diabetes that is not controlled can damage your nerves, veins, and arteries. Long-term high blood sugar levels can damage your eyes and kidneys. Damage to arteries increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. Nerve damage may also lead to other heart, stomach, and nerve problems. Complications (health problems) of diabetes can become life-threatening. Control your blood sugar levels to lower your risk for health problems.

Have someone call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my diabetes care team provider immediately?

When should I call my diabetes care team provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.