What You Should Know About Type 1 Diabetes

What is type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is sometimes called juvenile diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes. It means that your body can’t make insulin. Insulin helps your body use the sugar it makes from the food you eat. Your body uses this sugar for energy. We need insulin to live. Without insulin, your blood sugar level goes up, you get thirsty and you urinate a lot.

What problems can type 1 diabetes cause?
People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to get heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, high blood pressure, blindness, nerve damage and gum disease. These things happen two to four times more often in people with diabetes than in people without diabetes. When you have type 1 diabetes, blood may not move as well through your legs and feet. If left untreated, this might lead to amputation of your feet. Untreated type 1 diabetes can cause coma. It can even kill you. The good news is that treatment can help you prevent these problems.

How can these problems be prevented?
To help prevent these problems, keep your blood sugar under tight control, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, don’t smoke and keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels low. If you do all of these things, your risk of complications can be cut by more than 75 percent.

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