What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is all about insulin—a lack of the hormone insulin. If you have type 1 diabetes, then your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to handle the glucose in your body. Glucose is a sugar that your body uses for instant energy, but in order for your body to use it properly, you have to have insulin.
Type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes because so many cases were noticed when patients were children. Children and young people account for many of the type 1 diabetes diagnoses today, which is why we created a Patients’ Guide to Managing Your Child’s Type 1 Diabetes.
Here’s another reason “juvenile diabetes” isn’t exactly accurate anymore: type 1 diabetes isn’t the only type of diabetes that can affect children and young adults. Type 2 diabetes is becoming more prevalent in younger people, and the treatments and causes of type 1 and type 2 are very different. It can be misleading and confusing to talk about “juvenile diabetes” when there are two distinct types that can affect children and young adults.
Hearing that your child has type 1 diabetes—or that you have it—can be an overwhelming thing to take in. You’re suddenly in a new world with a new vocabulary and new requirements: hemoglobin A1c, blood glucose, insulin pumps, carb counting, diabetic ketoacidosis, etc.