Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. As a result, the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Type 1 diabetes is also characterized by the presence of certain autoantibodies against insulin or other components of the insulin-producing system such as glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), tyrosine phosphatase and/or islet cells.
At this time, there’s no cure for Type 1 diabetes. Treatment consists of infusing insulin with a syringe, insulin pen or insulin pump.
Learn about six common Type 1 diabetes symptoms below.
In Type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing beta cells are destroyed by the immune system. Insulin is necessary to move glucose into cells, where it can be used as fuel. Because of the lack of insulin in the blood, the cells aren't able to access the glucose and send out hunger signals.