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What is Type 1 Diabetes
After food is eaten, it breaks down into glucose (sugar). The pancreas, which makes insulin, helps the body use glucose for energy. A person with type 1 diabetes does not make insulin. Without insulin, glucose cannot move into the cells. Glucose builds up in the bloodstream and is passed into the urine.
The common signs of diabetes are:
About 1 in 500 children have type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, or juvenile diabetes.
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
No one knows for sure what causes type 1 diabetes. But we do know that eating too much sugar does NOT cause type 1 diabetes. Researchers think a combination of three things is involved:
Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes
At present, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. However, it can be effectively managed so that your child doesn’t miss out on normal childhood activities. Type 1 diabetes is treated by:
Diabetes Management involves juggling the three main factors that affect blood glucose. These are:
(Food increases blood glucose; insulin and activity generally decrease blood glucose.)
The goals of diabetes management are:
*Actual blood glucose targets may vary according to, among other things, your child’s age. It’s typically 6-10 mmol/L for younger kids and moves to 4-7 mmol/L when they become very aware of their lows. For example, when my (Michelle’s) son was diagnosed as an infant, his blood glucose targets were 7.0 for the daytime and 9.0 overnight.
Remember: Your child is a child first and a child with diabetes second. Diabetes does not have to stop your child from taking part in normal childhood activities.
The above information was used with permission from The Alberta Children’s Hospital Diabetes Clinic information handouts.
The above information was reviewed for content accuracy by clinical staff of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Diabetes Clinic.
This material has been developed from sources that we believe are accurate, however, as the field of medicine (in particular as it applies to diabetes) is rapidly evolving, the information should not be relied upon, as it is designed for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please consult your doctor or appropriate health care professional.
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