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Glucose, which is needed for energy, is the main sugar found in the body. Under normal circumstances glucose is controlled by insulin which is secreted by the pancreas.  Insulin acts like a key, allowing the glucose to pass from the bloodstream into the cells. In diabetes a lack of insulin means that blood glucose rises and body tissues lack the fuel needed for energy.

Different types of diabetes

Diabetes is generally divided into two groups: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

***This website provides advice for children and young people with Type 1 diabetes***

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to make insulin. It usually develops in early life and is the most common type of diabetes among children. Type 1 diabetes is treated by replacing the missing insulin. People with Type 1 diabetes are dependent on taking insulin for the rest of their lives, either through daily injections or via an insulin pump worn on the body.

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes 

Type 1 diabetes can occur rapidly, over a matter of days or weeks. The symptoms can be quite severe and without prompt treatment the condition may quickly become life-threatening. Type 1 diabetes symptoms include:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Heavy, rapid breathing (when the condition becomes extreme)

Treating Type 1 diabetes

The aim of treatment is to achieve as near normal blood glucose as possible.  In Type 1 diabetes this is done using replacement insulin which is given via injection usually using an insulin pen or via an insulin pump

Need More Help?

The CHOICE diabetes education programme is available in NI and the border counties of Republic of Ireland, ask your Diabetes Team

Choice Programme