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Type 1 diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes, your blood sugar is too high because your body can’t make a hormone called insulin.   

Fewer than one in 10 people in the UK who have diabetes have type 1 diabetes. There is nothing you can do to prevent yourself or others developing type 1 diabetes. The exact causes are not known.

Although it’s often diagnosed in childhood, people can develop type 1 diabetes at any age. You are at a slightly higher risk of type 1 diabetes if your mother, father, brother or sister has it.  

Insulin is the main treatment for type 1 diabetes. You can’t live without insulin injections or using an insulin pump. Checking and managing your blood sugar levels is important to help you reduce your risk of serious short or long-term health problems. These are called diabetes complications. 

There is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, but we’re funding lots of research to help find new treatments and a cure.  

For a version of our What is type 1 diabetes video in Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi or Sylheti go to our YouTube playlist.

Diabetes information for people in other languages


Symptoms of type 1 diabetes

Find out the symptoms of type 1 diabetes and what to do if you have them.

What causes type 1 diabetes?

You can't do anything to prevent type 1 diabetes. Find out the causes.

Type 1 diabetes treatments

Find out more about insulin and other ways to help you manage your blood sugar levels.

Type 1 diabetes medicine

Is there other medication for diabetes apart from insulin? Find out more.

Getting support for your type 1 diabetes

See our tips and advice on what to do if you're finding the going tough.

Find out the latest on diabetes tech

Get up to speed with the pros and cons of everything from flash glucose monitors to hybrid closed loop systems.

Finding a cure for type 1 diabetes - the latest

See what new treatments our scientists are developing.

Get a free copy of Your guide to type 1 diabetes

Download or order a printed copy from our shop.

Children and diabetes

Looking after a child with diabetes - information and support.

Type 1 and pregnancy

Find out how type 1 diabetes affects planning for a baby, your pregnancy and giving birth.

What's it like living with type 1 diabetes? Watch Kaajal’s story on YouTube

Next Review Date
Content last reviewed
08 June 2023
Next review due
08 June 2026
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