What is type 1 diabetes and how do I manage it?
Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), is an autoimmune disease where the insulin-producing cells of the body are destroyed by the immune system, preventing insulin from being produced. It generally develops in childhood or adolescence but may also develop later in adulthood. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for T1D and there are no methods of prevention. However, there are ways people living with type 1 diabetes can proactively manage their glucose to enable them to live better lives.
People living with T1D must take insulin in order to control glucose levels in their blood. To better manage their type 1 diabetes, they must constantly monitor their blood glucose levels (commonly known as blood sugar) either by pricking their finger and using a Blood Glucose Meter or using a Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device . A CGM system tracks glucose levels throughout the day and night and can alert you if your levels go too high or low, without a fingerstick. Even with these tools, people living with T1D can still suffer from dangerously high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
According to JDRF Canada, there are more than 300,000 Canadians living with T1D today.