Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Unlike type 2 diabetes, T1D is not linked to being overweight, lack of exercise or other lifestyle factors. It is not preventable and its cause is unknown.
The challenges of living with a life-threatening disease
People with T1D must take insulin via syringe or insulin pump in required doses in order to control glucose levels in their blood. This continuous glucose monitoring involves testing their blood sugar by pricking their finger(s) six or more times a day. Despite this constant attention, people with T1D still run the risk of dangerously high blood sugar levels, which can lead to complications, or dangerously low blood sugar levels, which can result in a coma.
Insulin is not a cure
While insulin injections or infusion allow a person with T1D to stay alive, they do not cure the disease, nor prevent long-term complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of amputations, blindness, kidney and heart disease, and other debilitating conditions.
T1D strikes both children and adults at any age.
What are the symptoms?
T1D often develops suddenly and can produce symptoms such as:
- Sudden weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Abnormal thirst and a dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Lack of energy, extreme tiredness
- Constant hunger
Canadians may have T1D. Nationally, the average incidence rate has been growing at an estimated 5.1% per year – higher than the global average.1
Although most people are diagnosed as children, it is not just a child’s disease, and in fact, 25% of people with T1D are diagnosed as adults.
children worldwide develop T1D each year.2
1 IN 4
individuals with T1D are diagnosed as adults.3
The prevalence of T1D among children up to age 19 increased 21% between 2001 and 2009.4
Parents, children and siblings of individuals with T1D have a tenfold greater risk of developing the disease than the rest of the population.5
Total health care costs resulting from diabetes in Canada is expected to increase to over $16.9 billion (CAD) annually by 2020.6
of people living with T1D are adults.7
We are getting closer and closer to finding the cure. As the leading global organization funding T1D research, JDRF is supporting the best T1D studies in Canada and internationally. We will get there, but only with your help.
Together we can create a future without T1D.
1. DIAMOND Project Group. Incidence and trends of childhood Type 1 diabetes worldwide 1990-1999. Diabet Med. 2006;23 (8): 857-866.
2. International Diabetes Federation, Diabetes Atlas 2015, North America overview.
3. Type 1 diabetes mellitus: etiology, presentation, and management. Haller MJ, Atkinson MA, Schatz D Pediatr Clin North Am. 2005 Dec; 52(6):1553-78.
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, study published in 2014, American Medical Association.
5. Davidson JK, ed. Clinical diabetes mellitus. A problem-oriented approach. 2 ed. New York, NY: Thieme Medical Publishers, 2000.
6. Canadian Diabetes Association, An economic tsunami: the cost of diabetes in Canada. Dec 2009.
7. Type 1 Diabetes, 2010; Prime Group for JDRF, Mar 2011.