Diabetes type 1 is an autoimmune condition that means your immune system attacks healthy body tissue by mistake.
Symptoms usually develop very quickly in young people, but they often take longer to show in adults.
It’s important for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible, to avoid health complications such as heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, kidney disease and foot problems.
The NHS advises symptoms disappear when you start taking insulin and the condition is under control.
There are seven signs that could indicate you have type 1 diabetes.
The health body says the main symptoms of diabetes are:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling very tired
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- Itchiness around the genital area, or regular bouts of thrush (a yeast infection)
- Blurred vision caused by the lens of your eye changing shape
- Slow healing of cuts and grazes
It adds: “Vomiting or heavy, deep breathing can also occur at a later stage.
“This is a dangerous sign and requires immediate admission to hospital for treatment.”
If you think you may have diabetes you should make a visit to see your GP.
If you experience a loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, a high temperature, stomach pain, fruity smelling breath – which may smell like pear drops or nail varnish (others will usually be able to smell it, but you won’t) – you should seek urgent medical attention.
What is the test for type 1 diabetes?
If your GP suspects you have diabetes you may have blood and urine tests taken.
Your urine sample will be tested for glucose, but because urine doesn’t normally contain glucose, if it comes back positive you will be asked to have a specialised blood test known an glycated haemoglobin.
How is diabetes type 1 treated?
As type 1 diabetes occurs because your body doesn’t produce any insulin, it means you’ll need regular insulin treatment to keep glucose levels normal.
Insulin for diabetes type 1 comes in the form of an injection pen.
Sometimes injections are given using a syringe, but most people will require two to four injections a day.
Diabetes type 2 can be prevented by avoiding certain foods.