What is diabetes?


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food.  It occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells.  Without insulin, a person is unable to break down carbohydrates/sugars that are found in food.  The carbohydrates/sugars remain in the blood stream and are not converted to energy.  

Although it is slightly different for each person, normally, blood sugar levels should be between 80 and 120 milligrams per deciliter. When a diabetic tests his/her blood, anything significantly above 120 or below 80 requires attention. 

Signs of High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar (or Hyperglycemia) is characterized by:
- Thirst (dehydration)
- Stomach pain
- Nausea
- Drowsiness
- Confusion
- Sweating
Signs of Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar (or Hypoglycemia) is characterized by:
- Dizziness
- Personality change/irrational behavior
- Shakiness
- Crying
- Sweating
- Irritability
- Drowsiness
- Inability to concentrate

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