Type 1 Diabetes

The Facts

  • Type 1 diabetes is a non-preventable autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
  • It strikes children and adults suddenly leaving them dependent on injected or pumped insulin for life.
  • People living with type 1 diabetes need to test their blood sugar and administer insulin through injections or a pump multiple times per day. They are at risk for developing complications, which may include blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, stroke, heart disease and amputation.
  • Signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:
    • Extreme thirst
    • Frequent urination
    • Drowsiness or lethargy
    • Increased appetite
    • Sudden weight loss
    • Sudden vision changes
    • Sugar in urine
    • Fruity odor on breath
    • Heavy or labored breathing
    • Stupor or unconsciousness
  • Over 300,000 Canadian children and adults live with type 1 diabetes. This number is increasing by 3 – 5% annually – the greatest rise is in children five to nine years of age.
  • Over 700 children in Manitoba alone, live with type 1 diabetes.
  • Canada has the sixth highest incidence rate of type 1 diabetes in children 14 years or younger in the world.
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