What is Diabetes?
Diabetes (medically known as diabetes mellitus) is the name given to disorders in which the body has trouble regulating its blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes often develops in children, adolescents, and young adults, so it's sometimes called "juvenile diabetes."
Type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a disorder of the body's immune system -- that is, its system for protecting itself from viruses, bacteria or any "foreign" substances.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys certain cells in the pancreas, an organ about the size of a hand that is located behind the lower part of the stomach. These cells, called beta cells, are contained, along with other types of cells, within small islands of endocrine cells called the pancreatic islets. Beta cells normally produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body move the glucose contained in food into cells throughout the body, which use it for energy. But when the beta cells are destroyed, no insulin can be produced, and the glucose stays in the blood instead, where it can cause serious damage to all the organ systems of the body.
In a person who has type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed by immune cells. However, right after the time of diagnosis, some patients go through a "honeymoon phase" in which their existing beta cells still function. A number of research projects are currently taking place which hope to preserve the function of these existing beta cells after the honeymoon phase in people with Type 1 Diabetes.
Diabetes is not contagious. You cannot catch diabetes from someone who has it. Researchers continue to study how and why diabetes occurs in certain children and families. Although diabetes cannot be cured, it can be controlled.
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