Read aloud

Type 1 diabetes in young people

“I get so annoyed when people ask if I ate too much sugar when I was a child. It drives me nuts.” (Anonymous).

Type 1 diabetes can and does occur at any age, but is more commonly diagnosed in younger people. It is less common than type 2 diabetes, with only 10–15% of all people with diabetes having type 1.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin because the cells that actually make the insulin have been destroyed by the body’s own immune system. The insulin has to be replaced in another way, which is why, if you have type 1 diabetes, you must have insulin injections every day.

Read more in our fact sheet Understanding type 1 diabetes.

 

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops making insulin. Overview of the pancreas (person without diabetes and person with type 1 diabetes).

Transition

“You go from the RCG to Adolescent Health Services, and then suddenly you’re out on your own.” (Anonymous)

There will come a point—usually around 16–18 years old, when as a person with type 1 diabetes, you will make the move from childhood medical support services and specialists to adult medical care. This is a big step and it can be quite daunting to leave behind the team that you may have known and trusted for years.

One of the biggest differences between child and adult health services is the independence that you will gain. But at the same time, you will be expected to know how to manage and take control of your diabetes yourself.

Talk to your health care team to find out when and how this process will take place for you.

Don’t worry—there is plenty of information to help you through this transition.

Read more about the transition from child to adult diabetes health care.