what is type 1 diabetes

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Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases strike one in 20 Americans, with conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma, Crohn's disease and many others. Autoimmune diseases happen when the body's immune system, designed to protect the body, attacks it instead. There are more than 80 different autoimmune diseases. No tissue or organ is immune from autoimmune disease.

Up to three million Americans have Type 1 diabetes, and the worldwide incidence of the disease is growing with the greatest increase in children under five-years-old. The disease accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all diagnosed diabetes in the United States. In Type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.

Living with Type 1 Diabetes is a juggling act, people with this disease must inject themselves with insulin multiple times a day just to stay alive. They must carefully monitor their blood sugar and consider their food intake and exercise. Both extreme high and low blood sugar levels can result in seizures, coma and even death. Amputation of fingers, toes, feet and legs is always a potential consequence.