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Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, it is believed that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved.
It is a lifelong disease, currently without a cure.
An excellent report on Diabetes (both Type 1 and 2) can be found here.
The disease has major complications which have a serious impact on quality of life including:
The costs to the public health system and economy are considerable, and a 2012 report estimated the cost at nearly $600m per annum in Australia alone.
Ask people who have type 1 diabetes, and they will tell you: It's difficult. It's upsetting. It's life-threatening. It never goes away. Its 24/7.
"Both children and adults like me who live with type 1 diabetes need to be mathematicians, physicians, personal trainers, and dieticians all rolled into one. We need to be constantly factoring and adjusting, making frequent finger sticks to check blood sugars, and giving ourselves multiple daily insulin injections just to stay alive." - JDRF International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore.
For full details on type 1 diabetes including current research efforts go to www.jdrf.org.au.
There are twenty million people worldwide suffering from Type 1 diabetes, for which there is currently no cure - only ways to manage the symptoms.
Katie Goodhart is nine-years-old. Not one day since she was one has this little girl been able to drop her guard against a disease that can kill her in her sleep - Type 1 diabetes. Read More.