Type I diabetes is caused by an auto-immune reaction, where the body’s defense system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, the body can no longer produce the insulin it needs. Insulin is a hormone used to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The reason why this occurs is not fully understood. Without insulin the body burns its own fats as a substitute. Unless treated with daily injections of insulin, people with Type I diabetes accumulate dangerous chemical substances in their blood from the burning of fat. This can cause a condition known as ketoacidosis.This condition is potentially life threatening if not treated.
Type I diabetes can affect people of any age, but it usually occurs in children or young adults. People with this form of diabetes need injections of insulin every day in order to control the levels of glucose in their blood.