For reasons we don’t yet fully understand, your immune system – which is meant to protect you from viruses and bacteria – attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas, called beta cells, that produce insulin.
Insulin is crucial to life. When you eat, insulin is what moves the energy from your food, called glucose, from your blood into the cells of your body. When the beta cells in your pancreas fail to produce insulin, glucose levels in your blood start to rise and your body can’t function properly. Over time this high level of glucose in the blood may damage nerves and blood vessels and the organs they supply.
You cannot prevent type 1 diabetes by adopting a healthy diet, exercising regularly, or living a healthy lifestyle. There is currently no known cure, but we are committed to funding research that will find one.