JDRFGet involvedYouth Ambassador ProgrammeMyths about type 1

Myths about type 1

No doubt you've heard people say stuff about type 1 diabetes that simply isn't true. Next time you hear a myth, come back with a fact. Here's a quick guide to help you.



  • You get type 1 diabetes because you’re overweight.
  • Type 1 diabetes is actually caused by the body’s immune system attacking and destroying the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. Anyone can develop it, whatever their body size and shape.
  • With type 1 diabetes you can’t have any sweets, chocolate or anything sugary.
  • People with type 1 diabetes can have a normal, healthy diet which includes some sugar – just like people without type 1. Whatever they eat, people with type 1 need to regularly measure the glucose levels in their blood and have insulin injections.
  • With type 1 diabetes you can’t join in PE lessons or do sports.
  •  As long as people with type 1 diabetes check their blood glucose level is stable first, there’s no reason why they can’t play sport. They may need to have a snack before they start and check their blood glucose during exercise.
  • All diabetes is the same.
  • Most people have heard of diabetes but few know there’s more than one type. The most common are type 1 and type 2. People often get confused between them.

Here are the facts about type 1 and type 2 diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes

  • Your body can’t produce any insulin.
  • Your body can make some insulin, but not enough. Or, the insulin it produces doesn’t work properly.
  • Usually is diagnosed in young adults and children but can start at any age.
  • Usually appears in people over 40.
  • If you have it, you need to do finger prick tests and insulin injections every day, or wear an insulin pump. You also need to eat a healthy diet and take regular exercise.
  • It’s treated with a healthy diet and exercise. Medication and/or insulin is sometimes needed, too.