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Our researchers are working on different ways to develop a cure for type 1 diabetes - from growing insulin-producing beta cells in labs to hacking the immune system.
Learn about the technologies that can deliver insulin automatically when needed. And discover the next generation of insulins that are currently being developed.
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This Christmas, your gift can bring us closer to a cure for type 1 diabetes – and every pound you give to our Christmas Appeal will be doubled.
The announcement is the biggest treatment breakthrough for type 1 diabetes since the discovery of insulin.
This event is designed for anyone living with type 1 diabetes who would like to learn more about managing their wellbeing across a variety of contexts.
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Home > Knowledge & support > Living with type 1 diabetes > Everyday life > Food and nutrition
There’s nothing you aren’t ‘allowed’ to eat if you have type 1. Different foods affect your blood glucose in different ways, mainly by how quickly they release carbohydrate and sugar into your blood stream. It’s not always about what you eat but understanding how much insulin you need to keep your blood glucose levels within your target range after you’ve eaten.
This means you need to know how much carbohydrate is in your food and drink. This is called carb counting.
Your Diabetes Healthcare Team will tell you how much insulin to take per gram of carbohydrate, so you can then work out how much insulin to take. This is called your insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio.
Type 1 diabetes is not caused by an unhealthy diet, or anything to do with food – it is an autoimmune condition that happens for reasons we don’t yet fully understand, which is why our immunology research is so important.
In some cases type 2 diabetes can be put into remission through lifestyle changes, but this is not the case for type 1, which has no cure (which is why we carry out research).
What you eat won’t change your type 1, but the choices you make may lead to more stable blood glucose and reduce the risk of complications like heart disease.
The main goal of managing type 1 is to keep your blood glucose levels as much in the target range as possible.
If you eat something that has a lot of sugar that’s absorbed very quickly into your blood (like sweets) it can cause your blood glucose to spike, making it harder to manage. If you eat something that releases sugar more slowly into your bloodstream (like fruit and vegetables) your blood glucose levels will rise more steadily.
That makes it easier for you to work out how much insulin to take, and when.
If you can keep your blood glucose levels more stable, your type 1 diabetes will be easier to manage.
You don’t need to cut out sugar when you have type 1. In fact, you should always keep something with a high sugar content on you (like jelly babies, fruit juice or glucose tablets) in case you need to raise your blood glucose levels or treat a hypo.
You need to be aware of the effect sugary food has on your blood glucose levels and whether it impacts your type 1 management.
If you have any concerns, speak to your Diabetes Healthcare Team.
Fat can affect how insulin and glucose are absorbed, so it’s good to avoid eating too much of it. For example, chocolate is not recommended for treating hypos because the fat in chocolate slows down the absorption of sugar, when you need it quickly.
Having type 1 can cause complications like heart disease. Eating fat regularly can raise your cholesterol and further increase your risk of heart disease so it’s recommended not to eat too much too often.
If you’re concerned about complications, speak to your Diabetes Healthcare Team.
Yes. There’s no reason why you should stop enjoying the social aspect of food. Find out more about how to manage your blood glucose and insulin around meals out and what to do if you’re drinking alcohol.
It’s really important to get help when you need it, whether you’re newly diagnosed, or you’ve been living with type 1 for some time and need a refresher.
There are courses like DAFNE and BERTIE that help you learn how to carb count and manage type 1 around your lifestyle, as well as many online resources to help you self-learn. Find out more about type 1 courses and education.
“During the last few years I have found it increasingly challenging to keep my blood sugar under control, so for this reason I no longer fast during Ramadan.”
“Type 1 diabetes has never stopped me from doing anything and that includes eating a varied, well balanced and enjoyable diet.”
Find out what Pete, who also has coeliac disease, puts in his type 1 shopping basket.
Learn about how to count carbs, work out how much insulin you need and how to get help with carb counting.
There’s no reason why you can’t drink alcohol if you have type 1 diabetes, but different types of alcohol can affect your blood glucose in different ways. Get tips and advice to stay safe with alcohol.
If you’re struggling with issues around type 1 and food, eating, your body and stress, get information and support.
Find information about different types of jobs, how to manage your type 1 at work and the laws in place to protect you from discrimination.
Whether you’re walking the dog, ballet dancing or training for a marathon, learn how to manage your glucose levels and insulin intake for exercising.
Travelling with type 1 diabetes can be challenging, but with a bit of planning and tips from us there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy adventuring at home and abroad.
You can still drive if you have type 1 diabetes, but there are some extra steps you need to take to be legal and safe on the road.
Different types of alcohol can affect your blood glucose in different ways. Get tips and advice to stay safe with alcohol.
Drugs can impact how you manage your type 1 and stay safe. Learn about the effects of drugs on type 1.
When you have type 1 diabetes, smoking can make it harder to manage your blood glucose levels and increase your risk of complications.
If you’re moving to the UK, understanding a new health system as well as everything else that comes with moving to a new country is a challenge.