Type 1 Diabetes

If you or a loved one has type 1 diabetes, you want a care team with expertise and skill in providing care. At Henry Ford, our highly trained diabetes team has years of experience in helping people with type 1 diabetes enjoy their best possible health.

What is Type 1 diabetes?

This type of diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t produce insulin. Your body needs insulin to move glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream into cells. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children and young adults but can occur at any age. It affects only 5 percent of all people diagnosed with diabetes.

It’s important that you understand the symptoms of type 1 diabetes and the complications that can develop if it’s not properly managed. The experts and specialists at Henry Ford are your partners throughout your treatment process. You’ll get the advanced treatment you need, with a compassionate touch.

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, please see your physician:

  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Extreme thirst and hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss even though your diet hasn’t changed

Type 1 diabetes: Possible complications

Without proper treatment, diabetes can lead to serious complications. It’s important to follow your care team’s instructions to manage your condition.

Stroke, high blood pressure, eye damage, and nerve damage in the legs and feet—these are all serious risks. Being aware of what can happen is the first step in preventing these complications.

Foot complications

Type 1 diabetes can have a serious impact on the health and condition of your feet. To prevent foot conditions from becoming serious, please visit your Henry Ford physician or other diabetes care provider.

Symptoms of foot complications include:

  • Bleeding corns and calluses
  • Changes in skin color
  • Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel
  • Increased temperature in the skin of your feet and lower legs
  • Ingrown and fungal toenails
  • Open sores on the feet that are slow to heal
  • Swelling or pain in your feet or ankles

Neglecting foot complications can have severe consequences, so do not ignore any warning signs.

Learn more about screenings that you may need for foot conditions if you have type 1 diabetes.

Eye complications

Type 1 diabetes can significantly affect the health of your eyes. Some conditions that you may be at risk for include:

  • Cataracts (clouding of the lens in your eye)
  • Decreased sensitivity in the cornea (clear covering over the front of your eye)
  • Diabetic macular edema (swelling of the layer at the back of the eye that receives images and transmits them to your brain)
  • Diabetic retinopathy (damaged blood vessels in the retina, the back of the eye)
  • Glaucoma (buildup of fluid and pressure in the eye that damages the optic nerve, which sends signals to your brain to process as images)
  • Acquired paralytic strabismus (crossed eyes caused by poor blood flow to the muscles around the eye)

These conditions can lead to vision loss and even blindness, and early detection of any eye problem is critical. If you have type 1 diabetes, you should see your eye doctor once a year for a comprehensive eye exam.

Learn more about screenings that you may need for eye conditions if you have type 1 diabetes.

Treating Type 1 diabetes

At Henry Ford Health System, you have full access to our team of diabetes specialty physicians, Certified Diabetes Educators, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and registered dietitians. They work together to develop a personalized treatment and management plan to address your specific needs.

Our team:

  • Designs an insulin medication program that’s right for you
  • Plans for times when you may need to modify your insulin
  • Provides ongoing access to the most advanced therapies and devices
  • Helps you learn more about how different foods and nutrition choices affect glucose levels
  • Creates personalized meal plans
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