Type 1 Diabetes

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If you have type 1 diabetes, you've probably been living with it most of your life. You may feel like you've got it under control. Or you may have times you worry if you're as healthy as possible. 

Whether you need an endocrinologist to help you manage your diabetes, or if you're looking for extra help and next steps, we're here to help you find the solutions that help you control your diabetes and not the other way around.

    Understanding Type 1 Diabetes

    In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin. This will lead to the build up of glucose in the blood. View type 1 diabetes transcript.


    How to Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check

    Keeping the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood can be tricky. But with support and patience, you can learn to control diabetes.

    Test Your Blood Sugar

    Regular blood glucose checks throughout the day will help you manage your diabetes. You can use a glucose monitor or a system you wear all day.  

    Keep a record of the results. We'll use the information to adjust your medication as needed, as well as using the HbA1c blood test to assess your overall glucose control.

    Avoid Hypoglycemia

    Diabetes can make the amount of sugar in your blood get too high, and your medication can make it too low.

    Low blood sugar results in a condition called hypoglycemia. It can cause:

    • Confusion
    • Shakiness
    • Anxiety
    • Heart palpitations 
    • Seizures
    • Loss of consciousness

    You can avoid hypoglycemia with close attention to your blood sugar levels, diet and activity.

    Be Prepared for a Hypoglycemia Emergency

    Make sure to:

    • Have an emergency supply of glucagon at all times. If your blood sugar levels drop, an injection of glucagon can quickly increase them. 

    • Get a medical alert ID. It will let others know you have diabetes in case you are unable to communicate.

    Take Diabetes Medications


    Insulin injections replace the insulin you're missing. You can get your insulin with shots or automatically with an insulin pump.


    Pramlintide replaces amylin, which is also missing in people with type 1 diabetes. This missing hormone could be the cause of your blood sugar issues. Sometimes, when insulin alone doesn't control your blood sugar, this medication helps.

    Build Healthy Habits 

    Our registered dietitians can meet with you on a regular basis to help you learn how to:

    • Follow a well-balanced meal plan with a variety of food groups
    • Eat at regular times each day
    • Include a bedtime snack in your meal plans
    • Not skip meals
    • Avoid highly refined carbohydrates or high-fructose products like soda

    Exercising With Diabetes

    You'll want to exercise, but with care. Follow your doctor's advice on how much you should do or change in order to keep your levels normal while staying fit.  

    Learn About Diabetes Treatments

    At UVA, you have access to clinical research and innovative diabetes treatments.

    Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.