This guideline covers the care and treatment of adults (aged 18 and over) with type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes affects over 370,000 adults in the UK. It results from destruction of the cells that normally make insulin. Loss of insulin secretion results in high blood glucose and other metabolic and haematological abnormalities, which have both short-term and long-term adverse effects on health. Over years, type 1 diabetes causes tissue damage which, if not detected and managed early, can result in disability: blindness, kidney failure and foot ulceration leading to amputation, as well as premature heart disease, stroke and death. The risk of all of these complications is greatly reduced by treatment that keeps circulating glucose levels to as near normal as possible, reducing tissue damage. Disability from complications that are not avoided can often be prevented by early detection and active management.