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Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is when your body simply doesn't make enough insulin. It's not preventable, but it is manageable. It is an autoimmune disease that may be caused by genetic, environmental, or other factors. It is usually first diagnosed in children or young adults, but it can occur at any age.

Risk Factors

It is recommended that students displaying or possibly experiencing the risk factors and warning signs associated with type 1 diabetes be screened (tested) for the disease.

Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an immune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake). Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Known risk factors include:

  • Family history. Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 1 diabetes.
  • Age. You can get type 1 diabetes at any age, but it usually develops in children, teens, or young adults.

In the United States, White people are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than African American and Hispanic or Latino people.

Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.

Warning Signs and Symptoms

If you have any of the following diabetes symptoms, see your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested:

  • Urinate (pee) a lot, often at night
  • Are very thirsty
  • Lose weight without trying
  • Are very hungry
  • Have blurry vision
  • Have numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Feel very tired
  • Have very dry skin
  • Have sores that heal slowly
  • Have more infections than usual

People who have type 1 diabetes may also have nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months and can be severe. Type 1 diabetes usually starts when you're a child, teen, or young adult but can happen at any age.

Parents/Guardians of children displaying warning signs should immediately consult with the student's primary care provider to determine if screening for diabetes is appropriate. Following a diabetes's diagnosis, parents/guardians should work with the primary care provider to develop a lifestyle and medical treatment plan, which may include consultation with and examination by a specialty care provider, including, but not limited to, a properly qualified endocrinologist.

Diabetes Screening Tests

Your doctor may have your child take one or more of the following blood tests to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. A blood test measures the average blood sugar level over two to three months.
  • Random (non-fasting) blood sugar test. A blood sample is taken at a random time; this test must be confirmed with a fasting blood glucose test.
  • Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample is taken after an overnight fast; a high level on two separate tests indicates diabetes.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test. A test measuring the fasting blood sugar level after an overnight fast with periodic testing for the next several hours after drinking a sugary liquid.

If the primary care provider thinks your child has type-1 diabetes, blood may also be tested for autoantibodies (substances that indicate the body is attacking itself) that are often present in type-1 diabetes but not in type-2. The child's urine might be tested for ketones (produced when the body burns fat for energy), which may also indicate type-1 diabetes instead of type-2 diabetes.


The information provided on this webpage is intended to raise awareness about this disease. Contact your child's primary care provider, the PAUSD Health Services Department, or school administrator if you have questions. [EC 49452.6, 49452.7; HSC 104250]

If you have questions please contact Health Services.