diabetes type 1 symptoms and complications

The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. This simple sugar is then transported to each cell via the bloodstream. The pancreas secretes the hormone insulin, which allows the glucose to migrate from the blood into the cells. Once inside a cell, the glucose is ‘burned’, along with oxygen, to produce energy. The pancreas of a person with type 1 diabetes doesn’t make enough insulin to keep blood glucose normal.

Without insulin, the glucose remains in the bloodstream at high levels. The body recognises the problem and tries to provide the cells with other sources of fuel, such as stored fats. Extensive fat burning can release by-products called ketones, which are dangerous in high amounts.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • excessive thirst
  • frequent urination
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • visual disturbances, such as blurred vision
  • itching skin, particularly around the genitals
  • nausea and vomiting.

Complications of untreated diabetes

Untreated diabetes can severely damage many systems, organs and tissues of the body. Complications include:

  • kidney damage
  • increased likelihood of infections such as thrush and also more serious infections
  • damage to the eyes (diabetic retinopathy)
  • poor blood circulation in the legs and feet, potentially leading to lower limb amputation
  • damage to the nerves of the feet
  • much higher risk of heart disease and stroke
  • sexual impotence.

Type 1 Diabetes: Calvin’s war video


  1. Can someone please tell/explain to me what were John Calvin’s Ideas? Thanks plz hekp im sleepy and need to finish this now just somone please

  2. The thing is though that he knew he was going to be playing sport, so he had to have a high sugar/carb meal to give him the energy. Im type 1 diabetic & being a diabetic doesnt mean that u cant eat any sugar or carbs, it just means you need to counter weight the amount of insulin you shoot up to match the amount of sugar youre eating, based against the activity your planning to do. Its tricky, but @ the end of the day its just like a normal person, only as the kid said, u have to do it manually.

  3. Wow, what’s your problem? We can eat everything and also due to the fact that he is GROWING it could be horrible on his blood sugar. Plus, wasn’t he being active? God, idiot….

  4. IndoKochers says:

    It’s kind of fun to watch this debate rage. We know we made mistakes-that’s why this is an interesting video! :o)
    I often wish he hadn’t gone “hi” that day. It was a first (and last!) for us. The combination of having a film crew in our house all morning, and this being the second game of the morning for me (out of three), made for a situation where I was not 100% aware of what he’d eaten and bolused for.
    The pump was still a little new for us too, and I was afraid he had a bent

  5. IndoKochers says:

    You guys should see Calvin now! He’s so much bigger now, 14 and healthy as a horse. Last A1c was 7.6, better than the 7.9 three months ago. He eats a little better now, but as a teen, it’s hard to get him to test as often as he should. We tried the CGM (Continuous Glocuse Monitor) but it just doesn’t work well for us.
    He’s not doing soccer any more :o(, but he’s doing High School marching band, along with a local wind ensemble, and loving it. Good grades, good kid, and still healthy. :o)

  6. DiabetesGirl3145 says:

    That’s great to hear. As a teen living with diabetes myself, I know what it is like to balance diabetes with all the other everyday struggles of being a teen. I’m glad to hear that Calvin is doing well. Did they discontinue the cozmo pump?

  7. bathsheba1uk says:

    That is so wonderful! My son has diabetes too and he is 16. Today he was on his way to college had a hypo and had to sit down on the floor, i have always taught him no matter what, if your sugar is low, sit down and eat, does not matter if people stare or judge. society needs educating.

  8. bathsheba1uk says:

    Never worry what others think, you are the one that is important. Take care of yourselves xx

  9. pinkxundefeated says:

    I am 12 years old, and i have had diabetes for 6 years now. my A1C’s are really bad. every day is a battle

  10. JerichoDawg says:

    I’m twelve years old as well. I’ve only had diabetes for about a year and a half but am still trying to find my niche in my new school. I’m on a insulin pump at the moment, and A1C’s are fine (yay) but it’s so annoying when you’re changing for gym and people are just like “what’s that? what’s that?”. very annoying.

  11. pinkxundefeated says:

    we have a lot in common

  12. ForeverGermany says:

    Hey Calvin-
    Good job and nice explanation. I have a minimed paradigm 722 pump and I am fourteen years old. Good luck, brother.

  13. 96sportsguy1 says:

    I am 13 years old and lately i have been showing symptoms of type 1 diabetes.

    I am always thirsty
    I am always hungry
    I have to go to the bathroom alot,
    My skin is really dry in places.

    My grandmother has type 1 and my mom just has hypo by itself. The doctor gave me a meter just to do a home test and my blood sugar always stayed between 140-160. We have tp give the meter back…so. Sometimes i feel really shaky and weak. I am getting tested soon. Does anyone have any idea what this is?

  14. 96sportsguy1 says:

    also my tounge has this white coating over it

  15. Could sound like Type 1, but lets hope its not. My symptoms was peeing at least every two hours, drinking 5 – 6 litres of liquid every day and my vision was rapidly getting worse.

  16. 96sportsguy1 says:

    I drink alot too. I will drink 3 cups of water, and then 5 minutes later be thirst again. I had 3 cokes and a diet coke last night in the same 30 minutes.

  17. KawaiyoKoji says:

    Why doesn’t he just get the injections that way he doesnt have to carry that thing around O_O.

  18. Great video. My son is 2 and has had type 1 since 18 months. A big battle ahead but we can all do it!
    good luck buddy

  19. DelphinusMinor says:


    I agree with you. It may as well been a bowl of sugar.

    The milk and the cereal. That is a diabetic nightmare, and is probably the worst breakfast for any diabetic.

    Maybe further dietary education is needed.

  20. DelphinusMinor says:

    To add again. I want to make a correction.

    A “bolus” is administering a SMALL amount of fast acting insulin, not a large amount which Calvin stated in the video.

    Diabetics are living much longer these days, and even longer then those who are complacent with their health who don’t have diabetes.

    Complications are a thing of the past if you are on top of your game.

    Remove poor glucose control, and you remove the main cause of complications.

  21. SuperWillywally says:

    I’m sorry but since when is diabetes a war? You need to learn how to live with it, not how to beat it, because you can’t beat it! And if you try, it will defeat every time…
    BTW, fighting to survive? That’s a good one 😀

  22. DemiiiLovatooofan says:

    I have all of those symptoms, but maybe not the lastt oneee.

  23. Aww… Bwood Sugar! =)

  24. i have type 1 diabetes at 9-9-09..its pretty easy to remeber..and i was 9 and in feb 29 i will be ten

  25. Helikid2244 says:

    I have type 1 as well and it sucks! I love to run but having type 1 is so unpredictble even with the strictest low carb diet. It would go down and up so often I had to stop running. Hopefully a cgm will help me. Thank you for this video. For some reason everyone thinks people with diabetes are unhealthy and brought the disease upon there self. If they think like that they should wacth this video, because theres a huge diffrence from type 1 and type 2.

  26. Conquerbobo says:

    It really is a struggle! Thanks for this truthfull (out of experience) video about diabetes.

Share your question or experience here:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *