Type 1 Diabetes

Expert Diabetes Care

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is a chronic condition characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin, a hormone crucial for regulating blood sugar levels. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is often associated with lifestyle factors, T1DM is primarily an autoimmune disorder. 

  • Autoimmune disorder: The body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
  • Insulin dependency: People with T1DM must rely on insulin therapy to manage their blood glucose levels.
  • Onset: Although previously believed to primarily affect children and adolescents, T1DM can occur at any age.



🪧 Symptoms 🪧

  • Frequent urination: Due to high blood sugar levels
  • Excessive thirst: The body tries to compensate for fluid loss
  • Extreme hunger: Even though glucose is available in the blood, the body cannot use it properly.
  • Unintended weight loss: The body starts to break down fat and muscle for energy.
  • Fatigue and weakness: Insufficient glucose in the cells leads to energy depletion.
  • Blurred Vision: High blood sugar levels can cause fluid to be pulled from the lenses of the eyes. 

Screening for T1DM

  • Family history: Individuals with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling) with T1DM are at higher risk.
  • Autoimmune diseases: People with other autoimmune conditions, such as celiac disease or autoimmune thyroid disease, should be considered for screening.

🧪 Diagnosis 🧪

  • Blood Tests: Diagnosis is typically confirmed through blood tests measuring blood sugar levels, including:
    1. Fasting blood sugar test: Measures blood glucose after an overnight fast.
    2. A1c TestReflects the average blood glucose levels over the past 2-3 months.
    3. Random blood sugar test: Measures blood glucose at a random time.
  • Autoantibodies testing: Detects specific autoantibodies often present in T1DM before symptoms appear.


At Santa Barbara Endocrinology, Dr. Rivera is dedicated to partnering with you to help you find a sense of freedom and balance while living with diabetes. Her approach focuses on empowering you with the knowledge and tools you need to manage your condition effectively.