​Diabetes Type 1​

Diabetes Type 1 is a lifelong disease where the body stops producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the cells to absorb sugar (glucose) from blood and to be later used for energy. In the absence of insulin, sugar (glucose) stays in the blood stream, damaging the blood vessels and creating additional problems. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in young children but can also occur in adults. ​

Type 1 diabetes signs and symptoms can happen quickly and may include:

  • Increased thirst

  • Frequent urination, more noticeable during the night

  • Bedwetting in children who previously didn't wet the bed during the night

  • Extreme hunger

  • Unintended weight loss

  • Irritability and other mood changes

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Blurred vision

  • In females, a vaginal yeast infection

When your blood sugar is too low, it can also cause problems and it can happen suddenly. Quickly treating low blood sugar can help you avoid fainting (losing consciousness). Low blood sugar can also lead to a heart attack.

Common symptoms of low blood sugar may include:​

  • Sweating

  • Shakiness

  • Weakness

  • Hunger

  • Confusion.​

Consult a doctor working with the Family Health or Internal Medicine Service Line​ at the Aga Khan University Hospital if you notice any of the above signs and symptoms in yourself or your child.

Your time with the doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

To diagnose Type 1 diabetes, your doctor may ask for some blood tests including:

  • Glycated haemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. 

  • Random blood sugar test: A blood sample that is taken without fasting.

  • Fasting blood sugar test: A blood sample that is taken after an overnight fast. 

If you receive a diagnosis of diabetes, your doctor may also run blood tests to check for autoantibodies that are common in Type 1 diabetes. These tests help your doctor distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The presence of ketones, which are the by-products from the breakdown of fat, when found in your urine also suggests Type 1 diabetes, rather than Type 2.​

Once you have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, you should visit your doctor regularly to help you with your diabetes management. 

Treatment for Type 1 diabetes includes:

  • Taking insulin as prescribed by your doctor

  • Carbohydrate counting

  • Frequent blood sugar monitoring

  • Eating healthy foods

  • Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight

The goal is to keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible to delay or prevent complications.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.


The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.