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Can you get type 1 diabetes at any age?

Can you get type 1 diabetes at any age?

Type 1 diabetes, just like other types is a chronic disease and can you get it at any age? Well, diabetes is a disease with no permanent treatment and type 1 diabetics are less as compared to all other.

Type one diabetics are less in numbers but this type of diabetes is mostly diagnosed in children. Research shows that type 1 diabetes is mostly diagnosed in people who are below 40 years. However, there are some rare cases of old people as well. So the answer of your question can you get type 1 diabetes at any age is quite clearly yes.

In United States of America, the average age at which maximum number of persons are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is just 14 years. Sad but true that children at this early age are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed between 14 – 44 years old. See the symptoms discussed below.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is the least diagnosed type of diabetes. Only 5% of the all the diabetics are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This chronic disease is usually diagnosed in children and young persons. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system of the person diagnosed, mistakenly destroys the beta cells. Beta cells are used in making the insulin.

In simple words, the body of type one diabetic is unable to produce insulin properly. They need to inject right amount of insulin according to their meal plans.


Children are mostly diagnosed with t1 diabetes and following are some of these symptoms. If your child is experiencing these, we highly advise you to take him to a related doctor.

  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased Thirst
  • Increased urination

You must be aware of the 4T’s that are Toilet, Thirst, Thin and Tired. Toilet means if your child is going bathroom frequently. Thin means your child is losing weight unexpectedly especially if diet is good. Tired means your child is feeling more tired than normal child does. Thirst means if your child is feeling thirst despite of drinking too much water or fluids.

Why children and youngsters are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?

Many parents around the world are so afraid about their children especially if they themselves are type 1 diabetic. There are certain reasons for children being diagnosed with type 1 diabetics.

1. Race/Ethnicity

Following are the statistics that clearly exhibit the impact of race and ethnicity on diagnosis diabetes. This is the percentage of adults diagnosed with diabetes.

Race/EthnicityPercentage of Adults
Non-Hispanic Whites7.4
Asian Americans8.0
Non-Hispanic Blacks12.7
American Indians15.1
Breakdown among Asian Americans
Asian Indians8.5
Breakdown among Hispanic’s
Central and South Americans8.5
Mexican Americans13.8
Puerto Ricans12.0

2. Family History

Family history holds much of importance when it comes to diabetes. The chances of type 1 diagnosis in children are much higher if one of their parent have it. If both parents have it, the chances are so high that children will have type one diabetes before the age of 20.

3. Genes

Genes play its part as well. Our body have any different versions of thousands of genes. HLA genes is known as the top most reason behind type 1 diabetes transfer from parents to children. If parents are diabetic and HLA genes is inherited by you, the chances are high because HLA destroys your beta cells.

4. Environment

Apparently, we cannot imagine that environment also plays important role but the stats prove us wrong. Researches and surveys shows that people living in northern countries or northern areas have higher ratio of type 1 diabetes as compared to the people of southern areas. This belief became even stronger when stats revealed that in winters, more cases of type 1 diabetes are reported.

5. Food

Eating habits are also responsible for the development of type 1 diabetes overtime. Some people think and misguide others that eating more sugar can cause diabetes. The fact it is that I was also one of those people but my cousin who is a doctor, corrected me. The food that can cause harm to your immune system may result in destroying of beta cells inside the pancreas used to make insulin. However, if you are diagnosed with diabetes and also Type 1, you will have to limit the sugar intake.

6. An injury

An injury to your pancreas or any other part of the body may cause disturbance in the immune system. Consequently, your body may not produce insulin properly.

Life Expectancy of an early diagnosed diabetic

As long as the blood sugar level is in control, the diabetes is not much dangerous. If a child of age 10 or below is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the risk of heart attack or coronary attack is 5 times higher than that of a person diagnosed with t1d at 26-30 years.

Results of 30 years study at the University of Pittsburg shows that the people who are born 1965 and are diagnosed with type one diabetes are expected to live 69 years. Whereas, an average person can live for 77 years (male) or 81 years (female) if born after 1965.

Women with type 1 diabetes diagnosed at early age have higher risk than men. Rachel Huxley research shows that women have 40% higher risk of premature deaths as compare to men.

There are macro-vascular and micro-vascular complications that a type 1 diabetic may face. Click here and know more about these complications and how dangerous they can be.

How life expectancy of type 1 diabetic can be increased?

Keeping it really short, follow below advises and you can prolong the length of your life if you are a type 1 diabetic.

  • Keep your blood sugar level in control to avoid complications
  • Eat healthy food recommended by dietitian
  • Do physical activity regularly to balance your blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  • Right amount of insulin must be injected and according to your meal plans
  • Avoid eating sugar to avoid increase in the blood sugar level

Note that higher blood pressure and higher cholesterol level results in poor blood circulation which may affect organs like kidneys, heart and eyes.

Ask more about Type 1 diabetics

We hope you got the answer of your question can you get type 1 diabetes at any age. If not, here is a brief summary of the post.

Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed at any age but the chances are reduced to less than 10% after 44 years of age. T1 diabetes is diagnosed in children and young persons. Several factors like genes, family history, race/ethnicity, food etc. are responsible for developing type 1 diabetes overtime. Women have higher risk of heart disease and heart attack than men. If a child is diagnosed at 10 or before 10 years, you need to take special care of his/her diet, insulin and activities. 4T’s are symptoms discussed earlier that you should keep observing in your child.

Ask any question about diabetics and our researchers and experts will try to help you out as much as they can. Share to aware. Search our blog for other knowledgeable posts.

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