The Cause

About type 1 diabetes

More than 120,000 Australians and their families are facing the daily burden of living with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

T1D is caused by the immune system mistakenly turning on itself, destroying cells within the pancreas that produce insulin. Without insulin, the body literally starves as it cannot process food.

There is no way to prevent T1D, and currently no cure. People can be diagnosed with the disease at any age, though diagnosis is most common in children.

People with T1D must:

  • Receive a constant supply of insulin to stay alive by several needles daily, or through infusion from a pump
  • Endure painful finger pricks around 6-8 times a day to help control their blood glucose levels to avoid dangerous hypoglycaemiac (low blood sugar) hyperglycaemiac (high blood sugar) events.
  • Do the best they can with blood glucose management to lower the risk of complications.

Download this fact sheet to find out more about type 1 diabetes or go to the JDRF website.

JDRF Fact Sheet: Type 1 DiabetesJDRF website


JDRF is the leading global organisation funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications.

We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D.

JDRF supported 44 research projects in Australia alone last year, each a potential pathway to our vision of a world without type 1 diabetes.

We want to keep people with T1D healthy and safe today until we reach our ultimate goal of a cure and universal prevention of T1D. With our research strategy and your support, we will create a world without type 1 diabetes.

Learn more about JDRF on our website.