Here's some advice to help you get started

A type 1 diagnosis can feel scary and overwhelming. If you or someone close to you was recently diagnosed with type 1, you might be asking yourself: Could we have prevented this? Did we do something wrong? How will we live our lives with these changes?

Pause. Take a deep breath. And remember that you are not alone.

Type 1 diabetes is not your fault. It’s not something you could have prevented. But it is something you can manage. And although change can be stressful, don’t forget that families just like yours have been in your shoes and walked this path before. Like you, they faced the whirlwind of diagnosis, worried about what it meant, and then forged ahead—one step at a time. Remind yourself that kids with type 1 diabetes can still be kids. Your family can still enjoy life to the fullest.

Just focus on what you need to know right now, and you can get through this.

Be patient with yourself. Start with the basics and the rest will come with time. The type 1 community is a strong network where we can all learn from each others’ experiences and, together, pave the way for those who will follow.

Select Safety Information

Do not take Humalog if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or if you are allergic to insulin lispro or any of the ingredients in these insulins.

My basics right now

These first few weeks after diagnosis can feel like things are happening too fast. So don’t try to take it all in at the same time. Here’s what you need to know right now:

  • Support: Your diabetes healthcare team is there to help you succeed.

    Keep their phone numbers handy and jot down all your questions, so you can discuss them during your next phone call or visit.

  • Medication: Together with your healthcare team, you can find the right medication for you. If your healthcare team recommended using Humalog® KwikPen®, we’ve got a step-by-step video and instructions.

  • Connect: Many people find it helpful to share and connect with other families managing type 1 diabetes and community organizations. They have programs and initiatives that are designed with your unique needs in mind. Get started by exploring our valuable resources for families living with type 1 diabetes.

Quick tip

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Healthy eating & fitness

Part of managing diabetes is eating healthy and staying physically active. Work with your healthcare team on ways to fit nutrition and fitness into your family’s life as you learn to manage type 1 diabetes.

Carb counting

Carbohydrates (carbs) have the most immediate effect on blood sugar (glucose) levels and cause blood sugar to go up. Some people use a system of “carb counting” to help control blood sugar. Talk with a healthcare provider about how to adjust insulin doses for meals with different amounts of carbohydrates.

Learn the basics about carb counting and diabetes. It may eventually become second nature, but at first you can simplify counting carbs for meals and snacks by using this interactive carbohydrate counter tool.

Fitness & Food

Check out these links for fitness tips and healthy recipes for type 1 families:

American Diabetes Association JDRF

Also, learn about diabetes camps across the country with the Lilly Camp Care Package. At camp, kids with type 1 diabetes can stay active and enjoy the outdoors with other kids just like them.

My on-the-go checklist

Here’s a checklist with some of the things a person with type 1 diabetes might need while away from home:

  • Medical ID/bracelet
  • Supplies to check and track blood sugar (eg, lancets, strips, meter, logbook)
  • Insulin
  • Extra insulin delivery supplies (eg, syringes, pen, needles, alcohol pads)
  • Things to treat low blood sugar like glucose tablets, small, sugary, chewable candies (eg, jelly beans), or juice boxes
  • A treatment for severe low blood sugar
  • Emergency contact numbers, such as your mobile or work phone
  • Healthy snacks, like crackers, cheese, or raisins

Please discuss specific recommendations with your healthcare team.

Quick tip

Want everyday inspiration for families just like yours? Check out for digital versions of our popular books for kids and tweens with type 1 diabetes, advice and inspiration from real moms and experts, carb-friendly recipes, videos featuring real families managing type 1 diabetes, and much more.

Going back to school with type 1 diabetes

One of the most important things you can do is set up a healthcare plan and an education plan for managing your child's type 1 diabetes while at school. These plans are for your child's immediate safety, long-term well-being, and optimal performance at school. Accommodations for standardized tests should be listed in your child's 504 Plan or IEP (see below for more information about these).

  • Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP): This plan is put together by your child's healthcare provider with your help and includes information about your child's type 1 diabetes and their type 1 diabetes treatment plan for the school setting. It will list insulin doses, how to treat episodes of low blood sugar, and when to check blood sugar levels. The DMMP is what other plans, like the Section 504 Plan or IEP, are based on
  • Section 504 Plan: This plan outlines the things that the school personnel will do to make sure your child can have the same access and education as other children at school. This can help to give your child the best chance of succeeding and managing his or her type 1 diabetes during school-related activities. These things could include, for example, deciding on and training the school personnel who will help care for your child during the school day and on field trips; allowing classroom work and tests to be made up if they are missed due to diabetes-related care or sickness; and giving you access to nutrition information for school lunch menus
  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP): This plan is more specific and focused than the 504 Plan, and can be used in place of the 504 Plan. It outlines the student's academic current level of functioning, needs, support, and goals. This plan is required for students with disabilities who receive special education and related services under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
  • Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP): This plan addresses how diabetes medical management for an individual child will be implemented in the school
  • The school nurse should also coordinate an Emergency Care Plan for low blood sugar and high blood sugar

The content in this section of the website was written with the help of the American Diabetes Association.

Toolkits made for your family

We’re always looking for new ways to help families managing type 1 diabetes. Through our collaboration with the American Diabetes Association, get the Everyday Wisdom Kit, a free, interactive toolkit for your family.

And through our collaboration with JDRF, you can also get the popular Bag of Hope that’s filled with diabetes education materials.

As you get to know the basics of diabetes and insulin, keep coming back to get more helpful information. Lilly has been supporting families managing type 1 diabetes in big and little ways since 1923. It’s our mission to help families like yours live life to the fullest.

Discover all our initiatives ▶

Watch the Lilly Diabetes Journey to Inspire

At Lilly Diabetes, our support goes beyond insulin and healthcare: we want to inspire new journeys together and continue to pave the way for those to come. Find out about all our helpful programs and initiatives for families managing type 1 diabetes in a short video.