Tag Archives: Type 1 Diabetes

World Diabetes Day

It’s world diabetes day, when we hope people will take note of diabetes and try and learn a little about it.

Back at the turn of the 20th century doctors knew that there was diabetes, but they had not worked out there were more than one kind. The starvation diet was used as a cure all – and it certainly did help lots of very over weight diabetics at the time. Children and thin adults tended to just die.

The starvation diet consisted of black coffee and whiskey or boulon and then vegetables were gradually introduced until the patient was sent home on 2000 calories a day (not starvation obviously).

Although insulin began to be used in the early 1920s which helped prevent quite so many people dying. It wasn’t until 1935 that the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes was discovered by Sir Harold Percival, who published his findings in The Lancet in 1936. Type 1 was thought to be mainly in children and youngsters and was nick named “juvenile diabetes”.

These days 10% of diabetics are type 1 and must use insulin to regulate their body sugars and stay alive. The other 90% have type 2, which sometimes gets so difficult to manage that the person will become insulin dependant.

St Anthony of Padua who died of his diabetes is a patron saint for Diabetics. I have read that  st. Josemaria Escriva is another saint for diabetics.

There’s a lot of difficulties for people with type 1, trying to stay on top of their insulin and glucose and keep those nasty keytones at bay. Spare a thought and a prayer for all diabetics today.

Saints Anthony and Josemaria ora pro nobis

 

 

Fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases; where do they come from?

While many doctors and researchers say that fibro has been around since Job talked of his aching sinews and that diabetes went undiagnosed even as St Anthony of Padua died of it (probably type 2) and that ancient medics like Galen talked of sweet tasting urine (not a modern way of diagnosing thank heaven!) it seems that in modern times these illnesses have reached huge proportions.  Why is this?

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Nordisk has pulled out of Greece. Hope it doesn’t do that to the UK!

Say a prayer for the diabetics of Greece facing what must be a pretty frightening prospect that Nordisk is pulling out of their health system.

If our own broke country follows Greece and our NHS finds it can’t be bothered to sack people with clipboards and stop so much unnecessary stuff (like abortions) then we might face the same problem. I would be very very scared if Josh couldn’t access his insulin. (He would be scared too.)

I pray that when the cuts come to our NHS it will be where cuts are needed and not to life saving drugs like insulin.

UPDATE Josh tells me Nordisk made a 21% profit last year globally. He learned this off his diabetes forum. Now if they are that financially healthly it seems to me they could try something better than they are offering Greek diabetics right now. Perhaps they could say children and those who are still unstable could keep Novo Rapid and Glargene while the others change over to the older cheaper insulins and the freebie they are offering.

I can see they are trying to offer something to Greece and truly the Greek government and their fiscal irresponsibility are to blame; same as here in the UK; bit the Govt wont suffer over this-people with diabetes will.

Thyroid tests

It was Thyroid Awreness Month last month.

Iona is in the process of having tests for her thyroid function. She has had a couple of blood tests for TSH and on Thursday we went to the hospital for her to have an ultrasound scan of her thyroid. The Children’s is a good hospital (although I do get a bit fed up of the amount of time I seem to spend there!) They were very thourough. At the end of the scan instead of the usual blank faced “The doctor will let you know,” approach we have all come to know and hate, they were up front about what the scan had shown. She has some blood flow problems around the thyroid and some lumps and bumps on it. The radiographer asked another radiographer to double check because he said he was used to smaller children’s thyoids and wondered if he was accurate in what he’d seen.

Anyway, they will send the results to the paediatrician and he will look at them alongside the blood results and hopefully we’ll get some info on what happens next soon.

My guess is Iona will be referred to an adult services endochronologist- at least I hope so as she should have further follow up.

Thyroid problems are more common in families with autoimmune disease and type 1 diabetes is closely associated with thyroid diseases.

We’ll see how ti goes.

World Diabetes Awareness Day

P1010029 It’s World Diabetes Day today. aboutworlddiabetesdaylogo

Here is Josh with his t-shirt, blood glucose monitor reading a surprisingly healthy 7.2!

He has his NovoRapid pen full of lovely insulin.

There is a lot of misunderstanding around diabetes. So I thought I would answer some questions and try and correct some of those misunderstandings.

Josh has Type 1 Diabetes otherwise known as Juvenile or childhood diabetes.  You do not need to be a child to be diagnosed however, Type 1 can start up any time before the age of 35 and in rare cases even later. It is an auto-immune disease and is NOT at all linked with what the person ate.

Type 1 is controlled by injecting insulin and counting carb intake. However in the early months, even up to a year, getting blood sugars under control can be extremely difficult. Josh has been diagnosed 7 months (5th May09) and has nowhere near got regular healthy blood sugars. We are still messing around trying to work out just how much insulin fits his carb intake. It seems to vary by the day.

The symptoms are thirst, weeing a lot, hunger, dry mouth, tiredness, and for a lot of pre-diagnosed type 1 people there is depression and anxiety.

It is apparently more common to be diagnosed in the Winter and Spring.

Once diagnosed the amount of insulin required will vary from patient to patient and in Josh’s case from injection to injection.

He tests his blood glucose about 4 to 8 times a day or more if required depending on activities. From the glucose levels he can work out how many units of Novo Rapid the short acting insulin to inject. He decides this based on food intake and activity-and at the moment this is a hit’n’miss game.

At night he injects a long acting insulin Glargine to get him through to breakfast. He has pens for this which come ready loaded and he dials up the units he requires.

He has to carry glucose tablets and a bottle of sugar loaded Fanta around at all times.

There is no real understanding yet on what triggers type 1 but there is a view there may be a virus and it does have a genetic factor. I have read that siblings of someone with t1d have a 1 in 10 chance of being diagnosed.

The Story of Josh…so far

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Josh likes using heavy duty tools so he had great fun with the chain saw and now we have lots of lovely chunks of wood for the winter. His dad never got a look in :)

We went off to the hospital together yesterday to meet with the dietician. Normally Josh goes off on his own for appts but this one was all about carb counting so I went along too as I need to have some understanding of it as I cook most of the meals here.

His sugars have been climbing recently so we were wondering if the small window of pancreatic activity was coming to an end. We were told when he was first starting insulin that often the pancreas kicks back in and those poor old tired beta cells make one last effort to make insulin themselves before finally giving up the ghost. This can lead to a lot of hypos as Josh soon discovered. Now his sugars are climbing he finds spending some solid time with a chain saw helps bring them down again. Chain saw therapy. Umm.

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Family Life. Diabetes, rain, the moon and a nice cup of tea.

Yesterday Josh went off to a conference, entering the sub-culture of diabetes. He met a couple of fellow Type 1s there but most people had type 2 apparently. It was an interesting day for him where he met with other type 1 diabetics and learned about the post code lottery for NHS provision. My type 2 people couldn’t get the strips they needed for blood testing and other people couldn’t get clinic appointments when things went wrong. Josh is fortunate in that after a few hiccups (mainly with a dopey pharmacist) he is getting all his equipment and seeing clinic staff as and when he needs to.

He wants to get involved in some of the research into type 1 which is still proving to be a bit of a mystery as to its cause.

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Yesterday the biggies took the littlies out to the park for an hour. They grabbed the moment when the sun appeared from behind the clouds and set off. By the time they reached the park they needed to take shelter under the slide. After adventures in wetness and going to buy gingerbread men from the local shop they headed home just in time for a full out thunder storm. So what does a mum do when six soggy people arrive on her doorstep?

Strip the little ones and get them towel dried -wrap them in dressing gowns and make a huge jug of hot chocolate and a cuppa for Josh. (or Duppadee as Heleyna calls it). Now, that’s better.

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