It’s World Diabetes Day today.
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.