World Diabetes Day 2018

Today is World Diabetes Day

Mr M was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just after his 30th birthday.  It was quite a scary time  – he was thirsty all the time, always going to the toilet and losing weight

Because the precise causes of type 1 diabetes are not known and there is a much greater awareness of type 2 diabetes, many myths about type 1 diabetes are in circulation. There has been a lot of research into what causes type 1 diabetes, but so far there are no clear answers.

Type 1 is an autoimmune condition. An autoimmune condition is when your immune system, which normally keeps your body safe against disease, attacks itself instead. Other examples of autoimmune conditions include multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys your insulin-producing beta cells.

Quick facts about diabetes

  • The number of people with diabetes in the world has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.
  • Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
  • Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
  • Approximately 400,000 people are currently living with type 1 diabetes in the UK, with over 29,000 of them children
  • Incidence is increasing by about four per cent each year, particularly in children under five, with a five percent increase each year in this age group over the last 20 years
  • Type 1 diabetes affects 96 per cent of all children with diabetes in England and Wales
  • Around 85 per cent of people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have no family history of the condition
  • Although it used to be referred to as ‘juvenile diabetes’, around half of newly diagnosed cases are in people over the age of 18
  • The UK has one of the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in the world, for reasons that are currently unknown
  • A person with type 1 diabetes will have around 65,000 injections and measure their blood glucose over 80,000 times in their lifetime

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2018 is The Family and Diabetes.

The aim is to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected, as well as promoting the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes.  It is so important it is to have support around you when you’re living with diabetes. Whether that’s a family member, a friend or even your neighbour down the road.

Mr M’s diagnosis turned both our worlds upside down.  Mr M had to start giving himself injections 4 times a day.  We had to learn about how to manage his blood sugars and what amount of insulin he needed to take with each meal.

Even now, 6 years later, it is still a huge part of our life.  He is currently waiting to go on a special course as he has been struggling with his insulin which means his blood sugars have been high.  He has slight changes in his eyes and if it is left he could go blind or have problems with his circulation.

Another problem with high blood sugars is Diabetic Ketoacidosis which is a life threatening condition

We are trying to teach Mini M about what to do if daddy isn’t well.  He is really inquisitive and asks why daddy has to put the blue thing in his tummy (that’s the colour of his insulin pen which is quick acting for meal times)

The problem with him having high blood sugars is that when he is more normal range he is starting to get hypoglycemic symptoms (this is when your blood sugar is too low).  These included feeling dizzy, sweating & palpitations.  He can lose consciousness if they get too low, which is obviously an emergency situation.

Mini M understands about ambulances and the hospital and we have told him if daddy is ever asleep and he can’t wake him up he needs to phone for an ambulance.  Hopefully that will never happen

As a family we will always be there to support Mr M, today & every day


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