"Over the past 27 years that I've lived with type 1 I have learned that the inter-personal relationship with my diabetes team is critically important. As an expert consumer I believe in co-management and self empowerment."
Previously Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a life-long condition but it doesn't have to be a life sentence. Technology, management techniques for the disease and research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes are all making progress. We're not there yet but there is hope for a cure.
How can JDRF help?
JDRF is dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications through the support of the best and most promising medical research.
You can stay up to date on the latest type 1 diabetes research and get connected to the type 1 diabetes community, with our monthly type 1 diabetes newsletter.
Remember, you are not alone - JDRF is here to help.
So what's new in type 1 diabetes treatment?
Insulin pumps are electronic devices similar to a pager. You wear them and they deliver your basal insulin 24 hours a day. Whenever you eat, the bolus button on the pump can be pushed to give you the right amount of insulin for that meal. Pumps contain a three-day supply of insulin and deliver it in very precise amounts.
Pumps can cost between $5000 and $8000. Some private health insurance funds will cover this cost. If you are under 18 years old, you may also be eligible for a subsidy under the Federal Government's new Insulin Pump Grant Program.
Continuous Glucose Monitors
Working along with an insulin pump, a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) displays your blood glucose readings every five minutes. This can help you understand more clearly exactly how your diet, exercise, medication and lifestyle impact your glucose levels. You take control. CGM devices can also warn you of any upcoming blood glucose lows or highs. Currently, CGMs are not covered by Medicare or private health insurance.
Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE)
DAFNE helps you manage your diabetes by working out how much insulin you'll need for what you want to eat.
Currently, many people inject themselves three to five times a day and then match their food intake to their insulin intake.
The difference with DAFNE is that you choose how much insulin you'll take on a day-to-day and meal-to-meal basis. This means you can eat what you like, when you like. For more information on DAFNE training, visit the DAFNE website.
Type 1 Diabetes Complications - the facts
This is the part that most of us don't like thinking about - possible type 1 diabetes complications.
Type 1 diabetes complications are associated with having higher than normal blood glucose levels over a long period of time. This can cause damage to the small blood vessels and nerves, leading to potential problems in the eyes, kidneys, heart, nerves and feet.
Read more about type 1 diabetes complications.
Look after yourself by having the following regular health check ups:
- HbA1c - every 3 months
- Blood pressure - every doctor's visit
- Cholesterol - every year
- Eyes - every one to two years
- Feet - every year
- Kidneys - every year
- Teeth and gums - regularly
Medicare will cover the costs of five visits a year to allied health professionals (like dieticians and podiatrists).
Our e-Newsletter, Research Roundup, will keep you in touch with research progress and breakthroughs in the search to prevent or reduce the complications associated with diabetes.
Talking it over
Type 1 diabetes can sometimes seem like a full-time job! It can be incredibly hard and frustrating - especially when your results are not as great as you'd hoped. Because of this, many people experience ‘diabetes burnout'. They try to ignore the fact they have type 1 diabetes.
Depression is also common in people with diabetes. A 2008 JDRF survey found that over 25% of respondents had been clinically diagnosed with depression or anxiety.
It's important to know the signs of these conditions, and to realise that you're not alone.
If you need to talk anything over, don't hesitate to contact:
Medicare also provide a $75 rebate per visit if you are referred to a registered clinical psychologist by your doctor.
Research and Clinical trials
JDRF funds about 35% of the world's type 1 diabetes research, contributing an estimated US$170 million in the 2007/08 financial year.
We work with scientists and people affected by type 1 diabetes to fund the best and most promising projects within five complementary research pathways that have been identified as having the potential to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.
Some JDRF research projects are currently advancing to clinical trial phase. If you are interested in participating in JDRF-funded clinical trials there are a number currently underway right here in Australia.
- Australian Psychological Association
- Diabetes in Focus
- Caring for Diabetes in Children and Adolescents: A parents manual
- Diabetes Counselling Online
- Beyond Blue
- Diabetes Australia
- JDRF International
- Reality Check
Insulin is not a cure - only a treatment!
To help JDRF find a cure for type 1 diabetes, you can donate to type 1 diabetes online. No matter how large or small, your gift will help JDRF continue to move research from the laboratory through to a clinical reality for the 122,300 Australians currently living with type 1 diabetes.