Hobart mum Deb Ludeke was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes in 1984 and has seen massive changes in the management of the condition. After many years relying on manual insulin injections, Deb now uses a Medtronic insulin pump and Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) technology to monitor and adjust her blood glucose levels. Deb now has a level of freedom that she was unable to enjoy whilst having to inject insulin, and has been such an outspoken positive role model for the technology that Medtronic made her their ambassador!
As Deb became more involved with Type One Diabetes fundraising through her previous endeavour, Kms4Kids, she saw that much of the focus from those fundraising was centred on the negative aspects of the condition. Deb wanted to promote a more positive focus – showing what people can achieve with the correct management and this exciting technology, rather than reinforcing things they can’t or shouldn’t do.
Insulin pump therapy and CGM allows people to monitor their blood glucose levels more accurately than finger prick tests, and deliver insulin to the body more efficiently than manual injections. The freedom that this has created for Deb has seen her compete in many fun – runs, marathons, and even a crazy fundraising event where she ran from Launceston to Hobart! This would be incredibly difficult for a person with Type One Diabetes to manage using manual injections, and Deb’s got no plans for slowing down any time soon.
The everyday risks associated with Type One Diabetes can be lowered by using these technologies – lows and highs are able to be detected much sooner, allowing the user to correct them more efficiently. The long term secondary risks of the condition can also be reduced through insulin pump therapy and CGM.
The fear felt by patients and their families when being given a diagnosis of Type One Diabetes is justified – it’s a serious condition that needs to be managed carefully. But with the advent of continually improving technology there’s exciting times ahead for those with Type One Diabetes, and PACED wants to help by enabling people to access CGM and insulin pump therapy and by providing a more positive focus for Type One Diabetes education.
About Type One Diabetes
Type One Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed and therefore can no longer produce insulin. Insulin is needed by the body to transport glucose from the blood into the cells for energy. Reduced or no insulin production causes the glucose levels in the blood to rise dramatically. People who develop type one diabetes will usually seek medical advice quickly as they can become seriously ill from the onset of the condition.
Nothing the person (or patient) did or did not do could have prevented the onset of Type One Diabetes. No amount of healthy eating or exercise can stop the unknown trigger that causes the body to mistakenly attack and destroy the insulin producing cells within the pancreas.
Type One Diabetes is NOT caused by lifestyle factors and cannot be prevented. No amount of healthy eating, exercise or carefully concocted herbal remedy will ever eliminate the need for insulin ,Type One Diabetes accounts for 10 -15% of all cases of diagnosed diabetes.
Symptoms are often sudden and can be life threatening. They can include: extreme thirst, frequent urination, sudden unexplained weight loss, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, constant hunger abdominal pain, and unconsciousness.
Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia; increasing at a faster rate than other chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. All types of diabetes are increasing in prevalence, with Type One Diabetes accounting for 10% of all diabetes and is increasing.