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Type 1 Diabetes

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition, where the immune system damages the pancreas resulting in an inability to produce the hormone insulin. Insulin normally lowers blood glucose levels, and therefore in type 1 diabetes blood glucose levels become very high. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in children and adolescents but can occur at any age. Type 1 diabetes can present with thirst, excessive urination, weight loss and blurred vision.

How is type 1 diabetes managed?

Type 1 diabetes is managed with a multidisciplinary team, including an Endocrinologist (Diabetes Specialist), Diabetes Educator and Dietitian. The team will educate the person with diabetes to help them manage their condition over life. Treatment is aimed to lower blood glucose levels to a normal range, and this is done by administering insulin. Insulin can be given by injection or via an insulin pump. Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels is needed, and this can be done via finger prick or using other diabetes technologies.

What technologies are available to help treat type 1 diabetes?

There have been a number of advances in diabetes management. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) or flash glucose monitoring (FGM) are devices that are worn on the skin and continually measure blood glucose over time. These can help lower blood glucose, and improve quality of life. Newer ‘smart’ insulin pumps (hybrid closed loop insulin pumps) will ‘talk’ to CGM and can adjust insulin doses to keep glucose levels at a normal range. All of the health practitioners at Northern Sydney Endocrine Centre are experienced in the use of Diabetes Technologies.

The Northern Sydney Endocrine Centre is one of the few specialist diabetes centres in Australia with a DCA Analyzer on site to quickly, painlessly and efficiently check recent trends in blood glucose control.

Ongoing treatment

Living with type 1 diabetes can be stressful and it is important to build a good therapeutic relationship with the health professionals involved. All of the health practitioners at Northern Sydney Endocrine Centre can provide important education and support to assist with dietary management (such as carbohydrate counting and weight management), managing glucose levels around exercise, and during important life-stages such as pre-pregnancy planning and during pregnancy.