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What is type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes isn’t caused by poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle. In fact it is an auto-immune condition where for some reason the body destroys its own insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin is crucial to life and moves glucose from food to the cells in your body so it can function. Without insulin the glucose levels in your blood rise and over time can have a devastating effect on nerve endings, blood vessels and the organs they supply.
What does it mean for Maisie?
For Maisie after diagnosis she started off by having 4 injections of insulin a day and many have a similar regime.
Now instead of the injections Maisie has an insulin pump which is attached to her 24 hours a day. It is annoying for her but she prefers the one cannula change she needs every 2/3 days to the 4 daily injections.
Maisie’s blood glucose levels need to be monitored very closely too. Too high and she will quickly feel very unwell and too low can be very dangerous indeed. This is monitored by using a finger pricker which draws blood and a tester which quickly reads the glucose level. This would ordinarily be tested at least 8 times a day, sometimes she has had as many as 21 in a 24 hour period.
We now also have a Continuous Glucose monitor to give us additional analysis of the glucose in Maisie’s body. This works with a sensor that is attached to Maisie and means we can use the finger pricker a lot less. Maisie does not like the sensor as it inserted with a needle once a week.
Maisie will soon start to manage her own diabetes which will provide lots of challenges that a young girl shouldn’t have to face so we continually hope that a cure will be found. As things stand Maisie will have to cope with this for the rest of her life.