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Together Through Highs and Lows

Supporting T1D Care in Relationships

Valentine’s Day, the day of love, presents an ideal occasion to delve into the intricacies of relationships, particularly for couples navigating the challenges of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). From understanding the condition and recognizing signs of hypo/hyperglycemia, to open communication and offering balanced support, we explore strategies to strengthen partnerships. 

Understanding Type 1 Diabetes

The T1D journey requires careful management, and an understanding of how various factors can affect blood sugar levels. It’s a condition that demands continuous learning and adaptation. 

For partners, understanding T1D is about more than just knowing the mechanics of blood sugar management. It’s about recognizing the emotional and psychological impact of the disease, the stress of constant vigilance, and the fears that come with potential long-term complications, all while showing empathy, patience, and support. 

Support from a partner can significantly enhance the quality of life for someone with T1D, making the disease’s management less isolating. It involves understanding the balance between offering help and respecting the independence of your loved one, recognizing when to step in and when to step back. 

Recognizing the Signs of Hypo/Hyperglycemia

A critical aspect of supporting a partner with Type 1 Diabetes is learning to recognize the signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). These conditions can arise quickly and require immediate attention to prevent serious health complications. Understanding these signs and knowing how to respond is crucial in managing T1D effectively as a team. 

Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels drop below the normal range. It can happen swiftly and without much warning, making it vital for both partners to recognize its symptoms early. Signs of hypoglycemia include:

  • Shakiness or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Sudden mood changes, such as irritability
  • Hunger
  • Headache
  • Paleness
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • In severe cases, loss of consciousness.

If you notice these symptoms in your partner, it’s essential to act quickly by offering them a fast-acting source of glucose, such as fruit juice, candy, or glucose tablets, and then monitoring their symptoms.

Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycemia, on the other hand, develops when blood sugar levels are too high. It can result from various factors, including insufficient insulin dosage, stress, or illness. Symptoms of hyperglycemia tend to develop more gradually and can include:

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • In long-term cases, weight loss and skin infections.

Recognizing these signs early is key to preventing the situation from worsening. Effective communication about how your partner is feeling can play a critical role in managing these conditions. Encourage an open dialogue about symptoms and feelings, and discuss in advance how you can best support them during these times. 

Having a plan in place for managing both can make these situations less stressful for both partners. This includes knowing where glucose supplies are kept and when to seek medical help. 

Communication is Key

In the journey of managing Type 1 Diabetes within a relationship, open and honest communication stands as the cornerstone of support and understanding. The complexities of T1D can bring about situations that are both physically and emotionally taxing. Navigating these challenges smoothly requires a level of communication that is clear, compassionate, and consistent. 

Expressing Needs and Concerns: Vital for sharing the T1D experience with partners, open discussions about daily challenges and health anxieties can strengthen relationships and enhance mutual understanding.

Listening with Empathy: Active listening, giving your full attention, and empathizing create a supportive environment for your partner with T1D, sometimes the best support is simply listening.

Navigating Daily Diabetes Management Together: Joint discussions on meal planning, exercise schedules, and medication management transform T1D care into a shared journey and make diabetes management a team effort.

Setting Boundaries and Expectations: Discussing each partner’s role in diabetes management and when to offer help or step back will prevent frustration later.

Using Positive Communication Techniques: Employing “I” statements can help avoid blame, for example, saying “I feel worried when I don’t know how your blood sugar is doing” is more constructive than saying “You never tell me about your blood sugar levels.”

Continuous Learning and Growth: Embracing communication as a dynamic, evolving process allows couples to adapt and refine their T1D care and support strategies through regular, thoughtful check-ins.

Open communication is not just about talking through the challenges of T1D; it’s about sharing victories, expressing gratitude, and celebrating milestones together. By prioritizing communication, couples can navigate the complexities of T1D with greater ease, understanding, and love. 

Effective communication strengthens relationships and enhances diabetes management.

Support Without Smothering

Striking the right balance between offering support and allowing independence can be one of the most nuanced aspects of being in a relationship with someone who has Type 1 Diabetes. It’s about being supportive without being overbearing. This delicate balance requires understanding, respect, and communication.

Understanding the Need for Autonomy: Acknowledging your partner’s expertise in their diabetes management respects their autonomy, being there to assist, not take over.

Communicating How to Help: Openly discussing and respecting your partners’ choices for support ensures your efforts to help are truly beneficial.

Being Present Without Being Pervasive: Offering support when needed while respecting personal space strengthens your relationship without compromising your partner’s independence.

Educating Yourself: Gaining knowledge about T1D makes your support more effective and less intrusive.

Supporting Emotional Well-being: Being attentive to your partner’s emotional needs alongside their physical health creates a deeper, more supportive connection.

Setting Boundaries Together: Setting boundaries around diabetes management ensures both partners feel respected and maintain a healthy relationship overall.

Supporting a partner with T1D is about walking alongside them, offering a hand when needed, but always allowing them the space to lead their journey with diabetes.  

Participation in Diabetes Management

Active participation in the diabetes management of a loved one can significantly enhance their well-being and the quality of your relationship. However, this requires a thoughtful approach, respecting boundaries, and promoting empowerment. Here’s how you can contribute effectively to managing Type 1 Diabetes as a partner, without overshadowing the person living with the condition.

Learn About T1D Together: Jointly learning about T1D by attending medical appointments, and staying updated on the latest research, demonstrating understanding and commitment.

Understand the Daily Routine: Familiarize yourself with your partner’s daily diabetes care routine, including insulin schedules, blood sugar monitoring, and recognizing the signs of hypo/hyperglycemia.

Share Responsibilities: Discuss ways you can share responsibilities by dividing tasks like medication reminders, supply refills, and medical appointments.

Emotional Support and Motivation: Providing emotional support by listening, offering encouragement, and celebrating milestones.

Create a Supportive Environment: Make lifestyle adjustments that support diabetes management, creating a home environment that prioritizes health.

Respect Independence: Supporting without taking over by respecting your partner’s autonomy in their T1D management and encouraging their self-care efforts.

Open Communication: Keeping communication channels open about how your partner prefers to manage their diabetes and how you can be involved.

Celebrate the Wins: Celebrate the successes, no matter how small, and recognize achievements together.

Managing Stress and Anxiety

Living with Type 1 Diabetes inevitably brings its own set of stressors and anxieties, not just for the individual managing the condition but also for their partner. The constant vigilance required for blood sugar monitoring, insulin management, and the potential for health complications can weigh heavily on both parties. Managing this stress and anxiety is crucial for maintaining individual well-being and the relationship’s health. Here are some strategies to help couples navigate these challenges together. 

Recognize Stress Triggers: Identifying specific stress triggers related to T1D for both partners enables more targeted and effective stress management strategies.

Foster Open Communication: Enhancing your relationship and reducing isolation by creating a judgment-free space for sharing concerns and fears related to T1D.

Practice Stress-Relief Techniques: Strengthening your emotional bonds and supporting mental health by incorporating shared mindfulness and relaxation activities into daily routines.

Stay Active Together: Improving physical and mental well-being also serves as quality time to strengthen your relationship.

Seek Professional Support: Seeking support from a mental health professional who specializes in chronic conditions can be beneficial if dealing with stress and anxiety.

Join a Support Group: Connecting with others dealing with similar challenges can provide comfort and support, offering a sense of community and an opportunity to share experiences and strategies.

Prioritize Self-Care: Self-care is essential for managing stress and maintaining well-being, by encouraging each other to take time to recharge.

Celebrate Small Victories: Celebrating small victories along the way boosts morale and reduces anxiety.

Overcoming Challenges Together

Navigating the journey of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) as a couple comes with its unique set of challenges. From managing daily care routines to addressing the emotional toll of living with a chronic condition, these challenges can test the strength and resilience of any relationship. 

However, facing them together fosters a deeper understanding and connection and cultivates a partnership that is equipped to handle whatever comes its way. The key to overcoming these obstacles lies in teamwork, communication, and mutual support. Embracing each challenge as a team encourages growth and strengthens the bond between partners, transforming obstacles into opportunities for deeper connection and mutual support. 

In our quest to explore the dynamics of managing T1D within relationships, we’ve talked to numerous couples who navigate these waters every day. Their experiences have highlighted common challenges they face and the strategies they use to overcome them. 

Here are some questions answered by Jean and Alan, a couple who have been together for 45 years. Jean was diagnosed with T1D at 10 years old and they met when they were teenagers. 

How do you provide support during your partner’s challenging T1D moments without feeling overbearing?

Alan finds it challenging when Jean doesn’t always heed his advice and tries to be there for her when she needs him, but normally picks up any changes before they get too serious. Jean strives to minimize disruptions and always plans for highs and lows by keeping things organized and prepared. 

What are the most important things you’ve learned about T1D through your partner?

Jean does not take Alan for granted and trusts his judgment during low moments. Alan recognizes the significance of T1D management in their lives and sees it as part of their normal routine since meeting Jean. 

How do you balance the need for T1D management with maintaining a normal relationship routine?

Alan has never thought about T1D in their relationship; it’s just part of their lives, and Jean strives to minimize disruptions. Planning for everything and always being prepared. 

How do you communicate effectively about T1D-related needs and concerns?

Alan’s biggest concern is medication and checks in regularly that Jean has enough supplies. Jean is concerned about the challenges of legal issues regarding her healthcare, especially as they are not legally married. 

What challenges have you faced as a couple due to T1D, and how have you overcome them?

Jean is aware of the high costs associated with T1D, insurance issues, and Alan’s help with medical appointments. Jean’s vision impairment and Alan having no health insurance pose additional hurdles. Despite these challenges, they see their involvement in each other’s lives as quality time spent together.

Expert Perspective from Susan Guzman, PhD, Director of Clinical Education at the Behavioral Diabetes Institute

Susan Guzman shares invaluable perspectives on the challenges faced by couples managing T1D within their relationship. She emphasizes the common struggles such as balancing family routines, resolving conflicts related to T1D management, and coping with financial burdens. 

According to Susan, the cornerstone of navigating these challenges lies in open communication, empathy, and education. She points out the importance of avoiding assuming a caregiver role, emphasizing the desire for partnership instead. “It is really about communication,” she explains. “The caregiving role is not what we want, we want a partner. It may be more for some people and less for others. It is about good communication and finding that right balance which is different for everybody.” 

When asked for advice on maintaining a healthy relationship, Susan offers an important reminder: “Always come back to remembering you are on the same side.” She advocates for clear communication about needs, wants, and expectations, and encourages partners to ask for the help they need while offering support in return. 

What are the typical issues/challenges/fears these couples face?

  • Balancing family routines 
  • Resolving conflicts related to T1D management 
  • Coping with heightened emotions 
  • Addressing imbalances in responsibilities 
  • Managing the financial strain of T1D care 
  • Dealing with stress from hypoglycemia, including disruptions in sleep and alerts from Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs). 

How do individuals help their spouse without taking on a “caregiver” role? Susan recommends a focus on open communication regarding roles and responsibilities and avoid overstepping boundaries that could lead to assuming a caregiver role. 

This can be challenging if the spouse/partner with T1D is not managing their care effectively.  In these cases, Susan advises: 

  • Begin with empathy to understand the challenges they face 
  • Educate yourself on T1D management to offer informed support 
  • Ask your partner about their needs and concerns regarding their care. 

Last, Susan reminds couples to “Always prioritize your partnership, remembering you are on the same side and engage in honest conversations about your needs and aspirations within the relationship.” 

Other Ways to Help

Supporting diabetes research and education is a powerful way to contribute to the well-being of those living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) and to the broader quest for a cure. With advancements in medical research and educational resources, individuals with T1D can lead fuller, healthier lives. 

Donating to Research Organizations: Accelerating T1D research and moving closer to a cure with every donation to organizations like the Diabetes Research Connection.

Participating in Fundraising Events: Boosting research funding and T1D awareness through active participation in charity runs, auctions, and galas.

Volunteering Your Time: Contributing to diabetes care and awareness by volunteering skills and time to support the operations of diabetes-focused nonprofits.

Educating Yourself and Others: Becoming an informed T1D advocate by learning and sharing accurate diabetes information to combat stigma and inspire support.

Advocating for Better Policies: Shaping a brighter future for those living with T1D by advocating for policies that enhance research funding and healthcare access.

Your support can drive research forward and help educate the community about T1D. Contribute to the fight against T1D by donating, volunteering, or participating in events through  Diabetes Research Connection.

Empowering Change Together

As we reflect on the importance of love, support, and understanding in managing Type 1 Diabetes within relationships, especially during the heartfelt month of February, it’s clear that these elements are crucial for navigating the journey with T1D. 

Our exploration of strategies for effective communication, balanced support, and active participation in diabetes management highlights the profound impact of partnership and empathy. However, our efforts shouldn’t stop at personal or relational levels. The section “How to Help” emphasizes the powerful role we all can play in the broader fight against T1D. 

Supporting research initiatives and educational programs is essential for advancing our understanding of T1D, developing new treatments, and ultimately, finding a cure. Whether it’s through donations, participating in fundraising events, volunteering, or advocating for policy changes, each action contributes to a larger wave of support that can transform the lives of those living with T1D. By educating ourselves and others, we also help dismantle stigmas and spread awareness, fostering a more inclusive and supportive society. 

In closing, let’s remember that managing Type 1 Diabetes, both within relationships and in the wider community, requires a collective effort. Together, by offering support to our partners and contributing to diabetes research and education, we can make a significant difference. 

Join the Diabetes Research Connection community today. Support diabetes research and education to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by type 1 diabetes. 

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FUELING DISCOVERY: Our Next Round of Research Funding Has Begun!

The first round of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research funding has officially begun at Diabetes Research Connection (DRC).  We are excited to announce that our 2024 Request for Application (RFA) period is NOW OPEN! 

We sent out notifications to hundreds of research institutes and T1D scientists nationwide, encouraging all early-career investigators to submit their proposals for research grant funding.

We focus on innovation in our research investments, currently allocating more funding than ever. We aim to inspire fresh ideas and empower a new generation of diabetes investigators to explore uncharted territories in solving the complex diabetes puzzle. If they have an innovative idea, we are committed to assisting in securing the necessary funding for it!

Last year alone, DRC funded or committed to fund a total of 28 active and new grants all across the country.

We remain committed to our mission in our pursuit of eliminating diabetes, and your generous contributions empower us to continually progress towards that goal.

To champion the next group of dedicated minds working towards T1D cures, consider making a gift today. Simply click on “DONATE NOW” at the top right of this page. Your support makes a meaningful difference.

If you are a researcher and would like to submit your proposal, click HERE.

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DRC-funded study shows how AI can improve early detection of diabetic eye disease in T1D youth

Diabetic eye disease (DED) is a complication of diabetes that is the primary cause of blindness in US adults.  While its prevalence is lower in youth with diabetes, the risk increases with each year of diabetes duration.  Early detection (‘screening’) and treatment can frequently prevent progression. Yet only a percentage of diabetic youth undergo recommended screening exams, with even higher care gap rates in minority and lower socioeconomic communities.  This lack of early detection results in worse outcomes and a disproportionately higher prevalence of DED in underserved youth populations.

The development of diagnostic autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) systems for diagnosing DED can be a game-changer, by addressing and removing commonly reported barriers to screenings.

Through a DRC-funded research study, Dr. Risa Wolf, Director of the Pediatric Diabetes Program at Johns Hopkins University, showed that autonomous AI increases diabetic eye exam completion rates, closes the DED care gap in underserved youth populations, and improves the rate of crucial follow-up care and treatment management, potentially improving visual outcomes in this vulnerable population. The results of her DRC-funded research study were just published in Nature Communications and can be READ HERE.

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Managing Diabetes on a Budget

Cost-Effective Strategies for Healthy Living

Diabetes, a condition affecting millions worldwide, doesn’t just impact health; it also presents significant financial challenges. Understanding and managing the costs of diabetes is important, whether you have Type 1 or Type 2. In this post, we aim to provide practical and effective strategies to manage diabetes care without overstretching your budget.

At Diabetes Research Connection, we understand the complexities of living with diabetes. From the cost of blood glucose monitoring and insulin to everyday lifestyle adjustments, the financial burden can be overwhelming. However, with the right knowledge and tools, it is possible to control diabetes effectively and affordably.

Our goal is to offer insights into the true cost of diabetes, explore budget-friendly diabetes care options, and suggest lifestyle changes that can help manage this condition more economically. This post is designed to be a resource for those newly diagnosed with diabetes, as well as for those who have been living with it but are seeking more cost-effective ways to handle their healthcare needs.

As we delve into the world of diabetes management, remember that small changes can lead to significant savings and healthier living. So, let’s explore how you can manage your diabetes effectively on a budget, while still ensuring the best possible care for your health.

Understanding Diabetes and Its Financial Impact

Diabetes, a condition that affects the body’s ability to process blood glucose, can be broadly classified into two types: Type 1 and Type 2. While Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in childhood and involves the body’s inability to produce insulin, Type 2 diabetes usually develops later in life and is associated with the body’s inability to use insulin effectively. Despite these differences, both types require careful and continuous management, which often comes with significant costs.

The financial impact of diabetes is multifaceted. For individuals living with this condition, the cost of diabetes treatment extends beyond just purchasing insulin. It encompasses a range of expenses, from regular blood glucose monitoring and dietary management to potential hospital visits and treatment for diabetes-related complications. In the United States, the cost of diabetes care has been steadily rising, making it a significant concern for many patients and their families.

One of the critical aspects of understanding diabetes cost is acknowledging the long-term implications. The cost of diabetes per person isn’t just a one-time expense but a continuous financial commitment. It involves regular purchases of medical supplies like glucose test strips, medications, and, in some cases, more advanced technologies like insulin pumps. For those with Type 1 diabetes, these costs can be particularly high, given the need for lifelong insulin therapy.

However, the financial burden of diabetes isn’t just limited to direct medical expenses. It can also impact a person’s ability to work, leading to lost income, especially during periods of illness or hospitalization. This broader perspective on the costs associated with diabetes highlights the importance of effective financial planning and management for individuals with this condition.

As daunting as these expenses might seem, there are strategies and resources available to help manage them. By exploring insurance options, seeking financial assistance, and adopting cost-effective management strategies, individuals with diabetes can navigate these challenges more confidently.

As we continue to delve into the complexities of diabetes and its financial impact, your support becomes invaluable. By donating to DRC you can help us make a significant difference in advancing research and aiding individuals in their journey towards effective and affordable diabetes management.

Navigating the Costs of Diabetes Care

Managing the costs associated with diabetes care requires a strategic approach, particularly when it comes to navigating health insurance and seeking financial aid. This section will guide you through understanding your insurance coverage options and exploring financial support to manage diabetes expenses more effectively.

Understanding Health Insurance Coverage for Diabetes Care

Health insurance plays a pivotal role in managing the financial burden of diabetes. Coverage can vary significantly depending on the type of plan and the insurer. For those living with diabetes, it’s crucial to understand what your insurance covers, from routine blood glucose monitoring to insulin pumps and other diabetes management technologies. Private insurers, as well as public health programs like Medicare for those aged 65 and over, offer different levels of coverage for diabetes care.

It’s essential to review your policy details, particularly the coverage for prescription medications and diabetes-related medical supplies. If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, look closely at the specifics of your policy to ensure that your essential needs, like the cost of insulin and regular medical check-ups, are covered.

Exploring Financial Aid and Assistance Programs

For those who find their insurance coverage insufficient, various financial aid programs can help bridge the gap. Pharmaceutical companies often have assistance programs for medications, including insulin. Additionally, non-profit organizations and government assistance programs can offer support for diabetes care expenses.

It’s worth researching and applying for these programs, as they can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket costs for diabetes management. Keep in mind that eligibility criteria and the extent of aid can vary, so it’s important to explore all available options.

Maximizing Your Healthcare Budget

To manage diabetes treatment costs effectively, consider strategies like using generic medications, buying supplies in bulk, and exploring cost-sharing programs. Discuss with your healthcare provider about the most cost-effective treatment options that don’t compromise your health.

Moreover, preventive care is crucial in diabetes management. Regular check-ups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent costly complications in the long run. Investing time and effort in preventive measures can save money and improve overall health.

As we continue to explore cost-effective strategies for managing diabetes, remember that help is available. Diabetes Research Connection provides a platform for both funding diabetes research and offering resources for those living with diabetes. For more information and support, we encourage you to visit our website and explore the various resources.

Effective Budgeting Strategies for Diabetes Management

Managing diabetes on a budget requires not just medical knowledge, but also financial savvy. In this section, we’ll explore practical budgeting strategies that can help you handle the costs of diabetes care more efficiently without compromising on health.

Creating a Diabetes Budget

The first step in effective financial management is to create a budget specifically for your diabetes care. Start by listing all the expenses including the cost of insulin, blood glucose monitoring supplies, medications, and any regular medical appointments. Once you have a clear picture of your monthly expenses, you can begin to look for ways to manage these costs more effectively.

Prioritizing Diabetes Care Expenses

When it comes to managing your diabetes budget, it’s crucial to prioritize expenses. Necessary items such as insulin and blood glucose testing strips should be at the top of your list. Other items, like specialized diabetic foods or accessories, might be categorized as lower priority. This prioritization helps ensure that the most critical aspects of your care are always covered.

Cost-Saving Strategies

Generic Medications: Ask your healthcare provider about generic alternatives to brand-name medications, as they can offer significant savings.

Bulk Purchasing: Buying diabetes supplies in bulk can reduce costs in the long run. Look for bulk discounts on items like test strips and lancets.

Exploring Prescription Discount Programs: Many pharmacies and organizations offer prescription discount programs, which can help reduce the cost of diabetes medications and supplies.

Preventive Care: Investing in preventive care, such as regular check-ups and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regime, can help avoid costly complications and hospitalizations.

Seeking Community Resources: Local community centers and health clinics may offer resources or financial assistance for those with diabetes. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help.

Staying Informed and Proactive

Staying informed about new and more cost-effective diabetes management technologies and treatments is crucial. Sign up to our diabetes newsletter and consult with your healthcare provider about any emerging options that could be more budget-friendly.

As we explore effective budgeting strategies for diabetes management, your support can play a pivotal role. Donating to DRC will aid in our mission of providing practical and affordable diabetes care solutions. Your generosity helps empower those living with diabetes to manage their condition effectively, even on a tight budget. Join us in our commitment to improving diabetes care for everyone.

Lifestyle Changes  for Cost-Effective Diabetes Care

Adopting a healthier lifestyle can be a cost-effective way to manage diabetes. This section delves into practical lifestyle changes and natural approaches that complement medical treatments and help in controlling diabetes more economically.

Adopting a Healthy Diet

Diet plays a crucial role in managing diabetes. Opting for a balanced diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help regulate blood sugar levels. Planning meals and cooking at home not only gives you control over what you eat but can also be more budget-friendly than eating out or purchasing pre-packaged diabetic foods. Additionally, incorporating foods known for their blood sugar regulating properties, such as cinnamon and fenugreek, can be a natural and cost-effective complement to your diet.

Regular Physical Activity

Regular exercise is another cornerstone of diabetes management. It helps improve blood glucose control and can reduce the risk of heart disease and other complications. Simple activities like brisk walking, cycling, or even home-based exercises can be effective. The key is consistency. Regular physical activity can also reduce the need for medications over time, leading to long-term savings.

Stress Management Techniques

Stress can have a significant impact on blood glucose levels. Incorporating stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises into your daily routine can be beneficial. These practices not only help in managing diabetes but also improve overall well-being and can be performed at home at no extra cost.

Regular Monitoring and Self-Care

Self-monitoring of blood glucose levels is vital in diabetes management. While the cost of monitoring can add up, keeping a close eye on your blood sugar levels helps you make informed decisions about your diet, exercise, and medication, ultimately saving costs on medical complications. Regular self-care practices, such as proper foot care and oral hygiene, are essential to prevent complications and are cost-effective in the long run.

Building a Support System

Having a support system can significantly help in managing diabetes. Joining local or online diabetes support groups can provide emotional support, share cost-saving tips, and offer practical advice on living with diabetes. These communities can be a source of motivation and a wealth of information, all at little to no cost.

As you explore these lifestyle changes remember that they should complement, not replace, your prescribed diabetes management plan. More information can be empowering in making impactful changes in your daily care routines, fostering better health and financial well-being.

Seeking Community Support and Resources

Living with diabetes, especially on a budget, can be challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone. Seeking community support and utilizing available resources can provide both emotional and financial assistance. This section focuses on how tapping into community networks and resources can be an integral part of your diabetes management strategy.

Leveraging Community Resources

Many communities offer resources specifically for individuals living with diabetes. These can include educational workshops, free or low-cost clinics, and access to nutritionists or dietitians who specialize in diabetes care. Local health departments, community centers, and hospitals often have information on these programs. Taking advantage of these resources can provide valuable support without straining your budget.

Joining Diabetes Support Groups

Support groups for people living with diabetes can be incredibly beneficial. These groups offer a platform to share experiences, tips, and coping strategies. They can also be a source of emotional support, helping you feel less isolated in your journey. Many support groups are free to join and can be found online or through local hospitals and community centers.

Utilizing Online Forums and Platforms

The internet is a rich resource for finding support and information. Online forums and platforms allow you to connect with others living with diabetes across the globe. These online communities can be a great place to find advice, support, and tips for managing diabetes on a budget. Websites like Diabetes Research Connection offer a wealth of information and an opportunity to connect with a broader diabetes community.

Exploring Financial Assistance Programs

Numerous organizations offer financial assistance programs to help cover the costs associated with diabetes care. This can include help with the cost of medications, supplies, and even insurance premiums. Researching and applying to these programs can provide much-needed financial relief.

Participating in Research and Clinical Trials

Participation in research and clinical trials can be another way to access new treatments and support. Not only does this contribute to the advancement of diabetes care, but it can also provide access to resources and medical professionals who specialize in diabetes management. Diabetes Research Connection is an excellent place to start if you’re interested in participating in research.

Giving Back and Advocating

Lastly, consider giving back to the community by participating in advocacy efforts or volunteering. This can be a rewarding way to support others with diabetes and can also provide a sense of community and purpose. Donations to organizations like DRC also support vital research and resources for the diabetes community.

Remember, managing diabetes is not just a personal journey but a communal one. There is strength in numbers, and the support you need is often just a phone call or a click away. Diabetes Research Connection is a valuable ally in this journey, offering support, resources, and a platform to connect with others facing similar challenges.

Final Thoughts

As we come to the end of our exploration into “Managing Your Diabetes on a Budget” it’s important to reflect on the key insights shared. Living with diabetes, whether it’s Type 1 or Type 2, presents unique challenges, especially when it comes to managing the associated costs. However, with the right strategies, resources, and support, it is entirely possible to manage this condition effectively without compromising your financial stability.

We’ve delved into the financial implications of diabetes, the importance of understanding and navigating insurance and aid programs, and the value of budgeting specifically for diabetes care. We’ve also explored the significant impact of lifestyle changes and the benefits of seeking community support and resources. Each of these aspects plays a crucial role in not just managing the costs associated with diabetes but also in improving overall health and well-being.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Diabetes Research Connection is an invaluable resource with a community of individuals and professionals who understand the challenges of living with diabetes and are committed to advancing research for those affected by this condition.

We encourage you to stay informed, stay connected, and continue to explore. Together, we can make managing diabetes on a budget not just a necessity, but a sustainable part of a healthy lifestyle.

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Improved Diabetes Control

UNDERSTANDING TYPE 1 AND TYPE 2 DIABETES

UNDERSTANDING THE TWO MAJOR TYPES OF DIABETES: TYPE 1 VS TYPE 2

We often hear about diabetes, but do we understand this complex health condition? Specifically, do we comprehend the differences between type 1 vs type 2? They may share a name but they each have distinct characteristics, causes, symptoms, and management methods.

By having a clearer understanding of these two major types of diabetes, we can help those living with the disease, promote awareness, and understand the role that research plays.

In this post, we’ll shed light on type 1 vs type 2 diabetes. We will walk you through their symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis methods, and more. Furthermore, we will delve into current research developments and their implications for the future of diabetes treatment.

As we explore remember that your understanding and involvement are crucial. Enhance our collective efforts in diabetes research and education by contributing to Diabetes Research Connection. Your support enables groundbreaking studies and helps bring new treatments to light, benefiting those living with diabetes. Take a step towards change—visit our website to learn more and make a valuable contribution to this vital cause.

TYPE 1 DIABETES

Type 1, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is a form of diabetes where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.  This results in a severe deficiency of insulin, a hormone critical for allowing glucose to enter cells, providing them with the energy they need.

But what are the telltale signs that someone might have developed type 1 diabetes? The symptoms often occur suddenly and may include excessive thirst and urination, unexplained weight loss, constant hunger, vision changes, and fatigue. It is essential to seek medical advice if you or a loved one experiences these symptoms, as an early diagnosis can prevent severe complications.

So, who is at risk? Some risk factors for developing type 1 diabetes include having a family history of diabetes and certain genetic factors. Nevertheless, anyone can be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, regardless of lifestyle, fitness level, or body weight.

After being diagnosed patients are advised to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. They also have to manage their condition with insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump. The insulin pump is a device that delivers insulin continuously throughout the day, helping to keep blood glucose levels stable.

Unfortunately, if left unchecked or improperly managed, type 1 diabetes can lead to a life-threatening condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA occurs when your body begins to run out of insulin, causing harmful acids to build up in your body. Symptoms include frequent urination, excessive thirst, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness or fatigue, and shortness of breath.

Understanding type 1 diabetes is just the beginning. To further help those living with this condition, consider joining our efforts at DRC. Your involvement and contributions are vital in advancing research and providing resources for better management of type 1 diabetes. Let’s work together to make a positive impact. Visit our website to learn more and contribute today.

TYPE 2 DIABETES

Type 2, on the other hand, presents a different scenario. This form of diabetes typically develops in adulthood, although it has been increasingly seen in younger individuals in recent years, partially due to rising obesity rates. Unlike type 1, where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, in type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, but it’s unable to use it effectively. This is known as insulin resistance. Over time, the demand for insulin overpowers the pancreas’ ability to produce it, leading to an insulin deficiency.

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be subtle and may develop slowly over several years. They can be similar to those of type 1, such as increased thirst and urination, constant hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision. However, some people with type 2 may also experience slow healing of wounds and frequent infections.

The risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes are more diverse than for type 1. A family history of diabetes, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and certain ethnicities are all associated with a higher risk of developing type 2. Aging also increases the risk.

After being diagnosed with type 2, the management methods vary depending on the severity of the condition. Lifestyle changes, including a healthier diet, increased physical activity, and weight loss, are usually the first steps. Some people may also need medication to control their blood sugar levels or to deal with insulin resistance.

In talking about type 2 vs type 1, it’s important to note the differences not only in the causes and symptoms but also in the management methods. Understanding these differences allows us to adapt our strategies for prevention, treatment, and support for those living with diabetes. In the following section, we will lay out these differences side by side for a more direct comparison.

As we explore the complexities of type 2 diabetes, your support is crucial for ongoing research and education. By contributing to Diabetes Research Connection, you play an active role in enhancing understanding and improving care for those with type 2 diabetes. Every contribution counts in our journey towards better health outcomes. Join us by visiting our website and making a difference through your donation

TYPE 1 VS TYPE 2 DIABETES

In the realm of diabetes, it’s crucial to understand the differences between type 1 and type 2. While they share some similarities – like chronic conditions that affect how the body regulates blood glucose or blood sugar – they differ in causes, symptoms, management strategies, and risk factors.

Origins

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease, and it is still unclear why the immune system attacks its insulin-producing cells. Meanwhile, type 2 is primarily a lifestyle disease. However, genetics and family history also play a significant role in both types.

Onset

Type 1 diabetes can manifest at any age but is commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. In contrast, type 2 diabetes is more common in adults, although it’s increasingly diagnosed in younger individuals due to lifestyle changes.

Symptoms

Both types share several symptoms like frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, and blurred vision. However, the symptoms of type 1 tend to occur abruptly and be more severe, while type 2 symptoms can be more subtle and develop slowly over years.

Management

Type 1 diabetes requires regular insulin administration because the body doesn’t produce it. This insulin can be administered through injections or an insulin pump. On the flip side, type 2 diabetes is initially managed through lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes, exercise, and weight loss. However, as the disease progresses, medication or insulin may become necessary.

Risk Factors

Both types share a risk factor in the form of a family history of diabetes. But with type 1, certain genetic markers can indicate a higher risk. As for type 2, lifestyle choices significantly impact the risk.

With type 2 vs type 1, it’s clear that while they share a common name, they have different journeys. By understanding these differences, we can help with either condition and contribute to research toward improved treatments and a cure. But what does the future look like for diabetes research?

The differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes highlight the need for tailored research and strategies. Help us deepen our understanding and develop more effective treatments by supporting DRC. Your donation can help us bridge gaps in knowledge and care for both types of diabetes. Together, we can pave the way for a brighter future in diabetes management. Donate now on our website.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT: CURRENT RESEARCH AND ADVANCES IN DIABETES

While there are significant differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the shared goal among scientists, healthcare professionals, and community advocates is clear: to improve the quality of life for individuals with diabetes and, ultimately, to find a cure. Thanks to advancements in technology and dedicated research, strides are being made in our understanding and treatment of both types of diabetes.

Research

Research in type 1 diabetes is steadily progressing. A key focus is on developing an artificial pancreas, a device that can monitor and regulate blood glucose levels automatically, reducing the need for constant vigilance. Stem cell research is another exciting field, with the potential to create insulin-producing cells that could replace those destroyed by the immune system.

Meanwhile, research in type 2 diabetes has a significant emphasis on preventing the disease, given its strong ties to lifestyle factors. Understanding how diet, exercise, and other factors influence insulin resistance and the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels is a major research focus. There’s also promising work being done in the field of gene therapy to understand how genetic factors contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

But what ties both types of diabetes together is the hope for a future where diabetes can be cured or prevented. Ongoing research is not just about managing the condition but also about learning how we can stop the disease from developing in the first place.

Every discovery, every breakthrough, brings us one step closer to a world where diabetes no longer poses a threat to our health and well-being. To get there, we need continued support and resources for research and development. As a society, we can make a difference by supporting these research initiatives, raising awareness about diabetes, and promoting healthy lifestyle choices.

The path may be long, but with every stride, we’re getting closer to the finish line. Remember, understanding is the first step. From there, we take the journey together, supporting each other until we achieve our goal: a world without diabetes.

As we witness exciting developments in diabetes research, your support becomes even more crucial. Contribute to these groundbreaking efforts at Diabetes Research Connection. Your donation can fuel the next breakthrough in diabetes care and bring us closer to a cure. Be a part of this promising future by visiting our website and making a contribution.

MOVING FORWARD

Diabetes is a complex health condition with multiple facets. The differences between type 1 and type 2 are significant, and understanding these differences is crucial for anyone diagnosed with diabetes, their loved ones, healthcare professionals, and the public at large. Awareness and understanding foster empathy and encourage proactive action, leading to better management, improved treatments, and the promise of a future cure.

While there are challenges associated with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, advancements in medical research and technology provide hope. We are continually progressing towards a world where diabetes is a thing of the past.

By understanding these conditions better, we can support those who are managing them daily, contribute to essential research, and potentially prevent the onset in future generations.

In moving forward with diabetes management and research, your role is invaluable. Support Diabetes Research Connection to empower those living with diabetes and contribute to vital research. Your participation and donations drive progress and innovation in diabetes care. Take a proactive step today by visiting our website and joining our cause.

EMBRACING THE FUTURE OF DIABETES RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY

As we forge ahead, it’s crucial to stay hopeful and engaged in the quest to improve lives impacted by diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2. In this era of scientific discovery and technological advancement, we can contribute to a collective effort to not only manage but conquer diabetes.

Understanding the differences between diabetes type 1 and type 2 is a start, but it’s vital to convert this knowledge into action – through research, community participation, improved healthcare policies, and increased advocacy.

Embracing technology’s role in managing diabetes, like the insulin pump, artificial pancreas, and digital health applications, is also critical. Simultaneously, we must uphold the importance of lifestyle changes in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. Spreading awareness about these practices is key.

At the heart of it all is support. Every healthcare professional, patient, friend, family member, or just someone who wants to make a difference has a role. Each understanding gesture, fundraiser, research grant, and shared knowledge piece brings us closer to a diabetes-free world. Let’s face this future together, equipped with knowledge, understanding, and a shared vision for a healthier tomorrow. Together, we are stronger, and together, we can make a real difference in the battle against diabetes.

Thank you for taking the time to read about type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Let’s continue to learn, share, and take action, for ourselves and those around us. Together, we can make a significant difference. Donate now!

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42 Factors that affect BG

42 Factors That Affect Blood Glucose

42 Factors That Affect Blood Glucose

Welcome to the Diabetes Research Connection, your trusted platform for valuable insights on diabetes management. Here we explore the above, “42 Factors That Affect BG”. Understanding these factors is crucial for anyone diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, health care providers, family, and friends about how our bodies regulate blood sugar levels.

To continue our mission of providing groundbreaking diabetes research and support, we invite you to make a difference. Please consider donating to DRC today. Your contribution directly impacts the advancement of diabetes research and the lives of those affected. Visit our website to learn more.

FOOD

1. Carbohydrate Quantity: Understanding carbohydrate intake is important for those with diabetes. Consider portion control and learn to read food labels. Remember, balancing carbohydrates with other food groups can help to stabilize blood sugar levels.

2. Carbohydrate Type: Opt for complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These types are digested more slowly, preventing sudden blood sugar spikes.

3. Fat: Limit the amount of saturated and trans fats, which can lead to insulin resistance. Instead, choose heart-healthy unsaturated fats found in foods like avocados, nuts, and olive oil.

4. Protein: Include lean protein sources like chicken, fish, tofu, or lentils in your meals. Protein doesn’t raise blood sugar levels significantly and can help to keep you feeling satiated.

5. Caffeine: Monitor your body’s reaction to caffeine. Some people with diabetes find that caffeine causes blood sugar fluctuations. If that’s the case, reduce your caffeine intake.

6. Alcohol: If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation and never on an empty stomach, as it can cause hypoglycemia. Choose low-sugar mixers to avoid blood sugar spikes.

7. Meal Timing: Regular meal and snack times can prevent blood sugar swings. Avoid skipping meals or eating late at night.

8. Dehydration: Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can negatively impact blood sugar levels.

9. Personal Microbiome: A healthy gut microbiome is believed to influence blood sugar control. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and fermented foods into your diet.

Understanding these ‘Food’ factors is key in diabetes management, but there’s more we can do together. Support the Diabetes Research Connection. Your donation makes a real difference in advancing diabetes care and knowledge.

MEDICATION

10. Medication Dose: Always take the correct dosage of your medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Any changes can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.

11. Medication Timing: Take your medications at the same time every day. This consistency can greatly help in managing your blood sugar levels.

12. Medication Interactions: Be aware that certain medications can interact with your diabetes medication and impact your blood sugar levels. Always inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you’re taking.

13. Steroid Administration: Steroids can cause increased blood sugar levels. If prescribed a steroid, monitor your blood sugar closely and report any prolonged high readings to your healthcare provider.

14. Niacin (Vitamin B3): While niacin is important for overall health, it can raise blood sugar levels. Make sure you are getting an appropriate amount, and monitor your blood sugar if you take a supplement.

Managing medication is a vital part of diabetes control, but there’s more to explore and understand. Support DRC to deepen our collective knowledge and improve diabetes management strategies. Your contribution fuels groundbreaking research and aids in sharing essential information with the diabetes community. Join us in this important endeavor – visit our website to donate and help us make a lasting impact on diabetes.

ACTIVITY

15. Light Exercise: Regular light exercise, such as walking or gentle yoga, can help control blood sugar levels. Try to be active every day, but remember to monitor your blood sugar before, during, and after exercise.

16. High Intensity & Moderate Exercise: Exercise is key in diabetes management. High-intensity workouts like HIIT can improve insulin sensitivity, while moderate activities like brisk walking help regulate glucose levels. However, monitor your blood sugar before, during, and after exercise to avoid hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting a new fitness regimen.

17. Level of Fitness/Training: Your overall fitness level can impact how your body uses insulin. Regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and help manage blood sugar levels. However, intense training may cause short-term blood sugar spikes, so monitor your levels and adjust your food intake or insulin dosage as needed.

18. Time of Day: Blood sugar can fluctuate throughout the day. Monitoring your blood sugar levels at various times can help you understand your body’s patterns and adjust your routine accordingly.

19. Food & Insulin Timing: For those taking insulin, coordinating your meals and insulin dosage is crucial. The timing will depend on your specific needs and the type of insulin you’re using.

Activity plays a significant role in diabetes management, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Support Diabetes Research Connection to empower further discovery and education in diabetes care. Your donation enables groundbreaking research and helps provide vital resources to those living with diabetes. Take action today by contributing to a cause that makes a real difference in the lives of those affected.

BIOLOGICAL

20. Too Little Sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt your body’s insulin usage. Try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night to help regulate your blood sugar.

21. Stress & Illness: Stress and illness can cause blood sugar levels to spike. Find stress management techniques that work for you, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, and remember to monitor your blood sugar closely when you’re sick.

22. Recent Hypoglycemia: If you’ve recently experienced a bout of hypoglycemia, your body may release hormones that cause your blood sugar to rise. It’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely to prevent a “rebound” high.

23. During-Sleep Blood Sugars: Overnight blood sugar levels can fluctuate. Consider using a continuous glucose monitor to track your levels while you sleep.

24. Dawn Phenomenon: This is a surge in hormones that happens in the early morning, often causing an increase in blood sugar. Adjusting medication or food intake before bed can help manage this.

25. Infusion Set Issues: If you use an insulin pump, issues with the infusion set, like kinks or blockages, can affect insulin delivery and cause blood sugar fluctuations. Regularly check your infusion set to prevent issues.

26. Scar Tissue & Lipodystrophy: If you inject insulin, rotate your injection sites to avoid developing scar tissue, which can impact insulin absorption.

27. Intramuscular Insulin Delivery: Avoid injecting insulin into the muscle, as it may be absorbed too quickly, causing blood sugar fluctuations. Inject insulin into the fatty layer just beneath your skin.

28. Allergies: If you have food allergies, make sure you’re aware of how different foods affect your blood sugar levels. Also, some allergies can increase stress hormones, leading to blood sugar spikes.

29. A Higher BG Level (Glucotoxicity): High blood sugar can, in turn, cause blood sugar to rise further. Regular monitoring can help you prevent these spikes.

30. Periods (Menstruation): Hormonal fluctuations during your menstrual cycle can impact blood sugar levels. You may need to adjust your food intake or medication doses during this time.

31. Puberty: Hormonal changes during puberty can lead to increased insulin resistance. Regular monitoring and adjustment of medication doses can help manage blood sugar levels during this time.

32. Celiac Disease: If you have celiac disease, adhering to a gluten-free diet is important to avoid inflammation and nutrient malabsorption, which can impact blood sugar control.

33. Smoking: Smoking can increase insulin resistance and lead to higher blood sugar levels. Quitting smoking can significantly improve your blood sugar control.

Biological factors play a crucial role in diabetes management. As you navigate these complexities, remember that ongoing research and education are key to better understanding and managing diabetes. Support DRC to help us uncover new insights and provide valuable resources for those affected by diabetes. Your donation fuels vital research and contributes to a world of improved diabetes care. Take a step towards change – visit our website and donate today to make a meaningful difference in the diabetes community.

ENVIRONMENTAL

34. Expired Insulin: Always check the expiration date on your insulin. Expired insulin is less effective and can lead to higher blood sugar levels.

35. Inaccurate BG Reading: Regularly calibrate your blood glucose meter and check strips for accuracy to ensure your readings are accurate.

36. Outside Temperature: Extreme cold or hot temperatures can impact your blood sugar levels and how your body uses insulin. Try to stay in a moderate temperature environment when possible.

37. Sunburn: Sunburn can cause stress on the body, leading to higher blood sugar levels. Protect your skin when spending time in the sun.

38. Altitude: High altitudes can impact blood sugar control. If you’re traveling to a high-altitude area, monitor your blood sugar closely and discuss any necessary medication adjustments with your healthcare provider.

Navigate environmental challenges in diabetes management more effectively with ongoing research and education. Enhance our efforts at the Diabetes Research Connection. Your donation funds vital research and spreads key knowledge. Make a difference – visit our website and donate today for improved diabetes care.

BEHAVIOR & DECISIONS

39. More Frequent BG Checks: Frequent blood glucose checks can help you better understand your body’s patterns and make necessary adjustments to your diet or medication routine.

40. Default Options and Choices:

Plate/Bowl Size: The size of your plate or bowl can significantly influence portion control, a crucial factor in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Larger dishware tends to make us serve and consume more food than we need. By opting for smaller plates and bowls, you can naturally limit portion sizes, reducing overall carbohydrate intake and better managing your blood glucose levels.

Visual Prompts: Visual prompts play a significant role in our dietary choices. Keeping healthy food options visible and within reach encourages better food choices. Conversely, keeping high GI foods, like white bread and white rice, out of immediate sight can discourage unnecessary snacking, assisting in blood sugar control. A well-arranged fridge or pantry, with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains at eye level, can serve as a constant visual prompt for healthy eating.

41. Decision-Making Biases:

Present Bias (Hyperbolic Discounting): Present bias refers to the tendency to prioritize immediate gratification over long-term benefits—a mindset that can sabotage diabetes management. For example, you might choose a sugary treat for immediate satisfaction, disregarding the long-term impact on your blood sugar levels. It’s essential to be aware of this bias and consciously make choices that favor long-term health.

Loss Aversion: This is the tendency to fear losses more than we value gains. In the context of diabetes, loss aversion might manifest as a fear of losing out on favorite foods. Shifting this mindset to focus on the gains, like improved health and energy levels when you control your blood sugar, can be a powerful motivator.

Negativity Bias: Negativity bias is the inclination to focus more on negative outcomes than positive ones. If you’ve had a bad experience with high or low blood sugar, you may become overly cautious or anxious. Remember, everyone with diabetes has good and bad days. Focus on the progress you’ve made and the tools you have to manage your condition.

Selective Matching: Selective matching involves making decisions based on memorable, though not necessarily representative, past experiences. For instance, if you had a hypoglycemic episode after a particular activity, you might avoid it completely. It’s important to remember that many factors can influence blood sugar levels, and what happened once might not happen again.

Representative Bias: Representative bias is the tendency to draw conclusions based on stereotypes or preconceptions. For example, assuming that all “sugar-free” products are good for blood glucose control can lead you astray. Always check the nutritional information, as these products can still contain other carbohydrates or unhealthy ingredients.

42. Family Relationships & Social Pressure: Communicate with your family and friends about your diabetes management needs. They can provide support and help you stick to your health goals.

Mastering behavior and decision-making is key in diabetes management. Enhance your understanding and strategies by contributing to DRC. Your donation aids in essential research and education, offering valuable insights for those affected by diabetes. Take a proactive step – visit our website and donate today to help advance our collective knowledge and improve diabetes care.

 

In conclusion, many factors contribute to the intricate balance of blood glucose regulation. Understanding these factors aids in managing diabetes effectively and maintaining optimal health. As always, our Diabetes Research Connection team encourages everyone, especially those diagnosed with type 1 or 2 diabetes, to educate themselves about the numerous factors affecting blood glucose. It’s not just about counting carbs; it’s about comprehending the complexity of your body and the many elements that can influence your blood glucose levels.

Adam Brown, a recognized contributor at diaTribe, meticulously compiled this list of 42 factors that influence blood glucose in Type 1 Diabetes. You heard it right, not one, not two, but 42 distinct variables. In his article, Adam states “I know what you’re thinking – 42 factors that affect blood glucose? Are you kidding?!”

The answer is yes, it is indeed a formidable task, but it’s essential to see it as a testament to the daily challenges we face and overcome.

To learn more about this AMAZING list and organization, click here.

If you struggle with meal planning, consider a diabetes specialist online nutritionist!

To support ongoing diabetes research and education, we invite you to visit the Diabetes Research Connection website. Your engagement and contributions are crucial in advancing our understanding and support for those living with diabetes. Whether you’re seeking more information or considering the guidance of a specialist, we’re here to help. Click here to join us in this journey towards better diabetes management and overall health.

 

 

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Girl on Phone

Shining a Spotlight on Children and Young People with Diabetes

Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Welcome to the latest Diabetes Research Connection blog, where we’re focusing on a crucial topic: young people living with diabetes. This post is dedicated to shedding light on Type 1 diabetes, a condition that affects many children and adolescents. Our goal is to provide parents and caregivers with essential information, guidance, and support to help them navigate the challenges of managing diabetes in young people.

Diabetes, particularly Type 1, can be a complex and often misunderstood condition. It’s not just about monitoring blood sugar levels; it involves understanding the intricate balance between diet, exercise, and insulin management. For those new to this world, questions like “Can you be born with diabetes?” or “How do you explain Type 1 diabetes to a child?” are common and crucial. We aim to answer these questions and more, offering clarity and insight into the daily realities of living with diabetes.

At the Diabetes Research Connection, we believe in empowering families with knowledge and resources. Whether you’re a parent of a child recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a caregiver looking for more information, or simply someone interested in learning more about the condition, this post is for you. We’ll explore everything from the basics of Type 1 diabetes, its symptoms, and management strategies, to the latest research and advancements in the field.

Join us as we delve into this important topic, and remember, the Diabetes Research Connection is always here to provide support and information. Let’s embark on this journey together, enhancing our understanding and ability to care for young people with diabetes.

Visit Diabetes Research Connection for More Information 

Understanding  Diabetes in Young People

Diabetes, particularly Type 1, is a condition that often raises many questions and concerns, especially when it affects young people. Understanding the basics of this condition is the first step in providing effective care and support.

Type 1 Diabetes Explained

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to lifestyle factors and usually develops in adults, Type 1 can occur at any age but is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. It’s important to understand that Type 1 diabetes is not preventable and is not caused by dietary choices or lifestyle factors.

Common Questions Answered

Can you be born with diabetes? While babies are not typically born with Type 1 diabetes, they can develop it at a very young age. Genetic factors may play a role, but the exact cause is still not fully understood.

Which statement is true regarding Type 1 diabetes? One accurate statement is that people with Type 1 diabetes require lifelong insulin therapy. Their bodies do not produce insulin, a hormone crucial for regulating blood sugar levels.

Clarifying Misconceptions

Which of the following is true regarding Type 1 diabetes? It’s a myth that eating too much sugar causes Type 1 diabetes. This type of diabetes is an autoimmune condition and is unrelated to sugar consumption.

Understanding these basics is vital for parents and caregivers. It helps in recognizing the signs and symptoms early and ensures that children receive the necessary care and support.

For more detailed information on Type 1 diabetes and its impact on young people, we encourage you to visit the Diabetes Research Connection website. Here, you’ll find a wealth of resources and support tailored to help families navigate this condition. Learn More at Diabetes Research Connection 

Early Signs and Diagnosis

Recognizing the early signs of Type 1 diabetes in young people is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment. Early detection can significantly improve the management of the condition and reduce the risk of complications.

Identifying Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

The symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children and teenagers can develop quickly and may include:

Increased thirst and frequent urination – High blood sugar levels cause the body to lose fluid, leading to dehydration and a need to drink and urinate more often.

Unexplained weight loss – Despite eating more, weight loss can occur because the body starts breaking down muscle and fat for energy when it can’t use glucose properly.

Fatigue and weakness – Lack of sugar in the cells for energy can make a child feel tired and weak.

Blurred vision – High blood sugar levels can affect the ability to see clearly.

The Importance of Blood Tests and Early Diagnosis

If you notice these symptoms in your child, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider immediately. They will likely recommend blood tests to measure blood sugar levels. These tests are crucial for confirming the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes and should be done as soon as possible.

Understanding the Role of the Pancreas

In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin is vital for moving sugar (glucose) from the blood into the cells for energy. Understanding this process helps caregivers comprehend why insulin therapy is necessary for managing Type 1 diabetes.

If you suspect your child may be showing signs of Type 1 diabetes, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing the condition effectively. For more information on the symptoms and diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, visit the Diabetes Research Connection website. Discover More at Diabetes Research Connection 

Daily Management of Diabetes

Managing Type 1 diabetes in young people involves a careful balance of monitoring blood glucose levels, administering insulin, maintaining a healthy diet, and regular physical activity. It’s a daily commitment, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can become a manageable part of everyday life.

Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels

One of the cornerstones of diabetes management is regularly checking blood sugar levels. This helps in making informed decisions about insulin dosage, food, and physical activity. Blood glucose monitors are essential tools for this task. Parents and caregivers should learn how to use these devices effectively and teach their children to do the same as they grow older.

Insulin Therapy: The Lifeline for Type 1 Diabetes

Since individuals with Type 1 diabetes can’t produce insulin, they require regular insulin administration. This can be done through multiple daily injections or an insulin pump. An insulin pump is a small device that delivers insulin continuously throughout the day, mimicking the pancreas’s normal insulin release. Understanding how to adjust insulin based on food intake and activity levels is crucial.

Dietary Management: More Than Just Sugar Control

Diet plays a significant role in managing Type 1 diabetes. It’s not just about avoiding sugar; it’s about understanding how different foods affect blood sugar levels. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is recommended. It’s also important to understand how to count carbohydrates, as they have the most significant impact on blood sugar levels.

Physical Activity: Essential but Needs Balance

Regular physical activity is vital for overall health and particularly important for young people with diabetes. Exercise can help control blood sugar levels, but it must be balanced with insulin and food intake to prevent blood sugar from going too high or too low.

Managing Type 1 diabetes requires education and support. For comprehensive guides on daily diabetes management, including how to monitor blood sugar levels, use insulin pumps, and maintain a balanced diet, visit the Diabetes Research Connection. Their resources can help make day-to-day diabetes care more manageable. Explore Resources at Diabetes Research Connection 

Explaining Diabetes to a Child

Discussing a chronic condition like Type 1 diabetes with a child can be challenging. It’s important to provide information that is age-appropriate and understandable, helping them grasp what diabetes is and how it affects their body.

Age-Appropriate Explanations

When explaining Type 1 diabetes to a child, use simple and clear language. For younger children, you might compare the body to a car that needs fuel (food) to run. Insulin is like the key that opens the door to let the fuel in. Without the key, the car can’t use its fuel properly. For older children, you can go into more detail about how the immune system affects the pancreas and the role of insulin in regulating blood sugar.

Empowering Through Knowledge

Understanding their condition empowers children to take an active role in their diabetes management. Teach them about checking their blood sugar, recognizing the signs of high or low blood sugar, and the importance of a balanced diet and regular exercise. Make it a team effort, where they feel supported and involved in their care.

Positive Reinforcement and Support

Always approach these discussions with positivity and reassurance. Emphasize that having diabetes doesn’t prevent them from living a full and active life. Encourage them to ask questions and express their feelings about their condition. They need to know that they are not alone and that their feelings are valid and understood.

For resources on how to explain Type 1 diabetes to children and support them in their journey, visit the Diabetes Research Connection.  Find Support at Diabetes Research Connection

The Role of Family and Environment

The diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in a young person doesn’t just affect the individual; it impacts the entire family. Understanding the role of family and environmental factors is crucial in providing the best support and care.

Family History and Genetic Factors

While Type 1 diabetes is not directly inherited, the risk of developing it can be higher in families with a history of the condition. It’s important for families to be aware of this increased risk and to understand the symptoms and management of diabetes. However, many children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes have no family history, indicating the role of other factors.

Environmental Factors

Research suggests that certain environmental factors may trigger the onset of Type 1 diabetes in genetically susceptible individuals. These could include viral infections, dietary factors in early life, or other yet-to-be-identified environmental exposures. Ongoing research is crucial to fully understand these connections.

Supporting a Child with Diabetes

The whole family plays a vital role in supporting a child with diabetes. This includes:

-Learning about the condition together.

-Encouraging and participating in healthy lifestyle choices, like diet and exercise.

-Providing emotional support and understanding, recognizing that managing diabetes can be stressful for a child.

Creating a Supportive Environment

A supportive home environment where the child feels comfortable managing their diabetes is essential. This includes having open conversations about the condition, involving the child in their care decisions, and ensuring they don’t feel isolated or different because of their diabetes.

For families navigating the challenges of Type 1 diabetes, the Diabetes Research Connection offers a wealth of information and support. Visit their website to learn more about the role of family and environmental factors in diabetes and to find resources for creating a supportive home environment. Connect with Resources at Diabetes Research Connection 

Coping with Challenges

Living with Type 1 diabetes, especially for young people, comes with its unique set of challenges. From managing blood sugar levels to dealing with social situations, parents and caregivers need to understand these challenges and know how to effectively support their child.

Managing Blood Sugar Levels: A Delicate Balance

One of the most significant challenges in managing Type 1 diabetes is maintaining balanced blood sugar levels. This involves a careful combination of insulin therapy, diet, and exercise. Parents and caregivers need to be vigilant about:

-Regularly checking blood glucose levels.

-Understanding how different foods and activities affect these levels.

-Recognizing the signs of both high and low blood sugar and knowing how to respond.

Weight Loss and Dietary Concerns

Unexpected weight loss can be a concern in young people with diabetes. Ensuring a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs while managing their blood sugar levels is key. Consulting with a dietitian who specializes in diabetes can be incredibly helpful.

Navigating Social Situations

Social situations can be challenging for young people with diabetes. They might feel different from their peers or experience anxiety about managing their condition in public. It’s important to:

-Educate them about how to handle questions or comments from peers.

-Prepare them for situations like parties or sleepovers, where their routine might be different.

-Encourage open communication about their feelings and experiences.

Emotional and Physical Stress

Dealing with a chronic condition can be emotionally taxing for a child. They may experience feelings of frustration, sadness, or anger. Providing emotional support and understanding is crucial. Additionally, physical stress, such as illness, can affect blood sugar levels, so knowing how to adjust diabetes management during these times is important.

For guidance on coping with the challenges of managing Type 1 diabetes in young people, visit the Diabetes Research Connection.  Seek Support at Diabetes Research Connection 

Advancements in Diabetes Research and Care

The landscape of Type 1 diabetes research and care is continually evolving, bringing new hope and improved management strategies to those living with the condition. Understanding these advancements can empower parents and caregivers, providing them with the latest tools and knowledge to support their children.

Recent Advancements in Diabetes Research

Research in Type 1 diabetes has made significant strides in recent years. Innovations include:

-Development of more advanced insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems, making blood sugar management more efficient and less intrusive.

-Studies into beta-cell transplantation and regenerative medicine, offer potential future treatments.

-Ongoing research into the environmental and genetic factors contributing to Type 1 diabetes, aims to improve prevention and treatment strategies.

The Importance of Donations and Support

Organizations like the Diabetes Research Connection play a crucial role in funding this vital research. Donations to such organizations not only support scientific advancements but also provide resources and support for individuals and families affected by diabetes. Every contribution helps in moving closer to better treatments and potentially a cure.

Staying Informed and Involved

For parents and caregivers, staying informed about these advancements is key. It not only helps in understanding the condition better but also in providing the best possible care. Being involved in the diabetes community can also offer additional support and resources.

To learn more about the latest advancements in Type 1 diabetes research and how you can contribute, visit the Diabetes Research Connection. Your involvement and support can make a significant difference in the lives of those affected by diabetes. Explore and Support at Diabetes Research Connection 

Closing Remarks

Navigating the journey of Type 1 diabetes, especially in young people, requires patience, understanding, and a wealth of knowledge. Through this blog post, we’ve explored various aspects of living with and managing this condition, from understanding its basics to coping with daily challenges and staying informed about the latest research advancements.

Remember, while diabetes management can seem daunting, especially for parents and caregivers new to the condition, you are not alone in this journey. Organizations like the Diabetes Research Connection are dedicated to providing support, resources, and the latest information to help you every step of the way. Whether it’s learning about the condition, finding the best ways to manage it, or connecting with others in the diabetes community, there is a wealth of support available.

We encourage you to use the information and resources shared in this blog post as a starting point. Educate yourself, seek support, and empower your child or the young person in your care to live a healthy, fulfilling life with diabetes. And remember, your involvement, whether through learning, sharing experiences, or making donations, contributes significantly to the ongoing fight against diabetes and the search for a cure.

Visit the Diabetes Research Connection for more detailed information, support, and ways to get involved. Your engagement can make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people living with diabetes. Join the Community at Diabetes Research Connection

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Diabetes Research

A Ray of Hope for a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes, a disease affecting millions globally, exists in several types, particularly Type 1 and Type 2. In this article, we explore the complexities of Type 1 diabetes, a condition characterized by the body’s failure to generate insulin, resulting in a lifelong reliance on insulin.

Understanding Type 1 diabetes, often diagnosed in children and young adults, is crucial, as it differs significantly from Type 2 in its causes and management. The DRC plays a crucial role in advancing research and providing resources for those affected by this autoimmune disease.

Whether you are newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a family member seeking information, or simply curious about the condition, this post is your gateway to understanding the complexities of insulin-dependent diabetes. From recognizing juvenile diabetes symptoms to exploring the latest advancements in type 1 diabetes treatment, we will guide you through the essential aspects of managing this condition. Our focus includes how Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed, the importance of early detection through a type 1 diabetes test, and the various treatments available.

Join us in our journey to discover how research and understanding are lighting the way for those impacted by Type 1 diabetes, and how your generous contributions can make a significant impact. The path to a more profound comprehension and improved control of Type 1 diabetes begins here, with the Diabetes Research Connection as your reliable companion.

Understanding Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition often emerging in childhood but possible at any age, is characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, which can involve insulin resistance, Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the pancreas that makes insulin, essential for regulating blood sugar levels. This insulin-dependent diabetes demands a thorough understanding and careful management to maintain health and prevent complications.

For those newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, or family members seeking clarity, it’s crucial to understand the nuances of this condition. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can vary but commonly include increased thirst, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss. Recognizing these symptoms early is key to managing the condition effectively.

The question, “Are you born with type 1 diabetes?” is common, and while genetics play a role, environmental factors are also important. This leads to the importance of a test for accurate diagnosis, typically involving blood glucose tests.

Type 1 diabetes management revolves around daily insulin therapy, as individuals with this condition are insulin dependent. Understanding types of insulin and learning how to balance insulin with the food you eat and your activity levels are pivotal. Managing diabetes also involves regular monitoring to avoid high blood sugar levels, which can lead to health problems like nerve damage if not controlled.

In adults, type 1 diabetes symptoms can sometimes be mistaken for Type 2, making the role of healthcare professionals crucial in the diagnosis. With advancements in treatment, people with type 1 are now living fuller, healthier lives. It’s essential to stay informed about the latest treatment and research, as ongoing developments continue to improve the quality of life for those with this condition.

In summary, understanding Type 1 diabetes is the first step in effectively managing it. Awareness of symptoms, the importance of early diagnosis, and the nuances of treatment options are crucial for those living with the condition and their families. Stay informed and consult with healthcare professionals for the best outcomes in managing this lifelong condition.

Symptoms and Early Detection of Type 1 Diabetes

Recognizing the symptoms is important for early detection and effective management. It is often diagnosed in children and young adults, and can also develop in adults, making awareness vital across all ages. The early signs of this condition, such as juvenile diabetes symptoms, include increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue. In adults, type 1 diabetes symptoms may overlap with those of Type 2, making accurate diagnosis challenging but essential.

Early detection of Type 1 diabetes plays a key role in preventing serious health complications. Symptoms of juvenile diabetes, like extreme hunger, blurred vision, and irritability, should prompt immediate medical attention. A type 1 diabetes test, involving blood glucose tests, is the definitive method for diagnosis. Understanding these symptoms and the diagnostic process is important for anyone who might be at risk, including those with a family history of diabetes.

It’s a common question whether you are born with type 1 diabetes. While genetics play a significant role, environmental factors also contribute to its development. Therefore, being aware of the risk factors, such as family history, is as important as recognizing the symptoms.

Can you get Type 1 diabetes at any age? Yes, it’s possible, which further emphasizes the need for awareness of symptoms in adults.

For those diagnosed, or who have a family member with the condition, understanding how to manage and live with it begins with early detection. Regular health check-ups and being attentive to the body’s signals are key. The sooner you recognize and respond to the symptom, the better you can manage the condition, reducing the risk of developing complications and ensuring a higher quality of life.

Treatment and Management

Managing a condition where the body cannot produce insulin, involves a comprehensive approach centered around insulin therapy and lifestyle adjustments. For those diagnosed with this insulin-dependent diabetes, understanding and implementing effective treatment and management strategies is crucial for maintaining health and preventing complications.

Insulin Therapy: A Cornerstone of Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

Insulin therapy is the primary treatment for Type 1 diabetes. As individuals with this condition cannot produce insulin naturally, they require regular insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump.

Understanding the different types of insulin, including rapid-acting, long-acting, and premixed, is vital for effective blood sugar management.

Regular consultation with healthcare professionals, including a diabetes educator, is crucial to tailor the amount of insulin and the type to each individual’s needs.

Diet and Nutrition: Managing Blood Sugar Levels

The food you eat plays a significant role in managing Type 1 diabetes. A balanced diet, rich in nutrients and low in processed sugars and unhealthy fats, helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrate counting and understanding how different foods affect blood sugar levels are essential skills for people with diabetes.

Consulting with a dietitian or diabetes educator can provide personalized dietary advice to help manage the condition effectively.

Physical Activity: An Integral Part of Diabetes Management

Regular physical activity helps in managing diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels.

It is important for individuals with Type 1 diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels before, during, and after exercise to prevent hypoglycemia.

A healthcare provider can offer guidance on safe and effective exercise routines tailored to individual health needs.

Continuous Monitoring and Regular Check-Ups

Continuous glucose monitoring and frequent blood glucose tests are essential for keeping track of blood sugar levels.

Regular medical check-ups, including blood glucose tests, A1C tests, and screening for diabetes complications, are important for ongoing management.

Technology, such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, has significantly improved the ease of managing Type 1 diabetes.

Education and Support: Empowering Patients

Educating individuals with Type 1 diabetes about their condition, treatment options, and self-management techniques is key to successful management.

Support groups and connections with other people with Type 1 diabetes can provide valuable emotional support and practical advice.

Preventing Complications

Consistent management of blood sugar levels and a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of long-term complications associated with Type 1 diabetes, such as nerve damage and heart problems.

In conclusion, the treatment and management of Type 1 diabetes require a comprehensive and personalized approach. Insulin therapy, diet, physical activity, continuous monitoring, education, and support are all integral components of a successful diabetes management plan. Staying informed about the latest advancements in type 1 diabetes treatment and actively engaging with healthcare professionals is key to living a healthy and balanced life with Type 1 diabetes.

Research and Progress in Type 1 Diabetes

The landscape of Type 1 diabetes research is continually evolving, offering new insights and hope for those affected by this autoimmune disease. Significant strides have been made in understanding how Type 1 diabetes develops and in exploring innovative treatment options. This progress is largely driven by organizations like Diabetes Research Connection, which play a crucial role in funding and supporting cutting-edge research.

Advancements in Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

Researchers are continually exploring more effective and user-friendly insulin delivery systems, such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors.

Advances in types of insulin, including faster-acting insulins and insulins that more closely mimic the body’s natural insulin production, are being developed.

Studies are focusing on beta-cell replacement therapies, offering the potential for long-term solutions to insulin dependency.

Understanding the Autoimmune Aspect of Type 1 Diabetes

Ongoing research is delving deeper into the autoimmune nature of Type 1 diabetes. Identifying the triggers and mechanisms can lead to preventative strategies and more targeted treatments.

Genetic research is uncovering more about the family history and genetic factors contributing to the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes.

Prevention and Early Detection

Efforts are being made to understand how to prevent Type 1 diabetes, especially in individuals at high risk due to family history or other factors.

Early detection research focuses on identifying biomarkers that could indicate the onset of Type 1 diabetes before symptoms appear.

The Impact of Donations on Research

Donations to organizations like the Diabetes Research Connection are vital in fueling ongoing research and clinical trials.

Public and private funding is essential for researchers to explore innovative ideas and bring new treatments from the lab to the patient.

The Future of Type 1 Diabetes Management

There is a growing focus on personalized medicine, tailoring treatments to individual patients based on their unique genetic makeup and disease progression.

The development of ‘artificial pancreas’ systems, combining continuous glucose monitoring with automated insulin delivery, is a promising area of research.

Patient-Centered Research

Researchers are increasingly involving people with Type 1 diabetes in the research process to ensure that studies address the most relevant and impactful aspects of living with the condition.

In conclusion, the research and progress in Type 1 diabetes are providing new rays of hope for those living with the condition. From advancements in insulin therapies and beta-cell replacement research to exploring autoimmune triggers and genetic factors, the scientific community is making significant strides. The support and contributions from organizations and individuals towards research funding play a critical role in driving these advancements. Staying informed about these developments is crucial for anyone affected by Type 1 diabetes, as each discovery brings us closer to more effective treatments and ultimately, a cure.

Complications and Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes

Understanding and managing the potential complications of Type 1 diabetes is crucial for those living with this insulin-dependent condition. While Type 1 diabetes can be effectively managed with insulin therapy and lifestyle adjustments, it can also lead to various health problems if not adequately controlled. Awareness and preventive measures are key to maintaining long-term health and quality of life.

Common Complications of Type 1 Diabetes

Nerve Damage (Neuropathy): High blood sugar levels over time can damage nerves, leading to pain and numbness, primarily in the hands and feet.

Kidney Damage (Nephropathy): Diabetes can affect the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease.

Eye Damage: Diabetic retinopathy, a result of damage to the blood vessels in the retina, can lead to blindness.

Cardiovascular Problems: Increased risk of various cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease.

Preventing Complications Through Blood Sugar Management

Keeping blood sugar levels within target ranges is essential to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes-related complications.

Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels and adhering to prescribed insulin therapy can significantly reduce the risk of complications.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Diet and Exercise: A balanced diet and regular physical activity help manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications.

Stopping Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of complications from diabetes, including cardiovascular problems and nerve damage.

Regular Health Screenings

Regular screenings for complications, such as annual eye exams and kidney function tests, are crucial.

Blood pressure and cholesterol levels should also be monitored regularly to prevent heart disease and other related conditions.

The Role of Healthcare Professionals

Regular consultations with a healthcare team, including diabetes educators and specialists, are essential for the effective management and prevention of complications.

Personalized treatment plans, taking into account individual health needs and lifestyle, can help in preventing complications.

Educational Resources and Support

Educating patients about the risks and signs of complications is vital for early detection and treatment.

Access to resources and support from organizations like Diabetes Research Connection can empower patients to take proactive steps in managing their diabetes and preventing complications.

While Type 1 diabetes can lead to several serious health complications, effective blood sugar management, a healthy lifestyle, and regular health screenings can significantly reduce these risks. Staying informed, adhering to treatment plans, and utilizing support resources are essential steps in preventing complications and maintaining overall health and well-being for those living with Type 1 diabetes.

Personal Stories and Community Support in Type 1 Diabetes

Living with Type 1 diabetes presents unique challenges, but through shared experiences and community support, individuals can find strength and inspiration. Personal stories from those managing Type 1 diabetes offer invaluable insights and foster a sense of connection, showing that while this autoimmune disease affects each person differently, no one is alone in their journey.

Inspiring Personal Stories

Hearing about others’ experiences with symptoms of juvenile diabetes, managing blood sugar levels, and navigating life with insulin-dependent diabetes can be incredibly empowering.

Personal stories often include tips on managing diabetes, from dealing with high blood sugar levels to finding the most effective types of insulin.

These narratives can also highlight the importance of early diagnosis, such as recognizing late onset type 1 diabetes symptoms, and the impact of a type 1 diabetes test.

The Power of Community

Community support groups, both online and offline, provide a platform for people with Type 1 diabetes to share experiences, advice, and encouragement.

Community events can also raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes, promote education, and support fundraising efforts for research and treatment advancements.

Family and Friends: A Supportive Network

The role of family members and friends in managing Type 1 diabetes is crucial. Their understanding and support can make a significant difference in daily diabetes management and emotional well-being.

Educating family and friends about Type 1 diabetes, including how to recognize symptoms and assist in emergencies, is vital.

Learning from Healthcare Professionals and Diabetes Educators

Diabetes educators and healthcare professionals are essential sources of information and guidance, offering personalized advice on treatment and management.

Medical professionals can provide insights into the latest research, treatment options, and strategies for managing type 1 diabetes complications.

Mental Health and Emotional Well-being

Living with a chronic condition like Type 1 diabetes can be challenging, and addressing mental health is as important as physical health.

Support groups and counseling services can offer emotional support, helping individuals cope with the psychological aspects of managing a chronic disease.

Personal stories and community support play a vital role in the lives of those with Type 1 diabetes. These narratives and connections not only provide practical advice and emotional support but also foster a sense of belonging and understanding. Embracing community resources, sharing experiences, and engaging with healthcare professionals are key to navigating the challenges of Type 1 diabetes while maintaining a fulfilling and healthy life.

Embracing Hope and Support in the Journey with Type 1 Diabetes

As we conclude this exploration of Type 1 diabetes, it’s clear that while it is a lifelong, insulin-dependent condition, it is one that can be effectively managed with the right knowledge, tools, and support. The journey with Type 1 diabetes is unique for each individual, but common threads of understanding, resilience, and community support weave through each story.

The Central Role of Education and Awareness

Understanding the basics of Type 1 diabetes, from its symptoms and diagnosis to the nuances of treatment and management, is fundamental for those living with the condition, as well as their families and friends.

Organizations like Diabetes Research Connection play a pivotal role in providing accurate information, resources, and support for the Type 1 diabetes community.

Advancements in Research and Treatment

Ongoing research and advancements in type 1 diabetes treatment continue to bring hope and improve the quality of life for those affected. These developments, supported by crucial donations and funding, pave the way for better management solutions and, potentially, a cure.

The Importance of Community and Shared Experiences

Personal stories and community support highlight the power of shared experiences in dealing with Type 1 diabetes. They offer not only practical advice but also emotional solidarity in facing the challenges of this condition.

Encouraging conversations around Type 1 diabetes helps in reducing stigma and fosters a more supportive environment for those affected.

A Call to Action for Continued Support and Engagement

We encourage readers to stay informed, engage with communities like the Diabetes Research Connection, and support diabetes research through donations and advocacy.

For those living with Type 1 diabetes, we advocate for proactive health management, regular consultations with healthcare professionals, and leveraging the support of educators and peers.

In summary, while Type 1 diabetes presents its challenges, the advancements in research, the support of the community, and the availability of resources provide a strong foundation for managing this condition. By staying informed, engaged, and supportive, individuals with Type 1 diabetes and their networks can navigate this journey with confidence and hope. Let’s continue to work together to enhance understanding, improve management strategies, and support research in the quest to overcome the challenges of Type 1 diabetes.

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Navigating Social Situations and Holidays with Diabetes

 

 

Enjoying social situations and holidays while managing diabetes can often be a challenge. This is a reality for millions of individuals living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes around the globe. Understanding how to balance blood sugar levels while also enjoying the company of friends, family, and food can feel like walking a tightrope. But with the right guidance and preparation, it is entirely possible to join in with these occasions without compromising your health.

At the Diabetes Research Connection, our mission is to empower those living with diabetes through providing education, resources, and the latest in research findings. In this comprehensive guide, we aim to equip you with practical tips and strategies to confidently navigate social situations and holidays. Remember, having diabetes does not mean you have to miss out on life’s celebrations or compromise your enjoyment.

To explore more resources or engage with a community that truly understands the nuances of living with diabetes, visit the Diabetes Research Connection website. Your journey towards a balanced and fulfilling social life with diabetes starts here.

Understanding Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Before diving into tips for navigating social situations and holidays, let’s first grasp a basic understanding of diabetes, specifically the differences between Type 1 and Type 2. Both types are chronic conditions that affect the way your body regulates blood sugar, or glucose, which is vital for providing energy to your body’s cells.

Type 1 diabetes, often diagnosed in childhood, is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, individuals with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin regularly to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes primarily affects adults and is characterized by insulin resistance. In this case, the body still produces insulin, but it either isn’t enough or the body’s cells can’t use it effectively, leading to high blood sugar levels.

Both types impact a person’s lifestyle and can pose challenges in social activities, particularly those involving food and drinks. With effective management, though, individuals with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can enjoy a healthy, fulfilling social life.

To gain a deeper understanding of Type 1 and Type 2, their impact on lifestyle, and the latest research around them, we invite you to explore the Diabetes Research Connection website. Remember, knowledge is power, and understanding your condition is the first step in managing it effectively.

Tips for Managing Diabetes in Social Situations

Social situations can be a minefield for people managing diabetes, but being prepared can help you enjoy these occasions with peace of mind. Here are some practical tips:

Plan Ahead: Look at the menu before you go to a restaurant, or ask the host about the planned meal. This can help you adjust your meal plan or insulin regimen accordingly.

Speak Up: Don’t be afraid to express your needs. If you need to eat at a certain time to manage your blood sugar, let your friends or host know.

Carry Necessary Supplies: Always bring your glucose monitoring device, insulin, or other necessary medications. It’s better to be prepared for unexpected fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Eat and Drink Mindfully: Alcohol and certain foods can affect blood sugar levels. Monitor your intake and make sure to hydrate with water as well.

Stay Active: Incorporate physical activities into your social outings when possible, as exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels.

Educate Others: Help your friends and family understand diabetes better, so they can provide support when necessary.

These are just a few tips to help you navigate social situations with diabetes. Remember, every person’s experience with diabetes is unique. You know your body best, and with time, you’ll learn how to balance diabetes management and social life effectively.

We encourage you to share these tips with friends and family. The more they understand about your condition, the more supportive they can be. Knowledge sharing and mutual understanding can go a long way in fostering supportive relationships for those managing diabetes.

Navigating Holidays and Special Occasions with Diabetes

Holidays and special occasions can be a whirlwind of delicious food, tempting desserts, and celebratory drinks. However, managing diabetes amidst such a spread doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the festivities. Here are some strategies:

Pre-Event Planning: If you’re attending a party or a holiday meal, try to have a small, balanced snack beforehand to prevent overeating. Also, plan your day to include more physical activity if you anticipate consuming more carbohydrates.

Portion Control: Enjoy your favorite festive foods in moderation. Remember, it’s not about completely avoiding certain foods but learning to balance your plate and your blood sugar levels.

Offer to Bring a Dish: If you’re going to a potluck, bring a dish you know fits well with your meal plan. This way, you’ll have at least one safe option.

Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is always a good idea, especially during celebrations. If you choose to consume alcohol, remember to do so responsibly, as it can affect your blood sugar levels.

Check Blood Sugar Regularly: Changes in your routine can affect blood sugar levels, so be sure to check more frequently during these times.

Remember, the aim is to enjoy the holiday season without compromising your health. It might take some time and practice, but eventually, you will find a balance that works best for you.

Your experiences and tips could benefit others dealing with similar situations. Share your holiday diabetes management tips on the Diabetes Research Connection’s social media channels. Together, we can support each other in managing diabetes effectively during festive times. Visit the Diabetes Research Connection website for more information and to join our supportive community.

Reducing Stress and Enjoying Social Life with Diabetes

Living with diabetes doesn’t mean you have to forego an active social life. In fact, maintaining social connections and enjoying leisure activities can play an essential role in overall well-being. Here are some strategies to help you reduce stress and enjoy your social life:

Mental Preparation: Anticipate potential challenges and prepare solutions beforehand. This will not only make you feel more in control but also reduce anxiety around social situations.

Embrace Open Conversations: Don’t hesitate to talk about your condition with your friends and family. The more they understand your needs, the more supportive they can be.

Practice Self-Care: Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a balanced diet can help manage your blood sugar levels and reduce stress. Remember to make time for activities you enjoy and that relax you.

Seek Support: Whether from a trusted friend, a family member, or a support group like the community on the Diabetes Research Connection website, don’t hesitate to seek support when you need it.

Remember, your social life is a crucial part of your identity and overall quality of life. A diabetes diagnosis doesn’t change that. It’s important to continue doing what you enjoy, while also taking care of your health.

Your stories of managing social experiences and stress with diabetes can inspire others. We invite you to share your personal stories on the Diabetes Research Connection platform. In doing so, you contribute to a network of support and knowledge sharing that can benefit many.

Supporting Research and Advocacy Efforts

As we navigate the journey of managing diabetes, it’s crucial to remember that we are part of a larger community working tirelessly towards better treatment options and, ultimately, a cure. The Diabetes Research Connection plays a key role in this mission by supporting novel, peer-reviewed research and advocating for individuals living with diabetes.

Your support can make a significant difference. Here’s how:

Donate: Your generous donations to the Diabetes Research Connection help fund cutting-edge research, aiming to improve the lives of those living with diabetes.

Spread Awareness: Use your social platforms to share information about diabetes and encourage others to donate. The more people know, the more we can collectively contribute to the cause.

Engage with Research: Stay informed about the latest research and developments in diabetes management. The DRC website offers a wealth of information to keep you up-to-date.

Join the Community: The Diabetes Research Connection offers a supportive community for people living with diabetes. Share your experiences, learn from others, and know that you are not alone in this journey.

Your support and advocacy can help change lives. We invite you to make a donation to the Diabetes Research Connection and join our efforts to create a better future for all individuals living with diabetes. Visit the DRC website today to make your contribution and learn more about our mission and current research initiatives. Your involvement can make a world of difference.

Moving Forward

Navigating social situations and holidays while managing diabetes can be challenging, but with preparation, understanding, and the right strategies, it’s completely achievable. Remember, having diabetes does not mean you have to sideline yourself from celebrations or compromise on the enjoyment of life’s special moments.

We’ve walked through understanding Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, tips for managing social situations and holidays, strategies to reduce stress, and how you can contribute to the broader diabetes community. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more information, support, and resources available on the Diabetes Research Connection website to help you live a fulfilling life with diabetes.

The importance of community cannot be overstated. We invite you to join the DRC community, engage with others who are walking the same path, and share your experiences and insights.

And lastly, consider making a donation to further diabetes research. Your generous contribution supports groundbreaking research that could change the lives of millions of people living with the condition. Visit the Diabetes Research Connection website today to contribute, and let’s work together towards a future free from the limitations of diabetes.

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Ten Breakthroughs in Type 1 Diabetes

 

Type 1 diabetes, a relentless disease affecting millions worldwide, is characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin – a hormone crucial for regulating blood sugar. It presents a daunting challenge for both patients and medical practitioners, demanding continual attention, management, and research for improved treatments and potential cures.

Enter the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC). This esteemed organization dedicates itself to connecting donors with early-career scientists, enabling the funding of innovative, peer-reviewed research designed to prevent and cure Type 1 diabetes, minimize its complications, and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease. The DRC is a beacon of hope, pushing the boundaries of our understanding of Type 1 diabetes, and inching us closer towards a world free from its grasp.

Without the generous donations from supporters, such groundbreaking research would not be possible. Donations are the lifeblood of progress in this field. They provide researchers with the means to delve deeper, think bigger, and work harder toward unraveling the mysteries of this disease.

Interested in learning more about the incredible discoveries your contributions can make possible? Let’s explore ten significant breakthroughs in Type 1 diabetes research.

Visit the Diabetes Research Connection website to delve deeper into their mission, research projects, and how you can make a difference.

Advancements in Artificial Pancreas Systems

One of the most transformative breakthroughs in Type 1 diabetes research has been the development and refinement of the Artificial Pancreas System (APS). This technology, which combines an insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), mimics the functions of a healthy pancreas, providing more stable blood sugar control and reducing the risk of severe hypoglycemia.

Scientists have been able to continue improving this promising technology and enabled critical studies on user interface, device efficiency, and long-term impacts, providing a more in-depth understanding of how to optimize APS for daily life.

This breakthrough offers a beacon of hope for those living with Type 1 diabetes, promising a future with better management of their condition and improved quality of life.

Consider making a donation today to the Diabetes Research Connection to support the advancement of life-changing technologies like the Artificial Pancreas System. Your contribution could be the key to unlocking the next significant breakthrough.

Progress in Beta Cell Replacement Therapy

Beta cells are essential for regulating blood sugar in our bodies because they produce insulin. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys these beta cells. Replenishing these cells could be the key to better managing, or potentially curing, Type 1 diabetes.

Researchers have made remarkable strides in beta cell replacement therapy. This technique involves generating beta cells from stem cells and transplanting them into patients to restore insulin production.

Scientists have now achieved successful beta cell transplantation in a lab setting, but there’s still a long road ahead.

Spread the word about amazing research conducted at the Diabetes Research Connection! By sharing breakthroughs with your friends and family, you can help raise awareness about the power of donating and the potential it has to change millions of lives.

Development of Glucose-Sensing Insulin

The advent of glucose-sensing insulin is another groundbreaking discovery in the field of Type 1 diabetes research. This “smart” insulin is designed to respond to blood sugar levels, releasing insulin when needed and reducing the risk of both high and low blood sugars – a true game-changer in diabetes management.

Scientists have explored, developed, and refined this next-generation insulin. It’s an exciting development, bringing us one step closer to a more manageable life for those living with Type 1 diabetes.

Has Type 1 diabetes impacted you? Share your stories on your social platforms, tagging the Diabetes Research Connection. Your voice can help raise awareness and encourage more donations towards vital research like the glucose-sensing insulin project.

Unraveling the Role of Gut Bacteria in Type 1 Diabetes

Recent years have seen a growing interest in the role of gut bacteria, or the microbiome, in various health conditions, including Type 1 diabetes. Researchers have made significant strides in understanding how gut bacteria might influence the development of this condition.

Findings suggest that an imbalance in gut bacteria could contribute to the onset of Type 1 diabetes. Research has enabled the exploration of potential microbiome-based therapies to prevent or manage the disease.

It’s an exciting and rapidly evolving area of study and needs to delve deeper into this promising line of investigation.

Are you curious about other innovative projects underway at the Diabetes Research Connection? Visit the website to learn more about the research your contributions are making possible, and see how you can further support these promising endeavors.

Improving Lives with Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs)

Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) have revolutionized the way people with Type 1 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. These devices provide real-time glucose readings, reduce the need for frequent finger pricks, and allow for better blood sugar control, greatly improving the lives of those living with Type 1 diabetes.

This technology continues to evolve and CGMs are becoming more accessible, contributing to improved management of Type 1 diabetes and positively impacting the quality of life for those living with this condition.

Consider making a recurring donation to the Diabetes Research Connection to support ongoing advancements in devices like CGMs. By doing so, you’ll be making a direct impact on the lives of those living with Type 1 diabetes, both now and in the future.

Understanding the Genetics of Type 1 Diabetes

The genetic basis of Type 1 diabetes is complex, with multiple genes involved. Unraveling this genetic puzzle is critical to understanding who is at risk for the disease and how we might prevent it.

Research has led to the identification of several genetic markers associated with Type 1 diabetes. These discoveries help in understanding the disease’s genetic basis, allowing for early detection in at-risk individuals, and may pave the way for gene-based therapies in the future.

Stay informed about the latest breakthroughs in Type 1 diabetes research. Sign up for the Diabetes Research Connection newsletter to receive regular updates on how your donations are driving advancements in understanding and treating this disease.

Enhancing Treatment with Advanced Insulin Pump Therapy

Insulin pumps have been a game-changer in the management of Type 1 diabetes, offering people with this condition an alternative to multiple daily injections. Over time, these devices have become smarter, more user-friendly, and more personalized, thanks to advancements in technology and diligent research efforts.

Research allows the exploration of new features, test safety and efficacy, and optimize user experience. Leading to advancements such as programmable basal rates, bolus calculators, and compatibility with CGMs, significantly enhancing disease management.

Follow Diabetes Research Connection on social media platforms for regular updates and insights into how your contributions are shaping the future of diabetes management and improving the lives of those affected.

The Promise of Immunotherapy for Type 1 Diabetes

Immunotherapy, which harnesses the body’s immune system to fight disease, holds significant promise for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes. Rather than managing the symptoms, this approach targets the root cause of the disease: the immune system’s mistaken attack on insulin-producing beta cells.

Research has been exploring the potential of immunotherapies in halting or even reversing the course of Type 1 diabetes. Scientists have made encouraging progress in this field, developing therapies designed to protect beta cells from the autoimmune attack.

Help us continue making strides in Type 1 diabetes research. Share this post with your network to raise awareness about the vital work that the Diabetes Research Connection does, and how each donation brings us one step closer to a cure.

The Role of Environmental Factors in Type 1 Diabetes

While the genetic factors of Type 1 diabetes are a major focus of research, it’s increasingly clear that environmental factors also play a crucial role in the onset of the disease. Identifying these factors could open up new avenues for preventing Type 1 diabetes.

Researchers have been able to delve into this complex interplay between genetics and environment. They’ve identified potential environmental triggers and investigated how they might interact with genetic risk factors to trigger the onset of Type 1 diabetes.

Every bit of help counts! Explore volunteer opportunities with Diabetes Research Connection and consider contributing your time and skills to support essential research. Together, we can create a world where Type 1 diabetes is a thing of the past.

Personalized Medicine for Type 1 Diabetes

One size does not fit all, especially when it comes to treating complex diseases like Type 1 diabetes. Personalized medicine, which tailors treatment to individual patients based on their unique genetic makeup and lifestyle, has been a significant focus in recent research.

Researchers have made leaps and bounds in this field. They’ve been able to explore and validate various predictive models and diagnostic tools that aid in designing personalized treatment plans for Type 1 diabetes patients.

This breakthrough presents a more promising and efficient path to managing Type 1 diabetes, creating personalized treatment plans that can significantly improve patients’ lives.

The work doesn’t stop here! Please consider making a donation to the Diabetes Research Connection to continue facilitating such breakthroughs. With your support, we can make personalized medicine a reality for everyone living with Type 1 diabetes.

Conclusion

Each of these breakthroughs marks a significant step forward in our journey to understand, manage, and ultimately cure Type 1 diabetes. The road to a cure is a long one, and every step forward brings renewed hope for millions of individuals living with Type 1 diabetes.

Your contributions play an instrumental role in making future breakthroughs possible. By donating to the Diabetes Research Connection, you are driving innovative research, funding young scientists’ groundbreaking ideas, and bringing us closer to a world free from the burdens of Type 1 diabetes.

The future of diabetes research is promising, thanks to organizations like the Diabetes Research Connection and individuals like you who believe in the power of research. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can change the future of Type 1 diabetes.

Join us in our mission to end Type 1 diabetes. Visit the Diabetes Research Connection website today to learn how you can contribute and help make the next breakthrough possible. Every donation, regardless of size, has the potential to change lives. Let’s make a difference together.

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Shining a Spotlight: Famous Faces Living with Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes is a word many of us have heard, but how much do we truly know about it? Specifically, Type 1 diabetes, is a condition that isn’t just a statistic on a health report, but a reality for many – including some of the world’s most recognized faces. Celebrities, despite their larger-than-life personas, are humans too, and some of them live with Type 1 diabetes every day. Their stories not only shed light on this condition but also highlight the importance of understanding and supporting those who navigate its challenges. In this post, we will delve into the world of Type 1 diabetes, introduce you to some celebrities who manage their lives with it, and show you how the Diabetes Research Connection plays a pivotal role in advancing research and support. Whether you’re new to the topic or seeking more information, this guide aims to be your compass.

Want to delve deeper into Type 1 diabetes? Head to the Diabetes Research Connection for more detailed information.

The Basics of Type 1 Diabetes

When we talk about diabetes, it’s crucial to understand that there are different types. Type 1 diabetes, which we’ll focus on here, is an autoimmune condition. This means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Without sufficient insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy.

Here are some quick points to grasp:

  • Cause: Unlike Type 2 diabetes, which can often be linked to lifestyle factors, the exact cause of Type 1 is still being researched. It’s believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
  • Symptoms: Early signs can include increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, constant hunger, blurred vision, and fatigue. Recognizing these symptoms is crucial for early diagnosis and management.
  • Management: There is no cure for Type 1 diabetes, but it can be managed. This is usually done with insulin therapy (either by injections or an insulin pump), regular blood sugar monitoring, and maintaining a balanced diet and exercise routine.
  • Importance of Research: The finer details of Type 1 diabetes, such as the exact causes and potential cures, are still under investigation. This is where organizations like the Diabetes Research Connection play a critical role, bridging the gap between questions and answers.

Understanding Type 1 diabetes is not just about knowing the facts but about grasping its impact on a person’s life. It’s about appreciating the daily challenges faced by those diagnosed and recognizing the importance of research, early detection, and community support.

Understanding Type 1 diabetes is the first step. Support the ongoing research by contributing to the Diabetes Research Connection.

Celebrities Living with Type 1

Celebrity culture has a broad reach, touching almost every corner of the globe. What celebrities share about their personal lives can have a lasting impact on public understanding and perceptions. It’s both humbling and enlightening to realize that these individuals, often placed on pedestals, face the same health challenges as many others. Let’s shed some light on a few celebrities who navigate their lives while managing Type 1 diabetes.

  • Nick Jonas: The renowned singer and one-third of the Jonas Brothers, Nick was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 13. Since then, he has been an ardent advocate, using his platform to raise awareness and encourage others living with the condition.
  • Mary Tyler Moore:The late Mary Tyler Moore, a legendary actress, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in her 30s. Throughout her career, Moore was not just an entertainment icon but also a beacon of hope, demonstrating that a successful life with diabetes is possible. Her legacy continues to inspire others.
    Bret Michaels: Lead singer of the rock band Poison, Bret Michaels was diagnosed as a child. His journey with diabetes has been shared openly, including the challenges and triumphs, making him a relatable figure for many.
  • Jay Cutler: This former NFL quarterback did not let his diagnosis deter his sports career. He’s a testament to the fact that with proper management, individuals with Type 1 diabetes can excel in demanding professions.
  • Victor Garber: Victor Garber, the accomplished actor known for his roles in both film and theater, has been living with Type 1 diabetes for several decades. His diagnosis came at a young age, but it hasn’t hindered his successful career in the entertainment industry.
  • Sonia Sotomayor: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a trailblazer in the world of law and jurisprudence, has also grappled with Type 1 diabetes since her childhood. Her remarkable journey from a humble background to the highest court in the land is a testament to her determination and resilience.

These celebrities, along with others, play a pivotal role in dismantling misconceptions and stigmas associated with Type 1 diabetes. By sharing their stories, they not only foster a deeper understanding but also provide inspiration to those grappling with similar challenges.

Inspired by their stories? Consider supporting the Diabetes Research Connection to make a difference.

The Impact of Public Figures Speaking Out

When public figures choose to share their personal battles and experiences with the world, the ripple effect can be profound. Their wide-reaching influence has the power to transform perceptions, educate the masses, and inspire action. So, what happens when these figures speak out about Type 1 diabetes?

  • Breaking Stigmas: One of the most potent impacts of celebrities discussing their Type 1 diabetes is the breaking down of stigmas. By sharing their daily struggles and triumphs, they humanize the condition, allowing others to see past the label and understand the individual behind the diagnosis.
  • Encouraging Early Diagnosis: When celebrities discuss their symptoms and the journey leading up to their diagnosis, it raises awareness about the signs of Type 1 diabetes. This can prompt individuals to seek medical advice earlier, potentially leading to faster diagnoses and better outcomes.
  • Boosting Funding and Support: A celebrity’s endorsement or advocacy can mobilize fans and the general public. Their support for research initiatives can lead to increased donations and more resources being funneled into finding better treatments or even a cure.
  • Empowering the Type 1 Community: Knowing that someone they admire faces the same challenges can be immensely empowering for individuals with Type 1 diabetes. It offers a sense of camaraderie and provides tangible proof that the condition doesn’t have to limit one’s dreams or ambitions.
  • Educating the Uninformed: For many, their knowledge of Type 1 diabetes might be minimal. A celebrity speaking out can serve as an educational moment, introducing them to the realities of the condition and dispelling myths.

In essence, when public figures use their platforms to discuss Type 1 diabetes, they do more than just share a personal anecdote. They become agents of change, catalyzing shifts in societal understanding and generating waves of support for the broader community.

Help the cause and amplify these voices. Get involved with Diabetes Research Connection today.

The Role of the Diabetes Research Connection

In the world of diabetes understanding and management, the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) stands as a beacon of hope and progress. But what exactly does this organization do, and why is its role so pivotal?

  • Championing Research: At its core, the Diabetes Research Connection is committed to driving innovative research around Type 1 diabetes. They recognize that while current treatments are invaluable, there’s still much to uncover about this condition. By funding groundbreaking studies, DRC pushes the boundaries of what we know.
  • Connecting the Community: Beyond the scientific frontiers, DRC acts as a nexus, connecting researchers, medical professionals, patients, and supporters. This sense of community fosters collaboration, ensuring that findings are not just theoretical but translate to real-world benefits.
  • Resource Allocation: Donations and funds received by DRC are meticulously channeled into promising research projects. By ensuring that resources are optimally utilized, they maximize the potential for meaningful breakthroughs.
  • Raising Awareness: The Diabetes Research Connection is not just about the science; it’s about the people. They work tirelessly to raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes, ensuring that the broader public understands the condition, its challenges, and the ongoing efforts to find better treatments and, ultimately, a cure.
  • Supporting the Next Generation: DRC recognizes that the future of diabetes research lies in the hands of budding scientists. By offering support and resources to emerging researchers, they ensure that the torch of innovation continues to burn bright.

In summary, the Diabetes Research Connection plays a multifaceted role in the world of Type 1 diabetes. They bridge gaps, fuel progress, and stand as a testament to what can be achieved when passion meets purpose.

Make a difference in the lives of those with Type 1 diabetes. Your donations to Diabetes Research Connection are invaluable.

Final Thoughts on Type 1 Diabetes

The journey through understanding Type 1 diabetes is one filled with nuances, challenges, and hope. From celebrities who face the condition head-on to the tireless efforts of organizations like the Diabetes Research Connection, the narrative is clear: with awareness, support, and determination, progress is not just possible – it’s inevitable.

Every individual living with Type 1 diabetes has a unique story, but the underlying thread is resilience and the quest for a better tomorrow. Through collective efforts, from the voice of public figures to the rigorous research of scientists, the future looks promising.

As we wrap up our exploration, it’s essential to remember that each one of us has a role to play. Whether it’s spreading awareness, donating, or simply understanding and empathizing with those who live with Type 1 diabetes, every action counts.

Join the Diabetes Research Connection family. With your support, we can forge a brighter future for everyone impacted by Type 1 diabetes.

Further Reading

Expanding your knowledge about Type 1 diabetes doesn’t stop here. The topic is vast, and numerous articles, studies, and personal stories can offer deeper insights. Here are some recommended reads to enhance your understanding and keep you informed:

  1. Mayo Clinic – Type 1 Diabetes:  A comprehensive guide on the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for Type 1 diabetes.
  2. Good Housekeeping – Living with Type 1 Diabetes: A heartfelt personal narrative detailing the day-to-day challenges and experiences of living with Type 1 diabetes.
  3. Labiotech – Diabetes Treatment Review: A deep dive into the latest advancements, treatments, and potential cures in the diabetes research landscape.
  4. Mental Health America – Diabetes and Mental Health: An exploration of the interplay between diabetes and mental health, highlighting the psychological impacts and coping strategies.
  5. Healthline – Type 1 Diabetes Diet: An insightful guide on dietary considerations, preparation tips, and best practices for individuals managing Type 1 diabetes.

Stay curious and keep exploring. The more we know, the better equipped we are to support and understand the Type 1 diabetes community. Consider sharing these resources and spreading awareness.

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Diabetes Research

How You Can Take Action for Diabetes Awareness

Welcome to another post from the Diabetes Research Connection blog! If you or someone you love has been affected by diabetes, you likely know how important it is to engage with this life-changing condition. Whether you’re managing Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, discussing it openly and honestly is crucial for staying healthy.

But what if you want to do more? What if you want to be a true champion in bringing about change? This blog post is your step-by-step guide to becoming a diabetes champion. We’ll cover everything from the importance of open conversations to staying healthy through self-management and physical activity. Also mentioning the role of technology advances in improving lives. Along the way, you’ll discover practical tips and advice from healthcare professionals to make your journey easier.

Not only will we delve into how to manage the physical aspects of the disease, but we’ll also touch on the vital subject of mental health. Diabetes can be an emotional rollercoaster, and mental well-being is a crucial part of overall health. So, if you’re ready to take action, read on.

Start by discussing diabetes with your friends, family, or anyone else who may benefit from knowing more about this condition. Use social media as a tool to spread awareness and direct them to Diabetes Research Connection for reliable information and resources.

Stay tuned as we unpack each step of becoming a diabetes champion.

Understanding the Basics of Diabetes

Before diving into how you can become a diabetes champion, it’s essential to understand the basics of diabetes itself. This condition comes in two main forms: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Even though they share the name ‘diabetes,’ they are distinct in how they affect the body and the management they require.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leads to a lifetime reliance on external insulin through injections or an insulin pump. It’s crucial to engage with healthcare professionals for advice on managing Type 1 diabetes effectively to prevent complications like kidney damage, nerve damage, and eye issues.

Type 2 Diabetes

On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes often develops later in life and is linked to lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity. The body still produces insulin, but either not enough or the cells resist it, leading to high blood sugar levels. Proper self-management, guided by healthcare professional advice, can go a long way in controlling this form of diabetes.

Discussing diabetes with your loved ones and healthcare professionals can clear up misconceptions and provide emotional support, making the journey easier. Modern technology advances also offer a helping hand. Devices like Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) have revolutionized how people manage their diabetes day-to-day.

It’s crucial to note that diabetes is a global health concern. According to the latest statistics, over 400 million people worldwide have diabetes. This points to the necessity of staying healthy through effective self-management and also the urgency for continued diabetes research.

Don’t underestimate the power of spreading awareness. Share information from trustworthy sources like Diabetes Research Connection on social media to educate and raise awareness. The more people know, the more we can do to control this condition and fund research to find better treatments, or even a cure.

Understanding the basics equips you with the knowledge you need to become a diabetes champion. Up next, we’ll delve into why taking action and supporting initiatives like those from Diabetes Research Connection are crucial steps in making a meaningful difference.

Why Taking Action Matters

If you’re committed to managing your diabetes or helping a loved one manage theirs, you might be wondering why it’s necessary to go a step further and champion this cause. Here’s the thing: taking action for diabetes not only benefits you but also positively impacts the larger community. It’s essential for driving diabetes research forward, reducing stigma, and even shaping public policies.

The Power of Raising Awareness

Raising awareness about Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes can bring about real change. Discussing diabetes openly helps dispel myths and misconceptions, which is crucial for removing the stigma often associated with this condition. When people are more informed, they’re likely to take actions such as staying healthy through improved self-management, engaging in physical activity, and even seeking healthcare professional advice.

Diabetes Research Connection’s Role

Research is the cornerstone of improving lives for those with diabetes. Organizations like Diabetes Research Connection play a pivotal role in funding studies that lead to better treatments and potentially, a cure. Your involvement can direct attention to these critical efforts, and your contributions—be it through social media sharing, donations, or volunteering—can make a substantial difference.

Changing Policies and Perceptions

By becoming a diabetes champion, you’re not just making life better for people living with this condition; you’re also influencing how society views diabetes. This can lead to more inclusive healthcare policies, advancements in technology, and better mental health support services for those living with diabetes. Your voice can be the catalyst for these changes.

Use your influence to further the mission of Diabetes Research Connection. Engage with their blogs and social media posts, and share them with your network. Your active participation can help raise funds, attract volunteers, and inspire others to become diabetes champions.

When you consider the collective benefits, it becomes clear why taking an active role in promoting awareness and supporting research is so vital. Up next, we will discuss the importance of having open conversations about diabetes and how you can effectively initiate these crucial discussions.

Discussing Diabetes Openly

Communication is the cornerstone of effective diabetes management and a vital step in becoming a diabetes champion. Engaging in meaningful conversations about Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes can not only help you personally but also amplify the broader message about the importance of diabetes research and awareness.

Why Open Conversations Matter

First and foremost, discussing diabetes transparently eliminates stigma and misconceptions. These dialogues offer a platform for education, clearing the air about common misunderstandings surrounding diabetes. Open conversations are also pivotal in helping you stay healthy, as sharing your challenges and triumphs can provide valuable mental health support.

Engaging with Loved Ones

Openly talking about diabetes isn’t just for healthcare settings; it’s something you should be doing with friends and family as well. Engage with loved ones about your experiences, challenges, and successes. Discussing diabetes with people close to you can lead to more emotional and even practical support. For example, your loved ones can remind you to engage in regular physical activity or help you with your self-management goals.

The Role of Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professional advice is invaluable for effective diabetes management. Regular consultations not only help you manage symptoms and complications but also give you an opportunity to ask questions and seek mental health resources. Be sure to engage your healthcare providers in conversations about the latest technology advances and how they might fit into your care plan.

Using Social Media and Blogs for Awareness

Platforms like social media and blogs are powerful tools for spreading information. Your personal story or practical tips can inspire others to take their condition seriously and might even lead them to contribute to diabetes research efforts, like those at Diabetes Research Connection. Sharing your journey can serve as a roadmap for others navigating the complexities of this condition.

Take the initiative to discuss diabetes openly in your social circles and online platforms. You have the power to make a difference. Share your story on social media and encourage others to contribute to valuable initiatives like those organized by Diabetes Research Connection.

Now that you understand the power of open conversations about diabetes, the next section will delve into the specifics of self-management and staying healthy while living with diabetes.

Self-Management and Staying Healthy

Managing diabetes effectively is crucial for long-term health and minimizing complications. To truly champion this cause, not just for yourself but for others, understanding self-management techniques is pivotal. From incorporating physical activity into your daily routine to making dietary changes, we’ll explore various facets of maintaining a healthy lifestyle with diabetes.

The Importance of Diet and Nutrition

A balanced diet is a cornerstone of diabetes self-management. Staying healthy with the right nutrition can control blood sugar levels and prevent complications such as heart disease and kidney damage. Engage with healthcare professionals for personalized dietary advice that aligns with your specific needs.

Staying Physically Active

Physical activity is another critical component for effectively managing either Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Exercise helps to control weight, improve insulin sensitivity, and boost your overall mental health. Always consult healthcare professional advice before starting a new exercise regimen, especially if you have any diabetes-related complications.

Mental Health Considerations

Never underestimate the role of mental health in diabetes self-management. Stress and anxiety can have a direct impact on blood sugar levels, making it all the more important to engage in stress-reducing activities and seek professional mental health advice when needed.

Monitoring and Technology Advances

Today’s technological advances like Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) and insulin pumps have revolutionized self-management. These tools offer real-time data, helping you make immediate adjustments to your lifestyle for better blood sugar control.

Diabetes Research and Self-Management

It’s worth noting that many self-management techniques and technological advances are a direct result of diabetes research. Organizations like Diabetes Research Connection have contributed significantly to funding studies that offer practical solutions for everyday challenges that people with diabetes face.

Embrace these self-management tips and engage in conversations about staying healthy with diabetes on social media platforms and blogs. Share your tips and tricks and encourage others to visit Diabetes Research Connection to find more valuable resources for managing this condition effectively.

Armed with these self-management strategies, you’re one step closer to becoming a diabetes champion. In our next section, we’ll explore how technology and healthcare professionals can further aid in your journey toward effective diabetes management.

The Role of Technology and Healthcare Professionals

Becoming a diabetes champion involves utilizing every available resource, and two of the most crucial are advances in technology and the guidance of healthcare professionals. These elements not only make self-management more effective but also enable you to engage in meaningful dialogues about Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and the overall landscape of diabetes research.

Utilizing Technology Advances

The advent of technology has transformed the way we manage diabetes. Tools like Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) and smart insulin pumps have been groundbreaking. These technological advances provide real-time data, making it easier to avoid complications and engage in effective self-management. By leveraging these tools, you can maintain better control over your condition and lead a healthier life.

Healthcare Professional Advice

When it comes to healthcare, one size doesn’t fit all. Personalized advice from healthcare professionals can tailor your self-management strategies to your specific condition and lifestyle. These consultations can offer you the latest insights into managing diabetes, from dietary changes to mental health support. Healthcare professionals are invaluable for guiding you through the complexities of staying healthy while living with diabetes.

Engaging in Conversations and Research

Healthcare providers can also be a rich source of information about the latest diabetes research. Engaging in conversations with them can open doors to new treatment options, studies, and even opportunities to contribute to ongoing research initiatives like those at Diabetes Research Connection. It’s a symbiotic relationship; the more you engage with healthcare professionals, the more you’ll learn and contribute to the collective knowledge around diabetes.

The Synergy of Technology and Professional Guidance

The combination of cutting-edge technology and expert advice from healthcare professionals creates a powerful duo for effective diabetes management. This synergy enables you to stay on top of your condition, reducing the risk of complications and enhancing your overall quality of life.

Embrace technology and seek healthcare professional advice to optimize your self-management strategies. Share your experiences and insights on social media or blogs to inspire others. Consider directing your followers to trusted resources like Diabetes Research Connection for the latest research and practical tips on diabetes management.

Understanding the role of technology and healthcare professionals completes the picture of what it takes to be a diabetes champion. Now, let’s explore how you can take your commitment to the next level by contributing to diabetes research and engaging more actively in the cause.

How to Become a Diabetes Champion

You’ve learned the importance of discussing diabetes openly, the fundamentals of self-management, and the critical role of technology and healthcare professionals. Now, let’s focus on actionable steps you can take to go from being a concerned individual to a full-fledged diabetes champion. By contributing to diabetes research, staying updated through blogs and social media, and effectively engaging with your network, you can make a substantial impact.

Educate Yourself and Others

Knowledge is power. Stay informed by following trusted resources like Diabetes Research Connection, reading their blogs, and subscribing to their social media channels. But don’t stop there. Share this information with your circle to increase awareness about Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Engage Actively Online

Utilize the power of social media platforms to share your journey, practical tips, and important information about diabetes. By doing so, you’re not only helping yourself but also empowering others to take their health seriously.

Participate in Research Efforts

Participating in a study, completing a survey, or making a donation. These actions can accelerate the pace of diabetes research. Organizations like Diabetes Research Connection often have various opportunities for public involvement. Therefore your participation could help bring us one step closer to finding a cure.

Consult and Collaborate with Healthcare Professionals

Keep an open line of communication with healthcare providers. Not only can they offer invaluable healthcare professional advice for managing your diabetes. They can also guide you in ways to contribute effectively to the cause.

Foster Discussions in Your Community

Become the go-to person for diabetes information in your community. Organize informational sessions, provide resources, and create a safe space for people to discuss their concerns and experiences related to diabetes.

Make It Personal

You should never underestimate the power of a personal story. Sharing these experiences can resonate deeply with people and motivate them to engage more actively in managing their condition and supporting research efforts.

Don’t just be a bystander; become a diabetes champion. Engage with Diabetes Research Connection to find out how you can contribute to ongoing studies and other initiatives. Share this guide and talk about your steps toward becoming a champion for diabetes awareness and research in your social networks.

By taking these steps, you’re not just managing your condition better, you’re becoming a beacon of hope and a catalyst for change in the broader diabetes community. Thank you for championing this important cause.

Moving Forward

You’ve now armed yourself with essential information and practical tips for becoming a diabetes champion. From understanding the nuances of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Discussing diabetes openly and engaging in effective self-management. The role of technology and healthcare professional advice offers you a comprehensive toolset to manage your condition and help others.

Continuing the Conversation

Let’s keep the dialogue going. Engage with loved ones, share your experiences on social media, and be an active participant in your healthcare journey. All these steps create a ripple effect that can influence the lives of many others dealing with diabetes.

Making a Difference Through Diabetes Research

We invite you to engage further with organizations committed to diabetes research, like Diabetes Research Connection. These platforms offer valuable information and opportunities for you to contribute, be it through participation in studies, donations, or sharing vital information.

An Ongoing Commitment

Remember, becoming a diabetes champion is an ongoing commitment.  For example, keep abreast of technology advances, continue following blogs, and maintain an open line of communication with healthcare professionals. Their advice will be your compass in navigating the challenges of staying healthy while managing diabetes.

As we move forward, make a commitment today to be an advocate for yourself and for the broader diabetes community. Join us at Diabetes Research Connection to stay updated and contribute to meaningful change. Share this blog post to inspire others and get the word out about the importance of diabetes management and research.

In conclusion, we can change the narrative around diabetes and make strides in both personal management and scientific discovery. Thank you for being a part of this essential cause, and here’s to a healthier future for us all.

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zhang

Update from DRC Researcher Jian Zhang

Patients with diabetes rely on blood sugar information to make decisions on insulin therapy. Standard of care to read blood sugar includes finger pricking for a glucose meter or a wearable continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device. While CGM devices have been a major technological improvement for glucose monitoring, the current FDA-approved sensors have limitations. The two current types of CGM sensors are electrochemical and optical sensors. The Dexcom G6, FreeStyle Libre 3, and Medtronic Guardian 3 are all electrochemical sensors. This type of device can have insufficient stability in the body, is susceptible to corrosion, has poor accuracy at low glucose, and can have interference which requires frequent calibration with a glucose meter.

To address these technological limitations, we designed a new type of optical CGM that includes a fluorescent nanodiamond boronic hydrogel system in porous microneedles. Fluorescent nanodiamonds are an inexpensive material that is easy for larger-scale synthesis. The fluorescent nanodiamonds make a stable signal that can be detected and are compatible for use inside the body. The boronic hydrogel is a polymer material that can detect changes in glucose levels. This study attached a boronic hydrogel to a nanodiamond to make a novel fluorescent CGM device. In our proof-of-concept studies, we showed that we can reliably measure blood sugar levels in a mouse for up to 30 days. Also, in large animal models, we showed that the device left minimal scar tissue. Lastly, the hydrogels that we used can be chemically adjusted to detect other biological signals, making it an attractive platform for noninvasive biomedical monitoring. This type of system can be used as a diagnostic tool for other diseases, such as cancer.

In summary, our proof-of-concept study shows that a microneedle device with this material can serve as a minimally invasive and long-lasting fluorescence sensor for measuring blood sugar. Our sensor is small and easy to apply/remove, providing a safer and more user-friendly optical CGM device for diabetes patients. This work was recently published in Advanced Science in an article called “Continuous Glucose Monitoring Enabled by Fluorescent Nanodiamond Boronic Hydrogel.”

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Debunking Myths About Type 2 Diabetes: Trusted Insights From DRC

Type 2 diabetes, a condition characterized by the body’s inability to properly use insulin, affects millions of people worldwide. Despite its prevalence, it’s often misunderstood, leading to a variety of misconceptions that can perpetuate stigma and impede effective management of the disease.

Our aim at the Diabetes Research Connection is to not only fund groundbreaking research into Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes but also to provide accurate, reliable information that educates the public and combats these pervasive myths. This blog post is part of that mission.

In this post, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths surrounding Type 2 diabetes, offering trusted insights backed by science. Our goal is to replace misinformation with facts, fostering a better understanding of the condition and promoting healthier, more informed conversations about it.

For in-depth information about Type 2 diabetes, its causes, symptoms, treatment, and management, visit the Diabetes Research Connection website. Equipped with the right knowledge, we can collectively make strides in battling this widespread disease.

Myth 1: Only Overweight People Get Type 2 Diabetes

One of the most common misconceptions about Type 2 diabetes is that it’s a disease that only affects overweight or obese individuals. While it’s true that excess weight can be a risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes, it’s certainly not the only one. There are several other factors, including age, family history, ethnicity, and even certain health conditions, that can also increase the risk of developing this type of diabetes.

Research funded by the Diabetes Research Connection has shown that people of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels can, and do, develop Type 2 diabetes. Focusing solely on weight can result in an oversimplified view of the disease and delay diagnosis and treatment for those who don’t fit the stereotype.

Understanding the full range of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes is essential for early detection and treatment. Consider making a donation to the Diabetes Research Connection to support ongoing research into these risk factors, as well as efforts to educate the public about the realities of this disease.

Myth 2: Type 2 Diabetes is not as Serious as Type 1

Another misconception is the belief that Type 2 diabetes is somehow less serious than Type 1. This myth is not only misleading but also potentially harmful. Both types of diabetes can lead to serious, even life-threatening complications if not managed correctly.

While the onset and management strategies for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes may differ, both types require diligent care and attention. The Diabetes Research Connection is committed to conducting and supporting research into both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, seeking innovative treatments and, ultimately, a cure.

Help us dispel myths about Type 2 diabetes by sharing this post. By spreading accurate information, we can ensure that everyone living with diabetes gets the understanding and support they need.

Myth 3: People with Type 2 Diabetes Can’t Eat Sugar at All

The notion that people with Type 2 diabetes must completely eliminate sugar from their diet is another widely held myth. In reality, while it’s important for people with Type 2 diabetes to monitor their carbohydrate intake, including sugars, a zero-sugar diet is not necessary.

The key lies in moderation and balance. A healthy diet for people with Type 2 diabetes can still include some sugar, as long as it’s part of a balanced, nutrient-dense diet, and blood sugar levels are carefully managed.

Insights from Diabetes Research Connection-backed studies emphasize the importance of a personalized approach to dietary management in Type 2 diabetes, one that takes into account individual needs, preferences, and lifestyle.

To learn more about nutrition and diet management for Type 2 diabetes, visit the Diabetes Research Connection website. You’ll find a wealth of information backed by science, providing you with reliable guidelines for a diabetes-friendly diet.

Myth 4: If You Have Type 2 Diabetes, You Must Only Use Insulin

While insulin therapy can be a part of Type 2 diabetes management, it’s certainly not the only treatment option. Many people with Type 2 diabetes can manage their blood sugar levels through lifestyle changes, oral medications, or non-insulin injectable drugs.

Insulin is typically introduced when other measures are no longer sufficient to keep blood sugar levels in check. The Diabetes Research Connection funds research into a wide variety of treatment options for Type 2 diabetes, from exploring new drug therapies to studying the impact of lifestyle modifications.

To support further research into diverse and more effective treatment options for Type 2 diabetes, consider making a donation to the Diabetes Research Connection. Your contribution could play a part in the next major breakthrough in diabetes care.

Myth 5: Type 2 Diabetes is Only a Problem for Adults

While Type 2 diabetes was once predominantly seen in adults, it’s a growing problem among children and adolescents. Sedentary lifestyles and a rise in obesity rates have contributed to an increase in Type 2 diabetes cases in younger age groups.

Studies funded by the Diabetes Research Connection are actively exploring this worrying trend, aiming to understand the unique challenges and implications of Type 2 diabetes in youth. This knowledge is crucial for developing targeted prevention strategies and effective treatments for this younger population.

Keep yourself updated on the latest research and developments in Type 2 diabetes by signing up for the Diabetes Research Connection newsletter. The more we know, the better we can work together to combat this disease across all age groups.

Looking forward

Dispelling myths about Type 2 diabetes is crucial for fostering a better understanding of the disease and promoting effective management strategies. The Diabetes Research Connection is committed to providing accurate and reliable information, supported by scientific research, to help educate the public and debunk misconceptions.

By challenging myths such as the belief that only overweight individuals get Type 2 diabetes or that it is less serious than Type 1 diabetes, we can break down barriers and promote a more inclusive and empathetic approach to diabetes care. Understanding that sugar can still be enjoyed in moderation and that treatment options go beyond insulin empowers individuals with Type 2 diabetes to make informed decisions about their health.

As supporters of the Diabetes Research Connection, your contributions play a vital role in advancing our understanding of Type 2 diabetes and developing innovative treatments. Together, we can work towards a future where accurate information and effective interventions make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by Type 2 diabetes.

Visit the Diabetes Research Connection website to learn more about Type 2 diabetes, its management, and the ongoing research supported by donations. Consider making a donation to support their mission of improving lives through research and education. By doing so, you contribute to the fight against Type 2 diabetes and help create a world where misconceptions are replaced with knowledge and understanding.

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Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Kids with T1D

How to Support a Loved One Diagnosed with Diabetes

A New Path with Diabetes

Every year, millions of people receive a life-changing diagnosis: diabetes. This news can be daunting, not just for the person diagnosed, but also for their loved ones. As family and friends, it’s natural to want to offer support and help. However, understanding how best to do that can sometimes be challenging, especially when you’re new to the world of diabetes.

This guide, “How to Support a Loved One Diagnosed with Diabetes” aims to provide practical strategies to help you navigate this new journey. Whether your loved one is dealing with Type 1 or Type 2, this guide offers insights on providing emotional support, aiding in diabetes management, and promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Importantly, it’s crucial to remember that you’re not alone. There is a wealth of information, resources, and a supportive community available on the Diabetes Research Connection website to help you and your loved one during this time. Together, we can ensure that a diagnosis of diabetes becomes a starting point for positive lifestyle changes and not an end to living a fulfilling life. Let’s get started.

Understanding Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Before diving into how to support your loved one, let’s start by understanding the basics of Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1: This is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.

Type 2: This is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose). The body either resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels.

Understanding these differences is essential because it will shape the way you support your loved one. The needs of someone with Type 1 diabetes can vary greatly from those with Type 2.

Further information about both types of diabetes is available on the Diabetes Research Connection website. You’ll find a wealth of resources that break down the complexities of these conditions, making them easy to understand. Take some time to get acquainted with this knowledge – it’s your first step in supporting your loved one effectively.

Remember, diabetes research is continuously evolving, bringing new insights and treatments. By making a donation to the Diabetes Research Connection, you can support this vital work, contributing to better outcomes for people living with this disease.

Learning about Diabetes Management

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to managing diabetes. The more you understand diabetes management, the better positioned you will be to offer meaningful and practical support. Here are some areas to focus on:

Diet and Nutrition: Learn about the impact of different foods on blood sugar levels, and understand how to balance meals for someone with diabetes.

Exercise: Regular physical activity is a cornerstone of diabetes management. Understand the best exercises for people with diabetes and how to incorporate them safely into their routine.

Medication Management: Whether it’s insulin injections for Type 1 diabetes or oral medication for Type 2, understanding medication schedules and potential side effects is crucial.

Blood Sugar Monitoring: Learn about how and when to check blood glucose levels and what the readings mean.

Remember, everyone’s experience with diabetes is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Be patient, keep learning, and stay flexible.

The Diabetes Research Connection offers various educational resources, from detailed articles to community forums where you can ask questions and share experiences. Don’t forget to make use of these tools, and consider making a donation to help us continue providing these resources for those supporting a loved one with diabetes. Let’s learn together, for the ones we love.

Being There for Your Loved One

Living with diabetes can take an emotional toll. Your loved one might experience a range of emotions from fear and anger to sadness and even denial. As a support system, one of your most important roles is to provide emotional support. Here’s how you can do that:

Listen: Sometimes, the best support you can offer is a listening ear. Encourage your loved one to express their feelings and concerns about living with diabetes.

Empathize: Try to understand their perspective. Empathy can help create an environment where your loved one feels safe and supported.

Reassure: Assure them that it’s normal to have these feelings and that they’re not alone. Remind them of their strengths and capabilities.

Encourage Positivity: Help them see the positive aspects of managing their diabetes, such as adopting healthier habits that can enhance their overall quality of life.

Supporting your loved one emotionally can make a significant difference in their journey with diabetes. But remember, it’s also essential to take care of your emotional health.

The Diabetes Research Connection can provide resources and a supportive community to help both you and your loved one cope with the emotional aspects of diabetes. Consider joining this community and, if possible, make a donation to help maintain these valuable resources. Together, we can ensure that everyone affected by diabetes receives the emotional support they need.

Supporting Dietary and Exercise Changes

A cornerstone of managing both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is adopting a healthy lifestyle. This often involves making changes in diet and physical activity. Here’s how you can support your loved one in this aspect:

Dietary Changes: Understand the importance of balanced nutrition in managing blood glucose levels. Assist in meal planning and preparation, focusing on foods that are high in nutrients and low in sugar and unhealthy fats.

Exercise Regularly: Encourage regular physical activity. Whether it’s a walk in the park, a yoga session, or a dance class, find something enjoyable that keeps them moving.

Consistency is Key: Consistency in meal times and exercise routines can greatly help in maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Help them establish and stick to regular eating and exercise schedules.

Learn Together: Explore new healthy recipes and fun ways to be active together. This shared journey can be a great bonding experience and make the process more enjoyable.

By supporting your loved one in making these changes, you not only help them manage their diabetes but also promote a healthier lifestyle for everyone involved.

Don’t forget to visit the Diabetes Research Connection for more tips and resources on promoting a healthy lifestyle for individuals with diabetes. And consider making a donation to help us continue providing these important resources to the community. Your support could transform a life.

Helping with Medication and Doctor Visits

Managing diabetes often involves regular medications and frequent doctor visits. Supporting your loved one in this aspect is key to ensuring they remain healthy. Here’s how you can help:

Medication Reminders: Help your loved one remember to take their medication at the right times, especially if they’re on a strict schedule.

Understanding Medications: Learn about the medications your loved one is taking. This includes knowing what each medication does, potential side effects, and how they interact with food and other medicines.

Doctor Visits: Accompany your loved one to their doctor appointments when possible. You can provide emotional support, help remember the doctor’s advice, and ask any questions that your loved one might forget.

Staying Updated: Stay updated with the latest research and advancements in diabetes treatment. This can help when discussing treatment options with healthcare providers.

Supporting your loved one’s medical needs can significantly impact their health and quality of life. Your support not only helps them feel cared for but also ensures they’re getting the best possible care.

Remember, the Diabetes Research Connection is here to provide you with the latest information and resources to help you support your loved one in their medical journey. We also encourage you to consider making a donation. Your contribution can help fund critical research to improve diabetes care and treatment. Let’s make a difference together.

Your Role in Their Diabetes Journey

Supporting a loved one with diabetes is a journey filled with challenges, learning, and growth. Your role as a pillar of strength in their diabetes journey is invaluable, and your active involvement can make a huge difference in their life.

Remember, diabetes doesn’t define your loved one. They can still live a fulfilling and active life with your support, a positive mindset, and the right management strategies. Your patience, understanding, and encouragement can provide the strength they need to successfully manage their diabetes.

Finally, as we have explored in this guide, the Diabetes Research Connection offers a wealth of resources for both people living with diabetes and their loved ones. Becoming part of this supportive community can be an excellent way to continue learning and sharing experiences.

Make a donation to help further diabetes research and continue the invaluable work of the Diabetes Research Connection. Every donation makes a difference and brings us one step closer to a world where diabetes doesn’t limit anyone. Your support, in every form, is a beacon of hope. Let’s stand strong together, for ourselves and our loved ones.

The Importance of Continuous Learning and Engagement

Living with diabetes or supporting a loved one with the disease is an ongoing journey. The landscape of diabetes care and management is continuously evolving, with new research and advancements providing better ways to manage the condition.

Staying updated with this evolving knowledge is a crucial part of this journey. It can help you support your loved one more effectively and make informed decisions about their care.

Stay Informed: Regularly check reputable sources, like the Diabetes Research Connection, for updates on diabetes research and management strategies.

Community Involvement: Engage with the diabetes community. Sharing experiences and tips with others in similar situations can provide valuable insights and emotional support.

Ongoing Education: Attend workshops, webinars, or courses on diabetes management to keep your knowledge current.

Remember, your active engagement and continuous learning can make a significant difference in your loved one’s diabetes journey.

Visit the Diabetes Research Connection website today for a wealth of resources and the latest updates on diabetes research. If you can, consider making a donation. Your support could provide hope to millions of people living with diabetes and bring us closer to a future where diabetes is no longer a limitation. Let’s continue this journey together, stronger and more informed.

Transforming Challenges into Opportunities

Supporting a loved one with diabetes may seem challenging, but it’s important to remember that every challenge presents an opportunity for growth, connection, and positive change. By offering your support, you’re not only helping your loved one manage their diabetes but also strengthening your bond with them.

You’re helping them live a healthier lifestyle, encouraging them to stay positive, and showing them they’re not alone in their journey. All these aspects can significantly improve their quality of life and overall well-being.

Remember, the Diabetes Research Connection is always here to help, with a wealth of resources and a supportive community. We invite you to join us, learn from us, and share your experiences with us.

And lastly, consider making a donation to support diabetes research. It is through your generous contributions that we can continue our work, bring hope to those living with diabetes, and strive for a future where diabetes doesn’t limit anyone.

Thank you for being a part of this journey, for your support, and for making a difference. Together, we are strong. Together, we can transform challenges into opportunities. Visit the Diabetes Research Connection today to learn more, share, and contribute. Let’s build a better future together.

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Diabetes Research Connection: A Guide for New Visitors

Welcome to the world of diabetes research. This is a constantly evolving field dedicated to improving the lives of millions of people around the world. If you are new to this field or are seeking more knowledge about diabetes, you’ve come to the right place. This guide aims to help you navigate the complexities of diabetes and the pioneering research that is shaping its future.

Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is a non-profit organization devoted to backing innovative research related to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Our work aims to link generous donors with early-career researchers to support their peer-reviewed studies. The ultimate goal? To prevent and cure diabetes, enhance care, and uplift the quality of life for those grappling with this health problem.

Understanding is not only about gaining knowledge – it’s about joining a community striving to make a difference. Our website provides a wealth of information about diabetes and ways you can contribute to the fight to end it.

Understanding Diabetes

This is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. The moment food breaks down into glucose, the bloodstream immediately absorbs and circulates it. With the help of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, this glucose enters our cells to provide energy. However, in individuals with diabetes, this process doesn’t function properly and results in high blood sugar levels.

In the case of Type 1, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, the body produces little or no insulin. Individuals need to take insulin every day to survive. This type typically shows up in children and young adults, but it can appear at any age.

Type 2, the most common type, occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin. This causes glucose to remain in your blood and not reach your cells. Though frequently seen in middle-aged and older individuals, younger people are now more commonly receiving diagnoses. Engaging in physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can significantly mitigate the risk factors associated with type 2.

Common symptoms for people with diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst and hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and blurred vision. If left untreated this can lead to numerous severe complications. Some of these are high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, and nerve damage.

Understanding diabetes can be complex, but knowledge is necessary to manage the disease. It will help to provide support for those affected and contribute to finding a cure. It is a crucial step toward achieving these objectives.

To deepen your understanding of diabetes and the two different types, visit Diabetes Research Connection. Our resources will provide you with detailed information and guide you through the complexities of this disease. Knowledge is power—equip yourself today.

Diabetic Research Connection: Your Ally in the Fight Against Diabetes

In a complex and evolving landscape like diabetes research, it can be challenging to find reliable, digestible, and updated information. The DRC serves as a beacon in this field. We provide clarity, resources, and a sense of community to anyone seeking to understand diabetes better. Thus enabling everyone to contribute to the fight against it.

Diabetc Research Connection regularly update our resource center. Making sure everyone has access to reliable, up-to-date, and comprehensive information about diabetes. We also create and maintain an active community of researchers, advocates, and individuals affected by diabetes. Through this community, we’re able to foster dialogue, share experiences, and provide support for those touched by diabetes.

Our mission at the DRC is to prevent and cure diabetes. We aim to improve patient care and enhance the quality of life of those living with the disease. We fulfill this mission by supporting early-career scientists’ innovative, peer-reviewed research initiatives. We believe that by backing these fresh perspectives, we can unlock groundbreaking strategies for management, prevention, and cure.

The DRC provides access to current research projects and the opportunity to directly engage with researchers. Our website provides numerous detailed articles, an engaged community of advocates, researchers, and people affected by the condition. As a user-friendly platform, we are committed to making research more accessible and straightforward for everyone.

But we’re more than just an information source—we’re a vibrant community dedicated to creating change. You’ll also find stories of hope, progress, and resilience that underscore the collective commitment to defeating this disease.

Join the DRC community today. Explore our extensive resources, connect with researchers, and engage in conversations about the future of research. Your curiosity and involvement can accelerate the pace of change in treatment and care. Remember, each one of us holds a piece of the puzzle in solving this challenge.

The Importance of Research in Diabetes

Research is the lifeblood of progress in any medical field, and diabetes is no exception. Hard work and creative research can find new ways to treat the disease and make big steps toward finding a cure.

Research supported by the DRC has given us a new understanding of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. For example, research has led to the development of continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps, making management easier and more precise. Investigations into the immune system’s role in Type 1 have opened the doors to new therapeutic strategies. Type 2 diabetes research has enabled patients to better manage their disease with lifestyle changes and medical treatments.

While we’ve made significant progress, there’s still a lot of work ahead of us. Ongoing research is crucial for developing more effective treatments, preventing disease onset, and ultimately, discovering a cure. The DRC is dedicated to driving this research forward by supporting the work of talented early-career scientists.

To stay updated on the latest advancements in research sign up to our newsletter and regularly check the DRC’s research updates. By staying informed, you can help raise awareness, foster understanding, and contribute to the global conversation on diabetes. Knowledge not only empowers us, but it also connects us in our shared fight against this condition.

The Role of Donations in Diabetes Research

In the journey to understand, manage, and ultimately cure diabetes, funding plays a pivotal role. Donations to the Diabetes Research Connection directly fuel innovative research and pave the way for scientific breakthroughs.

Financial support helps early-career scientists kick-start their research projects. These novel ideas could potentially transform our understanding of diabetes or introduce new treatment methods.

The Diabetes Research Connection uses 100% of donations to fund innovative research.  These contriibutions support the development and execution of cutting-edge research projects led by promising early-career scientists. These projects contribute to the global understanding of diabetes and help uncover new pathways for prevention, treatment, and cure.

By donating you’re helping the future of research and making an impact on the lives of people living with this condition.

Support the Diabetes Research Connection by making a donation today. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, can significantly impact the fight against diabetes. Remember, every donation accelerates the pace of research and brings us one step closer to a world without diabetes.

To the Future

Understanding diabetes and the research around it can be a challenging journey, but rest assured, you’re not alone. The DRC is here to be your guide, your source of reliable information, and your community in the fight against diabetes. By giving early-career scientists the funding they need for innovative research, we’re helping to advance our understanding of this disease and move closer to a cure.

We invite you to join our mission in any way you can. It could be learning about this condition, sharing resources, making a donation, or simply spreading the word about our work. Together, we can improve the lives of people with diabetes and aim for a future where this disease no longer exists.

Become part of the Diabetes Research Connection community today. Your involvement, in any capacity, is a valuable contribution to our mission. Knowledge, awareness, and collective action are our most potent tools in the fight against diabetes. Join us, and let’s make a difference together.

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diabetes research, a modern lab with scientists analyzing various data on holographic screens, DNA strands, glucose molecules, and pancreas cells detailed, a futuristic and clean lab setting with soft blue light, highlighting the focus, dedication, and hopeful mood of the scientists, Photography, shot with a Nikon D850 using a 24-70mm lens at f/2.8, --ar 16:9 --v 5

The Fascinating History of Diabetes

Introduction to Mellitus

What’s Mellitus? Unraveling the threads of human history often reveals fascinating insights into our shared past. One such thread that has intricately woven itself into our narrative is diabetes.

This condition, which today impacts millions of lives globally, has a captivating origin and evolving story. From the first mention in ancient medical records to today, the diabetes history is both complicated and fascinating. We’ll go over type 1 diabetes history, and the history of diabetes type 2.

We are going to look a little into:

  • The history of diabetes mellitus, and why it was called that
  • How diabetes was treated in the 1900s
  • How diabetes was discovered in the 1600
  • How diabetes was diagnosed in the 1600
  • Alongside a lot of other interesting information

Most believe that diabetes was discovered in the 1600s, but we’ll look at how it may have been as early as the 2nd century.

On the diabetes history timeline the first recorded account goes back thousands of years into ancient history. Much like a cryptic riddle, diabetes presented itself as a puzzling condition to early healers. The beginnings of diabetes, or what we know today as diabetes mellitus, originated from early observations. Doctors noticed patients were urinating excessively and their urine had an unusual sweet taste.

The advent of the 17th century saw the scientific curiosity of the age tackling the mystery of diabetes. How was diabetes diagnosed in the 1600s? Would you be surprised to discover that it was the same way it had been diagnosed for thousands of years. Doctors would taste a patient’s urine to check if it was sweet, a key indicator of the disease.

But when was diabetes discovered exactly? And who were the pioneering minds behind these discoveries? We will guide you through type 1 and type 2 diabetes history. We’ll discuss the groundbreaking treatment methods, the first diabetes patient, and the incredible medical advances that have transformed diabetes management.

So join us as we trace the timeline of diabetes from its earliest known references to its modern understanding. We’ll explore the challenges, breakthroughs, and the relentless human spirit that has shaped the story of diabetes.

Diabetes in Ancient History: The Sweet Mystery

Diabetes, as we know it today, was a medical enigma to the physicians of ancient civilizations. Its mysterious nature and unique symptoms made it a distinctive condition, although its true cause remained unknown for centuries.

We don’t know when diabetes was first discovered but it was mentioned in Egyptian medical papyri dating back to 1500 BCE. These ancient documents describe a malady characterized by frequent urination, a symptom that is now associated with diabetes mellitus.

However, the term “diabetes” itself did not exist until around 250 BCE, when a Greek physician, Apollonius of Memphis, coined it. Derived from the Greek word “diabainein,” meaning “to pass through,” it referred to the excessive urination that marked the condition.

The term “mellitus”, which means “sweet like honey”, was added to diabetes because of the sweet taste of a patient’s urine. Ancient Greek doctors thought the urine of these patients tasted sweet. Doctor Thomas Willis named the disease “mellitus” in the 1600s.

He added this because there was another condition called “diabetes insipidus” that caused frequent urination without sweet urine. Even during Willis’ time, diagnosing diabetes still involved physicians tasting a patient’s urine to detect the presence of sugar.

Long story short, how was diabetes diagnosed in the 1600s? Pee being sweet… The history of type 1 diabetes is not very pleasant. We can only guess how they tested for diabetes in the old days.

These early references in diabetes mellitus origins underscore the evolving understanding of this complex condition in ancient times. While the methods might seem basic now, these observations laid the groundwork for future exploration and understanding of diabetes.

Evolution of Diabetes Understanding and Treatment: From Discovery to Innovations

How did diabetes start? In honesty we don’t know, we also don’t know for sure who discovered diabetes. In as early as the 2th century, Aretaeus of Cappadocia made a clear and accurate description.

The 19th century marked a new era in our understanding of diabetes. How was diabetes treated in the 1800s? Initially the same way since it was first discovered, through a low carbohydrate diet.

Then in 1889 the role of the pancreas in diabetes was established by German physicians Joseph von Mering and Oskar Minkowski. Their experiments involved removing the pancreas from a healthy dog, leading to the animal developing diabetes-like symptoms. This discovery underlined the pancreas’s role in blood sugar regulation.

However, the real breakthrough came in the 1920s with the discovery of insulin. Canadian doctor Banting and his assistant Best did experiments that changed diabetes treatment forever. They successfully extracted insulin, a hormone produced by the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. This hormone is important for controlling blood sugar levels and changed how diabetes was diagnosed in the 1920s.

Their groundbreaking work led to the first successful insulin treatment of a diabetes patient in 1922. Leonard Thompson, a 14-year-old boy, became the first patient to receive an insulin injection, significantly improving his health. Banting and Macleod won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1923 for their important discovery.

As the 20th century progressed, further advances were made in diabetes diagnosis and treatment. By the 1960s, self-monitoring of blood glucose levels had become a reality. The development of glucose monitors and insulin pumps offered people with diabetes more control over their health. These contributed heavily to how diabetes was diagnosed in the 1960s.

The 1980s brought another milestone with the introduction of human insulin. Before this, insulin was primarily extracted from pigs and cattle. Human insulin made with DNA technology has helped people with diabetes by improving treatment and reducing side effects.

Humans are determined to learn and find solutions. This is evident in the study of diabetes and its treatment. The study has progressed from finding sugar in urine to using insulin. The history of diabetes timeline has important milestones that help us understand and manage this complex condition.

The Modern History of Diabetes: A New Era of Treatment and Technology

With the discovery of human insulin, the world of diabetes treatment entered a new era. As the 20th century progressed, technology became an increasingly important ally in the fight against diabetes.

Insulin pumps in the 1970s delivered insulin under the skin, acting like a healthy pancreas. This not only improved blood glucose control but also provided people living with diabetes greater flexibility and quality of life.

The 1980s brought blood glucose meters. Devices for monitoring blood sugar levels at home are essential for managing diabetes effectively. In the 90s, these devices were common. By the 2000s, they became smaller, faster, and more precise.

The next major breakthrough in diabetes management came in the form of Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems in the early 2000s. These devices monitor blood sugar levels continuously, both during the day and at night. They have significantly enhanced the management of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The Distinct Paths of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Even though Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes share a common name, their causes, development, and treatment approaches significantly differ. These two types of diabetes have distinct histories and pathways, contributing uniquely to our overall understanding of diabetes as a condition.

The History of Type 2 Diabetes – Type 2 diabetes is largely a disease of lifestyle and usually develops later in life. Type 2 diabetes was first described in the 1930s, although its history is not as well-documented as Type 1 diabetes. It was recognized as a distinct condition, different from Type 1 diabetes, that generally affected adults and wasn’t dependent on insulin. The disease likely existed long before but was not distinguished from other forms of diabetes.

In the past, Type 2 diabetes was treated with diet and exercise. But now, the way it is managed has improved. In the 1950s, drugs like metformin were introduced to help fight Type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes both cause high blood sugar, but their causes are different. Type 1 is a condition that starts in childhood. It happens when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas that make insulin.

On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes typically develops in adults and is often linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. The body may not use insulin properly or produce enough. In order to control it, lifestyle changes, pills, or insulin injections may be necessary.

Both types have different histories, understanding, and treatment. They are distinct conditions and need separate approaches in management and research.

The story of diabetes is a testament to human resilience and the power of scientific discovery. Its mysterious origins in ancient history to the revolutionary discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting and Charles Herbert Best. Insulin pumps, glucose monitoring, and diabetes management have improved a lot with groundbreaking technologies and our knowledge. Yet, the journey is far from over, as researchers worldwide continue to seek even better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for mellitus.

Conclusion: The Journey Continues

Diabetes history has seen many discoveries, from ancient times to modern glucose monitors and insulin pumps. The narrative of diabetes is an inspiring testament to human resilience and innovation.

The work of Apollonius of Memphis, Frederick Grant Banting, and Charles Herbert Best has changed our understanding of diabetes. Their research paved the way for the advances of diabetic management for those living with the condition. Moreover, the story of the first diabetes patient, Leonard Thompson, demonstrates the tangible impact of scientific discovery on human lives.

However, the story of diabetes is far from finished. Despite the progress we’ve made, the global prevalence of diabetes continues to rise, underscoring the need for ongoing research and innovation. At the Diabetic Research Connection we support cutting-edge research and raise funding for the next generation of discoveries in diabetes.

We invite you to be part of our ongoing journey as we try to expand our understanding of diabetes. Ultimately paving the way for effective therapies and even a cure. The history of diabetes is still being written, and together, we can play a crucial role in shaping its future.

Honorable Mention

Banting and Macleod were awarded a nobel prize for their discovery of insulin. This makes them one of the first persons to receive a noble prize for diabetes-related science.

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Islet Cell Pic

FDA Approves Lantidra – a promising cellular therapy for type 1 diabetes

Big Picture

· On June 28, the FDA approved Lantidra, which is the first cellular therapy to treat type one diabetes. (FDA Press release)

· 21 out of 30 participants who received Lantidra treatment did not need to take insulin for at least a year, including 10 participants who did not need to take insulin for more than five years.

How does this cellular therapy work?

Pancreatic cells from a deceased donor are transplanted into a patient with T1D to replace insulin-producing beta cells, which help control blood glucose (BG) levels. Lantidra is the first commercialized therapy. It builds on decades of experimental islet cell transplants.

Who is eligible to receive Lantidra?

Patients with T1D need daily insulin therapy. Some develop hypoglycemic unawareness, which may lead to sudden and severe low BG levels, which may result in a coma, seizures, or death. The FDA approved Latidra treatment only for adults with T1D and hypoglycemic unawareness.

How well does Lantidra work?

Lantidra therapy was tested in two non-randomized studies. Each T1D participant with hypoglycemic unawareness received 1-3 infusions of Lantidra. The goal was for participants to become insulin independent, eliminating the need for daily insulin injections and self-regulation of BG without patient intervention. Five participants never became insulin-independent, 21 were insulin independent for a year or more, 11 were insulin independent for 1-5 years, and 10 were insulin independent for over 5 years.

Does Lantidra have side effects?

One major drawback of this therapy is the need for immunosuppression drugs to prevent rejection of the transplanted islets. The intensity of these side effects related to the number of infusions received. The number and severity of side effects varied and included nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, anemia, and abdominal pain. Some severe complications required stopping the use of immunosuppressants, which caused the death of the transplanted cells and loss of insulin independence. A majority of participants reported at least one serious negative effect from the combined Lantidra and immunosuppressant therapy.

How will this FDA approval impact type 1 diabetes therapy?

Since Latidra is approved only for T1Ds with hypoglycemic unawareness and is likely to be expensive, this therapy will help a small percentage of those with T1D to achieve insulin independence. Continuous glucose monitoring and automated insulin devices may also alleviate the hypoglycemic unawareness issue but is not a cure.

Where do we go from here?

Considerably more research is needed to develop a safe, cost-effective T1D cure without immunosuppression. Vetted, novel approaches are supported by DRC donors. Cures may include artificial beta cells, immune-privileged islet cells generated from stem cells, smart insulin and other potential therapies to universally treat individuals living with T1D. DRC continues to monitor advancements and fund innovative approaches to end T1D.

Vincenzo Cirulli and Alberto Hayek, the current and past Chairs of DRC’s Scientific Review Committee, comment on FDA approval of Lantidra:

Lantidra’s cadaveric islet transplant technology was first published in 2000 during the Edmonton trials. It has not progressed much since then, other than some improvement in drugs used to address the rejection of transplanted islet tissue. The rapidly evolving progress witnessed over the past few years with stem cell-derived islet cells, currently being used in pilot clinical studies, indicate that stem cell-derived islets will likely supplant cadaveric islets transplants very soon. Unlike cadaveric islets, an exciting advantage of stem cell-derived islet cells is that they are amenable to genetic and epigenetic modification to allow their engraftment without the need for immunosuppression, and possibly prevent the recurrence of autoimmunity. This, although at an early stage, is an avenue of translational research that is likely to lead to a permanent cure for T1D. In the meantime, T1D researchers must be adequately supplied with high quality cadaveric islets for their research, as they will continue to provide a gold-standard quality control to monitor and compare the functional maturity of stem cell-derived islet tissue.

How will competition for this very limited resource be allocated, and at what cost? DRC will continue to support peer-reviewed, innovative, and unbiased solid science to finally put an end to T1D.

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Diabetes Research

DRC’s investment in T1D cures continues! RFA 2023 is now open!

Diabetes Research Connection’s next round of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research funding has begun.  We are excited to announce that our 2023 Request for Application (RFA) period is NOW OPEN! 

We sent out notifications to hundreds of research institutes and T1D scientists around the country, encouraging all early-career investigators to submit their proposals for research grant funding.

Our investment in research is focused on innovation, and we are funding more research than ever – encouraging fresh ideas and providing the means for a new generation of diabetes investigators to go where no one else is going to solve the complex diabetes puzzle. If they have an innovative idea – we will help get it funded!

Last year alone, DRC committed to funding eleven new projects from all across the country.

We will not stop until diabetes is eliminated, and your generous contributions allow us to continue progressing forward in that goal.

If you would like to support our next group of brilliant minds committed to T1D cures, please make a gift today. Click DONATE NOW on the top right of this page.

If you are a researcher and would like to submit your proposal, click HERE.

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Pills metformin

Potential Benefits of Incorporating C4H11N5 in Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

Metformin: A Potential Game-Changer in Type 1 Diabetes Management

The journey of managing diabetes is a complex one, impacted by a myriad of factors affecting blood sugar levels. One such factor is the type of medication utilized. For people living with type 2 diabetes, Metformin is a well-known medication, typically employed to regulate blood sugar levels. Recently, however, it has emerged into the spotlight for a different reason – its potential benefits in treating type 1 diabetes. This surprising finding can be traced back to a recent study examining Metformin’s impact on vascular health, presenting a new ray of hope for healthcare professionals and individuals diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This novel application is especially noteworthy, as those living with type 1 diabetes frequently face an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease – a life-threatening condition if left unchecked.

The Groundbreaking Study

Researchers undertook a meticulously conducted double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The participants were 90 children aged 8 to 18, all hailing from South Australia, and each one had been navigating life with type 1 diabetes for at least six months. These participants were split into two equally sized groups. One group received Metformin, while the other was given a placebo.

In addition to administering the trial’s medication, the researchers paid close attention to a few crucial parameters that are known to affect blood sugar levels. HbA1C, which provides an overview of blood sugar control over the past 2-3 months, insulin dose, and BMI were meticulously recorded. The team also incorporated the use of a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, an advanced technology providing real-time glucose readings, an invaluable tool in achieving a granular level of insight into blood sugar control.

Dietary Factors and Blood Sugar Control

Throughout the trial, the participants’ diet was carefully observed, focusing on foods that vary in their glycemic index (GI), a measure that ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how much they boost blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI, including white rice and white bread, have a significant impact on blood glucose levels, causing spikes that can be detrimental if not managed effectively.

The importance of maintaining a balance in blood sugar levels was also emphasized throughout the trial. The target range for each participant was meticulously defined, aiming to keep it above 70mg/dl to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and below a specified threshold to avoid hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Frequent blood glucose monitoring played a critical role in maintaining this equilibrium, with the participants encouraged to use their blood glucose meter consistently.

Results and Potential Implications

The trial produced promising results. Over the year, the Metformin group showed distinct improvement in vascular function over the placebo group. This was most noticeable at the three-month interval. Interestingly, this was also when a significant decrease in HbA1C levels was recorded, indicating better control of blood sugar. By the 12-month mark, although the difference was lower, it remained significant. Furthermore, the Metformin group required less insulin, suggesting a decrease in insulin resistance – an encouraging development.

Another noteworthy finding was that children with above-average BMIs who were taking Metformin showed a marked improvement in vascular smooth muscle function. This improvement is indicative of better overall vascular health, which, in turn, can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease – a common complication for those living with type 1 diabetes.

While these findings offer hope for more diverse treatment options for people with type 1 diabetes, it’s important to note that the study didn’t run long enough to determine potential changes in vascular structure, only vascular function. Nevertheless, the potential implications are exciting.

Conclusion: Hope for the Future

If Metformin can indeed help in better managing type 1 diabetes, this could herald a new era in diabetes care. Improved diabetes management could lead to a higher quality of life for individuals living with the condition. With more research, the question of how to control blood sugar could become easier to answer, particularly if Metformin proves to be an effective part of the solution.

As we move forward, this type of groundbreaking study underlines the critical importance of continued research in the field of diabetes. At Diabetes Research Connection, we are committed to supporting advancements like this by funding novel research projects. We believe in the power of scientific discovery to transform lives and improve the future for those living with diabetes. We invite you to join us on this journey and support this life-changing mission. Visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org to learn more about our initiatives and see how you can make a difference. Together, we can chart a brighter path toward managing, and ultimately curing, diabetes.

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T1D Grant Recipients

Congratulations to our newest research grant awardees!

Join us in cheering on these new T1D researchers! 

Every year, hundreds of new T1D researchers for our prestigious research grant. This year, we were thrilled to review an impressive array of applications, each one promising a potential breakthrough. Today, it is with great joy that we announce our newest research grant awardees!

Announcing the Awardees

Context of the Research Grant

The research grant is an annual offering by our organization to support innovative minds in their journey to make significant contributions to their field. Ever wondered how life-changing discoveries come to be? It’s through such opportunities, where researchers are given the funding and support they need to explore and experiment.

Overview of the Selection Process

The selection process was a rigorous one, encompassing several rounds of reviews and interviews. It’s no walk in the park; our panel of experienced judges critically evaluated each proposal based on originality, feasibility, potential impact, and the applicant’s capability to carry out the research.

The Importance of Research Grants

Research grants are vital to advancing knowledge in various fields. They provide resources for innovators to push the boundaries of what we know and understand. It’s like giving wings to those poised on the edge of discovery. Who knows where these wings might carry them?

Future Opportunities for Aspiring Applicants

Are you intrigued by the accomplishments of our awardees and inspired to create your own wave in your field of interest? We encourage you to apply in the future. Remember, the world of innovation and discovery is always ripe with opportunities, like a tree laden with fruit waiting to be picked.

Conclusion

We congratulate our newest t1d researchers who won grants once again. Their passion, creativity, and dedication to their respective fields are indeed inspiring. As we look forward to the fruits of their research, we remain committed to fostering innovation and nurturing talent through our annual research grants. After all, who knows? The next game-changing discovery could be just an application away!

FAQs

  1. How can I apply for the research grant?
    • Details about the application process will be published on our website during the application period.
  2. What are the eligibility criteria for the research grant?
    • The criteria may vary annually, but typically, we look for innovative, impactful proposals and capable applicants.
  3. How are the research grant awardees selected?
    • The awardees are chosen through a rigorous selection process involving multiple rounds of reviews and interviews.
  4. Can international applicants apply for the research grant?
    • Yes, our research grant is open to international applicants.
  5. When is the next application period?
    • The dates for the next application period will be announced on our website.

We look forward to following their progress.

Look for future emails that will highlight their projects in more detail.

Diabetes Pledge

For questions or information on other ways to give such gifts via stock or donor-advised funds, contact Christine Rhoads at crhoads@diabetesresearchconnection.org.

All gifts to DRC are 100% tax-deductible.  DRC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization / Tax ID#90-0815395.

 

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Nigel Calcutt

Research Findings May Provide Answers to Diabetes Complication of Peripheral Neuropathy

Approximately half of the people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes experience peripheral neuropathy—weakness, numbness, and pain, primarily in the hands and feet.  New discoveries by a team of researchers at Salk Research Institute may provide a new way to identify people at high risk for peripheral neuropathy and a potential treatment option.

Read here for more information on this study, authored by a distinguished team of researchers, including senior researcher and Diabetes Research Connection founder and board member                     Nigel Calcutt.

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Genetics in T1D

DRC’s Take on, “The type 1 diabetes gene TYK2 regulates βcell development and its responses to interferon-α”

Understanding TYK2: The Diabetes Gene

Role of TYK2 in Human Genome

In the intricate world of our genome, the TYK2 Diabetes Gene (Tyrosine Kinase 2) gene holds a special place. This gene is part of a larger family known as the Janus kinase (JAK) family. But why does it matter, you ask? Well, it’s because this gene has a significant role in signaling pathways that control our body’s immune responses and inflammation.

Introduction to Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a condition that affects millions worldwide. An autoimmune disease, it occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing β-cells in the pancreas, leading to a significant reduction or complete stop in insulin production.

TYK2 and Its Relation to Type 1 Diabetes

Studies have shown a strong correlation between variations in the TYK2 gene and the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. But the mystery doesn’t stop there. There’s more to the story.

β-Cell Development: A Closer Look

The Importance of β-Cells

β-cells, the little heroes of our story, are responsible for producing insulin in our bodies. Without them, glucose regulation becomes a tough battle. Understanding their development and survival is critical for tackling diabetes.

How TYK2 Impacts β-Cell Development

Recently, researchers have uncovered that the TYK2 gene regulates β-cell development. TYK2 variations may influence how these cells grow and function, potentially impacting insulin production and, by extension, glucose regulation.

Interferon-α and its Significance

What is Interferon-α?

Interferon-α (IFN-α) is a type of protein produced by our bodies in response to viral infections. However, it plays a dual role—it can also stimulate autoimmune responses, like those seen in type 1 diabetes.

How Does TYK2 Influence the Responses of β-Cells to Interferon-α?

It turns out that the TYK2 gene has a hand in how β-cells respond toInterferon-α. Alterations in the gene may affect how these cells react to this protein, potentially exacerbating the autoimmune destruction seen in type 1 diabetes.

Recent Discoveries and Advancements

The field of genetics is always advancing, and with new research, we’re beginning to better understand the relationship between the TYK2 gene, β-cell development, and responses to Interferon-α. But like any good novel, each answer only leads to more questions.

Implications for Treatment and Management

Potential Breakthroughs

If we can decode the complex interactions between the TYK2 gene, β-cells, and Interferon-α, we might be able to pave the way for innovative treatments for type 1 diabetes. Imagine being able to modulate gene functions to restore normal β-cell growth or protect these cells from autoimmune attacks!

Future Prospects

Though we’re still at the beginning stages, the future looks promising. Understanding the role of the TYK2 gene in β-cell development and response to Interferon-α could potentially revolutionize our approach to managing type 1 diabetes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the TYK2 gene represents an important piece of the complex type 1 diabetes puzzle. By gaining insight into the gene’s role in β-cell development and response to Interferon-α, we edge closer to a future where type 1 diabetes might be better managed, or perhaps even cured.

FAQs

  1. What is the TYK2 gene?
    The TYK2 gene belongs to the Janus kinase (JAK) family and plays a crucial role in immune responses and inflammation.
  2. How does the TYK2 gene relate to Type 1 diabetes?
    Variations in the TYK2 gene have been linked to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. The gene also appears to regulate β-cell development and influence their responses to Interferon-α.
  3. What are β-cells?
    β-cells are cells within the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin, a hormone crucial for glucose regulation.
  4. What is Interferon-α (IFN-α)?
    Interferon-α is a protein produced by the body in response to viral infections. It can stimulate autoimmune responses, contributing to conditions like type 1 diabetes.
  5. How could understanding the TYK2 gene influence future treatments for Type 1 diabetes?
    By understanding the TYK2 gene’s role in β-cell development and response to Interferon-α, researchers may be able to develop new treatments to protect β-cells, encourage normal growth, and manage autoimmune responses in Type 1 diabetes.

 

Over the years, researchers investigating type 1 diabetes have identified many genes associated with onset of the autoimmune disease. One of those genes is TYK2, which codes an enzyme (a Janus kinase) that plays a crucial role in intracellular signaling. In a study published recently in Nature Communications, a research team led by Timo Otonkoski at Helsinki University Hospital directed TYK2 knockout human iPSCs into the pancreatic endocrine lineage to decipher a dual role of the candidate gene TYK2 in pancreatic β-cells. First, depletion of TYK2 during early islet development affected the endocrine commitment, but did not affect the functionality of mature beta cells. Second, TYK2 inhibition in mature islet cells reduced vulnerability to T-cell cytotoxicity. These results identify an unsuspected role for TYK2 in β cell development and support TYK2 inhibition in adult β-cells as a potent therapeutic target to halt T1D progression.

Click HEREto read the full article.

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Diabetes Research

DRC Is Excited to Share This Breaking T1D News Announced Yesterday by the FDA

The FDA has just approved Provention Bio’s Tzield™ (teplizumab-mzwv) – the first drug therapy that can delay the onset of type-1 diabetes (T1D) for those at risk of developing the disease.  This is a huge milestone for T1D research and those in the T1D community. (Read the full FDA announcement HERE.)

The average delay in the onset of T1D observed in the clinical study of Tzield was approximately 3 years, with some study participants not yet acquiring type 1 diabetes at all.  “Today’s FDA decision gives people at risk of developing type 1 diabetes the gift of time,” said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF CEO. “For the first time ever, we have a way to change the course and slow the development of T1D.”  (Read JDRF’s full statement on the impact of this news to the T1D community HERE.)

Tzield is the result of decades of T1D research, which began with an early scientific study.  That study led to a JDRF grant to support a trial in patients.  The success of that trial study led to further studies and support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), eventually leading to this exciting breakthrough that will impact the future of T1D treatment.

Scientific breakthroughs such as this one, often emerge due to the inventiveness of early-career scientists.  It is DRC’s mission to connect donors with early-career scientists, enabling them to perform peer-reviewed, novel research designed to prevent and cure type 1 diabetes, minimize its complications, and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease.

Thus far, 10+ of our funded studies by early-career scientists have secured follow-on funding to continue their studies which could lead to breakthroughs like the milestone announced today.

You could help fund the next T1D breakthrough!  DONATE HERE 

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Connecting for a Cure DRC

November 2022 Newsletter

Let’s be honest. With the hectic pace of life, you might wonder why you should spend your precious time reading a newsletter, especially one about diabetes research. But have you ever paused to consider the impact this information can have on you or someone close to you? Let me explain why you should read the November 2022 Newsletter from the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC), a charitable organization dedicated to advancing diabetes research.

Understanding Diabetes Research Connection (DRC)

The DRC is not just a charity; it’s a bridge connecting innovative researchers, passionate donors, and individuals affected by diabetes. Its mission? To conquer the global challenge of diabetes through research.

Importance of Reading DRC’s November 2022 Newsletter

This particular newsletter from November 2022 is a treasure trove of information. Let’s take a closer look at what you might find.

Updates on Latest Research Findings

The field of diabetes research is fast-paced. The newsletter covers new developments, ensuring you stay informed about advancements that could transform lives.

Success Stories of Research Grant Beneficiaries

It’s not all facts and figures. The newsletter features real stories from researchers whose work has been made possible by DRC’s funding.

Opportunities for Community Engagement

Community engagement is at the heart of the DRC. Through the newsletter, you’ll discover opportunities to get involved and make a difference.

Deep Dive into the November 2022 Newsletter

This section delves deeper into what you can expect from the specific November 2022 edition.

Highlighted Research Studies 

Impact of Breakthrough Research 

The newsletter highlights cutting-edge studies with the potential to revolutionize the understanding and treatment of diabetes.

Testimonies from Diabetes Patients

Importance of Patients’ Voices

The personal stories from those living with diabetes provide a crucial perspective often missing in academic research.

Upcoming Events and Fundraisers

Why Your Participation Matters 

The newsletter promotes upcoming events and fundraisers, giving youthe chance to take part in the fight against diabetes.

The Value of Supporting DRC and Diabetes Research 

You might ask, “Why does this matter to me?” Well, let’s break it down.

The Role of Public Support in Advancing Research 

Public involvement is not just desirable—it’s necessary. The backing of the community propels research efforts, making breakthroughs possible.

How Donations Drive Impact

Your support, be it financial or through participation in events, fuels the very research that could improve, or even save, countless lives.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the DRC’s November 2022 Newsletter offers more than just an update—it’s a testament to the power of research, the strength of community, and the hope for a future free from diabetes. You’re not just reading a newsletter; you’re becoming a part of a mission that can change lives. Now, isn’t that a compelling reason to give it a read?

FAQs

  1. What is the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC)?
    • The DRC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research aimed at preventing, curing, and better managing diabetes.
  2. Why should I read DRC’s November 2022 Newsletter?
    • The newsletter offers insights into the latest research findings, success stories, and ways you can contribute to the fight against diabetes.
  3. What kind of research does DRC fund?
    • The DRC funds innovative, early-career scientists pursuing research in all forms of diabetes.
  4. How can I support DRC?
    • You can support DRC through donations, participation in fundraising events, or by spreading the word about their work.
  5. Where can I access DRC’s November 2022 Newsletter?
    • The newsletter is available on DRC’s official website, and you can also subscribe to receive future newsletters via email.

Please enjoy this month’s newsletter, featuring:

        • Researchers Impacting Our Mission
        • November’s Matching Gift Campaign
        • Meet Our New Executive Director
        • DRC’s Seaside Silent Auction
        • Thank You to Our Sponsors!

 

 

View the Newsletter here

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Diabetes Eye

For the Good of Neural Tissues and Pancreatic Islets

While organs can be transplanted from deceased donors, tissues from the nervous system rapidly lose viability. The mechanisms of neuronal death, and the potential for reversing it, remain poorly defined. Dr. Fatima Abbas, a DRC-funded investigator at the University of Utah, in collaboration with Dr. Frans Vinberg (University of Utah) and Dr. Anne Hanneken (The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA), published a paper in Nature that questions the irreversibility of neuronal cell death in the retina, an investigation that has implications for visual rehabilitation and for the future of organ transplantation. In the study, the researchers characterized neuronal death and survival and identified conditions for reviving neuronal functioning in postmortem mice and human retinas. This study is a step toward better strategies for preserving the viability and engraftment capability of tissues and cells isolated from organ donors for transplantation, including the pancreas. Given the significant overlap of genes and proteins between pancreatic islet cells and neural tissues, the findings by Abbas and colleagues may have important implications for the improvement of islet cell transplant engraftment and long-term function in type 1diabetics.

Click HERE to read the full article.

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Diabetes Research

DRC’s Take: Vertex to Acquire Chief T1D Stem Cell Competitor in All-Cash Deal

Vertex, whose VX-880 stem cell therapy for type 1 diabetes has cleared clinical proof of concept, is acquiring ViaCyte, a private biotech that has also reached clinical trials with its own stem cell therapy. In the $320 million all-cash deal, Vertex will acquire ViaCyte’s human stem cell lines, manufacturing facilities, and other relevant intellectual property.

While both companies are pursuing stem cell-based approaches to treating type 1 diabetes, their methods differ. The Vertex therapy involves injecting synthetic islet cells into patients. By comparison, the ViaCyte therapy uses gene-edited, immune-evasive stem cells encapsulated in implantable devices.

Both companies have reported data from clinical trials.

Data released by Vertex in October 2021 showed that the first patient who received the treatment had a lower average HbA1c (8.6% to 7.2%) and a significantly reduced reliance on insulin injections. Results from a second patient have also been reported and data from additional trial participants are expected later this year or early next year. In June 2021, ViaCyte revealed that a single patient had also experienced a drop in HbA1c (7.4% to 6.6%) but still required insulin injections.

“VX-880 has successfully demonstrated clinical proof of concept in T1D, and the acquisition of ViaCyte will accelerate our goal of transforming, if not curing T1D by expanding our capabilities and bringing additional tools,” Vertex CEO Reshma Kewalramani said in a statement.

Click HERE to view the full article.

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C.C. King Photo

DRC in the Community: President and Chair, C.C. King’s Presentation on Insights into Medical Research

On Monday, May 23rd, DRC’s President and Chair, C.C. King, Ph.D., spoke at Del Mar Foundation’s speaker series, DMFTalks. Over 30 members of the community came to listen to C.C. talk about the importance of medical research. His talk addressed the importance of medical research. He began by sharing the process of approving medication through the FDA and how in-depth that procedure can take. This transitioned into the significance of model systems in three categories; Cancer, the self, and Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). In researching human disease, model organisms allow for a better understanding of the disease process without the added risk of harming an actual human. By the end of the presentation, he illustrated how Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is a vital organization that funds early-career scientists who have bold and out-of-the-box ideas without the years of experience that other researchers have, therefore often don’t receive the funding necessary to make headway with their research. DRC is an organization that proudly acts as the seed funding for many of these projects, allowing them to gain momentum and credibility to help them receive larger grants to bolster their research. Many of these projects use model systems to help validate their hypotheses and have often received follow-on funding from the results they have garnered and have made headway in T1D research.

Click HERE to watch C.C.’s presentation!

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Connecting for a cure DRC

CONNECTING FOR A CURE: June 2022 Newsletter

DRC has distributed over $400,000 to research projects like Dr. Dwyer’s and Dr. Zhu’s in Request for Application (RFA) 2 2021 alone. We received an unprecedented number of Letters of Interest (LOIs) in our last RFA and are funding even more innovative projects than ever. View our “Support a Project” page to see what other research projects we are currently committed to funding by clicking here. Take a look at our latest newsletter, where we feature some quotes from our newest grant recipients, show DRC in the community, and highlight our newest volunteers.

Click this link to view our June newsletter that we mailed out previously this month about what we’ve been up to and the impact we are making together. It takes a community to connect for a cure!

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Diabetes Research

Diabetes Research Connection Awards $400,000 to Eight Promising T1D Studies

After rigorous peer review by DRC’s Scientific Review Committee, eight early-career researchers were awarded $50,000, totaling $400,000 in seed funding for their work to find the cause, treatment, and cure for T1D. 

Click HERE to read the Press Release

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Kaya Keutler DRC Volunteer

Meet a DRC Volunteer: Kaya Keutler

Kaya was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 13. That was also the point she knew she wanted to become a scientist and work in the research field of diabetes. Fast forward 15 years, Kaya is working on getting her doctoral degree at the Oregon Health & Science University. However, Kaya has realized that she wants to spend less time doing science and more time communicating current scientific knowledge to relevant audiences and the public. Her work for the DRC brings her one step closer to that goal. 

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 13. One of my closest cousins had lived with diabetes for about 10 years back then, so it wasn’t an unknown disease to me. Still, it felt like a bad diagnosis when an indifferent doctor delivered it to me in front of his note-taking students at a university clinic. Today I recognize it as a life-changing moment and am grateful for it, as it has made me the person I am. It also has significantly impacted my career decisions. I knew I wanted to become a scientist and work on a cure for diabetes back then. Although actively working in the field of diabetes research today, I now know it’s not that simple. There is so much we still need to learn about the disease and its treatment, and that includes both basic science as well as coming up with smart solutions for the everyday life of diabetic patients. “Let’s see what the science says” is a phrase I often use both at work and while engaging in managing my diabetes. I’ve found that what I know as a scientist does influence my treatment decisions quite a bit. I’ve reached out to volunteer for the DRC as I want to give others the power to make science-based treatment decisions and to better understand their disease, the research around it, and their options.

Kaya is now helping this organization by translating complex scientific language from DRC-funded researchers so that the community can understand the project better.

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Amy Adams

National Tell a Story Day: A Co-Founder Shares Her Experience

Amy Adam’s son was diagnosed with T1D when he was five years old. She served on the Board of Directors and various committees for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Chicago chapter for 10 years and was a contributing writer to Insulin Free Times. This is her second term on the DRC Board, and she has served as the Lay Person Review Committee Chair since DRC’s inception.

It’s hard to believe that 30 years, hundreds of thousands of blood tests and shots, innumerable doctors’ visits and procedures, and countless renewed vows to find that elusive combination of food, activity, and insulin have passed since my own child was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Time has propelled us forward like tumbleweeds in a dust storm, yet the rigorous demands and challenges of diabetes have clung stubbornly to him every step of the way. One of the most significant personal challenges I have encountered along this path is having to stand by and watch my child’s indomitable spirit rise and fall as this disease continues to roll along with his organs, tissues, and psyche firmly in its grasp.

You can’t outgrow Type 1 Diabetes, and it is progressive. Most Type 1 diabetics develop at least one complication, and close to 50% of Type 1 diabetics will develop disabling or even life-threatening complications over their life despite their best efforts to control the disease. Perhaps due to multiple autoimmune diseases, my child struggles more than many. 

Fortunately, early on our path with this disease, we met the most extraordinary doctor who medically guided us through some of his darkest hours and gave us the only trustworthy source of hope we have ever felt through his research for a cure for this insidious disease. Years later, when Dr. Hayek introduced me to an equally impressive man named David Winkler and asked me to join them in their endeavor to create a diabetes research organization with a different paradigm, I was all ears.

Our founding vision for The DRC (Diabetes Research Connection) was to empower the community of young, innovative scientists, people affected by diabetes, and their supporters to propel unique and promising Type 1 Diabetes research ideas that weren’t receiving adequate attention by other organizations. Each selected project would have to be endorsed by a group of world-renowned diabetes experts who had volunteered their time to evaluate the merit of these projects to qualify for funding. Then the projects would be written in lay-friendly terms and posted on our website, where potential supporters could choose to support the projects that “spoke” to them based on their own experiences and knowledge of the disease. The scientists would provide regular updates on the progress of their project, good, bad, or inconclusive. Outcomes would be published on our website, adding to the body of diabetes knowledge in a united effort to eliminate diabetes.

I support the Diabetes Research Connection because despite our best efforts to control what we were told was a manageable disease, the only source of control we have ever felt is where we put our money towards curing it. Join us and influence the future of diabetes research; by selecting the research that is meaningful to you and your experience, you may help influence the work that leads to a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

Amy’s initial vision for co-founding DRC has come to fruition. In this organization’s 10th year, they have funded 48 projects, invested $2.4 M in innovative T1D research, and 12+  researchers received approximately $12M in follow on funding.

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Young Woman Medical Care

DRC was featured in the San Diego Union Tribune

The DRC was featured in the San Diego Union Tribune about how it is successfully providing the seed funding or the “spark” for truly novel T1D research being conducted by talented early-career scientists and has led to much-larger investments from the government or larger charities. “From zebra fish to bacteria, Diabetes Research Connection celebrates a decade funding novel ideas” – The San Diego Union-Tribune (subscription required)

 

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2021 Annual Report

DRC’s 2021 Annual Report

Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to announce that our first-ever annual report is completed and ready for you to enjoy! Please click HERE to view the 2021 Annual Report highlighting all of the progress this organization has made throughout the last year. 

Join us in celebrating the impact DRC-funded research has made on the prevention, management, and cure for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)! 

DRC is committed to seeking out, peer-reviewing, and providing seed funding to the most promising T1D research being conducted by innovative early-career scientists across the country – providing hope to those living with the disease. It is only through our community that we can stay unwaveringly loyal to our mission. 

Thank you for being a part of the DRC family.

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Diabetes Research

DRC Announces 2022 Scientific Review Committee

74 type 1 diabetes (T1D) experts from renowned universities and research institutions across U.S. make up this year’s committee to vet innovative T1D research for funding by DRC

SAN DIEGO – February 28, 2022 – Diabetes Research Connection (DRC), a 501(c)(3) that funds research projects conducted by early-career scientists aimed at prevention, better care, treatment of related complications, and a cure for T1D, announces its Scientific Review Committee (SRC) for 2022.

The DRC SRC is a collaboration of T1D experts from renowned universities and research institutions from across the country. The committee members volunteer their expertise and time to thoroughly vet T1D research funding applications DRC receives based on their scientific merit. See the full list of DRC SRC members here.

“I’m honored to be a DRC SRC member. The warmth of the DRC community is unique. It brings scientists, patients, families, doctors, and supporters together. It also gives courage to scientists taking unconventional approaches toward solutions for T1D,” says Dr. Yo Suzuki of J. Craig Venter Institute. “I am forever thankful for the support DRC gave me when I was developing a nascent research idea. I hope to contribute my biological engineering perspectives, which may be non-standard in T1D research, to helping guide future research directions.”

DRC Board Member and previous Scientific Director Alberto Hayek, M.D. says, “These talented scientists and diabetes experts are at the center of our mission. Through their focused and rigorous vetting of projects submitted to DRC for financial support, we are able to provide seed funding to those most likely to find the cause, better treatments, and ultimately, a cure for T1D.”

In 2021 alone, DRC provided seed funding for 16 new T1D research projects, bringing the total support of early-career scientists to almost $2M. Follow on funding, a critical measure of the viability of projects funded by DRC, has topped $8.4M in additional funds for T1D research.

DRC is supported by donations from individuals, corporate sponsors, and private and public foundations. Contact us to discover how you can support DRC’s mission to eliminate T1D.

To donate online today click here.

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Diabetes Research Microscope

Diabetes Research Connection Celebrates Achievements Amid Year-End Giving Campaign to Fund Type 1 Diabetes Research

Supported by corporate sponsorships, county grants, foundation awards, and a donation of $100,000 in matching funds, DRC pushes to fund more innovative research to find the cause, treatment, and cure for T1D

SAN DIEGO – December 16, 2021 – Diabetes Research Connection (DRC), a 501(c)(3) that funds research projects conducted by early-career researchers aimed at prevention, cure, and better care for those with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), announces significant achievements in 2021 amid its year-end giving campaign. This year, DRC has been supported by corporate sponsorships, county grants, foundation awards, and a $100,000 dollar-for-dollar matching gift from an anonymous donor.

In 2021 alone, DRC will provide seed funding for 16 new T1D research projects, bringing the total to 48 innovative studies by early-career scientists awarded since its founding in 2012. DRC expects to support close to $2M in research by year-end, with six early-career scientists receiving DRC funding going on to secure $8.4M in additional funds for their T1D research.

“DRC is committed to providing seed funding for early-career scientists to demonstrate the viability of their peer-reviewed, innovative T1D research ideas. Data driven outcomes show proof of concept to enable our scientists to pursue follow-on funding, often yielding over $1 million,” shared DRC Co-Founder, David Winkler.

 Corporate partners and financial underwriters are instrumental to DRC’s mission and include:

 

Leading Sponsors

 

Sustaining Supporters

 

Event Sponsors

 

DRC Senior Director of Development Casey Davis said, “I can’t express enough the importance of our sponsors, and corporate and public underwriters to our mission to eradicate T1D through research. That’s what we mean when we say, ‘It takes a community to connect for a cure’.”

Through their help and that of family foundations and other donors, DRC expects to raise a record $750,000 in 2021, and anticipates it will increase that figure to $1 million in 2022.

“DRC is funding important research to find ways to prevent, better treat, and cure T1D. Donors and partners can also choose specific research projects they want to support. This enables you to see your dollars at work,” said Stephen Korniczky, DRC Board Member and Partner, Sheppard Mullin. “DRC not only supports a noble mission, they have been a wonderful partner as well.  I invite other sponsors and donors to join us in supporting DRC in 2022.”

DRC has additional sponsorships available for 2022 at a variety of levels. In honor of its 10-year anniversary it will be re-launching its annual Dance for Diabetes, and event sponsorships, in Fall 2022.

To donate to DRC and double your impact with a tax-deductible donation click here by December 31, 2021.

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"You're going to have it for the rest of your life."

Imagine: A World without Type 1 Diabetes

Introduction: The Current Reality

Today, millions of people across the globe suffer from Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), a chronic autoimmune condition that significantly impacts their quality of life. Imagine a world where pricking fingers and insulin injections become a thing of the past. Before we get there, let’s take a look at our present reality.

The Burden of Type 1 Diabetes

Living with T1D is a lifelong balancing act. It requires constant monitoring of blood glucose levels, careful meal planning, and regular insulin therapy. But the impact goes beyond the daily routine, often leading to severe health complications if not managed well.

What Type 1 Diabetes Entails

Type 1 Diabetes entails the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking and destroying the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, our body cannot regulate blood sugar levels, leading to serious complications like kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and even blindness.

The Journey Towards a Diabetes-Free World

Over the years, scientists have tirelessly sought out solutions to this health crisis. Their efforts have given us a glimpse into a world where Type 1 Diabetes could become a distant memory.

The Role of Technology

In the fight against diabetes, technology plays a pivotal role. But how, you might ask?

Automated Insulin Delivery Systems

Innovative automated insulin delivery systems, or ‘artificial pancreas,’ have significantly improved glucose management. These devices integrate insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring to adjust insulin delivery in real-time, reducing the risk of high and low blood sugar levels.

Artificial Pancreas

The artificial pancreas is an even more revolutionary concept. It promises a closed-loop insulin delivery system that mimics a healthy pancreas, potentially eliminating the need for people with Type 1 Diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels constantly.

The Power of Stem Cell Research

But the breakthroughs don’t stop at technology. Stem cell research has opened up new possibilities for a cure. Scientists are experimenting with turning stem cells into insulin-producing cells, potentially paving the way for a biological cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

Vaccine Development

Another promising avenue is the development of a vaccine. Current research focuses on finding a way to stop the immune system from attacking insulin-producing cells, preventing the onset of T1D.

Living in a World without Type 1 Diabetes

As we embark on this journey, let’s explore what a world without T1D might look like.

Health Implications

Enhanced Quality of Life

Firstly, the elimination of T1D would mean a massive improvement in the quality of life for millions. No more daily finger pricks, careful diet monitoring, or the constant anxiety of potential health complications.

Reduced Health Care Costs

A T1D-free world would also lead to significant reductions in health care costs. With the cost of insulin therapy and management equipment taken out of the equation, both individuals and health systems could see substantial savings.

Societal Impact

On a societal level, a world without T1D could mean more productivity and less absenteeism. Children could attend school without fear of sudden glucose level drops, and adults could focus more on their careers and personal lives instead of their disease management.

Conclusion: The Future is Bright

While we are still on the journey to a world without T1D, the future looks bright. The technological innovations, research breakthroughs, and collective will of the world bring us closer to this reality each day. We can look forward to a time when Type 1 Diabetes is but a footnote in medical history books.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes? Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells, while Type 2 Diabetes is usually a lifestyle-related condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin.
  2. Is Type 1 Diabetes curable? As of now, there is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes. However, it can be managed through a combination of insulin therapy, diet, and exercise.
  3. What would a cure for T1D look like? A cure could take many forms, including a vaccine to prevent the immune system from attacking insulin-producing cells, or a biological cure that involves replacing destroyed cells with new insulin-producing cells.
  4. How close are we to a world without Type 1 Diabetes? While we are making great strides in research and technology, it is hard to predict a timeline. However, the collective efforts of scientists, medical professionals, and advocates worldwide bring us closer to this reality each day.
  5. What can I do to support the fight against T1D?There are several ways to help, including advocating for research funding, participating in clinical trials, raising awareness about the disease, and supporting organizations dedicated to finding a cure.

 

By 2050, 5 million people in the US are expected to be diagnosed with T1D; 600,000 of them will be children, requiring them to regularly monitor blood sugar and putting them at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, blindness and other complications. Hear 18-year-old Cooper Buchanan describe how he learned he has T1D, and, how he and others are imagining a world where no one has to ever hear: You have T1D.

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Diabetes Research Connection Banner

A Cure for Type 1 Diabetes? For One Man, It Seems to Have Worked

May 2022 Update

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated today provided updates on its Phase 1/2 clinical trial of VX-880, an investigational stem cell-derived, fully differentiated pancreatic islet cell replacement therapy for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) with impaired hypoglycemic awareness and severe hypoglycemia. According to the results released on May 2, data from the first two patients in Part A established proof-of-concept for VX-880, with one patient achieving insulin independence at day 270 and the other patient showing reductions in insulin requirements through Day 150.

Additionally, the Independent Data Monitoring Committee recommended advancement to Part B, where patients receive the full target dose of VX-880, which has been generally well-tolerated to date. Vertex also announced that VX-880 Phase 1/2 study has been placed on clinical hold in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to a determination that there is insufficient information to support dose escalation with the product.

Click HERE to read the full article about this update.

Commentary

Authors:

Vincenzo Cirulli, M.D., Ph.D.

Scientific Director, Diabetes Research Connection

Department of Medicine, UW Diabetes Institute

University of Washington

Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

 

Alberto Hayek, M.D.

Medical Director, Scripps/Whittier Diabetes Institute

Co-Founder, Diabetes Research Connection

 

David Winkler

Co-founder, past Chair and current CFO, Diabetes Research Connection

Past Chair, Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute

Past Chair, American Diabetes Association, San Diego Chapter

Type 1 Diabetes Patient for 62 years  

 

A Cure for Type 1 Diabetes? For One Man, It Seems to Have Worked.

This article, which appeared in the New York Times (NYT) on Saturday, November 27, 2021, provides a promise for achieving a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D). Dr. Melton, a brilliant scientist at Harvard, and an inspired father of two T1D patients is credited with overseeing this important effort which built on many past and present researchers’ discoveries.

While we applaud Dr. Melton and his team’s efforts for taking the necessary steps to bring this research to the bed-side, there are some questions that will need to be addressed. It remains to be determined if any issue or side effects will arise over time in some of the 17 patients participating to this initial clinical trial. Patient immunosuppression may be problematic, as it has been the case for some recipients of cadaveric human islet transplants. The long-term survival and function of these stem cell-derived beta cells will also need to be assessed, and design plans to replace them with additional transplants should they fail. Ultimately, the cost of the procedure and required FDA approval will also need to be addressed.

In the year 2000, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article that caused many to believe a cure for T1D had been discovered. The principal investigator, Dr. James Shapiro, initiated what became known as the Edmonton Protocol. This multicenter trial involved transplanting human cadaveric islets. Some issues soon arose: 1) an insufficient supply of islets; 2) failure of the islet transplants to function long-term; 3) complications associated with the site of transplantation into the portal vein of the liver, and 4) side effects caused by the immunosuppression of the recipients.

Undoubtedly, the most significant development since 2000 has been the conversion of pluripotent stem cells into insulin-producing cells to provide an unlimited supply of islet tissue for transplantation in T1D patients.

The need for immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection of the islet transplants remains an ongoing concern, although these types of drugs, and their regimen protocols have improved considerably since 2000. Notwithstanding, immunosuppression continues to have issues. Better drugs will be needed to ensure that the transplanted islet tissue is not rejected, retains its insulin-producing function over time, and that the recipients’ immune systems is not negatively impacted for its important primary function of fighting off other diseases.

Another approach to avoid rejection of pluripotent stem cell-derived beta cells is to encapsulate them. However, to date, these cells have not prospered in such enclosed environments, because current cell encapsulation technologies do not allow for these beta cells to intimately interact with blood vessels of the host to receive nutrients and oxygen to survive long term while performing their insulin secretory function in response to circulating glucose levels.

In two recent studies just published in peer-reviewed journals (https://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(21)00415-X), Canadian investigators led by Dr. Timothy Kieffer in collaboration with ViaCyte, and by ViaCyte scientists in collaboration with Dr. James Shapiro (https://www.cell.com/cell-reports-medicine/fulltext/S2666-3791(21)00338-4) reported that transplantation of immature stem cell-derived pancreatic islet progenitors in 15 and 17 patients, respectively, produced negligeable, yet detectable levels of human C-peptide production in response to a meal after a year from the day of transplantation. These studies were conducted using devices that allow some level of interaction of the transplanted cells with the patient’s blood vessels, thus requiring immune suppression. The bottom line is that after ~1 year, none of the patients became independent from insulin injections and all required exogenous insulin during the trial.

A possible solution to the problem of allorejection (i.e., immune rejection of “non-self” cells, coming from a different genetic background) may involve the use of a T1D patient’s own cells to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (or iPS), produced through a technique of reprogramming, and then convert these iPS cells into pancreatic beta cells. These “self-cells” may evade rejection by mechanisms of allo-immunity; however, auto-reactive immune cells that caused T1D in the first place in these patients may still target and destroy these newly transplanted beta cells.

San Diego’s ViaCyte is pursuing another potential cure. This company recently announced a collaboration with Crisper, a biotech leader in DNA editing to genetically modify the stem cells to avoid the need for immune therapy post-transplantation.

Ultimately, in order to ensure that all of the above treatments are safe for transplantation in the general population of T1D patients the FDA will require: 1) a careful peer-reviewed analysis of the results on all patients; 2) a long-term assessment of the survival and function of the transplanted cells; 3) evaluation of the long-term effects of immunosuppression; and 4) determination of the acceptability of all side effects.

Collectively, what all of these recent advancements show is that there is much more to be learned before stem cell derived islet tissue can be routinely and safely used for cell replacement therapy in T1D.

Hence, notwithstanding these open questions, substantial progress is being made towards a functional cure for T1D. We must proceed with hope and caution while pursuing additional innovative research.

The DRC is committed to continue supporting innovative basic and translational research by early-career scientists who strive to prevent, find better treatments for, and cure T1D.

 

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Drew Schlosberg's Spotlight on the community

We’re Committed to Eradicating T1D

We’re Committed to Eradicating T1D

Every year, millions of people around the world are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), a lifelong health condition that currently has no cure. We’re part of the global effort to eradicate T1D and we want to share our mission with you.

Understanding Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)

Before we dive into the journey of eradication, let’s take a moment to understand what T1D is. It’s an autoimmune disease where the pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in your bloodstream.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of T1D

It often starts with symptoms like excessive thirst, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss. Diagnosis usually happens during childhood or adolescence, but it can also start in adulthood. It’s like an unwelcome visitor, it just pops up uninvited.

H4: Consequences of Living with T1D

Living with T1D is like walking a tightrope. The constant monitoring of blood glucose levels, regular insulin injections, dietary restrictions – it’s all a balancing act that can impact quality of life.

The Journey towards Eradicating T1D

Eradicating T1D is a mammoth task. However, with advancements in medical research and robust policy initiatives, we are hopeful that this goal is not too far in the horizon.

Medical Research and Innovations

Continuous research in the field of endocrinology and immunology is driving progress towards a cure. From artificial pancreas systems to gene therapies, the innovative technologies give us hope.

Case Study: The Impact of Insulin Pumps

Take the example of insulin pumps. They’ve revolutionized diabetes management by delivering precise insulin doses, reducing the burden of multiple daily injections. It’s a game changer!

Policy Efforts and Advocacy

Policy changes and advocacy are equally important in this battle against T1D. Laws that ensure access to insulin and diabetes management tools are a crucial part of the fight.

Case Study: The Influence of Diabetes Advocacy Groups

Organizations like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) lobby governments to support research funding. They’re not just voices in the wilderness, they’re making real, tangible impacts.

How Can You Contribute?

We can’t do this alone. We need your help! There are many ways to join this mission.

Increasing Awareness About T1D

One of the most effective ways is by raising awareness. Talk about it, share information on social media, and educate others about T1D.

Participating in T1D Fundraisers

Join fundraising events or donate to research organizations. Every little bit helps, and no contribution is too small.

Supporting Medical Research and Policy Changes

Support organizations pushing for medical advancements and policy changes. They need our collective backing to fight this disease on all fronts.

Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

While T1D isn’t preventable, living a healthy lifestyle can make managing it easier and can help prevent type 2 diabetes. You know what they say, a healthy body is a fortress.

The Path Ahead

The journey to eradicating T1D is long, but with each step we’re getting closer. It’s a mountain to climb, but we’re equipped and we’re determined.

Conclusion

Our commitment to eradicating T1D is steadfast. With advancements in research, strong policy efforts, and your support, we’re hopeful of a future without Type 1 Diabetes. Together, we can make a difference.

FAQs

  1. What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes? Type 1 is an autoimmune condition, while Type 2 is often linked to lifestyle and genetic factors.
  2. Is Type 1 diabetes preventable? Currently, there is no known way to prevent Type 1 Diabetes.
  3. Can Type 1 diabetes be cured? There’s no cure yet, but ongoing research offers hope for future breakthroughs.
  4. How can I contribute to the fight against Type 1 Diabetes? From increasing awareness to donating to research, there are various ways to contribute.
  5. Why is medical research important in the fight against T1D? Medical research is crucial for finding better treatments and ultimately, a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

Learn about our commitment to not rest until T1D is eliminated in this recent Spotlight on the Community podcast.

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Happy Holidays

DRC Wishes You A Happy Holiday!

DRC Wishes You A Happy Holidays!

Introduction

Hello there! We, at DRC, want to take a moment to extend to you a happy holidays! As the season of joy and giving approaches, we are reminded of the importance of gratitude, connection, and the value of sharing these special moments with our loved ones. After all, what is a holiday without joy and laughter, right?

The Significance of Happy Holidays!

The Importance of Unplugging

In this fast-paced, ever-connected world, holidays provide us with a golden opportunity to unplug, relax, and rejuvenate. Can you recall the last time you truly let go of your to-do list and just breathed? Well, holidays allow you to do just that! They let us recharge our batteries, giving us the energy we need to take on future challenges with renewed vigor.

Embracing Cultural Diversity During Holidays

Holidays are also a beautiful representation of our world’s cultural diversity. Isn’t it fascinating how different cultures celebrate the same holiday in myriad ways? It’s like a symphony of traditions, each playing its own unique tune, yet all contributing to the grand melody of unity.

How DRC Celebrates With You

Unique Festivities Across the Globe

At DRC, we believe in celebrating with you, no matter where you are. We understand that every place has its own unique way of spreading holiday cheer. Whether it’s the warm beaches of Australia, the snowy landscapes of Canada, or the vibrant streets of Brazil, we’re with you, cherishing the rich tapestry of global festivities.

Our Role in Making Your Holidays Happier

Our aim is to make your holidays even happier, filled with joy and warmth. From providing top-notch services that make your life easier to creating meaningful experiences that add to your holiday celebrations, we’re here to spread the cheer!

Making Holidays Meaningful

Creating Beautiful Memories

Holidays aren’t just about the moment; they’re about the memories we create, the stories we tell, and the love we share. And at DRC, we’re committed to helping you create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.

Building Bonds and Connections

Holidays also present a great opportunity to strengthen bonds and build connections. They remind us of the importance of family, friendship, and community. We believe in fostering these connections, bringing people closer together, even if they’re continents apart.

DRC’s Special Holiday Wishes for You

DRC’s Commitment to You

Our commitment to you goes beyond the services we provide. We’re here for you, cheering for your victories, lending a helping hand when needed, and above all, wishing you a holiday season filled with joy, love, and laughter.

Our Holiday Message for You

So, here’s our special holiday wish for you: May your days be merry and bright, your heart full of love, and your life full of laughter. And as you celebrate, remember that you’re not just making a day special; you’re making memories that will warm your heart for years to come.

Conclusion

Holidays are a time of joy, love, and connection. As you embark on your holiday celebrations, remember to savor each moment, create beautiful memories, and cherish the love of your family and friends. From all of us at DRC, we wish you a holiday season filled with happiness, warmth, and many blessings.

FAQs

1. What does DRC stand for?

DRC stands for the ‘Dream Realization Company’, a fictional company committed to ensuring customer satisfaction and happiness.

2. How does DRC make holidays happier?

DRC aims to make holidays happier by providing top-notch services, creating meaningful experiences, and fostering a sense of community among its customers.

3. What are DRC’s holiday wishes for its customers?

DRC wishes its customers a holiday season filled with joy, love, laughter, and the creation of beautiful memories.

4. What is the importance of holidays according to DRC?

According to DRC, holidays provide an opportunity to unwind, celebrate cultural diversity, create lasting memories, and strengthen bonds and connections.

5. How does DRC celebrate holidays with its customers?

DRC celebrates holidays with its customers by understanding and respecting the unique ways in which different cultures celebrate, and by offering services that add to the holiday cheer.

 

Dear Supporter,

In consideration of the safety and comfort of our community, and the uncertainty for the effects of COVID-19 and its variant in indoor settings, DRC had to postpone events in 2021.

However, we are thrilled to announce we will be honoring our 10-year anniversary by throwing an epic party for our Dance for Diabetes in 2022. Stay tuned for more details.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership!

 

Happy Holidays, 

The DRC Team

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Examining Liquid Diabetes Research

Diabetes Research Connection Awards $400,000 to Eight Promising T1D Studies as Nation Observes National Diabetes Month

After rigorous review by DRC’s Scientific Review Committee, eight early-career researchers receive seed funding for their work to find the cause, treatment, and cure for T1D

November 08, 2021 04:25 PM Eastern Standard Time

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Diabetes Research Connection (DRC), a 501(c)(3) that funds research projects conducted by early-career researchers aimed at prevention, cure, and better care for those with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), puts out a call for T1D research in need of seed funding twice a year. After a rigorous review by the DRC Scientific Review Committee (SRC), comprised of T1D experts nationwide, the most promising studies are selected to receive seed funding. The first round of grants for 2021 was recently completed as the nation observes National Diabetes Month. Funds were provided to seven researchers (with an additional study pending contract approvals) totaling a $400,000 investment. Researchers receiving grants include:

“The DRC has filled a niche by providing seed funding to the most promising T1D research being conducted by innovative early-career scientists”

  • Dr. Michael Kalwat – Indiana Biosciences Research Institute
  • Dr. Sudpita Ashe – University California, San Francisco
  • Dr. Balamurugan Dhayalan – Indiana University
  • Dr. Yao Wang – University of California, San Francisco
  • Dr. Yi Wang – University of California, San Francisco
  • Dr. Flavia Pechanha – University of Miami
  • Dr. Madhumita Basu – Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Additional study pending contract approvals

Those selected are conducting a variety of T1D studies, ranging from the role of TSA genes in T1D, to preventing and possibly curing T1D by blocking the autoimmune attack of beta cells. Individuals can view the full summary of projects and donate to the research study of their choice.

Alberto Hayek, M.D., a renowned diabetes expert, former Scientific Director at San Diego’s Scripps Whittier Institute for Diabetes, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at UCSD, and DRC board member, notes how far diabetes research has come since the 1960s. Back then, diabetes in children was often viewed as fatal.

Today, continuous glucose monitoring and loop systems automatically sense how much insulin to inject. However, there is still no known cure to the autoimmune disease which 1.6 million Americans are living with today. View DRC’s “Imagine a World Without T1D” video.

“The DRC has filled a niche by providing seed funding to the most promising T1D research being conducted by innovative early-career scientists,” says Hayek. “From graduate students to junior assistant professors – they all have the ability to compete for funding with DRC – even for ‘high risk’ grants, often overlooked by others, that have potential to forever change views or research on T1D.”

To apply for funding, researchers first submit an LOI to be reviewed by DRC’s SRC. If approved, the applicant is invited to submit a grant application. U.S.-based post-doctoral fellows, professors, and instructors whose research is focused on T1D and have not received NIH funding as a Principal Investigator, are eligible to apply. Once a study has been approved by DRC, donors have the opportunity to support a research project of their choice and interact with the researchers themselves via the DRC website.

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Imagine a world without T1D

Imagine: A World Without Type 1 Diabetes

As we begin to reflect on all that has happened in the world over the past 18+ months, it is even more incredible to share the progress that the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) has made. Despite the global pandemic, despite the decline in donations, and despite the fact we have been unable to be together in person, we are fighting to end Type 1 Diabetes more than ever before. 

We must end this disease, and to do that, we need to all commit to finding the best and brightest early-career scientists in the nation and provide seed funding for their promising research. We must invest in novel ideas, with the most promise, to ensure a future where nobody has to hear “You have Type 1 Diabetes.” 

Click HERE to view the full November Newsletter!

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DRC and Rainman's Take

DRC’s President and Chair and the Senior Director of Development Speak on the Podcast Rainman’s Take

In late September, DRC’s President and Chair, C.C. King, and the Senior Director of Development, Casey Davis, spoke on the Podcast Rainman’s Take. This podcast is hosted by Brian, the “Rainman” Lukacz. He speaks on a variety of topics and gives his take on them.

During this 1+ hour episode, Rainman talks with C.C. and Casey about their innovative approach to charitable giving in the fight for a cure for type 1 diabetes. DRC’s process allows donors to have a direct connection with the research they are funding that maintains transparency and is an incredibly efficient use of donated funds.

Click HERE to view the podcast.

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Protecting Beta Cells

Protecting Pancreatic Beta Cells During Cell Transplantation

One of the hallmarks of type 1 diabetes (T1D) is the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. The immune system mistakenly attacks these cells leaving the body unable to regulate blood glucose levels naturally. Instead, insulin must be administered manually or via an insulin pump in order to prevent hyperglycemia.

Researchers have been experimenting with cell transplantation methods to replace these depleted cells and enable the body to produce its own insulin once again. A major obstacle to this approach is cell survival and viability. The stress of injecting the cells can cause cell death, and the body often treats the transplanted cells as foreign bodies and elicits an immune response to destroy them. Scientists have used various strategies for encapsulating the cells to reduce stress and protect them from the immune system. Some have been more effective than others.

new study examines the effectiveness of caging pancreatic islets in a multilayer hydrogel nanofilm. The nanofilm combines monophenol-modified glycol chitosan and hyaluronic acid to create a thin protective barrier that still enables oxygen and nutrients to flow into the caged cells while also allowing insulin and waste to flow out. In addition, it provides immunoisolation, eliminating the need for immunosuppressants.

When tested in T1D-induced mouse models, the nanofilm-caged spheroids were able to achieve normoglycemia compared to control groups. Scientists further evaluated their effectiveness by removing the kidney where the spheroids had been transplanted. As a result, the mice experienced hyperglycemia once again. Using a multilayer hydrogel nanofilm provided protection against mechanical stress and immune response while enabling the islets to regulate blood glucose levels.

Although this approach has only been tested on mouse models thus far, it provides a new approach for cell-based therapies. More research and testing are needed to determine if this transplantation method triggers the same effects in humans. It could one day open the door to new treatment options for individuals with type 1 diabetes.

Though not involved in this study, the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is committed to furthering research around T1D to improve diagnosis, treatment, and management of the disease and find a cure one day. The organization provides critical funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel research studies on T1D. Learn more and support current projects by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you.

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Dana Levin

Getting to know Fellow T1D – Dana Levin at Centura Wealth Advisory

Diabetes has taught me throughout my life to always have a backup plan for the backup plan. From the early days in 1994 when I was first diagnosed with T1D, my doctors always recommended keeping a snack and glucose tablets with me in case my blood sugars dipped low. To this day, my purse is always loaded with granola bars, nuts, and candy – it’s like a compact mini-mart. And it comes in handy often when restaurants take longer to bring the food than expected, and I’ve already bolused, or I find myself walking further on the beach than anticipated, and I feel my body starting to shake. When I travel, especially internationally, I make sure to keep a loaner insulin pump with me as well as pump and CGM supplies stashed in multiple suitcases and syringes with back up forms of insulin in case something crazy happens – and crazy, unexpected things always happen while traveling (it’s part of the adventure) and so long as I have my backups in place, my diabetes doesn’t have to control my life or plans.

As a newly diagnosed T1D at the age of 12, I never could have imagined how diabetes would impact the course of my career. Philanthropy has always been an essential part of my life, and giving back to the community was modeled for me at home by my parents, who were both educators in the public school system. My parents encouraged me to participate in many Walks for Diabetes and as part of the event, to send fundraising letters to friends and family. This annual exercise and leadership opportunity, coupled with many other volunteer experiences, guided me towards a career focused on philanthropy and giving back to the community. For 16 years, I worked as a fundraiser in a variety of nonprofit organizations, including one in the T1D space. I loved this work, and it has guided me to my current role at Centura Wealth Advisory as the Director of Philanthropic Strategies.

For the past year, I have been partnering with families to ensure that they have financial and philanthropic plans in place for their estate – both short and long-term. Together, we walk through conversations about their legacy and dreams as they plan for the future. The global pandemic of this past year has caused many families to either put living wills and trusts in place with a financial planner and estate attorney or to brush off older documents to ensure their intentions are still accurate. For those who have not done this yet, it is a highly recommended practice, so when life happens, financial decisions don’t need to be added to already stressful situations, medical or otherwise. This is having your backup plan in place, so to speak.

As someone with T1D, I never thought I would qualify for life insurance, one key component of an ultimate backup plan. I was concerned that if something happened to me, would my husband be able to pay our mortgage and take care of our family? Thankfully, a small handful of life insurance carriers will offer life insurance to people who live with T1D. Getting this coverage has provided me relief and comfort as well as filled a gap in my estate plan. With an A1c of 6.3, which I work on every single day, I focus on keeping myself as healthy and complication-free as possible; however, I know that as life changes, I can sleep better (despite my Dexcom beeping at me) because I have this coverage. In addition to partnering and supporting families at Centura as they build their estate plans, I am confident that my personal backup plan is also in place to provide for my family. I encourage everyone to have conversations with the trusted financial services professionals in your lives to ensure you have your plans in place so that you can live a more peaceful life.

Dana began working at Centura Wealth Advisory in 2020 as the Client Relationship Manager. She joined the team to bring together her passion for philanthropy with her commitment to help families build wealth and give back to the community. 

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New-Onset Diabetes

COVID-19 Infection May Increase Risk of New-Onset Diabetes

Scientists are still trying to understand the different ways that the SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, virus affects the body both in the short and long term. As more studies are conducted, scientists are finding that the virus may be linked to the development of other health conditions, such as diabetes.

Recent studies involving non-human primates and humans (both living and deceased), have led researchers to discover the presence of SARS-CoV-2 within cells throughout the pancreas, including islet, ductal, and endothelial cells. COVID-19 enters cells through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), both of which showed increased expression in pancreatic tissue of non-human primates (NHPs) and humans.

This may impact the survival of these cells, as well as their ability to produce and release insulin. Insulin deficiency is a primary cause of diabetes and leaves the body unable to regulate blood glucose levels on its own.

Researchers found that “two out of eight NHPs developed new-onset diabetes following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Two out of five COVID-19 patients exhibited new-onset diabetes at [hospital] admission. These results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection of the pancreas may promote acute and especially chronic pancreatic dysfunction that could potentially lead to new-onset diabetes.”

More research and larger studies are necessary to determine the effect of the virus on pancreatic function and insulin production. However, multiple studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 infects multiple types of cells found within the pancreas, and this could increase the risk of new-onset or late-onset diabetes.

The Diabetes Research Connection continues to follow the latest developments in the field and is interested to see how COVID-19 may impact diabetes as well as potential prevention and treatment efforts. Though not involved with these studies, the DRC provides critical funding to support early-career scientists pursuing research around type 1 diabetes. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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COVID-19 and Diabetes

Exploring Potential Links Between COVID-19 and Diabetes

As the coronavirus pandemic persists, scientists continue to learn more about SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as COVID-19. One area of interest is how the virus may affect beta cells within the body, and more specifically, pancreatic beta cells. Two recent studies have examined the connection between COVID-19 infections and diabetes.

The pancreas contains insulin-producing beta cells that help control blood glucose levels. In individuals with type 1 diabetes, these cells are mistakenly attacked and destroyed by the immune system. Research has shown that following a COVID-19 infection, a similar process may occur, reducing the quantity of pancreatic beta cells and the amount of insulin produced.

According to researchers, “Beta cells and other cell types in the pancreas express the ACE2 receptor protein, the TMPRSS2 enzyme protein, and neuropilin 1 (NRP1), all of which SARS-CoV-2 depends upon to enter and infect human cells.” Autopsy results from patients who died from COVID-19 showed the presence of the virus in pancreatic cells.

In addition to decreasing insulin production, the SARS-CoV-2 virus may also lead to beta-cell death or transdifferentiation of the cells. During transdifferentiation, cells are reprogrammed to alter their function. Researchers found that some cells produced less insulin, more glucagon, and more trypsin 1, a digestive enzyme. However, blocking NRP 1 may prevent cell death, and trans-ISRIB treatment may help reduce the stress response of cells. This may help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

More research is necessary to gain a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on pancreatic beta cells and the damage that it may cause. One of the best defenses against COVID-19 to date is getting vaccinated.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see what future studies reveal and how this may impact treatment and prevention efforts. The DRC provides critical funding for early-career scientists studying all facets of type 1 diabetes. Learn more about how to support these efforts by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Diabetes Vaccine

Diabetes Vaccine May Help Preserve Insulin Production

Scientists have created vaccines for many different diseases, from polio to chickenpox to the flu, and now they are in the process of developing one for type 1 diabetes (T1D). T1D develops when the body mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells. These cells are vital for naturally controlling the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. This new vaccine is geared toward preserving insulin-producing cells by targeting the glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) protein.

Around half of the patients with T1D have an immune system gene know as HLA-DR3-DQ2, which is a specific version of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene. This particular variant triggers the body to produce antibodies against the GAD protein and destroy insulin-producing beta-cells, which increases the risk of developing T1D. If this process can be stopped or delayed, and patients can retain even some natural insulin production, it could benefit their overall health and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.

The diabetes vaccine increases exposure of the cells to GAD to improve the immune system’s ability to tolerate the protein and not launch an attack on pancreatic beta cells. This may enable patients to retain more natural insulin and better regulate glucose levels.

To test this theory, researchers conducted a phase 2 clinical study involving 109 patients ages 12 to 24 who had been diagnosed with T1D within the past six months. The HLA-DR3-DQ2 gene variant was present in about half of the patients.

Patients were randomly divided into two groups, one of which received the diabetes vaccine and one of which received the placebo. The vaccine was administered once a month for three consecutive months. Natural insulin production, blood sugar levels, and daily supplementary insulin use were recorded at the study’s beginning and then again 15 months later.

The results showed that “as a whole, there was no difference in treatment and placebo groups. But the subset of patients who had the HLA-DR3-DQ2 variant did not lose insulin production as quickly as other patients did.”

For patients with this specific gene variant, the diabetes vaccine may be beneficial in preserving natural insulin production and slowing or stopping the progression of T1D. More research and more extensive studies are needed to further study the potential benefits of the vaccine and its use in treating patients with T1D.

Though not involved with this study, the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is dedicated to improving prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for patients with type 1 diabetes and one day finding a cure. This vaccine could be a step in the right direction toward altering the progress of the disease. The DRC is interested to see what future studies reveal.

The DRC provides critical funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel research around type 1 diabetes to support advancements in this field. To learn more about current projects and support these efforts, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you.

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diabetes and hiking foods

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 5 of Summer 2021 Series

Packing meals for outdoor day trips can be a challenge, and like with everything else, even more so when doing it with Type 1 Diabetes. The food and container have to be able to withstand temperature fluctuations, provide energy in the form of slow-release carbohydrates, and tasty sustenance for our bodies as well as our soul. 

Hands down, preparing your own meals is the best way to predict how your diabetes will behave around mealtimes. You control the ingredients, so you can have the exact carbohydrate calculation, and if not, a much better idea of how to estimate the carbohydrates. Hidden sugar content is a real problem with restaurant and store-prepared food and can seriously dampen a diabetic’s good time. 

There are an infinite amount of recipes online with new ones being concocted every day. Thankfully, a fully balanced meal consists of just a handful of things, and having these elements in mind is a great starting point in discovering and creating meals that work for you, fit your preferences, dietary needs, and regional accessibility. 

So when planning your next day adventure, consider packing a balanced meal that consists of these five elements:

 

  • Low-carb base
  • Fiber
  • Protein 
  • Fat
  • Acid

 

Us T1Ds can eat whatever we want, but it’s no surprise that slower acting and lower carbohydrate foods are easier for us to digest with minimal insulin. I have found that replacing the base of my meals with hearty vegetables like shredded spaghetti squash, lightly roasted broccoli or zucchini, and dark greens (rather than a complex carbohydrate like potatoes or rice) is so much easier to predict and calculate for. Alternatively, beans and legumes provide a similar carbohydrate base with added vitamins, minerals, and protein to slow the glycemic impact, making it slightly easier to time insulin injections. 

Fiber is necessary for slowing the glycemic load and lowering the overall net carbohydrate. I don’t usually notice the difference of the total carbohydrate count is ever enough to adjust my insulin requirement, but it does delay and sometimes negate a postprandial rise. Shaved carrots, roasted or raw broccoli, shredded cabbage dressed in lime juice and salt – it really doesn’t take much to turn a few raw ingredients into a delicious and fibrous addition to the dish. 

Protein is arguably the most important aspect of daily nutrition as the building blocks of bodies. From tofu to deli slices, there’s no wrong way to go when building hiking-friendly meals. Substantial protein can also be found in hard cheese, legumes, beans, and seeds, and should be considered in the overall protein content of the meal. Stick to basics that don’t spoil quickly, such as chicken thighs, lean pork, and cured meat.

To top off most meals, I usually finish with a generous squeeze of lemon or lime juice, a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive or avocado oil, and a sprinkle of seeds. The acid and fat balance out everything and pull the entire dish together, not to mention provides necessary puzzle pieces our bodies require to properly digest everything. Vegetables are packed with carotenoids that act as antioxidants and have cancer fighting properties, and studies are finding that we absorb more of these phytonutrients from plants with the aid of fat. Considering that, if I can, I love to include an avocado with every meal. It’s also my favorite standalone snack – full of healthy fat, fiber, and FLAVOR. Lastly, a sprinkle of seeds packed with protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals is just the extra bit of zest I need in my life.

With these building blocks in mind, assembling simple meals that are delicious, nutritious, and the perfect accompaniment to a hike or day trip should be a breeze. The considerate ratios of our glucose levels should be to your satisfaction as well. 

 

This article was contributed by Jackie Talbott, DRC Volunteer, who has had T1D for 23 years.  

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Hiking with Diabetes

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 4 of Summer 2021 Series

It’s officially summer! As the world seems to be hotter than ever, and life goes back to a new normal with social activities commencing, it can be surprisingly easy to forget about having diabetes during group play dates in the great outdoors. 

I think it’s safe to say we all feel an extra level of pressure, and to an extent mindlessness, when we’re with our friends and family that we haven’t been in the company of for so long. I find myself being less in-tune with the physical glucose signals, and you know what they say about time when you’re having fun, right? Hours seem like minutes and a lot can happen to our diabetes before we realize it. Miscalculations are just waiting to sneak in, timing injections are likely to be less than ideal, and even how we react to the normal stuff might be different when we’re buzzing about full of our environment’s energy. 

Along the T1D journey, we will experience things and gain new perspectives that help make diabetes management more understandable. In this constant period of trials and errors, I have found some “food for thought” that helps my decision making when embarking on summertime excursions with friends. 

So that everyone can have the best possible time, I’ve compiled a handful of tips to stow in your supplies pack.

 

Stash Smart Snacks:

Since there are so many options now for emergency and activity-friendly snacks, take a moment to find ones that you actually enjoy. It’s so easy for T1Ds to look at food as merely a necessity, but food is also nourishment for the soul. Even for emergency use, we don’t have to just rely on choking down dry tablets – there are gummies, syrups, liquid shots, and powders that can be used in a variety of ways that suit several needs. I find powder glucose the most versatile and takes up the least amount of space.

I also like to carry high carb granola bars, ones that are at least 40 grams per bar. I find them to be extra helpful in that you can split the bar into more than one use (depending on how much you need, of course). Dried fruit does a similar trick – the idea is to consider carbohydrate rich options that provide enough nutrition with just a bite or two.

Some favorites like carrot and celery sticks, either plain or dipped in a treat of your choice, are durable and hydrating options. Also, do rely on the usual camping and hiking snacks like beef jerky, seeds, and nuts – it’s called trail mix for a reason! Focus on high protein and fat to delay carbohydrate absorption.

In the case you’ll be enjoying a full meal on your excursion, make the fuel-up part of the experience. Whenever I go hiking, the meal is a definite highlight and a chance to try out mobile-friendly versions of my favorite recipes. Prepare meals that can withstand temperature fluctuations like stews and moderate temperature salads. There are so many resources online that a quick search should point you in the right direction. But whatever meals suit your needs and fancy, the focus when preparing should be on the packaging.

It may seem counterintuitive to travel or do something like a hike with glassware, but glass preserves food much better and holds heat much longer compared to plastic (up to a full day). Mason jar salads don’t just look ~*aesthetic*~, they are quite functional if assembled properly.

Choose recipes that are low in simple carbohydrates, high in healthy fats and protein to slow the glycemic load. If the meal is low enough on the glycemic index, the couteractivity of physical activity could be enough to balance each other and maintain safe glucose levels without extra insulin injections.

 

Pack a Backpack of Backups:

Technically I only need to carry my phone (to read my Dexcom), my InPen (Humalog), glucose and a granola bar for a day trip. But the security I feel with having some backup supplies, like my meter and emergency glucagon, helps to lower the overall stress level of the event, and when I’m less stressed, my diabetes just behaves better. Carrying a few more essential emergency items doesn’t take up that much more space and gives THAT much more security. A fanny pack or mini backpack is plenty of space and full of convenience.

If you aren’t, please become familiar with the different types of glucagon that are available to us. Having the ability to protect ourselves in an emergency is so liberating and comforting, providing a bit of relief from such a deep-seeded level of concern if nothing else. That in turn makes any event so much more of a positive memorable experience. Similarly, it can be uncomfortable at first if you’re not used to discussing diabetes emergencies with people, but it is really in everyone’s best interest to know how to use whatever glucagon you have, should you decide to carry it.

In addition to emergency and backup supplies, alcohol wipes are a dandy addition to our supplies pack. They are so convenient, take up virtually no space, and useful in so many applications: for sterilizing of course, but also can be used like a moist towelette to clean (small) surfaces as well as our skin. On a similar note, I find baby wipes to be a more gentle, multi-purpose alternative to the adult formulated wet wipes. I recommend carrying a combo of the two, but if I have to choose one, I opt for the alcohol.

 

Heed the Heat:

I keep all of my diabetes supplies in a padded, insulated bag. It doesn’t need to be anything proprietary or fancy – I use a promotional item I got for free from a convention. The summer weather affects everything, and it’s especially important for type 1 diabetics to be aware of how to properly store medical supplies, electronics, and other essentials. 

Warm weather coupled with low intensity physical activity turns the body into a glucose-absorbing sponge. Active muscles uptake glucose directly, easily lowering your blood sugar without the need of insulin. On the other hand, dehydration (which can happen before we even realize it during those events) causes glucose levels to rise. Maintaining moderate body temperature and hydration levels can ease the effects and stress that heat can bring.

Additionally, as more and more diabetics use continuous glucose monitors to track their levels, staying hydrated is even more important, as the accuracy of the CGM data is dependent on the quality of one’s interstitial fluid – which is affected by the body’s overall hydration level. Diabetes is challenging all the time, but because of these and other things beyond my understanding, glucose levels are extra unstable in the heat.

However, beginning to understand how heat and exercise affect glucose and insulin production and absorption has been a foundational game changer. So to combat it, I have these tips:

  • If you’re on a pump, use a temporary lower basal rate or go on exercise mode (I haven’t pumped for 19 years, but this is the best option)
  • If you can plan ahead, take a couple units less of your long-acting dose for the day (an amount based on your sensitivity factor)
  • Frequently sip on a diluted electrolyte drink (a constant, low intake of sugar (<5g per hour) to help maintain levels

 

Practice Presence: 

Enjoying the outdoors isn’t just physical, it gives us a much needed mental connection back to nature. There are an increasing amount of studies detailing the connection between the body and mind; managing type 1 diabetes is so much more than the numbers. Take breaks, breathe deep, smell the air, and feel the breeze. Be mindful of yourself and your surroundings, appreciate all of your senses, splash some water on your face, or let out a nice big shout. These little actions, in taking moments to gather ourselves physically and mentally, strengthens our parasympathetic nervous system (the brain-gut axis), contributing to gastrointestinal homeostasis, affecting the entire digestive and endocrine system (the neuroendocrine-immune axis). Basically makes our diabetes way more predictable and easier to manage. So practice your flexibility and resilience – try to be grateful for the spontaneous breaks you have to take to manage your diabetes. It’s easy for me to find these interruptions a major frustration, but getting upset will only make diabetes harder to manage (that brain-gut axis) and cause even more interruptions to life. It’s worth the effort to turn instant disheartenment into gratitude that there’s something beyond us forcing us to stop and smell the roses sometimes.

 

This article was written by Jackie Talbott, DRC Volunteer, who has had T1D for 23 years.

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 3 of Summer 2021 Series

Summertime meals are all about freshness, flavor, and fun. This grilled spiced salmon salad with avocado cucumber salsa by Sylvia Fountaine is a perfect dish for a hot summer day. If you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser, this is the type of meal that will make you look like a professional after you whip it up. It sounds complicated but it’s actually incredibly simple, and most importantly, so delicious. Since it only takes a little over 20 minutes to prepare, it won’t cut into your relaxing beach day. It’s also low carb and filled with healthy fats. Click here for the full recipe, or scroll to the bottom to see the recipe with my adjustments!

What screams “summer” more than a sizzling grill? To begin, preheat the grill to medium (you can also use a grill pan). Pat your salmon dry. In a small bowl, mix all the spices for the salmon, and rub the salmon on all sides with the mixture. Set it aside. Then, make the salsa by combining all the salsa ingredients besides the avocado in a medium bowl. Gently fold in the avocado– make sure not to squish it! The goal is to still have the avocado pieces intact, rather than making guacamole. I had a bowl of ripe, sweet mangoes on my kitchen counter, so I also diced up a few pieces of mango to add to the salsa. It gave the dish a little bit more sweetness and brightness, but be aware this will also add more carbs to the dish. Then, make the dressing by whisking all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Chop up the romaine to your desired size for the salad. Pro tip: if you want your romaine extra crunchy, soak it in an ice-water bath for a few minutes before chopping it. Make sure you pat it completely dry after you take it out, so the dressing doesn’t slide off of it (water and oil don’t like each other). 

Make sure the grill is hot. Grease the grill with neutral cooking oil (I used Canola). Place the salmon skin-side down on the grill for about 6-8 minutes, until you reach the desired doneness. I don’t recommend flipping the salmon, because the other side of the fillet will most likely stick to the grill.  If you’re using a meat thermometer, the salmon should reach 140-145 degrees internally. Once done, take the salmon off the grill and let rest for a minute. Squeeze with a little lime juice. Remove the skin with a knife or spoon (you can also leave it on, but I prefer to take it off). 

Toss the lettuce with the dressing and assemble it on a plate. I also crushed a few toasted almonds to put on the salad. It added a great nutty flavor, which really complemented the sweet and spicy-ness of the salmon. Then place the salmon on top of the lettuce. Spoon the salsa over the top of the salmon, then garnish with lime slices. 

Serves 4

Carbs per serving: 17 grams 

For the Spiced Salmon: 

4 6 ounce salmon fillets

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons chile powder

Lime 

For the Avocado Salsa:

1 ripe avocado, diced

1 cup diced cucumber

½ jalapeno, finely chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 lime juice and zest

2-3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ mango (optional, will add about 12 grams of carbs)

For the yogurt dressing: 

½ cup plain Greek yogurt 

Juice from one lime

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

⅛ cup chopped cilantro

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper 

For the salad: 

2-3 heads of romaine lettuce 

A small handful of toasted almonds, crushed

 

Directions:

 

Preheat the grill to medium. Pat the salmon dry. In a small bowl, mix all the spices for the salmon, and rub the salmon all sides with the mixture. Set it aside.

Fill a bowl with ice water. Place the heads of romaine in the bowl. 

Make the salsa by combining all the salsa ingredients besides the avocado in a medium bowl. Gently fold in the avocado.

Make the dressing by whisking all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Take the romaine out of the water and thoroughly dry it. Chop up the romaine to your desired size for the salad.

Grease the grill with a neutral cooking oil. Place the salmon skin-side down on the grill for about 6 minutes, then use a thin metal spatula to flip the fillets and grill for another 2 minutes on the other side, until you reach the desired doneness. If you’re using a meat thermometer, the salmon should reach 140-145 degrees internally. Once done, take the salmon off the grill and let rest for a minute. Squeeze with a little lime juice. Remove the skin. 

Toss the lettuce with the dressing and the crushed almonds. Assemble it on a plate, then place the salmon on top of the lettuce. Spoon the salsa over the top of the salmon, then garnish with lime slices. 

This blog was written by Lauren Grove, DRC Intern, who has had T1D for 15 years and is responding to the article, “Grilled Salmon with Avocado Cucumber Salsa.” 

Lauren Grove

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 2 of Summer 2021 Series

Everyone has experienced the wonders of childhood. You probably think that a typical seven-year-old’s goal in life is to ride a bike without training wheels or make a new friend in class. Mine was to learn how to give myself my own shots. Weird, right? For a T1D, that is just one of the goals of controlling your health and managing your disease. I didn’t learn this skill at the hospital when I was diagnosed or through tear-stained cheeks as my parents begged me to learn at home. Three months after my diagnosis, I was sitting in the infirmary at Camp Conrad Chinnock feeling liberated as I injected an orange with water. I felt this way because I knew I would be able to do the same thing with insulin later that day and finally feel a modicum of power over my predicament. That summer at camp determined my point of view on my disease for the rest of my life, and like their motto says, “Until there’s a cure, there’s camp.” 

Camp Conrad Chinnock is one of several camps across the US and the world that offers a semblance of normalcy for a disease that is anything but. You are surrounded by the orchestra of beeping CGMs and the unmistakable scent of insulin, yet all you are concerned about is whether you want to go to arts and crafts for free time or hang out with your friends in the game room. Before going to the pool, you aren’t the odd one out if you have pump/CGM sites on your abdomen, hips, or arms; you are the odd one if you don’t have them. The pressure to count carbs is made easy by a menu with the grams included and a consultation with the volunteering medical staff for dosing before eating. Midnight blood sugar checks are the norm in every cabin, and I remember looking forward to having my blood sugar checked and being low because I would get the coveted peanut butter cracker… they are so much better at camp than at home. I loved camp so much that I became a staff member and worked with kids who were just like me and trying to find support that would actually make a difference. I have been going to camp for over 15 years, and the one thing I always hear is that it truly is home away from home. 

If you aren’t sure which camp to send your kids to or if you are a T1D and aren’t sure where to go, I found Camp Conrad Chinnock through my endocrinologist. You can also do research and give any of the places you find a call – I am optimistic they will explain their protocols and procedures and alleviate any fear you might have. Below, I will share a few of the camps around the country that I have heard of and recommend you look into: 

– Obviously, Camp Conrad Chinnock. They offer a wide range of options such as Family camp for everyone affected with T1D in your family over a weekend, younger kids camp, and teen camp. If you are a California local or don’t mind sending your child by plane, I give a personal rating of 100/5 stars. 

– If your child loves basketball, man, do I have a recommendation for you; The Chris Dudley Basketball Camp. This is a week-long overnight camp in Oregon for youth with T1D, ages 10-17. Here, your child can play a vigorous sport while managing T1D and connect with mentors and peers who understand the daily challenges they face as an athlete living with this disease. If you would like to know more about the man that founded this camp, Chris Dudley, the NBA’s first basketball player with T1D, click HERE to view a partnership webinar with him and his organization and DRC. 

– Do you live on the other side of the country? Camp Kudzo is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves children and teens living with type 1 diabetes. Their programs are delivered with the support of endocrinologists, healthcare professionals, and volunteers trained explicitly in diabetes management. They offer overnight summer camps, a week-long day camp, family camp weekends, and a teen retreat. 

– Can’t afford camp and live in Idaho? Camp Hodia provides educational camps and programs for youth with type 1 diabetes regardless of their ability to pay. They offer different sessions such as Shooting Star’s Day Camp, Teen Camp, Wilderness Camp, and more. 

– Suppose you want to find a local camp with specifications that meet your standards. In that case, you can also go to the Diabetes Education and Camping website, fill out their “Find a Camp” form on the main page, and find one close to you that you are comfortable sending your kid to or even going to with the whole family. 

Every child’s experience is different with camp, but I can honestly say that in comparison to going to a “normal” kid’s camp, it couldn’t even hold a candle to one specialized for T1Ds. Camp gave me a sense of community and belonging that would have been detrimental to my mental, emotional and physical health had I not gone. I learned how to give myself my first shot, count grams properly, and feel comfortable away from home without the fear of my disease keeping me from extraordinary experiences. For those of us who don’t always feel comfortable in our bodies, for a few weeks, we do when we get on that bus that takes us to our home away from home. 

This blog was written by Hannah Gebauer, DRC’s Development Assistant, who has had T1D for 18 years and wishes she could still be a camper. 

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Diabetes and Camp

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 1 of Summer 2021 Series

My family loves to travel. Since I was little, I have had the privilege to experience the amazing culture and beauty of destinations around the globe. However, managing a chronic illness on top of the normal stress of traveling can be difficult. In Cazzy Magennis’ “Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Diabetes,” she provides some very helpful tips and tricks, many of which I use every time I travel. 

When it comes to packing, Cazzy recommends bringing twice as many supplies as you think you need. I recommend also dividing your supplies between bags if you can. It’s easy to accidentally forget bags on transportation when you’re hurrying from place to place. If this happens, dividing up your supplies means you don’t have to worry about losing everything. But remember to never put insulin in a checked bag on the plane, because it will freeze! Another tip is to make sure you have a medical ID bracelet or some form of diabetic identification. This is particularly important if you are traveling alone, and you experience a diabetic episode. In my experience, it’s also important to have some sort of doctor’s note that says you’re a type 1 diabetic because sometimes airport security (especially in foreign countries) will ask about the diabetic supplies in your bag. With the language barrier, it’s sometimes difficult to articulate what the supplies are for, but if you provide an official doctor’s note, then it’s easier to explain that it is necessary medication. Additionally, if you go through the scanner in airport security, make sure you tell the agent if you have an OmniPod, pump, or Continuous Glucose Monitor (this is also where the doctor’s note comes in handy). Any device on your body will show up as a mysterious lump in the scanner, and this can raise some eyebrows. However, don’t be worried if they do make you get double-screened because of your medical device–this is, unfortunately, totally normal. Since I was six years old, I have had to be double-screened almost every time I go through security because of my pump or CGM, but there have never been any problems past that. Although it can be frustrating, I remind myself that they’re just trying to keep everyone safe. 

 Experiencing new cuisines is possibly my favorite part of traveling, so I never say no to trying new food. But new foods mean unknown carbohydrate counts. Cazzy recommends downloading a carb counting app to help research any foods you’re unfamiliar with. For the plane, my family always packs our own food, such as fruit, string cheese, and sandwiches. This makes it way easier for me to know how many carbohydrates I’m eating. I typically create a bag just for myself with different snacks in it, and I write the number of carbs on the outside of the bag. Then I don’t have to worry about a carb-heavy plane meal throwing my glucose levels all out of whack. 

Once you’re at your destination, it’s important to recognize differing cultural norms and how that may impact how you treat your disease in public. For example, I usually give insulin on my hip, which means I have to pull my shirt partially up. In certain areas, this isn’t considered appropriate to do in public. To respect this, I will give insulin in a private space. When I was little, I used to check my blood sugar levels on my toes. However, when I traveled to Thailand, I had to shift to checking my levels on my fingers, because I learned it is considered incredibly impolite to show the bottoms of your feet in Thai culture, especially around a dining table. Traveling is all about immersing yourself in another culture, so I see it as a vital responsibility to make sure I am respecting all cultural norms. 

Whether you are relaxing on a beach, hiking on trails, sailing from island to island, or driving a moped through skinny streets, traveling should be exciting and enjoyable. With planning and preparation, type 1 diabetics do not need to miss out on any of the fun. 

This blog was written by Lauren Grove, DRC Intern, who has had T1D for 15 years and is writing in response to the article, ““The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Diabetes.”

Lauren Grove

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Series 2

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds is a new campaign where those with type one diabetes (T1D) in the DRC community share their thoughts and personal anecdotes in response to lifestyle articles related to T1D care and management.

DRC’s Development and Program Assistant, Hannah Gebauer, and one of DRC’s interns, Lauren Grove, wrote several blogs responding to different lifestyle articles revolving T1D and different experiences with the disease, such as restrictions, driving, and working! Look below to find an article you may be interested in and its URL link:

Click HERE to view a blog about driving with T1D.

Click HERE to view a blog about T1D in the workplace.

Click HERE to view a blog about working out with T1D.

Click HERE to view a blog about being a child with T1D and the relationship between child and parent.

Click HERE to view a blog about handling high blood sugar with T1D.

Click HERE to view a blog about stress management with T1D.

Click HERE to view a blog about T1D and the restrictions associated with the disease.

*This is the second series of blogs in response to T1D lifestyle articles. There will be more in the future. Stay tuned for DRC’s summer series where Hannah, Lauren, and more of the DRC community will share their T1D experience in all things summer related!

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Resilience

Resilience: June 2021 Newsletter

This past year has been defined by resilience. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness; the ability to spring back into shape. Many of us have faced adversity this past year in ways that we could never have imagined. We had to re-learn how to parent, work, and engage in the community, and we had to reassess what is most important in our lives. As we begin to move out of a global pandemic, it is our community and our resilience that will take us to the future; together. At DRC, our community of those impacted by type 1 diabetes (T1D) every day are resilient; our staff and volunteers are resilient; our supporters and donors are resilient; our research community is resilient. And as a result, we have seen more focus and dedication to DRC’s vision to support scientific inquiry until diabetes is eliminated than ever before. We depend on our collective resilience to finish this year strong!

Click HERE to view the newsletter.

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 7 of Series 2

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have heard many people say that they feel like their freedom was taken from them with unjust cause. As Melissa Engel mentions in her article “What Youth with Chronic Illnesses Know About Life with Restriction,” this is not a new feeling for type 1 diabetics. I have felt this “unjust loss of freedom” for 15 years, since the day I was diagnosed with type 1. Each day, I am reminded that I cannot go anywhere without my diabetic supplies, that I’m dependent on medication for survival, and that there are certain activities that would be dangerous for me to take part in due to my disease. Life behind plexiglass isn’t fun, just like life with needles, constant blood sugar monitoring, and carb-counting is not fun either. 

Melissa talks about how certain endeavors are technically “off-limits” for youth with chronic illnesses, but they are made significantly harder.  For example, when I am at a birthday party, I know I can enjoy a slice of cake. However, I also know I will need to guess how many units to give, risk underestimating and experiencing extreme hyperglycemia that makes me nauseous, dehydrated, and agitated, or risk overestimating and experiencing dangerous hypoglycemia that makes me exhausted and starving. Sometimes, it’s easier to not eat the cake. When I was little, there were many times where I would get low blood sugar and not be able to participate in physical education classes, or I would get high blood sugar and be sent home because I felt so sick. There are also social limitations that come from having type 1 diabetes: in college, I have to be careful about my eating schedule and getting adequate sleep, while my friends are able to eat late night snacks and get a few hours of sleep and not have any serious ramifications. I have to prioritize myself, and my long-term health, over being social sometimes. 

Dealing with these restrictions is difficult. With the COVID-19 pandemic, at least one can be comforted by the notion that almost everyone is experiencing similar restrictions to their freedom. However, as a type 1 diabetic, it can feel like I’m the only one who experiences these issues. Melissa offers three psychological strategies for overcoming the burden of these restrictions. The first is “turn can’t into can:” for everything you think about that you can’t do, write down three things that you can do. For me, this might be I can’t have the same carefree lifestyle as my friends, but I can still spend time with them, I can eat meals with them, I can talk to them about how I’m feeling. Her second tip is to “activate,” or engage in activities that leave you feeling rewarded, even if you don’t necessarily feel like doing them. This would be physical activity for me: sometimes the thought of getting out of bed early to exercise sounds painful, but every time I do it, I feel much better. Melissa’s third and final tip is to “practice dialectical thinking.” Looking at my issues from different perspectives can be extremely helpful. Life with type 1 diabetes is unfair, and there is no way around that. However, I will learn and grow out of having the disease, understand my body and its workings much better than most people, and I may even make a few type 1 diabetic friends along the way. 

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift, I hope people remember that, for those with chronic illnesses, restrictions are not temporary. We live restricted lives, and for that reason, I like to savor freedom in my everyday mundane activities: laughing with friends, driving with loud music, enjoying my morning coffee, going on a run around my neighborhood. Because of my disease, these moments of freedom become even sweeter. 

This blog was written by Lauren Grove, DRC Intern, who has had T1D for 15 years and is responding to the article, “What Youth with Chronic Illnesses Know About Life with Restrictions.”

Lauren Grove

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 6 of Series 2

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C.C. King

Meet DRC’s Chair and President, C.C. King, Ph.D.

Hello Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) Community,

It is a true pleasure to begin my tenure serving as the new Board President/Chair for the DRC. Like my predecessor David Winkler, I remain committed to growing and expanding the DRC so that we can fund as much innovative science as possible. Together, our collective passion and drive will inspire hope while setting a realistic, tempered approach to identify and support the best science in the Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) community. While we continue to learn and grow the organization, we welcome two additional leaders to our team.  First is Karen Hooper, our new Executive Director, who joined the team in March. She brings 20 years of non-profit leadership experience with her, building innovative programs and lifetime relationships.  Karen is dedicated to the DRC mission and excited to help us expand and reach more scientists and partners across the country.  Next is Vincenzo Cirulli, MD, Ph.D., our new Scientific Director, who has assumed the role previously held by Alberto Hayek, MD.  Vincenzo has spent his career in islet biology and brings  both exceptional expertise and vision as the new leader of scientific funding.  As you can see, the DRC family is growing and thriving. I invite you to please join me and help DRC fund more meritorious research than ever before.  If you have questions or comments, I invite you to reach out to me anytime at info@DiabetesResearchConnection.org.

 

Sincerely,
C.C. King, Ph.D.
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Exciting Beta-Cell Research

Exciting Research News from DRC Funded Scientists

On June 7th, 2021, the Salk Institute published the work of two Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) fully-funded researchers, Hiasong Liu, Ph.D., and Ronghui Li, Ph.D., and DRC’s newly approved to be funded researcher Hsin-Kai Liao, Ph.D., and their most recent and exciting findings. You can view the original video explaining the work that DRC funded for Hiasong Liu, Ph.D., by clickingHERE. If you would like to see the completed work of Ronghui Li, Ph.D., clickHERE. DRC will keep its community posted about when Hsin-Kai Liao’s project will be live on the website.

In thisarticle, the author notes how these investigators reported that they have developed a new way to create beta-cells that is much more efficient than previous methods. Through the testing of these new beta-cells, results showed that when these beta cells were tested in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes (T1D), the animals’ blood sugar was brought under control within a two-week time frame. This research was initially funded by DRC. The preliminary data made it possible to obtain funding from the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation and a DRC Partner, the Moxie Foundation,to finish their work. DRC is extremely excited to see where these early-career scientists go with their incredible research.

Please DONATE NOWso DRC can keep funding novel research designed to prevent and cure T1D, minimize its complications and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease.

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Managing T1D by Looping

Effectively Managing Type 1 Diabetes with Loop Technology

The diabetes community is vital. Individuals with type 1 diabetes know how hard it is to act as your body’s own pancreas 24/7/365. Advances in technology such as continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and insulin pumps have made the process a little easier, but there are still challenges. Managing T1D still requires a lot of decisions and manual work.

In recent years, however, the diabetes community has stepped up to support one another. Individuals have created their own open-source, do-it-yourself systems that link CGMs and insulin pumps together and allow for more automated blood sugar control. These systems take data from the CGMs and tell the insulin pump how much insulin to administer or when to stop.

recent observational study found that these community-developed tools may be safe and effective in helping adults and children better manage their T1D and improve glucose control. Researchers analyzed data from 558 participants with T1D who were using a Loop system. Results showed that over the course of six months, both adults and children spent an average of 6.6% more time in their target range and spent 0.33% less time in severe hypoglycemia.

In fact, according to the study, “The incidence rate of reported severe hypoglycemia events was 18.7 per 100 person-years, a reduction from the incidence rate of 181 per 100 person-years during the three months before the study.”

It is important to note that there were limitations to the observational study. Many participants were of high socioeconomic status and had a starting HbA1c of 7% or lower. They were highly motivated individuals already using CGMs and insulin pumps or had access to get these devices and other components necessary to establish a Loop system. A broader, more diverse study is necessary to evaluate further the impact of community-developed Loop systems on T1D management.

Recognizing the potential benefits of further advancing technology and how these devices can work together, medical device companies are already beginning to partner with other businesses to develop Loop software for FDA approval.

This is an encouraging step toward the development of FDA-approved artificial pancreas systems or Loop systems. These programs would give individuals with T1D more options for managing their diabetes and require less manual input. The Diabetes Research Connection will continue to follow these developments and their impact on the T1D community.

The DRC is committed to supporting research and advancements in diagnosing, treating, preventing, and managing T1D, as well as one day finding a cure. The organization provides early-career scientists with critical funding to pursue novel, peer-reviewed studies. Learn more about current projects and how to help at https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you.

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Covid and Beta-Cell Destruction

COVID-19 May Trigger Pancreatic Beta-Cell Destruction

Pancreatic beta-cells play an important role in producing, distributing, and regulating insulin throughout the body. When these cells become damaged or are destroyed, it can lead to the development of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Patients with T1D must monitor their blood glucose levels and insulin administration since their body is no longer able to do it on its own effectively.

Since the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus emerged more than a year ago, scientists have been researching it to learn as much as they can. Individuals with T1D were recognized as a high-risk group for developing severe COVID-19 due to their existing autoimmune disorder.

recent study found that SARS-CoV-2 does infect pancreatic beta cells, and it can interfere with insulin secretion, affecting blood glucose levels. In addition, the virus can trigger the signaling of beta-cell death, also known as apoptosis. NRP1 inhibition may be effective in protecting these cells.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested in seeing what further studies reveal potential links between COVID-19 and type 1 diabetes. This research may play an important role in future health initiatives to protect patients with T1D and preserve pancreatic beta cells. 

Funding diabetes research is essential as this disease affects millions of people around the world. The DRC provides critical funding to early-career scientists focused on T1D research. To learn more about current projects and how to help, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you.

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Breakthrough Therapy for T1Ds

Breakthrough Therapy Status Granted for Type 1 Diabetes Adjunctive Therapy

Effectively managing blood glucose levels can be challenging for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Everyone’s body responds differently to various therapeutic treatments; what works well for one person may not be as effective for the next. Researchers are constantly searching for new options to tailor treatment and maintain better control over blood glucose.

Glucokinase activators have been a focus of recent research, as they are commonly used in some treatments for type 2 diabetes. The glucokinase gene acts as a sensor to alert the pancreas to produce more insulin when blood glucose levels rise. However, now they have been found to be potentially effective as an adjunctive therapy to insulin for individuals with type 1 diabetes.

TTP399, an “investigational oral, hepatoselective glucokinase activator,” developed by vTv Therapeutics, Inc. received a Breakthrough Therapy designation by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). The molecule targets hepatic glucokinase rather than pancreatic beta cells. The results of a 12-week phase 2 trial showed that participants who were treated with TTP399 showed improved HbA1c levels, fewer incidences of severe hypoglycemia, and fewer reports of abnormal serum and urine ketones than the control group who received a placebo.

Steve Holcombe, vTv CEO, notes, “Patient and prescriber fear of hypoglycemia often precludes tight glycemic control, and this FDA designation highlights the potential of TTP399 to address this serious unmet medical need.” Additional clinical trials will be conducted later in 2021.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to see how this breakthrough therapy will impact type 1 diabetes treatment moving forward and what future clinical trials will show. Though not associated with this study, the DRC is committed to supporting T1D research by providing critical funding to early-career scientists. Funding is essential to continue advancing treatment options and one day finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. To learn more, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you.

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DRC's Newest Leaders

Meet DRC’s Newest Leaders – A Virtual Hangout

Meet DRC’s Newest Leaders – A Virtual Hangout

Introduction

The DRC and its New Leaders

Hello there, ever heard of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)? A nation brimming with potential, natural resources, and a rich tapestry of cultures. Now, this vibrant country introduces a new breed of leaders ready to steer the ship towards progressive horizons. Stick around, we’re about to meet them in a unique, 21st-century style!

Virtual Hangouts: The New Norm

Forget the stale boardrooms or packed auditoriums. This year, we’re going digital. With technology at our fingertips, we’re bringing these leaders straight to your living room. Ready to jump in?

The New Leaders of DRC

A Glimpse at the New Leadership

The DRC’s newest leaders are a dynamic group of individuals, each contributing their unique perspectives to shape the country’s future. They come from diverse backgrounds, echoing the rich variety of the DRC itself. But what binds them together?

Vision and Goals of the New Leaders

Economic Policy

Our leaders’ mission? To drive economic growth while ensuring the wealth is evenly distributed. Sounds like a tough balancing act, right? But with innovative strategies and determination, it’s more than possible.

Social Policy

They are also focusing on bridging the social gaps. Ensuring equal opportunities, fostering a sense of unity, and celebrating diversity are at the forefront of their agenda.

Healthcare

One word – accessibility. The new leaders are working towards a healthcare system that is inclusive, comprehensive, and affordable.

Education

Education, they believe, is the backbone of development. Hence, they are committed to enhancing the quality of education and making it accessible to every child in DRC.

The Concept of Virtual Hangouts

The Rise of Virtual Interactions

The world is no stranger to the concept of virtual interactions. In fact, it has become our go-to means of communication. But who would have thought it could bring us face to face with the leaders of a nation?

Advantages of Virtual Hangouts

The advantages? Plenty! It provides a global platform, reaching audiences far and wide. It also promotes engagement, allowing you to ask questions and interact directly with the leaders.

How the Virtual Hangout was Organized

Platforms Used

The event was hosted on a secure and user-friendly platform, ensuring a seamless experience for all attendees.

Agenda of the Hangout

The hangout wasn’t all serious talks. It was a blend of formal discussions, interactive Q&A sessions, and a glimpse into the personal lives of the leaders.

Behind the Scenes

Pulling off an event of this scale wasn’t easy. But with a dedicated team and a clear vision, it was a resounding success!

The Impact and Reception of the Virtual Hangout

Public Opinion

The public’s response? Overwhelmingly positive. It provided a sense of connection and transparency that was appreciated by all.

Global Perception

The event also bolstered DRC’s global image, showcasing the country’s dedication to progress and openness to change.

Conclusion

The virtual hangout with DRC’s newest leaders was more than just a meet-and-greet. It was a beacon of hope, an insight into the country’s future, and a testament to the possibilities of technology. The journey ahead for DRC is promising, and with these new leaders at the helm, we are sure to see some positive changes.


FAQs

  1. Who are the new leaders of the DRC?The new leaders are a diverse group of individuals with a shared vision of driving economic growth and social equality.
  2. What was the purpose of the virtual hangout?The virtual hangout served to introduce the new leaders, share their vision and goals, and interact directly with the public.
  3. Which platforms were used for the virtual hangout?The event was hosted on a secure, user-friendly platform.
  4. What were the main topics discussed during the virtual hangout?The leaders shared their plans for economic and social policies, healthcare, and education.
  5. What was the public reaction to the virtual hangout?The response was overwhelmingly positive, with attendees appreciating the transparency and opportunity to engage directly with the leaders.

On Tuesday, May 25th, DRC held a virtual gathering with Diabetes Research Connection’s newest leaders Karen Hooper (Executive Director), C.C. King, Ph.D. (President/Chair), and Vincenzo Cirulli, M.D., Ph.D. (Scientific Director). During this 60-minute event, Karen, C.C., and Vincenzo talked about how they got involved in the organization and their personal experience in non-profit work, as well as T1D research. This was followed by a Q + A.

Click HERE to view the recording of the virtual gathering.

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 5 of Series 2

When I tell peers I have type 1 diabetes, they usually ask me if it’s curable. No, not yet, I reply. The next typical comment from my peers is “but at least it’s treatable, right?” I nod and tell them about my usual routine: insulin injections, blood glucose monitoring, et cetera–but I usually spare them my longer response. Yes, type 1 diabetes is “treatable,” and developments in technology and scientific research are making type 1 diabetes management easier. However, type 1 diabetes treatment is a learning process. Each day, each hour, my blood sugars respond differently to insulin. Some days, I only need to give a few units after a bowl of cereal. Other days, I have to give a large dosage for a small snack. Type 1 diabetes is all about carefully maintaining a balance: not giving too much insulin, and not too little; not eating too many carbs to correct a low, but eating enough to raise your levels; being diligent about your blood glucose levels, but not becoming obsessive. Regardless of how hard we try, however, it’s inevitable that our blood glucose levels will fluctuate. 

High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) is defined as levels above 180 mg/dl. Diatribe’s resource page on type 1 diabetes describes symptoms of hyperglycemia as “frequent urination, increased thirst, and blurred vision.” In my experience, high blood sugar makes me feel like I ate a pound of salty chips. I have no appetite, I get fatigued, nauseous, and I cannot stop drinking water. The most common time for me (and most type 1 diabetics) to experience hyperglycemia is after eating a meal before our insulin dosage kicks in. Certain foods can cause blood glucose levels to rise quicker than others, but this differs from person-to-person. It’s important to pay attention to what you eat and take note of how it affects your levels. For example, I used to experience extremely high blood sugar levels directly after I drank my coffee each morning. I realized it was because of the milk I was drinking– I was not aware that regular 2% milk had 14 grams of sugar per cup. I also learned it was because caffeine tends to also raise blood sugar levels. I had to switch up my coffee routine so my blood glucose levels stayed stable: I switched to drinking oat milk, which only has 4 grams of sugar per cup, and I give a few units of insulin fifteen minutes before I drink my coffee. 

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is defined as levels below 70 mg/dl. Diatribe notes that “perspiration,” “hunger,” and “irritability” are symptoms of hypoglycemia. In comparison to hyperglycemia, non-diabetics can experience hypoglycemia if their energy expenditure exceeds their food consumption. However, type 1 diabetics can experience more severe hypoglycemia, since they are responsible for dosing their own insulin. When I try to describe severe hypoglycemia to a non-diabetic, the first word that pops into mind is “hunger.” I have experienced hypoglycemic episodes where I could probably eat two pints of ice cream or an entire pizza. Hypoglycemia can be extremely dangerous if you do not immediately consume fast-acting carbohydrates. That’s why it’s important to know when you are going low and make sure to treat it as soon as possible. The scariest time to have low blood sugar is while sleeping, since you’re not consciously aware of the direction your levels are heading. As all type 1 diabetics know, sleep does not mean having a break from our disease. Before I had a Continuous Glucose Monitor, I would wake up in the middle of the night dizzy, sweaty, and confused, and then slowly realize I was experiencing low blood sugar. Now, I can rely on my CGM to vibrate and warn me that my levels are beginning to drop. 

As Diatribe mentions, letting high or low blood sugar levels go untreated can have severe consequences. It’s important to pay attention to how you’re feeling at all times. Type 1 diabetes has helped me stay in tune with my body: I notice any slight change in the way I’m feeling, mentally or physically. When my body needs something (whether it’s insulin, food, or even just rest), I can tell almost immediately. My body and I work closely together to manage our illness. 

So, yes, type 1 diabetes is treatable. But it’s not easy. I think it’s important for type 1 diabetics to remember that they will experience high and low blood sugar. Sometimes, levels are simply uncontrollable. We have lives and identities that go beyond our disease. We are human. We make mistakes. The way I have learned to cope is to get involved with organizations, like Diabetes Research Connection, that are researching diabetes treatment, prevention, and solutions. It helps me feel a sense of control and power over my disease, knowing that I am actively participating in the fight for a cure. And, as I have learned in the last few months of working with DRC, a future without type 1 diabetes is closer than ever.

This blog was written by Lauren Grove, DRC Intern, who has had T1D for 15 years and is responding to the article, Type 1 Diabetes.

Lauren Grove

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 4 of Series 2

When I started researching articles to reference when I wrote this blog, I realized a lack of anecdotal/experiential information regarding a T1D’s background with how their parents coped/managed this new and daunting disease. I see many helpful tips and tricks for mom and dad on handling high A1Cs and dealing with constant uncertainty, but let me take a stab at expressing the feelings and thoughts on the other side of the fence.

Let me begin by stating how much I absolutely adore my mom and dad. Where my mom is the emotional outlet and mental strength I need when times get tough, my dad takes the clinical and practical approach by seeing the issue and addressing it immediately. My parents divorced before I got T1D, but it honestly brought them together. The day I was diagnosed, both of my parents were clutching my hands and listening intently as my PA stated my blood sugar was above 500 and we would need to go to the hospital the following day. While my mom held me close and told me that everything would be ok, my dad started frantically researching. Throughout the next month and a half, our seemingly “normal” family transitioned into what would become OUR norm. My dad had never given a shot to another person, yet he spent hours injecting water into oranges and learning about carb counting and insulin dosages. My mom went a different route and began looking for support groups for the whole family. As the parents of a T1D child, it is important to play to your strengths and not what is “expected” of you.

Now, not everything was honky-dory in the Gebauer household when it comes to my T1D. My dad was under the assumption that my blood sugar needed to be between 100-120 at all times. If you have had T1D past the honeymoon phase, you know that this is not realistic. I hate to break it to some T1D parents out there, but we will have bad days – it comes with the territory. Instead of scolding the child on their blood sugar, my suggestion would be to comment on how it was caught in time to be addressed and then move forward. Not all A1Cs are below 7. Again, don’t criticize the child; we already get the excruciatingly frightening talk of all the future complications we will end up having from our Endocrinologist and their army of tongue-lashing nurses. Instead, the parent should work with the child on a feasible management plan together. Celebrate the wins and learn from the losses.

I have had the privilege of knowing many T1Ds in my life, and I can honestly say that nothing was/is more important to me than having support. This came in the form of T1D camps and non-profits (like DRC) that helped me grow with my disease and offered my parents guidance from other experienced/non-experienced parents that alleviated a lot of unnecessary stress. When I was first diagnosed, I went to a camp up in Angelus Oaks called Camp Conrad Chinnock. While I was learning how to give myself shots, my parents worked through their fears and concerns with other parents, exchanging tips on what helps them and what doesn’t. After we went home, my mom and dad stopped fighting me when I would beg to have a treat like ice cream, Halloween candy, or heaven-forbid, sugar-filled soda. Instead, we made compromises together. Rather than having a large piece of cake with ice cream, I could have a smaller portion of cake minus the ice cream. If I drank diet sodas Monday through Friday, I could have the sugar-filled soda on Saturday. At one point, I even started to hate the taste of sugar-filled sodas and currently religiously enjoy my diet Sunkist and Root Beer.

So, what can a parent of a T1D child take away from what I have written? 1. T1D is anything but perfect and often isn’t. What works for both the parent and child is communicating and developing a management system and making mistakes but positively addressing them together. That way, when the child is my age, they don’t have to call their mom/dad in the middle of the night and ask them how many units they need to take when their blood sugar is 350 – they know and are prepared. 2. Find a support system that meets the family’s needs. We heard about my parents and my experience, but I have a little brother and older sister. Going to this camp and finding local non-profits helped them understand my struggle and gave them the space to find others in their predicament. We are NOT alone, and there are so many places and resources out there to help make this difficult disease easier.

 

This blog was written by Hannah Gebauer, DRC’s Development Assistant, who has had T1D for 18 years and is writing on a subject close to her heart. 

Hannah Gebauer

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Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus and Diabetes Resources: Community Partner with Beyond Type 1 UPDATE

Introduction

Here’s a post about Coronavirus and T1D Resources, How have you been navigating these trying times? The pandemic has indeed thrown everyone a curveball. Among all this chaos, managing chronic conditions such as diabetes becomes even more challenging. This article provides resources and advice for those living with diabetes during the pandemic, focusing on the community efforts by Beyond Type 1.

Coronavirus: A Quick Overview

Ever heard of a sneeze that shook the world? Well, COVID-19 did precisely that.

Impact on Health

Coronavirus is a respiratory illness with effects ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to severe respiratory distress. COVID-19’s impact can be particularly harsh for those with underlying health conditions.

Key Statistics

As of mid-2023, the virus has infected over 300 million people and has claimed the lives of over 5 million worldwide.

Diabetes: An Unforgiving Chronic Illness

Ever had to deal with an unruly house guest who overstays their welcome? That’s what it’s like to live with diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar. It comes in two main forms: Type 1, where the body can’t produce insulin, and Type 2, where the body doesn’t use insulin effectively.

The Prevalence of Diabetes

Nearly 500 million people worldwide live with diabetes. It’s an uninvited guest that requires constant attention.

The Intersection of Coronavirus and Diabetes

Imagine battling two supervillains at the same time! That’s what it’s like for people dealing with diabetes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Coronavirus Affects People with Diabetes

People with diabetes are more susceptible to severe complications from COVID-19. It becomes crucial for them to manage their blood glucose levels effectively and seek timely medical intervention.

Managing Diabetes during COVID-19

During the pandemic, maintaining good glycemic control and following COVID-19 safety guidelines can make all the difference.

Beyond Type 1: A Compassionate Community

Have you ever felt the power of community support during difficult times? Beyond Type 1 provides just that for people living with diabetes.

Who are Beyond Type 1?

Beyond Type 1 is a nonprofit organization that serves as a resource and community for those affected by diabetes.

How Beyond Type 1 is Helping

Beyond Type 1 provides resources, advice, and community support to people with diabetes. It acts as a beacon of light in the tumultuous sea of managing a chronic condition during a pandemic. Coronavirus and T1D Resources

The Partnership and Its Impact

Through partnerships with organizations and communities, Beyond Type 1 has extended its support to millions of people across the globe. It’s like the superhero team-up of diabetes care!

Conclusion

In the end, it’s crucial to remember that, while diabetes and COVID-19 are formidable opponents, they are not undefeatable. With awareness, discipline, support from organizations like Beyond Type 1, and community strength, we can sail through this storm together.

FAQs

  1. What is Beyond Type 1? Beyond Type 1 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources, community support, and information to people living with diabetes. Coronavirus and T1D Resources
  2. How can I protect myself from COVID-19 if I have diabetes? Alongside standard COVID-19 precautions, maintaining good glycemic control and regular communication with healthcare providers are key.
  3. What are the complications of COVID-19 in people with diabetes? Individuals with diabetes may face more severe symptoms of COVID-19 and are at higher risk for complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis.
  4. Where can I find more resources on managing diabetes during the pandemic? Beyond Type 1 provides a wealth of resources for managing diabetes amidst the pandemic. You can also consult with healthcare providers for personalized advice.
  5. Why is the partnership between Beyond Type 1 and other organizations important? These partnerships amplify the support and resources available to individuals with diabetes, enhancing their ability to manage the disease during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic.

A few months ago, Diabetes Research Connection announced its partnership with Beyond Type 1, a nonprofit organization that unites the global T1D community and provides solutions to improve those lives. This partnership includes sharing resources for handling a number of problems anyone, especially T1Ds, may face during this pandemic. Click HERE to see their most updated information on topics such as all the information a T1D might need to know about the vaccine (click HERE to view that topic specifically) and ways you can help other countries like India, a country that has the 2nd highest rate of T1Ds and T2Ds in the world,  and who are currently experiencing the sharpest increase and largest amount of COVID-19 cases seen so far during this pandemic. Diabetes Research Connection is honored to help spread the word for such a fantastic resource as a community partner.

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DRC Researcher Interview Beyond Type 1 Interview with Peter Thompson Ph.D.

An Interview with DRC’s Fully-Funded Researcher, Peter Thompson, and Beyond Type 1

A couple of weeks ago, one of DRC’s previous researchers, Peter Thompson, Ph.D., spoke with Beyond Type 1, another non-profit organization, about how he became a T1D researcher, the work he did with DRC, and where he is going in his career. Peter worked with DRC in 2017-2018 on a project titled, “Regrowth of Beta Cells with Small Molecule Therapy,” that you can view by clicking HERE.

In this talk with Beyond Type 1, Peter touches on the reasons for becoming a T1D researcher, which included wanting to find a way to handle this disease that isn’t limited to just insulin. He also mentions having friends and family with the disease and how he wanted to help as he has seen the burden T1D has on those affected by it.

Peter continues by talking about how he found DRC and how he was excited to find this organization as many other T1D research non-profits don’t fund early-career scientists like himself, “For a lot of people who are just starting out, if you’re training and you’re looking to go into an academic career, if you’re working with ideas that are very new, and different, and pushing the boundaries, there’s not a lot of places you can go with those ideas to get funding.”

Now, Peter has started his own lab at the University of Manitoba and part of the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He recently received his first external grant funding from the Manitoba Medical Services Foundation (MMSF) and plans to do much more work in the world of T1D research!

Click HERE to view the full article and video of Peter’s interview with Beyond Type 1!

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Diabetes and Womens Reproductive Lifespan

Type 1 Diabetes May Impact Women’s Reproductive Lifespan

A woman’s reproductive stage lasts from the time of her first menstrual period (menarche) to her very last menstrual period (menopause). However, the body’s insulin production plays an integral part in this process. Without sufficient insulin, the reproductive timeframe may be cut short.

recent study compared the reproductive lifespan of women with and without type 1 diabetes (T1D). The results showed that women who were diagnosed with T1D prior to menarche were more likely to have a shorter reproductive period. They may have delayed onset of menses and experience menopause sooner than women without T1D due to insulin deficiency and incidences of hyperglycemia.

A shorter reproductive window may impact numerous aspects of health, including putting women at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and mortality. Recognizing risk factors and signs that a woman may experience early menopause may help medical professionals to be more proactive in addressing potential concerns and improving reproductive health.

More research is necessary to better understand the relationship between insulin deficiency and the reproductive lifespan to identify effective prevention strategies and treatment options to support women’s health and quality of life.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is committed to advancing research and understanding of T1D through providing critical funding to early-career scientists studying the disease. Research spans everything from diagnosis and prevention to treatment options and efforts to find a cure. Learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you.

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Improved Diabetes Control

Blood Sugar Control for Type 1 Diabetes Improves During Lockdown

Type 1 diabetes is a condition that must be managed around the clock. Whether the individual is at home, work, school, practice, or out with friends, they must always be alert and aware of their blood glucose levels. This can be difficult when trying to balance a busy schedule.

recent study found that the March 2020 lockdown in the United Kingdom actually benefited type 1 diabetes management in children and teenagers. Staying home and not having to contend with the stresses and challenges of managing diabetes in other situations contributed to lower HbA1c levels and more time in target range. The study involved data from 180 participants and compared diabetes management over the course of three months before and three months after lockdown.

These findings may provide more insight into how to support youth with type 1 diabetes better and where to focus additional support, whether that be at school or in the community. This may help reduce the risk of long-term complications that can stem from poor diabetes management and fluctuating blood sugar.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how this research may impact future strategies, support systems, and recommendations for managing type 1 diabetes. Though not involved with this study, the DRC is committed to supporting type 1 diabetes research by providing funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel, peer-reviewed studies focused on prevention, cure, and improved care. Learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you.

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Diabetes and CGMs

A Push for Inpatient Use of Continuous Glucose Monitors

Many patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) use continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) while at home to track their blood glucose levels. These devices measure the amount of glucose in the interstitial fluid around the cells and transmit data to a receiver or smartphone app so that patients can see whether it is rising, falling, or staying steady. This can reduce the number of finger sticks they need to perform to check their blood sugar using more traditional methods.

Currently, CGMs are not approved for use in hospitals. Patients are often asked to remove them during inpatient care. However, with increased safety precautions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have been temporarily permitted to use these devices. It allows them to monitor a patient’s blood glucose without going into their room and being in close contact. While there are concerns about data privacy using smartphone apps, standard receivers can transmit data within a close range.

Hospitals are now gathering and sharing data regarding the use of CGMs with patients with diabetes in order to support efforts for these devices to be permitted all the time, not just during a pandemic. Many patients who use CGMs show improved time in target range and fewer incidences of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, at least when used at home. Medical providers are trying to gather evidence of the same type of results when used in inpatient care.

There have been several challenges regarding how to create fair and ethical clinical studies regarding CGM use, but researchers are trying to navigate these obstacles and collect as much data as possible. Some challenges include creating appropriate control groups, managing accuracy, and calibration of devices, and accounting for stressors or medications that may affect results. It can be challenging to show outcomes using CGM versus not. There is also the fact that healthcare providers need to be trained on using this technology and the data available properly.

Small studies have produced some positive results so far, and researchers are hoping to develop more extensive trials for more data to continue to track outcomes. They hope to eventually gain FDA approval for the use of CGMs in hospitals all the time to support patients with diabetes. This could be one more tool to enhance the quality of care and better manage type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Though not involved with this study, the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to see how this initiative unfolds and whether CGMs are eventually approved for hospital use. Researchers are working every day to improve their understanding of diabetes and treatment/management of the disease. This is one more component of the ever-growing body of knowledge and available options for care.

The DRC provides critical funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel research studies around type 1 diabetes. To learn more and support these efforts, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Diabetes and Exercise

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 3 of Series 2

I used to hate exercising. It made my blood glucose difficult to control: one moment my levels would be rising rapidly, and then they would plummet. When I played beach volleyball, it was extremely frustrating to have to stop games so I could scarf down a candy bar or give myself insulin. It was physically and mentally draining. As Ginger Vieira mentions in her article, “5 Tips for Exercise with Type 1,” working out with type 1 diabetes can be difficult–but, with self-study and a little bit more effort, you can learn how to workout efficiently and safely. Over the last few years, I have been studying my body, seeing how it reacts to different types of exercises, workout times, and pre-workout foods. Now, I am the type of person who wakes up excited to exercise. Crazy, right? 

Ginger’s first tip is to “understand what exercise you are doing.” Different exercises use fuel in different ways, and this impacts blood glucose levels. For example, when I bike or run, my blood sugar levels will suddenly plummet. As Ginger says, your body uses glucose for fuel during cardiovascular or aerobic exercises. Sometimes I will start my workout at 300 and end it at 60. Before an intense cardio day, I make sure my blood glucose levels are a little bit higher (but not too much, around 160).  I also make sure not to give insulin too close to when I workout. On the other hand, strength training makes my blood glucose rise, so I try to make sure my levels are a bit lower (around 120) before I do any sort of weight lifting. This falls under Ginger’s second tip, which is to “control as many variables as possible.” Starting the workout with in-range blood sugar is the best way to ensure a safe workout. I highly recommend wearing a Continuous Glucose Monitor while working out, so you do not have to stop your workout to check your blood glucose levels. 

When you get low blood sugar before, during, or after a workout, the food you use to treat it is very important. As Ginger mentions in tip number three, eating a peanut butter sandwich will raise your blood sugar at a much slower rate than a glucose tablet because the fat in the peanut butter slows down the digestion rate. If you’re like me, then you get pretty frustrated when your blood glucose levels are not rising fast enough after a low. I always have a packet of fruit snacks next to me while I workout, so I can eat them quickly if my blood glucose levels drop. 

In tip number four, Ginger recommends having a notebook where you can write notes about what does and does not work for your body during exercise. You can write down your blood glucose levels before and after the workout, what type of exercises you did, and how you felt. I am not quite organized enough for this, so I try to remember what routine works best for me. For example, I know that I cannot drink coffee before a workout, because it makes my blood glucose levels rise quickly. 

I used to workout a few hours after breakfast, and I ended up always going low because my insulin sensitivity would increase during my exercise, and my insulin dosage from breakfast would peak at the same time. Then, I started working out first thing in the morning, and I did not have that problem anymore. Ginger’s final tip is to “try exercising first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.” This has helped me considerably in keeping my blood sugars in an appropriate range. However, I also sometimes struggle from the dawn phenomenon (if you’re unfamiliar, this is when your blood glucose levels rise abnormally in the very early morning), so sometimes my blood glucose is high in the morning, and I still have to give a small amount of insulin before exercising.

Working out with type 1 is all about maintaining a delicate balance. It’s important to listen to your body: sometimes working out extremely hard can feel very similar to having low blood sugar. However, type 1 is in no way a limit to athletic ability: some of the most famous athletes are type 1 diabetics. So, lace up those shoes and grab those earphones: it’s time to move. 

This blog was written by Lauren Grove, DRC Intern, who has had T1D for 15 years and is responding to the article, “5 Tips for Exercise with Type 1.”

Lauren Grove

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Grove Sisters

Double Trouble: A Tale of Two T1D Sisters

There are certain attributes siblings commonly share: maybe it’s a similar eye color, or smile, or a love for the same type of music. For my sister, Kyra, and me, we both have long hair and freckles on our nose. However, we have another similarity that you can’t see when you meet us: we both have the same chronic illness. 

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was five years old, and I have had the disease for about 15 years now. For a while, my parents thought my symptoms were a sign of the flu, not diabetes, so my condition was pretty severe by the time I was diagnosed. I had to be hospitalized for about three days, hooked up to an IV bag of insulin and hydrating liquids. I was so young, the experience is now a hyperglycemia-blurred memory. I remember being brought a huge Hello Kitty stuffed animal, watching episode after episode of Disney Channel shows, and being poked and prodded by nurses. I watched my mother inject an orange with a needle next to my hospital bed, knowing that the orange would soon be my arm. 

Kyra, who was nine at that time, walked with me through the hospital halls every afternoon. She would make jokes about “breaking me out of this joint,” as if I was a prisoner and she was a visitor (three days at that age felt like a lifetime). Little did we know that, five years later, Kyra was going to be in the exact same hospital, receiving her type 1 diabetes diagnosis as well. 

Since I am four years younger than Kyra, most of my young life had involved listening to her. I was excited that it was finally my turn to teach her. I helped her learn how to inject herself, how to calculate carbohydrate counts, how to know when she had low or high blood sugar. Although having type 1 diabetes is never fun, having someone that can relate to your daily struggles is extremely helpful. We have been next to each other in every step of our type 1 diabetic journey. We try out different diabetic technologies, so that we can help each other find the best ones. When we are out and one of us gets low blood sugar, the other one offers a packet of fruit gummies. We cry together when we fall into diabetic burnout and celebrate together when we reach our goal hemoglobin A1C. 

However, Kyra and I have still had very different experiences with our illnesses. My blood glucose levels tend to be much more sensitive to any amount of carbohydrates, while Kyra can eat a small amount of carbs and her levels don’t budge. She uses a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) and an Omnipod, and I only started consistently using a CGM within the last few months (I’m more old school with my treatment). I got diagnosed when I was very young, while Kyra was diagnosed when she was a teenager. I had to understand nutritional labels before learning how to read a book. Kyra had to traverse having a new chronic illness while at an age which is universally considered the “awkward stage.” 

Although type 1 diabetes does not define me nor my sister, it has definitely shaped the way we see the world, our interests, and our future goals. Having type 1 diabetes gives you experiences and exposure to things that a child wouldn’t normally have at a young age. I knew what the words “pancreas,” “insulin,” and “endocrinology” meant before I even knew how to spell my name. Not surprisingly, both Kyra and I have been interested in getting involved with the rapidly evolving world of type 1 diabetic research. We have both worked for Diabetes Research Connection, which has allowed us to see the behind-the-scenes of ground-breaking diabetic research. In my first year of working for DRC, I even got to visit a research lab and watch DRC-funded scientists inject stem cells into a zebrafish. 

Kyra and I have never let type 1 diabetes limit us in our goals– in fact, I think type 1 diabetes has encouraged us to challenge ourselves. Kyra recently graduated from UC Berkeley and is currently studying for the MCAT to apply to medical school, with hopes of becoming a physician. I am a sophomore at Stanford University, studying psychology, with the hope of someday attending law school.  I am also a strong advocate for diabetic mental health. Kyra and I are type 1 diabetics, but we are also a future doctor, a future lawyer, sisters, and best friends. 

I don’t know what I would do without my sister. Unfortunately, I know that there are many people with type 1 diabetes who don’t have someone in their life who understands what they’re going through. Online type 1 diabetic support groups are a great option for anyone struggling to find a community. It is crucial to have just one person who will listen to you when you are feeling down, who will help you in need, and who will remind you that you are so strong for dealing with this disease. I found that in my sister, and I know my sister found that in me. As I navigate my diabetic journey, I feel incredibly lucky to have a companion along the way.

This blog was written by Lauren Grove, DRC Intern, who has had T1D for 15 years and is describing her and her sister’s experience living with type 1 diabetes.

Lauren Grove

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Feedback Superstar

Feedback Superstar Shout Out!

Reach Supsterstar Status, Like Megan

“Interning at DRC has been an amazing opportunity, allowing me to take my part in helping the T1D community and supporting the research being done in the fight against T1D. The most recent campaign taught me that by just taking 30-seconds of your time, you can help raise money for a cause you are passionate about. Express Feedback for Good is very user-friendly and interesting. It’s so easy to participate in! You just type in the url or text the code to get the link to the site. Once on the website, all you do is simply leave reviews. There are so many different everyday brands/businesses like Starbucks and Macy’s, that you can leave reviews about, so it wasn’t hard to reach 75 feedbacks. The different emojis made it quick and straightforward. This was a fun way to raise money without spending money for an excellent cause – type 1 diabetes research!”

Megan Kleiman is a Senior at Cal State San Marcos majoring in Human Development with an emphasis in Health Sciences. She hopes to one day become a nurse so that she can help as many people that she can and make a lasting impact in the world. Megan generated $75 for DRC by participating in Express Feedback for Good.

At the end of the campaign on May 4th, every participant who has given 75 pieces of feedback will be entered into a raffle. Three winners will be selected to win $25 gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, or Home Depot! Additionally, you will be entered into another raffle to virtually meet one of your early-career scientists! 

Do you want to generate support without spending for DRC? If so, click here to learn more!

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Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

Repurposing Existing Drugs for Potential Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is one of many autoimmune disorders that exist. In this particular disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells, leaving the body unable to regulate blood glucose levels effectively. Many researchers have been focused on the immune system and how these diseases may develop when it comes to autoimmune disorders.

But a recent study found that expanding the focus to look at other contributing factors, such as genetics and cell signaling, may help treat and potentially curing conditions such as type 1 diabetes (T1D). Dr. Decio Eizirik, M.D., Ph.D., Scientific Director for Indiana Biosciences Research Institute Diabetes Center, published findings of a study on candidate genes, target tissue, and the cellular dialogue between the two.

His team evaluated gene expression for four autoimmune diseases, including T1D, and found that a commonality between them was that “more than 85% of the candidate genes for each disease are expressed at the target tissue level.” More specifically, they zeroed in on the TYK2 enzyme, which plays an integral role in controlling immune and inflammatory signaling pathways and cell response. Reducing TYK2 response may help to protect cells against the destruction that can lead to T1D.

There are already several TYK2-inhibitor drugs on the market that the FDA has approved to treat other autoimmune disorders. Dr. Eizirik is interested in seeing whether they may serve as an effective treatment option for T1D to potentially stop the disease before it develops in individuals identified as high-risk.

There are nearly 1.6 million Americans currently living with T1D, and these numbers have only continued to increase over recent years. Finding potential treatment options and preventive measures could positively impact disease progression and diagnosis in the future. Dr. Eizirik is excited about the international collaboration that has been occurring between scientists and the sharing of data to support research initiatives.

While additional studies are needed to determine whether TYK2 inhibitors effectively prevent or treat T1D, this research is a step in the right direction toward opening new doors and stimulating more research opportunities. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested in what role this information may play in future T1D treatment.

The DRC, though not involved in this study, is dedicated to supporting T1D research through providing funding for early-career scientists to pursue novel research studies. To learn more about current projects or how to donate, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you.

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 2 of Series 2

If you are confused and wondering why I am writing a blog responding to Erika Szumel’s article, “Tips for Managing T1D in the Workplace,” when I work at a type one diabetic non-profit, know that I have worked difficult jobs in the past where this information would have been extremely helpful. I have never hidden my disease from anyone in school, around friends, or even total strangers I have just met. However, when I started looking for a job, I remember my dad explicitly warning me not to use my disease as a crutch or allow my superiors, coworkers, and clients to use my disease against my capabilities. While no-one threatened me, there was always underlying tension in my previous positions that forced me to be sub-par with my T1D management to appear as a stellar employee, and I paid for it physically. 

The first item that Erika touches on in her article is to “Be Open.” Erika makes a great point stating that “T1D is a disease that, unfortunately, our world does not know well enough yet, exposing your coworkers to it from the start will also leave a mark on them.” I always told my coworkers about my disease, and they were accommodating when it came to good and bad days. Sure, they offered unhelpful advice at times, but their support and sympathy got me through difficult situations with my superiors. This is where things get interesting. When I forgot my T1D supplies or my blood sugar was high/low, my previous superiors still had tasks for me. After I mentioned an issue regarding my disease, some of them would begin a request with something along the lines of, “I know you couldn’t finish X last week because you had diabetes problems. If you could inform me earlier about your condition, I can find someone else to handle your work.” Ouch, right? After hearing something like that, I never mentioned how I was feeling and dealt with the consequences in order to make them happy in fear of losing my position. This brings up another vital tip that Erika writes about, “Don’t Downplay Diabetes.” I never looked into the programs and laws that were protecting me, and that is my fault. I could have had a seizure or gone into diabetic ketoacidosis and made my situation worse for myself. If you want to see all of the resources that can help you if you are in a difficult situation at work, click here and here

After two arduous years of putting the needs of my job above my health and realizing that it wasn’t worth the pain, I decided my next position was going to be positive for not only my mental and emotional health but, more importantly, my physical health. I followed Erika’s last tip, “Don’t Be Afraid to Step Away.” While she means it is ok to step away at any time in a job, like during meetings or events, I also took it to mean leaving a toxic profession/position. Now I am the development and program assistant at Diabetes Research Connection, and instead of ignoring my health, I take breaks a lot. My supervisor knows me well after explaining how I function as a T1D even though she isn’t. When I feel low, I know it is ok to take a 15-30 minute break to get back to 100% or close to it. If I am having issues with my CGM, have a doctor’s appointment, or dealing with a bad blood sugar, she doesn’t question my ability to get the job done; her first question is, “Is there anything I can do to help?” or tells me to do what I need to so that I am healthy. It is so important to have good communication with your direct supervisor and coworkers so that you have the support you need and peace of mind that you don’t need to fear losing your position. Just know that you can continue to be the best employee you are without jeopardizing your health. 

This blog was written by Hannah Gebauer, DRC’s Development Assistant, who has had T1D for 18 years and is responding to the article, “Tips for Managing T1D in the Workplace.”

Hannah Gebauer

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Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Kids with T1D

Increased Parental Awareness May Help Reduce Risk of Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Children First Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

As the old saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” Many children in the United States and Canada present with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) when they are first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D). However, a recent study found that increased parental awareness about a child’s risk for developing T1D may lead to earlier detection of the disease before DKA occurs. Educating parents about what symptoms to look for, especially if T1D runs in their family, is essential.

Data was analyzed from the Trial to Reduce Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus in the Genetically at Risk (TRIGR) Study because these parents already knew their child was at greater risk. When looking at incidences of DKA, they were lower than that of the general population. In the United States, around 40% of children diagnosed with T1D also have DKA, and this rate is about 19% in Canada. But in the TRIGR study, the overall rate was just 4.6%, or eight out of 173 patients. 

One point to note is that cases of DKA at the time of T1D diagnosis were not evenly divided among participants from the different countries. The United States still showed higher levels than Canada at 12.5% and 2.2%, respectively. More research is needed to understand why these differences exist and whether the fact that some countries such as Canada have universal healthcare plays a role. In addition, “each participant with T1D in the TRIGR study had a first-degree relative with T1D, which was not the case in earlier studies.” This may have played a role in their understanding of the signs to be aware of.

More in-depth studies are needed to evaluate further the impact of parental awareness on earlier detection of T1D and reduced risk of DKA. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested in seeing what additional research reveals and how it could play a part in T1D diagnosis and education. The DRC is committed to supporting early-career scientists in pursuing novel research around all aspects of T1D. To learn more, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Driving with Diabetes

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 1 of Series 2

When I read Makaila Heifner’s article on Beyond Type 1 called, “The Driving Diabetic,” it brought me back to when I first got my license. I was already stressed about parallel parking, hitting curbs, and driving on the freeway–and then, unlike most of my friends, I also had to stay aware of how my disease impacted my driving abilities. 

Makaila recommends that people with type 1 diabetes check their blood sugar every time before they drive to make sure they are at an adequate level. This has become a consistent part of my driving routine: knowing that my blood glucose is stable helps ease my anxiety while driving and gives me confidence that my journey will be safe. I have a Continuous Glucose Monitor, which allows me to see my blood glucose levels on an application on my phone. Makaila mentions how this helps her catch her blood glucose levels before they plummet or spike. However, the notifications I get from my phone can be distracting, and I cannot glance at my phone while I am driving. If I see a notification from my CGM pop up, I will pull over wherever is safest and check my blood glucose levels. 

My parents always tell me, “if you feel even a little bit low, do not keep driving. Pull over and call someone.” At age sixteen, this sounded ridiculously inconvenient. But, as Makaila reminds me, “Type 1 is never convenient.” I got low blood sugar one of the first times I drove with my father, and it was a very scary experience. My vision got blurry, and I had a hard time concentrating on the road. Makaila talks about how “driving with a low is the equivalent to driving drunk.” Thankfully, we were on a pretty slow road so I could pull into a parking lot, and my father drove the rest of the way home while I sipped out of a juice box. But, on the occasions where one does not have a passenger to take over the wheel for them, they have two options: one option is to pull over, eat something, and hang out for about twenty minutes until their blood sugar levels have returned to normal. When I do this, I call a friend or family member so they are aware of my situation. Sometimes I even share my location with them so they know where I am, in case I do not respond to their messages when I begin driving again. The second option for diabetics who experience low blood sugar while driving is to pull over, eat something, and call a friend or family member to pick them up (usually my friend or family member will Uber to me so they can drive my car home).  I do this when my blood sugar levels are extremely low, and I know I won’t feel safe to drive again for a while. 

It’s important to make sure you always have a bag of low snacks in the car, as well as extra diabetes supplies. Although I have had diabetes for almost my entire life, sometimes I still forget needles or test strips. Trust me, it’s not fun to be stuck somewhere without the ability to give insulin or check your blood glucose levels.

I have been driving for only four years, and now my pre-driving planning occurs almost unconsciously. Stable blood sugars? Check. Low supplies? Check. Sunglasses and good music? Double check. Although type 1 diabetics have a few more things to consider while driving, driving with diabetes can still be manageable and stress-free.

This blog was written by Lauren Grove, DRC Intern, who has had T1D for 15 years and is responding to the article, “The Driving Diabetic.” 

Lauren Grove

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Early Detection of Kidney Disease

Empowering Early Detection of Kidney Disease at Home Using Smartphones

In addition to worrying about blood glucose levels, individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are also at greater risk for developing other health conditions such as chronic kidney disease or CKD. This is something that they should be regularly screened for and be aware of potential symptoms.

Advances in artificial intelligence and digital technology may make it easier for individuals with T1D to test for kidney disease from the comfort of their own homes. A current study is underway in the United Kingdom to determine if providing patients with a simple testing kit and using their smartphone’s camera to scan results and transmit them to their healthcare provider. The app may make diagnosing abnormal results easier and allow patients to schedule follow-ups more quickly.

Participants in the study receive a kit that contains a urine dipstick, a container for urine collection, and a color board. After completing the dipstick testing, they hold it up to the color board and take a picture with their smartphone camera. According to the study, “Using AI and colourmetric analysis, the app is able to read the dipstick results equivalent to a lab-based device. Results are then shared instantly with the individual’s GP practice, which can follow up if there is an abnormal result.”

So far, the study has shown high levels of testing participation. Allowing for testing at home expands access and can generate cost savings for laboratories and clinics that no longer have to conduct testing on-site. Many people are not aware of the risks CKD can present, and early detection is critical for treating the disease before it becomes more severe.

The technology was created by Healthy.io and is being tested in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research. The team hopes to enroll 500,000 patients over the next three years.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to see the potential that this technology solution may hold when it comes to detecting CKD in at-risk patients with type 1 diabetes. It may provide yet another line of defense for promoting better health and reducing complications of the disease.

The DRC, though not involved with this study, supports ongoing research related to T1D by providing critical funding to early-career scientists. These novel research studies focus on improving understanding of the disease and enhancing diagnosis, treatment, and management of T1D as well as efforts to find a cure. Learn more about current projects and how to support scientists by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

DISCUSSING DIABETES WITH DRC’S T1DS: Series 1

Introduction: Understanding Diabetes and DRC’s T1DS Series

Did you know, globally, an estimated 463 million adults are living with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation? The numbers are staggering and reflect the importance of comprehensive understanding and management of this chronic disease. In comes the DRC’s T1DS series – a fresh, ground-breaking approach to understanding and dealing with Type 1 Diabetes. So, what’s the scoop?

Discussing Diabetes

To understand the revolution that DRC’s T1DS Series is stirring, let’s first get a basic grasp of diabetes. Simply put, diabetes is a disease that affects the way our bodies process glucose, a type of sugar that powers our cells.

Types of Diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes, our main focus, is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, glucose can’t enter the cells and builds up in the blood. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes is more common and is often related to lifestyle factors.

The Importance of Diabetes Management

Managing diabetes is crucial. It involves regular monitoring of blood glucose levels, taking prescribed medications, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s like riding a bicycle – you must keep pedaling, balance yourself, and stay on track to reach your destination. If you stop, you risk falling and potentially getting hurt.

DRC’s T1DS Series: A Revolutionary Approach to Diabetes

Enter DRC’s T1DS series – it’s like a GPS for navigating the complex journey of managing Type 1 Diabetes. The series aims to provide comprehensive, up-to-date information, and support for people with Type 1 diabetes.

Series Objective and Purpose

DRC’s T1DS Series’ main objective is to arm patients and their families with knowledge and strategies to manage diabetes effectively. Think of it as a toolbox, packed with everything you need to build a sturdy house – or in this case, manage a complex disease.

Series Structure and Content

The series is a blend of interactive modules, expert discussions, real-life testimonials, and virtual Q&A sessions. It’s structured like a multi-tiered cake, each layer offering a unique flavor while contributing to the overall taste and experience.

Impact and Reception of DRC’s T1DS Series

The T1DS Series has created ripples in the medical and patient community. But what do the users and professionals actually say?

Discussing Diabetes Users’ Perspectives

Users praise the series for its accessible and engaging format. They see it as a trusty roadmap, guiding them through the often-overwhelming terrain of diabetes management.

Medical Professionals’ Perspectives

Medical professionals appreciate the series as a valuable adjunct to clinical care, enhancing patient understanding and engagement. It’s like adding a turbo booster to their efforts in supporting patients.

The Future of DRC’s T1DS Series

So, where is DRC’s T1DS Series headed? What role will it play in the diabetes community in the future?

Discussing Diabetes and Upcoming Developments

With the Series’ increasing popularity, the DRC plans to expand the program, adding more diverse modules and content. It’s like expanding a thriving city, adding new districts and amenities to cater to its growing population.

The Role of DRC’s T1DS Series in the Diabetes Community

The T1DS series is expected to continue playing a critical role in the diabetes community. It’s like the town hall of a community – a vital hub of resources, support, and connection.

Conclusion: DRC’s T1DS Series and the Fight Against Diabetes

In conclusion, the DRC’s T1DS Series offers a groundbreaking, comprehensive approach to understanding and managing Type 1 Diabetes. As the series grows, its impact on the lives of people with diabetes is expected to increase, transforming it from a disease to be feared into a condition to be managed.

FAQs

1. What is DRC’s T1DS Series?

DRC’s T1DS Series is a comprehensive program that provides information, strategies, and support for managing Type 1 Diabetes.

2. Who can benefit from the DRC’s T1DS Series?

Anyone with Type 1 Diabetes or caregivers of such individuals can benefit from the series.

3. How has DRC’s T1DS Series impacted users?

Users have reported feeling more knowledgeable, confident, and supported in managing their diabetes.

4. What do medical professionals say about DRC’s T1DS Series?

Medical professionals view the series as a valuable supplement to clinical care, helping to improve patient understanding and engagement.

5. What is the future of DRC’s T1DS Series?

The DRC plans to expand the T1DS Series, adding more diverse content and resources to better serve the diabetes community.

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds is a new campaign where those with type one diabetes (T1D) in the DRC community share their thoughts and personal anecdotes in response to lifestyle articles related to T1D care and management.

DRC’s Development Assistant, Hannah Gebauer, and one of DRC’s interns, Lauren Grove, wrote several blogs responding to different lifestyle articles revolving T1D and different experiences with the disease, such as mental health, going to the beach, and cooking! Look below to find an article you may be interested in and its URL link:

Click HERE to view a blog Discussing Diabetes during the pandemic.

Click HERE to view a blog Discussing Diabetes and coping with stress.

Click HERE to view a blog Discussing Diabetes and diabetic burnout.

Click HERE to view a blog about T1D and going to the beach.

Click HERE to view a blog about T1D and being in a relationship.

Click HERE to view a blog about T1D and cooking a diabetic-friendly recipe.

*This is the first series of blogs in response to T1D lifestyle articles. There will be more in the future.

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

DISCUSSING DIABETES WITH DRC’S T1DS: BLOG POST 6

When I saw Gretchen Otte’s recipe for “Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Basil Sauce” on Beyond Type 1’s website, I had to try it. As a type 1 diabetic who loves pasta, zucchini noodles have become a staple in my diet. They’re low-carb, very filling, and a perfect canvas for a delicious sauce. I tested out Beyond Type 1’s recipe for dinner, adding my own little spin onto it. Click here for the full recipe on Beyond Type 1’s recipe or scroll to the bottom to see the recipe with my adjustments! 

For the sauce, I added avocado, dried basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to a bowl. The recipe calls for a food processor, but as a college student living in a poorly equipped apartment, I had to improvise. I used a fork and mashed up the mixture, which worked perfectly. After tasting the sauce, I added in two tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese to increase the savory flavor, and I zested the lemon to make the sauce “pop.” 

Then I started the zucchini noodles. There are a few things I changed at this point in the recipe. First, the noodles in the recipe are supposed to be cold. However, I don’t enjoy the texture of uncooked zucchini noodles, so I decided to cook my noodles. The recipe also gives instructions on how to make homemade noodles, but I used Trader Joe’s frozen zucchini spirals instead. There are only 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving, and they’re super easy to make: take them out of the box, put them in a saute pan, and let them heat up. As the noodles thaw, they will start to leak water, so I recommend draining them every so often. Cook them until they’re al dente. 

I stirred my sauce into the zucchini noodle pot and chopped up the cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves to top off the dish. I also added a handful of crushed roasted almonds to give a little crunch and a few slices of grilled chicken for some extra protein. 

This dish was so good. The avocado made the sauce taste so indulgent even though it was super healthy. I ended up eating basically the whole bowl. And, even better news: two hours after eating it, my blood sugar levels stayed completely stable. This was rare for me, as my blood sugar levels love to rise in the evening. 

For an easy, nutritious, and delicious dish that is also type 1 diabetic-friendly, I highly recommend Beyond Type 1’s zucchini noodle recipe. 

 

Serves 2

Carbohydrates per serving: 16 grams 

 

For the avocado-basil sauce:

1 avocado

1 tablespoon dried basil leaves

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese 

2 cloves garlic

½ cup olive oil

1 lemon, zested and juiced

½ teaspoon salt. 

 

For the zucchini noodles:

 

1 package Trader Joe’s zucchini spirals 

1 cup cherry tomatoes 

Small handful crushed roasted almonds

½ cup fresh basil leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions: 

  • Mash avocado in a bowl until smooth. Add basil, parmesan, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning. 
  • Place the zucchini spirals in a sauté pan on high heat and cook until al dente. Drain excess water. 
  • Mix the sauce into the sauté pan with the zucchini noodles. 
  • Chop the cherry tomatoes in half and crush the roasted almonds with the back of a spoon. Serve the zucchini noodles with the tomatoes, almonds, and fresh basil leaves on top.

 

This blog was written by Lauren Grove, DRC Intern, who has had T1D for 15 years and is responding to the article, “Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Basil Sauce.” 

Lauren Grove

 

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

DISCUSSING DIABETES WITH DRC’S T1DS: BLOG POST 5

If you have type 1 diabetes (T1D) and are in a relationship, your partner has type 4 diabetes (this is not a real thing, just something my family and I made up. I should also note that parents have type 3 diabetes). This week I read JDRF’s article, “Type 1 Diabetes and Committed Relationships,” and thought I would take a crack at my personal journey through T1D with my significant other. While one might assume that my friends and family genuinely know my experiences, struggles, and successes, no one knows them better than the man who gets out of bed at 3 AM to get me a juice because I am low or knows when I need to change my site before I do.  

JDRF states that cooperation and communication are key to having a stable relationship with a significant other. The organization explicitly mentions that even when I am “feeling on edge,” I should “remember that your blood sugar can affect your mood. Knowing where your blood sugar is and communicating its impact to your partner can be helpful.” My boyfriend knows the difference between a low blood sugar and high blood sugar based on how I behave. When we first met, it was a struggle to communicate what exactly I was feeling, but telling him how he could help gave him more control and allowed him to be more helpful to me in return. When I am high, my boyfriend realizes that my communication is more bark than bite and laughs it off or gives me the space I need to just wait out the pain. He can’t help me physically lessen the discomfort of a high blood sugar, but he can help me by being understanding and not pushing. 

I can’t emphasize this enough, but no T1D wants to be told how to manage their health, especially from a non-diabetic. My boyfriend does not push me to test my blood sugar more, doesn’t berate me when I eat another piece of pizza, or lectures me on wearing my CGM more consistently. He does remind me that I probably should test a little more frequently after having the extra pizza and also mentions that I could eat a bunch of pizza and not be annoyed with how often I am testing if I just put my CGM on. This is where another topic that JDRF touches on comes to play; compromise. When my boyfriend makes these suggestions, I take them seriously. He always says he wants me to be the healthiest I can be so that we can be together for a long time. So even though I don’t love wearing my CGM 100% of the time, I think about how much easier it is on both of us when I have it on because maybe I can catch that low blood sugar before my numbers drop too quickly and he doesn’t need to get up in the middle of the night to get me juice. The article mentions, “… with type 1 diabetes your partner may feel that they are making more compromises than you are.” A lot of us don’t want to be a burden on our significant other, but having T1D is already a compromise, in my opinion. What I think works best is finding the rhythm that suits your relationship and having a LOT of open communication. 

If you are the significant other to a T1D, please try to be supportive and understanding. T1D is not a disease that you can turn off or decide you aren’t going to deal with for a few hours. It’s a full-time job, and it requires some help. Ensure you are educated by asking questions and having access to resources that can also give you answers. 

This blog was written by Hannah Gebauer, DRC’s Development Assistant, who has had T1D for 17 years and is responding to the article, Type 1 Diabetes and Committed Relationships.

Hannah Gebauer

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Gluten and T1D Children

Could Gluten Intake Impact Type 1 Diabetes Risk in Children?

Scientists know that type 1 diabetes (T1D) is caused by the immune-mediated destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells. However, what they do not know is what exactly causes this process to occur. Many agree that it may be the result of both genetic and environmental factors.

recent study examined the potential impact of gluten intake on diabetes risk. The study analyzed gluten intake by women around 22 weeks of pregnancy and the gluten intake of their offspring at 18 months of age. Participation was voluntary, and data was collected by a Norwegian observational nationwide cohort study from 1999 to 2008. In total, data from 86,306 children were gathered, and throughout the duration of the study, 346 children developed T1D.

The study found no significant relationship between the amount of gluten consumed by mothers during pregnancy on the child’s T1D risk. However, it did find that children who consumed higher levels of gluten at 18 months of age may be at greater risk of T1D. Follow-up ended on April 15, 2018, or upon diagnosis of T1D, whichever came first.

Mothers filled out a food frequency questionnaire at around week 22 of their pregnancy, and then they filled out a questionnaire for their child when they reached 18 months of age. Women who were previously diagnosed with T1D or celiac disease were excluded from the study, and children who developed type 2 diabetes or who consumed more than 35 grams of gluten per day at 18 months of age. The results were adjusted to account for children who were later diagnosed with celiac disease.

Overall, 0.4% of children were diagnosed with T1D, and of those children, there was islet autoantibody information available for 76% at the time of diagnosis, and 92% were positive for at least one islet autoantibody (for insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase, or IA2).

The results of this study differ from those of a previous study that showed material gluten intake was potentially statistically significant in terms of risk. However, the current study looked at several different factors and outcomes and adjusted data accordingly.

Additional extensive studies need to be conducted to support further or refute these findings. The result of this particular study should not be used as a basis for altering dietary recommendations for women who are pregnant or young children in order to avoid type 1 diabetes, but rather something to be taken into consideration as future studies are developed.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see what other extensive studies find concerning gluten intake and diabetes risk. Though not involved in this study, the DRC provides critical funding for early-career scientists pursuing novel research around type 1 diabetes. To learn more about current projects and how to help, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

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Cell Therapy and T1D

Encapsulated Cell Therapy May Help Treat Type 1 Diabetes

As scientists continue to learn more about type 1 diabetes (T1D), they are always looking for new or refined ways of treating the disease. From artificial pancreases to closed-loop systems to cell transplants, researchers are exploring numerous options.

While cell transplantation is not a new concept, it is one that has come with its share of challenges. One of the biggest obstacles is rejection, and many approaches have required long-term immunosuppression, which can cause complications itself. Another issue is cell death. Once cells have been implanted, they do not always receive the oxygen, blood supply, and nutrients needed for long-term survival.

One company is looking to change all of that. ViaCyte, a clinical-stage regenerative medicine company, has teamed up with W.L. Gore & Associates, a global materials science company, to create an encapsulated cell therapy for T1D. Pluripotent stem cells are differentiated into various pancreatic cells, then encapsulated in a special material that may help to “reduce the foreign body response and improve engraftment, cell survival, and function,” according to ViaCyte.

This new system is set to undergo phase 2 testing in 10 patients with T1D, with the potential to increase to up to 70 patients. Once the encapsulation system is implanted, the pancreatic cells are able to mature into beta cells, alpha cells, and other cells that naturally help control blood sugar. With both beta and alpha cells present, it helps to restore the secretion of insulin and glucagon as well. Furthermore, the materials are used to eliminate the need for immune suppression drugs by reducing foreign body response.

This is an exciting advancement in cell transplantation for T1D, and the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how the phase 2 clinical study pans out. It could eventually become a viable option for long-term treatment of the disease depending on the results of the clinical studies. The DRC, though not involved in this study, is committed to supporting T1D research by providing critical funding to early-career scientists. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Herrath Matthias

Preserving Pancreatic Beta-Cell Function Without Full Immune System Suppression

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta-cells, thereby hampering the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels naturally. Some treatment efforts aimed at preserving beta-cell function rely on suppressing the immune system to prevent further destruction of cells or to protect transplanted cells.

recent study has found that a combination therapy may help protect the pancreas from attack by targeting only one part of the immune system. The therapy pairs anti-interleukin (IL)-21 antibodies with liraglutide, an FDA-approved diabetes drug. IL-21 receptors play a role in allowing T-cells into the pancreas, so the antibodies may help prevent this from occurring without impacting all T-cells within the body and affecting the entire immune system. In addition, liraglutide has been shown to protect beta-cell function, adding another layer of defense.

The combination therapy was tested adults with recent-onset type 1 diabetes in a “randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, double-dummy, double-blind, phase 2 trial.” After 54-weeks of treatment, higher levels of endogenous insulin secretion were detected in patients who had received the combination therapy instead of the placebo, but effects decreased during the 26-week follow-up period. A phase 3 trial is necessary to study the long-term safety and efficacy of the treatment.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how future clinical trials progress and what this could mean for the treatment of recent-onset type 1 diabetes and the potential preservation of beta-cell function. Though not involved in this study, the DRC provides critical funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel research around type 1 diabetes. To learn more, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

*The study mentioned in this article was done at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in the lab of  Professor Matthias von Herrath, M.D. (the man featured in the image above), who serves as vice president and senior medical officer, Global Chief Medical Office, at Novo Nordisk. Matthias is also a member of DRC’s 80-member Scientific Review Committee, a  volunteer 80+ group of diabetes experts from across the country.

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

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DRC New ED

Diabetes Research Connection Announces New Leadership

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce Karen Hooper will be joining our team as the new Executive Director (ED). Karen brings over 20 years of non-profit leadership experience at the local and national levels. In her most recent role as the Vice President of Program Development and Engagement of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Karen created a nationwide programmatic approach for mission delivery.

“Our new Executive Director brings significant expertise in building lifetime relationships, developing high performing teams and creating strategic partnerships.” said DRC’s Chair of the Board, C.C. King, Ph.D. He added, “We enthusiastically welcome Karen to DRC.  She is a strategic leader who will help increase our impact in the realm of patients and researchers who seek ways to prevent, cure and treat type 1 diabetes (T1D).”

Dr. King was also happy to announce, “Casey Davis is our new Senior Director of Development. We are incredibly grateful for her exceptional service as DRC’s Interim Executive Director since August 2020, while the Board of Directors sought a full-time ED.”

As DRC’s new ED, Ms. Hooper will be responsible for organizational leadership, operations, and community engagement. She is passionate about serving the T1D community and is thrilled to join the DRC family.

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to lead such an innovative, growing organization like the Diabetes Research Connection.  I am excited to be welcomed into the T1D community. I look forward to helping to fund critical research that ultimately will end T1D forever.”

Karen will officially assume her new role at DRC on March 15, 2021. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Karen now lives in Rancho Bernardo with her husband Ron and their daughter Karli. She holds a marketing degree from San Diego State University.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease. Nearly 1.6 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, including about 187,000 children and adolescents. DRC is a San Diego based 501(c)(3) charity, which supports peer-reviewed T1D research conducted by early-career scientists.  DRC expects to fund 42 research projects by the end of 2021.

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DRC Impact Campaign

Diabetes Research Connection’s Impact Report

Diabetes Research Connection’s Impact Report

Introduction to Diabetes Research Connection (DRC)

Imagine a world where diabetes is no longer a life-altering diagnosis, a world where innovative research and findings can change the lives of millions. That’s what Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is all about.

Purpose of DRC

A non-profit organization, DRC aims to bridge the gap between scientific research and funding, especially for the early-career scientists who are often overlooked. Their purpose? To revolutionize the way we understand, treat, and possibly, prevent diabetes.

Methodology of DRC

How does DRC go about fulfilling its purpose? By providing necessary resources, fostering an environment for innovation, and connecting scientists with donors. It’s a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, isn’t it? Each piece playing an integral part in creating the full picture.

Major Discoveries of DRC

Now, let’s delve deeper into the discoveries made possible through DRC.

Type 1 Diabetes Breakthroughs

Remember the excitement when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon? Well, DRC’s contribution to understanding Type 1 diabetes evokes similar feelings among medical professionals.

Details of Breakthroughs

DRC has facilitated several research projects that have led to breakthroughs in understanding the autoimmune responses that trigger Type 1 diabetes, bringing us one step closer to prevention and cure. That’s pretty exciting, right?

Innovations in Diabetes Treatment DRC Impact Campaign

But it’s not just about understanding; it’s also about acting on that understanding.

Role of DRC in these Innovations

Through DRC’s efforts, novel therapeutic strategies are being developed that aim to transform diabetes management, making it less invasive and more efficient. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

Outreach and Education Programs of DRC Impact Campaign

Knowledge, as they say, is power. And DRC has made it a point to empower people.

Engagement with Community

Through various outreach and education programs, DRC has been instrumental in raising awareness about diabetes and the need for research funding.

Effectiveness of Education Programs

These programs have shown tremendous success in terms of increased community participation and improved knowledge of diabetes.

DRC’s Contribution to Global Diabetes Community

Here’s the part where we realize that DRC’s impact extends far beyond any one country.

Global Recognition

DRC’s significant contributions to diabetes research have earned it recognition from international health bodies and associations.

Collaborations with International Health Bodies

Furthermore, DRC has fostered collaborations with various health organizations globally to further its research initiatives and impact.

Future Prospects of DRC Impact Campaign

But the story doesn’t end here. In fact, DRC is just getting started.

Upcoming Projects

Several innovative projects are in the pipeline that promise to bring about significant advancements in diabetes research and treatment. Exciting, isn’t it?

Expected Impact on Diabetes Research and Management

With these prospects, DRC aims to further its impact, potentially reshaping the way diabetes is managed globally and improving the quality of life for those affected.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Diabetes Research Connection has played, and continues to play, a pivotal role in the field of diabetes research. Through its various initiatives, it has not only led to significant scientific breakthroughs but also made a lasting impact on global diabetes management.

5 Unique FAQs

1. What is the primary aim of DRC? DRC’s primary aim is to connect early-career scientists with donors to revolutionize diabetes understanding and treatment.

2. What significant breakthroughs has DRC achieved in diabetes research? DRC has facilitated numerous research projects, leading to breakthroughs in understanding autoimmune responses that trigger Type 1 diabetes and developing novel treatment strategies.

3. How does DRC engage with the community? DRC engages with the community through various outreach and education programs aimed at raising awareness about diabetes.

4. Has DRC received global recognition? Yes, DRC has received global recognition and has fostered collaborations with various international health organizations.

5. What are the future prospects of DRC? DRC has several innovative projects in the pipeline that promise to bring about significant advancements in diabetes research and treatment.

This month we are taking the time to showcase the impact of our incredible supporters. Without our community, DRC would never be able to see the incredible results from our early-career scientist’s research projects. We would not see these same scientists secure follow-on funding and watch as many of them establish their own labs. Their research projects have been published and have helped create new technologies to provide better care for T1Ds. We have seen them achieve breakthroughs towards a cure!

Click HERE to view the full impact report.

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 4

As a type 1 diabetic who considers the beach their second home, I can say that Beyond Type 1’s “T1D Beach Guide” is spot-on. While splashing in the waves or sunning oneself on the sand, there are a few essential things that type 1 diabetics should keep in mind. 

Beyond Type 1 first mentions the importance of hydration for both diabetics and non-diabetics. I always bring a big reusable water bottle, preferably one that keeps the water inside cool. The beach heat can be severely dehydrating, so adding some electrolytes to water will provide the right fuel for a fun beach day. Beyond Type 1 recommends Ultima Replenisher, which has zero carbs and a ton of flavors. I love Crystal Light Pure, which has zero carbs per serving, no artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. My favorite flavor is tangerine mango! Staying adequately hydrated also helps balance blood glucose levels

As Beyond Type 1 notes, making sure your diabetes supplies are out of the direct sun is extremely important. It’s easy to accidentally leave an insulin pen or a container of test strips just sitting out on a towel–but this could, unfortunately, render them completely unusable. To be safe, I usually bring a small portable cooling bag for my supplies.

  The heat not only affects supplies; it also affects how one feels. Heat and constant sunshine can make one feel light-headed and drained, making it much harder to detect changes in one’s blood glucose levels. Beyond Type 1 also mentions that dehydration from sweat can spike blood glucose levels while playing in the waves, and running around in the sand can cause levels to plummet. One beach day, I thought I had low blood sugar because I was so tired. However, when I checked my continuous glucose monitor, my number was in the high 200s. This experience was unsettling, but it reminded me that it’s important to keep a constant watch on my CGM while at the beach.

  Beyond Type 1 recommends bringing easily packable snacks to the beach, including a cooler if you’re packing fresh food. I usually pack low-carb snacks such as veggies and hummus or parmesan crisps. When low blood sugar strikes, it’s also vital for type 1 diabetics to have fast-acting sugar in their beach bag. My favorite treat is fruit snacks because they are delicious and easy to consume quickly.

Last but not least, Beyond Type 1 recommends using a quality adhesive to ensure your CGM or pump stays on amidst all the beach day fun. Saltwater and sand are tough on adhesive, causing it to erode. I once lost my CGM in the ocean after I got tumbled by a wave. Since then, I have always wiped my CGM site with an extra Skin Tac wipe before heading off to the beach. 

With the proper preparation, type 1 diabetics can “navigate the waves” of their disease at the beach. Thankfully, with new technology rising out of innovative diabetic research, beach days can include less fret and a lot more fun for type 1 diabetics. 

This blog was written by Lauren Grove, DRC Intern, who has had T1D for 15 years and is responding to the article, “The T1D Beach Guide.

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Lower A1C Levels for Kids

New Guidelines Lower Target HbA1C Levels for Children with Type 1 Diabetes

One of the goals in managing type 1 diabetes is reducing fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Maintaining a stable blood sugar is ideal, which means consistently monitoring glucose levels and administering appropriate insulin doses.

The target range for HbA1C levels in children has typically been 7.5% or below. This was meant to keep blood sugar low enough to reduce the risk of organ and tissue damage but high enough to help curb hypoglycemia concerns. However, a recent report reveals that maintaining an HbA1C level of 7.0% or below may be better for short- and long-term health outcomes for children with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Studies have shown that abnormal brain development, heart problems, diabetes-related complications, and mortality in children and adolescents may be at increased risk when blood sugar levels remain elevated. Tighter control and a lower target range may be beneficial in reducing both acute and long-term effects.

Although lower HbA1C levels were previously thought to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, several studies have shown the number of incidences has declined over the past three decades, and “the link between lower glucose targets and hypoglycemia risk has weakened over the past 15 years.”

The use of continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps as part of T1D management and insulin analogs have played an integral role in allowing patients and caregivers to maintain tighter control over A1C levels and minimize fluctuations in blood sugar levels. 

While an HbA1C level of 7.0% or below is now recommended for many children with T1D, those patients who are unaware of hypoglycemia symptoms cannot adequately articulate them, a target of 7.5% is still recommended. There are also exceptions for those patients with a history of severe hypoglycemia and those with other pre-existing conditions or comorbidities. Patients with T1D need to work with their healthcare team to determine an appropriate A1C level for their individual situation.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) continues to follow updated guidelines and recommendations for managing type 1 diabetes. The organization plays an active role in contributing to the growing body of knowledge around the disease by providing critical funding to early-career scientists pursuing research projects focused on improving diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and management of T1D. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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CDF and DRC Meet and Greet

DRCs 1st Virtual Gathering of 2021!

On Tuesday, February 23, DRC held it’s first virtual gathering of the year. DRC partnered with the Chris Dudley Foundation for a Meet and Greet, where Chris Dudley shared his personal experience with type one diabetes, his NBA career, and his wonderful foundation and camp! DRC gave a brief overview of it’s mission, spoke about successfully funded and currently funded projects, and gave several resources to the community. You can view the video below.

Chris Dudley Foundation and Diabetes Research Meet and Greet

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 3

When I responded to the article, “10 Ways the Pandemic Parallels “Normal” Chronic Illness Life,” it mentioned “bleak burnout,” which I stated that I resonated with. This week, I decided to delve deeper into that topic after reading the article “Diabetes Burnout” written by Mark Heyman, Ph.D.,  CDE,  for the Beyond Type 1 organization. 

Mark describes “Diabetes Burnout” as being “a state in which someone with diabetes grows tired of managing their condition, and then simply ignores it for a period of time, or worse, forever.“ It wasn’t a question about “if” I was going to experience it, but “when.” I had little bouts of it since being diagnosed with T1D at the age of 7, but nothing was as bad as when I hit senior year in high school, and I wasn’t just done with diabetes – I was done with my body and the lack of control I had with it. Mark mentions that a trigger for diabetes burnout can be “feeling controlled by diabetes,” and I absolutely did feel that. I didn’t want to think about changing my pump site. I didn’t want to worry about testing my blood sugar before every meal, in the middle of the night, or when I was feeling “off.” I didn’t want another lecture from my parents about a lousy A1C and the damage I was doing to my body. I didn’t want to be a diabetic. 

I decided to ween myself off insulin at the beginning of senior year. After a month, I had lost up to 10 pounds. By Christmas, I was down 40 pounds and happier than I had been in a long time. I had no idea where my test kit was, and I didn’t care. Don’t get me wrong – I was in excruciating pain. I threw up and peed all the time. I lost feeling in my limbs for days and sometimes wasn’t sure I would get the feeling back. I had constant heartburn, headaches, and severe nausea. You are probably wondering how my parents reacted? There was nothing they could do. One time, my mom was out of town, and I skipped school because I was so high blood sugar, I needed to sleep it off. I slept for 12 hours and had 30 missed calls from my parents. I woke up to my dad giving me an insulin shot. He drove two hours because he was afraid I had died (I am sorry to all the parents out there that have experienced this fear. It took me a long time after dealing with this burnout to understand the pain I put my parents through; I still feel guilt today). By March, I had lost 60 pounds and was forced by my school’s counselor to go on a month-long leave of absence to take care of my health. It was at this time that I realized – diabetes still had control over me. No matter how much I wanted to feel “normal,” I wasn’t. I had type one diabetes, and I was letting it kick my butt.

At the end of Mark’s article, he gives several helpful tips on overcoming this burnout; “Managing Your Expectations,” “Take Small Steps,” and my favorite, “Get Support.” After finally deciding to take care of myself, I sought comfort in the diabetic community I was closest to. I went to the camp I had been to for many years, Camp Conrad Chinnock, and worked all summer as a staff member. I was continually being reminded why my health was so important and having an open-ear to speak to when things became too much. No one shamed me for what I had done, but they reminded me of why my health is so important. If you or a loved one are experiencing diabetic burnout, talk to someone. I would probably have continued to disregard my health had I not surrounded myself with others in my position and been as open and honest about my feelings and doubts. I still deal with burnout, but I don’t let myself spiral. Finding DRC was kismet for me. I have never taken better care of my health, and I am so thankful to be a part of an organization that is continuously striving to fund research projects for a cure. Until we have a cure, make sure to check out all of Beyond Type 1’s resources, as they offer a plethora of tips, tricks, and suggestions that are extremely useful for anything a T1D might need. 

This blog was written by Hannah Gebauer, DRC’s Development Assistant, who has had T1D for 17 years and is responding to the article, “Diabetes Burnout.”

Hannah Gebauer

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Coronavirus and Diabetes Resources: Community Partner with Beyond Type 1

It is no secret that this pandemic has made life extremely more challenging. And for those with type one diabetes (T1D), infinitely more so. Fortunately, Beyond Type 1, a nonprofit organization that unites the global T1D community and provides solutions to improve those lives, has created a remarkable resource to help those with T1D during this difficult time. Click HERE to view helpful articles such as “Diabetes + Covid Vaccines: What You Need to Know,” “Covid + Diabetes: The Work and School Safety Guide,” and “Suddenly Jobless or Without Health Insurance? Start Here.” Diabetes Research Connection is honored to help spread the word for such a fantastic resource as a community partner.

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 2

Finger-pricking, insulin dosing, tracking food consumption, monitoring glucose levels: type 1 diabetes is a mentally and physically taxing full-time job. As a type 1 diabetic myself, I know how quickly diabetes can become overwhelming when it’s combined with school, work, and social obligations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “10 Tips for Coping with Diabetes Distress” is an excellent resource for people with diabetes who are struggling with managing the burden of their disease. 

Tip number 5, “Talk with Family or Friends,” and number 6, “ Talk to Other People with Diabetes,” highlight the importance of diabetics communicating their distress to those they trust. Not only does talking with friends help me process how I am feeling, but it also allows me to educate non-diabetics about the realities of my disease. Diabetes can be isolating, and it is easy for me to feel alone in my struggles. I am grateful to have an older sister with type 1 diabetes to talk to about diabetic burnout, unmanageable glucose levels, and other diabetic issues. I am also a member of my university’s College Diabetes’ Network, where I have met fellow type 1 diabetic students.  

I am a generally busy person, and keeping track of everything I need to do diabetes-wise can be extremely difficult. Tip number 8, “Do One Thing at a Time,” emphasizes how tackling each task independently can help with feelings of stress. I have a planner where I write myself reminders such as “Change Dexcom” or, when I know I have a big meal planned, “Increase Bolus.” I try to organize my day in a way that allows me to solely focus on my disease some moments but also place it on the “back burner” for a few minutes when I need to concentrate on other tasks. However, something I still need to work on is tip number 9: “Pace Yourself.”  My goal has always been to have stable blood glucose levels, but some days my levels are completely uncontrollable.  I have to remind myself that I can’t become a “perfect type 1 diabetic” overnight. I need to discover how my body responds to certain foods, different forms of exercise, and many other factors. Type 1 diabetes is a learning process: I take two steps forward and one step backward. Regardless, I know I am growing and progressing, becoming stronger and more confident managing my disease each day.

Most of the time, I wish I could “clock out” of my chronic illness, leave my type 1 diabetes on my bedside table and forget about it. Each moment of living with this disease brings a new challenge. I am so grateful for organizations like Diabetes Research Connection that support the development of life-changing diabetic technology. Reminding myself that ambitious researchers are currently studying my illness is ultimately the most helpful way to manage my diabetes distress. I am optimistic about a brighter future for all people with diabetes, where our disease’s burden is minimal or non-existent.

This blog was written by Lauren Grove, DRC Intern, who has had T1D for 15 years and is responding to the article,“10 Tips for Coping with Diabetes Distress.”

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COVID-19 Vaccine for T1Ds

Pushing for Improved Prioritization for COVID-19 Vaccine for Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes

As the United States has begun rolling out COVID-19 vaccines across the country, it has also created guidelines regarding eligibility and prioritization for the drug. There are multiple phases with different requirements to determine who gets the vaccine when. Currently, phase one is for the most at-risk groups, including frontline healthcare workers, seniors, those in long-term care facilities, and individuals at increased risk for severe illness.

While people with type 2 diabetes fall under phase 1 of the vaccine rollout, people with type 1 diabetes are included in phase 2. This has caused quite a bit of confusion and concern among those most familiar with the disease. The CDC points to “limited evidence” of increased risk for severe illness in individuals with T1D as the reason for the different phase designations. There is a growing push to get both type 1 and type 2 diabetes included in the phase 1 rollout.

There have been several recent studies that demonstrate the risk of contracting COVID-19 for individuals with T1D, including:

  • A study published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology in August 2020 shows that those with type 2 diabetes were more than two times as likely to die, while those with type 1 diabetes were more than 3.5 times as likely to die when compared to similar individuals without diabetes.
  • A study published in Diabetes Care in December 2020 that notes “people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes who develop COVID-19 are three to four times as likely to experience severe illness and hospitalization as people without diabetes.”
  • A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found a higher risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis in Black and Hispanic individuals with COVID-19.

 

The evidence is there, but it is up to the CDC as to whether all diabetes patients are grouped together in one priority group or remain separate. However, state and local agencies can set their own eligibility guidelines when running vaccination programs, so they have the ability to prioritize all patients with diabetes if they so choose. Doctors also want the ability to prioritize certain patients based on their health history and risk factors. Only time will tell as the country continues to try to ramp up vaccine distribution.

The Diabetes Research Connection is waiting to see what happens next while supporting improved prevention and treatment options and the push for a cure for type 1 diabetes. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is just one step toward potentially improving quality of life and reducing risk for this population. Learn more about the DRC and the research projects currently being funded by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you.

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Generic Glucagon and Hypoglycemia

First Generic Glucagon Approved by FDA to Treat Severe Hypoglycemia

A significant concern for individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) is preventing severe hypoglycemia, also known as very low blood sugar. When blood glucose levels drop too low, it can cause confusion or lead to unconsciousness. Individuals often need someone else to administer a life-saving drug such as glucagon to raise their blood sugar back up to safer levels quickly.

Until now, only brand-name glucagon has been available for the treatment of hypoglycemia. Since it is a complex drug, it can be challenging to create safe, effective generic versions. However, generic products can be more affordable for many patients and increase competition in the market and increase drug prices.

The FDA is committed to improving access to lower-cost, high-quality generic drug products such as generic glucagon, and recently approved its production application. The drug is an injectable synthetic version of a natural hormone produced by the body to increase glucose levels. It has undergone the same testing as brand-name products to ensure that it meets the same rigorous approval standards and has comparable safety and efficacy.

The FDA has taken numerous steps to encourage pharmaceutical companies to create quality generic drug products, especially for drugs with fewer than three approved generics, including glucagon. Approval for the production of generic glucagon was given to Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to see that more affordable drug products to help manage and treat type 1 diabetes are coming to market. This can help improve access to these life-saving drugs for those in need. There is not yet a cure for T1D, so reducing costs for essential medications by offering generic versions can make a difference.

The DRC is committed to funding research geared toward prevention, a cure, and improved care for individuals living with type 1 diabetes. Early-career scientists can receive funds to support novel, peer-reviewed research studies focused on any number of aspects of the disease. Learn more about some of the incredible projects taking place and find out how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you

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Disordered Eating and T1D

Disordered Eating May Increase High Blood Sugar Risks in Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) can be a difficult condition to manage. Individuals must continuously be aware of their food and beverage intake, physical activity, overall health, and how this impacts their blood sugar. They must regularly check their blood glucose levels and administer appropriate doses of insulin as necessary.

Managing T1D combined with disordered eating can present even more challenges. Inconsistencies in food intake and negative feelings about eating and using insulin can make it harder to stay within a target blood sugar range. A recent study involving 23 women found that the time spent in level 2 hyperglycemia – blood sugar greater than 250 mg/dL – may be four times longer in individuals with T1D who also have disordered eating compared to those with only T1D.

Participants were divided into two groups: 13 women with T1D and disordered eating, and 10 women with T1D only. All participants were asked to keep a diabetes diary using a smartphone app to record information about their meals, insulin usage, and any emotions or behaviors related to the meal, such as binge eating or skipping insulin. Each woman tested her own blood sugar before meals and at bedtime, but they also wore a blinded continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

In addition, all participants completed a variety of surveys and screenings and engaged in a semi-structured interview with a clinical psychologist with expertise in disordered eating. Results were recorded for the Diabetes Eating Problem Survey-Revised, the Diabetes Distress Screening Scale, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the Yale Food Addiction Scale.

Women in the disordered eating cohort showed higher use of recreational drugs, higher mean HbA1c levels, and higher scores on the diabetes distress, depression, and diabetes eating problem surveys than the control group. Furthermore, the disordered eating group reported more negative emotions and tested their blood sugar levels less frequently.

When looking at hyperglycemia, “the disordered eating group had a mean serum glucose of greater than 10 mmol/L (180 mg/dL) for 49.8% of the study period, whereas the control cohort spent 25.6% of time above range.” When narrowing it down to level 2 hyperglycemia specifically, “the disorder eating group was above range 21.3% of the time vs. 5% for the control group.”

Given that individuals must make significant changes to their lives when diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it may be beneficial to provide additional support around diabetes self-care and mental health to reduce risk of developing disordered eating as well. Early introduction of healthy strategies and habits for managing diabetes, along with psychological support, may help improve glucose control.

Providing individuals with the knowledge, training, and support necessary for effectively managing type 1 diabetes is essential. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is committed to enhancing research capabilities by providing critical funding for early-career scientists focused on diagnosis, prevention, and management of T1D, as well as finding a cure. Learn more by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you

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Eating Fish and T1D

Could Eating Fish Help Prevent Type 1 Diabetes?

Although type 1 diabetes often develops in childhood, that is not always the case. In some instances, the disease may not fully develop until adulthood. The body may produce autoantibodies, known as GAD65 antibodies, long before type 1 diabetes symptoms appear. Detecting these autoantibodies can allow individuals to keep a closer eye on their health and be proactive when it comes to diabetes risk.

recent study found that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce type 1 diabetes risk or delay the disease’s onset. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring are all a good source of omega-3. When researchers compared omega-3 levels in individuals both with and without GAD65 antibodies, they found that “participants with GAD65 antibodies and a low intake of fish in their diet were 2.52 times as likely to have diabetes as those without GAD65 antibodies and a high intake of fish.”

When looking only at participants with GAD65 antibodies – a telltale sign of diabetes risk, those who ate less fish were more than four times as likely to have diabetes than those with a high fish intake and therefore higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The study included 11,247 individuals who developed diabetes in adulthood, and 14,288 adults without diabetes, all located in Europe.

One thing that is unclear, however, is precisely why fish consumption exerts this protective effect. Researchers continue to study the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on immune system function and potential type 1 diabetes triggers. Current guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend at least 8 ounces of fish per week for adults and less for children. These amounts may be different for individuals with GAD65 antibodies depending on their healthcare provider’s recommendations and future studies related to diabetes and omega-3 levels.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to see what future research uncovers in terms of the impact of fish consumption on potentially preventing or delaying the onset of type 1 diabetes. Though not involved in this study, the DRC supports novel, peer-reviewed studies conducted by early-career scientists by providing essential funding. Learn about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you

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Diabetes and Celiac Disease

Double Trouble: Managing Type 1 Diabetes & Celiac Disease

As anyone with type 1 diabetes (T1D) knows, managing life with an autoimmune disorder can be challenging. Individuals with T1D must be regularly monitoring their blood sugar, adjusting insulin based on food consumption and exercise, and ensuring they have necessary supplies should their blood sugar drop too low.

But did you know that individuals with type 1 diabetes have a greater risk of developing celiac disease, another autoimmune disorder? The general population has between a 0.3% and 1% chance of developing celiac disease, while this risk increases from 2% to 16% for a person with T1D. Trying to manage the demands of both diseases can be stressful. Some people are genetically predisposed to these diseases, but they do not always develop one or both.

While T1D leaves the body unable to naturally control blood glucose levels due to the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells, celiac disease interferes with the body’s ability to effectively absorb nutrients due to damage to the small intestines caused by gluten. People with celiac disease must avoid both food and nonfood sources of gluten, which often comes in the form of wheat, barley, rye, or triticale.

Due to the increased risk of having both conditions, the American Diabetes Association recommends that individuals with T1D be tested for celiac disease at the time of diabetes diagnosis, as well as again two years later, followed by a five-year repeat screening. If celiac disease symptoms develop, or there is a family history, testing may be conducted more frequently.

Individuals with T1D and celiac disease must be cautious about what they eat, ensuring that they count carbs and dose insulin properly, but also that they select naturally gluten-free foods such as fresh produce, lean proteins, beans, and low-fat dairy. Cross-contamination can occur when preparing meals if food items with and without gluten are handled in the same space or with the same pots or utensils. It is essential to use a separate space and equipment to prepare gluten-free foods.

However, eating a gluten-free diet can help manage blood glucose levels because it enables the body to absorb nutrients better and reduce inflammation. In addition, eating whole foods, as opposed to processed foods, can also reduce carb intake and decrease the amount of insulin needed.

To help minimize the stress of managing diabetes and celiac disease, participation in support groups is encouraged. This can help individuals feel less isolated, access additional information and resources, and deal with the challenges of finding celiac-friendly restaurants and food options. Patients should also work closely with healthcare providers such as their diabetes care provider, a diabetes educator, a registered dietitian, a gastroenterologist, and even a pharmacy provider. Having family and friends who understand how to manage diabetes and celiac disease can help as well to provide additional support and encouragement.

There is currently no cure for T1D or celiac diseases, but researchers continue to expand their understanding of these diseases and search for effective therapies and treatment options. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is committed to supporting innovative scientific inquiry until diabetes is eliminated. To achieve this goal, the DRC provides critical funding to early-career scientists focused on studying multiple aspects of type 1 diabetes. Learn more about these efforts and how to donate by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you

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Discussing Diabetes with DRC's T1Ds

Discussing Diabetes with DRC’s T1Ds: Blog Post 1

*DRC will begin a new campaign where those with type one diabetes (T1D) in the DRC community will share their thoughts and personal anecdotes in response to lifestyle articles related to T1D care and management*

When I read Melissa Engel’s article “10 Ways the Pandemic Parallels “Normal” Chronic Illness Life,” I was nodding my head up and down the entire time. I find it hard to explain type one diabetes (T1D) to someone who doesn’t have it. Although this article summarizes the similarities between any chronic illness and the feelings individuals are experiencing during the pandemic, I think this could help bridge the gap for some people who try to sympathize with a T1D. After reading the article, I found that I most resonated with number 2, “Stocking Piling Supplies,” number 3, “Eternal uncertainty,” and my personal “favorite,” number 9, “Bleak Burnout.”

I remember when this pandemic started, I was less concerned with having enough toilet paper and more concerned about if I was going to end up having to pull a Nicole Kidman in “The Invasion” and break into a pharmacy to find what I would need to survive. I am almost positive every type one diabetic has had the thought, “How long could I go without insulin before I die?” or something resembling that remark. Apocalyptic movies are hard for me to stomach when there are just so many adverse outcomes for what could happen to me if I couldn’t access my medication: I could die of ketoacidosis; I could die a low blood-sugar that resulted in a seizure with no glucagon shot available; I could die since insulin is bound to expire. The consequences are limitless, and I generally steer away from those thoughts as they tend to spiral.

I believe Melissa truly hit the nail on the head with number 3, “Eternal Uncertainty,” when she used the words “Lack of Control and Predictability”. The only thing I am certain of is the uncertainty of T1D. I could be 125 at 8 AM, have the perfect dose of insulin for breakfast, encounter one negative email that gave me anxiety, and at lunch, I end up being 300. I could have a perfectly working pump site and go to work feeling good, but then 3 hours later, I test and find out I am 400 with ketones because of a site kink. It’s like being on a never-ending roller coaster and wanting to get off, but you are gaining speed and stuck on the ride till it slows down for a bit, only to start again. Luckily, T1D is manageable with our latest technology and gives one a sense of control.

Lastly, number 9, “Bleak Burnout.” We’ve all been there – the moment when you say, “I am done.” I am done testing my blood sugar. I am done counting my grams and taking insulin shots. I am done being treated differently from everyone around me. I am just done. For some T1Ds, this looks like giving up for a day and dealing with higher blood sugar than usual. For others (myself included), that is deciding to stop taking insulin altogether and dealing with the consequences in hopes of finding relief. Unfortunately, a T1Ds “normal” is managing the disease, or you end up with permanent complications. Bleak burnout comes and goes, the only thing that truly helps me fight it is the diabetic community I surround myself with, and the knowledge that organizations like Diabetes Research Connection are funding research for a cure so that maybe in my lifetime, I can feel a different kind of bleak burnout.

This blog was written by Hannah Gebauer, DRC’s Development Assistant, who has had T1D for 17 years and is responding to the article, “10 Ways the Pandemic Parallels “Normal” Chronic Illness Life.”

Hannah Gebauer

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Golimumab and Beta Cells

Golimumab May Help Preserve Beta-Cell Function Related to Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is characterized by the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. This leaves the body unable to regulate blood sugar levels on its own effectively and requires individuals to administer insulin throughout the day. T1D is one of many autoimmune disorders that affect children and adults.

recent study found that a drug already approved by the FDA to treat other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and ulcerative colitis, may also be effective in treating T1D. Though it is not a cure, it may help preserve existing pancreatic beta-cell function in newly diagnosed patients and reduce the amount of external insulin needed to manage blood glucose levels.

The medication, known as golimumab, is a human monoclonal antibody that blocks a protein involved in abnormal inflammatory and immune responses. Researchers administered the medication every two weeks for 52 weeks to a group of 56 children and young adults between the ages of 6 and 21. Another 28 participants received a placebo. All participants were newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and were free from other autoimmune diseases.

Throughout the year, each participant kept a record of how much insulin they used each day, what their blood glucose level was, and if they had any occurrences of hypoglycemia. At the end of the trial, the results showed that the children and young adults who received golimumab had higher 4-hour C-peptide AUC levels than those in the control group (0.64 vs. 0.43). This means that those receiving the medication produced more natural insulin (endogenous insulin) than those who received the placebo and required less insulin therapy.

There can be advantages to requiring lower doses of insulin, making golimumab attractive to some individuals with T1D. Though still undergoing clinical testing to treat type 1 diabetes, the medication may become one more option for patients to help them better manage their health.

Though not involved with this study, the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how future clinical trials play out and whether golimumab is approved as a therapeutic agent for type 1 diabetes. The DRC is committed to improving understanding, treatment, and management of the disease and finding a cure one day. Learn more about how to support these efforts by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Umbilical Cord Stem Cells

Using Umbilical Cord Stem Cells to Treat Type 1 Diabetes, COVID-19

Autoimmune diseases wreak havoc on the body and can be challenging to treat. They can cause severe inflammation and even cell death, as with type 1 diabetes (T1D). But researchers are striving to develop more effective therapies to manage and treat these conditions.

One approach that has shown positive results in early testing is the use of umbilical cord stem cells. A recent study by a team at the Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplant Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found that these cells may be beneficial in treating individuals with T1D and promoting recovery in patients with severe COVID-19.

The FDA has already approved this stem-cell therapy for testing as a potential treatment for T1D, which requires more targeted administration to ensure that cells are directed to the pancreas. These cells may help to calm the body’s hyperinflammatory immune response. Due to umbilical cord cells’ anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory effects, they may also be effective in treating COVID-19 and could be administered easily through a blood transfusion.

The researchers administered two infusions of 100 million umbilical cord stem cells three days apart to 12 patients with severe COVID-19, while another 12 patients with the disease received a placebo IV. Of those treated with the stem cells, there was a 91% overall survival rate and a 100% survival rate of patients under age 85. The survival rate in the control group was 42%. In addition, more than 80% of patients who received stem cells recovered within 30 days, while less than 37% in the control group did.

Following these promising results, the researchers are now looking to conduct a larger trial to see if the treatment generates the same results on a larger scale. If so, umbilical cord stem cells may become one option for treating COVID-19. According to the study, “one umbilical cord recovered from a healthy newborn can generate more than 10,000 therapeutic doses.” Studies will also be done to better understand the stem cells’ effect on other autoimmune diseases such as T1D.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to continue following these developments to see whether umbilical cord stem cells could be a viable therapeutic treatment option, especially when it comes to T1D or potential patients with T1D and COVID-19 who are at higher risk for complications.

The DRC is committed to improving understanding of T1D, enhancing treatment and prevention options, as well as finding a cure. The organization supports early-career scientists in pursuing novel, peer-reviewed studies related to type 1 diabetes by providing critical funding for their research. Find out more at https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Gene Expression

Advanced Understanding of Gene Expression May Improve Treatment of Multiple Autoimmune Diseases Including Type 1 Diabetes

The immune system is a central part of the human body. When autoimmune diseases develop, they can cause the immune system to begin attacking itself, taking a toll on individuals’ health. Numerous different autoimmune diseases exist, and currently, many have no cure.

However, a recent study examined commonalities between four of the most severe autoimmune diseases and changes that occur within the body. By developing a better understanding of where there are similarities, researchers may be able to apply what they already know about one disease to another. The four autoimmune diseases that were studied were type 1 diabetes (T1D), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis (MS), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Researchers found that all of these diseases have common pattern disease risk, local inflammation, and up-regulation and down-regulation of gene expression. In addition, rather than only looking at how the immune system was affected, the researchers also studied the impact on target tissues. Their findings showed that in many instances, the immune system and these tissues engaged in a dialog that contributed to the effects of each disease and cell damage. There were a significant number of candidate genes that were expressed in target tissues as well.

There was a lot of overlap between up-regulated expression patterns, whereas down-regulated expression appeared to be more specific to the target tissue. Close attention was also paid to which pathways were affected for each disease. The researchers note that “The observed similarities in pathway activation between target tissues were translated into the identification of several classes of drugs that could be potentially used to treat more than one autoimmune disease.”

This could allow scientists to repurpose drugs that are well understood to treat one disease to be used to treat another disease. For instance, JAK inhibitors are approved for the treatment of RA, but they are also showing promising results for treating SLE, and they are known to “prevent the proinflammatory and proapoptotic effects of IFN-α on human pancreatic β cells,” which is a trademark of T1D. JAK inhibitors may also effectively treat insulitis, though current studies have been on nonobese diabetic mice.

The study found that one candidate gene in particular – TYK2 – was present in all four autoimmune diseases when it comes to gene expression. There is currently a phase 3 clinical trial underway for a TYK inhibitor to treat psoriasis, another autoimmune disease. TYK inhibitors demonstrate a protective factor over human β cells, so the clinical trial may provide valuable information related to future treatment of T1D as well.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to see how this study may impact future research and the potential repurposing of existing drugs to treat other autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes. Advancing research and understanding of T1D is integral to one day finding a cure. To support these efforts, the DRC provides critical funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel research related to T1D. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Diabetes Health

The Pandemic ‘COVID-19’ Exacerbates Diabetes Health Challenges for Individuals Living with The Disease

Although the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all Americans’ lives, it has been especially challenging for individuals with chronic conditions such as type 1 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 122 million people in the United States have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Access to healthcare, health insurance, medication/medical supplies, and nutritious food is critical, yet many of these people struggle in these areas.

As the pandemic has inundated the United States, it has presented significant hardships for individuals living with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and pre-diabetes. A recent study conducted by the American Diabetes Association in partnership with Thrivable and the Diabetes Daily community shows just how profound the impact has been on this population. 

With the loss of jobs, insurance coverage, and income, many individuals have difficulty paying for necessary medications and medical supplies to manage their diabetes health. They are struggling with food insecurity, unable to access the type and quantity of food needed to keep their blood sugar under control. They have delayed medical appointments because they do not have insurance coverage or are scared about potential exposure to COVID-19.

All of these circumstances can put their diabetes health at risk. Being unable to manage their diabetes now effectively can have a lasting impact in the future. It also puts individuals at greater risk for complications from COVID-19 should they contract the virus. Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the American Diabetes Association, notes that “as many as 40 percent of the COVID fatalities – 120,000 Americans – have been people with diabetes.”

Of those surveyed, 43% have delayed routine medical care for fear of exposure to the virus, and 15% of those with continuous glucose monitors (CGM) or insulin pumps have put off refilling their supplies, with 70% reporting that it is due to financial hardships. Twelve percent of respondents have lost their health insurance since the start of the pandemic, and of those, 13% continue to be uninsured.

Access to food is another major problem. Facing financial constraints, many people have had to rely on food banks for food. Options there are limited and not always the most effective for managing diabetes. The study found that “1 in 5 say they aren’t able to eat as frequently as they need to manage their diabetes effectively,” and nearly as many said they have been forced to choose between buying food and buying medical supplies or medications for their diabetes.

On a positive note, many individuals with diabetes (37%) are open to getting the vaccine immediately once it becomes available to them. In addition, there has been a drastic increase in the number of individuals with diabetes using telemedicine as a way to help manage their health. However, this does not negate the serious challenges this pandemic has presented and the fact that the effects could last for years to come. In turn, this could strain the healthcare system in the future.

Researchers continue to learn more about COVID-19 every day, and more work is being done to understand its impact on at-risk populations such as those with type 1 diabetes. The Diabetes Research Connection, though not involved with this study, is committed to providing critical funding for early-career scientists pursuing projects related to type 1 diabetes. These efforts drive work toward improving diagnosis, treatment, management, and prevention of the disease, enhancing the quality of life, and moving closer to a cure. To learn more about current projects or support these efforts, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Diabetes and Pandemic

A Rise in New Type 1 Diabetes Cases Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has hit many countries around the world very hard, with millions of people being diagnosed with COVID-19. At the same time, researchers have also found that new cases of type 1 diabetes (T1D) have also grown. Though there is no definitive link between COVID-19 and T1D, scientists do know that in some cases, the virus may contribute to increased beta cell damage. Diabetes occurs when insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are damaged or destroyed.

A small study in England found that the number of new cases of T1D at two of its five Pediatric Diabetes Network locations increased by 80 percent in April and May. Over the past five years, these two locations diagnosed an average of two and four new cases respectively during those two months, whereas this year, they have each diagnosed 10 new cases. Across the five sites, 30 children and teenagers (all under age 17) were diagnosed with T1D, and 21 of these individuals experienced diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Out of those 21 cases, 11 were considered severe, and 12 children experienced clinical shock resulting in four being admitted to pediatric intensive care units.

Although only two of the children tested positive for COVID-19 when admitted to the hospital, another 3 tested positive for antibodies meaning they had been previously exposed to the virus.

England is not the only country that has seen an increase in new T1D cases either. Studies in China and Italy both showed that since the pandemic started, they have seen more children than usual being diagnosed with T1D. There was no distinct tie between COVID-19 infections and diabetes in these countries either.

Additional research is needed to determine whether COVID-19 may play a role in T1D risk. There is still a lot about the virus that researchers do not know, and they are still exploring its short- and long-term effects on health. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC), though not involved in this study, is committed to advancing research around type 1 diabetes and provides critical funding to early-career scientists. Learn more about current projects and how you can help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Infancy Diabetes Risk

Predicting Diabetes Risk in Infancy

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic condition that often develops in early childhood, though it can present later in life for some. Researchers believe that it stems from a variety genetic and environmental risk factors. Oftentimes individuals do not realize they have T1D until they experience an episode of hyperglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis. These are serious and potentially life-threatening conditions that must be treated immediately.

Recognizing risk factors early on can help doctors to be proactive and better manage children’s health to reduce complications. A recent study from The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) involved 7,798 children from around the world who were identified as being at high risk of developing T1D. The study followed them for nine years, starting at birth, and assigned participants a risk score based on “genetics, clinical factors such as family history of diabetes, and their count of islet autoantibodies – biomarkers known to be implicated in type 1 diabetes.”

This approach improved newborn screenings and the ability to predict the development of T1D. In addition, it allowed doctors to educate families about the disease early on. By more accurately assessing risk, researchers can target clinical trials for preventing the disease to those children who may benefit most. Early detection also allows for improved treatment and management of the disease from the start, which may reduce complications.

Recognizing risk of type 1 diabetes and developing effective prevention strategies is essential. Researchers are continually advancing their knowledge and testing different therapies and approaches to slow or stop T1D. This is an exciting step forward in prevention and treatment efforts. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how this study could influence diabetes management.

Research across all stages of the disease is critical. The DRC empowers early-career scientists to pursue novel, peer-reviewed research studies focused on type 1 diabetes by providing key funding. One hundred percent of research funds go directly to the scientists. To learn more about current projects and how to help, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Diabetes And Digestive Problems

Those With Diabetes And Digestive Problems May Be Suffering From Gastroparesis

Diabetes and digestive problems can go hand-in-hand, but symptoms should not be ignored. A telltale sign of type 1 diabetes is high blood sugar, and this is one of the leading causes of gastroparesis, also known as delayed gastric emptying. Some symptoms of gastroparesis include bloating, pain after eating, heartburn, and nausea or vomiting.

Uncontrolled high blood sugar can lead to nerve damage affecting how well the stomach muscles contract and release. It is this motion that pushes food through the stomach and intestines. If this process is not working effectively, the stomach is not fully empty, and food can remain there for long periods of time, causing discomfort. In addition, gastroparesis can affect how well the body absorbs nutrients from various foods and contribute to malnutrition.

To help prevent gastroparesis, diabetes should be managed as effectively as possible to control blood sugar levels and keep them within the target range. To aid with digestion, drink plenty of water throughout the day, and eat several small meals rather than two or three large ones. Limiting fat and fiber consumption can also promote improved stomach emptying, which can reduce discomfort. In addition, engaging in regular exercise not only helps with managing blood sugar, but it can also support digestion.

Diabetes and digestive problems are both conditions that can be managed to reduce the risk of developing gastroparesis. Patients should talk to their doctor about any symptoms they experience and how to improve their diet to support proper digestion and nutrition.

The gastroparesis-diabetes connection is one that is recognized by scientists and something that patients should be aware of. Researchers continue to study these types of conditions to learn more about how they affect diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and quality of life.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) supports diverse research initiatives related to type 1 diabetes by providing critical funding to early-career scientists. Learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Pancreatic Cells

Wisp1 is a Circulating Factor that Stimulates Proliferation of Adult Mouse and Human Beta Cells

The destruction of insulin-producing beta-cells is a known cause of type 1 diabetes. Still, researchers continue to investigate exactly what triggers this cell death and how to control or reverse it. In addition, they have been searching for an effective way to reintroduce or restimulate the production of pancreatic cells with long-term survival rates, a challenging undertaking.

One component of this task is understanding how and when beta cells replicate. A recent study found that Wisp1, a matricellular protein that is part of the CCN protein family, may play an important role. This protein is found in higher levels in pre-weaning mice than adult mice, and the same is true in humans, where Wisp1 is more abundant in young children than in adults. It is especially prevalent in bone tissue.

Scientists have found that beta cell replication is most active in the early postnatal weeks and declines with age. After introducing serum Wisp1 in adult mice as well as human islets, beta-cell proliferation increased. In addition, Akt levels also increased. Akt activation is known to play a role in insulin/IGF signaling, contributing to beta-cell growth regulation. There is a potential that Wisp1 and Akt may work synergistically in the body when it comes to proliferating beta cells.

It is important to note that the study did not find a direct correlation between the circulation of Wisp1 and pancreatic cells’ production. Researchers note that, “Our study identifies Wisp1 as a circulating protein that is abundant in young blood and induces proliferation of adult beta cells, thus revealing Wisp1 as an agent with potential therapeutic use to expand beta beta-cell in diabetes.”

Additional research is needed to determine how circulating factors may potentially be used as therapeutic agents when it comes to beta-cell proliferation and the treatment of diabetes. This study opens doors to new research opportunities.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested in seeing how Wisp1 may impact future studies regarding type 1 diabetes treatment. To support the advancement of diabetes-related research, the DRC provides funding to early-career scientists so that they may pursue innovative peer-reviewed projects. Learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Pancreatic Islet Cells

Advances in Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplantation

Currently, the most effective method for managing type 1 diabetes is regularly testing blood sugar levels and administering insulin. However, this can be hard on patients and on their bodies, and it does not control type 1 diabetes (T1D) as well as the pancreas does naturally on its own. But in individuals with T1D, the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells produced by the pancreas, which is why insulin injections are necessary.

Researchers have been testing methods of transplanting pancreatic islet cells into patients with T1D in an effort to replicate or restimulate the body’s natural process for managing blood sugar. One of the challenges that they have faced is keeping transplanted cells alive and functioning for more than a few days or possibly weeks. They often do not establish the proper vascularization or oxygenation necessary for survival. In some cases, they are once again attacked and destroyed by the immune system.

A recent study shows encouraging results when it comes to islet cell transplantation, however. Rather than transplanting the cells into or near the liver, scientists placed them under the skin. The islets were encapsulated in a collagen-based matrix that provided a layer of protection while also improving the amount of oxygen the cells received. Scientists are not entirely sure why this process works, but it has shown positive results in mouse models.

One hundred mice whose pancreases had been removed were transplanted with collagen-encased islet cells from mice, pigs, and humans. Results showed that the mice did not require insulin injections to control blood sugar levels for up to 100 days. It is important to note that tests in mouse models do not always translate exactly the same in human models. Scientists do not yet know if humans would experience the same response to this approach. More testing is needed.

But it is a step in the right direction toward improving diabetes management and stimulating a more natural and effective process. Though not involved with this particular study, the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is committed to advancing understanding and treatment of the disease by providing critical funding to early career scientists. One hundred percent of donations go directly to researchers and their projects. Learn more and find out how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Increased Risk of Illness Severity and Hospitalization from COVID-19 in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes

Increased Risk of Illness Severity and Hospitalization from COVID-19 in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes

Dear Members of the DRC Family,

The attached article, to be published in print in Diabetes Care, concludes type 1 (and type 2) diabetes, independently increase the adverse impacts of COVID-19.

Potentially modifiable factors (e.g., HbA1c) had a significant, but modest, impact compared with comparatively static factors (e.g., race and insurance) in type 1 diabetes, indicating an urgent and continued need to mitigate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection risk in our community.

We encourage you to discuss, with your health care provider, prioritizing vaccination of family members who have diabetes. These statistics are compelling.

Wishing you the best of health,

DW Sig.

David Winkler
Chair, Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer, Diabetes Research Connection

 

Please Click HERE To View the Full Article

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Islet Cells

Improvements for the Islet Cell Transplant are Achieved with the Fusion of Islet Cells and Functional Blood Vessels

One area of research that scientists have focused on treating and potentially curing type 1 diabetes is islet cell transplant. Introducing new insulin-producing islet cells into the body aims to stimulate these cells’ continued production and survival to achieve normoglycemia.

However, a major challenge is ensuring proper revascularization of islet cells. Without this vascularization and the exchange of blood and oxygen, the cells die. Up to this point, scientists have struggled to create these vascular networks quickly enough to make islet cell transplant a viable and lasting option.

recent study seeks to overcome this obstacle by prevascularizing islet organoids before transplanting them. Rather than combining pancreatic islet cells (PI) with epithelial and endothelial cells alone, scientists paired them with microvascular fragments or MVF. The PI cells are combined with MVF, then covered in a liquid overlay, and cultivated for five days.

As a result, the islet organoids form a dense microvascular network that, when transplanted into diabetic mice, can quickly attach to existing vascular structures. Therefore, the islet organoid improves not only its vascularization but its viability and functionality as well. In mouse models, normoglycemia was restored within just seven days following transplant. Transplanting freshly isolated islets alone without MVF did not produce these same results.

This improved vascularization may help reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and hypoxic stress. High levels of hypoxic stress can reduce cell viability and function. Due to the rapid vascular connections made by prevascularizing the islet organoids, there is less cellular stress and risk of cell death.

This study marks a notable advancement in islet cell transplant potential. More research needs to be done when it comes to the viability of quickly producing uniform prevascularized islet organoids and assessing their performance in human tissue. But it is a step in the right direction toward achieving long-term normoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes without relying on insulin injections.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested in seeing how this study progresses and what it could mean for the future of islet cell transplant procedures and treating type 1 diabetes. Though not involved with this study, the DRC supports early-career scientists in pursuing novel research around type 1 diabetes by providing critical funding. To learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Is Type 1 Diabates Reversible

A Precision Medicine Initiative Has Aided a Case, Answering – Is Type 1 Diabetes Reversible?

 

*Please be advised that this is not an article stating that any type one diabetic’s diabetes can be reversed. In the case of this article, it is in reference to individuals with the STAT1 gene mutation* 

Upon receiving a type 1 diabetes diagnosis, a common question comes to mind for many patients and families: is type 1 diabetes reversible? Until now, the answer has been no. Several treatment options can be used to effectively manage the disease and keep blood sugar levels in check, but no solution that supports long-term independence from insulin.

That could be changing for some patients through a precision medicine initiative.

Typically, treatments are designed for the average patient who fits a general profile of a disease. It tends to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. But with precision medicine, treatment is tailored to specific subgroups that don’t fit the ‘average’ mold. It takes into consideration differences in genetics, environment, and lifestyle.

recent study found that there is the potential that type 1 diabetes is reversible, at least in some cases. A precision medicine initiative tailored treatment for a 17-year-old male who had both T1D and recurrent respiratory infections. Researchers found that the patient had a genetic mutation in the STAT1 gene. When STAT1 protein activity is elevated, it is known to contribute to autoimmune disorders and respiratory infections.

The patient was treated with ruxolitinib, a therapy that inhibits Jak/STAT signaling. After undergoing precision medicine treatment for a year using ruxolitinib, he no longer required daily insulin injections in order to control his blood sugar levels. His body was able to maintain normal levels on its own.

Since this is a single case and there is not yet any long-term data available regarding whether the treatment will continue to work, researchers cannot, however, definitively answer the question of “is type 1 diabetes reversible?” But at this moment, for this patient, the answer is yes.

According to Dr. Sophia Ebenezer, a lead author on the study and assistant professor of pediatric endocrinology at Baylor and Texas Children’s, “The patient no longer needs daily insulin injections and has shown full remission of other clinical signs of T1D along with marked improvements in his quality of life.”

This study opens doors to treating other patients with STAT1 gene mutations with ruxolitinib therapy in an effort to reverse type 1 diabetes. It also emphasizes the ability of precision medicine initiatives to revolutionize healthcare. No two patients are the same, and differentiation among treatment can impact outcomes for the better.

The Diabetes Research Connection, though not involved with this study, is committed to helping advance understanding and treatment of type 1 diabetes. Early-career scientists receive critical funding to support novel, peer-reviewed studies focused on the disease. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Determining the Impact of COVID-19 and Diabetes on One Another

Determining the Impact of COVID-19 and Diabetes on One Another

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, scientists from around the world have been conducting studies and analyzing data to better understand how the virus impacts humans and what may make some people more susceptible to severe infection or complications than others. While there is still a lot about the virus that scientists don’t yet understand, there have been some interesting findings from current data, including regarding diabetes and COVID-19.

In general, researchers know that individuals with comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and chronic kidney disease (CKD) tend to have higher risk of developing complications and requiring hospital or ICU admission and mechanical ventilator use. They also tend to have a greater risk of mortality.

There have been a lot of interesting findings emerging regarding race and ethnicity when it comes to COVID-19. Hispanic, Black, and American Indian populations have been disproportionately affected by the virus, but it is still unclear why these disparities exist. Furthermore, although these populations have higher rates of contracting the virus, they do not demonstrate higher risk of severe infection requiring mechanical ventilation or resulting in mortality. Obesity, diabetes, and CVD do exist within these groups, which are general comorbidities across the general population, not specific to race or ethnicity.

When it comes to diabetes, many of the studies that have been conducted so far have not demonstrated a significant difference in terms of diabetes type and outcomes. Individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes both face risk of complications and poorer outcomes. Having poor glycemic control can increase risk of mortality, and it was shown to induce hyperglycemia in both patients with and without pre-existing diabetes.

Scientists have also found many overlaps between COVID-19 and diabetes. For example, having comorbidities puts individuals at greater risk of complications, and due to the nature of diabetes, patients who are diabetic tend to struggle with obesity, CVD, CKD and hypertension, which are all risk factors for COVID-19 complications. It can be a vicious cycle. Unfortunately, there have not been many large studies regarding pediatric patients with diabetes and COVID-19, but the studies that exist show that obesity, diabetes, and congenital heart disease all put pediatric patients at greater risk.

Researchers are taking a closer look at the role of viral infection load on cell death, inflammatory cytokine production, and immune response as well, especially as it relates to diabetes. COVID-19 is believed to increase cytokine levels, which in turn can increase risk of multi-organ failure, hyperglycemia, and tissue injury. Diabetes also leads to inflammation, poor glycemic control, and multi-tissue injury. These similarities between conditions can exacerbate complications in individuals with both diabetes and COVID-19. Plus, some studies have shown that COVID-19 may actually trigger new onset type 1 diabetes as a result of damage to beta cells.

Since COVID-19 has only been around for less than a year, it is difficult for scientists to accurately predict any long-term effects. However, they believe that it could aggravate pre-existing CVD or induce new cardiac pathology that may have lasting effects. In addition, due to the overlapping pathology of COVID-19, diabetes, and pre-existing comorbidities, that may put patients with diabetes at greater risk of complications in the future, even after recovery from active infection.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is committed to supporting research not just for diabetes and COVID-19, but for type 1 diabetes in general. The organization ensures that researchers receive necessary funding to carry out their projects and make meaningful contributions to the body of work that exists around T1D. These studies can help to improve diagnosis, treatment, and management of the disease, as well as improve quality of life and reduce risk of complications. To learn more about current projects and how to help, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Reducing the Need for Systemic Immunosuppression for Islet Grafts

Reducing the Need for Systemic Immunosuppression for Islet Grafts

One of the approaches scientists have been testing for reversing or better controlling type 1 diabetes is the use of allogeneic pancreatic islet transplants. By reintroducing healthy insulin-producing islets, they aim to support the body in naturally regulating and stimulating insulin production to manage blood glucose levels.

A major challenge to this technique, however, is the immune system’s rejection of the graft following transplantation. As with organ transplants, scientists were forced to suppress the immune response in order to keep cells from attacking and destroying the islets. But immunosuppression is not a long-term solution for islet graft transplantation because the potential risks and health effects can outweigh the benefits.

In a recent study, scientists explored the possibility of controlling a localized immune response rather than a systemic one. They designed a synthetic platform that contains microgel made of biomaterials that can deliver checkpoint proteins to regulate cell death.  They used a chemeric streptavidin/programmed cell death-1 (SA-PD-L1) protein. In addition to this protein, they added a short, two-week administration of rapamycin to help the body adjust to the transplant while curbing rejection risk. This approach enabled sustained survival of allogeneic islet grafts without the need for chronic systemic immunosuppression.

These results demonstrate the potential benefits of using synthetic microgels in combination with immunomodulatory ligands and specific antibodies to manage immune response to allogeneic pancreatic islet grafts. While additional research is needed, this is a step toward improving therapeutic modalities for treating or potentially reversing type 1 diabetes.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how this study influences future work on islet transplantation as an option for managing type 1 diabetes. The DRC is committed to advancing research within the field through providing critical funding to early career scientists pursing novel research studies focused on all aspects of type 1 diabetes. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Improving Glycemic Control in Children Through Closed-Loop Systems

Improving Glycemic Control in Children Through Closed-Loop Systems

A major challenge of type 1 diabetes is maintaining glucose levels with a target range, typically between 70 and 180 mg/dL. This can be especially difficult for children who often rely on parents or other caregivers to help monitor blood sugar levels and administer the appropriate amount of insulin as necessary. However, closed-loop insulin delivery systems are changing this process for the better for many people.

This system takes advantage of the capabilities of current technology and combines devices to enhance automation of glycemic control. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and insulin pumps are two devices that many individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) use to help manage their condition. A CGM uses a sensor to track blood sugar levels and notify users of when they start to rise or fall. These alerts are sent to a smartphone or smartphone-like receiver. Insulin pumps can be set to automatically administer a certain dosage of insulin without the individual having to measure and inject it themselves.

Researchers have figured out a way to combine these systems to form a closed loop where blood sugar is continuously monitored and insulin is automatically administered in response to changes with little to no input from the individual. In a recent study involving 101 children with T1D between the ages of 6 and 13, researchers found that those who used a closed-loop system of insulin delivery remained within target glucose ranges for a higher percentage of time than those children only using a sensor-augmented insulin pump.

At the end of the 16-week study, the percentage of time in range increased from 53±17% to 67±10% for the closed-loop group, but it only increased from 51±16% to 55±13% for the sensor-augmented insulin pump (control) group. This equated to around a 2.6 hour per day difference. Maintaining stable blood glucose levels is essential for good health and reducing risk of hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Neither group reported episodes of severe hypoglycemia or DKA during the trial.

As technology advances, this empowers individuals with type 1 diabetes with more options for managing their condition. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) continues to follow improvements in the field and is interested to see how this will impact the future of closed-loop systems and their use in children and adults with T1D. The DRC is committed to supporting diabetes research and provides critical funding for early career scientists pursuing novel, peer-reviewed projects focused on T1D. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Article Exocrine Pancreas May Play Integral Role in T1D Development

Exocrine Pancreas May Play Integral Role in T1D Development

For years, the focus of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research has been on the endocrine pancreas, as that is where the islets of Langerhans reside that secrete insulin, glucagon, and other hormones. The exocrine pancreas is primarily responsible for producing digestive enzymes, bicarbonate, and water to support digestion. However, researchers believe that autoreactive T cells within the exocrine pancreas may contribute to the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells.

recent study found that preproinsulin (PPI)-reactive CD8+ T cells exist not only within the endocrine pancreas but in the exocrine pancreas as well. While researchers know that these cells exist at high levels in individuals with T1D, they have found that they are also reasonably populous in healthy individuals. It may be possible that in healthy individuals without T1D and those who are not autoantibody-positive (aab+), that these PPI-reactive CD8+ T cells remain undetectable to the immune system, thereby causing no negative response.

If the body should experience an up-regulation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class 1, this could trigger a reaction where CD8+ T cells become visible and initiate an immune response leading to the destruction of pancreatic islet cells. In turn, this could result in the development of T1D.

Researchers studied various islet areas of the human pancreas and found that donors with T1D had a greater number of PPI-reactive CD8+ T cells than nondiabetic and aab- donors, but that the cells were present in all donors. The presence becomes more abundant as T1D develops. There were also more PPI-reactive CD8+ T cells in areas close to the islets, as well as within insulin-containing islet (ICI) areas. There were fewer cells in insulin-deficient islet (IDI) areas, which indicates that insulin plays an important role in attracting PPI-specific CD8+ T cells.

According to the researchers’ findings, defective thymic selection, and the failure of systemic peripheral tolerance mechanisms may not be the primary drivers behind the development of T1D. Instead, they note that “it is likely that events leading to islet attraction of autoreactive CD8+ T cells already within the pancreas may be a crucial mechanism in T1D development.”

More research is necessary to determine why the exocrine pancreas contains so many PPI-specific CD8+ T cells and exactly how they are triggered in the development of T1D. However, this recent study sheds more light on changes within the pancreas and responses from the immune system that are involved in this disease. Scientists can continue building on these findings moving forward.

Though not involved with this study, the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) strives to continue advancing research around T1D by providing critical funding to early-career scientists. Contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations make it possible for scientists to carry out novel, peer-reviewed studies focused on improving diagnosis, treatment, and management of T1D, as well as one day finding a cure. To learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org

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Gestational Diabetes Complications

Gestational Diabetes Complications Identify Fertile Women at Risk of Permanent Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

During pregnancy, women are tested for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) to manage their overall health. Gestational diabetes complications can put both women and their babies at risk if not properly managed. While this type of diabetes typically resolves after childbirth, one study found that the condition may help identify women at risk for diabetes – either type 1 or type 2 – in the future.

study involving 435 Finnish women who had GDM were compared to a control group of healthy women who were pair-matched for age, parity, delivery date, and no previous history of diabetes. The data was collected over ten years between 1984 and 1994. Researchers found that women who developed GDM were at increased risk of developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes if their GDM required insulin treatment, and they had at least one autoantibody. The more autoantibodies they had, whether islet cell autoantibodies (ICAs), GAD antibodies (GADA), insulin autoantibodies (IAAs), or the protein tyrosine phosphatase-related protein 2 molecule (IA-2As), the more at risk for diabetes.

Out of the 435 women diagnosed with GDM, 20 developed type 1 diabetes (T1D), and 23 developed type 2 diabetes (T2D), while none of the women in the control group developed either type of diabetes. In addition, the women who developed type 1 diabetes were younger than those who developed type 2 diabetes at the time of initial blood sampling and had a shorter diabetes-free period. A follow-up survey to determine whether type 1 or type 2 diabetes occurred was completed an average of about 6 years after they had GDM.

In total, 155 women with GDM required insulin therapy to treat their condition, and that included 18 of the 20 women who later developed T1D and 18 of the 23 women who developed T2D. Interestingly, almost equal percentages of women treated with insulin and those who were not, 16.7% and 16.9% respectively, had reactivity to at least one autoantibody. Overall, the positive predictive value of autoantibodies was higher in women with GDM than in the control group, with a greater number of autoantibodies occurring in those who went on to be diagnosed with T1D or T2D.

This study shows how GDM may indicate an increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance or destruction of insulin-producing beta cells, leading to T2D and T1D. According to the researchers, “The risk of developing type 1 diabetes after GDM is increased if the woman is ≤30 years of age during pregnancy, needs insulin therapy for GDM, and tests positive for ICAs and/or GADAs.” Some discrepancy in results could be due to other gestational diabetes complications that were not included in the study. In general, if a woman fits within these criteria, it may be beneficial to continue closely monitoring her health after pregnancy to detect diabetes early on.

It is these types of studies that help improve understanding of diabetes risk and early detection. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC), though not involved in this study, supports type 1 diabetes research by providing critical funding to early-career scientists. One hundred percent of funds go directly to scientists for their projects. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Hayden

Kraemer Family Update

Remember Hayden!? His story was featured in our 2019 organizational film, “Connect for a Cure,” which debuted at our 2nd annual Del Mar Dance for Diabetes. In this impactful interview, when asked if he believes a cure will be found for him, Hayden responded, “No, probably not when I’m around.” 

Many of our supporters and community members have been asking how are Hayden and his family doing? We received an exciting update to share with everyone. Hayden is now 9 1/2 years old and in 4th grade doing distance learning. He’s doing good but missing regular in-person schooling. His diabetes is managed reasonably well, and his parents have been giving him more responsibility to take care of it. 

During National Diabetes Awareness Month, Hayden’s family, creators of I’m Greater Than, a clothing company that was launched after Hayden was diagnosed, engaged in a daily social media challenge. Hayden’s mom, Jenn, shared facts and statistics to raise awareness of this autoimmune disease. In one post, she shared, “This diagnosis changes your views, your ambitions, your path, your whole life. Our family is closer than ever, and although we will not let this diagnosis define us, we have embraced it and will fight it every day.”

This inspiring family also opened the doors to a new restaurant in Beaumont, CA, called Batter Rebellion. If you live close, stop by and try one of their “ROCKtails” or feast on one of their decadent menu items!

 

Kraemer Family

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DRC 2020 Virtual Events

DRC’s 2020 Virtual Events

It is safe to say that 2020 has been unlike any other year. That being said, DRC’s goal for this year has been to find new ways to connect with our community. DRC has had several virtual gatherings ranging from research updates to DRC’s 3rd Annual Dance for Diabetes. If you would like to view them, they will be posted below in order of the date that they took place.

Reducing Stress in Times of Uncertainty with Felise Levine Ph.D. 4/28/2020: View it Here.

Exciting Update on Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Research with Vincenzo Cirulli Ph.D. 5/19/2020: View it Here. 

Ask Me Anything: Dr. Moore and the Long Road of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Care and Discovery with Daniel Moore Ph.D. 6/23/2020: View it Here.

Beyond Stem Cells: A New Paradigm for Regenerative Medicine with Duc Dong Ph.D. 7/14/2020: View it Here.

DRC’s 3rd Annual Dance for Diabetes Virtual Party: View it Here.

Preserving Retinal Cells Survival with Anne Hanneken M.D. and Frans Vinberg Ph.D. 11/10/2020: View it Here.

 

Although this has been an interesting year, we continue to find creative ways to connect with our community. We are looking forward to 2021 and having these exciting updates and events in person!

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DRC Happy Hour with KSON

DRC Happy Hour with KSON’s John and Tammy

On Thursday, November 12th, DRC had the opportunity to have a happy hour with John and Tammy, the hosts of KSON, about type one diabetes (T1D) and DRC’s mission in honor of World Diabetes Day on Saturday, November 14th. During the happy hour, Sherry Ahern, a dedicated member of the DRC community and the mother of a T1D, Casey Davis, the Interim Executive Director of DRC, and Hannah Gebauer, the Development Assistant at DRC and a T1D, shared the importance of research towards a cure, prevention, and reducing of complications that come from this autoimmune disease.

Listen to a clip from KSON’s show the day after the happy hour took place that features some of the powerful stories that were shared that night:

 

If you would like to watch the whole happy hour, click here.

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Felise

Diabetes Awareness Month is Personal for Me

It was 1964 and I was a 15 year old  junior in High School, riding home on the subway on a beautiful November day in New York.  Looking for something to occupy my mind I began to read the subway posters.  My eyes caught one poster that read in bold red letters, “IF YOU HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS, YOU MAY HAVE DIABETES.”   I continued to read down the checklist on the poster: Excessive thirst, frequent urination, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue.  I silently checked each symptom.

That past summer, my mother had been bugging me about going to the doctor because she was concerned about my drinking too much water.  I brushed off her concerns citing the hot weather. I had excuses for my weight loss as well.  In fact, I had excuses for all of her concerns, claiming in my assertive teenage voice that,  “I was the expert on my own body.”

When I arrived home, I told my mother about the subway poster and that I thought I had diabetes.  We were at the doctor’s office the next day.  This November marks 56 years of living with T1.

“Diabetes Awareness Month is Personal for Me” was written by Felise Levine, Ph.D. She serves on Diabetes Research Connection’s Board of Directors. She is a retired licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice in La Jolla. She is a past President of Del Mar Community Connections and Past President of the San Diego Psychological Association. She has been living with type 1 diabetes for 56 years.
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Living Better San Diego

DRC’s Co-Founders Interviewed on “Living Better San Diego”

In honor of World Diabetes Day, DRC’s co-founders, David Winkler and Alberto Hayek, MD, were interviewed by Vicki Pepper of “Living Better in San Diego.” This show features Information and interviews with San Diego newsmakers, community leaders, and citizens. In this interview, David and Alberto discuss DRC’s unique approach to funding research for type one diabetes.

You can access this interview by clicking here.

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Alberto Quote

Connect For A Cure: November 2020 Newsletter

DRC has distributed over $400,000 to research projects like Dr. Hughes’s and Dr. Racine’s in 2020 alone! We have received three times the average amount of applications for funding of new projects over the past couple of months. View our “Support a Project” page to see what other research projects we are currently funding by clicking here. Take a look at our newsletter to see how great DRC’s 3rd Annual Dance for Diabetes Virtual Party was! Thank you to everyone who participated and donated to the event, DRC could not do what it does without the generous support of its donors and community.

Click this link to view our November newsletter that we mailed out previously this month about what we’ve been up to and the impact we are making together. It takes a community to connect for a cure!

 

 

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Covid/Diabetes

Understanding the Relationship between Diabetes and COVID-19

COVID-19 is a relatively new virus, and one that researchers are continuing to learn more about every day. Studies have shown that individuals with underlying health conditions are at increased risk for complications and mortality from COVID-19; this includes diabetes. Healthcare providers have also seen an increase in new-onset diabetes cases and are interested in knowing whether this is related to COVID-19. The virus binds to ACE2 receptors, which are expressed in pancreatic beta cells. This may contribute to the development of ketosis and ketoacidosis in patients with COVID-19 and alter glucose metabolism.

In an effort to gather data and investigate any potential relationship between COVID-19 and diabetes, researchers have established a global registry called the CoviDIAB Registry. This registry will collect data from patients around the world that “includes, but is not limited to, the prolonged effects after the complications of the virus and diabetes subside, whether the new-onset diabetes is a different type of diabetes, and the impact of different phenotypes present at presentation and during recovery.”

The data would then be used to guide future studies and potentially develop more effective treatment methods. There have been multiple cases where individuals have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as ketosis or diabetic ketosis. In turn, this developed into ketoacidosis and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in some patients, which can be dangerous to their health if left untreated. Both ketosis and diabetes are linked to longer hospital stays for COVID-19 patients, and ketosis has also been attributed to an increased risk of mortality.

More research is necessary to understand any possible connections between COVID-19 and diabetes, including severity of complications and diagnosis of new-onset diabetes. As more data is collected and analyzed, researchers can help guide appropriate treatment strategies in order to reduce complications and better manage patient health.

Though not involved with this study, the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) has been involved in advancing diabetes research through providing critical funding to early career scientists. Donations come from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and 100% of these funds go directly to the scientists for their projects. Check out current DRC projects and learn more about how to support these efforts by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you

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Researcher

Could Type 1 Diabetes be an Effect of COVID-19?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues on, researchers are learning more about the wide range of effects that it has on individuals. The disease presents differently in different people, ranging from those who are asymptomatic to those who end up with severe symptoms and are put on a ventilator. Some people develop a loss of taste and smell or having a lingering cough and trouble breathing, even after recovery. There is so much that is yet unknown about SARS-CoV-2, also known as COVID-19.

Another concerning discovery that researchers are investigating is whether the virus may play a role in some patients developing type 1 diabetes. A recent study found that some people who did not previously have a diabetes diagnosis are experiencing type 1 diabetes. Though more research is needed, researchers are questioning whether the virus triggers an autoimmune response that damages or destroys insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells.

There have been numerous patients who have presented with hyperglycemia, but this could also be due to the stress put on their body by the disease, as well as steroids used to promote recovery. In some patients, blood sugar issues resolved on their own, not resulting in type 1 diabetes, whereas others had a lasting effect. It is important to follow up after recovery to see if blood sugar management problems still exist and if there is the possibility that type 1 diabetes has developed.

These are still preliminary studies, so researchers cannot say for certain whether COVID-19 may cause type 1 diabetes in some people, but it is a possibility that they are continuing to investigate. Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how this study evolves moving forward and what it could mean for the type 1 diabetes community. The DRC is committed to providing critical funding to support type 1 diabetes research, though was not involved with this study. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

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New Preclinical Drug

A New Approach to Treating Diabetes and Its Effects

For decades, researchers have been studying cellular changes in the body that contribute to the development of diabetes. They have created a wide array of treatment options to help manage the effects and minimize complications. As they gain a better understanding of the causes of diabetes, they have also made advancements toward curing or preventing the disease. Each therapeutic modality works slightly differently.

A recent study has found that a new drug may hold promising results when it comes to combatting both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This drug has been 18 years in the making and still has a way to go, but it has shown great potential in current mouse models as well as isolated human islets.

The drug, SRI-37330, is administered orally and affects both insulin and glucagon production in the pancreas and liver. In individuals with type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin to effectively manage blood sugar while releasing too much glucagon which can contribute to hyperglycemia. SRI-37330 may help control hyperglycemia, hyperglucagonemia, excessive glucose production by the liver, and fatty liver, which are all significant issues when it comes to diabetes.

Lead researcher Dr. Anath Shalev and her team have spent nearly two decades studying diabetes and its potential causes. This led them to identify a key protein, TXNIP, which can have detrimental effects on islet function and survival. SRI-37330 has the ability to inhibit TXNIP signaling and expression without negatively impacting other genes or processes.

According to their research, not only did the drug help protect mouse models from developing type 1 diabetes, it controlled blood glucose levels more effectively than metformin and empagliflozin, two oral anti-diabetic drugs commonly used today. SRI-37330 helped to decrease glucagon production and release by pancreatic islets and the liver without having the countereffect of increasing hypoglycemia liability in the mice.

One result that researchers did not anticipate was the ability of SRI-37330 to “dramatically improve the severe fatty liver observed in obese diabetic db/db mice.” This opens the door for more studies to determine whether the drug could be used as a potential treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as well.

Overall, researchers concluded that SRI-37330 is “orally bioavailable, has a favorable safety profile and inhibits TXNIP expression and signally in mouse and human islets, inhibits glucagon secretion and function, lowers hepatic glucose production and hepatic steatosis, and exhibits strong anti-diabetic effects in mouse models of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.”

It is important to note that mouse models do not always translate the same in human models. A drug that is effective at treating induced diabetes in mice may not have the same efficacy in humans. More research is needed to see how SRI-37330 would work in human clinical trials and not just isolated human islets or mouse models. However, this drug is an encouraging finding in the field and one that may hold significant potential.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how this study progresses moving forward and what it could mean for the treatment and prevention of type 1 diabetes in humans. This type of work is critical in advancing understanding of the disease as well as care and treatment options. The DRC supports early-career scientists pursuing novel research related to type 1 diabetes by providing up to $50K in funding. Learn more about current projects and how to donate by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

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Metabolic Memory

Exploring the Role of Metabolic Memory in Diabetes Complications

As the immune system slowly destroys insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells, a hallmark sign of type 1 diabetes, the body has an increasingly difficult time controlling blood glucose levels. These cells are no longer available to naturally secrete insulin in response to rising blood sugar, meaning individuals must control this process manually or through the use of continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and/or insulin pumps.

Poor glycemic control can contribute to a multitude of diabetes complications and health concerns. It is critical for individuals who are newly diagnosed with the disease to learn how to manage their diabetes and keep blood glucose levels within the target range. A recent study found that incidences of poor glycemic control can have a lasting impact, potentially triggering complications later on in life, even if blood sugar is well-managed now.

This occurrence may be due to the body’s metabolic memory. When hyperglycemia occurs, it may lead to DNA methylation or changes in gene expression. These epigenetic changes may be ongoing, lasting for years to come, even though they do not actually alter the person’s genetic code. Researchers at the Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope analyzed blood samples from more than 500 participants in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) clinical trial involving patients with type 1 diabetes.

They used the samples to profile DNA methylation, then compared that to the participants’ glycemic history and any complications that had developed over the past 18 years. Their findings showed that “prior history of hyperglycemia may induce persistent DNA methylation changes in blood and stem cells at key loci, which are epigenetically retained in certain cells to facilitate metabolic memory, likely through modifying enhancer activity at nearby genes.”

By matching these key factors, researchers may be able to uncover biomarkers that could help predict the risk of complications in the future. Recognizing signs early on could help initiate interventions to reduce complications or prevent the progression of these issues. There is still a lot that researchers do not yet understand about metabolic memory, but this is a start. While the research team at City of Hope is currently looking at DNA methylation and metabolic memory as it relates to retinopathy and nephropathy complications, they would like to expand this to include other regions where complications can occur through whole-genome bisulfite sequencing.

In the past, it was more difficult for individuals with type 1 diabetes to maintain glycemic control following diagnosis due to inferior technology, but over the years, technology has greatly improved. This has allowed individuals to minimize complications by using devices that have empowered them to improve their care and better manage their blood glucose levels. These advancements have also helped people with more recent diagnoses achieve better glycemic control earlier on, which may impact metabolic memory and the risk of future complications.

The Diabetes Research Connection is interested to see how this study advances understanding of metabolic memory and the role of DNA methylation in diabetes management. Developing complications is an ongoing concern for individuals living with T1D. The DRC is committed to providing funding for early-career scientists pursuing novel research studies focused on prevention, treatment, and a cure for the disease, as well as improving quality of life and minimizing complications. Check out current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you

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Genetics in T1D

Digging Deeper into the Role of Genetics in Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a complex disease. While researchers know what it does to the body, they are still unclear on exactly why this happen and what triggers this response. Advances in genetic testing have led scientists to identify more than 50 genome regions that may be associated with type 1 diabetes. It is clear that there is not a single gene responsible for this disease, but rather many that all play a part.

In addition, researchers have determined that genetics are not the sole determinant of whether an individual develops type 1 diabetes (T1D); environmental factors are also responsible. This makes it even more challenging to pinpoint what causes T1D and who is most at risk. However, the more scientists understand about both the genetic and environmental causes, the closer they can get to potentially preventing the disease. This is critical because there has been a nearly 30% increase in Americans diagnosed with T1D since 2017 according to the CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report.

Type 1 diabetes can run in families, and having a first-degree family member with the disease can put individuals at greater risk. Researchers have identified two genes in particular that are of interest – HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 – which are both located on the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex on chromosome 6p21. Individuals who have both of these genes account for about 40% of T1D cases, but just because someone has both genes does not necessarily mean they will develop T1D. Likewise, there are many people who do not have these two genes who go on to be diagnosed with the disease. In twin studies, if one twin had T1D, only about 50% of co-twins developed it as well, demonstrating that it is not solely genetic (nor solely environmental).

Another interesting finding was that children were at greater risk of islet autoimmunity if their father or a sibling had T1D, as opposed to if their mother had it. Furthermore, the study showed that “children with a second-degree relative with type 2 diabetes showed significantly delayed progression from islet autoimmunity to clinical type 1 diabetes vs. children without such relatives.” This data was collected through The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study, which includes children from the United States, Finland, Germany, and Sweden.

These types of studies have made researchers re-evaluate the potential risk factors for the disease and how to effectively predict susceptibility. They have been trying to fine-tune an approved genetic risk score assessment to include more recent data regarding islet autoantibodies, age, and metabolic factors used to track disease progression. Calculating a genetic risk score that encompasses many different pieces of information and parameters may help researchers improve predictive modeling. In turn, this may help with prevention efforts.

There are a lot of different factors that may contribute to the development of T1D, and all of this has helped researchers generate more focused studies to support prevention. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) has raised funds for numerous early-career scientists pursuing research in this area, but more funding and research are needed to keep moving forward. As new cases of type 1 diabetes continue to rise, there has been a greater push for prediction and prevention efforts. Learn more about current DRC projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you

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Gut Microbiome

Examining Gut Microbiome Differences

The composition of gut bacteria – both good and bad – differs in everyone. Each person has their own makeup dependent upon diet, environment, geographical location, and other factors. In an effort to better understand potential risk factors for type 1 diabetes, researchers are taking a closer look at the role gut microbiomes may play.

The way that the body responds to various bacteria may influence autoimmune responses such as the one that triggers the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells and leads to the development of type 1 diabetes (T1D). According to researchers, “gut microbiota functions like an endocrine organ.” This organ-like structure is one that scientists still have a lot to learn about.

A recent study compared the gut microbiomes of 31 children who had recently been diagnosed with T1D and 25 healthy controls without the disease. None of the participants had gastrointestinal issues or had taken probiotics or antibiotics within one month prior to the study. A brief medical history was taken in addition to measuring C peptide levels. The control group provided fecal samples as well.

Data were analyzed using the MicrobiomeAnalyst tool in combination with two machine learning algorithms. The results showed that the children who had been recently diagnosed with T1D had “significantly higher relative abundance” of seven key taxa compared to the healthy children. In addition, the relative abundance of 5 other taxa was notably lower than in the control group. There was also a negative correlation between multiple taxa and the presence of anti-insulin autoantibodies.

Overall, the researchers determined that “our data showed that controls had higher alpha diversity than children with T1D.” However, it is important to note that they also concluded that “it is currently not possible to clearly state if gut microbiota diversity represents a cause or a consequence of autoimmunity in patients with T1D.” More research is necessary to determine if controlling or altering gut microbiota may be an effective method of preventing or treating T1D.

Studies like these are essential for building a stronger understanding of how T1D may develop, as well as how it impacts the body. Prevention is an area of interest that continues to grow and where more funding is needed. Though not involved with this study, the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) provides critical funding to a wide range of projects led by early-career scientists, including those focused on prevention. It will continue to allocate donations to this area as well as others related to the treatment, management, and cure of type 1 diabetes. Learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you

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Nanoparticles

Leveraging Nanoparticles in Diagnosing and Treating Type 1 Diabetes

Leveraging Nanoparticles in Diagnosing and Treating Type 1 Diabetes

Medical technology has seen significant advancements over the years helping to improve healthcare in many ways. An area of recent focus has been nanotechnology. Researchers have been exploring opportunities to use nanomedicine to expand upon current diagnosis and treatment options for type 1 diabetes, which affects millions of people around the world.

For instance, scientists know that a key marker for type 1 diabetes (T1D) is the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells. But oftentimes these cellular changes are not noticed until they become severe enough that symptoms of high blood sugar are apparent. Being able to identify biomarkers earlier can improve the diagnosis of the disease and allow patients to receive treatment sooner.

A recent study examines the use of nanoparticles to support the diagnosis of T1D as well as treatment options. Pairing the nanoparticle ferumoxytol with current magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology may enable healthcare providers to better visualize where there is inflammation within pancreatic islets. These nanoparticles readily accumulate in inflamed islets but then are safely metabolized by the body without any harmful side effects. Inflammation is an early sign of the development of T1D.

In addition, nanoparticles can also be loaded up with various substances such as peptides and injected to specific locations to target key processes like the downregulation of immune cells. This may help slow or prevent the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells. Or, nanotechnology could be used to encapsulate cells or molecules with bioparticles to ward off immune system attacks.

While more research is necessary, there is a great deal of opportunity that may exist for using nanotechnology and nanoparticles in healthcare. It could one day open new doors for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as type 1 diabetes or improve existing therapies.

Funding research around T1D is vital. Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is committed to providing early-career scientists with funding to support novel research studies focused on prevention and management of the disease as well as improving quality of life and reducing complications of T1D. Learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Beta Cells

Enhancing Protection of Insulin-Producing Beta-Cells

Enhancing Protection of Insulin-Producing Beta-Cells

Insulin-producing beta-cells play a critical role in managing blood sugar by automatically releasing insulin in response to increased blood glucose levels. In individuals with type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys these cells, leaving blood sugar unchecked. Since the body no longer produces insulin on its own, individuals must regulate this process, often with the help of continuous glucose monitors, insulin pumps, and other devices.

For years, researchers have been trying to better understand why the immune system attacks these beta-cells and how they can prevent this process from occurring. A recent study found that the enzyme renalase may play a role. Stress is a key factor in cell destruction, and by inhibiting renalase, cells have greater protection against the effects of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. This inhibiting may help enhance the survival of transplanted pancreatic beta-cells in the treatment of type 1 diabetes, and it may have the ability to help slow progression of the disease at its onset.

Researchers tested these processes on non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse models as well as human cells. In the mice, the beta-cells that had the functionality of renalase disabled survived better against immune system attacks than fully functional beta-cells. In addition, certain T-cells were less likely to attack the pancreatic beta-cells without renalase function. The same results held true for human cells; they were better protected against ER stress.

Furthermore, the researchers found that there was already an FDA-approved drug that targets an enzyme similar to renalase and is used to treat hypertension called pargyline. They tested pargyline in a small clinical trial to evaluate its effects on pancreatic beta-cells and whether or not it could protect them against ER stress. Their results showed that it had a protective effect on both mouse models and human cells. The next step is to test the drug in human clinical trials.

More research and testing are needed to determine whether this drug could be used to protect against or slow the progression of type 1 diabetes or be used as the starting block for developing a new drug that specifically targets renalase. However, this is a step in the right direction toward improving prevention methods for type 1 diabetes.

Many studies are focused on treatment or potential cures for type 1 diabetes, but more funding is necessary for prevention efforts like the one above. The Diabetes Research Connection, though not involved with this study, supports research across all aspects of type 1 diabetes, including prevention. There are several current projects led by early-career scientists focused on disrupting the onset of T1Dblocking processes that contribute to the development of the disease, and preserving insulin secretion, which can potentially impact prevention efforts if fully funded. Learn more about these projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Dr. Quandt

Detecting Diabetic Retinopathy Using Artificial Intelligence

Detecting Diabetic Retinopathy Using Artificial Intelligence

Managing blood sugar is not the only challenge that individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) face. There can be numerous complications that arise from the disease including conditions such as nerve damage, kidney damage, and eye damage. Diabetic retinopathy – or damage to the retinas – is caused by high blood sugar levels, which can weaken blood vessels and cause them to leak or bleed. If left untreated, it can lead to sight loss or even blindness.

To help prevent vision problems, individuals with T1D are encouraged to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam every year to check for issues. One of the challenges that healthcare systems experience is keeping up with evaluating each scan because it comes with a heavy human workload. However, a recent study in the United Kingdom may have found a way to significantly speed up the process without sacrificing the quality of results.

Researchers explored the possibility of using artificial intelligence (AI) to screen images for signs of damage. The screening technology, called EyeArt, was used to assess 120,000 images collected from 30,000 patient scans as part of the Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (DESP). According to the study, “The results showed that the technology has 95.7% accuracy for detecting damage that would require referral to specialist services, but 100% accuracy for moderate to severe retinopathy or serious disease that could lead to vision loss.”

Projections estimate that using AI screening technology could save the National Health Service (NHS) more than £10 million every year on more than 2.2 million screening episodes. It would greatly decrease the demand for human grading of scans and save time. This technology has the ability to be used outside of England as well, resulting in even more cost savings and the opportunity to reduce resource demands while also helping to protect the vision of millions of individuals with T1D. Diabetic retinopathy is treatable if caught early.

The current coronavirus pandemic has caused a backlog in cases, but AI has the potential to help healthcare providers catch up and continue providing quality care to reduce vision loss from diabetes. The technology was independently tested using more than 120,000 real-world patient images, helping to validate its effectiveness and benefits.

Individuals with T1D must be vigilant about their health and undergoing regular screenings to check for potential complications or issues. The use of artificial intelligence is one more way to enhance the quality and efficiency of testing and promote better health. Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how this study evolves, and if more countries will follow suit when it comes to using AI to grade diabetic eye screening images.

It is these types of advancements that help grow our understanding of type 1 diabetes and improve how this condition is treated and managed. The DRC supports these efforts by providing critical funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel research studies focused on T1D. One hundred percent of donations go to the scientists. To learn more about current projects and how to help, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

Please DONATE NOW so DRC can keep bringing you credible, peer-reviewed T1D news and research.

Thank you

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Detecting Diabetic Retinopathy Using AI

Enhancing Quality of Life and Time-in-Range Through Automated Insulin Delivery Systems

Automated Insulin Delivery Systems

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a condition that must be managed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Even with careful management, it can be difficult for patients to stay in range, especially overnight. Many individuals with T1D are awoken during the night by alarms from continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) or other devices because their blood sugar is rising (or dropping) to unsafe levels. That means they must wake up and be alert enough to administer the correct amount of insulin without overtreating.

However, several recent studies have found that the use of automated insulin delivery systems such as hybrid closed-loop systems may help patients better manage their blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. There are several companies testing out these types of systems, including Medtronic and Insulet.

With a hybrid closed-loop system, individuals spend less time manually controlling their diabetes management. A sensor tracks their blood glucose levels (or the sensor glucose levels), and then an insulin pump responds and doses an appropriate amount of insulin as needed. This takes a lot of the stress and burden off of individuals, especially overnight.

Studies have shown that these automated systems have also helped individuals increase their time spent in range. A trial involving 157 participants with T1D between the ages of 14 and 75 showed that overall average time-in-range increased from 54% to 73% when using Medtronic’s MiniMed advanced hybrid closed loop (AHCL) system. For even better control, the system has auto basal and auto bolus correction capabilities.

Another Medtronic study comparing 670G and AHCL use in 111 participants between the ages of 14 and 29 showed an increase in time-in-range from 12% to 22% for the 670G and to 32% for the AHCL system. Other automated insulin delivery systems showed similar results.

These findings are encouraging for youth and young adults who often have a harder time maintaining glycemic control. They are able to sleep better at night knowing their blood sugar is being automatically monitored and managed and not having alarms waking them up as often. Even during the day, they can focus more on other activities and less on constantly monitoring their diabetes. The longer individuals wear AHCL devices, they are often able to stay in auto-mode for longer periods of time and require less manual correction.

Technology has come a long way in supporting T1D management, and the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to see how much further it goes. As scientists learn more about the disease and are able to fine-tune sensors and algorithms for tracking and managing blood sugar levels and insulin administration, it can lead to a higher quality of life and improved health for individuals living with type 1 diabetes.

The DRC supports early-career scientists in pursuing novel research studies related to T1D by providing critical funding. This helps to keep science moving forward and one day find a cure. To learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Managing type 1 diabetes

Speeding Up Insulin Activation for Managing Type 1 Diabetes

Speeding Up Insulin Activation for Managing Type 1 Diabetes

Individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) rely on daily insulin injections to effectively manage blood sugar levels and maintain glycemic control. Because blood sugar rises when eating, fast-acting (or rapid-acting) insulin is typically administered just before mealtimes to help curb this spike and begin lowering blood sugar more quickly.

Fast-acting insulin generally begins working within about 15 minutes, peaks within about 90 minutes, and lasts about four hours total. Of course, each person responds differently, and the effects can vary based on numerous factors including the amount of carbohydrates eaten, blood glucose level before eating, injection site, activity, and more.

Researchers have been searching for a way to expedite this process by activating insulin more quickly. Traditional insulin contains a combination of monomers, dimers, and hexamers, with monomers acting the fastest and hexamers taking the longest to break down. A recent study found that using monomeric insulin alone can start decreasing blood glucose levels almost immediately.

The biggest challenge is that these monomers are very unstable and are attracted to the top of the liquid in the vial. Once they hit the air, they aggregate within two hours and become inactive. By using a special polymer blend, scientists were able to create a barrier at the liquid’s surface and keep the monomeric insulin more stable, lasting for more than 24 hours under stress. Commercial insulin only remains stable for about 10 hours. With the addition of the polymer, even commercial insulin increased its duration of stability for up to a month.

The effectiveness of this ultrafast insulin was tested on diabetic pigs, and results showed that the “insulin reached 90 percent of its peak activity within five minutes after the insulin injection. For comparison, the commercial fast-acting insulin began showing significant activity only after 10 minutes. Furthermore, the monomeric insulin activity peaked at about 10 minutes while the commercial insulin required 25 minutes.”

Researchers are planning to apply for approval to test this ultrafast monomeric insulin in human clinical trials, but no trials are planned as of yet. The speed at which this insulin formulation activates as well as the increased stability could improve blood sugar management options for individuals with type 1 diabetes. In addition, this type of insulin could be beneficial in advancing artificial pancreas devices.

Although more testing is needed, this ultrafast insulin could be a game-changer for some individuals with type 1 diabetes if it performs safely and effectively in human trials. Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to see how these findings continue to unfold and what it could mean for the future of diabetes management.

Though not involved with this study, the DRC plays an active role in supporting research around T1D by providing up to $50K in funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel, peer-reviewed research. To learn more about current projects and how to help, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Pancreatic samples

Extending the Viability of Pancreatic Samples for Diabetes Research

Extending the Viability of Pancreatic Samples for Diabetes Research

When conducting research, scientists often try to use living samples so they can better see how various functions play out or how treatments impact cells. However, it can be difficult to keep organ and tissue samples alive for multiple days and reduce deterioration.  This can limit research opportunities and real-time results.

In a recent study, researchers reveal that they have found a way to prolong the life of pancreatic samples from donors allowing them to more effectively observe how beta cells regenerate in real-time. By using a special device that increases oxygenation to the tissue slice, they were able to keep the pancreatic sample alive for nearly two weeks in culture.

With this extended viability, they were able to more closely see not only how beta cells regenerated, but also how they responded when treated with BMP-7, a natural growth factor that may help stimulate the production of insulin-producing beta cells. This could eventually impact scientists’ understanding of type 1 diabetes and options for treating or managing the disease.

Though not involved with this study, the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is also committed to enhancing research around type 1 diabetes, including improving prevention and treatment, minimizing complications, and one day finding a cure. The organization is excited to see how the extended preservation of tissue samples may advance research capabilities. To learn more about how the DRC supports early-career scientists and to review current projects, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Glycemic control in young people

Concerns About Glycemic Control Among Youth and Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

Glycemic Control Among Youth with Type 1 Diabetes

Scientists have come a long way in their understanding of type 1 diabetes and in not only treatments used to manage the disease, but also technology. From continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps to smart apps, there is a lot of diabetic technology that exists to support patients. But that does not mean that all patients are taking advantage of it or necessarily have access.

In a recent study by SEARCH, individuals with type 1 diabetes between the ages of 10 and 24 showed poorer levels of glycemic control between 2014 and 2019 than the study cohort from 2002 to 2007, despite improvements in treatment and management options. The SEARCH study encompasses more than 20,000 participants from sites in California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington.

This particular study evaluated data from 6,492 participants and divided them into cohorts from 2002 to 2007, 2008 to 2013, and 2014 to 2019. Information was also categorized based on the duration of diabetes and whether the participant had type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, with the majority of participants having type 1. Researchers then analyzed HbA1c levels over time, adjusting data for “site, age, sex, race, health insurance status and disease duration, both overall and for each duration group.”

Although average HbA1c levels remained consistent across cohorts (8.7% for 2014-2019, 8.9% for 2008-2013, and 8.6% for 2002-2007), when broken down by individual age ranges, those between the ages of 10 and 24 had poorer glycemic control in 2014-2019 than in 2002-2007.

These findings highlight the need for improved access to and use of diabetic technology as well as other interventions to support youth and young adults in enhancing glycemic control. Maintaining tight glycemic control and staying within target ranges can help reduce potential complications from the disease and promote better health.

Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is committed to advancing research related to T1D and improving prevention, treatment, and management efforts as well as one day finding a cure. Early-career scientists can receive up to $50K in funding to support their peer-reviewed, novel research studies. Learn more about current projects and how to donate by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Islet grafts

Reducing the Need for Systemic Immunosuppression for Islet Grafts

Immunosuppression for Islet Grafts

One of the approaches scientists have been testing for reversing or better controlling type 1 diabetes is the use of allogeneic pancreatic islet transplants. By reintroducing healthy insulin-producing islets, they aim to support the body in naturally regulating and stimulating insulin production to manage blood glucose levels.

A major challenge to this technique, however, is the immune system’s rejection of the graft following transplantation. As with organ transplants, scientists were forced to suppress the immune response in order to keep cells from attacking and destroying the islets. But immunosuppression is not a long-term solution for islet graft transplantation because the potential risks and health effects can outweigh the benefits.

In a recent study, scientists explored the possibility of controlling a localized immune response rather than a systemic one. They designed a synthetic platform that contains microgel made of biomaterials that can deliver checkpoint proteins to regulate cell death.  They used a chemeric streptavidin/programmed cell death-1 (SA-PD-L1) protein. In addition to this protein, they added a short, two-week administration of rapamycin to help the body adjust to the transplant while curbing rejection risk. This approach enabled the sustained survival of allogeneic islet grafts without the need for chronic systemic immunosuppression.

These results demonstrate the potential benefits of using synthetic microgels in combination with immunomodulatory ligands and specific antibodies to manage the immune response to allogeneic pancreatic islet grafts. While additional research is needed, this is a step toward improving therapeutic modalities for treating or potentially reversing type 1 diabetes.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how this study influences future work on islet transplantation as an option for managing type 1 diabetes. The DRC is committed to advancing research within the field by providing critical funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel research studies focused on all aspects of type 1 diabetes. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Diabetic Patients

Reducing COVID-19 Deaths and Other Complications for Patients Hospitalized with Diabetes

CGM Use In Hospitals

Covid-19 patients who have diabetes experience a higher mortality rate than the general population. A new protocol incorporates the use of continuous glucose monitors (CGM) to track and manage hospital patients’ blood glucose (BG) levels before problems arise. Monitoring and treating glucose levels is critical for patients with diabetes.

 

A clinical study conducted by Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute (SWDI),  Glucose as the Fifth Vital Sign:  A Randomized Controlled Trial of Continuous Glucose Monitoring in a Non-ICU Setting, was led by the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute’s (SWDI) Addie Fortmann, Ph.D. with support from the Diabetes Research Connection (DRC).  The use of CGM in hospitals has the potential to enhance care, reduce the length of stays, and yield improved outcomes, as well as greater patient satisfaction. “The current pandemic environment has greatly accelerated the need to find safe and effective ways to monitor the blood sugar of hospitalized patients without interfering with the necessary and often intensive interventions to treat COVID-19,” said Addie Fortmann, Ph.D., director of the diabetes service line at Scripps and the lead author of the paper. “Our study clearly demonstrates the value of CGM in community hospitals, and it offers a model for other health systems that are looking to use this technology in similar ways.”

 

“DRC’s funding helped to enable Scripps to evaluate effects of CGM in a hospital in a study setting and use the experience to expedite deployment of this important glucose monitoring system when the FDA provided emergency use authorization (EUA) in March of this year,” according to Dr. Alberto Hayek, Scientific Advisor at SWDI, endocrinologist, former T1D researcher at SWDI and UCSD, and President and co-founder of DRC. When individuals are hospitalized, diabetes management is more difficult. Not only are patients dealing with the condition which brought them to the hospital, their blood sugar levels must be continuously monitored, which is very difficult if the patient is on a ventilator or is unconscious.

 

The U.K. National Health Service (NHS) recently published research concluded hospitalized individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are significantly more likely to die from COVID-19 than those with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Preliminary findings, recently published in Diabetes Care, determined a third of people with T1D and COVID-19 in the U.S. experienced diabetic ketoacidosis, from elevated BG, and half experienced hypoglycemia (low BG). Both of these serious conditions can lead to death. Individuals with T1D typically do not produce insulin which presents serious challenges to managing inpatient BG.

 

“Tracking vital signs is routine in many hospitalized patients,” said Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D., corporate vice president of Scripps Whittier and the senior author of the report. “This study demonstrates that blood sugar should be considered the fifth vital sign for hospitalized diabetes patients, joining temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure, as a potentially crucial metric for delivering the highest quality care.”

A CGM uses a small sensor that is inserted under the skin. It sends a glucose reading via Bluetooth every five minutes to hospital staff so that they can track glucose levels and receive alerts when levels start to rise or fall out of the target range.

 

David Winkler, co-founder of DRC, Chair of the Board, has been living with this autoimmune disease for more than 60 years. He has experienced several challenging hospital stays himself and said, “I strongly endorse Scripps’ exciting new CGM protocol to lessen the serious concerns T1Ds experience in the hospital environment. I applaud Scripps for this material paradigm shift.”

 

The DRC is excited to see how this clinical research will influence hospital protocols nationally to provide enhanced care for patients with diabetes by better managing their blood glucose levels during a hospital stay.

 

Dr. Hayek added, “Our non-profit funds novel T1D research nationally. DRC’s 80 member Scientific Review Committee peer-reviews all grants, including this breakthrough clinical trial.”

 

To learn more about the T1D research projects supported by DRC and how this charity provides hope for treatment and cure of this disease, please visit https://DiabetesResearchConnection.org.

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Beta cell function

Advances in Maintaining Beta-Cell Function in Relation to Type 1 Diabetes

Maintaining Beta-Cell Function with T1D

In healthy individuals, pancreatic beta cells respond to glucose levels in the blood and automatically increase or decrease the production and release of insulin. This occurs without individuals ever knowing it happened. But in those with type 1 diabetes (T1D), the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells leaving the body unable to naturally regulate blood sugar levels. Instead, individuals must do this on their own by continually monitoring their blood sugar and administering the appropriate amount of insulin via injection or an insulin pump.

However, in the early stages of type 1 diabetes, the pancreas continues to produce insulin, just not enough to keep blood sugar entirely under control. Eventually, this function ceases and individuals become insulin-dependent. Researchers have been investigating potential treatment options to preserve beta-cell function and slow the progression of type 1 diabetes.

A recent study found that the drug golimumab has shown positive results when used to treat individuals newly diagnosed with T1D. When administered every two weeks, this anti-tumor-necrosis-factor (TNF) therapy helped preserve beta-cell function and reduced the amount of additional insulin required by patients.

After 52 weeks of treatment, “41.1% of participants receiving golimumab had an increase or less than 5% decrease in C-peptide compared to only 10.7% in the placebo group.” C-peptide only measures the amount of insulin produced naturally by the pancreas, not injected insulin. Participants receiving the drug were able to maintain better blood sugar control with less insulin and also experienced a decrease in incidences of hypoglycemia where blood sugar was less than 54 mg/dL.

Another treatment that has shown potential is the combination of anti-interleukin (IL)-21 and liraglutide. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: anti-IL-21, liraglutide, anti-IL-21 and liraglutide, or a placebo. Anti-IL-21 targets IL-21-mediated inflammation while liraglutide may reduce cell stress and apoptotic cell death. Treatment was administered every six weeks for 54 weeks.

At the end of the trial, those participants who received the combination treatment showed statistically better beta-cell function than those receiving only liraglutide or the placebo. Beta-cell function was nonsignificant when compared to those receiving only anti-IL-21. In addition, results showed that “combination therapy resulted in the lowest on-treatment glucose levels, although this was not statistically significant, and a significant 32% reduction in insulin dose relative to placebo.”

A third treatment of note was the use of ladarixin, a CXCR1/2 inhibitor that blocks IL-8. Although this therapy did not slow beta-cell function decline during the three-month trial period, it did achieve a statistically significant decline after six months. However, these effects had disappeared again by 12 months. But individuals taking ladarixin did experience better HbA1c levels than those in the placebo group. More research is needed on potential uses and effectiveness of ladarixin.

In addition, researchers also conducted a study involving individuals who were not yet diagnosed with T1D, but who were at high risk due to family history and the presence of at least two autoantibodies. They wanted to see if they could preserve beta-cell function and delay onset of T1D through the use of an Fc receptor-nonbinding anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody called teplizumab.

In this trial, 44 participants received teplizumab, and 32 received a placebo. Treatment was administered for 14 days. The results showed that “the medium time to the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes was 48.4 months in the teplizumab group and 24.4 months in the placebo group.” Overall, T1D was eventually diagnosed in 43% of the teplizumab group and 72% of the placebo group, demonstrating that the treatment may have helped slow the progression of the disease and preserve beta-cell function in individuals at high risk of developing T1D.

All of these therapies are continuing to undergo research to determine their effectiveness and potential use in delaying or preventing the onset of T1D. Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is dedicated to ensuring that this type of work continues and provides critical funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel, peer-reviewed studies related to type 1 diabetes. Dr. Kevan Herold, a Yale researcher and member of the DRC’s scientific review committee (SRC), was involved in the study regarding teplizumab. Learn more about how the DRC supports scientists and current research projects by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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CGM's

Evaluating the Benefits of Continuous Glucose Monitor Use

Benefits of CGM Use

Individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) have multiple options for managing their blood sugar, ranging from traditional finger sticks and insulin injections to continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and insulin pumps. Scientists are also continuing to work on more advanced technology including artificial pancreas systems.

CGMs are a popular device for individuals with T1D because they automatically measure and track blood glucose levels and send alerts when they begin to rise or fall too far. They tend to be worn most often by young children and adults ages 26 to 50. However, there are barriers to access for these devices including eligibility requirements and insurance coverage. Furthermore, not all primary care providers are well-versed in how to effectively manage care using these systems.

But recent studies show that CGMs may be especially beneficial for the groups that tend to wear them the least – teens and young adults, and older adults. When these devices are consistently used, they can help to improve glycemic control and reduce instances of hypoglycemia. These factors are essential for continued well-being.

One study followed a group of 153 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 for 26 weeks, then followed up at one year. All of the participants had HbA1c levels of at least 7.5% but not more than 11.0%. The control group contained 79 individuals who did not wear a CGM and conducted finger sticks four times per day to measure their blood glucose levels. The test group contained 74 individuals who wore a CGM and conducted finger sticks twice per day.

At the end of 26 weeks, HbA1c levels for the CGM group dropped from 8.9% to 8.5%, while levels for the control group remained steady at 8.9% throughout. In addition, the CGM group’s time in target glucose range increased from 9 hours per day to 10.3 hours per day, whereas the control group actually dropped from 8.7 hours per day to 8.3 hours per day. However, over time, the CGM group wore their devices less frequently, going from 82% to 68% of participants wearing the device at least five days per week.

At the end of one year, the results remained relatively consistent. Within the CGM group, HbAc1 levels improved slightly from 8.5% to 8.3%, while time in target range decreased slightly from 43% to 41%. There was a noticeable difference when it came to low blood sugar, with the average time spent below 70 mg/dL improving from 49 minutes per day to just 16 minutes per day.

On the other end of the spectrum, adults ages 60 and older also saw positive results when it came to CGM use. This study involved 203 adults split into the same type of test and control groups as the adolescents/young adults. The older adults in the CGM group were more consistent with their device use with 81% wearing it continuously and 89% wearing it at least five days per week.

The focus of this study was on hypoglycemia and time spent with a glucose level below 70 mg/dL. After 26 weeks, the CGM group went from 73 minutes per day to just 39 minutes per day, while the control group saw very minimal change. These rates stayed approximately the same at the one-year mark. In addition, the CGM group spent an average of 2.1 hours per day more in the target blood glucose range than the control group at 26 weeks.

The findings from both studies are encouraging when it comes to helping individuals with T1D to better manage their blood sugar and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia. It is important to educate patients on the benefits of using a CGM while also working to reduce barriers and improve access to this technology.

Though not involved in these studies, the Diabetes Research Connection supports early-career scientists in conducting research related to preventing and curing type 1 diabetes, minimizing complications, and improving quality of life for those living with the disease. From an increasing understanding of how and why the disease develops to improving treatment and management options, scientists are working hard every day. Learn more about current projects funded by the DRC and how to support these efforts by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Researcher looking at a new T1D drug

New Drug May Delay Onset of Type 1 Diabetes

In many patients, there is a slight delay between the time when type 1 diabetes (T1D) is first diagnosed, and when they become dependent on insulin. This is known as the “honeymoon phase” and often lasts for a few months or up to a year. During this time, insulin-producing beta cells continue to function relatively normally and are supported by a small amount of insulin. Over time, these cells stop functioning and patients become insulin-dependent.

A recent study reveals that scientists have developed a breakthrough drug that may delay the onset of clinical T1D by up to three years. The drug, teplizumab, was used to treat patients who were identified at high risk of developing T1D due to the presence of at least two autoantibodies. The drug was administered for two weeks, and following this treatment, insulin secretion rates and C-peptide levels remained higher than for those participants who received a placebo.

During the preliminary trial, patients who took teplizumab showed a delayed onset of T1D of two years, but during the latest phase 2 drug trial, this was extended to three years. Participants who took a placebo continued to experience decreased insulin and C-peptide production as the disease progressed. As a result of these findings, the drug was awarded Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and PRIority MEdicines (PRIME) Designation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2019.

More than 18 million people around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, and this drug has the potential to make a positive difference in the lives of millions more who are at-risk for the disease. Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is excited to see how clinical trials continue to progress for teplizumab and whether it eventually becomes an approved prevention therapy for type 1 diabetes.

The DRC is committed to growing understanding and improving treatment and prevention of type 1 diabetes through providing critical funding for early-career scientists so they can advance and execute their research. Learn more about current projects and how to help by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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COVID-19

Managing Type 1 Diabetes and COVID-19

Type 1 Diabetes and COVID-19

As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread across the United States and the globe, scientists are especially interested in how it affects specific populations, such as those with type 1 diabetes (T1D). T1D is considered an underlying health condition and already puts individuals at greater risk when it comes to illness and potential complications.

One positive sign is that preliminary data from a recent study shows that many patients with T1D who also test positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19-like symptoms are able to effectively manage their recovery at home. Less than 25% of patients were serious enough to require hospital admission. In addition, there were only two reported fatalities, and those individuals had existing comorbidities.

According to the preliminary data, it appears as though patients who have higher A1c levels and poorer glycemic management tend to be more negatively impacted by the disease. In addition, higher body mass index may also be a risk factor. When it comes to age, about 65% of cases were in individuals aged 18 or younger (though many had COVID-19-like symptoms, not confirmed diagnoses), and the average age of all 64 participants was 20.9 years. This is not an issue that is only facing older adults.

According to the study, “Overall, 34.9% of patients were able to manage COVID-19 entirely at home, with 27.3% of the confirmed and 43.3% of the suspected cases able to do so. At the other extreme, 22.2% of patients overall were admitted to the intensive care unit; 30.3% of the confirmed versus 13.3% of suspected cases.” Other patients were seen at an urgent care or hospital but not admitted.

Of those who managed their recovery at home, many received support virtually through telemedicine where they able to consult with endocrinologists and infectious disease specialists. There were also many who did not need to seek care and had their symptoms improve.

Since the initial study was conducted, more patient data has been submitted, and there are now 220 patients as opposed to 64. This data is still being analyzed and reviewed, but at first glance, researchers have found that results continue to be similar to the original group. Researchers are looking at A1c levels, glycemic management, comorbidities, mortality, telemedicine access and use, and more to better understand how COVID-19 is impacting individuals with T1D. They are also digging deeper into risk factors. A new paper reflecting this latest data is in the works.

There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to COVID-19, but researchers are striving to understand how it may affect more vulnerable populations such as those with type 1 diabetes. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) continues to follow these studies and trends to stay up-to-date on the latest information. In addition, the DRC provides critical funding for early career scientists to conduct their own novel, peer-reviewed studies around T1D, whether related to COVID-19 or any other facet of the disease. To learn more and support current projects, visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Costs of Diabetes

Exploring the High Costs of Diabetes Management

High Costs of Diabetes

Discussions around type 1 diabetes care and affordability often focus on the cost of insulin. While insulin prices can be extremely high and add up quickly depending on how much is needed to effectively control blood sugar levels and what is covered by insurance, this is not the only diabetes-related expense that individuals incur.

Insulin is only one part of managing diabetes. Patients also must pay for the supplies necessary to test and monitor their blood glucose levels and to administer insulin. Many people use continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps to assist, and even if they don’t, they need syringes and other testing supplies.

A national study of 65,199 patients between the ages of 1 and 64 who had private, employer-sponsored insurance coverage found that the average out-of-pocket cost for managing diabetes was $2,500 a year. But only 18% of that cost was insulin. The rest was other supplies like those aforementioned. Furthermore, families with children who had type 1 diabetes were more likely to use CGMs and insulin pumps to help manage their child’s condition, and their annual out-of-pocket costs exceeded those of adults at $823 versus $445 respectively.

While steps have been taken to reduce the cost of insulin in recent years, and especially during the coronavirus pandemic, not as much has been done to improve the affordability and access of other diabetes-related supplies. CGMs and insulin pumps can play an integral role in helping patients better manage their diabetes and reduce complications, especially for children; in turn, this may help decrease additional medical expenses.

More focus is needed on the overall costs of diabetes management and how to better support patients in affording the care they need for improved health. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) stays abreast of the latest changes in the industry and advancements in research and treatment to help individuals with type 1 diabetes. Scientists are always working on ways to improve care and reduce the burden of the disease, and the DRC provides critical funding for these efforts. Learn more about current projects and how to support early-career scientists by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 Symptoms in Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 has taken our country by storm, and it is affecting individuals of all ages. No one is immune, and unfortunately, individuals with underlying health conditions tend to be at higher risk for complications. People with type 1 diabetes are already more severely affected by infections than individuals without the disease, and therefore they may be at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 and having poorer health outcomes.

A recent study looked at a group of 64 people with type 1 diabetes, 33 of whom had confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 31 of whom had COVID-19-like symptoms but no confirmed diagnosis. The median HbA1c levels were 8.5% and 8% respectively, and the average age was 24.8 years in the confirmed COVID-19 group and 16.8 years in the COVID-19-like symptom group.

Participants were part of a T1D Exchange Quality Improvement Collaborative (T1DX-QI) study and completed a 33-item questionnaire about their health and symptoms. They all had one or more symptoms that aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) symptom profile for COVID-19.

The results showed that for both groups, high blood glucose, fever, and dry cough were the top three symptoms. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) was reported in 45.5% of participants who tested positive for COVID-19 and 13.3% of those with COVID-19-like symptoms. This was a small study using data collected up to May 5, 2020. Additional research is needed to better track results as more is learned about the disease and its impact on individuals with type 1 diabetes. Also, since the average age of participants was teenagers and young adults and type 1 diabetes tends to develop in childhood, conducting pediatrics studies could also be beneficial to learn more.

As researchers continue to study COVID-19 and individuals with type 1 diabetes, they can better understand risk factors, complications, and therapeutic treatment options to deal with this novel coronavirus. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is an organization dedicated to funding research around type 1 diabetes and will continue to stay abreast of the latest findings in regard to T1D and COVID-19. To learn more about the work conducted through the DRC and support these efforts, visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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insulin-producing

Protecting Insulin-Producing Islets Through Cell Editing

Protecting Insulin-Producing Islets Through Cell Editing

A hallmark of type 1 diabetes is the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. These cells are crucial for producing and releasing insulin in response to rising blood glucose levels. Without them, glucose levels go unregulated and can become potentially fatal. Individuals with type 1 diabetes must be vigilant about testing their own blood sugar and administering insulin via syringe or an insulin pump as necessary.

However, a recent study aims to transform diabetes management in children with type 1 diabetes by using cell editing to produce healthy, functioning T cells that would intervene in the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells. Effector T cells and regulatory T cells (Treg) work together to balance the body’s immune response. When effector T cells attack, regulatory T cells keep them in check and limit the damage. But in individuals with type 1 diabetes, regulatory T cells do not function normally.

Researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies and the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) have discovered a way to edit patients’ T cells so that they function like regulatory T cells and protect pancreatic islet cells. Through gene editing, they turned on the FOXP3 gene in the cells and attached a T-cell receptor to make them antigen-specific to pancreatic cells.

According to Dr. Jane Buckner, president of BRI and co-investigator of the study, “We want to identify T-cell receptors that will create engineered Treg that will go on to and protect the pancreas. This type of therapy could then be used to stop the destruction of cells that produce insulin in the pancreas to slow the progression and ultimately prevent type 1 diabetes.”

The team recently received additional funding and is moving toward gaining approval to start a first-in-human clinical trial at Seattle Children’s. There are currently no other laboratories in the world conducting this same type of experimental therapy. The engineered cells have been tested in animal models and tissue cultures with positive results, but this would be the first human testing.

Diabetes Research Connection (DRC), though not involved in this study, is excited to see how the study advances and if human clinical trials are approved. This could be a major step forward in treatment and prevention options when it comes to type 1 diabetes. The DRC is committed to supporting these types of efforts and provides critical funding to early-career scientists pursuing novel, peer-reviewed research around type 1 diabetes. Click to learn more about current projects and provide support.

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Research Study for type 1 diabetes

Proactively Identifying Type 1 Diabetes

Identifying Type 1 Diabetes Development

Type 1 diabetes develops when the body mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells. As the number of cells depletes, the body is unable to adequately control blood sugar levels. Researchers have been striving to find a way to prevent this destruction from occurring or to find a way to replace these cells so that the body can once again manage its own blood sugar.

A recent study took a closer look at exactly when this transformation begins to take place and beta cells begin dying off. They found that in many participants, the decline started at least six months prior to when patients would meet clinical requirements for a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Diagnostic thresholds are currently a “fasting glucose of ≥126 mg/mL or 2-hour glucose of ≥200 mg/dL.”

The study involved 80 patients split into three categories: younger than age 11, ages 11 to 20, and older than age 20. All participants were first- or second-degree relatives of someone with type 1 diabetes and were diagnosed themselves while undergoing oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) every six months. The results showed that across all age groups, C-peptide levels started declining around 12 months before diagnosis but showed the most significant changes in function in the 6 months prior to and 12 months following diagnosis.

By tracking these changes in individuals who are considered at-risk of developing type 1 diabetes, doctors may be able to catch declining beta-cell function early on and intervene with treatment before patients reach diagnostic thresholds for the disease. This could potentially be a way to prevent or slow the onset of type 1 diabetes through proactive immunotherapy.

More research is needed to further explore these findings and expand them to a larger group of participants. However, it provides researchers with insight on when type 1 diabetes may begin to develop and some changes to focus on. Diabetes Research Connection (DRC), though not involved with this study, supports early-career scientists in pursuing novel research studies around type 1 diabetes to help advance prevention and treatment efforts as well as minimizing complications, improving quality of life, and finding a cure. Learn more about current studies and how to support these projects by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Medical Technology

Helping Drive Technology Advancements

Diabetes Patients Are Helping Drive Technology Advancements

Managing type 1 diabetes is an around-the-clock job. Patients must always be aware of what their blood sugar level is, whether it is trending up or down, whether or not to administer insulin, and if they do need insulin, how much. While there have been many advancements in technology to help with monitoring and insulin administration, the development and approval process is often long and drawn out. There are a limited number of devices approved by the government for use.

Patients with type 1 diabetes have begun taking their health into their own hands and improving treatment options. There are free directions online for how patients can connect their continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and their insulin pump with their smartphone to create a closed-loop system that tracks their blood glucose and automatically administers insulin as necessary. This type of artificial pancreas is something that researchers and pharmaceutical companies have been working on for years, but to date, there is only one commercially available closed-loop system available for use in Canada.

Jonathan Garfinkel, a Ph.D. candidate in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, took his chances and used the patient-created instructions for setting up the closed-loop system two years ago, and it has been life-changing. Previously, he was having a lot of difficulty managing his blood sugar overnight, and it would drop dangerously low. With the closed-loop system, his blood sugar has become much stabler overnight, and he is not tasked with regularly doing finger pricks and figuring out insulin dosing on his own.

These advancements in technology that patients with diabetes are developing have prompted pharmaceutical companies to quicken their own pace when it comes to getting devices created and approved for commercial use. Patients are becoming increasingly more comfortable with technology and relying on smartphones, sensors, and other devices to help them stay abreast of their health.

Garfinkel himself is also working on a project to advance technology for diabetes treatment. He is in the process of developing “a more affordable glucose sensor that would sit on top of the skin, rather than being inserted subcutaneously.” It was a project he began in collaboration with Mojgan Daneshmand, an engineer and Canada Research Chair in Radio Frequency Microsystems for Communication and Sensing, who was unfortunately killed in a plane crash in January 2020. Garfinkel is continuing the work that they started together and was awarded a U of A seed grant to help.

There are so many young researchers with incredible potential who can benefit from funding that will allow them to carry out their plans and see the results. The Diabetes Research Connection provides up to $50K in funding to early-career scientists to empower them in moving forward with their novel research projects focused on type 1 diabetes. These opportunities open doors to improving the prevention, treatment, and management of type 1 diabetes, as well as improving quality of life, minimizing complications, and one day finding a cure. Learn more by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Sleep Disturbances Common with Type 1 Diabetes -Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

Sleep Disturbances with Type 1 Diabetes

Sleep Disturbances Common with T1D

Type 1 diabetes is a disease that must be monitored around the clock. When children are awake, it is easier to tell when blood sugar may be spiking too high or dropping too low. At night, this is more challenging, and it is essential to continue testing blood sugar levels to stay within the target range and administer insulin as necessary.

Children typically rely on their parents to manage their diabetes and monitor blood sugar, whether done manually or through a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). A recent study found that children who use a CGM often sleep better at night, but it is their parents who have more disturbances in their sleep due to reacting to CGM data.

As part of a larger study, researchers evaluated the sleep quality of 46 parents of children with type 1 diabetes. The children were between the ages of 2 and 5, and some used CGMs while others did not. Parents reported on the time their children went to bed, woke up, and how long they slept. The average was 10.4 hours per night. Also, all 11 families who used CGMs wore accelerometers that tracked their sleep patterns for a minimum of four nights. The accelerometer showed an average of 9.8 hours of sleep per night for children.

According to the study, “Among the full cohort, 63% of parents reported checking their child’s blood glucose levels at least a few nights per week. Parents of children using CGMs reported a higher frequency of nighttime blood glucose monitoring compared with parents of children without a CGM.”

The percentage of parents who experienced sleep disturbances concerning blood glucose monitoring was noticeably higher than the percentage of children, at 78.3% and 17% respectively. Parents of children with CGMs reported higher levels of sleep disturbance, especially when the child’s diabetes was more difficult to manage. Additional research with a larger group of participants across a longer period of time is necessary to better understand the impact of diabetes management on sleep for parents and children.

It is important for physicians to keep in mind not just the impact a CGM or other device could have on the child’s health and quality of life, but also on the parent. Parents benefit from having proper support systems in place and information to help them cope with the challenges of managing their child’s type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes Research Connection, though not involved in this study, is committed to supporting early-career scientists focused on studying type 1 diabetes and ways to improve prevention, treatment, and quality of life, as well as one day finding a cure. One hundred percent of donations go directly to the scientists for their research. To learn more about current projects and how to help, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Researcher

Enhancing Protection for Islets

Enhancing Protection for Islets Following Transplantation

One treatment approach for type 1 diabetes that researchers have been experimenting with and refining for more than 20 years is islet transplantation. The goal is to take insulin-producing islets from cadavers (or another source) and transplant them into individuals with type 1 diabetes so that these cells will thrive and allow the body to begin producing insulin once again.

A common challenge with this approach is protecting the cells from immune system attack or cell death from lack of oxygen. A recent study has found a way to overcome some of these obstacles by encapsulating the islets in a jelly-like substance made of collagen. This helps create a scaffolding that will not initiate an immune response yet contains the islets while allowing them to grow new blood vessels that will ultimately provide them with oxygen. Since this blood vessel regrowth can take time, the researchers also injected the scaffolding with calcium peroxide. As the calcium peroxide breaks down, it releases oxygen which is used to keep the cells alive as they settle in and begin working.

In traditional organ transplantation, the organ is surgically connected to the circulatory system meaning that the organ automatically begins receiving the oxygen and nutrients it needs for survival. Islet transplants do not work this way since the cells are not a solid organ. In addition, the cells are typically injected into the liver rather than the pancreas where they would normally occur. There is a greater risk of the pancreas having a negative reaction and destroying the islets than the liver.

The researchers tested this new bioscaffold in diabetic mice. Some mice received islets on their own, some received islets in the bioscaffold, and some received islets and calcium peroxide in the bioscaffold. The diabetic mice who received the islets and calcium peroxide demonstrated greater blood glucose control over four weeks than the other two groups. The team is now looking at the possibility of injecting the scaffolding with stem cells as well to further enhance islet survival and function.

These types of advancements in treatment are encouraging when it comes to type 1 diabetes. It is expected that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will approve islet transplantation as a valid treatment for T1D, rather than an experimental treatment, this year. This could increase the number of options available to patients for effectively managing the disease.

Diabetes Research Connection continues to stay abreast of changes in the field and provides critical funding for early-career scientists pursuing novel research around T1D. Learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Diabetes Pills

Reduced Out-of-Pocket Insulin Costs for Seniors Through Medicare

Out-of-Pocket Insulin Costs for Seniors

The cost of buying insulin can quickly add up, but this medication is life-sustaining for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Many seniors are on a fixed income, and some may struggle to afford the out-of-pocket costs for insulin, which can lead to rationing their supply. This can be incredibly dangerous to their health.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that it would implement measures to help curb these costs for seniors. Many Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage will now be offering lower insulin costs to seniors, capping the copay at $35 for a month’s supply. This is part of the new Part D Senior Savings Model and will cover “both pen and vial dosage forms for rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting insulins.”

Insulin manufacturers and Part D sponsors are working together to offer this market-based solution that enables them to provide deeper discounts to seniors and fixed, predictable copays in the coverage gap. According to CMS, “beneficiaries who use insulin and join a plan participating in the model could see an average out-of-pocket savings of $446, or 66 percent, for their insulins, funded in part by manufacturers paying an estimated additional $250 million of discounts over the five years of the model.”

Seniors will be able to go on to the CMS website and compare their prescription drug plan options to find a participating sponsor and plan that fits their needs. Enrollment would begin in the fall for coverage starting on January 1, 2021. There have also been numerous actions that have been taken in response to COVID-19 to support individuals with type 1 diabetes in accessing and affording insulin.

It is encouraging to see drug manufacturers and insurance companies making changes to improve access and affordability of life-sustaining medications such as insulin. Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) will continue to stay abreast of these trends and how they impact diabetes management. DRC provides critical funding for researchers focused on type 1 diabetes to find a cure and improve prevention and treatment options as well as the quality of life. Click to learn more about current projects and provide support.

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Laboratory Image

Preserving Endogenous Insulin Production

Preserving Endogenous Insulin Production in Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes Patients

A hallmark of type 1 diabetes is the body loses its ability to naturally produce enough (or any) insulin to effectively manage blood glucose levels. This is due to the mistaken destruction of insulin-producing beta cells by the immune system, a process that researchers are continually learning more about. In many cases, when type 1 diabetes (T1D) is first diagnosed, there is a short window of time (up to about six months) where the body still creates insulin, but not enough to meet demand.

A recent study explored a new way to try to preserve endogenous insulin production and reduce the amount of insulin newly diagnosed patients required. The study involved 84 patients ages 6 to 21 who had been diagnosed with T1D within 100 days of the start of the trial. Approximately two-thirds of participants were given the drug golimumab, while the other one-third received a placebo. Golimumab is an anti-tumor-necrosis-factor (TNF) therapy that is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and other autoimmune conditions. It has not yet been approved for use in patients with T1D.

The patients who received golimumab self-administered the drug via injection every two weeks. Results showed that these patients achieved markedly better glycemic control that patients receiving the placebo. After 52 weeks of treatment, “41.4% of participants receiving golimumab had an increase or less than 5% decrease in C-peptide compared to only 10.7% in the placebo group.”

Furthermore, patients who were still in the “honeymoon phase” of their diabetes, or the first 3-6 months after diagnosis where there is still some endogenous insulin production and not as much injected insulin is needed, also showed improvement once transitioning out this phase and continuing to take golimumab. Those patients showed a smaller increase in injected insulin than the placebo group requiring just 0.07 units per kilogram more per day versus 0.24 units per kilogram per day respectively. Another notable improvement is that patients between the ages of 6 and 18 experienced 36% fewer episodes of level 2 hypoglycemia, a condition that can be potentially life-threatening and negatively impact the quality of life.

Since golimumab is already FDA-approved for other conditions, these phase 2 study results play an important role in moving the process forward to show that it may be an effective treatment for T1D as well. This therapy may be able to help newly diagnosed patients retain some of their body’s natural insulin-producing abilities and decrease the amount of injected insulin needed to maintain good glycemic control.

Golimumab may become another option for patients with type 1 diabetes in the future and change how the disease is managed when caught and treated early on. It is encouraging to see new ways to preserve beta-cell function. Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see how this study unfolds and whether golimumab is approved for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Although not involved in this study, DRC supports early-career scientists in pursuing studies like these and other projects related to preventing and curing T1D as well as minimizing complications and improving the quality of life for individuals living with the disease. Scientists can receive up to $50K in funding to advance their research. Click to learn more about current projects and provide support.

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