KOCHI:Dr Jothydev Kesavadev, Chairman and MD Jothydev’s Diabetes Research Centers, said, India is host to over 97,000 children with type 1 diabetes. An autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leaving children dependent on insulin injections for survival. Insulin injections are vital to regulate glucose levels in the body, in children with type 1 diabetes.
"It is very difficult to determine the exact number of type 1 diabetes patients, as exact statistics of the prevalence of type 1 diabetes is missing across India. It can be said that of 100 patients with a diagnosis of diabetes in the state, at least 8 of them will be having type 1 diabetes. Also, many who are currently being treated as type 2 diabetes if evaluated could be diagnosed as suffering from type 1 diabetes. In a week in our hospitals, we would be meeting around 15-20 patients with type 1 diabetes. The disease is a much more complex disease than type 2," Doctor said. In type 1 diabetes, an immune-mediated mechanism destroys the ability of the beta cells in the pancreas to produce insulin. So there is almost a near total destruction of the pancreatic beta cells. Till date the disease can be managed and not cured, he added.
Although affecting all ages, the commonest age of onset of the disease is childhood. If not properly managed, the disease can lead on to some deadly complications and hence they may not survive to see adulthood. "Unlike other types of diabetes, glucose never stays stable in classical type 1 diabetes. Every second is unpredictable; the life of a type 1 individual is similar to a roller coaster ride where the glucose will go up and down at any time and this affects the mental status, education and the life of parents with children diagnosed of type 1 diabetes Among all the other types of diabetes, type 1 is the only disease where technology is an absolute necessity for successful management,” said Dr. Jothydev
Scientific advances in healthcare delivery has found better and improved ways of managing the disease. Newer insulin pump therapies are scripting a new story to change the way children and adults can manage the disease. Apart from pricking the finger for using a glucose meter which is painful and cumbersome, new insulin pump therapy is the convenient way of monitoring and managing glucose with continuous glucose monitoring and insulin infusion.
These reports fairly accurate glucose readings, and preclude the necessity of frequent finger-pricks. The continuous glucose monitoring is a sophisticated technology where a subcutaneously introduced sensor will be sensing the glucose once in every 15 minutes. The interstitial glucose values very closely match the blood glucose values. When patients are using continuous glucose monitoring devices and insulin pump together, they communicate with each other wirelessly, partly or completely automating insulin delivery.
Insulin pump therapy and this data can be used for changing the insulin regimens and injection schedules at frequent intervals. These newer methods of insulin pump therapy are more user-friendly and painless. For a patient or a parent passionate about the care of their child with diabetes, the insulin pump data will appear either in their phone or in their tablet or laptop and in the new mobile apps, which will help create patterns for best management of type 1 diabetes.
The ultimate objective of using new insulin pump therapy is to prevent the deadly complications in the kidney, eye and heart and help patients with type 1 diabetes live longer similar to others without the disease.
· India has estimated over 97,000 children with type 1 diabetes.
· Predominantly affecting kids and young adults, a patient with type 1 Diabetes is required to take multiple insulin injections daily, making the disease traumatizing and painful for children.
· New ways have emerged in replacing the injections with innovative therapies, making type 1 diabetes management less painful.
3. Data provided by Doctor
(Any and all the information provided in the article are independent views of Dr Jothydev Kesavadev for any further information, please contact your physician)