Countdown to None

Countdown to None | A World Without Type 1 Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

Your support of JDRF’s plan to turn Type One into Type None has led to real progress. Because of you, research advances like these are possible. Thank you for your commitment to JDRF.

IMMUNE CELLS PROMOTE BETA CELL GROWTH

Developing therapies to regenerate beta cells lost in T1D is a high priority for JDRF, as they could help people with the disease achieve insulin independence. Now, JDRF-funded researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center are closer to that goal.

Data from Joslin’s 50-Year Medalist Study has shown that some people retain some beta cells decades after their diagnosis. Researchers have long suspected that immune cells may play a role in beta cell preservation, but exactly how remained a mystery.

In a first-of-its-kind study, Joslin scientists injected nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice with immune cells—subtypes of T cells and B cells—from the pancreatic islets of donor NOD mice. They observed that beta cell growth occurred after the host islets were infiltrated by the immune cells, and that it is specifically the T cells, not the B cells, that are associated with that growth. Further, they found that the immune cells secrete inflammatory cytokines and chemokines—signaling proteins—that work together to enhance beta cell growth.

These results are encouraging. The investigators will next move on to human beta cells and aim to determine whether those signaling proteins can be harnessed to elicit beta cell proliferation.

PREVENTING T1D WITH ANTICANCER DRUGS

Repurposing drugs indicated for other diseases is one of JDRF’s approaches to accelerating the delivery of new therapies to people with T1D. A recent JDRF-funded study in mice determined that low doses of a cancer drug protect against the development of T1D—bringing us one step closer to a potential preventive treatment.

Researchers at three Danish universities investigated lysine deacetylase inhibitors—a well-tolerated class of lymphoma drugs—because of their ability to block the molecules that send harmful inflammation signals to pancreatic beta cells. Extremely low doses—doses 100 times lower than those used in cancer treatment—protected the mice’s beta cells from the destructive effects of inflammation and ultimately prevented the development of T1D in the mice. In additional tests, this time on insulin-producing human donor tissues already exposed to the inflammation, the drug delayed the destruction of beta cells.

The next step for the research team is to test the drug on those at risk of developing T1D. JDRF will work closely with the investigators as they move forward with this critical step in the translational research process, which is a key part of JDRF’s plan to create a world without T1D.

3 Things You Should Never Say to a Person with Diabetes

So many people say things without even thinking! When I tell people I have diabetes, certain thoughts tend to just pop out of their mouths, it can be frustrating because while those thoughts probably weren’t meant to be hurtful, but sometimes they can feel that way!

Here are 3 important questions you should never say to a person with diabetes:

Too Much Candy | www.iamatype1diabetic.comMy Grandma's Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.comManage Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

I already know that I am not the only one out there who gets kinda annoyed by these questions or comments. I have a tendency of not answering the question or comment directly, and switching around the subject to explain the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I also like to explain that MY type of diabetes is much different from your grandma’s  / grandpa’s / aunt’s / uncle’s / mom’s / dad’s / best friend to your cousin’s type of diabetes.

I will show off my insulin pump and CGM. I feel like once I do that, they have a much better understanding of how much different (and harder) my diabetes is to control.

Instagram - Omnipod Insulin Pump on Type 1 Diabetic's Back! | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

Site Change

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Not that I don’t think normally, but just thinking a lot about alternative ways to wear my OmniPod. I’ve worn it on my arms, and I tend to run into doorways. My sides are starting to hurt, my arms can be annoying, and I refuse to put it on my butt!! Ha, it’s already big enough, and being a female, my pants tend to be just about skin tight — which leaves my legs/thighs outta the question too.

With the Olympics on TV — there’s been a lot of posts all over social media. Personally, I haven’t really watched any of it — but I also don’t watch much TV in general. On Facebook, I found an article of an Olympic player with Type 1 Diabetes, and he wears the OmniPod Insulin Pump. [My heart jumped a beat, and in my head I screamed “I do that everyday too!”]

The photo I saw was of Kris Freeman, an Olympic cross county skier, a Type 1 diabetic with an insulin pump and a CGM. He was wearing his pump in a different location. He had it on his chest to avoid hitting it, ripping it off or slow him down in a race. Obviously, as a woman, I can’t exactly do that, but it got me thinking… where else could I put my pump?

And this is what I came up with.

Instagram - Omnipod Insulin Pump on Type 1 Diabetic's Back! | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

I purposely took a photo of my pump site, and posted it to my instagram. I have a lot of fellow diabetic followers on there, and thought might get inspired to change their sites too. Surprisingly, I received a lot of comments from instagram users asking me how my sugars levels were, if it hurt, and if I had problems sleeping with my pump because of it’s location.

For me personally, I usually sleep on my stomach or my side, so there is no issue wearing the pod on my back. When I have the pod on my stomach or my side, that’s when it hurts to sleep on because there’s more pressure. When I laid on my back, there wasn’t as much pressure on the pod itself because my head was held up by a pillow.

I had a great experience with wearing my pod on my upper back. My blood sugars were great throughout the three days… actually on the lower side. I really like that it was out of the way completely for me. Only thing, I should of moved it over just a tad bit — my bra strap is just about the tape!

I decided to try it again. This time around, I swapped sides! I avoided where my bra straps would be, not on my shoulder blade, and I’m loving it!

If you are a fellow OmniPod pumper, I do recommend trying it! If you don’t like it, then don’t do it again. What’s the worst that could happen? If your interested, scared, or just have more questions, please ask! I’m always willing to answer!

You’re My Type

Type of Diabetic I mean.

Yes, its that wonderful day of the year that we all are happy to be in a relationship with someone we love, or might one day love. It’s that day when all the single ones get annoyed with all the lovey dovey crap going around. It’s that day when I wish my fiance would show a little bit of extra thought into his morning kiss.

Either your very happy its Valentine’s Day, or your not.

This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to send a special thank you to all of my followers and fellow diabetics. I just want to let you know that I too appreciate you.

Now it’s time for a little bit some more insulin — and a small bite of that V-day chocolate! Shhh… I won’t tell anyone.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the type 1s, type 2s, type 3s (significant others of type 1s) struggling out there on this bad day of chocolate gifts.

You're My Type | www.Iamatype1diabetic.com

What's the BIG Difference Between Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

The BIG Difference

I love to hear from my blog readers! And it always seems to make my brain run in a million different directions trying to explain how I deal with diabetes and how I speak to people (in real life) about managing my diabetes.

To start off, I recently got e-mailed from a reader asking this question:

One question I wanted to ask was regarding the media in the US (we’re in Australia). Over here there has been a fair bit of media attention focused on preventing diabetes or its cure. The media are referring to Type 2 but never say this, they just refer to diabetes in these stories. It’s starting to drive me a bit nuts because I know they are talking about Type 2 but they just won’t differentiate between the two types. One example was a study focusing on women in their 50s and 60s and wine and dark chocolate making a difference. ARGH. I think this confuses people because we’ve had people ask us how our son caught it, will it go away and some comments have made us think that people think we could have prevented it. Does the media in the US differentiate between the two types?

And your post regarding the friend’s grandma resonates with me. Everyone seems to think like that.

It doesn’t matter if you live in Australia, USA, Japan or Switzerland, people generally have an ignorance between to differences of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. People just don’t get it… unless they have someone close to them that is dealing with type 1. (No offense to the type 2’s out there, but many times, your ignorant relatives/friends are the worst one’s to have a conversation about diabetes with. They think they know everything about diabetes, when they don’t even know which type of diabetes you have!) I deal with these same struggles of people’s ignorance of the differences between type 1 and type 2 almost on a daily basis, and that is one of the main reasons I started this blog — to bring attention to those t1ds who are in the “diabetes world” for life — not just until we fix our diets or loose some weight.

I recently flipped out on somebody on instagram for their ignorance. He had taken a photo of an older woman, who had a cart full of a different variety of sodas, said something along the lines of “Spending $63 on soda is ridiculous. #diabetes” Now I know I am not the only one who would flip out on him, and I am not causing drama. Honestly, I can’t even remember his instagram account name (but you can find/follow me @MissCallaNicole).

But his ignorance pissed me off!! Seriously, if you learned the facts, you would understand that diabetes is not caused by drinking too much soda, or eating to much candy, or junk food. Whatever you want to “blame” it on — it’s just not how or why I was diagnosed with diabetes. These is the ignorance of a majority of people.

Once I mentioned that, he got upset and claimed to know two people with type 1 diabetes. His friend’s daughter and his cousin or something. It’s not like it really mattered who it was that he knew that had type 1 diabetes, he clearly still doesn’t understand the differences between type 1 and type 2.

What's the BIG Difference Between Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

Type 1 diabetes develops usually when you are a child, or at a younger age (and younger, I mean generally before age 25, but there are PLENTY of exceptions). You may hear type 1 diabetes referred to as “juvenile diabetes” or “childhood diabetes” simply because of the age most are when diagnosed. Not all type 1 diabetics are children though, everyone grows up! The bodies of those who are diagnosed with type 1 no longer make insulin, which breaks down glucose (sugar) after it enters our body through foods & drinks. After eating, the pancreas should automatically releases an adequate amount of insulin to transport the blood glucose into the cells, which results in lower blood sugar levels. Those with diabetes do not have any insulin, or not enough for their body, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes have to take insulin shots, or use an insulin pump in order to survive. Type 1 diabetes is manageable with insulin, but it is not a cure for type 1 diabetes. Only about 15% of all diabetes patients have Type 1.

In type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond correctly to the insulin. The vast majority of patients who develop Type 2 did so because they were overweight and unfit, and had been overweight and unfit for some time. This type of diabetes tends to appear later on in life. However, there have been more and more cases of people in their 20s developing Type 2, but it is still relatively uncommon.  Type 2 diabetes can be managed by diet, taking pills, or in worst case scenario, taking insulin. Approximately 85% of all diabetes patients have Type 2.

I hope you can now understand why I (and so many others) get extremely frustrated for people’s ignorance. There is a huge difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I am a type 1 diabetic, and proud to share my thoughts about it. I constantly live on a roller coaster of high blood sugars and low blood sugars, and I struggle to find the “happy” middle ground. Those with type 2 diabetes do not know what it is like to have a low blood sugar… and I believe that is one of the hardest things to avoid being a type 1.

I'm not a robot, I'm just a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

I’m not a Robot

Last night, my fiance and I tried to play matchmaker. He had brought a single guy friend, and I brought a single girl friend to go out to dinner. She is also a type 1 diabetic, so of course that became part of our dinner conversation — and their conversation to get to know each other a little bit. Before we  had even gone out, my fiance and I had to explain to him what diabetes is — in general. Then I explained how my pump gives me insulin, and brings my blood sugars down after I eat. I figured he would at least have to know that much before he met my female friend.

I like to talk about diabetes — I know, weird. But, I may have talked a little bit too much at dinner… She explained some of her lows, and how it feels to be high (with high blood sugar, not anything else). She explained the OmniPod and how/why it gives insulin. I showed off my new dexcom g4 system, and talked a little bit about what I know about the artificial pancreas research they are doing. I guess to those who don’t use a CGM, or have diabetes, I may look like a robot. I’ve got all these gadgets hooked up to me now, simply because I have type 1 diabetes. My fiance is the one who dubbed me as a “robot” to everyone. Yeah, thanks babe.

I'm not a robot, I'm just a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

Both our blood sugar levels were about the same pre-dinner and post-dinner, so we could explain exactly how we felt too. After dinner, we were both around 200 mg/dL. I was thirsty, and figured it was a little bit because of the alcoholic drinks at dinner and my slightly-higher-than-normal blood sugar reading. My friend felt normal, and just bolused to correct her sugar level.

The guys thought we talked a little bit too much about diabetes. We thought they talked to much about work and cars. It all evened out, and came out to be a pretty nice evening.