TYPE 1 DIABETES
If the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas one can develop Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an auto-immune disease and this type of diabetes accounts for 10-15% of all people with the disease. In the past T1D used to be called Juvenile Diabetes as it tends to occur mostly in younger people, under the age of 40. We now know that it can in fact appear at any age; hence we moved away from the old term ‘juvenile diabetes’.
T1D can be triggered by environmental factors such as viruses, diet or chemicals in people who have a genetic predisposition. As mentioned, type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease, this means that the body’s own defence mechanism attacks and kills off the insulin producing cells in the body.
People with type 1 diabetes must inject themselves with insulin, usually several times a day, to replace the insulin their body can no longer produce. They are also required to follow a careful diet and exercise regime, in an effort to control blood glucose levels and avoid diabetes related complications.
Due to the need of insulin treatment this type of diabetes was once also referred to as Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus or IDDM.
Living with diabetes is NOT easy.
As Diabetes Australia highlights: “Diabetes requires daily self-care and if complications develop, diabetes can have a significant impact on quality of life and can reduce life expectancy. While there is currently no cure for diabetes, you can live an enjoyable life by learning about the condition and effectively managing it”.
Carolien is a very experienced Credentialled Diabetes Educator, and she can help you understand better how type 1 diabetes can impact on your life and what you can do to minimise this impact. Carolien is also a Clinical Somatic Psychotherapist, a type of counsellor, and can help you or your family members.
Carolien has worked with people with diabetes for many, many years and understands how difficult it can be to have to live with this disease. Carolien says: “I found that sometimes the medical system does not take in consideration certain related factors such as the patient’s social situation, and the importance of stress on physical and emotional well-being. By remaining stuck in a dichotomy of thinking, of mind and body as 2 separate entities rather than one body-mind, many people (possibly including your doctor) don’t understand what it’s like to be ‘you’ and how difficult it is to go for a walk when you are suffering from depression, anxiety or high blood glucose levels. Even though they seem to think they know what is best for you, only you know what you can do or are willing to put in to get there.”
With the combination of her nursing background, her knowledge of diabetes (in all its types) and her somatic psychotherapy training Carolien is able to help you break through some of the barriers that you may face along the way.