Type 1 diabetes (or diabetes mellitus) is a life-long autoimmune disease that usually occurs in childhood but can be diagnosed at any age. Type 1 diabetes affects over 122,300 people in Australia alone. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the immune system mistakenly turning on itself, destroying beta cells within the pancreas and removing the body’s ability to produce insulin. Insulin allows the body to process sugar to create energy, without insulin, the body literally starves as it cannot process food.
The goal of type 1 diabetes management is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as possible. It sounds easy, but in reality, this is very difficult to achieve. To stay alive, people with type 1 diabetes must have a constant supply of insulin through injections or an insulin pump and they test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers at least four times a day. People with type 1 diabetes must be constantly prepared for potential hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycaemic (high blood sugar) reactions, which can both be life threatening.
At Sunshine Butterflies we aim to provide an inclusive environment for individuals and their families living with an Juvenile Diabetes. If you would like further information on how Sunshine Butterflies can support you, please feel free to contact us.