Diabetes and insulin in the eyes of the Carenity diabetics
Published 16 Nov 2017
For the occasion of World Diabetes Day, we have asked the members of our Diabetes Community to share their opinions through a survey on this trivialised disease, which affects 422 million people in the world. In other words, one out of 10 people in the world is affected by diabetes. And according to World Health Organisation, 622 million people will have been affected by it by 2040.
An invisible disease
The majority of the Carenity members, think that diabetes is a condition “just like any other” (29%), even if for many of them it “is so trivialised that people don’t care” (26%). And if some have got used to their condition and treatment (22%), others suffer from being diabetics: “I feel restricted about going to places at times due to medication needed whilst out”.
Of course, there are injections. This may be uncomfortable, and at times even embarrassing, when we are not at home: “being the only person in my school to have type 1 diabetes which caused a lot of stares and a lot of uncomfortable questions”, “I struggle with my injections, don't like needles”, “I sometimes forget to inject, even though I take my pills as prescribed”. There is also a special diet issue, which makes it difficult to eat out and socialise, and thus can provoke the feeling of isolation: “some impact on eating out and coordinating injections”, “I feel quite alone trying to deal with it all”, “It restricts my movements in if I go out at night to a party I have to remember my insulin pen”.
But we have to deal with it. It is possible to lead a normal life, as many of our members already do: “I've slowly learned to accept diabetes as part of my life”, “I try to lead as normal life as possible”, “I have accepted that diabetes is a way of life and that I have to live with it”, “To be honest, I feel very comfortable with my management”. Even though it is “exhausting to look after correctly” and “painful for my family to see me suffer each day”, accepting the condition and the fact that “there is no choice but to deal with it”, seems to be the key to a better life with diabetes.
A 95-year-old diabetes treatment
Controlling diabetes is a number one difficulty for our respondents (62%), followed by weight gain/loss (36%) and frequent hypoglycaemias (16%).
Insulin, the main treatment for diabetics, has changed a lot since its first injection was administered to a 14-year-old Canadian in January 1922. Today, it is a well-known and the most common treatment for diabetes, which does not cease to develop. Among our respondents, the majority have been taking this treatment for less than 10 years (58%), but insulin has become for them a habit that they “don’t even think about” (22%) and all in all, they are “glad it exists” (26%).
More than half of the respondents take insulin several times a day in the form of an insulin pen (67%), 20% do it only once a day, and 13% use insulin pump. The diversity of treatments and brands makes it possible to adapt one’s insulin therapy to one’s state of health, lifestyle, etc. But whatever the care pathway, the goal stays the same: to avoid any considerable glycaemic variations within 24 hours, and other complications.
The impact of diabetes, as of many other conditions, varies depending on its form and stage, treatments, other health conditions, age, weight and even psychological support from the patient’s entourage. Sharing with one another can help you look at the condition from a different angle, learn new lifestyle tips, and help someone with your own experience, - with the aim to make this impact less significant. So, as one of our members has summed it up perfectly, “We should learn to talk about it and learn to listen. Others are not in our shoes.”
Article based on the Carenity members' answers to a short survey carried out in November 2017. We would like to thank all those who participated in this survey and shared their thoughts and experiences helping us consolidate them in this article.