Diabetes UK Cymru - Research Live Event

Recently attended a really good event organised by Diabetes UK Cymru, the Welsh branch of the charity for people with diabetes and also some of the great diabetes researchers from Cardiff University. The event was the first of its kind and gave patients the opportunity to engage with, learn and understand the science behind what actually happens when we're diagnosed with diabetes and also the research that is currently being conducted into the type 1 variation of the condition.

It would be easy to think that if you don't have diabetes and are reading this blog, then the research event might not have applied to you. However, one of the talks for the evening was given via pre-recorded video link by a scientist who is currently working on treatment for people who have just been diagnosed with diabetes. It was really good to find out more about his research as well as the other exciting advances going on, because the research has been paid for partly by the generous donations given by shoppers (with and without diabetes) at their local Tesco supermarkets. In the video it was explained that what is being identified as a specific area of research is what I understood as- identifying the point that someone newly diagnosed with diabetes experiences as the 'honeymoon period'.

The 'honeymoon period' (which I'm pretty sure is not the scientific name for it), is the time when after someone is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, they still produce some insulin. Which I know can be a confusing concept, as type 1 diabetes and consequent treatment concerns the fact that our pancreas' have stopped producing insulin. But in many people, it's not that they produce insulin one day and don't the next. It can be quite a gradual process, from what I remember my honeymoon period lasted a year maybe two, when I was still producing some insulin. But not enough to effectively control my glucose levels. But it does mean that less insulin is required. Hence why some people when diagnosed with type 1 such as myself, start off on two injections a day and gradually the number of injections increase as insulin producing cells die and insulin requirements increase.

Another great speaker on the evening was Professor Wong, who I'm very honoured to also have as my hospital diabetes consultant. Professor Wong explained to us about exactly what happens to cells when diabetes occurs and the science behind the treatment. James one of the other hard working diabetes researchers then took us on a fantastic tour of the labs, where we got to take a look at actual 'infected' pancreas cells, which was absolutely fascinating. Although the first of its kind, this event was a complete success and hopefully there will be many more like it in the future.







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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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