Diabetes, a disease that spares no one

Young or old, woman or man, thin or overweight, any of us can get diabetes. But it is possible to live well with this chronic disease, with appropriate treatment and a healthy lifestyle. It can be learned! Patients and their relatives testify.

A day dedicated to informing the general public

This November 14 is the 29th World Diabetes Day. An event that gives rise to information campaigns in more than 160 countries.

This disease is caused by a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism and is characterized by an abnormally high level of sugar in the blood constantly; the body struggles to assimilate, use and store the sugars provided by food.
There are three types: type 1 diabetes (T1D: diabetes in children, adolescents and young adults), type 2 diabetes (T2D: diabetes of maturity) and gestational diabetes (which concerns pregnant women).
Obesity and lack of physical activity can be triggers.

Diabetes is on the rise throughout the world and affects all segments of the population, regardless of sex, age, build, social level, or even geographic location.
Note, all the same, that the overseas territories are more affected than the Hexagon. 9% of Guadeloupeans follow pharmacological treatment, against 5% in France; which represents 34,500 patients in the archipelago.

DT1 children

Axel lives in Le Gosier. At 14, he was in second, at the “Jardin d’Essai” high school in Les Abymes. He has had type 1 diabetes for 11 years. He was very young when he was diagnosed. Axel has long used an insulin pen. He switched to an insulin pump 3 years ago. Peggy Robert collected her testimony:

AXEL / diabetic high school student testimony

For parents, the diagnosis is always synonymous with a sledgehammer. The example of Céline, the mother of a 12-year-old teenager with type 1 diabetes. She found out just 3 months ago that her son has diabetes. She explained to Peggy Robert how she organizes daily life, meals, sports activities, outings:

Céline / mother testimony of a young diabetic

The Ti Suk association, created in 2017, is at the service of insulin-dependent diabetic children, known as type 1 (T1D) and their families.
Its members promote mutual aid, listening and sharing, during various meetings, especially therapeutic.

This is how an artistic workshop for the production of drawings, paintings and other collages was organized during the week. Their works will be exhibited today on World Diabetes Day.
Paul Henri SCHOL and Christian Danquin went to meet them:

© Guadeloupe La 1ère – Paul-Henri SCHOL and Christian Danquin

It is at the Cinestar des Abymes complex that the children’s productions will be presented to the general public, this Saturday, during the screening of Vanessa Gauthier’s documentary film, around T1D children, “For a few chocolate bars“(Prize of the jury of the Talents of patients festival 2016) and of the conference-debate which must follow. Appointment is given at 4:30 pm.

Movie poster “For a few chocolate bars”

Signs to watch for in children

In children, diabetes is due to the final and total disappearance of insulin. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, the cause of which is not well identified. The absence of insulin causes an increase in the level of glucose in the blood: this is hyperglycemia.
To compensate, the person with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin, several times a day, to regulate his blood sugar.

Signs of diabetes:

  • Frequent urge to urinate (polyuria) / reappearance of “bedwetting”
  • Fatigue
  • Soif excessive (polydipsie)
  • Weightloss
  • Great appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting and stomach ache
  • Green apple breath
  • Impaired consciousness (coma)

Diabetes in children, in Guadeloupe

The incidence of type 1 diabetes has doubled in 15 years in our department, among young people under 16. Each year, around 15 new cases of type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in pediatric emergencies in Guadeloupe and the northern islands, in increasingly young children (from 1 year old).
The diagnosis is often late, due to the lack of information, on this disease, of the population but also of health professionals; and this delay in diagnosis can be very serious (significant mortality).

Dr Laurence RULQUIN, pediatrician, diabetologist at the CHUG and president of Ti Suk

Living with Diabetes as an Adult

Larissa Daubin-Londas is married and the mother of a 13-year-old teenager. She lives in Lamentin.
She discovered her diabetes at the age that her daughter is today, 21 years ago, when an initial diagnosis revealed a simple urinary tract infection. This error had serious consequences, as the diabetes continued to affect his health and the symptoms became more and more severe. At the time of the discovery, she weighed only 32 kilograms and was starting to lose her eyesight.
This experience was very memorable for her, but thanks to the support of her family, very present in her life, she regained her morale.
Today, she has built a strong character and is enjoying life to the fullest. She is very active and involved in cultural and sporting life. She loves the pleasures of life and good restaurant meals. She knows what it means to “eat well”.
Larissa monitors her blood sugar a lot, thanks to a sensor, which prevents her from pricking her fingertips. For insulin, the young woman has a pump, which allows her to continue to be free in her daily activities.
Fabrice Troupé and Jean-Marie Firpion met her. Here is his portrait:

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