In a deferred celebration of World Diabetes Day, Dr. Subrata Dey, a distinguished senior pediatric endocrinologist and diabetologist at Apollo Multispeciality Hospitals,Kolkata, hosted a special event on December 17, 2023, at The Spring Club,Kolkata. The aim was to spotlight the challenges faced by children with type 1 diabetes, specifically focusing on insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in childhood.
The event included a drawing competition for kids and an essay competition for parents, themed “Meet the Challenges of Diabetes.” Scientific presentations by Dr. Dey followedand provided insights into the latest advancements in managing diabetes in children.
Dr. Dey, an authority in the field, noted the rising instances of type 1 diabetes in India, exceeding 150,000 cases. Stressing the urgency of effective management, he emphasized the potential for severe microvascular complications associated with untreated type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Dey highlighted insulin’s life-saving role for type 1 patients and distinguished it from type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is common in children due to a lack of breastfeeding and immunity problems, whereas Type 2 diabetes is common in adults and occurs due to genetic predisposition and obesity.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus is caused by insulin deficiency due to the pancreas’ inability to produce adequate amounts of insulin. This disease commonly affects young children and teenagers, leading to the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The diagnosis is confirmed with fasting blood sugar levels greater than 126 mg/dl or 200 mg/dl 2 hours after food. Insulin, administered daily in multiple doses through syringes, pens, or pumps, is the cornerstone of type 1 diabetes management. Comprehensive diabetes management involves insulin treatment, nutritional management, physical activity, diabetes education, and psychological support, ensuring a long and productive life for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Essential insights shared by Dr. Dey covered maintaining blood sugar, advocating for A1C levels close to 7, and blood sugarbetween 70 and 180. The discussion included various modalities for checking blood sugar: glucometers, hemoglobin A1C tests, and continuous glucose monitoring systems.
As science progressed, so did the ability to control blood sugar. Dr. Dey underscored advancements in insulin delivery methods, including pens and pumps, ensuring efficient sugar control. He stressed the importance of multiple insulin doses and a diabetic diet tailored to individual needs.
On this occasion,Dr. Dey highlighted the pivotal role of timely diagnosis and initiation of treatment, particularly through basal bolus insulin therapy, in addressing the escalating prevalence of type 1 diabetes. “Currently, insulin pumps provide care in diabetes management, offering a technologically advanced solution that minimizes the necessity for multiple injections. It is essential to recognize the significance of these devices and consider their accessibility, considering nodal centers in specific states that provided free insulin. Ensuring affordability and widespread access remain imperative, shaping a healthcare landscape where no individual is left untreated or underserved.”
The program was packed with engaging activities, including a magic show, and concluded with a prize and gift distribution ceremony, followed by a delightful lunch, fostering a sense of community among families dealing with type 1 diabetes.
Parents of children with type 1 diabetes were encouraged to participate in this informative and supportive event, ensuring a brighter future for children living with type 1 diabetes.