My Daily Life With Diabetes



Once diabetes is diagnosed, the process of accepting and learning to live with the disease can be painful. Few diseases require so much attention; diabetes has to be monitored every hour, daily, no matter what is happening during the day. Diabetes treatment is not difficult in itself, but daily management of the disease is stressful. Diabetes requires a lot of energy, mentally and psychologically; the emotional impact of diabetes on patients’ lives is real. 

Diabetes is a permanent source of stress as glucose levels need to be monitored, insulin doses adjusted, and even if carried out to the letter, blood sugar may increase for no apparent reason as it can vary according to so many parameters.

"Diabetes is not an enemy to beat, but a challenge to overcome. Managing diabetes is a full-time job: checking blood sugar regularly, a walk after each meal and regular adjustments of insulin. Support from my friends and family helps me keep my head above water,” says Delphine.

My Life with Him

 

Studies have shown that the majority of people living with diabetes experience fears and negative feelings at one time or another. These feelings can lead to diabetic fatigue that is more than a feeling of tiredness and can lead to disproportionate discouragement. This in turn results in poor monitoring of their blood glucose levels, including forgetting to take their insulin injections and eating an unbalanced diet, in a bid to ignore or try to forget about diabetes. 

Moreover, while many people with diabetes experience some distress because of their illness, most of their family members feel frustrated because they do not know how to help.

Adolescence is a critical age

Parents and young children know from the time of diagnosis that diabetes is a chronic disease and that they are facing an increased risk of vascular, renal or ocular complications if their blood glucose levels remain uncontrolled. While children are drilled to respect treatment protocols to manage their disease in agreement with parents and health care professionals. Yet, only one-third of adolescents with diabetes manage to regulate their blood sugar independently. Factors that stop them effectively managing their treatment regime are numerous in adolescence and include repetitive glycemic control, difficulty in adjusting insulin doses according to meals or physical activity, and fear of being overweight. Rebellion or rejection of the disease even leads some patients who do not have any symptoms to stop their treatment.

During adolescence, the role of parents remains very important for optimal management of diabetes. Parent and adolescent relationships can be complicated and diabetes management can be an additional source of conflict. However, adolescents, even if they rebel against the demands and constraints, will be reassured by the existence of a protocol decided with their parents that is adapted to their new way of life.

Sanofi's century of commitment 

At Sanofi, we have almost 100 years of experience in the treatment of diabetes. Over the years, we have heard from many people with the disease and worked with countless health professionals to provide the best possible care. 

Sanofi’s commitment to manage diabetes in the best possible way today and to work towards finding a cure for tomorrow is based on four pillars:

  1. Working tirelessly to develop new therapies
  2. Implementing a variety of educational programs and services for people around the world. 
  3. Integrating solutions that connect treatments, services and data analytics to enable people to live the life they want.
  4. Partnering with health authorities and payers to provide as many people as possible with the best access to our medicines and solutions. 
As a parent of four wonderful children, I also have a deep personal reason that pushes to see the next big advancement in diabetes care.
Chris Boulton, Brand Lead at Sanofi Diabetes, whose daughter has Type 1 diabetes
Infographic about diabetes pandemic

What does Diabetes mean?

Diabetes is a complex disease caused by a deficiency of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, and falls into two types. Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks pancreatic cells that produce insulin and destroys them. It most often affects children and adolescents. Type 2 occurs when the amount of insulin produced by the body is insufficient.

The two main types of diabetes are different diseases but characterized by an excess of sugar in the blood and both must be taken seriously and treated effectively. Despite the medical research conducted on a daily basis, diabetes remains an illness that can be treated but not cured. People with diabetes must therefore monitor themselves throughout their lives, maintain good eating habits, engage in physical activity and take their treatment regularly.

Which are diabetes complications?

Diabetes is a chronic progressive disease that works on the organs even before a person feels pain, which can give the illusion of being healthy. Most sufferers reported being unaware of the risk of diabetes, because they hadn’t experienced any pain, saying they were more afraid of developing cancer.

Diabetes is a result of too much glucose in the blood. If blood glucose stays high for too long, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves over time, causing chronic problems and premature death. According to WHO, in 2012, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths worldwide. 

All types of diabetes can cause complications in many parts of the body and can increase the risk of premature death. However, diabetes cases and complications of the disease are largely preventable through a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintenance of normal weight and quitting smoking.