Associate Professor Ben Wheeler, EDOR member and paediatric endocrinologist at Dunedin Hospital, along with Human Nutrition colleague and lecturer Dr Sara Styles, are working to improve the management tools available for children and teenagers who have type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition where the body sets up an attack against the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The result is that the body produce very little, if any, insulin. This important hormone controls our blood glucose levels, which if not tightly regulated can result in serious medical complications and even death. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.
Unlike the more common type 2 diabetes, the cause of type 1 diabetes is usually unknown and often starts in childhood. This presents a huge burden for the child and their family in managing and treating this condition.
New ways to manage type 1 diabetes
Associate Professor Ben Wheeler and colleagues are investigating new devices for better and more affordable glucose monitoring. New technologies for automation of insulin delivery, which will improve the control of blood glucose and reduce the burden of care for young people with type 1 diabetes, are also being developed.