Type 1 diabetes is a pathology of autoimmune or idiopathic origin that leads to the progressive destruction of pancreas cells that produce insulin (beta cells). It can manifest in juvenile age or in its slower course variant that appears in adults (LADA – Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults). The symptoms that accompany the onset are: polyuria (increased diuresis), polydipsia (increased thirst) and weight loss (weight reduction). In some cases it is also characteristic the acetonemic breath (fruity breath) that appears in case of very high glycemia (blood sugar) for a long time.
To date, type 1 diabetes is a disease that can be cured in an optimal way, but from which it cannot yet be cured; for this reason it is called “chronic pathology”. The treatment of type 1 diabetes is based on external supplementation of the hormone that is no longer produced by beta cells, i.e. insulin. In the last twenty years several milestones have been set for diabetes therapy, both in terms of new insulin and devices for blood glucose control (continuous and flash sensors) and continuous insulin infusion (pumps).
Thanks to the intense research activity on technologies dedicated to diabetes, the latest generation devices available on the market today allow an optimal control of glycemia management and, in some cases, actively intervene – with the contribution, when necessary, of the person with diabetes – on the management of insulin therapy, thanks to algorithms that allow the system to “learn” from everyday life. However, to date there are still no fully autonomous systems available on the market for the management of insulin therapy, although they represent the near future (artificial pancreas) of therapy for type 1 diabetes. However, it should be remembered that, with respect to new technologies for diabetes, all “wearable devices” (devices that are “worn”, such as pumps and sensors) are framed as solutions that can simplify the management of the disease in the face of adequate training by health care personnel and full collaboration by the person with diabetes.
Within the clinical offer of the IRCCS MultiMedica Diabetes Service in Sesto San Giovanni, there is also an outpatient space dedicated to the management of type 1 diabetes and the technologies available on the market for the treatment and management of diabetes.
In particular, the Center aims to be at the forefront of the most innovative proposals available on the market for the remote control of blood glucose (continuous or flash sensors and implantable sensors) and for the continuous infusion of blood glucose (insulin pumps), proposing solutions more appropriate to the needs of the person with diabetes according to their characteristics, lifestyle, and any individual needs.
The clinical activity dedicated to type 1 diabetes provides for a synergic work between different professional figures, who collaborate in a complementary and proactive way in order to guarantee an optimal and personalized management of the person in our clinic.
These specialized professional figures are:
- the diabetologist, with expertise in intensive insulin therapy, type 1 diabetes and diabetes technologies;
- the nurse, with expertise in therapeutic education of the person in insulin therapy and technologies for diabetes;
- the nutritionist, with expertise in carbohydrate counting.
The specific skills and preparation of these professionals, put at the service of people with diabetes, allow to achieve ambitious results even in the most complex conditions.