More research needed for type 1 diabetes

Eastleigh MP Mims Davies has met with a young constituent living with type 1 diabetes during a reception in Parliament that was also attended by fellow type 1 diabetic, the Home Secretary, Theresa May.

Mims met with Kevin Winchcombe and his daughter Amy from Horton Heath, who has the condition, at a reception held by global diabetes charity JDRF to raise awareness of it.

The pair also met with Mrs May, who herself was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2013. 

Living with type 1 diabetes takes a lot of management and people with type 1 can never have a day off; everything they eat must be accurately carbohydrate-counted so the correct amount of insulin can be given. 

"It is the only condition where children are expected to administer themselves a drug which could potentially kill them if the dose is miscalculated,” said Kevin.

“Children with type 1 diabetes are often bullied or mocked by other children who think that eating too many sweets caused their condition. There is no cure and no prevention available for type 1 diabetes and whilst technology such as continuous glucose monitors and Nightscout (www.nightscout.info) help, we live in hope that researchers will find ‘the cure’." 

“The key message is that type 1 diabetes isn’t caused by poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle, which is something often associated with type 2 diabetes, it is an autoimmune condition that attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas – forcing sufferers to have to take insulin themselves,” said Mims.

“More research is needed to find out what causes this condition and what role our genes have in it arising, or if there are environmental factors.

“It’s clear that JDRF is playing a crucial role in raising awareness and obtaining funding for research and I know that Kevin and Amy will spread that message locally too.”