Screening resources for type 1 diabetes

(BPT) - Sponsored by Sanofi

Grace Cochran - who is a registered nurse (RN) in an Intensive Care Unit - and Raquel Baron - who is the CEO of a company that provides resources for children living with type 1 diabetes and their parents - both have type 1 diabetes and were diagnosed at young ages. Cochran and Baron are also passionate about education around the disease. "Having knowledge early might help both patients and doctors catch type 1 diabetes before symptoms appear and even before life-threatening complications occur. Awareness from trustworthy resources is vitally important and ultimately can give those with type 1 diabetes more time to prepare," Cochran said.

Below, hear Cochran and Baron talk about the importance of early autoantibody screening for type 1 diabetes, as well as resources they rely on and suggest to others. To check out screening options yourself, visit The1Pledge.com and talk to your doctor.

Who should screen for type 1 diabetes?

While both Baron and Cochran were diagnosed at young ages, adults can also develop the condition. This underscores the importance of early screening for individuals in any age group. As Baron noted, "As we continue to see more diagnoses across age groups, it's becoming clear why anyone and everyone should get screened."

You also don't need to be experiencing symptoms to be at risk - or to already be in the early stages of type 1 diabetes. Although type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed suddenly, typically when symptoms occur, its development in the body can happen over the course of many months or years before symptoms present in a noticeable way. This means you may already have type 1 diabetes, even if you aren't outwardly showing signs of the disease, which may include but are not limited to extreme thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss.

What does screening do?

Individuals with type 1 diabetes will eventually require life-long insulin therapy. A blood test can detect type 1 diabetes-related autoantibodies early, before the need for insulin. If the screening finds two or more autoantibodies, this is a sign that an early stage of type 1 diabetes may have already begun. Screening that can detect these autoantibodies is readily available today, and there are many options for where you can get screened that your doctor can share with you.

"An autoantibody blood test may offer you the opportunity to prepare for the future, before clinical onset of type 1 diabetes, when symptoms are noticeable, and insulin is needed. Regardless of your known risk factors, getting screened can help you make informed decisions with results and knowledge. I am passionate about sharing my perspective of the importance of screening as a nurse and a person living with type 1 diabetes. I love being able to provide the extra support of relatability and firsthand understanding of the value of screening to my patients," Cochran shared.

Why is early screening important?

Currently, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes - but screening for type 1 diabetes may detect it early, allowing you more time to better understand your options and find the right care team to support you. As Cochran noted, "Having insights into your health is so important, and early screening may help people potentially reduce the risk of serious health complications and time in the hospital due to type 1 diabetes."

As Baron points out, "Community and support are also really important to me, especially as I have gotten older. I have a lot of friends from the type 1 diabetes online community, and we just understand each other. It's a tight-knit group of supportive people, unlike any other community I have seen online."

Organizations and initiatives, such as JDRF, Beyond Type 1, Taking Control of Your Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association, provide valuable resources and information regarding type 1 diabetes, including risk factors, symptoms, how to get screened for diabetes-related autoantibodies and what to do before, during and after screening, as does The 1 Pledge movement, which includes a doctor discussion guide, so you know what to ask when discussing screening with your healthcare provider.

Don't wait. The more you know, the more you can do to prepare for your and your family's future. The only question that remains is: When will you get screened?

Sanofi does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment - information is provided for educational purposes only. Your doctor is the best source of health information. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about your health or treatment. By clicking on the third-party links above, you will be going to an independent website not controlled or endorsed by Sanofi. Sanofi takes no responsibility for the information on these websites.

Raquel Baron and Grace Cochran are paid spokespeople for Sanofi.

 

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