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September 2010 newsletter: news

Gut reaction: Coeliac disease is an often misunderstood condition. As Coeliac UK states, it is not an allergy or food intolerance but an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, a reaction triggered by the protein gluten. Coeliac Disease – The Essential Guide (£9.99) is a no-nonsense guide gives information on how coeliac disease can be diagnosed, how to avoid gluten in daily life and how to stop your social life from being affected. Advice is given about prescription foods available, other conditions associated with coeliac disease and how to cope with the condition when pregnant. There is also a chapter for parents of children withcoeliac disease. www.need2knowbooks.co.uk

Just a little scratch! When it comes to injections, one of the issues is the ‘business end’ – the needle. New from BD is the incredibly short 4mm insulin pen needle. It’s so tiny it’s pretty hard to see. How things have changed! Not only is it so small you won’t notice it going in, all tests to date have shown it’s entirely reliable in terms of insulin delivery and dose accuracy.

Practically yours: Newly out in paperback is DIABETES A Practical Guide to Managing Your Health (£12.99) by Rosemary Walker and Jill Rodgers, in association with Diabetes UK. Walker spent 16 years as a clinical nurse specialising in diabetes in a number of areas and was Assistant Head of the Diabetes Care Department at Diabetes UK for two years. She has a degree in psychology and has specialised in the psychological aspects of living with a chronic condition and in the most effective ways of teaching and learning. Rodgers trained as a nurse in the Royal Navy before a career in hospital and community medical environments, specialising in diabetes from 1994, notably in providing care at the primary level. She established the National Diabetes Facilitators Group, which she chaired for six years, and was instrumental in founding the Journal of Diabetes Nursing. She has a particular interest in enabling people with diabetes to self manage their condition using an insulin infusion pump device.

Bayer dance-off! Forty children with diabetes enjoyed a memorable day in the internationally renowned Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden, London, attending the Around U Street Dance Day sponsored by Bayer Diabetes Care and Diabetes.co.uk. The young people had a session being taught by some of the industry’s top dance instructors while parents heard a talk by Dr Aileen King, from King’s College London, who talked about some of the latest advances in diabetes research. The afternoon culminated in a full performance in front of their parents and dance instructors. Andrea Postles, Bayer DiabetesCare, said after the event, “The youngsters were absolutely brilliant.  As you can imagine, they learnt their routines so quickly and they loved the interaction with the studio instructors and each other. Many children with diabetes think there’s something wrong with them, and that they stand out, but we’ve always stressed that just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t do the same activities.

Sir Steve surprises at football event: A squad of young British footballers with type 1 diabetes are celebrating success after taking on teams from 15 countries in the fourth annual Diabetes Junior Cup Football Championship, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland in August. Three teams – 22 boys and two girls, aged from six to 17 – represented Great Britain in the event, which is organised by diabetes management specialist Medtronic. They were chosen after applying to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the Junior Cup’s UK charity partner. Some of the players enjoy football at school, while others hope to make it as professionals with places at academies run by Celtic FC, Manchester United, Huddersfield FC and Plymouth Argyle.

After two days of exciting competition, the GB Junior Team emerged as champions of their division, winning the final against France, while the Senior Team were unlucky to be beaten in their final by Slovakia. The Kids Team won two matches but lost their third-place play-off and finished fourth in their group, which was won by Spain. Players and parents took the opportunity to compare notes on playing sport with diabetes during the weekend as for many it was the first chance they had had to meet other young footballers with type 1.

A surprise highlight of the event was a visit from Sir Steve Redgrave, who spent a day watching the teams and gave a talk about how he continued his rowing career after being diagnosed with diabetes in 1997. The five-time Olympic gold medallist told the players he was ‘hugely impressed’ with their footballing skills and how the teams had bonded through the competition. “Seeing so many of you playing sport is an inspiration to someone like me,” he said. “No one would ever know you had a medical condition and that is how it should be.”

IDDT conference: Taking place October 9th, the Insuin Dependent Diabrgtes Trust (IDDT) annual conference is being held in Birmingham. With the titles, ‘Trust me I’m the patient’, this year’s discussion group sessions include Animal Insulin, Driving, Counting Carbs, Pumps, Carers’ Platform and Parents’ Platform. There are also talks from Dr Gary Adams (‘Little White Lies’), Dr Matt Kiln (Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring’) and Dr. Charles Fox (‘Changes in Diabetes’). The day event costs @20 to attend. Call 01604 622837 or visit www.iddtinternational.org to register.

Withdrawal of human Mixtard 30: At present approximately 90,000 people use Novo Nordisk’s human Mixtard 30. Novo Nordisk has given a notice of discontinuation of this insulin so all users will need to migrate to an alternative insulin such as Humulin M3 from Lilly. In addition, Novo’s Innolet device, often used by people with reduced dexterity or sight, will also be discontinued. IDDT is working with the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin [a journal which publishes independent evidence about drugs for doctors and health professionals] and have put a petition on their website objecting to Novo Nordisk’s decision which can be found at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/withdrawal-of-mixtard-30-from-the-uk-market/

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