The BETTER project brings together peoples who live with type 1 diabetes and parents of children with type 1 diabetes (patient-partners), researchers, health professionals and decision-makers who are already involved and who want to advance quality of life, research to improve the clinical practices, and treatments for people who live with type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes and risk of hypoglycemia
People living with type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin to control the level of sugar in their blood because their pancreas does not produce insulin. They must adjust the amount of insulin they inject based on the carbohydrate content of the meals; physical activity, alcohol consumption, stress, infections, etc. A consequence of this treatment is a risk of low blood sugar. This is called hypoglycemia.
On a daily basis, people who live with type 1 diabetes, live with the fear of hypoglycemia and are constantly trying to keep their blood sugar levels in balance. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include tremors, palpitations, sweating, hunger, confusion, dizziness and blurred vision. When severe, hypoglycemia can cause loss of consciousness, accidents, injuries, coma and even death.
In mild to moderate hypoglycemia, the person can treat themselves by consuming carbohydrates (sugars). In the case of severe hypoglycemia, the person needs help from someone else to raise their blood sugar.
In most children and adults living with type 1 diabetes, hypoglycemia is common and is the main barrier to adequate diabetes management.