BEhaviors, Therapies, TEchnologies and hypoglycemic Risk in Type 1 diabetes – BETTER
The BETTER project brings together patient-partners who live with type 1 diabetes, parents of children with type 1 diabetes, researchers, health professionals and decision-makers who are already involved and who want to advance research to improve the clinical practices, treatments and quality of life 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 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.
The BETTER project
The project aims to measure and reduce hypoglycaemia for people who live with type 1 diabetes and has three main axes:
- THE REGISTRY: Since April 2019, anyone living with type 1 diabetes in Quebec is invited to register in the BETTER registry. This registry aims to better identify the needs and realities related to type 1 diabetes. People who register in the BETTER registry complete one or more questionnaires about their experience with hypoglycemia. The information gathered will enable researchers to better understand the issues and test approaches to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia. LEARN MORE
- THE SUPPORT PLATEFORM: In parallel with the registry, an online training platform specific to the issues related to type 1 diabetes should be on-line by the beginning of 2020 and will be accessible for adults who have registered to the BETTER registry. LEARN MORE
- THE BETTER STUDIES: Hypoglycemia-related studies will also be conducted as part of the project, aimed at harnessing technologies and therapies to reduce hypoglycemia. LEARN MORE