Written by Eszter Czaba, Dorottya Kardos and Melinda Rózsa, Student Support staff
Living with diabetes is a challenge. It’s a really ordinary, 24/7 challenge. Sometimes it’s a struggle. Sometimes it’s natural, sometimes it’s very frustrating. As a form of awareness – constant: during the day in your work, sports, pleasures, flow, boredom, sorrows and even at night, in your dreams. I could learn that my disease is not a prison that defines me. But it can give me power, moreover, privilege to feel this power within me every day. I can say now that my diabetes is an opportunity for me to live my life at its best. Diabetes is not me, only a part of my story. This is how I can live beyond type 1 diabetes.”
– says Eszter Czaba about her personal experiences.
According to a WHO report, every 11th person was diagnosed with diabetes in 2014. It seems that the number of people with diabetes worldwide is increasing. Growth rates vary by continent and country, depending on how efficient health care is. Type 2 diabetes has a higher growth rate and it is known as a disease of civilization. Genetic factors, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and smoking play a major role in the development of type 2 diabetes as risk factors.
The incidence of type 1 diabetes is also increasing, albeit to a lesser extent. The reason for the development of type 1 is less known, in addition to genetics, family accumulation and nutritional factors, the role of certain viruses also arises.
Nowadays more and more young people are also affected by diabetes. You may not notice any symptoms. Often it is revealed by accident with a blood test. High blood sugar levels are the key problem in diabetes. Nevertheless, we have a chance to minimize the risk by consciously monitoring ourselves, controlling our diet and lifestyle, keeping a check on our blood sugar levels, and taking proper treatments to manage it. Because the complications of an untreated condition are much scarier than the disease itself.
How can you help a diabetic in their daily lives?
In case of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), any kind of “snack” is helpful. You may need urgent help without hesitation: fast-absorbing glucose or a sugary soft drink. Chocolate is less helpful because of its high fat.
It is recommended to allow eating and drinking during lectures or exams for safety reasons. Also, frequent breaks or occasional absences from classes that the student can somehow make up for later can help a great deal. The atmosphere of trust and tolerance can also help to protect the person with diabetes from the extra stress associated with explanation and effects of bad feelings.
If the diabetic person loses consciousness, it is needed to free their airway as soon as possible. Lay them in a stable side position or, if you can’t do it, on your side or belly. Make sure that any airway obstruction (e.g. saliva) can escape easily. If there is an injection of glucagon nearby, it should be given urgently. This is usually kept in an orange plastic case for diabetics and includes instructions for administration.
If the person is already able to swallow, please provide him/her sugar orally.
In addition, always notify ambulances about the emergency treatment and arrange for transportation to the hospital.
How do you recognize someone with diabetes?
My breakfast is your dinner – Petra Petyi’s award-winning exam film
The diagnosis of each type of diabetes that requires insulin administration knocks a person off their feet. They have to adapt to a new life under fairly strict conditions. This new life for the first and second time seems to be full of renouncements. Although a bit differently, but this new way of life can also be accommodated.
How to start down the path of different treatments and how to “recover” the body diagnosed with the disease again?
This short film is about the initial steps of this process. It also draws our attention to a very interesting aspect. It is important to follow the rules but in the meantime, we must not let go of our freedom.
The doctors and nurses can’t help you finding the balance – it’s hard to admit. This task is left to the diabetic alone.
(Available only in Hungarian)
The supportive university environment
In a protective environment, we can reduce the hardships of diabetes by offering flexible solutions and responding to the needs of the individual. The transfer of information, sensitization is also such a supportive tool that can bring the topic of diabetes closer to everyone. It is important not to judge. Juvenile diabetes is not caused by a lot of sugar consumption it is more due to a genetic predisposition and it often occurs as a complication of an autoimmune disease and other diseases. The blood level treatment insulin injection or pump are tools for survival.
Our university opened a comfortably furnished relaxing space (Building “E” 2nd Floor, Room 240.1) several years ago, which is also suitable for providing calm atmosphere for the necessary medication, relaxation or special meals.
If you are reading this article as a student affected by diabetes or other chronic illness of Corvinus University, and you need help for mental processing, please contact the Student Support Specialist team at firstname.lastname@example.org.