Diabetes is often misunderstood

Ethan Galpin of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Ethan Galpin of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Supplied

MANY people can’t imagine living with a disorder that affects everyday life – especially one that is misunderstood.

Ethan Galpin has been living with Type 1 diabetes for five years and knows that it is a disorder that is often confused.

Now an ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, he wants to educate people on the differences between Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

“Although diabetes is often mentioned in the media, few people know there are two types of this disease – type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with diet and lifestyle and cannot be prevented,” Mr Galpin said.

He is urging people to look at the research surrounding Type 1 diabetes to hopefully reach a cure sooner.

“The more you know about type 1 diabetes, the better your decisions will be in the future about research related to this disease. You can help me and the over 140,000 other Australians who live with type 1 diabetes every day.”

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease stopping the body from producing insulin and in turn will not turn food into energy.

“For unknown reasons, my immune system mistakenly turned on itself, destroying beta cells within the pancreas and removing the body’s ability to produce insulin,” Mr Galpin said.

“I used to have to get mum to inject myself with insulin five times a day but now I am lucky I am on an insulin pump which I wear 24/7 just to stay alive.”

Mr Galpin is at risk in the future of heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and even amputation.

Mr Galpin says he is in debt to everyone who has helped him with the disease and wishes to thank the Gladstone Hospital and many others.

“I wish to thank the Gladstone Hospital, Dr Bob McCrossin, Julie Price and Dell Golder (my diabetes educators) for the great work they do here in Gladstone. Because of the support I get from them I don’t have to travel to Brisbane every three months.”

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