A new diabetes management scheme has been described as “life changing” by one of the first patients to try it.
The new approach to managing Type 1 diabetes has been launched for patients in Kirklees at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.
The programme is called DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating).
It is aimed at helping patients with Type 1 diabetes to understand more about their condition and how they can manage their insulin treatment to improve control.
The Trust’s lead dietitian for diabetes, Vanessa Henry, said: “Initially people are nervous or a little apprehensive about attending the DAFNE course as they are not sure what to expect or how much more they will learn about diabetes.
“However, it is a great opportunity for people to meet others living with Type 1 diabetes and share their experiences.
“The support they provide each other is wonderful.
“When they have finished the course people have more confidence based on the knowledge and skills they have learned from DAFNE to manage their diabetes.”
The sessions are held quarterly at locations across the area and involve a five-day course consisting of lots of interactive, practical workshops.
Patients are referred to the programme by the specialist diabetes team at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Clinical Director Dr Rob Moisey added: “The DAFNE programme is essential for diabetes patients to manage their condition, and provides a support network for patients, to ensure we continue delivering high standards of care for our patients.”
Type 1 diabetes is the less common form and usually develops in childhood or adolescence.
Sufferers lose the ability to produce their own insulin and require insulin injections.
They must also monitor carbohydrate intake and glucose/insulin balance in order to avoid illness.
Type 2 diabetes generally develops in people aged over 40.
Treatment is usually dietary measures and weight reduction.
Jonathan Roberts, 36, from Netherton, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes aged just seven.
He says the course has been “life changing” for him.
Mr Roberts, who works for the Canal and River Trust, said: “The course is invaluable. Life changing.
“You end up with much more control over your life and with the diabetes not affecting your life as much.
“You learn you can eat what you want providing you count the carbs properly and you also learn how to cope with other illnesses.”
For more information check out www.diabetes.org.uk