Celebrating 100 years of insulin in diabetes care

13/Jul/2021     Health

National Diabetes Week runs from the 11 – 17 July and the theme this year clinicians around the world are celebrating 100 years since the invention of insulin.

Insulin is a hormone created by your pancreas that controls the amount of glucose in your bloodstream, people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes over or under produce insulin which can be life threatening.

Clinical Nurse Consultant Marina Noud explains the invention of insulin marked a major turning point in the treatment of people with diabetes as previously diabetes had been a death sentence.

“The invention of insulin for people with diabetes has given patients across the world hope, in the past 100 years medical science has come so far in improving how people with diabetes are treated and how insulin is used,” Marina said.

“Previously a blood glucose meter was the size of a brick, today it’s a discrete handheld device, an insulin pump was the size of a backpack and now you would never know someone was wearing one under their clothing.

“Despite the fact that we still don’t have a cure for diabetes we have made huge advances in how we treat the disease and help people live normal lives.”   

Nurse Unit Manager Jo Pennisi explains that the way in which people with diabetes can live their lives has also dramatically changes.

“Historically you used to have your insulin and wait half an hour before you could eat, and you could only have a prescribed amount of carbohydrate to match the dose. Now you can inject and eat and adjust dose depending on what you would like to have,” Jo said.

“There is so much more education for people with diabetes, here at Mater we have the DAFNE program and Pump Therapy while in the community there is the Desmond program. It takes the guesswork out of managing your condition.  

“People are becoming more aware around safety and hypoglycaemia, especially while driving and understanding they need to be “Over Five to Drive” which is preventing accidents on the road. 

“We are also seeing more people gaining employment as employers are receptive to hiring people with diabetes and allowing them time to check their blood sugar and eat if necessary.” 

The team at QDEC hope that treatments improve for people living with diabetes and the stigma surrounding the disease continues to reduce and one day a cure is found.

To find out more about the Mater Queensland Diabetes and Endocrine Centre (QDEC), you can visit the website here or call 07 3163 2500.


For further information contact: Media and Communications Officer, Alyssa Kremmer on      0421 897 853 or alyssa.kremmer@mater.org.au.   


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