CAYMAN ISLANDS (December 3, 2015) – Health City Cayman Islands recently held a tour of the hospital for young Type 1 Diabetes patients and their families. The tour included a discussion with medical staff, including Paediatric Endocrinologist, Dr Deepa Subramonian and Registered Dietitian, Stellerie Noyons.
The tour, held on 28 November 2015, included treating the families to a special ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of the tertiary care hospital and the chance to meet some of the doctors. In addition to the eight families and patients from Grand Cayman, the Cayman Islands Diabetes Charitable Trust (CIDCT) generously provided support for the Scott family, whose son is living with Type 1 Diabetes, to come to Grand Cayman from Cayman Brac for the event. The CIDCT sponsors families with Type 1 Diabetes to travel and participate in Type 1 Diabetes camps, socials and Type 1 Diabetes education courses that can help support them.
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing the hormone insulin, necessary to convert energy from the food we eat. Although Type 1 Diabetes can affect both children and adults, many patients are diagnosed during childhood or adolescents. The rate of Type 1 Diabetes among children under the age of 14 years is estimated to increase by 3% year-on-year worldwide, however, with proper management and monitoring, most patients can lead a normal active lifestyle.
Following on from the tour, the families attended a talk by medical staff regarding the management of Type 1 Diabetes which included the history of Type 1 Diabetes and developments in treatment by Dr Deepa, as well as well as advice from Health City’s registered dietitian, Stellerie Noyons, on carb-counting and eating a healthy diet. The tour and discussion was followed by lunch at Health City.
Dr Deepa Subramonian, Paediatric Endocrinologist at Health City said, “For many younger patients, being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes can initially feel overwhelming. We’re here to support the family and offer advice to show how these children can continue to participate in normal activities and sports and reach their potential, with proper management of their condition and the correct medication. I teach my patients that Type 1 Diabetes does not define who they are or what they can do”.
The event aimed to provide information and support to families and patients living with Type 1 Diabetes in a small, comfortable group, to allow all participants to engage fully with the Health City medical staff, and answer questions they may have about the management of the disease.
Stellerie Noyons, registered dietitian, said, “Having Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t mean you have to eat differently to your family or friends. It’s about eating a balanced, whole food diet, which is something we should all do. It’s about being smart with consistent monitoring of your intake and blood glucose levels. It’s about being prepared with healthy snack options and planning of meals. It was great to see these patients learn more about how to manage Type 1 Diabetes through their diet and realize this is easily accomplished with a little planning. When children are involved in this planning process, it gives them a sense of empowerment, particularly those in their teen years, where they do not want to feel different or isolated.”
The medical tour was successful, with many patients and family members saying how encouraged they were, not only to find support in other families dealing with Type 1 Diabetes, but in the medical staff, information and supportive environment offered by Health City Cayman Islands.