Throughout National Diabetes Month, we will be sharing insights into Joslin’s innovations in care for diabetes and its complications as part of our mission of preventing, treating and curing diabetes. Our vision is a world free of diabetes and its complications.
This week, delve into the world of big data and learn how this information can help improve research and care.
“I’m no athlete, but exercise is a tremendous help in managing my diabetes,” says Danielle Panetta (pictured above). “If you do the best you can, your body knows it and responds.”
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This indomitable spirit got her through a major health crisis. Weighing 350 pounds, for nine years she struggled with diabetes misdiagnosed elsewhere as type 2.
Trying to get it under control, she lost 190 pounds while dealing with the rigors of college and law school. Eight years ago, she experienced excruciating foot pain and was referred to Joslin, where clinicians diagnosed her diabetes as type 1 and provided expert care for Charcot foot, in which nerve damage can lead to foot deformities.
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Other complications also had begun, which she is determined to get under control. “I really want to be healthy, and I can do that with or without diabetes,” she says. Equipped with an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor and skills to manage type 1 diabetes,
she has regained the feeling of hot and cold in her feet, rebuilt her leg muscles, and today trains for half-marathons and other races nationwide, often running with people who have diabetes.
Concerned about her kidneys, she has volunteered for the PERL study, headed by Joslin, which is investigating the potential of a drug therapy to stem kidney disease.
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Photo credit: John Soares