NCD Child Conference 2012

May 31, 2012

As you’ve probably noticed (or not) the CDN blog has been lacking, but we’re back! Happy 2012! Our very own Christina Roth will be kicking it off with a post about her recent experience at the NCD Child Conference in Oakland, CA.

I had never thought of Type 1 diabetes as part of this large international movement encompassing other conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome, asthma, even the need for newborn screening. I had been so focused on “my diabetes’’, that day to day grind that seems to always be throwing something new at you, and can make you want to start hitting your head against a wall at the end of the day….(ya you know the one!), that I hadn’t seen the full scope of what diabetes is a part of.

But here I was, flown all the way to California (thank you to the amazing folks at the Public Health Institute and our partners at CLAN (Caring and Living as Neighbors)), for this conference on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in children. I was a bit nervous that my focus on college students might not quite fit in, but excited either way. I had done my homework, I knew that there had been a large international meeting held at the end of 2011 to address the growing threat of non-communicable diseases, and I also knew that children were only mentioned a handful of times.

I happened to be more than pleasantly surprised. One of the big take away messages of the conference was the need to address these problems at all stages of the life cycle (young adults included…check!).  And another that stood out to me was how difficult it is to actually change people’s behavior, and that despite ridiculous amounts of money spent on it, most public health initiatives struggle, particularly with the number of staff needed to keep them successful. These may seem like obvious conclusions, and relatively unrelated, however they kept me running on barely any sleep for about a week.

One of the first things that I thought of was that many people with diabetes go into careers related to health, as they have unique insight, passion and expertise. In addition, the job “situation” is tough, many college students are unable to get jobs, or need experience to beef up those resumes. So, my obvious conclusion was: wouldn’t college students with diabetes be the PERFECT candidates to work with these amazing organizations, as they are the individuals that kids actually look up to and are willing to change their behavior in order to emulate, AND they are passionate and value their health? How cool would it be to intern internationally?! Or to intern with an organization that can have widespread impact?! Once I had come to all of these conclusions, it was pretty clear to me that this could be a great opportunity for our CDN students.

So on that note, I highly recommend checking out the NCD child movement. Check out their website, and the first inaugural conference at

We, here at CDN, will keep you posted on what’s going on with the NCD movement, and how you can get involved!


CDN on Six Until Me!

October 19, 2011

Head on over to the awesome dBlog Six Until Me and read a great post about College Diabetes Network founder Christina Roth and College Diabetes Network.

Science post from Dr. Kim Kelly

October 12, 2011

There are lots of new developments in the technology and treatment of type 1 diabetes as well as a number of myths related to diabetes care.  As you may have read in Christina’s introduction in CDN’s August newsletter, my name is Kim Kelly, and I have an extensive background in the field of diabetes, most recently as the former Director of the J&J Diabetes Institute in Silicon Valley, CA.  I will be blogging on the CDN site about some of the developments in the field as well as some tips from time to time.  I will include a reference or two at the end of the blog in case you want to get the original article(s) on which it is based.  I want to make sure these blogs are relevant to the concerns of college students with type 1 diabetes, and I am happy to address any questions as part of the blog schedule so don’t be shy about asking questions.  Questions can be emailed to So let’s get started with our first blog.

Use of insulin comes with many caveats.  We learn so many factors that impact our blood glucose levels from carbohydrates to exercise, stress, insulin dosage and timing, and many more.  In the midst of all of these factors, as you all know…life happens.  One facet of adulthood we all take for granted is driving.  We often hop in the car without giving it a second thought.  The topic of today’s blog is protecting yourself and others when you drive.  I’ll start with the most recent poll done by Children with Diabetes of the young adults who participate in CWD activities.  The question: “For teens and adults with diabetes, How often do you check your blood sugar before you drive” resulted in 38% ‘always’, 23% ‘usually’, 23% ‘sometimes’, 12% ‘rarely’ and 4% ‘never’.  For the 62% who were not ‘always’ some thoughts from the diabetes literature.  Dr. Daniel Cox, and others who have worked a lot in this area have found that driving mishaps occur twice as often in individuals with type 1 diabetes as they do in their non-diabetic spouses, or in people with type 2 diabetes.  Motor skills begin to deteriorate when blood glucose is around 65 mg/dL, but drivers frequently did not recognize the deterioration and treat for hypoglycemia.  In a separate study of over 450 adults with type 1 diabetes, they found that over a 12 month period, 52% reported at least one hypoglycemia-related driving mishap, and 6% reported at least 6 or more!  Mishaps were related to mileage driven, past history of severe hypoglycemia, and insulin pump therapy.  The latter perhaps due to lower blood glucose levels associated with better control in pumpers.  His article recommended steps to avoid hypoglycemia while driving, such as measuring blood glucose before driving, encouraging a higher blood glucose threshold for when not to begin driving (e.g. >90 mg/dL), and, when hypoglycemia is detected while driving, safely ceasing driving, eating fast-acting carbohydrates, and not resuming driving until blood glucose and cognitive motor functioning have recovered.  When was the last time you checked your glucose before driving?  Hopefully it was the last time you drove the car!

If you would like to get more information on this study:  Cox D, et al. Diabetes Care 2009;32:2177-2180


September 23, 2011

Welcome to the new College Diabetes Network (CDN) blog! We hope that you will enjoy coming here to this site to read blog posts from current college students with diabetes, and to read guest blog posts from bloggers in the Diabetes Online Community about their thoughts on college and diabetes.  So, welcome to the blog! If you have any questions, please email us at or and we will answer your question as soon as we can!

Do you have diabetes, and are you in college? Do you want to get involved and start a CDN chapter on your college campus? Let us know! Visit the College Diabetes Network website and see everything that CDN has to offer, including discussion boards and other resources to help you survive your college years, or young adult years if you are not in college but in that “in between” age stage. We are right there with you, and we can understand what you are going through, plus help you with some support and resources along the way. Nobody said that life with diabetes is ever going to be easy, but you certainly don’t have to go through life with diabetes alone!

If you are interested in being a student blogger for CDN, please email us at or