DAFNE is a five day course for people with Type 1 diabetes who take insulin. DAFNE stands for Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating and you can read in detail about this at www.dafne.uk.com
Their slogan is Eat What You Like When You Like. In that respect life is easier when you are on insulin.
This picture shows blood glucose measurements before and after the DAFNE course and hopefully you will see why I think everyone with Type 1 diabetes should go on a DAFNE course. I instantly had much better control of blood sugar levels even though I was quite well controlled before the course.
These DAFNE articles are my summary of the main points of the 5 day course so that you can decide whether you should attend a course or recommend it someone you know who has type 1 diabetes.
The DAFNE course was really useful because it tells you how you can improve your control of diabetes so that you have an HbA1c blood sugar figure in the target range.
I wonder how many of us, after a while drift away from the details of the method and find our own way. I shall add a follow up article to show how I have faired in the year that followed.
Prior to the Course
Before the course began I was asked to go to my local surgery for an HbA1c blood measurement to provide a starting reference to see how well the course works.
That meant withdrawing blood from my arm so I asked the DAFNE specialist if it was ok if I claimed that a cholesterol measurement was also required. I had begun exercising on a treadmill and I was keen to see if my cholesterol levels had improved. It had by the way.
For the DAFNE course I was asked to increase my night-time Basal Insulin dose from 14 units to 20 units. From looking at my records the diabetes nurse suspected that I was taking too little background insulin and too much meal-time bolus insulin. See Day 1 for more on this.
I left the room at the end of Day 1 thinking the DAFNE course was so good that it should be compulsory for Type 1 diabetics. A bit like a driving test. I suppose it won’t suit everyone but that’s how I felt. I still feel that all Type 1 diabetics should be told about the DAFNE course and be given the opportunity to attend one.
I think the DAFNE course could help nearly all Type 1 diabetics significantly improve their blood sugar control but there are always a few people with special situations where the benefits don’t materialise. I know of one case where DAFNE didn’t help much and that person now has an insulin pump and is pleased with the results. I guess that is a rare situation though. My results have made me a raving fan of DAFNE.
NEXT: DAFNE Course Day 1