A simple blood test for people with Type 1 diabetes enabling some patients to stop taking insulin is now being offered across NHS Ayrshire & Arran and Scotland’s other health boards.
Scotland was the first country in the world to introduce this test on 01 November.
Type 1 diabetes is a serious condition where the patient’s blood glucose (sugar) level is too high because their body can’t produce insulin, which the body needs to allow glucose to move from the bloodstream into cells.
Designed to improve the accuracy of diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, the routine testing of C-peptide allows doctors to work out how much insulin someone with diabetes is making themselves. If C-peptide is present in significant amounts, then it may indicate that the person does not have Type 1 diabetes and that it may be possible to stop or reduce insulin treatment.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Around 31,500 people in Scotland have Type 1 diabetes and according to Diabetes UK, this number may increase to 48,000 by 2035.
“As Type 1 diabetes is not dependent on diet or lifestyle and development can’t be prevented, diagnosis and treatment are the only things we can focus on. Ensuring that everyone in Scotland can access safe, effective and person-centred healthcare, treatment and support, is a priority for the SNP Government.
“Type 1 diabetes is a significant health challenge right across the world and I am proud that Scotland is be the first country to introduce this blood test.”
Diabetes and Endocrinology Consultant Professor Mark Strachan said:
“C-peptide helps diabetes specialists make a more accurate diagnosis of the cause of diabetes, and that means we can get people on the most appropriate treatment. In some instances, C-peptide testing allowed people to stop very long-standing insulin therapy; this can be life-transforming.
“If anyone has any concerns regarding their diabetes or wishes to know more about the new blood test, they should contact their diabetes clinical team who are best placed to provide specific advice and support based on their individual circumstances.”
The programme will be offered to people with a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes of at least three years duration. C-peptide testing will be offered by hospital diabetes centres.