Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes

Needle Phobia Leads to Pancreas Transplant

In the course of living with Type 1 diabetes for 38 years, Sue York of England developed a deep fear of needles. It was a phobia so severe that it caused her to shake and sometimes vomit when she injected insulin. Because of this, doctors eventually decided to undertake the world’s first-ever pancreas transplant in response to a phobia.

York, 55, explained in an interview with BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Programme that she felt constantly afraid, even when she wasn’t directly using a needle. Because of this, she tried to find ways to avoid treating her diabetes more than absolutely necessary. When local rules were passed calling for people with diabetes to check their blood sugar levels before getting behind the wheel, for example, she simply stopped driving altogether.

A fear of needles, called trypanophobia, is said to affect approximately 10% of the population; the phobia can occur from birth or develop as a learned behavior after an unfavorable experience. Trypanophobia can be deadly for those living with Type 1 diabetes, as the anxiety associated with injections can cause people to forgo treatment.

York and her medical team exhausted other options before electing for the pancreas transplant, according to the report. She attempted cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy to ease her anxiety, but nothing worked.

Even once her team determined a transplant was the best option, it took over two years for her to be cleared for a transplant, a process that included three visits in front of a panel of doctors. Twenty-one days after being placed on the waiting list, she was matched with a donor. Now, after the success of the transplant, doctors say York’s life expectancy has doubled. She says her quality of life has dramatically improved.

There is fierce debate over whether York’s need was great enough to qualify for a transplant. Dr. Raman Dhanda of the Manchester Royal Infirmary defends the decision of the panel, explaining that there are strict guidelines both nationally and internationally to ensure that patients with the greatest need receive transplants first.

York’s story already has elicited strong opinions, both for and against the transplant, among the Type 1 community. Being a lightning rod of debate may be an unintended side effect of the transplant.

Thanks for reading this Insulin Nation article. Want more Type 1 news? Subscribe here.

Have Type 2 diabetes or know someone who does? Try Type 2 Nation, our sister publication.

Courtney Major currently attends Emerson College where she majors in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a minor in Marketing Communications.

Related Articles

10 Comments

  1. Definitely imagine that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to take
    into account of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed whilst people
    consider worries that they plainly do not understand about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest as
    neatly as defined out the entire thing without having side effect , other folks can take
    a signal. Will probably be again to get more.

    Thank you

  2. 659173 142635Sorry for the huge review, but Im genuinely loving the new Zune, and hope this, as effectively as the excellent reviews some other men and women have written, will assist you decide if its the proper choice for you. 873252

  3. 339748 320606I admire the beneficial facts you offer inside your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and also have my children verify up here often. Im extremely sure theyll learn plenty of new issues proper here than anybody else! 778260

  4. Terrific work! This is the kind of info that are supposed to be shared around the net.
    Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post upper!
    Come on over and visit my web site . Thank you =)

  5. Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform
    are you using for this website? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m
    looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great
    if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  6. Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button