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Story Publication logo August 4, 2017

Type 1 Diabetes in Rural Costa Rica

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Type 1 diabetes might be for life, but the disease can be managed through proper supplies, insulin, education and support—all lacking in many parts of Costa Rica. Image by Jessie Rowan. Costa Rica, 2017.
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How do youth with Type 1 diabetes live with and manage a disease in a country where proper supplies...

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The area of Cartago, Costa Rica—located only an hour away from the hustle and bustle of the country's urban capital, San José, feels like a world apart. Image by Jessie Rowan. 2017.
The area of Cartago, Costa Rica—located only an hour away from the hustle and bustle of the country's urban capital, San José, feels like a world apart. Image by Jessie Rowan. 2017.

Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which an individual's pancreas produces little to no insulin. Individuals inject insulin in order to survive. It may be confused with Type 2 diabetes—which is lifestyle-related and can often be controlled through nutrition. Type 1 diabetes often is considered to be genetic, yet new studies show that it may be caused by a virus that kills off insulin-producing cells.

While there is no cure, diabetes can be managed with proper education, supplies and support—all which are lacking in many regions throughout Costa Rica. This video shows how several young Costa Ricans are coping with the disease.

This video was updated on November 21, 2017.

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