Diabetes educator, Gary Scheiner gives his in-depth review of the newly approved Abbott Freestyle Libre CGM continuous glucose monitor. Faster than the fastest meter. More powerful than point-in-time measurements. Able to leap piles of test strips with a single scan. Look… on pharmacy shelves (soon). It’s a meter. It’s a CGM. It’s FREESTYLE LIBRE! Seriously, this is exciting. Abbott’s Frestyle Libre has finally been approved for sale in the United States. Why the excitement? Because it almost eliminates the need for fingerstick blood glucose measurements. It has features of a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) and a blood glucose meter combined in one device. And it is simple to use, reasonably accurate, virtually painless, and relatively inexpensive ($60 for the durable receiver/scanner, $40 per sensor; insurance coverage pending). Super! How does it work? An applicator device is placed on the back of the arm. With one push, a tiny glucose-sensitive filament is inserted just below the skin, with the waterproof transmitter (about the size of two stacked quarters) attached and adhered to the skin. After a 12-hour warmup period, a signal is sent every minute to a handheld receiver about the size of a small cell phone, and the current glucose level along with a trend arrow and graph of the most recent eight hours of data is displayed. The sensor/transmitter is replaced every 10 days. And because of its accuracy, NO fingerstick calibrations are required. A very similar device has been available in Europe and other parts of the world since 2014. The hardware is basically the same, but there are a few subtle differences between the US version and the European version. The European sensors last 14 days [...]
The National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 95 percent of them have Type 2, the form most associated with obesity. And interestingly the number of people age 20 or older with diabetes topped 1.7 million. It is also estimated that 86 million Americans 20 years and older may have prediabetes which increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The increase in incidence of diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) provides a lot of incentive for developers of Apps to create products to aid with management of chronic health conditions like diabetes. A study published in the journal Clinical Diabetes showed that “the use of mobile phones leads to improved A1C and self-management in diabetes care.”, assuming this is due to apps that aid with improved tracking and awareness of glucose patterns. In a basic count recently, I found 1000+ apps specific to diabetes management – WOW! Great that so much is available, but how can a person with diabetes figure out which app is right for them? Depending on the needs of the individual, health apps can be very beneficial, especially from the standpoint of possible support. However, the person choosing the App needs to consider what they want or need to track as well as how tech-savvy they are, which can improve how they manage. Step one in this process of choice should be to narrow down the apps based on your individual goals. For some people that might be a focus on weight control, while others need help tracking blood glucose and learning about their patterns. Some apps also help you to remember to take medication, change [...]
You go to bed and your blood sugar level is perfect....Ahhh. Then you wake up and it's awful?! What happened??. Find out the 4 Reasons Why Blood Sugar Can Be High in the Morning
What do I eat? Diabetes & Diet If you are new to living with diabetes (or you've lived with diabetes for years and you are looking for information), you've likely heard a lot about food and how it can affect your blood sugar. Your favorite Aunt might have lovingly told you to stay away from “white” food, and your oh-so-helpful co-worker may have said to avoid “Carbohydrates” – it can lead to a lot of confusion. Food is a basic necessity of life – we need to eat – yes, WE ALL NEED TO EAT!! With the right information as well as some self-evaluation you’ll start to learn how food affects your blood sugar. However, it helps to have a place to start. There are plenty of diabetes friendly foods you should continue to eat and some that you might need to add to help keep your blood sugar levels under control. A good list to get you started will help with making a grocery trip a bit easier and give you some results that please you as well. The foods you eat have a direct effect on your blood sugar levels so eating food to help keep glucose levels in target is key when we talk about preventing complications down the road. It also helps to understand a bit about how the body works to move the food we eat into our body for energy. After eating our digestive system breaks food down into smaller pieces - the one that affects blood sugar most is carbohydrate. This is broken down into a simple form of sugar called glucose. When our body gets the signal that it has been fed, insulin is released by an [...]
Today, we bring you the top ten list of comments we'd rather not hear, and some thoughts on how we might comment when we do hear them.
When it comes to managing type-1 diabetes, insulin is no longer the only treatment option. Yes, insulin is necessary, but there are other injectable medications that can serve as powerful supplements to insulin. These medications can offer benefits to those trying to improve their after-meal glucose levels and/or shed unwanted pounds.
I recently read about FDA Approval for a “NEW” sugar substitute…Advantame. Interesting name – it would appear the creators believe there is an “advantage” to using it. The positive for people with diabetes of course, is that it doesn’t cause a glycemic response. Similar to the other sugar substitutes already on the market in a plethora of foods and beverages, Advantame is an artificial sweetener developed by the Japanese food and chemical corporation, Ajinomoto. Advantame is about 20,000 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). The FDA has approved it for general use in foods and beverages. This new artificial sweetener is also FEMA GRAS approved in Dairy, Frozen Desserts, Beverages, and Chewing Gum, but isn’t approved for use in products with meat or poultry. This is the 6th sweetener to be approved by the FDA and is a white powder derived from aspartame and vanillin that dissolves in water, and continues to remain stable in high temperatures (unlike pure aspartame which breaks down and doesn’t provide the taste appeal in baked products). Advantame's structure is chemically similar to aspartame, and it was assumed a warning label notifying people with phenylketonuria (PKU) to the presence of phenylalanine was required, but after further evaluation the agency determined that, since advantame is approximately 100 times sweeter than aspartame and requires only a fraction of the amount to achieve the same degree of sweetness, no warning label is necessary. This fact alone should make one consider the nature of the word artificial. We tend to rely heavily on products with no sugar when living with diabetes – but how much is too much and should we be considering these alternatives as good, bad or ugly? Looking at each artificial [...]
Sometimes eating at parties feels defeating when so much goes into choosing and counting when you live with diabetes. Most parties that we attend have so much food, everything looks great – but when we live with diabetes it gives us more to chew on so to speak!
Poorly controlled diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular complications, and adults with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely than those without diabetes to suffer from heart disease or stroke.