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Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog

/Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog

Are you sure? My personal adventures in health insurance verification

By |2019-03-18T16:21:17+00:00March 12th, 2019|Diabetes Bites, March 2019 Newsletter, Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

Have there been any documented deaths from waiting too long on hold with an insurance company? I may have come close a few times. The hold times can be anywhere from a lucky few minutes to my all-time record of 37 minutes. Speaking of, I am currently in minute 23 as I type.

Medtronic’s 670G Hybrid Closed Loop System: How to Customize Settings For The Best Performance

By |2019-02-09T17:20:07+00:00February 7th, 2019|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

Medtronic’s Hybrid Closed Loop System: Getting More Bang For Your Buck By, Gary Scheiner MS, CDE, Jennifer Smith RD, LD, CDE, Alicia Downs RN, MSN, CDE, Annette Valle RN, CDE It’s been about a year and a half since we started using and training/managing patients on the Medtronic 670G “hybrid closed loop” system.  And we’ve learned a lot.  We’ve learned that 670G is beneficial for some, but it clearly isn’t for everybody.  Yes, for the “average” person with diabetes, it can produce improvements in glucose control while helping reduce the risk of dangerous hypoglycemia.  But there are limits to the degree of glucose control that can be achieved, and there are many hassles and extra tasks involved with using the system. There are other hybrid closed loop systems that are already in use, despite not being on the “FDA approved” list of systems. Loop and OpenAPS systems are highly effective for improving glucose control, but they require special equipment and an “app build” to get them up and running. Tandem’s T:Slim with Basal IQ is easy-as-pie to use, but it only turns off basal insulin to help prevent lows. Other systems are coming to market soon:  Tandem’s Control IQ, OmniPod’s Horizon, Tidepool Loop and BigFoot Biomedical’s system are all slated to make automated basal adjustments (similar to Medtronic’s 670G, but with less work on the part of the user), but until the pre-launch studies are completed and the FDA signs off, all we can do is picture them in our daytime fantasies. So for those who want 24-hour automated basal adjustment NOW that is FDA approved, that really leaves just one option:  670G. Medtronic has taking steps to cut down on some of the [...]

Why is Insulin so Expensive And What Options Do Insulin Users Have?

By |2019-01-02T15:33:04+00:00January 2nd, 2019|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog, Type 1 Diabetes|

A recent study showed that the insulin users in North America make up 14% of all insulin users worldwide, but they account for nearly 50% of total world-wide sales. With so many profit-making avenues, you can see why this three-company oligopoly (Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi) is keen to keep raising insulin prices.

Why you NEED check-ins when you are doing WELL

By |2018-11-14T22:19:27+00:00November 14th, 2018|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

My dad is a mechanic, so I spent my formative years leaning over engines and climbing on car lifts getting covered in grease stains and rust. So it's probably no big surprise that I turned out to be pretty mechanically inclined which helped develop my skills in assessment and diagnostics as a nurse.  I find myself frequently using automotive metaphors for health. When you think about it, the two worlds are not too different. There are all these different size and shape vehicles similar to the different people in the world. Some bodies are specialized and are good at different things, but they all run more or less the same way similar to all the vehicles in the world. Bodies, just like vehicles all need routine maintenance to run optimally and maintain their capabilities over as long a life as possible. We have all heard the analogies that our body is like a car, we need to fuel it, keep good tires on it, and take it for an oil change every so often. Taking your car to my dad or the guy a hundred miles down the road will provide you with more or less the same oil change.  For people, this is the equivalent of getting our flu shot at the pharmacy, no need for advanced know how or even to know me as an individual. Just do the thing and move on until next time. Rusty old beater, or shiny new racer, we all get the same oil change/flu shot - this is maintenance. But what happens when there is something wrong? This is where trouble starts.  If you let this problem with a car go on for so long, it may [...]

Low Carb, No Carb…How should I eat?

By |2018-09-27T19:36:37+00:00September 27th, 2018|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

What is the best “diet” for diabetes? Literally, it is one of the first things asked when I start to work on diabetes management with someone. “What should I eat? Should I do low carb or Paleo or Mediterranean, etc.? How much should  or do I need to eat? What will make me feel good and have the control I want”?

ADA Scientific Sessions 2018: Gary’s Top-5 Observations

By |2018-07-31T16:13:08+00:00July 24th, 2018|July 2018 Newsletter, Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

As usual, this year’s American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions didn’t place much emphasis on a healthy lifestyle.  There was food everywhere, and trust me, we’re not talking fruits & veggies.  But there was a great deal of research presented on diabetes medications and devices. 

IDS Clinicians Offer Different Perspectives on the Medtronic 670G

By |2018-03-23T21:15:07+00:00March 21st, 2018|Diabetes Bites, March 2018 Newsletter, Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

IDS Clinicians Offer Different Perspectives on the Medtronic 670G after 10 days of use. Read what they have to say...

How many carbs should you have to control diabetes?

By |2019-04-20T18:54:50+00:00February 6th, 2018|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

Integrated Diabetes Services answers your questions about living with type 1 diabetes, offers tips an tricks to managing weight, blood sugar and overall health. Todays question deals with carbs - how many is just enough...

It’s Libre, Man! In-Depth Review of the Newly Approved Freestyle Libre

By |2018-04-19T19:57:00+00:00November 18th, 2017|November 2017 Newsletter, Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

Diabetes educator, Gary Scheiner gives his in-depth review of the newly approved Abbott Freestyle Libre CGM continuous glucose monitor.

670G and Me: Insights and Incites on Medtronic’s Latest System

By |2017-09-30T12:49:07+00:00September 29th, 2017|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

The 670G represents an important step towards fully automating glucose control. However, it is important to put it in the proper context and set expectations at an appropriate level.

Diabetes BLAME Game: When your sugars are up, is it the medication or your diet?

By |2017-07-13T22:05:59+00:00July 13th, 2017|Gary's articles, Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

what happens when we eat with reckless abandon and blood glucose levels start to head in the wrong direction?  Being the responsible individuals we are, we usually place the blame squarely where it belongs: on our medication.

Review of FiASP insulin and how it compares with other fast insulins

By |2017-06-21T17:41:35+00:00June 21st, 2017|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

Novo Nordisk’s new FiASP insulin (short for Faster insulin Aspart) has hit the market in various parts of the world, and is awaiting FDA clearance here in the US.