Several years ago, one of our friends/colleaugues/clients Ginger Vieira published a book called “Your Diabetes Science Experiment.” At first, I thought what an odd title. But as I read it, I found myself nodding more often than when I listen to AC/DC in the car with the windows down. Because living with and managing diabetes truly is a series of experiments… or what I like to call “trials and adjustments”. Everyone’s response to different foods, medications, activities and lifestyle situations is unique to them, and can vary day by day. We have to try new things and learn from our experiences in order to put ourselves in a position to succeed.
Our clinical team’s latest foray into experimentation involves the use of glucagon (yes, the stuff used to treat severe hypoglycemia) as a way to prevent hypoglycemia during exercise. There has been some research in this area, but we wanted to learn about it for ourselves. We also want to figure out the details: when to give it, how much, how often, for which types of exercise, and so on. Luckily, we are now able to access glucagon that is stable in liquid form at room temperature, and available in a vial: the GVoke HypoKit from Xeris Pharmaceuticals.
This concept of “micro-dosing” glucagon has many potential applications in addition to preventing lows during exercise. It can be used to treat day-to-day mild lows and reverse the course of glucose levels that are dropping quickly. This is all “off label” (it has not been approved by the FDA for these purposes), but that’s the nature of experimentation: trying something new in hope of finding a different and better way to do things. Of course, reasonable safety measures have to be taken along the way.
Living with diabetes truly is an experiment. If you would like to learn from those who have first-hand experience AND the benefit of having counseled thousands of patients over the past several decades, give our office a call. We would be more than happy to share what we have learned and help you tackle your own personal diabetes experiments.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Diabetes Bites. As always, your comments and feedback are appreciated.