A quick note from Gary…A Plea for Diabetes UN-Awareness
Here in the States, November is officially “Diabetes Awareness Month.” I think our forefathers at the American Diabetes Association intended this as a way to get people to recognize the symptoms of diabetes and be screened for a possible diagnosis. After all, there are millions of people out there who are unaware that they are walking around with diabetes – and not treating it can produce many serious health problems.
For those of us living with type-1 diabetes (or any form of diabetes for that matter), we know all about the work required to manage it: The glucose monitoring, the food counting, the dosage calculations, preventive care, and so-on. One group of patients actually counted the number of times they consciously thought about something related to their diabetes management, and not surprisingly, they averaged over 40 diabetes thought-points per day. In computer terms, diabetes doesn’t just slow down processor speed. It also occupies a great deal of memory.
While attending the DiabetesMine Innovation summit in San Francisco a few weeks ago, a number of people came up to me and asked why so much attention is being given to developing hybrid closed loop systems. These systems automate certain aspects of insulin delivery and tend to produce outcomes that are pretty good – lots of time in-range, low risk of hypoglycemia, etc. Why question the value of these systems? After all, most of our clients are already achieving similar (or better) outcomes by applying the self-management skills we teach them. I believe the greatest value of these systems has nothing to do with numeric outcomes. It’s the freedom from having to think about diabetes quite so much (what I call diabetes UN-awareness). Because the hybrid closed loop is watching over things and making subtle adjustments on the user’s behalf, it alleviates the user from a great deal of the usual micro-management. And that allows us to use our brainpower for things that are really important – like sports statistics and music trivia. ;->
There are a number of hybrid closed-loop options out there – some are regulated/government-approved while others are not. If you would like to learn more about them, please give us a call and set up some time to speak with one of our clinicians. We promise to be impartial and share the pros and cons so that you can make a decision that is in your best interest.
As always, I hope you enjoy this edition of Diabetes Bites. Please reach out if there is anything we can do to assist you or someone you care about. Together, there is nothing we can’t accomplish!