I’m writing to you from 36,000 feet on a flight from Philly to Dallas. The last three times I’ve flown, the flights have been delayed by, in order, a flat tire, a leaky engine, and a broken toilet. The toilet snafu caused the flight to be canceled completely (can’t make this stuff up). Luckily, this one took off without a hitch.
The reason for the trip is to meet with the folks from Sanofi Pharmaceuticals, which recently acquired Provention Biomedical, for formal training on Tzield (teplizumab) so that I can serve as a professional speaker for the company. You may recall that Tzield was approved by the FDA last year for delaying the development of type-1 diabetes in those deemed to be at high risk. By suppressing the body’s auto-immune attack on beta cells, Tzield helps to preserve insulin production for several years. And in those who go on to develop type-1 diabetes anyway, the preserved beta cells can still make enough insulin to make diabetes relatively easy to manage.
If this sounds like a good deal, you’re right. So why aren’t more physicians talking about it with their patients? Simple. The people who benefit from Tzield aren’t their patients… at least not yet. They are the first-degree relatives of their patients; the people who are at the greatest risk of developing T1D. And many physicians are so busy taking care of their existing patients that they are hard-pressed to also take care of the family members of their patients.
We at Integrated Diabetes Services see things a bit differently.
We know that diabetes affects more than just the person living with it. It affects their family members. Their friends. Their co-workers. Pretty much everyone around them. To care for someone with diabetes means addressing the needs of their loved ones as well. That’s why we teach our clients about the value of screening for diabetes-causing antibodies as well as the various methods for delaying or preventing T1D. We also provide educational and counseling services specifically for loved ones, covering things like:
understanding the basics
dealing with highs & low blood sugars
use of diabetes devices
food prep / meal planning
coping & emotional well-being
If you (or a loved one) could use some expert guidance in any of these areas, please give us a call (+1-610-642-6055). We would be delighted to schedule you with one of our top-flight Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists, all of whom live with T1D personally. You might even get to meet with me… if my flight home isn’t postponed due to an overhead bin that won’t close completely.
I hope you enjoy this month’s edition of Diabetes Bites. As always, your feedback and suggestions are appreciated. Feel free to email me directly with any comments (email@example.com).