End 2023 on a Positive Note: Start the new Year with a Plan
Every year most people start the New Year with the goal of wellness/health in mind to some degree. While living with diabetes, many are already aiming for these goals all year long.
At the end of this 2023-year, consideration for what you may need to work on is harder if you don’t feel there could be improvement. If this is the case, take a look at the new technology that is available. Consider the following if you haven’t changed anything in a while.
How are you currently doing with management?
Are there areas that would align with a change in product, technology?
Consider the areas where you struggle.
Can you identify how variables in your day-to-day life impact BG management?
Do you need help remembering how/when to take other meds along with your medication for diabetes?
Could nutrition be improved, or do you have new goals to meet for weight, time of life, growth?
Do you have new athletic goals or are you looking to define a routine that you can stay on track with after the end of January?
Could improvement happen because of new products, apps or even revisiting education if it has been a bit of time since a last connection to review how things are going for you?
Take a look at the following categories that have had considerable growth and change. These areas all offer a new way to help navigate life with diabetes, and with the assistance of a good, certified diabetes care and education specialist, you may be on your way in the New Year with tools that fit your life a bit better.
Insulin Pens – Smart pens that sync with a designated app can help those using multiple daily injections. The day-to-day navigation of tracking dose and time it was taken can now easily be managed along with dose calculators in a few fantastic products. InPen by Medtronic and Bigfoot Unity Diabetes Management System are both great insulin pens that do more than just deliver insulin like old school injections. If you use injections, consider discussing the advantage of these products with your provider.
Insulin pumps – Automated Insulin Delivery pumps (AID) are the latest update to conventional pumps. All of the pump companies in the US have products that allow a CGM to communicate with the pump to augment insulin delivery. Adjustment up and down in insulin to accommodate the rise and fall in BG allows for smoother control and it takes a bit of the micromanagement out of the picture. Still using a conventional pump? Consider how these types of systems could help you manage with a bit less work and which one is right for your needs!
Continuous glucose monitors – CGMs certainly take the guess work out of where BG is heading before, during and after many of the 40+ variables we could encounter on a daily basis. Just like insulin pumps, there are CGMs that fit the needs for most people and thankfully we have several options. Continuous monitors provide data on trends in BG every 5 minutes as well as alerts and alarms to give a safety factor in the swing of life. Several of these also pair with an insulin pump to allow automated insulin adjustments based on trend in BG. Check out the options from these companies – Dexcom, Medtronic, Libre and Eversense (the only implantable CGM lasting for 6 months!).
There are many apps for living with diabetes as well as those that help track other health parameters. People with diabetes track a lot of information and we need it to be easy to put all in one place. To be able to share this data with our healthcare team in order to make adjustments and ensure we are living our best life. Apps should help in key situations such as decision-making, during activity, how to keep on target to reach goals, etc.How do you decide on what to use? It starts with considering where you need improvement.
Some areas to look at are:
Connection to your Medical provider – Livongo, mySugr, Welldoc-Bluestar, 9amhealth
Calculation or titration apps – Insulia, InPen, Bigfoot Unity, BolusCalc
A connection for caregivers to ensure safety and visibility – Omnipod VIEW (DASH), Carelink Connect, Dexcom Follow, LibreLinkUp
Data analysis/all-inclusive – glooko, Tidepool, Nightscout, Dexcom Clarity, Medtronic Carelink, Tandem t: connect.
Health apps for stress, exercise, Med ID, Organization, Sleep, timing of meds – Calm, MyFitnessPal, Medical ID, Sleep Cycle, MedMinder
Peer connection – OneDrop, mySugr
Many options are available as you can see. It takes some time to figure out what may be best for your needs. This is where to consider setting up a visit with your friendly neighborhood CDCES. Is it new tech or nutrition needs or even a discussion around new medication? There are many things emerging in the past 5 years. Keeping up with it all can take time that most people don’t have. Diabetes care specialists are a first step to helping you define what might make this New Year a really great one in ways you didn’t even know you needed. We can get very set in our ways. When something seems to be working “OK” it is hard to look outside of that routine and consider if there could be something better. Make a step in this year ahead to a better you by exploring the new devices and technology that could give you more of your time back to you along with improved management.
If you are struggling with where to start, Integrated Diabetes of course has a clinical group that is top of the line in use and understanding of all that is new. We’d love to help you find your way to a health New Year in 2024!!
Integrated Diabetes Services, Director of Lifestyle and Nutrition.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Biology from the University of Wisconsin. She is a Registered (and Licensed) Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Certified Trainer on most makes/models of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems.