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.
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 [...]
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.
There is no doubt that CGM can improve the quality of life and blood sugar control for just about everyone with diabetes. But which system is best for you?
IDS Clinicians Offer Different Perspectives on the Medtronic 670G after 10 days of use. Read what they have to say...
Diabetes educator, Gary Scheiner gives his in-depth review of the newly approved Abbott Freestyle Libre CGM continuous glucose monitor.
The National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 95 percent of them have Type 2, the form most associated with obesity. And interestingly the number of people age 20 or older with diabetes topped 1.7 million. It is also estimated that 86 million Americans 20 years and older may have prediabetes which increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The increase in incidence of diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) provides a lot of incentive for developers of Apps to create products to aid with management of chronic health conditions like diabetes. A study published in the journal Clinical Diabetes showed that “the use of mobile phones leads to improved A1C and self-management in diabetes care.”, assuming this is due to apps that aid with improved tracking and awareness of glucose patterns. In a basic count recently, I found 1000+ apps specific to diabetes management – WOW! Great that so much is available, but how can a person with diabetes figure out which app is right for them? Depending on the needs of the individual, health apps can be very beneficial, especially from the standpoint of possible support. However, the person choosing the App needs to consider what they want or need to track as well as how tech-savvy they are, which can improve how they manage. Step one in this process of choice should be to narrow down the apps based on your individual goals. For some people that might be a focus on weight control, while others need help tracking blood glucose and learning about their patterns. Some apps also help you to remember to take medication, change [...]
There are a multitude of different groups working on hybrid closed loop projects, and each one runs on its own unique proportion of automation and brain-power. Here are a few of the projects that were presented and discussed at the ADA Scientific Sessions in New Orleans this past June.
In the diabetes community, adherence and compliance are words that are used to talk about and evaluate how PWD (people with diabetes) are doing with their diabetes management.
Diabetes impacts our lives deeply. We are forced to realize our limitations as humans. Diabetes is a beast to be tamed - not by the diabetic alone, but by an entire village.
How do the latest Medtronic and Dexcom CGM systems compare?
It can be easy to forget to look at your feet, especially if they feel just fine. This is the best time to take a look! If they feel great, you want to keep them feeling this way and it’s the right time to prevent a problem from starting. Diabetes can be hard on feet over time because high blood glucose levels can cause nerve damage. This damage can cause your feet to feel numb or even painful. Without proper sensation, you may not feel when you have an injury or if your shoes fit too tight, which can lead to calluses, blisters, or other wounds. If left untreated, these wounds can get infected and heal more slowly if blood sugar is high and/or you already have poor blood flow in your feet (peripheral artery disease). 5 Tips to help keep your feet feeling their best: 1. Check your feet every day Evaluate your feet every time you take a shower, or every time you put on or take off your socks and shoes. Look for red areas, blisters, sore or irritated skin as well as scratches or cuts. If it is hard to see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror on the floor to look at the bottom and sides. 2. Apply Moisture Avoid letting the skin on your feet get too dry. Rub in a thick, moisture rich lotion, but don’t put it between your toes—these dark, moist areas are great places for bacteria to build up and cause infection. 3. Protect your feet with well fitted shoes Shoes should be snug but not too tight. There should be room to wiggle your toes in the shoe. If you have [...]
What do I eat? Diabetes & Diet If you are new to living with diabetes (or you've lived with diabetes for years and you are looking for information), you've likely heard a lot about food and how it can affect your blood sugar. Your favorite Aunt might have lovingly told you to stay away from “white” food, and your oh-so-helpful co-worker may have said to avoid “Carbohydrates” – it can lead to a lot of confusion. Food is a basic necessity of life – we need to eat – yes, WE ALL NEED TO EAT!! With the right information as well as some self-evaluation you’ll start to learn how food affects your blood sugar. However, it helps to have a place to start. There are plenty of diabetes friendly foods you should continue to eat and some that you might need to add to help keep your blood sugar levels under control. A good list to get you started will help with making a grocery trip a bit easier and give you some results that please you as well. The foods you eat have a direct effect on your blood sugar levels so eating food to help keep glucose levels in target is key when we talk about preventing complications down the road. It also helps to understand a bit about how the body works to move the food we eat into our body for energy. After eating our digestive system breaks food down into smaller pieces - the one that affects blood sugar most is carbohydrate. This is broken down into a simple form of sugar called glucose. When our body gets the signal that it has been fed, insulin is released by an [...]
By Diane Herbert MSW, LSW, CDE (pending) If you’re living with diabetes, you have been told many times and in many ways – Check your sugar, test, monitor your glucose, do your finger sticks….. You have also likely been told that this is how you learn your current glucose (sugar) level. I’m wondering how much information you’ve been given about why checking your blood sugar is helpful to you and what it means at different points in your day? Your Body at Work The pancreas and the body are truly amazing when it comes to keeping checks and balances within our systems. As far as your blood sugar goes – the pancreas and the liver perform a seamless dance to metabolize food/energy/sugar to make sure that all the other systems get just the right amount they need at just the right time when they need it. When you live with diabetes, your body’s ability to do that dance breaks down and requires that a third partner be entered into the mix – that partner is you! Your non-diabetes pancreas and liver had blood sugar management skills literally hardwired into their DNA. These are skills that we from the outside continue to only dream about matching. Effortlessly these amazing organs knew how much to adjust for exercise, when to release insulin quickly, when to dole it out slowly over hours, and how to auto-correct with a perfect shot of glucose if we added a late variable to the mix (say going on a roller coaster after eating pizza). Now living with diabetes – that balancing act largely rests on you to perform manually. How can you hope to be able to return to the smooth, graceful [...]