Category Archives: ease of use

2020 – a new year for diabetes


I really like the sound of 2020 and we are at the cusp of really exciting things especially for type 1 diabetes and closed loop technology. Eventually.

Yes it has taken quite long to get here partly because it is a really big and honourus challenge going closed loop. But seeing as 2020 has 2 loops that’s double the looping chance of looping becoming more sustainable.

That thought also makes me super happy. Mainly so that patients who previously had to prick fingers 6-10 x a day and inject 4-6 times a day can now really focus on what the rest of us focus on – living life unencumbered.

So let it be the year of accurate CGMS and flawless looping.

Libre flash monitoring – “freeing” you up to live life (technology permitting )


What is flash monitoring ? Well it’s a button you wear on your upper arm (under normal sleeves) and use your phone (many compatible android and iphones) to swipe across the button and voila- a sugar reading. It then records on a graph on your phone.

We have come a long way since 1922 when without insulin type 1 patients essentially died. Crass but the truth sadly. And here we are in 2019 and we do not even have to rely on finger pricks. Yay! Progress and science and so much of happiness all around.

Flash monitoring does have a lag, and that is quite individual. Safe to say the “real time” sugar is ahead ie the flash is behind real time but the trend remains the same – I hope that makes sense. The beauty is being able to see where you have come from and are headed towards. So, if you are heading down you can snack or watch and wait depending on the circumstances : ie food, exercise, illness and same for heading up. And you can flash in 5 minutes to see.

So I very much advise against knee-jerk reaction to the blood sugar on flash monitoring but rather watching and waiting and “learning” from experiences of exercise and cake eating etc. As for adjustments in insulin doses and timing of insulin and what does what. For example stress affects certain people in one way and others in another and the beauty of the flash is that you get to learn what your body does and adjust to that.

In the UK this device is now relatively largely widespread and with great great results of way better control, time in range and very importantly better quality of life for type 1 patients. It is being funded by the NHS at large thanks to the Diabetes warrior doctors who have literally “gone to war” to get this funded.

In south africa we battle “the funders” to do what actually benefits them downstream but happy to say that I do feel that progress is being made in this arena too. Our “war” also slowly slowly being won for the betterment of both funder and patients.

Flash monitoring – glucose readings regularly not requiring finger sticks/pricks – accurate, timeous and life changing – allowing patients to live full lives rather than survive.

#abbottlibreflash a multitasking device that adds value at every level

670G medtronic – a lesson for all diabetic practioners in a very good way :):)


The new 670G medtronic pump is truely a wonderful amazing device.

What suprised me more than anything else is what an absolute pearl of a lesson it is in terms of how insulins work and the daily awful grind and variability of being a type 1.

Honestly congratulations to this development team, you have come up with a genius product. Genius!

It expertly and simply solves for so many of the dilemmas type 1’s face daily. And in a safe and perfect way.

Truely a product that answers so many of the questions that we have up to now not solved.

Thank you thank you thank you.

THe MARD was my biggest happiness on the sensor – 8.7- wow-Yay!

So many reasons that in my opinion as many type1 patients should get onto this technology in terms of cost saving in the long run for med aid schemes and longevity with quality for patients both old and young.

I nominate it for product of the year.

Problems it solves for :

1.) daily variability (automatic adjustments according to blood glucose)

2.) hypoglycemia – on a downward trend of sugar readings it keeps decreasing insulin as to prevent a low and then eventually suspending insulin so as to prevent the low from happnening, as soon as the sugar trends up it resumes insulin and keeps adjusting

3.) high sugars – on an upward trend it increases insulin (up to a preset SAFE) level with alarms and alerts so as to prevent the high sugar

4.) variability immediately improves as does TIME IN RANGE

5.) multiple layered safety catches in case of problems

 

Continous monitoring and it’s influence on control – a huge wonderful impact


If I could pick only one thing for all my type1s and type 2 s on insulin to have in their armamentarium of goodies it would be access to continous monitoring for sooo many reasons.

1.) they learn from it and figure out which foods spike them

2.) they learn what drops them and how quickly and how to rectify this, ie how long the rescue takes to kick in so to speak

3.) they are able to see that if they inject insulin correctly at the correct time that it actually controls the sugar

4.) they can see what a “missed” dose does to the sugar

and I could honestly go on to 100 things …

REcently prices have literally plumetted on these devices making them more and more accessible.

THe next question to ask is : ? accuracy.

It is imperative that the device have the lowest MARD possible.

All this means is that the reading you see on the device is actually a TRUE reading.

Sluce. Kapish. Simple

Accurate is everyting .

So pick up something in your armementarium today for YOUR control 🙂

Accuracy data from ADA 2019 hot off the press praising CGMs’s at large 🙂

The data backs up the average clinician’s gut feel that seeing is the answer.

dexcom

“Soul”it ude …https://www.solitude.org.za


This last weekend I had the joy and priveledge of going to a creative retreat at solitude in the dargle near Howick. What a soul re-juvenation 🙂

One’s own journey is a precious thing, one’s own creative journey in my opinion even more precious, like precious on steroids 🙂

What I discovered on my very excited to share return was that one’s personal journey is not as relevatory to others as it was to one’s self.

Lesson learnt 🙂

For me it was cathartic, connecting to myself, releasing in a high release way as well as calming, coo-ing almost in the best way possible, rocking in a hammock kind of gentleness, presence and preciousness.

We did all sorts of “arty” things not for creation sake but more for the journey sake and connecting to one’s inner child. The wisdom that was downloaded to each of us was profound, gentle and powerful. Sometimes the simple in life is the key. And happiness is an elusive gift just within our reach.

solitude

 

New insulins


Is it not a joy and a delight to be able to know that these days we can prescribe an insulin that is far more predictable and sticks to the rules than ever before.

If you are not a type 1 diabetic or parent of one you will never understand how easy it is to either over or under dose on this medication. Add to the fact that sometimes 10 u behaves a certain way and other days it behaves in another way.

So to have both Toujeo and Tresiba – true long acting analogues with SMOOTH delivery available in SA at a price that is competitive fills my whole being with delight. I can prescribe knowing that what I am hoping the insulin to do will ACTUALLY happen 🙂

By the way this lovely awesome cellist is also a type1 – no-one can deny his talent and poise. Just saying ! Type 1’s ROCK!!!! Honestly sometimes diabetes type 1 can actually be the spur that spurs you on. This phenomenal talent (recognised by Megan Markle -now the princess) rocks my world!!

Gut microbiom and diabetes – of cats, kefir and insulin :)


I have a patient who is a type 1 diabetic and that patient has a cat who is also type 1. Needless to say they are both on insulin. Now if you thought that is it hard to dose a human try dosing a cat or a dog with insulin. It’s so hard and the margin for error is SO big.

These 2 patients have cut their insulin dose by half and halved their hypos by having kefir three times a day.

Then I came across an article in the Journal of Diabetes (South africa) about the gut bugs and diabetes. It mentions how important gut bugs are in terms of metabolic functioning – normal functioning as well as disease. It concludes by saying that “gut microbiota represents an exciting field with novel therapeutic potential”.

I say you have nothing to lose. Give it a try.kefir.jpg

%d bloggers like this: