Category Archives: ease of use

Libre flash monitoring


The patient driven and marketed libre has arrived in south africa.

R990 for a reader once off which is a meter for both glucose and ketones.

R990 for a sensor that lasts 2 weeks and so i.e. cost per month if worn every day is R990 x2

You scan your button and get a reading every 5 minutes. The device has functions like worked out a1c (3 month average) as well as about 100 more. See the website.

https://www.freestylelibre.co.uk/libre

You need to fill in a form, pay the amount and it gets couriered to you.

Contact me for forms

26 hilton avenue 033 343 1826

😉libre.jpg

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Innate


http://innatehilton.wix.com/innate

Holistic integrative medicine

Pump for me or not for me?


Report back : We had a marvellous discussion about pumps on wednesday evening. Highly enjoyable and informative, even our pump patient learnt something.

JOIn us today : On wednesday night 530 pm in Hilton Pietermaritzburg we will be holding an informal hour discussion about pumps -insulin pump therapy. What is pump therapy ? Who “qualifies”? What is the benefit. Is it for everyone who injects insulin?

Feel free to join us for free for an hour to explore the “pump market” in south africa and get first hand feedback from “pump” patients 😉

Surgery as a patient


The hardest 2 things I have ever had to do is deliver 2 babies. Yes I did do it naturally and perhaps at the age of 37 and 39 I should have listened to the wise advice of so many colleagues and had 2 planned caesars. I wanted the very best for the two angels that I had waited so many years for and I believed going through the birth canal was that. What I did not realise is what it would take out of and from me.

Delivering a child naturally comes with a lot of waiting (patience has never been my forte). It then involves an “older” body “co-operating” with the birth process. If that had all happened “naturally” I guess it may have been different. My body needed help and in the second birth it needed an ocean of a medication called oxytocin (syntocinon). This very large dose into my system helped my 39 year old uterus contract in order to deliver one 3.5 kg baby.

I will keep you in a bit of suspense, like a bit of a thriller novel.

I have just (last friday) had surgery – 4 years after my precious second child’s birth. It was an operation to effectively remove my uterus. This organ that has caused a fair amount of poor quality of life. The surgeon was extremely happy with his operation (they usually are) and presented me with a photo of the wretched organ and great news that it had gone swimmingly.

Wind back 4 years. I had just delivered a baby at around 3 am in the morning. The team were tired. God knows they had had me in chunks. No nursing staff are ever delighted to “nurse” a lady doctor – goes against many grains. I was lying in a lot of blood and had already started to bleed. I was in a fair amount of pain considering I had already delivered a child. The pain escalated, the nausea escalated, the bleeding escalated. I called for help so to speak and was told to shut up and sleep (in my own blood) they had really had enough of me for one night. I tried again. I phoned a friend – no one was up at 4 am. I tried my husband – his phone was off – he was trying to sleep after a hell of a night. I phoned the neighbour and asked him to wake my husband and come to the hospital.

AT one point I left my body and watched mayhem from above.

I woke up – well “arrived” back in my body about 2 days later having been taken to theatre, resuscitated, transfused etc. They never did figure out what was causing my pain 4 years ago. I started on a long journey of recovery mentally, physically and emotionally.

The surgeon showed me (this last saturday)

what happened – my uterus had ruptured and well lets just say the human body is an amazing thing.

I do certainly wish that it had been discovered 4 years ago for a few reasons. The very first and most important being my marriage which suffered greatly for the rupture. The second being the suffering that could so easily have been avoided. I can actually deal with a fair amount (though I do believe my pain threshold is useless), but my wish would be for another women to not have to go through the journey I have travelled. The third being the faith I have lost in my own “kind”. Never did I think it possible to be treated the way I was that night or on 3 occasions where all I really wanted was an apology from the midwife and all staff closed rank and called me something close to a lunatic and just bloody well get over this and move on.

Well I can now. Move on.

I can also say that a hysterectomy is a relative walk in the park. Almost a non-event. Yes I had pain post-op and yes I required the strong stuff. But 2 days later I was not on anything for pain and today I feel like I could run a marathon (I won’t for all those urging me to rest).

Life is an interesting journey and some of the suffering actually helps create focus and for that I am grateful. The most awesome part is just beginning – a journey with Dave and my two girls.

Guardian connect – a step in the right direction


Ok so south africa’s latest CGM is here and available. We have a few on the market and this is the newest addition.

It currently “talks” to iPhone and from next year will also “speak” to android phones.

The great great benefit of this device is that the sensors are relatively “cheap” and the device is simply a sensor contraption that attaches to the body and then “speaks” to the iPhone. From that iPhone to the cloud where a healthcare provider, mom or dad or care-giver can access the “data” – a blood test every 5minutes that is 288 tests per 24 hours !!

The data is reliable with an MARD of 9 and thus insulin can be titrated using the readings.

The cost of the kit is 13k (R13828.20) and the sensors are R1695 for 5 – they last a week each, that’s 399 per sensor.

The benefit of “knowing” your sugar is fairly obvious but is in actual fact revolutionary and life changing for an individual diabetic.

You simply can not compare 6 tests a day to 288. The maths of that in itself is a mindblow.

NOW is a great! time to order one at the end of the year before a brand new year on med aid benefits.

email me if you have questions : drleethegp@gmail.com

Knowing your number is honestly the single most effective way of getting control.

Continous monitoring cleared up


Ok so what is available currently in South Africa for continuos monitoring – and what is that any way? Continuous monitoring is the single most effective tool in controlling sugar in my practice.

Instead of 4-6 finger pricks a day to see where you are at for a sugar level continuous monitoring is essentially a device that resides subcutaneously (under the skin) for a period of time and “reads” the sugar on a 5 min or 15 min interval and gives a reading on a graph format of the sugars.

It is a life changing and diabetes management miracle. I find that with just this one intervention we can stabilise the sugars.

So in SA we have from cost-effective to expensive : libre-pro, guardian-connect, dexcom G5 and soon to be G6 as well as medtronic’s continuous monitoring that accompanies their pump.

For those needing a cost effective yet accurate solution the libra-pro is the way to go. Please do be aware that the device in SA is DIFFERENT to the one overseas.

Guardian connect is about to launch, it is a great CGMS that is both accurate and affordable. This device has a “monitor” on which the graph of the glucose readings appears.

Dexcom is an expensive but amazing CGMS, the G5 now communicates primarily with an iPhone and soon to be android. This means carrying less devices around. It is supremely accurate and easy to use.

The CGMS that accompanies the medtronic pump is getting more accurate but only available with the pump.

Any queries will happily be answered : shoot your questions : drleethgp@gmail.com

Dubai Diabetes


I was extremely privileged to attend the META (middle-east Turkey Africa) collaborative diabetes conference in Dubai at the weekend. Wow!

I was treated like an absolute princess, divine food! International speakers were out of this world and I thank Boeringher-Ingelheim for a superbly organised time in this wonderful place. I am a big fan of Dubai! (now).

I met 2 new friends and such a rare sparkling gem to have spent this time together. Thank you!

The talks focused on a new class of diabetes drug not yet available in south africa (maybe next year) for type 2 diabetes – SGLT sodium glucose transport inhibitor drug which causes you to pee out the glucose (sugar). This new drug not only has great sugar control BUT prevents heart attacks as well as has a positive effect on kidney disease.

There has been so! much research in the last few years and it is really so exciting to be a part of being able to treat diabetes more efficiently effectively and with fewer

side-effects.