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Real Talk with Dave: All about the Dexcom G6

Many people have been eagerly waiting for the Dexcom G6 to be announced.

Well, it just so happens that it is now FDA approved and available in June. I had the special privilege of being sent a Dexcom G6 to try out and so far, I am loving it. As promised, I wanted to share my open and honest opinion about this device, so I thought what better way to share my thoughts than through a blog.

First and foremost, I want to say how incredible this device is. I had the opportunity to see a mock-up of the device at the JDRF Type One Nation Summit and was even more excited to use this new product! The whole site and transmitter is about 33% thinner than the Dexcom G5. It is much more user friendly and has a longer wear time than the G5. You can now wear your site and get continuous glucose readings for 10 full days before you have to change out your site. You can also view your blood sugar readings on your phone, watch, and receiver that comes with the device.

One really exciting feature is that the Dexcom G6 does not require any fingerstick calibrations, which means you no longer have to prick your fingers for a manual blood sugar check anymore. You can now fully depend on this device to be even more accurate than before and allow you to have even more freedom in knowing what your blood sugars are. I have been wearing the Dexcom G6 for about a week now and have been comparing the G6 to the G5. For the first few days, I was wearing both CGMs just out of curiosity on how much more accurate the G6 really is. From what I observed, the G6 was way more accurate in comparison to the G5. I also would still check my blood sugars manually just to compare the numbers and my Dexcom was very close to the actual reading. It is intended to be 20 points above or below the actual reading, which it has been.

The device also has a new app in which there is a whole new design (similar to that of the G5, only better), and there are now more options for alerts and settings in which you can customize to your liking. Now, when having a low blood sugar, this device will alert you 20 minutes before a predicted severe low of 55 mg/dL, which I think is amazing that it can detect that for you. It truly does give peace of mind in knowing what to expect and when, giving you alerts ahead of time so you can try and prevent a bad low before it hits you.

The part of this device that I cannot praise enough is the insertion. Before, you would have to plunge a big needle into your skin and then remove it, leaving a plastic cannula deep into your skin. Now, all you do is apply to device to your skin, push a button, and within seconds, the device is in your body! When people ask me what it feels like to insert the G6, I like to describe it as “a puff of air hitting your skin, that’s it!”. The first (and only) time I inserted my CGM, I was blown away at how painless it truly was. This is going to be a huge game changer for children who have to wear a CGM as they will not feel a thing when the time comes to insert the device into their skin.

All in all, this device is great. I am obsessed at how this product works and helps me feel as a Type 1 Diabetic. It definitely allows me to live my life and not worry as much as I truly can trust what my readings are and know what is going on inside of my body. If medical technology is this good now, I am even more excited as to what the future holds for Type 1 Diabetes. With the Dexcom G6, Diabetes is not all bad.

Live well,

Dave

Real Talk with Dave: Tips and Tricks on Making Peace with your Diabetes

All Diabetics know how difficult it can be to find a common ground with their Diabetes daily, between the highs, the lows, the fears, and the pain, however, at some point, this can lead to a burn-out phase in our Diabetic lives, making it much harder to keep on moving forward. At the start of the new year, I have almost gained a new mindset for my Diabetes in which I am a bit more relaxed, knowing that it will all be okay in the end, that is why I want to share some of my own personal tips and tricks on how I manage my Diabetic stress & anxiety in the best way possible.

Over the past 9 years of living with T1D, I have come to realized that Diabetes is a really hard thing to go through in life, but finding ways to cope with your Diabetes as much as possible can be so rewarding in the long run! Don’t do Diabetes alone. Find a group of people to lift you up and motivate you to keep up the hard work you do! Diabetes is already a stressful thing to deal with, that is why these three helpful tips I use daily may help in finding a light at the end of the Diabetic tunnel:

1) Plan ahead – When out and about with T1D, many times you may not want to even think about Diabetes and don’t want it to get in the way of your outing, no matter where you are headed, however, always being prepared for the worst is the best way to avoid any unwanted stress, as T1D is a serious disease that needs to be treated and cared for 24/7. Just imagine how it would feel to be an hour or more away from your house, all to realize you forgot your Insulin at home… and your blood sugar is high (that wouldn’t be fun). In that case, I definitely recommend making a checklist (yes, an actual list) where you list all the necessary items that have top priority in managing your Diabetes on any outing, whether at school, work, and especially on a vacation. Each time you plan on going somewhere, be sure to check off the list prior to your outing and make sure you have all you need, and maybe even some extra supplies, all packed in a designated pouch or bag in which you can transport quickly on your way out. Better to be over prepared and over packed than the other way around.

2) Self-talk – One thing that I still struggle with is being in a constant fear of going low or excessively high when I am in a space (such as school) in which I cannot get out of very easily or am surrounded by many others who may not be aware of my T1D. In cases like these, I feel as though it is strictly up to me to take care of myself and make sure I am okay at all times, but, as we all know, Diabetes is an unpredictable disease. We all wish to never have lows or highs at certain times, but they can honestly happen whenever, wherever. In that case, let it be. If you go low, treat. If you go high, treat. Yes, you may have a bit of anxiety in having to deal with that all alone sometimes, but it is more important that you treat and take care of yourself, rather than the horrible outcomes of a severe high or low. The theory of self-talk comes into place by you having to mentally think to yourself that everything is going to be just fine. Think how you’ve been low and high before and made it out just fine each time, some were more difficult than others, but somehow, you managed to survive it… and like a pro!

3) Finding a support system – Most of the work I do in the Diabetic community is done via Instagram, @type1livabetic, where I try and encourage other T1D’s to look at life in a positive light and make life any way they want, regardless of their Diabetes. I didn’t always have that intention though. During my first few years as a Diabetic, I didn’t fully feel motivated or see the positive side to Diabetes as I do now. How did I overcome that? Well, I began to find other Diabetics via social media and just…talk! I began to connect with them and start talking with others on the true daily struggles we face and the feeling of connecting with someone who simply understands EVERYTHING you are feeling is indescribable. I found my support group online, but there are many other ways to do so. There are many in-person support groups at local hospitals, nowadays, a new trend is hosting a Diabetic meet-up, and simply attending a local Diabetic organization research walk or event can be life-changing and memorable.

In short, if you want to find peace with your Diabetes, give these three tips a try! Always have your medical supplies (and a backup plan) ready and with you in an accessible manner at all times, remember to think only good thoughts to yourself, especially in the hardest times, and find a group of people that you can be 100% yourself around, Diabetic and all, and hang on for the ride, because Diabetes is a huge roller coaster with many ups and downs. Find what brings you peace with your Diabetes and go with it!

Live well,

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lyfebulb’s End of Summer Drinks!

Last Thursday we enjoyed an evening of Champagne, courtesy of Prestige des Sacres, cocktails made with be-mixed mixers, cookies to go from KNOW foods, and of course some wonderful food, service, and the prime location of a Lyfebulb favorite, Brasserie Ruhlmann.

We want to thank everyone who came out and showed what an incredibly strong community we are proud to be a part of. Our goal is always to improve the quality of life of those living with chronic illness in general, and type 1 diabetes in particular.

We hope that you will consider making a donation to the Lyfebulb Foundation to help fund future gatherings such as last week’s and to support patient entrepreneurship. Together we can make a difference in the lives of patients everywhere!

ViaCyte bags $10M for diabetes cell therapies

Dollars
ViaCyte is developing new stem cell-derived diabetes therapies that mature into insulin-producing cells in the body.

picked up $10 million to fund the clinical development of its stem cell-derived treatment for patients who have Type 1 diabetes and are at risk of complications.

Specifically, the funds will be used to develop the company’s PEC-Direct candidate, which treats diabetes by administering stem cell-derived pancreatic progenitor cells in an implantable device, according to a statement. These cells are designed to mature into human pancreatic cells, including insulin-secreting beta cells.

This treatment is intended for high-risk Type 1 diabetes patients—those who experience severe hypoglycemic episodes, who have “brittle diabetes,” where blood glucose levels swing up and down, or who are less able or unable to spot symptoms of low blood sugar. ViaCyte plans to deliver the therapy alongside immune-suppressive drugs to prevent rejection.

“High‐risk type 1 diabetes has been successfully treated with cadaver islet transplants, but adoption of islet transplants…

Roche: Diabetics could save thousands on blood glucose monitoring system

Pharmaceuticals maker Roche overhauled its blood glucose monitoring system and introduced a new discounting offer that it says could save uninsured diabetics by thousands of dollars per year.

The move could help alleviate political pressure as the drug industry faces mounting scrutiny over prices. It also comes amid increasing competition among blood glucose monitoring makers as diabetes rates rise.

The new system pairs a free blood glucose meter with a smartphone app and discounted test strips. With some diabetics paying as much as $2 a strip for other offerings, the new Roche system paired with a free savings card could cut costs to as little as 40 cents per strip in the first 50-count box, then 20 cents per strip in subsequent boxes.

The nation’s 29-million diabetics pay widely varying prices for testing products, in part because many of them are covered by insurance. Roches’ move is likely to provide the biggest help to the uninsured. The average American diabetic paid $1,922 in out-of-pocket expenses for care in 2013, compared to $738 for someone without the condition, according to the Health Care Cost Institute.

For “the average patient, managing diabetes and acquiring all of the testing and therapy supplies can be very difficult to navigate, really complex and very often very expensive,” said Brad Moore, head of Roche diabetes care in North America.

The new system offers a spill-resistant vial, a larger blood application area on upgraded strips and a light on the strip port for improved visibility when testing. The device wirelessly transmits data through Bluetooth technology to a free smartphone app that logs data.

Moore said Roche technicians worked on the new Accu-Chek Guide System for at least…

Diabetes just another challenge for IndyCar driver Conor Daly

Conor Daly, who drives the No. 4 ABC Supply Co. Chevrolet for for A.J. Foyt Racing, qualified in 26th place for the Verizon IndyCar Series at the Indianapolis International Speedway.

The Free Press invites you to ride shotgun over the next two weeks on a behind-the-scenes journey into the life of rising racing star Conor Daly as he chases victory at the Indy 500 and then switches gears — and cars — for the street course of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear in June. This is the third installment in this series:

INDIANAPOLIS — IndyCar driver Conor Daly comes from a competitive family, so when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 14, family members took it as another challenge he’d beat on the way to a racing career.

Beth Boles, a novice Jet Ski world title winner in 1990, said of her son: “He never thought it was going to prohibit him. I’m competitive. We’ll figure it out.”

As one of three known drivers in an IndyCar or NASCAR series with Type 1 diabetes, Daly hopes he can be a positive example to others.

“If I can be an inspiration, yeah, that would be awesome,” Daly said. “I don’t know if I am. If they think I am, then cool. That’s great.”

More: Get to know IndyCar up-and-comer Conor Daly as he races to Belle Isle

More: IndyCar’s Conor Daly ran faster, still frustrated at 500 qualifying

Boles’ father was a doctor. She remembered him saying increased thirst can be a sign of diabetes.

“I remember it was Christmas and he asked for a refrigerator for his room,” she said of her son. “I’m like, why do you want a refrigerator? ‘That way I can put my drinks in it and stuff.’ I’m like that’s kind of crazy.”

The Detroit Free Press follows Conor Daly, who drives the No.4 ABC Supply Co. Chevrolet for A.J. Foyt Racing through the Verizon IndyCar Series at the Inidianapolis Motor Speedway. Video by Mandi Wright/DFP

When Daly went to a go-kart race shortly afterward, Boles got a call from his father, former Formula One driver Derek Daly, saying he could hardly get him out of bed.

It was advised to get him to a hospital after calls were made to family friends who were doctors.

“We…

CTH’s diabetes program honored for excellence

A diabetics glucometer and diabetic testing kit. Carson Tahoe Healthâs diabetes education program again won honors for meeting the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs.

As one of only two certified diabetes education programs in Northern Nevada, Carson Tahoe Health has once again been awarded the prestigious American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Certificate for providing an outstanding diabetes self-management education program.

As the nation’s leading certification agency for diabetes education, the ADA has officially acknowledged Carson Tahoe’s program for offering elite guidance and support, critical components of a patient’s comprehensive diabetes care plan.

The association’s Education Recognition Certificate assures that educational programs meet or exceed the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs. These standards were rigorously developed and tested under the auspices of the National Diabetes Advisory Board in 1983, and are continuously updated based on the ever-expanding body of diabetes research.

Organizations with…

‘Dabbing for diabetes’ becomes a thing after student died in his sleep

'Dabbing for diabetes' becomes a thing after student died in his sleep
Tragic Tommy Green died in his sleep. (Picture by Facebook)

People from across the the world are ‘dabbing’ for a 21-year-old Bury St Edmunds student who died in his sleep last week.

‘Kind-hearted’ type 1 diabetes sufferer Tommy Green went to sleep with a stomach bug but unexpectedly fell into severe hypoglycemia, which is extremely low blood sugar levels, during the night.

The Nottingham Trent University student did not wake up from his sleep.

Friends urged people to ‘dab’, a dance craze which started in America, to boost awareness of the potentially fatal condition and to raise money for charities searching for a cure.

Type 1 diabetes, which is distinct form type 2, is believed to affect more than 400,000 people…

Break the fast if you have hypoglycemic symptoms, experts advise diabetic patients

Break the fast if you have hypoglycemic symptoms, experts advise diabetic patients
Islamabad

Fasting is generally very challenging for people living with diabetes, particularly insulin-dependent patients with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetic patients who wish to fast must diligently plan for a safe Ramazan. It is important to individualize each patient’s management plan, depending on their diet and lifestyle, medications, risk of hypoglycemia, and glycemic control, and to minimize complications associated with fasting. Generally, the risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia in patients with Type 2 diabetes is not overly common, and has less severe consequences.

Consultant endocrinologist at Shifa International Hospital (SIH) Dr. Sheraz Khan shared this information at a seminar on ‘Roza aur Sehat,’ organized to create awareness in diabetic patients who intend to fast without harming their
blood glucose level. A large number of patients, doctors and people from various walks of life attended the seminar.

The approximate number of Muslims with diabetes is around 4.6%; an estimated 50 million Muslims with diabetes around the world observe fasting during the month of Ramazan each year, Dr. Sheraz shared. Islam exempts people from the duty of fasting if they are sick, or if fasting affects their health, as fasting for patients with diabetes carries a risk of an assortment of complications including hypoglycemia, postprandial hyperglycemia, and metabolic complications associated with dehydration.

Nevertheless, a large number of people with diabetes still choose to fast during Ramazan despite the advice of their doctor and permission from religious authorities, thus creating medical challenges for themselves and their healthcare providers. It is thus important for such patients to make necessary preparations to engage in fasting as safely as possible, Dr. Sheraz underlined.

Consultant endocrinologist at SIH Dr. Tayyab Badshah said, patients may be reluctant to self-monitor…

Suicide by insulin a risk in people with diabetes

Experts warn that insulin can be abused by people with diabetes istockphoto

Insulin typically saves the lives of those with diabetes, but it can also be a way for some people to kill themselves, a new review warns.

People with the blood sugar disease tend to suffer higher rates of depression, the researchers explained. And suicide or suicide attempts using insulin or other diabetes medications that lower blood sugar levels may not always be an easy-to-spot attempt at self-harm, they added.

“Some suicides with insulin are likely missed in people with diabetes, just as [suicide may be missed] in people without diabetes using other medications or after a car accident. Could a suicide using insulin be missed? Absolutely,” said Alicia McAuliffe-Fogarty, vice president of lifestyle management at the American Diabetes Association.

Insulin is a natural hormone produced by the body. Its job is to help usher the sugar from foods into the body’s cells to provide fuel for those cells. But insulin is also a complex medication.

People with type 1 diabetes no longer make enough insulin and must give themselves insulin to stay alive. People with type 2 diabetes don’t use insulin efficiently — this is called insulin resistance — and eventually don’t make enough insulin to keep up with the body’s demands. At this point, people with type 2 diabetes also need to take insulin.

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Insulin can be given by multiple injections every day or via an insulin pump. Insulin pumps deliver insulin through a small tube that’s inserted under the skin. The site of the insulin pump must be changed every few days. But once the tube is in, someone who uses an insulin pump only needs to push a few buttons to deliver a dose of insulin.

However, getting the right amount of insulin is no easy task. Many factors affect the body’s need for insulin. Exercise decreases the need. Foods that are higher in carbohydrates increase the need. Stress and other moods can affect the need for insulin, as can illness or hormonal shifts, such as those that occur with menstruation.

People with diabetes often have to make adjustments to their insulin doses. If they make a mistake and take too much, an extremely low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) can occur. If they give themselves too little insulin, their blood sugar levels rise (hyperglycemia). Either condition can be very dangerous.

According to Dr. Alyson Myers, director of inpatient diabetes at North Shore University Hospital, in Manhasset, N.Y., “If someone comes in with hypoglycemia, you think, ‘Oh, they overdid it.’ And, sometimes when people come in with hyperglycemia or DKA (a complication of hyperglycemia), the intention to self-harm can be missed.”

Myers is also the lead author of the review, published recently in the journal Current Diabetes Reviews.

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It’s not clear exactly how high the rates of suicide are in people with diabetes, though Myers said the rates are higher than in the general population.

Plus, an attempt at suicide using insulin or other blood sugar-lowering medications may ultimately fail. “The body is a resilient thing,” Myers said, explaining that the body has ways to protect itself, such as releasing a natural form of sugar from the liver.

Instead of automatically assuming there was an error in care, Myers recommended that physicians consider the possibility of a suicide attempt or self-harm through the use of insulin and other medications.

She suggested that doctors follow the guidelines from the diabetes association on psychosocial care for people with diabetes that includes a multi-disciplinary team, including a behavioral health specialist.

McAuliffe-Fogarty agreed that when doctors see patients — whether it’s in the hospital or for an office visit — they should screen for psychosocial concerns.

If a doctor identifies a potential concern, “refer to a mental health care provider so people can get the help they need to live a full and happy life,” she said.

Given that 20 percent to 25 percent of people with diabetes screen positive for depressive symptoms at some point, people may need help sometimes.

“If you see signs of depression, changes in people’s sleep patterns or eating behaviors, a loss of interest in things they once enjoyed; if they say things like, ‘when I’m not here things will be better,’ or express an intention to self-harm, make an appointment with a mental health-care provider. People often need some help coping and figuring out how to deal with things,” McAuliffe-Fogarty said.

“If you’re very nervous that they might harm themselves, call their doctor or bring them to the hospital. Or call 911 if you think they’re in immediate trouble,” she advised.

If you’re concerned that a loved one or friend may be considering suicide, McAuliffe-Fogarty said it’s OK to ask, though some people consider the word suicide to be taboo. “Ask, ‘Are you thinking of hurting yourself or thinking of not being here?’ Sometimes people are relieved and will open up.”

But McAuliffe-Fogarty also cautioned that every misuse of insulin may not be a deliberate act of self-harm.

“It’s not always self-harm or a suicide attempt,” she stressed.

One such example, “Some people use insulin omission to lose weight. It’s a type of disordered eating, but they’re not trying to hurt themselves,” she explained.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Olivia Yang was stunned when she learned she had type 2 diabetes six years ago, when she was 19. Her doctor was shocked, too. In fact, her physician tested her twice to be sure there wasn’t some mistake. Yang was young, had a normal weight for her 5-foot-2-inch frame, and didn’t consider herself a particularly bad eater. She certainly didn’t seem like someone at risk.

olivia-yang.jpg
Olivia…

Ten signs of uncontrolled diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes can be fatal. It can also lower quality of life.

People who do not manage the condition well may develop uncontrolled diabetes, which causes dangerously high blood glucose. This can trigger a cascade of symptoms, ranging from mood changes to organ damage.

People with type 1 diabetes, a disease that causes the body to attack insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, are diagnosed, typically, in childhood. However, as many as a third of adults with the most common type 2 diabetes variant of the disorder, do not know they have it. Without taking measures to treat it, these people can develop uncontrolled diabetes.

The following 10 symptoms are signs of uncontrolled diabetes. Anyone experiencing them should consult a doctor promptly.

High blood glucose readings are the most obvious symptom of uncontrolled diabetes.

As diabetes raises blood sugar levels, many people with diabetes think it is normal to have high blood glucose. Normally, however, diabetes medication and lifestyle changes should bring blood glucose within target ranges.

If blood glucose is still uncontrolled, or if it is steadily rising, it may be time for an individual to review their management plan.

FREQUENT INFECTIONS

Diabetes can harm the immune system, making people more prone to infections. A person with diabetes who suddenly gets more infections, or who takes longer to heal from an infection they have had before, should see a doctor.

Some of the most common infections associated with diabetes include:

• skin infections, such as cellulitis
• urinary tract infections
• yeast infections

Yeast feeds on sugar, and so the combination of lowered immunity and high blood glucose makes people with diabetes particularly at risk from frequent yeast infections.

INCREASED URINATION

Increased urination is known as polyuria. Most adults urinate 1-2 liters per day, but people with diabetes urinate 2-3 liters per day, and sometimes more.

People with diabetes urinate more frequently because the body tries to rid the blood of excess glucose. With uncontrolled sugars, people also drink more frequently, causing them to produce more urine.

A rare form of diabetes not related to blood glucose, called diabetes insipidus, can also increase urination.

INCREASED THIRST

People with diabetes sometimes experience polydipsia, a form of extreme thirst.

High blood glucose can make people with diabetes very dehydrated, so that they feel thirsty. It also undermines the body’s ability to absorb water. A person may feel an overwhelming need for water, may have a chronically dry mouth, or may feel dizzy.

Even though people with polydipsia drink more fluids,…

Inflammation damages retina of diabetics: Study

Diabetic retinopathy has been classified into two types. Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

 Keeping blood sugar blood pressure levels in check, adhering to the prescribed diet and medications, physical activity, etc. can help prevent or slow the development of diabetic retinopathy.
Keeping blood sugar blood pressure levels in check, adhering to the prescribed diet and medications, physical activity, etc. can help prevent or slow the development of diabetic retinopathy.

Visakhapatnam: A growing body of evidence supports the prime role of inflammation and ‘angiogenesis’ in inducing progressive damage to the retina in diabetes patients, leading to diabetic retinopathy (DR).

Now, the findings of a recent study, carried out by the researchers at Andhra University College of Pharmaceutical Sciences and LV Prasad Eye Institute, Visakhapatnam, concurred with the same.

The study revealed higher levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in patients with DR compared to the patients without the ocular condition. Cytokines are regulators of host responses to infection, immune responses, inflammation, and trauma. The pro-inflammatory cytokines act to make a medical condition worse.

On the other hand, the vascular endothelial growth factor is a major regulator of new blood vessel growth and an important inducer of vascular permeability, playing a role in diabetic retinopathy. Vascular permeability characterises the capacity of a blood vessel wall to allow for the…

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