Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: Diabetes mellitus type 1

Show Me Your Pump!

After indulging in a little social media griping about people’s reactions to my insulin pump in public, someone shared this wonderful article with me. Enjoy!

Hey, Miss Idaho, Is That An Insulin Pump On Your Bikini?

Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison, shown here in her home town of Twin Falls, Idaho, decided not to hide the insulin pump she wears to treat Type 1 diabetes during the pageant.

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How To Test Basal Insulin Levels

For five days in a row, I woke up with 200+ readings. Okay, a pattern. I get it. So back to basal testing to make the necessary adjustments to my pump settings. So I tested every two hours last night and ran low 100’s, then get up this morning with a 71. If anything, that indicates my basal insulin needs to be reduced a few hours before waking. Zoinks! So I’ll see what I wake up to tomorrow and retest if needed. But it brings up a good point: do you know how to test your basal insulin levels?

For pump users especially, because we can adjust our settings, this is a very important piece of info. Even if you are on MDI therapy, it is still a must-have piece of info. How it works:

Eat your normal dinner at least four hours before heading to bed. Then don’t eat again until the next day. No food! Not even a skittle. 🙂

Set an alarm to go off every two hours. Something annoying that can’t be ignored is good.

Test just before going to bed and write down your bgl. If it anywhere between 100 and 250, don’t do anything to correct.

Every two hours, when that super annoying alarm goes off, test and record your bgl.

If the numbers stay within a thirty point range, you’re great. Don’t make any changes.

If they drop or increase more than 30 points, talk to your doc about adjusting your basal levels.

My doc has me increase or decrease in 10% increments as needed to make adjustment. Example: I have my basal insulin set at .5 units/hour. A 10% decrease to lessen the amount of basal insulin (if my numbers drop more than 30 points between any two testings) would put me at .45 units/hour. The basal adjustment has to be set for somewhere between 1 and 2 hours prior to the change in bg readings to allow time for the adjustment to take place.

BUT REMEMBER! If this whole basal testing thing is new to you (or even if it isn’t), talk to your doc!!! before making changes to your regimen.

Gene Therapy for Diabetes in Dogs

I’ve had a nice break but I think it’s time I get back to sharing some info.

I heard about gene therapy for diabetic dogs and I went article searching. I found this. Diabetes in humans and canines is similar so there is hope that a similar therapy could be used in people with T1D as well. Of course, the dogs tested do not have naturally occurring diabetes. I’m personally not a fan of animal testing but in this particular case, I think that findings may be worth the research, especially given that at a four year check-in, the dogs were still free of diabetes.

 

Jerry, the Diabetic Bear

I developed Type I Diabetes as an adult, at the age of 31. I didn’t have to live with the stigma of diabetes as a child. I didn’t have to be the only kid who had diabetes. I didn’t have to be the kid that wasn’t normal. As an adult, I can accept the technicalities of diabetes. I can understand the importance of managing it now to avoid complications later. I can’ t imagine how it must feel to be a kid with diabetes.

But Sproutel sure seems to be able to. They have designed, Jerry, the bear with diabetes to help children manage their diabetes. Check it out the video below.

DNA ‘reverse’ vaccine reduces levels of immune cells believed responsible for type-1 diabetes, study shows.

 

BY BRUCE GOLDMAN

 Lawrence Steinman
 

A clinical trial of a vaccine, led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers and designed to combat type-1 diabetes, has delivered initially promising results, suggesting that it may selectively counter the errant immune response that causes the disease.

Read the rest of the article here

 

Common Diabetes Terms Defined

English: Diagram shows insulin release from th...

English: Diagram shows insulin release from the Pancreas and how this lowers blood sugar leves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we’re covering some basic terms. Many of these terms, terms which EVERY diabetic should know, were never explained to me. And with 90% of all Diabetics being Type 2, and most diabetes education classes be designed for Type 1, there’s a good chance that if you have diabetes, these haven’t been explained to you either. Let’s get started:

Bolus: A bolus is the dose of insulin give just prior to a meal (usually 15-20 minutes) to cover the carb count within the meal.

Basal: Basal refers to the “background” insulin. Basal insulin is a long-acting insulin that covers the insulin necessary to cover the glucose that your body naturally produces and uses throughout the day.

A1C: A test that measures average blood glucose levels for the previous three months.

Insulin/Bolus on Board (IOB, BOB): IOB or BOB refers to how much active insulin is in your system after a bolus. How long fast-acting insulin lasts in each person’s body varies and you must work with your endo and diabetes educator to determine IOB as well as correction factors and insulin to carb ratios.

Correction Factor: The amount of fast-acting insulin that covers a set decrease in BGL. For example, 1 unit of fast-acting insulin will bring my BGL down 50 points. Again, cover this with your doctor.

Insulin to Carb Ratio (I:C): This is the how many grams of carbs by covered by 1 unit of insulin.

Blood Glucose Value (BGL): The amount of glucose in a set amount of blood. It is measured in mg/dL.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA): An accumulation of ketones in the blood. Meters are available to check for ketones. This is a no-joke condition. If it is not treated, it can be fatal.

Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar under 70 mg/dL.

Hyperglycemia: High blood sugar. Goals are different for everyone but as a rule, BGL levels should remain between 70 mg/dL and 130 mg/dL. Don’t be discouraged if your numbers run higher than this because they will. Set range limits with your endo and correct as needed.

Insulin Resistance: An inability to utilize available insulin in the body.

Lancet: A needle designed to fit into lancing device.

Lancing device: A spring loaded mechanism which contains a replaceable lancet that allows an easy draw of blood for use with a glucometer.

mg/dL: milligrams over deciliter, the measurement used to read the amount of glucose in a sample of blood.

For more terms, check out the American Diabetes Association glossary of common terms.

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College Diabetes Network – reblogged from MikeH

Meet College Diabetes Network: You’re Not Alone on Campus Anymore

By MikeH on August 23, 2013

It’s a great time to be a college student with diabetes.

OK, maybe it’s never a great time to have diabetes at all, but if you’re a PWD (person with diabetes) off to college at this time of year, you’ll likely have access to an amazing resource unlike anything offered ever before in the history of this disease…

Read more here.

Ode to Parents of Children with Diabetes

By Ginger Vieira

“I don’t have any children—especially any children living with type 1 diabetes. I live with Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease myself, since I was 13 (today, I’m merely 28 but the anxiety of eventually turning “30” into an “old woman” increases daily). In the many years I’ve been chatting with, writing for, presenting to, and working with all kinds of people with all kinds of diabetes, I have developed a personal theory that I’m only more certain of after recently spending another weekend surrounded by families raising children with diabetes: raising a child with diabetes seems significantly more stressful than living with it myself.”

Read the rest of the article here.

OH! Wouldn’t it be lovely to not be tied to this disease…? We’ll see.

 

Vaccine May Stop Immune Attack in Type 1 Diabetes, Study Suggests

By Serena Gordon

A new type of vaccine may stop the autoimmune attack that occurs in people with type 1 diabetes, researchers report.

Although an initial trial of the vaccine wasn’t able to free anyone from their daily insulin injections, it did boost insulin production, which could help prevent some of type 1 diabetes’ most devastating complications.

 

Read more here.

 

This Is Rocky, My Diabetic Dog

You can read a short version of his story here. If you find that it touches you in some way, please be so kind as to share it with others via the facebook, twitter, etc buttons on the page. You can also learn more about dogs and diabetes here.

 

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Rocky is a chihuahua mix. He’s all leg and gets around by smell a lot because his diabetes induced cataracts keep him from seeing clearly most of the time. When he moves around, it looks something like what I imagine a werewolf on all fours looks like. But it would seem that he is actually mixed with whippet. Not at exciting as werewolf, but a lot easier to care for without needing fresh hearts for him to feed on. ;o)

JENN McCOLLUM

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