The guy is looking for help

August 12, 2011

As many of you may have noticed by now, I haven’t been publishing much here recently. That is not because I’m suddenly no longer interested or because I’m no longer facing the same challenges that every type 1 faces for life.

The reality is life goes on whether we have diabetes or not and for me, it’s becoming quite a busy life (sometimes busier than I would like). The reality is I don’t have as much time to blog as I used to (or even to read blogs for that matter). My professional career seems to take most of my time and the frequent travel seems to take whatever is left.

I’ve decided that if this space will be of any use to the diabetic community, it has to gain a life of it’s own and not depend only on me. Is for this reason than I’m happy to announce that I’m looking for people who would like to make this space the vibrant space that I always hoped it would be.

I’m open to all kinds of suggestions, from guest blogging, to publishing of pre-existing material, and everything in between. If you have an idea, drop me a note and lets have a chat about the posibilities.

Look forward to hearing your ideas,

The Guy.-


Can we manage type 1 diabetes without insulin?

April 13, 2011

Traditional answer to this question is NO. Now a new study may be opening the path to a Type 1 life without insulin.

This is not a cure, but a potential alternative to insulin. Diabetes in Control reported that “Another hormone, fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19), has insulin-like characteristics beyond its role in bile acid synthesis. Unlike insulin, however, FGF19 does not cause excess glucose to turn to fat, suggesting that its activation could lead to new treatments for diabetes or obesity.”

FGF19 does not make fat, and that’s one of the effects that separates it from insulin. Insulin also does not really have a dramatic effect on bile acid synthesis. So, the two pathways are different even though they both function in glycogen and protein synthesis.

Manipulating FGF19 as an alternative to insulin therapy remains a daunting challenge, however, given some unwelcome side effects. In some studies, he said, activating the hormone in rodents caused the liver to grow and develop cancer.

One promising diabetes treatment route could involve the nuclear bile acid receptor FXR, which Dr. Mangelsdorf said induces expression of FGF19. Modulators of FXR (farnesoid X receptor) have been shown to lower triglycerides and improve cholesterol profiles in preclinical models.

Hopefully this is not another of those studies that are very promising in mice but never make it to humans. Unfortunately we probably will have to wait many years to find out.

A virus caused my diabetes ?!?!?

February 10, 2011

Ever since I was diagnosed I’ve been told the cause of Type 1 Diabetes is unfortunately unknown and therefore is unpreventable and incurable.

Today I have received news of a study that may change this. According to the study, there is a significant link between type 1 diabetes, and a virus infection. Diabetes UK reported that “researchers from the University of New South Wales, Australia, reviewed 26 previous studies examining enterovirus infection and Type 1 diabetes, involving a total of 4,448 people. Enteroviruses belong to a common family of viruses, which usually cause the common cold or diarrhoea.”

The researches concluded that “there is a clinically significant association between enterovirus infection, detected with molecular methods, and autoimmunity/type 1 diabetes. Larger prospective studies would be needed to establish a clear temporal relation between enterovirus infection and the development of autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes.”

A link to the original research paper can be found here

Review: Accu-Chek Mobile

February 4, 2011

Last year I was fortunate enough to be one of the winners of an Accu-chek mobile during a competition held by Roche Diagnostics. I have now been using the meter for about 5 months so thought it was time to share some of my impressions.

The meter is available in all the usual places and at the time of publication the RRP was $150.  Strips are a different story. In Australia, strips are only available through the NDSS to people who use insulin. This is the only time I’ve seen a restriction of this kind, and makes me think that the full unsubsidized costs of consumables for this meter is considerably higher than for any of the others in the market.


Well, there is only one main but HUGE advantage on this meter…. it’s all in one!.

This meter doesn’t really use strips like most meter. It uses a cassette that contains 50 tests. Think of it as a continuos strip 50 times as long, that rolls around a casette like an audio tape (sorry, couldn’t find an analogy from the ipod era).  You install the casette, and the meter tells you how many tests remain, when it’s empty you just open the meter, take the old one out and put a new casette in. very cool….

Accu-check has also integrated a modified version of their multi-clix lancet device which provides 6 lances into once cartridge. It’s attached to the meter (although it can be detached if needed) and can be operated with the same hand that holds the whole unit. It’s perfect for one handed testing… Especially when driving… not that I would ever do that…

All this integration makes the traditional meter case completely obsolete. I now carry my meter in my pocket much like I would carry a mobile phone. In fact Accu-chek gave me a leather cover that reminded me of the mobile phone covers from the 90’s.

In addition to this, there are a few extra features…  display is bright yellow over black, so no back-light is necessary even in the darkest places (assuming you can find the tip of the test area to put blood in), has all the averages and other stats I have never used, and supports alternative site testing (AST) so you can give your fingers a break ( Thanks to whoever invented this, I can’t see myself ever testing in my fingers again )


There are a couple if minor disadvantages that I’m happy to live with. The first one is that you don’t carry a meter case anymore, so you’ll have to find a different place for things like hypo fixes and spare supplies. The second disadvantage is that it makes a bit more noise than traditional meters, mainly because of all the moving parts. The last one is its size… this is not a small meter by any means, but in my case I find it compensates with the fact that you don’t carry a case anymore.


This is probably the best meter I’ve tried so far and thus why I carry it every day. It’s not perfect but definitely makes testing 8 or 10 times a day a lit easier that most of the other meters I’ve tried.

2010 in review for D and The Guy

January 3, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 3 fully loaded ships.


In 2010, there were 13 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 50 posts. There were 17 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 951kb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 6th with 132 views. The most popular post that day was First Look at Medtronic Patch Pump.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for patch pump, medtronic patch pump, insulin pump airport security, patch pump medtronic, and accu-chek performa.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


First Look at Medtronic Patch Pump June 2009


Insulin Pumps and Airport Security January 2010


Review: Accuchek Performa August 2009


Can an insulin pump kill you? August 2009


Accu-chek serious market comeback July 2009

Hackers could attack your pump

July 2, 2010

Yep…  you heard right… apparently that is the news (somewhat old news) I just bumped into. As if controlling your diabetes was not hard enough, with balancing carbs, insulin and excersice, it turns out that Nathanael Paul, a Scientist who also lives with the condition is now worries that “hackers to access and remotely control medical devices like insulin pumps, pacemakers and cardiac defibrillators, all of which emit wireless signals.”

“What if someone hacked into that system and sent his blood sugar levels plummeting? Or skyrocketing? Those scenarios could be fatal.”

In this article from non other than CNN, Paul indicates that “The security concerns stem from the fact that pacemakers, defibrillators and insulin pumps emit wireless signals, somewhat like computers.

These signals vary in range and openness. Researchers who reported hacking into a defibrillator said some in-the-body devices have a wireless range of about 15 feet.

Many devices do not have encrypted signals to ward off attack, the researchers say. Encryption is a type of signal scrambling that is, for example, employed on many home Wi-Fi routers to prevent unknown people from accessing the network.

Researchers urged people who use wireless medical devices not to panic.

While security threats to medical devices theoretically exist, there have been no documented cases of wireless attacks on medical devices, the researchers said in papers and interviews.

The real concern will come when these devices are further connected — to phones, the Internet and other computers, said Kevin Fu, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.”

Am I worried… NO WAY!!!!  I’m too insignificant for a “hacker” to try to kill me… and there would be easier ways to do it anyway…

It is good that this issues are being raised so we can keep them in mind for the future, but for the moment I’m not too concerned.

Diabetes in my iPhone

June 5, 2010

I must now come clean and admit that I’m one of those….. I have an iPhone. My iPhone, like me, also lives with type 1 diabetes, and to be honest, I must say that it can be a great tool to help maintain good control. Recently Diabetes Health published a list of the best Free diabetes related applications for the iPhone. I would like to share some of those here.

Glucose Buddy – Diabetes Helper 3.2

“Created by Tom Xu and Matthew Tendler, Glucose Buddy was ranked the #1 diabetes iPhone application by Manny Hernandez, founder of It has also been featured in several publications, including Wired Magazine. Glucose Buddy is a data storage utility into which you manually enter glucose numbers, carbohydrate consumption, insulin dosages, and activities. You can view all of your data on your free online account, where your iPhone automatically syncs your logs.”

Diabetes Log

“Diabetes Log is a very simple, no frills application that allows you to log your glucose readings, food intake, and medicine records. You can then export records of your logs (CVS over email) to your computer for your personal use or to send to your health professional. If you are looking for a simple way to keep an on-the-go log of your readings, then this is the application for you.”

Log For Life – Diabetes Quick Entry

“The Log For Life application is a companion application for the subscription- based web application, Log For Life. Cost for subscription to this service is $9 per month after a free 30-day trial. Log for Life allows you to quickly log glucose, carbohydrates, medication, exercise, weight, and notes.”


“Bant allows you to enter your glucose readings with an easy-to-use reading entry system. Entries can be by the meal, time of day, or other factors. The information stores instantly on your Google Health account and in the “Bant Book,” which you can use to create trends and charts or share with members of your support team. You can also share your experience with diabetes through Twitter right from the application. It’s very easy to use, with a nice interface, and I like the Google Health account and Twitter features.”

Diabetic Meal Planner Lite – Glycemic Index

“This app calculates the overall glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) for individual meals and the entire day, to help you build a healthy diet. It provides carbohydrate, calories, protein, fat analysis, and future meal planning for numerous food items. (The free version, however, provides only 38 food items in the database: two per food group”

Glucose Mate Free

This app simplifies glucose data logging and automatically saves glucose level, relationship to the meal, and time of measurement. There’s a chart for glucose level trend analysis, to help you and your doctor decide on the best medicine and adjust daily drug dosage.


Everyday Health Diabetes Center is a leading provider of online health information. We’re here to help you manage your own and your family’s conditions and overall well-being through personalized advice, tools, and communities. We’re committed to bringing you the most credible and relevant health information available online, and to giving you the best possible user experience. Our information is easy to understand and incorporate into your life every day.