How to make sense of Diabetes

November 27, 2009

A couple of days ago I bumped into a video produced by the guys at Tu Diabetes, and I thought it was too good not to give it a plug.  The video is a compilation of submissions by members of the Tu Diabetes community, and while humorous, shows the serious ways in which type 1 diabetes affects each of us.

According to DHF, the video was made “to raise diabetes awareness and in preparation for World Diabetes Day”. “We held the Making Sense of Diabetes video contest during October 2009. We sought video entries about the impact diabetes has on our lives through one of the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. We produced compilation video, showcasing footage from some of the videos for each of the senses.”

Here is the final compilation

Thanks to Manny and his team for organizing the contest and to all contributing members for their submissions.


CGMS costs slashed in half?

November 13, 2009

Yesterday I received a letter from Medtronic, informing me of a new approval after some recent changes to their CGMS products. Medtronic has completed a study titled “An Inpatient Evaluation of Six-Day Subcutaneous Glucose Sensor Performance” which proved that sensors can be used for 6 days instead of 3. Additionally, sensors where also tested in alternate sites, instead of just the abdomen.

minilink bellyAccording to the study “The Medtronic MiniMed Subcutaneous Glucose Sensor was originally approved by the FDA for commercialization as part of the Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) on June 15, 1999 (PMA 980022). The Sensor is composed of a microelectrode with a thin coating of glucose oxidase beneath several layers of biocompatible membrane. This same sensor is used as part of the Guardian REAL-Time System, the latest advance in continuous glucose monitoring, which is based on the CGMS. Similar to the CGMS, the Guardian REAL-Time System has been developed for use in conjunction with a standard home blood glucose meter. The Guardian REAL-Time received regulatory approval from the FDA in 2006. As currently used, the Subcutaneous Glucose Sensor is labeled for a maximum use duration of 72 hours, using only the abdomen area as an insertion site. Recent studies have shown that the useful sensor life could extend beyond three days, and it is reasonable to expect a significant percentage of sensors to last six days. It is the goal of this study to confirm sensor performance accuracy data from one of these recent studies. The sensor is also commonly worn in body areas other than the abdomen (such as the buttock). This study will also demonstrate sensor accuracy when used in an alternate site.”

This is a very positive piece of news that means that people here in Australia can now get Continuous Monitoring for about half the cost of what was possible previously. This is particularly important since insurance coverage for CGMS is not available here in Australia and patients wanting to use it have to pay out of pocket.

Now, a lot of people where reusing the sensors to achieve the 6 day mark, even if it was not officially approved. It would be interested if that same people will now try to get it to work even longer than 6 days…


Traveling to Walt Disney World with Diabetes

November 10, 2009

Over Christmas and New year I’m going to be traveling overseas to the US and Latinamerica.  As part of the preparations I’ve started to do some research on a few of our destinations and have decided to share my findings.

DisneyI plan to share some of the resources I’ve found, some general and some more specific to the destination. And speaking of destitation, what better place to start than the most magic place on earth… Walt Disney World.

My first surprise when I searched the internet was the sheer amount of information specifically on Type 1 diabetes and Disney Parks. There are quite a few sites either dedicated or with significant sections on visiting Disney with D. On close inspection, however, it looks like some of the sites have not been updated in the last few years. Maybe this is just a signal that nothing has changed.

The first mention in my resource list goes to AllEars. Not only do they have an incredible section on D but also plenty of information about Disney parks in general.  It is also worth visiting the old but still online content of the original Disney with Diabetes blog site.

Dlife also has a section on Disney travel. While less comprehensive, also gave me a few interesting tips, specially around hydration and the effects of adrenaline.

Overall I feel well prepared for the 3 or 4 days I’ll spend at the parks, and I’m sure to post here my experiences.  Needless to say, I plan to test very often and pack at least twice as much supplies as I need (including a second pump, but more about that in another post).