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.

Advantages:

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 )

Disadvantages:

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.

Verdict:

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 WordPress.com 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 insulinpumpforums.com, tudiabetes.org, diabetesmine.com, realitycheck.org.au, and diabetesdaily.com.

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.

1

First Look at Medtronic Patch Pump June 2009
4 comments

2

Insulin Pumps and Airport Security January 2010
4 comments

3

Review: Accuchek Performa August 2009
4 comments

4

Can an insulin pump kill you? August 2009
19 comments

5

Accu-chek serious market comeback July 2009
5 comments


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.


The Power of One: The Story of Lee Ducat, Champion for Diabetes Research

May 23, 2010

Today, those with Type 1 Diabetes recognize Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International as a nonprofit giant that pumps continual funding into diabetes research. They have relied on and even joined forces with the Foundation for decades both to raise awareness for the disease and to receive key support in living with their condition. But 40 years ago, there was no Foundation and only a fraction of the organized support for people living with the disease.

So how did the organization get started? Would you believe it was one determined mother who kicked off the well-known organization with a cocktail party?

In 1966, U.S. mother Lee Ducat’s nine-year-old son Larry was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. After facing the initial shock and devastation of such news and learning to help her son manage the disease, Ducat eventually asked her son’s physician what she could do to help find a cure. He told her that a good deal more research needed to be done so that new treatments could be developed, or even better, a cure could be found. However, such research required much more financial support than was currently available, he told her.

Ducat began thinking about what she could do to meet that critical need. Not sure where to start, she threw a cocktail party in 1970 for a group of people with a stake in finding new treatments for the disease using a list of clients provided by her doctor. (Check out this great interview she recently did with Philadelphia Magazine’s Be Well blog).

About 60 people showed up to her party, everyone who came signed a makeshift membership application, and the Foundation was born. In the organization’s first year, Ducat and her members started other chapters and raised $10,000.The organization eventually became a 501(c)3 voluntary health organization.

From such humble beginnings, Ducat’s foundation has gone on to raise more than $1.4 billion for diabetes research since its inception and the organization continues to raise $100 million annually. The Foundation not only has a board of directors, but also a scientific advisory board. Today, the Foundation has 100 chapters, branches and affiliates located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Denmark, India and Israel.

This year, recognizing the 40-year anniversary of the organization’s founding, I hope that we can look to Ducat for inspiration, and remember that one person can make a world of difference.

This guest post is contributed by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topics of Online Nursing Schools .  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: kitty.holman20@gmail.com.