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My Insulin Pump Is How Old?

My Insulin Pump is How Old?

My Insulin Pump is How Old?

Wait, my insulin pump is how old? Has it been five years already? I thought I had another year before it was time to obtain a new pump. I was wrong. In January I made an inquiry to Medtronic about my warranty and sure enough my warranty was due to expire on January 23, 2017. Wow five years went by fast.
It is a big deal to change insulin pumps and this time I intended to change brands so it was important to get moving. Last year following the Medtronic / United Health Care agreement; I intended to use the Accu-Chek pump provided when I made the change as it included a built in Dexcom feature. I thought I had a year before that needed to happen. I went to the Accu-Chek website and I discovered that effective January 1, 2017. According to Diabetes Mine, Roche was not taking new orders for insulin pumps and it was their intent to exit the business as the warranties for their products expired. Gulp!
I realized when I made my intention known last year that Accu-Chek was the weak sister in the insulin pump business but I also knew that they were a strong company, I liked the Accu-Chek meter and everyone I talked to liked their pump. Also, I like that Roche is a local employer in Indianapolis and I know and like people who work at there so that was a double bonus. For me, the local employer is a big deal and with the other things I thought well if they can integrate the Dexcom (most pump manufacturers seem to be doing that) then this looks like a winning combination. Alas it was not to be.
So my next check in was with Animas who does have Dexcom integration in their pumps, they ar Continue reading

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Devices aren’t drugs: Insurance companies should not dictate diabetes technology

Devices aren’t drugs: Insurance companies should not dictate diabetes technology

The diabetes community has been set ablaze after UnitedHealthcare announced an agreement for Medtronic devices to be the “preferred” in-network, durable medical equipment (DME) provider of insulin pumps. Starting July 1, 2016, UnitedHealthcare patients will be funneled toward using a Medtronic insulin pump instead of offerings from manufacturers like Tandem and Animas.
Many diabetes advocates have eloquently voiced their outrage and have been rallying under the hashtags #MyPumpMyChoice and #AccessMatters, and I strongly echo their sentiment that this policy puts “profits before patients”. It’s unacceptable, and both UnitedHealthcare and Medtronic deserve any negative publicity that results from such a short-sighted decision.
To add another layer to the discussion, though, what I find particularly insightful about the controversy is that it highlights the distinction between medication and medical technology. I rarely blink an eye when my patient has to switch brands of insulin, so why is it such a big deal when they have to switch brands of insulin pumps?
Technology is Intensely Personal
Whether it’s Apple vs Samsung, Xbox vs Playstation, Nikon vs Canon, or BMW vs Mercedes, fierce loyalties are found among their users. Beautiful photos of phones and smartwatches adorn billboards across the city, evoking emotions such as envy and desire in a way that no medication can.
When buying a new device, there’s a curious sense of satisfaction when finally choosing a model after poring over reviews and comparing individual specifications. Making that choice creates a per Continue reading

Who gets type 2 diabetes? Addicts and athletes!

Who gets type 2 diabetes? Addicts and athletes!

Here’s an intriguing new take on type 2 diabetes. A US bariatric surgeon says that only two groups of people develop it. They are drug addicts and performance athletes.
That’s fighting talk about a life-threatening, lifestyle disease that is sweeping the planet. After all, many type 2 diabetics don’t look like your average junkie or performance athlete.
Dr Robert Cywes is up for the avalanche of criticism that will surely descend on him. Still, his theory makes sense once you know what drug he means. It’s the drug of choice for both addicts and athletes. It is sugar and other carbohydrate foods.
Cywes is an author of Diabetes Unpacked. It’s another gem from Columbus Publishing and the Noakes Foundation. It is a compelling collection of writings by some of the world’s finest minds in diabetes and diet research. The subtitle says it all: Just Science and Sense, No Sugar Coating.Therein lies the book’s strength and Cywes’s radical view of best treatment for type 2 diabetes.
Cywes is a general surgeon and a specialist in paediatric and adult bariatric surgery. Doctors often refer to bariatric surgery as weight loss or metabolic surgery. It’s the medical term for four surgical procedures to help morbidly obese patients lose weight.
These procedures can shrink the stomach so that the patient can only eat small amounts of food at a time. The surgery can also alter the way that the digestive system absorbs food.
In a consensus statement last year, diabetes specialists and organisations called for radical change in treatment. They called for bariatric surgery as fi Continue reading

Turmeric and Diabetes: 10 Ways Turmeric Can Help

Turmeric and Diabetes: 10 Ways Turmeric Can Help

One diabetes medicine may lower blood sugar and cholesterol, protect your eyes and kidneys, relieve pain, prevent cancer, and improve your sex life. It also tastes good.
This medicine is turmeric, made from the root Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family. About 2% to 5% of turmeric is the yellow/orange powder called curcumin, which gives curry powder its beautiful color. The taste has a bite to it, but with the right recipe, you’ll love it. Or you can take capsules.
Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic (Indian) and Chinese medicine. They give it for pain relief, improved digestion and liver function, and for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Curcumin may also help treat aspects of diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2. A scientific paper from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and McGill University reviewed multiple studies of curcumin from around the world. Most of these are studies of diabetic rats and mice. They need to be repeated in humans to gain scientific acceptance, but I’m convinced.
• In many of these studies, curcumin reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
In addition:
• Curcumin prevented liver fat accumulation. Rats who consumed curcumin had reduced liver fat on a high-fat diet compared to rats not consuming curcumin.
• Curcumin suppressed the activities of white blood cells called macrophages that cause inflammation. This action of turmeric/curcumin could potentially slow down many complications of diabetes, in which inflammation plays a role.
• Curcumin improves insulin function. It reduces insulin resis Continue reading

Tattoos and Body Piercings: A Guide for People with Diabetes

Tattoos and Body Piercings: A Guide for People with Diabetes

The best way to know if it’s safe for you to get a tattoo with diabetes is to see your doctor or healthcare provider. They can review your numbers, draw your A1C, and determine if your diabetes is controlled. If your diabetes is not well controlled, or if your blood pressure is elevated, you should take measures to get both within range prior to getting a tattoo.
After you are evaluated by the healthcare provider and they confirm that your diabetes is under control,you will be given clearance to get a tattoo or a piercing. It will also be a good idea to have the doctor write a note, or even a prescription, in attention of the tattoo parlor or piercing clinic that will be performing the procedure. Normally, a tattoo or piercing establishment will take the word of the client, and the forms that you fill out there should have a question about diabetes, and whether it’s controlled.
Your response should be honest on the form, and if your diabetes is not well-controlled, lying about it could be to your peril. The question is on the form for your own safety, Understand that it is imperative that your diabetes must be controlled, along with your blood pressure, prior to obtaining a piercing or tattoo with diabetes.
Considerations for getting a tattoo or piercing with diabetes
There are many things that your doctor or healthcare provider should consider prior to giving you the ok for the procedure, even with your blood sugar and A1C in your target ranges. If it’s a tattoo, your doctor may want to know its location on your body. Areas farther away from the heart, and areas with Continue reading

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