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Now There's A Health Plan That Zeros In On Diabetes Care

Now There's A Health Plan That Zeros In On Diabetes Care

Now There's A Health Plan That Zeros In On Diabetes Care

Talk about targeted. Consumers scrolling through the health plan options on the insurance marketplaces in a few states this fall may come upon plans whose name — Leap Diabetes Plans — leaves no doubt about who should apply.
Offered by Aetna in four regions, the gold-level plans are tailored for the needs of people with diabetes. They feature $10 copays for the specialists diabetes patients need such as endocrinologists, ophthalmologists and podiatrists, and offer free blood sugar test strips, glucose monitors and other diabetic supplies. A care management program with online tools and coaching helps people manage their condition day-to-day.
The plans also offer financial incentives, including a $50 gift card for getting an A1C blood test twice a year to measure blood sugar and a $25 card for hooking up a glucometer or biometric tracker to the Aetna site.
"It was a good time to design a product that was a little more personalized, as opposed to generic," says Jeff Brown, vice president of consumer product, network and distribution at Aetna. "We saw diabetes as a compelling need, and a growing need."
Aetna is debuting the diabetes plans, effective next year, in four markets: Charlotte, N.C., Phoenix, Ariz., Northern Virginia and southeastern Pennsylvania. The coverage is part of a new Aetna line called leap plans, aimed at helping the insurer build its retail business. The company says the plans are simpler to use than traditional plans and will have more personal customer service.
It's unclear whether the diabetes plans are a good buy for people with diabetes. The cut ra Continue reading

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FDA Approves MiniMed 670G System – World’s First Hybrid Closed Loop System

FDA Approves MiniMed 670G System – World’s First Hybrid Closed Loop System

the first hybrid closed loop system in the world!
This approval is a significant milestone in the history of diabetes management, and a culmination of many years of dedicated work. With this approval, we are one step closer to delivering a fully automated closed loop system.
You may be wondering how this system is different from the MiniMed 630G system we recently launched in the U.S.
Advanced SmartGuard Technology
The MiniMed 670G system features our most advanced algorithm to date – SmartGuard HCL – which simplifies and improves diabetes management through a smart algorithm that enables greater glucose control with reduced user input. Through SmartGuard HCL, the system builds on Medtronic’s industry leading algorithms to offer therapy customization so people with diabetes and providers can choose from increasing levels of automation that best fit their diabetes management needs.
Driven by the SmartGuard HCL, the system delivers a variable rate of insulin 24 hours a day based on the personalized needs of the individual, maximizing the time glucose levels are within the target range. It is designed to learn what an individual’s insulin needs are and to take action to minimize both high and low glucose levels. As a result, the system requires minimal input – users only need to enter mealtime carbohydrates, accept bolus correction recommendations, and periodically calibrate the sensor.
New Guardian Sensor
The system uses our new Guardian Sensor 3, our most advanced and accurate glucose sensor. The sensor offers seven-day continuous wear and incorporates diagnostic t Continue reading

Bitter Melon, Diabetes

Bitter Melon, Diabetes

I spent the last three weeks writing about low-carb eating. But at least one fruit, called bitter melon, seems to be a powerful treatment for diabetes, even if you do eat a lot of carbs.
In reply to my column on reversing Type 2 diabetes, Debbie commented,
My husband was diagnosed with Type 2 four months ago… he had a blood glucose reading of 370. [The] doctor put him on metformin — 1,000 mg a day, which brought his blood glucose down to the low 200’s. So the doctor upped his meds to 2,000 mg a day.
Then someone told her about bitter melon tea, and she bought some at a local Asian grocery. He started drinking one cup of tea in the morning and one in the evening. The very next day, his fasting glucose dropped to around 80. He stopped his metformin and his fasting glucose levels have been under 100 ever since.
His A1C dropped from 13.5 to 6.3. Since he has only been on the tea for a few weeks, his A1C will probably drop further at the next test. This is a man who is heavy, eats lots of pasta and rice, and whose exercise is “walking the dog twice a week.” Nothing else in his lifestyle has changed.
Debbie is sure it’s the bitter melon tea that’s controlling the blood glucose. But one person’s experience is not enough. It’s “anecdotal evidence.” Is there any scientific backup for his story? Not much, but some.
A study by researchers in Australia, China, and Germany found that four compounds in bitter melon that “activate an enzyme that is responsible for… transporting glucose from the blood into the cells.” The enzyme is called AMPK, the same one acti Continue reading

FDA Approves The First Automated Insulin System For Type 1 Diabetes

FDA Approves The First Automated Insulin System For Type 1 Diabetes

The Food and Drug Administration's approval of a new insulin delivery system for people with Type 1 diabetes is a big deal.
With Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas makes little or no insulin so people have to replace it with either multiple daily injections or a pump. In either case, that process involves constant error-prone adjustments, particularly around food and exercise. Over the long term, high blood sugar levels can lead to organ damage, but over-correcting by giving more insulin can cause dangerous low blood sugars that can lead to unconsciousness.
The device, Medtronic's MiniMed 670G hybrid closed loop system, is made up of an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM), both of which are already on the market separately. The new part involves the communication between the two devices.
Medtronic's previous system already had a feature that would shut down the insulin pump if the wearer's blood sugar dropped too low. But the 670G predicts when a person's blood sugar is dropping and prevents the low in the first place, and also corrects high blood sugars.
This is the first such machine in the world with that level of automation, and thus it is informally being called the first "artificial pancreas" system.
However, it's called a hybrid rather than a fully closed-loop system because users will still need to signal that they're about to eat and estimate the carbohydrate count of the food so the device can calculate the additional amount of insulin needed. That means there's still the possibility of mistakes. But now if that count is off, the 670G will correct the err Continue reading

This Teenager Wants You To Know What Diabetes Really Looks Like

This Teenager Wants You To Know What Diabetes Really Looks Like

This is Madeline Milzark, an 18-year-old from Missouri. She's had type 1 diabetes for almost 10 years now.
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. While both type 1 and type 2 are chronic conditions, type 1 is typically diagnosed in children, and type 2 is often diagnosed later in life. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.
Last week Milzark wrote a Facebook post about what it's like to live with diabetes, and people have been sharing it across the globe.
"It's a disease that isn't picky when it chooses who to attack, it doesn't care if you're 2 months old or if you're 73. It doesn't care if you eat Big Macs and McChickens every day of your life or if you're a strict vegan who goes to the gym daily. Diabetes is me. Diabetes is a whole ton of people who fight for their life every single day and go to bed not sure if they're going to wake up the next morning. So before you tag your huge dessert #Diabetes, think about what #Diabetes really looks like".
Madeline says she's received hundreds of positive messages from the post, which has been shared over 5,000 times.
Facebook / Via facebook.com
She decided to write the post after her blood sugar crashed, resulting in her collapsing while home alone. It was sugar supplied by her grandmother that saved her life.
Madeline had her phone at the time and was able to text her grandmother, who brought her the sugar: "If she didn't there was no telling how long it would've taken her to find me and it would've probably been too late by then."
"I have to monitor my Continue reading

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