Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Child Is Using The World's First Artificial Pancreas?

The world's first artificial pancreas (AP) is being used by a four year old child. That seems premature for someone so young. Actually, this is NOT an AP. I am told that it is the Medtronic 640G, which has a predictive low shutoff. It apparently doesn't do automatic dosing. It is a mistake to call it an AP.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Diabetes On The Internet

Did you know that the World Wide Internet began 20 years ago? Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web way back then (see below). That was the early 1990s. Where was I back then? I tuned in to a Dlife TV show in July, 2006, and saw a reference to That was the first time I knew there was a diabetes support group online. So there may have been people discussing diabetes and sharing life stories online for about ten years before I had a clue. I have tried to make up for lost time, but it would have been wonderful to have joined the online support ten years earlier than I did. I have learned more about diabetes in the last eight years online than I have known from any other sources. I hate to think where I would be today with my diabetes, if there was never an internet.
When did you first join online diabetes discussions? Tell us about it!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Generic Insulin???

  I have heard rumors that there will be a generic form of certain
  insulins available in the near future. I did some research. I did
 some research and found the  article below:,_humalog_and_novolog_generics_463683

  The article refers to Lantus as a fast acting insulin. That is NOT true!
  The article may not be credible! Maybe they meant Apidra, instead of
  Lantus. Apidra is a fast acting insulin.

  If generic insulins do eventually appear, what will it mean? Will our
 insurance require that we use generic? If so, will generic insulin
 work properly for everyone? I doubt it!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Autonomic Neuropathy

Autonomic Neuropathy (AN) is more common among diabetics, and is especially common after 25 years of diabetes. Here are the more common symptoms from the Mayo Clinic:

" Dizziness and fainting upon standing caused by a drop in blood pressure.

Urinary problems, including difficulty starting urination, urinary
incontinence and an inability to completely empty your bladder, which
can lead to urinary tract infections.

Sexual difficulties, including problems achieving or maintaining an
erection (erectile dysfunction) or ejaculation problems in men, and
vaginal dryness and difficulties with arousal and orgasm in women.

Difficulty digesting food, due to abnormal digestive function and slow
emptying of the stomach (gastroparesis). This can cause a feeling of
fullness after eating little, loss of appetite, diarrhea,
constipation, abdominal bloating, nausea, vomiting, difficulty
swallowing and heartburn.

Sweating abnormalities, such as excessive or decreased sweating, which
affects the ability to regulate body temperature.
Sluggish pupil reaction, making it difficult to adjust from light to
dark and causing problems with driving at night.

Exercise intolerance, which may occur if your heart rate remains
unchanged instead of appropriately increasing and decreasing in
response to your activity level."

My neurologist diagnosed my AN in 2010 after I had mentioned extreme dizziness in the AM, and my occasionally falling down. My BP was dropping as much as 40 points when standing up in the morning. Cutting my BP med to half doses has helped, but my BP is still irregular in the morning. I have four of the symptoms listed, and they are gradually becoming more pronounced. Gastroparesis is one of the symptoms, but I do not have that problem at the present time. I hope I never do

Do you have AN, or do you think you do? Feel free to discuss your symptoms, and how you are dealing with them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Dexcom and the Artificial Pancreas

I keep reading on the Facebook Dexcom group page about the Dexcom sensors failing, or equipment needing replacement. Can you imagine what would happen if, a few years from now, you were wearing an Artificial Pancreas (AP) and a false reading from the Dexcom component in the AP occurred? You could get insulin from the AP when you were not actually high, or glucagon when you were not actually low. The AP is going to depend on the Dexcom numbers to know when to give you insulin or glucagon. All it would take is one bad number from the Dexcom to give you an overdose of insulin or glucagon, and send you to the ER with a very serious situation. This is a major concern of mine!!!
This discussion is drawing a lot of replies on my Facebook page, and I am told that I should not criticize a device that will not be available until a few years from now. I don't mean to imply that the AP will not be accurate, I am concerned for the people who do not have the good luck with the Dexcom that is currently used. They may not have much better luck with the G6 sensor that is now being developed, although it is supposed to be much better than the current sensor. The G6 is awaiting testing and FDA approval. It will be wonderful if the G6 sensor is so accurate that we can trust the AP when it materializes.
Actually, my concern is for my friends. Medicare will not cover a CGM, so I am sure they will not cover an AP either. I will probably never get to use the updated Dexcom or the AP.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Man Makes Insulin For His Wife

This is a very wonderful story from the Diabetes Health magazine. A man in China extracted insulin from animals to keep his type 1 wife and many other people alive. during war time. The lady is still alive today, and she lectures and helps others.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bolus Calculators and Artificial Pancreas

I have not used a bolus calculator, but my insulin pump will give me a recommended bolus for meals and snacks when I input my BG level and the number of carbs I will be eating. My BG level is determined from my glucose meter, and there are discrepancies there. If the meter gives me a number that is 20 or more points higher/lower than my true BG, then the amount of insulin I use is more/less than I need. This results in my post meal BG being high or low. It can even lead to hypoglycemia. The lack of meter accuracy is the problem here. It does not usually happen, but it does at least once each day. If I test my BG twice before taking my insulin, I can see numbers that are significantly different. If meters were more accurate, and consistent, my BG after meals would be more stable. Inaccuracy with glucose meters can be a major problem.
I am very much concerned about the artificial pancreas (AP) that will be available in the future. I have read that the Dexcom CGM will determine the BG level, and based on that, glucagon or insulin will be administered to correct high and low BG numbers. Many online friends are saying that the Dexcom numbers are sometimes faulty. The amount of glucagon for a low Dexcom number, or the amount of insulin for a high Dexcom number, could result in hyperglycemia, or hypoglycemia, accordingly. I will not be using the AP for that reason. Inaccuracy with glucose meters and CGMs can be a major problem. I hope that the accuracy will eventually improve so that these problems will be minimized.