With a world of diabetes tools out there, how can you understand what’s right for you? You can consult your doctor, your diabetes teacher, even this concern of All For Diabetics. But in some cases it helps to talk with individuals who use the tools daily.
Some buddies in the diabetes neighborhood informed us what devices and features they like – and why. Read on to learn what matters most to individuals: cost, mobility, minimal pain, and more.
No matter what type of diabetes you have, an important step in blood sugar control is at your fingertips: Blood glucose meters and strips are the primary way people keep track of blood sugar levels every day. There are lots of designs on the market and a large range in the cost of the accompanying test strips. Here’s how a couple of individuals selected their meters:
Cost effective Strips: Catherine Holmes, age 46, of Metairie, Louisiana, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2014, uses Walmart’s ReliOn meter since the test strips are economical – which suggests she can manage to test her blood glucose more regularly. That, she says, is resulting in much better blood glucose control.
“[They are] amazingly affordable,” she says. “They’re a godsend since I do not have any insurance coverage. No [cost] fret about checking your blood sugar in the early morning, prior to and after each meal, and before you go to bed.”
Less Wasted Strips: Evelyn Mueller Wachter, age 39, of Franklin, Wisconsin, who was detected with type 2 diabetes in 2007, uses the Bayer Contour Next meter due to the fact that it needs less blood than other meters she’s used – and that suggests shallower finger sticks. The meter likewise informs her if the first drop doesn’t fill the strip so she can use more blood. This function assists her avoid wasted strips.
Also read: Glucose Meter Accuracy
“I have used various meters, and so far I love, enjoy my Bayer Contour Next meter. It takes less blood than any other meter I have had. I can keep filling the test strip if I don’t have enough blood out of my finger the first time around,” she states. “Yes, I pay $53 a month for the test strips, however it is well worth it.”
Information Syncing: Bob Pedersen, 54, of Kansas City, Missouri, who was identified with type 2 diabetes in 2009, uses LifeScan’s OneTouch Verio Sync meter with his smartphone to keep his screening data close at all times – and to enjoy a little flash with his diabetes management. The meter syncs with an app that makes it easy to track blood sugar patterns, log activity, and share blood sugar readings with others, such as a healthcare service provider.
“I use a Verio Sync, which wirelessly syncs to my iPhone,” he says. “It would be hard to claim that I need that capability. But I like the cool element, and heaven knows there’s not much of that in diabetes!”
Some individuals on extensive insulin therapy pick a pump rather of numerous day-to-day injections with a syringe or pen. Pumps run more like a pancreas is expected to: permitting little, programmed amounts of basal (or background) insulin round the clock and manual boluses (mealtime dosages). Various basal rates and temporary rates can be set to offer more precision for changing insulin requirements during workout, sick days, menstruation, andmore. Each pump uses its own functions, so users can pick the one that best matches their requirements.
Convenience and Flexibility: Sydney Resnick, 12, of East Northport, Illinois, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 2, uses a Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm Real-Time Revel pump because it makes insulin delivery fast and simple.
“With shots, I needed to eat at a certain time and test at a particular time,” she states. “With this, I can just eat and test and do a lot of stuff on my own schedule, when it’s convenient. It’s a lot easier and it’s faster to do than to take shots. [When I play basketball] I clip it onto my trousers. It doesn’t fall or truly get in the way.”
Accuracy Dosing: Mike Barry, 47, of Naperville, Illinois, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1984, selected a pump over shots due to the fact that it can provide tiny, precise amounts of insulin. Tweaking his insulin delivery helped him drop weight and lower his A1C.
“The pump flipped a switch, and everything actually fell into place for me,” he states. “I saw with the smaller increments [some pumps can provide 0.025-unit increments of insulin], there’s a lot more accuracy.”
Tubeless Freedom: Carmen Mayo, 34, of Hugo, Minnesota, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1997, uses Insulet’s tubeless OmniPod insulin pump for more freedom.
“I’ve been on an insulin pump for more than a dozen years – most of my diabetic life. Having it tubeless allows me to use gowns again to work. When I have to dress up for a professional environment, that opens a great deal of doors,” she says. “It’s water resistant, so I can go swimming with [the pod] on or shower, and I do not need to worry about [detaching or] the number of minutes I missed out on of insulin. I’m never ever catching tubing on anything.”
Pumping and Monitoring: Laddie Lindahl, 62, of Minneapolis, who was detected with type 1 diabetes in 1976, has actually purchased the Animas Vibe meter, which includes insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) works in one device.
“I’m quite excited about that, the combination,” she states. “I don’t like bring two devices. Women’s clothes do not featured adequate pockets! I did feel comfortable understanding that it is a water resistant pump. That just makes me feel more secure.”
Healthy Outcomes: Evelyn Mueller Wachter uses an insulin pump not simply for herself, but for her growing family. Alarmingly high blood glucose levels were a contributing factor to a previous miscarriage, but now that Wachter is utilizing an insulin pump, she feels more in control.
“Life is a lot easier with the pump,” she states. “I have actually been all over the world with [my A1C]: 8, 12, 9.2. I’ve been on the pump for six months … and my A1C [is] 5.7. Not only is the pump great for me, it’s going to help me have another child.”
Continuous Glucose Monitors
These devices can reveal trends in your glucose levels by giving ongoing readings. Each CGM system – there are five presently on the market – has three parts: a small, under-the-skin sensing unit that determines glucose in interstitial fluid around your skin cells, a transmitter attached to the sensing unit, and a receiver that stores and displays the details for you. In some devices, the receiver is likewise an insulin pump.
CGMs can not entirely replace regular consult a blood sugar meter and require calibration with a meter every 12 hours, but they may assist you minimize finger sticks. Even much better, however they show where your glucose level has been in past minutes and hours and where it might be headed; it’s not just a single number in time.
A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) determines glucose levels on a continuous basis (every couple of minutes). A typical system consists of:
- a disposable glucose sensing unit placed simply under the skin, which is used for a few days up until replacement
- a link from the sensing unit to a non-implanted transmitter which interacts to a radio receiver
- an electronic receiver used like a pager (or insulin pump) that displays glucose levels with nearly constant updates, along with displays fluctuating trends.
Continuous glucose monitors measure the concentration of glucose in a sample of interstitial fluid. Drawbacks of CGM systems due to this truth are:
- continuous systems need to be adjusted with a conventional blood glucose measurement (utilizing present technology) and therefore need both the CGM system and periodic “fingerstick”.
- glucose levels in interstitial fluid lag behind blood sugar worths.
Patients for that reason require conventional fingerstick measurements for calibration (generally two times daily) and are frequently recommended to use fingerstick measurements to validate hypo- or hyperglycemia before taking corrective action.
Safety Alerts: Jessica Byrne, age 35, of Sellersburg, Indiana, who was identified with type 1 in 2007, uses the Dexcom G4 Platinum CGM to handle unforeseeable glucose swings.
“I am a breakable diabetic, so I do not feel when I go low and I have really bad yo-yoing sugars. It certainly informs me when I go listed below 100,” she says. “It’s valuable for partners, too. My hubby can look at it and he can hear when I’m beeping [due to the fact that alarms sound with high, low, or quickly changing blood glucose levels] I think it’s one of the best ways to control your diabetes. It provides you peace of mind.”
Data-Driven Choices: Mike Barry’s pump, Medtronic’s MiniMed Real-Time Revel, consists of an integrated CGM, which he appreciates for its constant stream of data.
“The way it manufactures and amalgamates the information, if I’m going low before lunch every day, I can bring up the information and verify my suspicions, then make modifications [to my basal rate],” he states. “It’s been really easy to adjust.”
Information Sharing: Allyson Legnini, 29, of Washington, D.C., who was identified with type 1 diabetes at age 7, uses a glucose sensor and transmitter, which integrate with her Medtronic insulin pump, in the weeks preceeding an endocrinologist appointment to obtain a clear image of where she’s been – and to prepare for her future management.
“It’s really excellent due to the fact that it gives them a snapshot [of my blood sugar patterns] I do not use it regularly. I use it for two weeks prior to I go to the endocrinologist so that we have a great conversation.”
Insulin pens are the size and shape of a regular composing pen, or a little bit thicker, and can be non reusable (preloaded with insulin) or recyclable (filled with cartridges you can change). Pens have replaceable needles, and they ought to be changed after each injection to avoid clogs and blunt suggestions, which might indicate a painful injection. Some pens give insulin by the system, others by the half-unit.
Flexibility From Attachments: Jon Ettinger, 29, of Washington, D.C., who was identified with type 1 diabetes at age 17, uses insulin pens since he prefers to be unencumbered.
“I use the Lilly Humalog KwikPen throughout the day [for boluses] and the Sanofi Lantus SoloStar once a day, at night [for background insulin] At one point several years ago, I thought about and really got an insulin pump, but I decided that I was happy enough with the insulin pens and didn’t desire either an infusion set site or pump connected to my body. Giving myself a shot with an insulin pen takes about 5 seconds, and I’m not shy about doing it in public nor about letting curious friends inject me.”
Relieving Needle Fear: Kerry Knudson is mother to 5-year-old Jordan of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jordan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2015. They use Novo Nordisk’s FlexPen and Sanofi’s SoloStar insulin pens since they’re less frightening than syringes.
“My boy is terrified of needles, so we use the pen, and for whatever reason, it disguises the needle simply enough that it alleviates his stress and anxiety. The other thing I love about the pen is that it measures everything extremely accurately.”