Forgot if you took your dose? InPen remembers

 

 

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This is the face of Companion Medical’s InPen’s app. A couple of weeks ago I was given the InPen to try out. The InPen holds rapid acting insulin, a Humalog or Novolog cartridge, and has multi-functions that help you keep track of your dosing. It works through an app on your smartphone bringing some of the functions of an insulin pump to MDI (multiple daily injections) users.

In addition to providing you the comfort of whether you took your shot, it stores records of your blood sugars for your doctor and family members that you can transfer wirelessly. If you wear a Dexcom CGM, you can see your numbers on the app but they’re on a three hour delay. The company is working on that. But they are stored in the app and get sent to your HCP as part of the records.

The pen also has a built in dose calculator based on the carbs you’re planning to eat, tells you how much insulin you still have onboard and you can set alerts and reminders. Plus the InPen delivers half units.

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The shiny blue pen in the foreground is the InPen. In the background is my Tresiba long acting insulin pen. Actually both pens are the same size, it’s an optical illusion that they seem different sizes. My Tresiba pen is sporting its Timesulin cap, a simple counter that lets me know whether or not I took my dose. I find it invaluable, thus, the reason I wanted to try the InPen.

So, is it worth it? Well, it’s funny because I was asking myself the same question when I learned that it kind of is. A few days ago I was in a hotel breakfast dining room and I was so busy enjoying the buffet, and clearly out of my routine, that after I finished breakfast I couldn’t remember whether or not I’d taken my shot.

A wave of anxiety blanketed me and then I thought – check my InPen. I looked at the app and sure enough saw that I had not taken my dose. Whosh! I took out my InPen, took my insulin and the fear was forgotten.

The InPen is not inexpensive. It costs $799 but many insurance policies cover it. You can check whether your insurance covers the pen here. If your insurance covers it, it’s a no brainer to try it out. If not, Companion Medical offers a $250 off coupon bringing the price down to $549.

As someone who uses very small doses of insulin – .5, 1-2 units due to my low carb diet, I hate to waste two units of insulin priming the pen. I often withdraw my insulin with a syringe (don’t tell) and then log my doses manually.

The InPen lasts one year and requires no charging. It’s a very cool looking pen that comes in blue, pink and grey.  Now that I’ve got two insulin pens, and they’re both blue, I separate them on my kitchen counter in separate mugs so I don’t mix them up. I’ve done that once before years ago and hope to never repeat the experience.

Disclaimer – I was given my InPen by Companion Medical.

Why diets don’t work? Not willpower, but insulin

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I’ve read about this for years and buy it. Yet the traditional thinking is so ingrained – to lose weight we must eat less and exercise more. Even doctors have bought the Kool Aid. It just ain’t so. Our bodies aren’t designed that way.

Simply, when you take in less calories, your body’s metabolism slows to match the loss. And exercise, while healthy for us, does not impact weight loss unless you’re spending more than two hours a day at the gym vigorously sweating.

Our hormonal system, working in concert with our metabolism, is primed to keep our body at our set weight. It is higher for some than others. Why? I’ve not read that far in Dr. Fung’s book yet. But unequivocally, The Obesity Code, explains why the conventional motto of “eat less, move more” doesn’t work and why insulin is the prime culprit.

Take almost anyone with type 2 diabetes who’s been put on insulin and you’ll find their weight goes up. Yet we ignore it and still tell people to lose weight and it’s their fault if they’re not. So, the prime remedy for lowering blood sugar is insulin, yet insulin is a fat storage hormone. If you’re insulin resistant you’ll have higher than normal levels of insulin circulating in your blood stream. What’s it doing? Beside lowering your blood sugar it’s storing your unburned carbohydrates as fat.

The solution I know of is to eat a low carbohydrate diet which requires less insulin. Less insulin, less insulin resistance and less fat storage. But I’m sure I’ll learn more before I finish the book. Just a snippet, page 86:

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Dr. Fung’s last chapter is about his strategy that’s helped his patients overcome insulin resistance: fasting. Periods of not eating let insulin and insulin resistance decrease, and of course it cuts calories. But if there’s one theme throughout this book it’s this: calories don’t make us fat and cause chronic illness, insulin resistance does. I agree.