FreeStyle Libre iCGM v2 offers greater accuracy and alarms – to adults & kids

image

Here’s what’s new in the second generation of the Libre flash glucose monitor

From Abbott’s press release
ABBOTT’S FREESTYLE® LIBRE 2 ICGM CLEARED IN U.S. FOR ADULTS AND CHILDREN WITH DIABETES, ACHIEVING HIGHEST LEVEL OF ACCURACY AND PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
– FreeStyle Libre 2 is the only integrated continuous glucose monitoring (iCGM) system available that continuously transmits glucose data every minute with customizable, optional real-time alarms to alert users when their glucose is high or low without scanning
– Now for children (ages 4 and older) and adults with diabetes, this latest technology is the first and only iCGM that sustains performance for up to 14 days, providing trends, insights and actionable data
– FreeStyle Libre 2 system includes a self-applied sensor (the size of two-stacked quarters) that is easiest glucose sensor to apply and worn on the back of the upper arm, eliminating the need for painful fingersticks to test glucose levels
– FreeStyle Libre portfolio has been extensively studied with the most real-world users, delivering proven health outcomes
– FreeStyle Libre 2 system offers enhanced features at the same affordable price as FreeStyle Libre 14 day system, which is a third of the cost of other CGMs
Full press release here

COVID-19 may cause worse outcomes in people with type 1 than type 2 diabetes

Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 6.51.50 PM

I was first alerted to this in an article I saw in the British paper, The Guardian. I brought my concern to the group of global diabetologists I’m working with who are examining how COVID-19 is affecting people with diabetes.

Our British member, PhD Philip Home, responded to me immediately and walked me through the research. The reason type 1s may have worse outcomes if they get coronavirus than type 2s, in a nutshell, is vascular damage.

The story broke today on DiabetesDaily. Here’s the story.

DiabetesStories once again voted among best diabetes blogs

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 1.03.04 PM

Thank you Healthline for naming this blog as one of 2020’s best. As I do every year, I appreciate the vote of confidence and stand proudly with my esteemed colleagues.

I also appreciate you, dear reader, for coming here whenever you do and enjoying what I have to offer. As you will have noticed, I try to be informative, posting news and management tips, and personal, sharing what’s going on for me. Everywhere we meet on social media it makes living with diabetes just a little bit less lonely,

So be well, appreciate all the hard work you do and take care of yourself especially in these times of COVID-19. You deserve it.

Learning qigong during COVID-19

 

image

That’s Robert Peng above, my qigong teacher whom I started learning from last July. I could never have imagined when I signed up this past January for his 14 week online medical qigong course that half way through we’d be sheltering in place with a pandemic. Knowing I’ve been strengthening my lungs, among other organs, has been an odd salve.

Qigong, qi gong, chi kung, or chi gung is a centuries-old system of coordinated body-posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for the purposes of health, spirituality, and martial-arts training. Wikipedia

Peng was born and raised in China and he has studied the art of qigong since he was eight years old. He met his qigong master not far from where he lived. His qigong master was the boiler man at a housing residence for foreigners in his village. It’s quite an amazing story Robert tells in his book, The Master Key.

Last July my friend sent me a link to Peng’s 5 day workshop at Omega, a spiritual-type retreat where hundreds of courses are given in residence on a beautiful green campus in Rhinebeck, NY. Of course, as these things go, my friend decided not to take the course, so I took a bus up from Port Authority on my own with a bit of trepidation. I basically knew what qigong was but had never done it. But you know how the story goes, by the second day I had new friends and felt right at home.

That course has been my daily practice, and exercise, outside of my daily 45 minute to one hour walk. I do two twenty minute spiritual healing exercises that focus on the gathering and circulating of chi (energy) within my body and from the universe. They invigorate the upper, middle and lower dantean, which is to say help to make you more wise, compassionate and strong. The medical qigong course I just completed, Yi Jin Jing, is a classic set of qigong exercises that strengthen 12 organs in the body – i.e. heart, small intestine, large intestine, liver, lungs…timely for going through a pandemic.

I encourage you if you are looking for a practice that’s like yoga, but actually easier physically and more meditative to look into qigong. I do know it’s made me more calm and centered, physically strong and balanced, pick up on when someone’s about to call me, so I would say, more in tune with the universe. Well, I had to say it didn’t I? 😉

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 3.47.49 PM

How I got from Madison Avenue ad writer to diabetes influencer

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 5.07.02 PM

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by David Shriner-Cahn for his podcast, ‘Going Solo.’ He features entrepreneurs who made a mid-life change usually after being fired. Well, I was fired. My communications consulting firm was going bankrupt and they were firing people in droves.

I was 48 years old and went to a diabetes educator for the first time because I was getting married that year…but hey, I’m not going to tell you the story, you can listen to it yourself, and I thank you for all the listening you do of me.

https://smashingtheplateau.com/goingsolo/episode-041/

Tomorrow I tell my story of how I got here on ‘Going Solo’

Screen Shot 2020-05-14 at 4.08.07 PM

Tomorrow, that’s Friday May 15th, for those of us who no longer know what day it is, I’m being featured on the podcast “Going Solo.” Going Solo shares the stories of people who built a new career in mid life. Yup, me. I went from advertising copywriter and inspirational greeting card designer to diabetes advocate and speaker.

You’ll find out how, why and some other fun stuff along the way. It’s a perfectly enjoyable 20 minute discussion to listen to over your morning cup of coffee or walk around the neighborhood.

Thank you essential workers at the grocery and to the one here at home

Thank god for the essential workers that stand in grocery stores day after day so the rest of us can still buy food. Bravo from the bottom of my heart! And thank you to the one below, the husband.

IMG_1227.jpeg

Since COVID-19, this is our routine. Once every 10 days or so the husband makes his way to Whole Foods. A few weeks ago we used to feel like we were risking death just buying groceries. Luckily, with the numbers of infected coming down in New York City and the precautions taken by most stores, we are much more relaxed.

That said, there is still a protocol in place:

5-6 AM – The husband rises

7:15 – He dons mask and two knapsacks and walks 20 minutes to Whole Foods

7:35 – He joins the line already snaking around the block for senior hour

8:07 – He walks into the store

8:17 – He calls me seeking clarification on an item. If I’m lucky I get sent a photo along with the question. This morning the subject line was: Which tahini?

unnamed-1

8:25 – The husband walks back home with two heavy knapsacks over his shoulders

8:45 – My now hero returns, drops the knapsacks, throws clothes in the laundry box, jumps in the shower.

8:47 – I rinse and wash and rebag all the items. I  wash down the counter, sink and my hands. I have thoughts of a sci fi movie playing in my head and wonder, how long will we do this?

9:05 – Hero emerges and gets a well deserved hug for all the essentials he’s lugged home.

IMG-1337.JPG

I want to thank every health professional, postal worker, police person, transit worker, all the essential workers who keep my city running so me and the husband can still do the essential things like feed ourselves and get homemade masks in the mail sent from loving friends.

 

 

One third of people in hospital with severe COVID-19 have type 2 diabetes

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 8.27.45 PM.pngIt’s been avoided for decades – most people with diabetes, largely type 2, are unhealthy -no matter how many medications they’re on. And, our health system pushes meds far faster than lifestyle changes. We get it, change is hard and doctors’ expectation is people won’t do it.

COVID-19 has lifted the veil on just how vulnerable poorly managed diabetes has left people to the virus. Insulin resistance and hyperglycemia has always made people with type 2 diabetes more susceptible to illness. Now. more than a third of those hospitalized with the coronavirus have diabetes.

The pandemic as Dr. Mark Hyman says in this video interview with cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra is not the virus, but people’s poor metabolic health. Think diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and obesity, also known as metabolic syndrome. The dis-health most people with type 2 diabetes exhibit.

It’s the result of poor diets, too much processed food, too few nutrients, not much exercise, too much weight. This conversation is with two doctors who for decades have been trying to change our sick care system. I’d say the virus has finally pulled back the curtain on what society has been refusing to deal with.

Diabetes experts discuss care and treatment during COVID-19

Screen Shot 2020-05-02 at 4.40.56 PM.png

It’s for health professionals but if you want to know what’s being discussed and advised among health professionals for people with diabetes and coronavirus, tune in. The American Diabetes Association is doing a special series of podcasts and webinars called COVID-19 & Diabetes.

I’ve probably listened to eight podcasts already. They’re only about 20 minutes long. I’m learning about how our blood glucose can go completely out of whack if we have the virus, the recommendation to take all your meds and supplies should you have to go into the hospital and how early news reports to stop this med or that has already been reversed. Oddly,  I find them both confidence-building and calming.

Maybe it’s because I’m hearing some of my favorite voices, like doctors Irl Hirsch and Anne Peters and my personal friend Jane Jeffrie-Seley, Diabetes Nurse Practitioner extraordinaire. These are great learning and easy to digest.

Podcast Link

Webinar Link

Just some topics covered:

Inpatient care in a hospital

Outpatient care

COVID-19 and Diabetes Medicines

Empowering Patients with Diabetes During COVID-19

 

She got coronavirus and recovered – maybe because of her diabetes

You’ve read too much already about COVID-19. Me too. Fortunately lots of the information has given us advice, recommendations and ways to stay healthy during this time. Here’s the latest information I received today from JDRF.

One uplifting early finding is that people with well managed diabetes, particularly type 1- because we tend to have less comorbidities than people with type 2, like heart disease and high blood pressure – is that we’re not more susceptible to the virus than someone without diabetes. Yet I’m also reading conflicting opinions about whether if you get it, you’ll have worse outcomes because of your diabetes.

One thing I don’t think I’ve read anywhere is someone with type 1 who got through it and found herself stronger to do so – because of her diabetes, “I had COVID-19 and type 1 diabetes” on diaTribe.

Excerpt:

“I’m sharing my story of coronavirus to suggest to you that maybe diabetes isn’t the weakness we’ve been told it is. Yes, I did get sick from COVID-19, but so did many others without chronic illness. Maybe the burden of dealing with a chronic illness makes us more likely to find ways to fight an infectious disease, and that resilience assists our battle…

Read the full article, and remember, diabetes may just be something that’s made us stronger.

be a warior.jpg