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Meetings, Medications, and Meters

I’m back. I started working with Diabetes Health 10 years ago.  At that time, Diabetes Health was the one publication open enough to talk about a subject that was controversial at that time… Lower Carb Options.  That was my column, and I got a lot of slack from it. I didn’t understand why. People with diabetes want and need lower carb options. What was the problem with giving people options? That’s what Diabetes Health is all about – teaching people there are healthy options. Now it’s common to see lower carb options for people who have diabetes. 

Nadia once told me that if you follow diabetes, look back and you’ll see that Diabetes Health was the magazine to first talk about subjects that would later become state of the art care.  I’ve seen this to be true.

So what’s new? I had a full summer attending several excellent conferences, such as The Endocrine Society’s meeting, The American Diabetes Association’s 79th Scientific Sessions, and The American Association of Diabetes Educators’ annual meeting.

I couldn’t be in every session, but I realized we have lots to learn about and learn about quick because there are treatments that will soon be available. We need to know and understand to best help our patients.

Medications that target different organs than the medications we have been using for years will soon be available. For example, Cycloset®, which has FDA approval, targets the brain. There are several others that target the kidney, called SGLT inhibitors. There are new faster acting, as well as slower, longer acting insulins. And, an inhaled insulin with a palm sized inhaler.

The Artificial Pancreas, which consists of an insulin pump (continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion or CSII) programmed with an algorithm that is linked to a continuous glucose sensor, may not be too far off in the future. It has thus far proved it can keep glucose levels within target range longer with fewer glucose excursions than the pump alone.  And, for adults with type 1 diabetes, overnight closed loop systems can provide superior glucose control, even after a few alcoholic drinks and a large evening meal. It may also improve the efficacy and safety of insulin regimens currently available.

New Clinical Studies are available to people with diabetes.  The importance of keeping up to date on phase 3 studies, and the importance of teaching about and offering appropriate studies to our patients.

In this issue, I know you’ll especially enjoy Gary Scheiner’s excellent article about blood glucose meters, “No BG Deal”. Who doesn’t love to hear Gary’s take on diabetes? He wrote the book, Think Like a Pancreas, a term we all use now. Also, read my article, “Diabetes and Autoimmunity”.  I find the field fascinating!  

Read on, learn and EnJOY!        

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