Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

Diabetes with humour

August 17, 2010

Loved coming across these cartoons from Haidee Merritt at


Desang Kit Bags | Shoot Up or Put Up

April 7, 2010
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Great to see that Tim liked my kitbags! Thanks Tim. Spread the word! Like the ‘shoot up or put up’ title too….

Desang Kit Bags | Shoot Up or Put Up.

New Algorithm Could Help Prevent Overnight Blood Sugar Lows

March 12, 2010
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Some welcome relief to worried parents of Type 1 diabetes sufferers… A recent article published by the New York Times reports a potential new glucose-monitoring tool designed to check children’s blood sugar levels at night.

A new study claims that a computer algorithm is better at preventing overnight hypoglycemic events by recommending frequent adjustments to insulin doses. The study is significant because it shows that a computer algorithm can be effective at helping to interpret the amount of insulin needed.

People with Type 1 diabetes live a constant balancing act, trying to prevent the level of sugar in their blood from running too high or too low. When blood sugar levels drop too low, a condition known as hypoglycemia, the patient can suffer from shakiness, seizures and even death in extreme cases. Kids are particularly at risk for overnight lows because their blood sugar can fluctuate rapidly.

Currently, researchers are trying to develop an artificial pancreas, which is essentially an insulin pump that will work in concert with a continuous glucose monitoring system to automatically control blood sugar levels. Currently both technologies are available but do not work in concert with one another.

While the study does provide some encouragement for parents, it also has its limits. For example, since the two technologies do not yet work together, if blood sugar drops too low, an alarm may sound but the pump will still continue to deliver insulin, causing the blood sugar to continue to fall. If the patient doesn’t hear the alarm or if their sugar is too low and they are unable to respond, they may face a very serious situation.

via: New Algorithm Could Help Prevent Overnight Blood Sugar Lows

A Peek Behind the Scenes of ‘One Shot’ Documentary

March 11, 2010
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A new US documentary about the journey of ‘Team Type 1’, the first professional cycling team with Type 1 diabetes, is being filmed over the next two years for release in 2013. It follows the Team as they battle to compete in the Tour de France 2012.

Team Type 1 is one of the most visible and successful public faces of Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes News Hound editor Chris Frankie sat down with Greer Wylder, Executive Producer of “One Shot,” for a question and answer session about the exciting upcoming documentary chronicling Team Type 1’s quest to make it to the Tour de France 2012.

Read the interview and see a trailer here

via: A Peek Behind the Scenes of ‘One Shot’ Documentary

Why Some Type 1s Are Taking Type 2 Meds

March 8, 2010
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Can the drug Metformin, traditionally used by those with Type 2 diabetes, help Type 1 users? A recent blog post from Diabetes News Hound suggests that it can. It seems more and more people with Type 1 diabetes are turning to drugs traditionally used to treat Type 2 diabetes as a supplement to their insulin injections. Since Type 1 and Type 2 share the name “diabetes” but are very different, it is surprising to learn of this trend.

Blog Diabetes Mine attempted to explain this phenomenon in a recent post. The explanation, in essence, is that many people with Type 1 diabetes can also develop “insulin resistance,” a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes. With Type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin but does not use it properly. People with Type 1 do not produce enough insulin or any insulin at all. Because people with Type 1 can also become insulin resistant, many of them take the drug Metformin because it helps the body make better use of insulin and therefore requires less insulin to be injected into the body. Metformin can also be used as an appetite suppressant to help some diabetics lose weight.

Interesting to know…

via Why Some Type 1s Are Taking Type 2 Meds

New Zipps great for pump wearers — even hides tubing

February 15, 2010
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One of the the coolest newest items for people with pumps that I’ve seen in a long while are called “zipps”. Available from pumpwearinc they allow you to hide the tubing and keep your pump secure and comfortable. the website now has demos, so you can see the zipps in action online at

Pump Location Can Impact Insulin Delivery | Diabetes News Hound

February 9, 2010
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Changing the height of a conventional insulin pump in relation to its tubing and infusion set can significantly impact the expected insulin delivery rates, according to researchers at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute and University of California, Santa Barbara.

The height of the pump and tubing can often change during simple, everyday activities, such as dressing, sleeping or changing clothes. When the pump was moved higher or lower relative to its tubing or infusion site, the accuracy of insulin delivery rates were impacted.

“The unintended fluctuation in insulin delivery, which may arise from pump movement during normal daily use, can increase blood glucose variability, a risk factor for the progression of complications of diabetes,” said lead investigator Howard Zisser, MD, Director of Clinical Research and Diabetes Technology at the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. “The effect of hydrostatic pressure was most significant at low basal rates and therefore these findings may be particularly important for pediatric diabetes patients, who often use insulin pumps at low basal rates.”

In contrast, the OmniPod, which has no external tubing, was the least affected by pumping orientation and direction.

The study was published in the January issue of Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.

via Pump Location Can Impact Insulin Delivery | Diabetes News Hound.

Justin Webb’s — the Silent Killer

December 22, 2009
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Great bit of reporting about Type 1 diabetes:

The History of Diabetes – Diabetes Health

December 2, 2009
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Fab history of diabetes — a reprint from an early article from Diabetes Health: “Since insulin saved the life of young Leonard Thompson 75 years ago, medical innovations have continued to make life easier for people with diabetes, including continuous glucose monitors, stem cell therapies, and new drugs.

via The History of Diabetes – Diabetes Health.

dLife website accredited to be the best

November 2, 2009
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Learned on Friday that dLife (a US-based website where the ‘d’ is for diabetes) won the MM&M Best Healthcare Online Media Brand 2009. From all the outstanding brands online, dLife was judged to be THE best.

A press release said, “This is not just a humble victory for dLife; more importantly, it is a victory for the 700,000+ patients that visit dLife every month to get a unique brand of practical lifestyle content that helps them manage the challenge of diabetes self care every day. It is also a victory for our sponsors and partners whose support and belief are essential to driving our engine. And, finally, it’s a victory for the dedicated, smart and hardworking professionals that inhabit dLife and have built brick by brick, day by day, into what it is today and what it will become tomorrow. We look forward to continuing the journey. “

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