Diabetes Technology is an all-encompassing term to describe the tools (ie. hardware, devices, and software) that patients with diabetes use to manage their blood glucose levels. These tools help patients to prevent long term complications from diabetes and improve their quality of life.
Below we will discuss the most relevant tools that we use here at Capitol Endocrinology including methods for insulin delivery (insulin syringes, pens and insulin pumps) and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs)
INSULIN SYRINGES AND PENS
For our patients who require insulin the most common method for insulin delivery is with an insulin syringe or an insulin pen. The decision is made on patient preference, cost of medications, insulin type, dosing regimen, and patient competency.
When using an insulin syringe the insulin has to be drawn out of a vial.
When using an insulin pen the pen has a mechanism to allow you to adjust to the prescribed dose. Each time you use the insulin a new pen needle is placed onto the end of the pen.
Now there is a newer pen available which can offer a lot more than just a vehicle for injecting Insulin in the body. Its called InPen. It offers advanced tracking inside the pen and an intuitive app. You can dose with the smart pen and rely on the app to track your data, get personalized recommendations, and keep an eye on your active insulin throughout the day. (https://www.companionmedical.com/)
INSULIN PUMPS & OTHER DELIVERY DEVICES
Insulin pumps provide another method for insulin delivery and are appropriate for all our patients with Type 1 Diabetes and our patients with Type 2 Diabetes who are currently using multiple daily injections of insulin. Most insulin pumps use tubing to deliver insulin from the pump to a cannula that is inserted underneath the skin (Medtronic: Minimed and Tandem: t:slimX2) Another insulin pump adheres directly to the skin without tubing (Insulet Corporation: Omnipod)
WHAT IS A CGM ?
CGM stands for Continuous Glucose Monitor. A CGM is a device that tracks your blood glucose throughout the day.
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF A CGM ?
Sensor: A small sensor that measures glucose levels underneath the skin (flexible wire), lays flat on the skin surface with adhesive
Transmitter: Connects to the sensor and sends data wirelessly to your display device
Receiver: A receiver or compatible smart device or an insulin pump that displays your glucose reading in real time.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CGM ?
CGM has been shown to help lower A1c, reduction in hypoglycemia (low blood glucose), and allows patients to make decisions for appropriately giving insulin
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM A CGM?
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and American College of Endocrinology (ACE) published guidelines that recommend:
Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Patients with Type 2 diabetes on multiple insulin injections, basal insulin, or Sulfonylureas.
Patients that are at high risk for hypoglycemia and/or have hypoglycemia unawareness may benefit from using a CGM
CONTINOUS GLUCOSE MONITORING
STARTING A NEW CGM
How do I start using my new Dexcom or Freestyle libre CGM?
Both the Dexcom CGM and Freestyle libre CGM are approved for patient self-start. We advise that you follow the manual that was provided with your CGM for more comprehensive instructions. For your convenience we have compiled a few quick resources below to help guide you in starting your CGM at home. Please review the resources under the appropriate TYPE of CGM that you have (i.e.. Dexcom vs. Freestyle libre)
What if I have reviewed the resources below and still need further assistance with my CGM?
Please call our office at 530-677-0700 and we will be happy to set up an appointment to help you start your CGM. Please be sure to bring all your CGM supplies with you to your scheduled appointment.