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Advances in Type I Diabetes

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If you live with type 1 diabetes, have you had the need to alter the way you administer your insulin? There are so many new devices and products that can make life easier.

It doesn’t take away the need for the medication, but if life can get any easier with this disease, I’ll take it.

As a child, I started out on beef and pork insulin which I mixed in a syringe and took twice a day. I then changed to the man-made insulin. I increased my shots to between four and six a day.

My next advancement was an insulin pen. I could simply dial the amount I wanted and inject. I personally found the weight of the pen versus the fine needle a problem. The newer pens now are much easier it seems.

I went through decades of trying new blood glucose meters, new insulin and degrees of needle size. Sometimes new technology made life easier. Sometimes it was overwhelming to keep up with the new.

The next advancement came to me in my early twenties. I was put on an insulin pump. This seemed to be a miracle.

It worked with only very short acting insulin. With syringes, I had used a mix of long acting insulin and somewhat short acting insulin.

I still had to plan my life around the peaks of my insulin regimen. It determined when I ate, exercised and rested. This pump used only new fast acting insulin to constantly give my body a basal rate and then I could punch in a bolus amount to cover snacks or mealtimes.

I did this numerous times a day without constant injections. The pump tried to mimic a pancreas.

As I continued my life with diabetes, I have updated meters, testing supplies, insulin, and a continuous glucose monitor, and tried different pumps with different features.

I used to assume the new technology was best. Since meeting clients, I have learned that some pump users take a break from pumping and return to syringes. They like the break.

It is not as accurate, but sometimes serves as a reminder about how much thought and control they need. Some have said it has brought them back to the tight control that they needed. When they return to pumping they are in better control.

I would recommend you talk to your doctor to see if you are using the most convenient method for managing your diabetes.

I found that even if comfortable and in good control with my routine, I could be more flexible and in even better control when I changed to a more modern technology.

By Marianne Tetlow “The Diabetes Coach”
The Diabetes Coach is a comprehensive resource and consulting group for individuals or families with a loved one dealing with diabetes. “Helping You To Move Forward While Managing the Ups and Downs”

8 Ways to Take Insulin. MSN Health. Web. May 10, 2012.

Insulin Pumps. American Diabetes Association. Web. May 10, 2012.

Reviewed May 10, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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