Diabetes Education

Grunberger Patient Appreciation Day a Great Success

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Despite the weather (pouring rain all day!), the Grunberger Diabetes Institute’s Patient Appreciation Day on Saturday, August 25 had an awesome turnout! Over 100 patients attended the event outside Dr. Grunberger’s office -- a fun, educational opportunity to understand what resources are available for diabetes care. Jennifer from Healthy Living Medical Supply attended the event, along with many of our manufacturer partners representing CGM and insulin pump solutions. The Grunberger Diabetes Institute also served food and sponsored a raffle for patients and guests.

Dr. George Grunberger is internationally renowned for his work with people with diabetes. His office is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and offers cutting-edge diabetes and endocrine problems management, one-stop service for comprehensive care, a multidisciplinary team, and participation in research studies. Learn more about the Grunberger Diabetes Institute and check out their blog.

Tandem’s Basal-IQ Predictive Low Glucose Suspend Now Available in t:slim X2 Insulin Pumps

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The Tandem Basal-IQ predictive low glucose suspend (PLGS) system has recently been approved by the FDA for pump users as young as six years old. It is a feature of the newest Tandem t:slim X2 insulin pumps (and available as a software update for older t:slim X2 pumps), working in collaboration with the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM). The new PLGS algorithm stops basal insulin delivery when low blood sugar is predicted (30 minutes ahead of time), suspends, and then restarts insulin delivery once blood sugar levels begin to rise. The goal is to prevent or reduce hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in users, without alarms.

The American Diabetes Association defines hypoglycemia: “Low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) is when your blood glucose levels have fallen low enough that you need to take action to bring them back to your target range. This is usually when your blood glucose is less than 70 mg/dL.” Study results have shown that the Tandem Basal-IQ predictive low glucose suspend system reduced time in hypoglycemia by 31%, or about 19 minutes per day. The Basal-IQ system is also the first automated insulin delivery system compatible with a no-fingerstick calibration CGM (the Dexcom G6).

All of the Tandem t:slim X2 pumps shipping from Healthy Living Medical Supply now have the updated Basal-IQ PLGS algorithm. If you already have a Tandem t:slim X2 pump and it’s in warranty, you will be able to get a software update to obtain the new algorithm. The Basal-IQ Technology software update for the t:slim X2 Insulin Pump is now available – get started here. The collective capabilities of insulin pumps and CGM keep wowing us! To find out more about new ways like this to help manage diabetes, call our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy team at 866.779.8512 (option 2). We are here to help!

Healthy Living Salutes Diabetes Educators

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The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) annual conference just passed in Baltimore, Maryland. Healthy Living was there to meet diabetes educators and product manufacturers and to simply learn. Educators are in the trenches with patients and their families, teaching them the skills to be successful and guiding them in the various technologies and tools used to manage the disease.

Six diabetes educators were honored for their achievements and contributions in the field of diabetes education at the AADE conference:

  • Diabetes Educator of the Year Award - Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE

  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Keith Campbell, RPh, FASHP, CDE, FAAD (posthumous award)

  • Allene Van Son Distinguished Service Award - Malinda Peeples, RN, MS, CDE, FAADE

  • 2018 Strategic Initiative Award – Jasmine Gonzalvo, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, CDE, LDE, FAADE

  • Rising Star Awards - Melanie L. Duran, RN, BSN, CDE and Clipper F. Young, PharmD, MPH, BC-ADM, CDE

We support the work of diabetes educators on a daily basis by providing them with meter kits to use for new Healthy Living patients in the clinic during training. Healthy Living also reinforces the teaching of diabetes educators by making sure our patients receive refills for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) supplies, insulin pump supplies, and testing supplies on time, every 30 or 90 days (depending on the patient’s insurance plan).

What it comes down to is that patients can have the best technology in the world, but if they don’t have education, they won’t be able to take full advantage of an insulin pump or CGM system. Read the article New Diabetes Technology Options Can Ease Disease Management, but Education Key for more information about this. Diabetes educators are absolutely essential to the well-being and successful treatment plans of people with diabetes.

The Link Between Diabetes & Heart Disease

There is a substantial connection between diabetes and heart disease. In fact, the American Heart Association reports that if you have diabetes, your risk of developing heart disease is more than double that of the general population. To better understand how cardiovascular disease and diabetes interface in the human body, check out the video, Break It Down: Diabetes & Heart Disease and the associated healthline article. This video, featuring Dr. Priyanka Wali, explains the link between these two diseases and emphasizes that lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on improving health outcomes.

The main diabetes-related health characteristics that can increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, poorly managed levels of blood fats like cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity, and living a sedentary lifestyle. Dr. Wali recommends being attentive and proactive and making these seven changes to reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular disease:

  1. Quit smoking
  2. Get moving
  3. Reduce stress and get enough sleep
  4. Lose weight
  5. Know your numbers
  6. Optimize cholesterol levels
  7. Take medications as prescribed

Check out the healthline page, Get to the Heart of Type 2 Diabetes, for more related articles. Let’s keep reading, keep learning, and keep moving!

In the News: Saliva Test Could Improve Diabetes Control & Treatment

Recent studies have shown that proteins in saliva can reflect high blood sugar and associated disease processes in children and adolescents with uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. This means that a simple saliva sample could replace blood tests to assess and monitor diabetes and can provide this information long before the appearance of clinical symptoms. Read the article for in-depth information on the research.

Co-author of the study, Professor Heleni Vastardis of NKU Athens School of Dentistry, explains, “The signs of diabetic pathology are already in place way before manifestation of clinical complications." This testing mechanism could lead to better prediction and prevention of long-term complications of diabetes.  

 

What We’re Reading: Facing Diabetes on Her Own Terms…from the HAP Blog

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We have been checking out the HAP Balanced Living blog and recently found this awesome article – Facing Diabetes on Her Own Terms: How One Woman Took Control of Her Life. This article is about Shannon, a woman diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, who found a way to manage her disease without medication, through motivation and focus.

Shannon had a family history of diabetes, so when she was diagnosed, she regarded the situation very seriously. She knew that she needed to make changes, and when she had a physically adverse reaction to metformin (a drug used to control blood sugar), she became determined to find an alternative to medication. To learn more about managing diabetes, Shannon took hospital-based classes for people recently diagnosed with the condition. Then, she also joined the diabetes prevention program at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital which provided great support and education.

Shannon also dove into exercise and improved her dietary choices. She started her exercise routine slowly to work around previous injuries, but she kept going. To adjust her diet, she looked at serving sizes and nutrition information about what she was eating. “The changes needed to battle diabetes can be overwhelming if you try to make them all at once,” Shannon explained, “Don’t be so strict that you set yourself up for failure.”

Healthy Living Medical Supply is in network with Health Alliance Plan of Michigan for diabetes testing suppliesinsulin pumps, insulin pump supplies, and continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGM). If you are a Health Alliance Plan of Michigan member and are looking for diabetes-related supplies delivered to your doorstep with great customer care, give us a call at 866.779.8512 or send us a text message at 248.577.9903 to start the easy enrollment process.

What We’re Reading: SmartSitters

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When leaving the house for a bit, it can be hard to trust the wellbeing of your child with a sitter whom you may not know well. Feeling confident to leave your daughter or son in someone else’s care can be even more difficult when your child has specific care considerations.

We found an awesome guide that can help you and prepare your sitter to give your child with T1D the best possible, most knowledgeable care while you are away. SmartSitters covers essential information about T1D to help families and sitters manage T1D together, wherever they are.

The SmartSitters guide includes a wealth of information, comprehensively covering details on defining diabetes, understanding insulin basics, monitoring glucose, and using an emergency glucagon kit. The guide is easy-to-read and has great pictures - definitely worth checking out!

Are You Ready for CGM?

A continuous glucose monitor is a small wearable device system that tracks your glucose throughout the day and night, notifying you of highs and lows so you can take action when needed. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) helps many people with diabetes obtain greater insight into what is happening with their blood sugar levels and trends.

Benefits of CGM  

  • The CGM system monitors blood glucose levels in the interstitial tissue every five minutes, offering much more information than four to eight finger sticks per day.
  • CGM is very useful when you are struggling with nighttime lows, providing alarms and alerts.
  • Continuous glucose monitoring is great for pediatrics because their parents and caregivers can remotely monitor the CGM data from their smartphones.
  • Both Medtronic and Dexcom sensors and transmitters are water-resistant, if not waterproof. They are both relatively small and discreet to wear.

CGM & Insurance Coverage

  • Most commercial insurances cover CGM, and the end of the year is a good time to consider CGM since at this time deductibles are often satisfied.
  • Most insurances require a prior authorization on file, so it is essential that patients meet with their endocrinologist to discuss CGM. This is a good first step for obtaining a CGM system. 
  • Currently, no Michigan Medicaid plans consistently approve CGM, and plans will require a pre-authorization if the CGM is covered.

Starting with CGM

  • It is easy to begin using CGM, and you don’t have to commit to an insulin pump. Many patients using multiple daily injections (MDI) report that they get tighter blood glucose through the combination of MDI and CGM.
  • From start to finish, a CGM enrollment will take commercial members roughly 1-14 days and Medicaid members 2-4 weeks.

Get in Touch

Healthy Living’s Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team can help guide you through the process of starting with CGM and will work with your insurance company. You can reach us at 866.779.8512 (Option 2). Learn more about CGM on our website.

We love to help!

New Research: Lack of Sleep Tied to Higher Risk of Diabetes in Kids

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A recent UK study suggests that children who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than kids who typically sleep longer. Each additional hour of sleep children get at night is associated with lower body weight, more lean muscle mass, and less accumulation of sugars in the blood. Since obesity and high blood sugars are contributing factors to developing type 2 diabetes, you can see the possible correlation.

This study, based on 4,525 children ages 9 or 10, found that kids who slept less were more likely to be extremely overweight or obese and have more body fat. Children who got less sleep on average per night were also more likely to have a risk factor called insulin resistance, where their bodies don’t respond normally to insulin. An additional factor, insufficient sleep also affects the level of hormones that control appetite, making kids hungrier and increasing cravings for sweet and salty snacks.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children ages 6 to 12 should get 9 to 12 hours of sleep each night. “Getting enough sleep helps keep our appetite in check and is protective against insulin resistance,” said James Gangwisch, a psychiatry researcher at Columbia University who wasn’t involved in the study.

Read the entire Reuters article.

Best of CGM – Essential Info from Our Most Helpful CGM Blogs

  Dexcom & Medtronic CGM Systems (Photo by Emily Lewis)

Dexcom & Medtronic CGM Systems (Photo by Emily Lewis)

If you are living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) can help you make more informed treatment decisions that can lead to better glycemic control. Learn more about CGM through three of our most valuable blogs from the last year.

Blog 1: Try CGM for More Insights & Tighter Diabetes Monitoring

This article covers the basics and answers questions like:

  • Why is CGM so helpful?
  • How does CGM work?
  • How do insulin pumps and CGM work together?
  • Who can benefit from CGM?
  • How does Healthy Living help you get started with CGM?

Blog 2: The Top 11 Questions about CGM & What You Need to Know

This blog covers these more detailed questions:

  1. What information will I get from Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)?
  2. Can I set a safe range for my blood glucose readings?
  3. Do I still have to test my blood sugar when I am using CGM?
  4. What parts make up a CGM system?
  5. Do I need an insulin pump to use CGM?
  6. What types of CGM systems are available right now?
  7. How long can I wear CGM sensors before I need to change them?
  8. Can I use the same insertion site for my insulin pump and CGM sensors?
  9. Can parents and other care team members access a patient’s CGM data?
  10. Can I view CGM data on a smartwatch?
  11. Is CGM covered by insurance?

Blog 3: Apple Watch’s Non-Invasive Glucose Tracker: Said to Become the "Holy Grail" in Diabetes

This blog describes what we currently know about the process and progress Apple is making in creating a continuous blood glucose sensor that does not break the skin to pair with the Apple Watch.

We love to help.

You can reach our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team for more information via phone call at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) or text message at 248.577.9903.

CGM Basics: Clarifying the System & Benefits in 5 Questions

  Checking CGM data on an iPhone, image from pexels.com.

Checking CGM data on an iPhone, image from pexels.com.

Over a big group dinner the other night, I found out that there is a considerable amount of confusion about both what CGM is and the differences between CGM and insulin pumps. Hopefully this blog will help shed some light on these questions!

1. What information will I get from Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)?

CGM measures glucose in the tissue fluid throughout the day and night, about every five minutes, and sends the collected data to a receiver, phone, or insulin pump. This information can tell you how your glucose levels are trending, so you can make better decisions about your insulin dosing.

2. How can CGM help me manage diabetes better?

A continuous glucose monitor is a small wearable device system that tracks your glucose throughout the day and night, notifying you of highs and lows so you can take action. A CGM system consists of 3 parts:

  • Small, under-the-skin sensor that measures glucose levels
  • Transmitter that attaches to the sensor and transmits data
  • Receiver that displays real-time glucose information

3. Are there additional benefits of CGM?

Continuous glucose monitoring can help you make the best possible decisions since you'll be able to see your trend data provided by the CGM instead of basing choices only on a number from a blood glucose meter reading. You can also set thresholds for high and low numbers, and the CGM will alert you when it senses your glucose levels have moved out of the safe range you set.

4. Is CGM covered by insurance?

Yes, CGM is covered by many insurance plans. Our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team can help you obtain a prescription from your doctor, navigate the insurance verification process, and place your CGM system order. They also help customers with CGM supply refills.

5. What is the difference between CGM & insulin pumps?

Continuous glucose monitoring collects information on your blood glucose levels. This information can be used for proper insulin dosing through your insulin pump. CGM and insulin pumps can be used separately (a person can use just one or the other) or together.

 

Can Turmeric Help Manage Diabetes? What the Evidence Says…

Curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, has been found to help control blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce diabetes-related complications, and even prevent diabetes. Check out this article to learn about turmeric, a potential positive addition to your existing diabetes management plan.

Advanced Insulin Pump Workshop Offers Great New Insights

A few weeks ago, when Healthy Living attended the JDRF TypeOneNation Summit in Belleville, our team members chose different breakout sessions to attend. We all learned a lot, and I want to take some time to pool our knowledge and share it with you!

Our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy team attended a workshop that went in depth on insulin pump therapy, presented by Dr. Lowell Schmeltz. Here are some of the things that Crystal and George learned from the course.

Advanced Features Improve Results

Insulin pumps include many advanced features and functions that patients searching for tighter control of their diabetes can utilize. These optional features can make pumping more complicated, but if used correctly can greatly improve the results of pump therapy.  One example is that some pumps offer is a dual-wave bolus, which contains a normal bolus as well as a second wave of insulin that is delivered over time. This is especially beneficial when eating foods that are high in fat and carbs, like pizza.

Insulin Pump Therapy Requires Focus

Pump users and caregivers need to remember a lot of information and continually go through a number of steps to maintain control with their insulin pumps. Dr. Schmeltz explained that the biggest issue that comes up for individuals using the pump goes back to the basics – entering their carbs for meals. He believes that people should read packages and measure their food for accurate carb counting (instead of estimates and guesses).

Simplifying for Encouragement

Dr. Schmeltz really engaged with attendees and had a great way of simplifying complicated concepts to make pump users feel comfortable with the idea of trying new things. One more of his recommendations was for patients to download their pump data between physician visits so their doctor can review their status at appointment time and make any necessary changes to their regimen.

We also were excited to learn about some of the new pump technology that is being tested, including the artificial pancreas. This new technology is much closer to being available to patients than many of us realized!

 

Omnipod Insulin Pumps Wow with Many Unique Benefits

 Image courtesy of   Wikipedia Commons

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Many people have come to know the benefits of the Omnipod. This community of “Podders” appreciate many really awesome features that make the Omnipod tubeless insulin pump different.

Waterproof + No Disconnect

The Omnipod is waterproof (and sweat-proof), for showering, bathing, swimming, surfing, or dancing in the rain. Because of this, there is never a need to disconnect from the pump. Omnipod’s waterproof qualities also mean that it’s a great pump for active people – adults and kids alike! This pump truly offers continuous insulin delivery with three days of nonstop insulin with no need to disconnect.

Tubeless Convenience

The small, lightweight (weights just 25 grams with an empty reservoir) Omnipod insulin pumps are tubeless, and they can attach to your body at any place where you could inject insulin. This means you can be as discreet as you want to be with your pump insertion site. Plus, there are no tubes to tangle!

Easy to Use

With the Omnipod, you will not be tied to an injection schedule or tethered to an insulin pump. The system is made up of two parts: the tubeless Pod and the Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM), kept nearby to wirelessly program insulin delivery. The PDM has a built-in FreeStyle blood glucose monitor, and the Omnipod can be used with any CGM system.

It has an uncomplicated needle insertion process – the cannula inserts hands-free, and you never have to see the needle. The Omnipod is cleared for people of all ages who have diabetes and use insulin…including children and teens.

Healthy Living Knows the Omnipod System

Matt Montagne, our VP of Strategy & Innovation at Healthy Living shared, “The Omnipod solution is a great option for those people with an active lifestyle who want an easy-to-use and reliable system. Healthy Living has been providing this solution to members for many years – we know it well and appreciate its many benefits!”

Reach out to our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team for more information, or to start the process of obtaining an Omnipod pump. They will verify your insurance to find out if it’s covered for you. Call 866.779.8512 (Option 2), text us at 248.577.9903, or chat with us at myhlms.com.

V-Go Anywhere with Your Insulin Delivery

  Healthy Living meeting with the V-Go rep.

Healthy Living meeting with the V-Go rep.

“It is easy, discreet, always there.”

This past week, Healthy Living employees had the opportunity to hear from a few company representatives about the V-Go product. V-Go has been around since 2012, however not many providers and patients are aware of its capabilities for improving patient adherence and outcomes. The company representatives gave us a better understanding of the V-Go system so we can more effectively support customers considering V-Go as a treatment and therapy option.

Informative Past Post about V-Go

A few weeks back, Emily wrote about the V-Go on our blog and since then we have been growing our knowledge on this new technology daily. According to Emily’s post, the V-Go provides a steady rate of insulin 24 hours a day (basal). It allows patients to give themselves a dose of insulin with snacks and during mealtimes (bolus). 

Facts about V-Go

The V-Go is for adult patients and despite the confusion, the V-Go is not an insulin pump. For individuals who are constantly on the go and do not want the bother of multiple daily injections, the V-Go may be an excellent option. The V-Go allows the user to load insulin into the device for a rapid-onset dose of insulin. The device is wearable, discreet, and disposable, however it does need to be changed every 24 hours with a new, insulin-filled, V-Go device. The V-Go is extremely versatile as it can be worn when showering and sleeping.

How Can I Start V-Go?!

Even though the V-Go is not known to many people, it can be a positive substitute for other therapies and injections. Here at Healthy Living, we can verify your insurance and collect all of the necessary documentation needed to receive the V-Go as a medical or pharmacy benefit. There is a process to apply for the V-Go, and the coverage is dependent on your insurance company. With most commercial plans that Healthy Living Medical Supply works with, just a prescription is required from your doctor. However, some plans do require authorization. For plans that need authorization, criteria may include a patient’s qualifying blood work and lab work, tracked by the patient and the doctor. The authorization process takes about two weeks, however the length of time depends on the type of insurance.

What Our Fabulous Reps Say about the V-Go

George K., one of Healthy Living’s customer care representatives, sat down with me to chat about his experience with setting customers up with the V-Go. He said that he has seen an increased interest in the product, and customers who do choose the V-Go usually tend to stay with it.

Healthy Living’s Meeting with V-Go Company Representatives

Some studies have shown that multiple daily injections create challenges for patient adherence. Kris Euler, the V-Go company representative who spoke with Healthy Living employees said, “75% of people do not inject insulin away from home - V-Go increases the chance for people to perform their shots while they are outside of their home." With V-Go, the patient can receive their insulin hassle-free with a simple click of a button. It is known for its overall ease of use.

Further Questions and Information

If you have any other questions about the V-Go and all its benefits, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care team at Healthy Living at (866)779-8512. We strive to provide you with the highest standard of service and want to increase your knowledge about different therapy options to help you manage your diabetes the best way possible.

 

Replay: Meet the Glucagon App - A Place to Learn & Prepare

 A view of the Lilly Glucagon app in the App Store.

A view of the Lilly Glucagon app in the App Store.

Lilly Glucagon is designed to treat patients with diabetes and severe hypoglycemia. Do you have a Glucagon kit at home, and do you and your loved ones know how to use it?

You can get a white teaching kit from Lilly by calling (800)LILLY-RX. And to learn more, you could try the mightily helpful Glucagon phone app, simply called “Glucagon.” You can use this app to go through a practice simulation of using Glucagon in an emergency, including how to mix (swirl) the powder and liquid and where to inject (thigh, arm, or buttocks).

Most importantly, there is a special section with instructions for an actual emergency, with animated pictures and audio directions.

The Glucagon app also has a section about “My Kit Information” to help you track where you are keeping your kit(s) in the house and when they expire. There is a function to set reminders to make sure you update your Glucagon kit before passing the expiration date.

In the app's content, you can learn more about this critical emergency treatment tool, including:

  • When it's appropriate to use Glucagon
  • Contraindications and precautions
  • Details about severe low blood sugar
  • Glucagon tips
  • Other helpful diabetes links

Glucagon, Scripts, and Your Insurance

Glucagon is covered by most insurance companies, but it's different for each. It also requires a doctor's prescription. If you are interested in obtaining a Glucagon kit, call Healthy Living Pharmacy at (866)779-8512 (Option 4). Our pharmacy team can help you get set up, including calling the doctor to request a prescription on your behalf.  You can also send us your written prescription, or we can transfer your script from another pharmacy if that would be helpful to you.

The Top 11 Questions about CGM & What You Need to Know

If you are living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) can help you make more informed treatment decisions that can lead to better glycemic control. 

Top 11 Questions about CGM

1. What information will I get from Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)?

CGM measures glucose in the tissue fluid throughout the day and night, about every five minutes, and sends the collected data to a receiver, phone, or insulin pump. This information can tell you how your glucose levels are trending, so you can make better decisions about your insulin dosing.

2. Can I set a ‘safe range’ for my blood glucose readings?

You can set thresholds for high and low numbers, and the CGM will alert you when it senses your glucose levels have moved out of the range you set.

3. Do I still have to test my blood sugar when I am using CGM?

With CGM, to calibrate the sensor, you will still have to test your blood sugar 2-4 times per day, depending on the CGM system you have.

4. What parts make up a CGM system?

A CGM system consists of three parts:

  • A small under-the-skin sensor that measures glucose levels
  • A transmitter that attaches to the sensor and transmits data
  • A receiver that displays real-time glucose information

5. Do I need an insulin pump to use CGM?

No – although some CGM systems can tie in with a pump, CGM can be used independently.

6. What types of CGM systems are available right now?

Medtronic and Dexcom both offer CGM systems with different features.

7. How long can I wear CGM sensors before I need to change them?

You can wear sensors for 5-7 days, depending on which CGM system you are using.

8. Can I use the same insertion site for my insulin pump and CGM sensors?

No, CGM and an insulin pump require two different sites.

9. Can parents and other care team members access a patient’s CGM data?

Yes, certain models of CGM systems are compatible with the iPhone to allow care team members to remotely monitor CGM data via text alerts and/or an iPhone app. This can be especially helpful to parents who have children with diabetes, as they can monitor their blood sugar levels from afar (for example, the daughter is at school and her dad is at work).

10. Can I view CGM data on a smartwatch?

Yes, Dexcom G5 will display CGM on an Apple Watch. Visit Dexcom's Apple Watch page to learn more.

11. Is CGM covered by insurance?

Yes, CGM is covered by many insurance plans. Our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team can help you obtain a prescription from your doctor, navigate the insurance verification process, and place your CGM system order. They also help customers with CGM supply refills.

You can reach George and Crystal on the Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team at (866)779-8512 (Option 2) and learn more about CGM and the systems we offer at myhlms.com/cgm.

Telling the Truth about 8 Insulin Pump Therapy Myths

The Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team receives all kinds of questions every day. I sat down with them to learn more about what ‘myths’ or misconceptions people have about insulin pumps. Then, we figured out the best way to explain the truth of the situation!

#1

Myth: An insulin pump is implanted in the body and requires surgery to get started.

Fact: Insulin pumps are worn outside of the body as devices and are attached to a removable site that the patient changes every three days.

#2

Myth: Insulin pumps are big and bulky.

Fact: An insulin pump is about the same size as a small flip phone or a pager (and about half the size of a regular cell phone).

#3

Myth: Pumps are permanent.

Fact: Insulin pumps are removable and can be taken off for showering or swimming, but back-up insulin (shots) must be used.

#4

Myth: With an insulin pump, there is no longer a need to test blood sugar.

Fact: When using an insulin pump, patients still need to test their blood and count carbs. It is recommended to test blood sugars at least four times daily.

#5

Myth: Someone needs to be ‘tech savvy’ to figure out how to use an insulin pump.

Fact: If you can operate a cell phone or remote control, you should be able to work with an insulin pump. Thankfully, pump manufacturers offer great customer support and training.

#6

Myth: Using an insulin pump is more painful than multiple daily injections.

Fact: Inserting an insulin pump site hurts about the same as one shot, but the site only must be changed every three days. The frequency works out to well over 1,000 shots a year with multiple daily injections (MDI), with a little over 100 insertions a year with an insulin pump.

#7

Myth: Pumps are only used for people with Type 1 Diabetes.

Fact: Many insurances cover insulin pumps for people with Type 2 Diabetes, and insulin pump therapy can be a great contribution to the work of managing T2D.

#8

Myth: Insurance won’t cover insulin pumps.

Fact: Our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team can work with customers, their doctors, and their insurance companies to help people with diabetes obtain insurance-covered pumps. Call Crystal and George at (866)779-8512 (Option 2) to check out your options.

WE LOVE TO HELP.

  • Call us @ (866)779-8512 or text us @ (248)577-9903.
  • Reach us through online chat at myhlms.com.
  • Sign up for the Healthy Living Blog at myhlms.com/subscribe.
  • Check out our online store at store.myhlms.com for accessories and over-the-counter medications.
  • Visit myhlms.com/providers to electronically complete and sign prescriptions for patients.

Try CGM for More Insights & Tighter Diabetes Monitoring

Dexcom & Medtronic CGM

Why is CGM so helpful?

Maybe you have heard of ‘CGM’ – this refers to Continuous Glucose Monitoring, a system that helps patients with diabetes make more informed treatment decisions that can lead to better glycemic control.

CGM delivers fast and reliable glucose readings every five minutes or so to a receiver, a phone, or an insulin pump - logging hundreds of readings a day. A finger-prick blood glucose check gives only one reading at a time, in the moment it is taken. With only this piece of information, it's hard to know if blood glucose is staying steady, rising, or falling.

With CGM, patients can also set thresholds for high and low numbers, and the CGM alerts them when it senses their glucose levels are moving out of the safe range they set. 

How does CGM work?

A continuous glucose monitor is a small, wearable device system that tracks glucose levels throughout the day and night, notifying patients of highs and lows so they can take action when needed. A CGM system consists of three parts:

·      A small, under-the-skin sensor that measures glucose levels

·      A transmitter that attaches to the sensor and transmits data

·      A receiver that displays real-time glucose information

How do insulin pumps and CGM work together?

Right now, there are only two manufacturers of CGM – Medtronic and Dexcom – and their products have different strengths and features:

·        Dexcom CGM can be used with any pump, or without a pump.

·        The Dexcom G5 CGM can use the iPhone as receiver, which is great for caregivers of young kids with diabetes (for example, they can see the data when they’re at work and their child is at school).

·        The Tandem t:slim G4 insulin pump pairs with the Dexcom G4 CGM to allow users to view their CGM data directly on the color touchscreen pump.

·        Medtronic has integrated systems where their insulin pumps and CGM work together – the MiniMed® 530G with Enlite CGM and the MiniMed® 630G with the Guardian CGM.

·        Medtronic’s CGM, integrated with their pumps, provides Threshold Suspend, which suspends insulin delivery if it detects that a patient’s glucose levels are dropping below the safe range.

Learn more about the unique features of Dexcom and Medtronic CGM. 

Who can benefit from CGM?

Many different kinds of people use and benefit from CGM, including people with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, from kids to older adults. This is a good step toward using an insulin pump and getting used to the regimen of having an infusion site to change. For Dexcom CGM, patients change the site every seven days, and for Medtronic CGM, patients need to change the site every six days.

How does Healthy Living help you get started with CGM?

Healthy Living can help with enrollment for CGM and ongoing, monthly supply refills. The enrollment process is very similar to insulin pump enrollment. Many Healthy Living patients use CGM, because it gives them the opportunity for tighter monitoring and better diabetes management.

Is there any new CGM technology on the horizon?

The Abbott Freestyle Libre Glucose Monitor is in use in Europe and has been receiving glowing reviews. With these features, this meter is especially exciting:

·        Very tiny glucose sensor (0.2 inches in length, about the thickness of a hair) with a simple insertion process

·        Water resistant, plastic, on-body patch the size of a one-dollar coin

·        Sensor that remains inserted for 14 days and does not require finger-stick calibrations

·        One-hour startup time

This CGM is currently under review in the U.S. by the FDA. It looks like it will be an effective option for patients to gain better insight into their blood sugar levels while coming in at a very competitive price point. Check out this article to learn more.

We are monitoring the FDA approval process for the Abbott CGM and should be able to provide this exciting new product to our customers when it becomes available.

Ready to learn more about CGM?

When you are ready to consider putting this beneficial CGM technology to use for your own diabetes management, call Crystal and George - our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team - at (866)779-8512.

    WE LOVE TO HELP.

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    • Reach us through online chat at myhlms.com.
    • Check out our online store at myhlms.com/shop for accessories and over-the-counter medications.
    • Visit myhlms.com/providers to electronically complete and sign prescriptions for patients.

    WE MAKE MANAGING YOUR DIABETES SUPPLIES EASY.

    • We work with many insurance plan partners.
    • You can approve your refills via text or phone.
    • Our company’s focus is excellence in customer service.
    • In addition to providing supplies, we also have a mail-order pharmacy.
    • Diabetes is our specialty, and we’re prepared to help!

     

     

     

    Keep Learning - A Visual Guide to Type 2 Diabetes

    Sometimes conditions like Type 2 Diabetes can be hard to understand, and hard to explain to others. WebMD offers a great overview of Type 2 Diabetes in Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Type 2 Diabetes.

    Go at your own pace to learn about Type 2 Diabetes, or use this slideshow as a tool to educate your friends and family members. The presentation has interesting and clear images and photos, and simple, easy-to-understand descriptions and explanations. Its value is in its simplicity and clean presentation.

    The slideshow teaches about these areas of Type 2 Diabetes:

    ·        Prevention

    ·        Symptoms

    ·        Diagnosis

    ·        Treatment

    ·        Details of the condition

    ·        Risk factors

    ·        Long-term effects

    Keep learning and empowering yourself with knowledge about diabetes!