People living with diabetes can take comfort in knowing that new technologies and better diabetes education are making management of the disease more user-friendly.
|PATIENT STORY: DIABETES EDUCATION
MAKES IT EASIER TO MANAGE DIABETES.
Naperville resident Donald DeJohn, 58, has had difficulty managing his glucose levels. He was beginning to have diabetes complications, including neuropathy – numbness in his hands and feet.
Things began to change for DeJohn last summer when his wife Lindsay was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and enrolled in a Diabetes Education program at Edward Hospital.
"I liked the classes so much that I signed up for a second series for myself," says Donald. "One of the first things I looked into was getting an insulin pump, and having one has helped keep me on track."
Diabetes treatment includes insulin and sometimes oral medication. Also key is education about diet, exercise and the new medical technologies, such as:
- Hand-held meters, used daily to check blood glucose levels, which now come in spring-loaded versions, all but eliminating pain when blood is drawn.
- Varied insulin formulations – from rapid acting to those with longer-range impact.
- Insulin pens, which eliminate the need to get medication from the vial into the needle. The pen delivers the dose just under the skin.
- External insulin pumps, the size of a pager, replace injections for some.
- Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensors collect and store blood sugar readings every five minutes.
At the Edward Diabetes Center, patients receive assistance in how to use sensors they've purchased or, with a doctor's order, they can check out one of the center's sensors for several days.
DeJohn opted to purchase his own CGM – an integrated, state-of-the art system that combines a transmitter and a sensor that automatically sends glucose level information to his insulin pump.
For more information about the Edward Diabetes Center visit www.edward.org/diabetes.