The Savvy Diabetic


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Tips, Tools, and Techniques to help you Stay in Control and Balance

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19th Annual Shooting Stars JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Sunday, October 26, 2014 in Newport Beach, CA

For a contribution of $45 (or MORE!), walkers will receive a VERY COOL Shooting Stars Team T-Shirt along with FREE pastries, bagels, and coffee or juice. Questions or to Register email If you are unable to attend but would LOVE to donate on-line go to:

Savvy Updates: 8/30/2016: Which Came First? Antibiotics OR Bacterium?

Antibiotics Linked to T1D in Mice, according to a study at NYU Langone Medical Center, reported in Nature Microbiology, August 22, 2016 and published in MedPageToday, Endocrinology, August 24, 2016. The study results center on the microbiome, the bacterial species in our guts that co-evolved with humans to play roles in digestion, metabolism, and immunity. As children’s exposure to microbe-killing antibiotics has increased in recent decades, the incidence of autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes has more than doubled. The average American child currently receives 10 courses of antibiotics by age 10.

Specifically, the new study found that short pulses of antibiotics cause mice that are susceptible to type 1 diabetes to develop the disease more quickly and more often than mice not treated with antibiotics.

“Our study begins to clarify the mechanisms by which antibiotic-driven changes in gut microbiomes may increase risk for type 1 diabetes,” says Martin Blaser, MD, The Muriel G. and George W. Singer Professor of Translational Medicine at NYU School of Medicine and the study’s senior author. “This work uses NOD mice, the best model of type 1 diabetes to date, and doses of antibiotics like those received by most children to treat common infections.”


‘This latest study result is compelling, linking the effects of use of antibiotics in mice to type 1 diabetes,” says Jessica Dunne, director of Discovery Research at JDRF who funded this research. “This is the first study of its kind suggesting that antibiotic use can alter the microbiota and have lasting effects on immunological and metabolic development, resulting in autoimmunity.”


Read more:  Antibiotics Linked to T1D in Mice

Want more about the effects of antibiotics?

Antibiotics Weaken Alzheimer’s Disease Progression Through Changes in the Gut Microbiome
Antibiotic Use Linked to Type […]

Fit2Me by AstraZeneca – Customize Your Lifestyle/Fitness/Recipes






Check out AstraZeneca’s new website,, designed to help those with diabetes succeed in living a healthful life.  It’s an interesting concept, very user-friendly, which allows you to very specifically choose foods and cuisines that you love, types of activities you love and treatment plans that help you interact well with your healthcare professionals.  You choose a Fit2Me coach from a list of 6 coaches (all with different “personalities” and styles of managing) who then guides you through choices and decisions.

I experimented in the Activities module, which allowed me to opt for the types of activity I prefer and then helped me to build my schedule to include those options.  You are encouraged and spurred on by your “coach” to stick to the program … and you also can accumulate points for your successes.

Under the Food module, I was able to indicate the cuisines that I prefer, how much cooking I’m willing to do, list my favorite foods and identify foods I avoid.  Then, when I choose the kind of meal I’m looking for (such as dinner or snack, etc.), it displays images with dishes, along with nutrition values and preparation information.  I can see that this would absolutely help me on those days when I just can’t figure out what I want and should eat.

I can track my points, which earn me entry into Sweepstakes, from which I can choose prizes (such as pedometer, exercise mat, alarm clock pill box, microwave steamer, etc.), enter and display my “winning” streak of successes and victories.

The only thing that is missing, for me, is the ability to choose Type 1 diabetes under my health challenges, as it is primarily .  But in all reality, this […]

Don’t Eat The Whole Piece of Bread!

How to Go Low Carb!

Don’t Eat The Whole Piece of Bread

CHANGE! I’ll Miss You, Dexcom G4 with Share!

I didn’t want to do it.  I resisted for well over a year.  I was happy with my Dexcom G4 with Share.  It worked perfectly.  I don’t have insurance coverage for CGM so switching to G5 would cost me more money.  The G5 transmitters last exactly 6 months … I could bet on the G4 transmitters to last up to a year.


WITHOUT ANY WARNING! Never got the Low Transmitter Battery alert.




I got the the dreaded OUT OF RANGE symbol.




So I went into Settings, Device Info … and the transmitter was dead, gone, outta juice, kaput!

And this is Friday afternoon.  Of course!  Things always break at the beginning of a weekend.  And quite honestly, I’d rather do without my pump than live without my Dexcom CGM.  My only choice – upgrade to G5, since I already have the authorization code and transmitters.  NO CHOICE!

I’m waiting for the receiver to update.  I’m grumbling.  Tech support folks tell me that I will LOVE the G5.  My peeps in DOC don’t love the G5.  But I’m here at the crossroads.  So I’m jumping in.  Bye bye G4 with Share!

I’ll let you know … grumble, grumble, grumble!


Savvy Updates 8/20/2016: Gut Microbiome, Glucagon, UCI’s Dr. Lakey, 3-Drug Combo for Control

Relationship between the composition of the gut microbiome and diabetes is being demonstrated repeated in studies, as reported in Endocrinology Advisor by Tori Rodriguez, August 11, 2016.

In a twin study by researchers at Harvard Medical School, MIT and Seoul National University in South Korea, published in 2016, there is an altered function and composition of the gut microbiome with biomarkers of subclinical T2 diabetes.  Among other systems and processes, microbiota has effects on the immune system, which indicates that it alters inflammatory markets and T cell subset regulation.  A shift in immune response is significant as it applies to T1 diabetes and may be of particular interest for T2 diabetes.  Indeed, as previous research has shown, “while the microbiome of healthy infants becomes more stable and diverse as they approach toddlerhood, the microbiome of those at high risk of autoimmunity become less stable and diverse, which could result in distinct differences in the autoimmune microbiome between healthy children and those with type 1 diabetes.”

The gut microbiome may increase understanding  of the pathogenesis of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
“The development of type 1 diabetes seems to be associated with a reduced bacterial diversity in the gut, and this phenomenon appears after seroconversion to positivity for diabetes-associated autoantibodies,” says study co-author Mikael Knip, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Helsinki in Finland. “This indicates that the dysbiosis may be involved in the progression from autoantibody positivity to overt disease but not with the initiation of beta-cell autoimmunity,” he said. Additionally, those who progress to type 1 diabetes show a reduced number of beneficial bacteria and an increased number of bacteria with pathogenic potential.”

Read more: Role of the Gut Microbiome in Diabetes


Glucagon – […]

By |August 23rd, 2016|Extra|1 Comment

Savvy Updates 8/8/2016: Genesis AP by Pancreum, GlySens ICGM and Beta Cell ‘Hubs’

There’s a “new” artificial pancreas in the works, according to Tim Brand of Diabetes Daily, July 25, 2016. This is exciting!

Pancreum ( is a small company in the SF area working on a “low-cost drug delivery platform that will lead to an aritifical pancreas.  They’ve been in development for many years but keeping a low profile in the media.  Their product is called Genesis (I already love the name as my husband drives his favorite car ever, the Genesis!).

According to their website, “You control which components (modules or wedges) to attach to the reusable controller (CoreMD) which can communicate with a hand-held controller (or smartphone) and is programmed to configure itself based on which wedges are detected.  When all wedges are released, you may use the same CoreMD to create any one of the following systems:

A continuous glucose monitoring system (Vigil) by attaching a CGM wedge to the CoreMD;
An insulin delivery device (InsuLean) by attaching an insulin delivery wedge to the CoreMD;
A dual-hormone delivery device by attaching an insulin delivery wedge and a glucagon delivery wedge to the CoreMD;
A closed-loop insulin delivery and CGM device (Mine) by attaching both an insulin delivery wedge and a CGM wedge; or
A closed-loop bionic pancreas device (Genesis) by attaching an insulin delivery wedge, a glucagon delivery wedge, and a CGM wedge.

While they sport the #WeAreNotWaiting, they quote Margaret Mead, significant anthropologist in the 20th century, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”

Read more: The Artificial Pancreas You’ve Never Heard Of: “Genesis”


A TRULY Long-Term CGM is in development by GlySens Inc., a privately held corporation. According to their website (, the GlySens fully implanted sensor—demonstrated up to 18 month […]

Got Unused but NOT Expired Insulin? Send it to Insulin For Life USA

What do you do when you have insulin that you are no longer using … OR you have fresher insulin with the old stuff left over … OR you have other diabetes supplies that you are not using?

Please consider sending it to Insulin for Life USA, a wonderful non-profit organization  that believes that the SOLUTION to the global PROBLEM of insulin access is possible; one where patients with diabetes, their health care providers, and industry share diabetes supplies that otherwise would go to

waste with those in need.  As they say, sharing what you no longer need will save lives. They provide the shipping form and information on how to send your supplies.  They will of course also take donations!  And you will get a receipt for taxes.

What they need:

Insulin vials
Insulin pens
Insulin cartridges
A1c Test Kits
Glucose meters
Glucose strips
Lancing devices
Pen needles

I Wore a GREEN Wristband at the Friends for Life Conference 2016

Yup, I wore GREEN!  What a unique experience at the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference, 2016!

After I had the good fortune to attend Diabetes Hands Foundation’s MasterLab 2016, I was able to take in the programs at the Friends for Life International Children with Diabetes Conference 2016, held at the same Orlando World Center Marriott.

And OH, what an amazing conference with an extensive exhibit hall, fantastic speakers, programs for all ages (Moms, Dads, Single Parents, Adults with T1, Significant Others, Grandparents, Childcare, Tweens and Teens, College kids, Siblings) and all topics … and conference attendees who were all so happy to be there.  Wow!

As I was registering, under press privileges, I was given a GREEN wrist band, to wear for the duration of the conference.  When I asked why I had a GREEN band and others had an ORANGE band, I was told: GREEN is for the PWD (Person with Diabetes) and ORANGE is for Others (non-diabetic, perhaps parents, grandparents or siblings of the PWD).


INTERESTING!  I have never been obviously identified, except that I have always worn a medical ID bracelet.  But I never felt that I stood out, so loudly, as DIABETIC.

My first thought: I don’t like to be so publicly identified. Suddenly, here I was, a GREEN!  Everyone could tell.

Then I started looking around … and noticing GREENs and ORANGEs.  If I saw a GREEN, I inwardly felt a kinship.  When I saw an ORANGE (and there were many more ORANGES), I thought, how nice that all these people were here to support and learn about life as a GREEN.

I even saw an amazing group of siblings called Orange Team Siblings. I’m sure that there are significant issues between T1s […]

Lucky Me! Thank You DHF MasterLab and Lilly Diabetes

What an honor!  I was chosen to receive a scholarship (underwritten by Lilly Diabetes) to attend the Diabetes Hands Foundation MasterLab 2016, a few weeks ago.  I was flown to Orlando, staying at the Marriott World Center … for a packed day of speakers, to learn so many aspects of ADVOCACY.  It was intense and I was struck by the range of interests amongst the attendees (about 115 outspoken folks with diabetes.  Indeed, it was an amazing advocacy training camp.

I must admit, at first, that I felt intimidated.  I recognized some names of attendees but not much more.  So, at breakfast (which, as was lunch, was filled with healthy food choices), I just plopped myself down at a table and introduced myself.  The connections were instant and suddenly everyone was talking.

I did not know what to expect and had not come with a specific agenda for a advocacy topic.  My mind rattled around with lots of ideas:  Medicare CGM coverage, Medicare Omnipod coverage, more patient access and involvement in product development, shining light on the new hot topic of gut and the microbiome, how to improve doctor-HCP-patient relationship … I could go on.

We were given a Personal Advocacy Plan workbook which was really well written, ranging from leading questions to action plans to action dates to social media campaigns.  Quite comprehensive.

I froze like a deer in headlights.  Which topic should I choose?  What criteria would I use to even choose the topic?  Would I have to share my work at the end of the day?  There wasn’t opportunity to interact and grow ideas with all these amazing advocating diabetics (a change from previous years) … but I was here and it was now.

I took […]

Savvy Updates 7/21/2016: CGM Benefits Shot Takers, Sleep & Diabetes Risk, Human Gut Microbiome, Intensive BG Control and Kidneys

CGM Benefits Injection Users, according to the results from Dexcom’s DIaMonD Study, presented at the ADA Scientific Sessions in June, 2016 and reported by, 6/28/2016.  According to Dr. Howard Wolpert of the Joslin Diabetes Center, healthcare providers should consider recommending CGM to ALL patients with Type 1 diabetes who have not attained their glucose goals, not just those on insulin pumps.  Currently only about 7% of MDI users with Type 1 use CGM.

DIaMonD adds to the evidence that CGM improves time-in-range, reduces highs and lows, and improves A1c. This does not come as a surprise since glucose value and trend can be observed every five minutes and alarms sound for lows and highs, allowing people to recognize patterns, tighten the feedback loop, and take action to improve.
I’ve always said that if I were forced to choose between using a pump or using CGM, hands down, I’d choose my CGM.  Even though it is not perfect and you have to make sure not to overreact and overcorrect with such instantaneous data, it gives me trends and patters as well as annoying but necessary alerts.
By the way, DIaMonD stands for Daily Injections and continuous glucose Monitoring in Diabetes.
Read more: Does CGM Benefit Injection Users? Yes!

Men Who Sleep Too Much OR Too Little May Have Impaired Insulin Sensitivity … BUT NOT WOMEN, according to a study published on June 29, 2016 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, and reported in
Really?!?!?  Wow, that’s wild!
Compared with men who slept about 7 hours a night, the men who slept the most or the least were more likely to have impaired insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function, putting them at increased risk for diabetes.
However, the researchers found that compared with […]