3 Things That Could Make Life "Easier" With Diabetes
"Easy" and "diabetes" are not often words people use together. Studies have shown the workload of diabetes to be burdensome or time-consuming. In fact, it's estimated managing diabetes well takes hours out of your day.1
While we haven't developed any medical miracles that allow diabetes to be work-free, some things may help save time and effort. Here are a few.
1. Diabetes-related technology
Technology can ease the burden of diabetes. Many are aware of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) or insulin pumps. Ask your medical team if these options are right for you. Your insurance company can let you know coverage and cost. Other useful tools include pump patches, Medtronic's I-Port, BD's AutoShield Duo, or the InPen.
Pump patches replace all or some of the insulin injections you take. They're disposable devices you fill with rapid-acting insulin and wear for 1-3 days. You administer the insulin from the patch by pushing a few buttons.
Another device, the I-Port, allows you to dose insulin into a port rather than directly into your body. The I-Port is changed every 3 days.
An InPen is a specialized insulin pen connected to an app on your phone. Your medical team programs formulas into the app. These formulas can calculate the insulin doses you need with your meals. Your healthcare provider can download reports to help with insulin dosing changes.
2. Combination medicines for diabetes
It never ceases to amaze me how rarely we use combination medicines in the diabetes world, at least in my experience. Combination medicines are injections or tablets containing 2 or more diabetes medicines in 1.
There are many benefits to these combination medicines. First, they can make someone's day-to-day medicine routine so much easier! Using multiple types of diabetes drugs can mean taking many pills or injections, often at various times of the day. Not only have I seen people struggle with scheduling their doses, but research shows the more complicated a medicine routine is, the less likely users will properly follow it.2
Another benefit of using combination medicines is lower costs. Drug costs can be a significant barrier to proper diabetes care, especially since many insulin or brand-name medicines carry much higher copays. If we can take your 4 different medicines and reduce them to 2 a day, chances are you'll save money and time!
3. Valuable support systems
I can't say enough how valuable support is to your diabetes management. Support can look different across many settings and people. Technology can allow you to connect with others who have diabetes, share diabetes information with your healthcare providers, and help track your diabetes management patterns.
Other supports come from endocrinologists, registered dietitians, specialty doctors, psychologists, certified diabetes care and education specialists, and so on. These specialists can often help you tackle diabetes challenges and connect you to essential resources.
Finally, family and friends' social support can be huge in helping you manage diabetes. However, true support can often come from those who "get it." In short, support from other people with diabetes can be invaluable. If you're struggling with diabetes management and feeling alone, consider what your support team looks like.
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