Life with a pump
Diabetes and the impact of sport
For many people, exercise and playing sports is an important part of life.
Having diabetes doesn’t have to change that. In fact, exercise can also play an essential role in the management of diabetes by improving circulation, reducing heart disease, and helping to control weight.
It will require some extra care and planning when managing diabetes to help ensure good control over diabetes during exercise.
Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes helped me realize that I need to work hard to get something done. I continued sport and am still a member of the Dutch National Women Karate team. With much searching I found a balance between diabetes and the rest of my life (sports, work, etc.)
Keeping blood glucose levels under control
In managing diabetes, it is important to take into consideration many factors, including blood glucose monitoring, carbohydrate intake, physical activities and insulin requirements to ensure good blood glucose control and to reduce the risk of complications.
By understanding the body’s needs, including the effect of exercise, and learning how to keep blood glucose within recommended levels, it is possible to manage diabetes effectively. It can be a challenge to reach and maintain the HbA1c goal while minimizing the risk of hypoglycaemia.
HbA1c: an important measure of how effectively diabetes is being managed using a measure of the amount of glucose that has attached itself to each red blood cell over the preceding 2-3 months to assess the level of diabetes control.
There are many factors that can affect your glucose levels while exercising, including intensity, insulin in the body, carbohydrate intake and level of fitness. It is important to discuss this with your physician to understand what modifications you may need to make to your diabetes management.
So, as someone living with diabetes, how can I better manage my glucose control when exercising?
Diabetes, Exercise & Insulin Pumps
To deal with the challenges of keeping blood glucose levels under better control, especially during exercise, many people with Type 1 diabetes rely on insulin pumps.
An insulin pump is a small device, about the size of a mobile phone that can be easily carried on a belt, inside a pocket, or even attached to a bra.
An insulin pump can help you and your healthcare team to more closely mimic the way a healthy pancreas delivers the basal insulin to the body by providing small amounts of rapid acting insulin during the day and night. It can help to better manage the need for insulin dose adjustment, particularly after meals, during exercise and overnight and can thus help to achieve better glucose control.
Instead of frequent injections, all that is needed on pump therapy is a change of infusion set every few days. Clinical studies* confirm that many Type 1 patients of various ages who switch from MDI to insulin pump therapy report improvements in their quality of life and increased satisfaction with their treatment.
The insulin pump has enabled me to live my life how I want to. I go through my normal training routine every evening and my insulin pump is set accordingly. This way I can regulate my blood glucose much better before and after training.
How does the MiniMed® Veo™ help control glucose levels?
The MiniMed® Veo™ allows for better glucose control due to the ability to adjust insulin delivery, reducing the risks of hypers and hypos. With insulin pump therapy users can benefit from:
Calculating insulin requirement can be a complex task with many different aspects to be considered. In the MiniMed Veo, the built-in Bolus Wizard® feature helps to ensure accurate dosing by taking into account the insulin already in the system, the current glucose levels, carbohydrate intake and personal insulin settings to determine the right dose.
Precise amounts of rapid acting insulin are delivered throughout the day by the infusion set which is easily removed and replaced every 2 to 3 days.
The MiniMed Veo can be instantly adjusted to allow for exercise, during illness or to deliver small boluses to cover snacks. This can be easily done with a touch of a button, rather than with another injection. There is even a temporary basal rate option to proportionally reduce the basal insulin rate, an option that can be used during exercise, for example.
The MiniMed Veo offers the additional convenience of a wirelessly connected blood glucose meter. This meter automatically sends blood glucose values to the pump, allowing more accurate Bolus Wizard calculations. It also stores this information in a digital diary along with your insulin doses.
Is an insulin pump right for me?
Many people with Type 1 diabetes may benefit from an insulin pump without even knowing it. In general if they experience any of the following, they could get better control with an insulin pump:
- Seeking more flexibility in everyday life, including during exercise
- Concerns about long-term complications
- Fear of hypoglycaemia, especially at night and after sports
- The first symptoms of long term complications
- Fear of needles
- Difficulty in managing highs and lows
- Outside targeted HbA1c levels
- Reduced hypoglycaemia awareness
The best way to stay within a healthy glucose range is to test blood glucose levels (SMBG) at least 4 times per day and make adjustments to the therapy as needed. The MiniMed Veo with the use of the Bolus Wizard can make these calculations and adjustments to help improve glucose control.
Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes helped me realize that I need to work hard to get something done. I continued sport and am still a member of the Dutch National Women Karate team. With much searching I found a balance between diabetes and the rest of my life (sports, work, etc.).
Additional options available with the MiniMed® Veo™
The MiniMed Veo is also available with the additional integrated options of Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) and CareLink™ Therapy Management Software.
The MiniMed Veo when coupled with CGM is the only insulin pump with a feature which can help reduce the impact of hypoglycaemia*. If glucose levels fall dangerously low, the MiniMed Veo can turn off insulin delivery for up to 2 hours. It can also advise if glucose levels are rising or dropping quickly. This can be a big advantage compared to SMBG as the MiniMed Integrated System alerts when crossing pre-set threshold limits and shows current glucose trends.
*References are kept on file and are available on request; please contact your local Medtronic representative for copies.