When I was diagnosed, my HbA1c was 11% (97 mmol/L). I started with MDI and I was not counting carbs, so I had to eat the same quantity of carbs and vegetables every day, which was pretty boring. When I began carbohydrate counting, my daily life improved. Then, when I started on an insulin pump it was obvious to me that my control was better than with MDI. After 3 months my HbA1c dropped from 8% to 5.6%! Now, I eat normal meals like everyone else, and when I go to a restaurant I order what I like. When my dish arrives, I just add the necessary bolus without having to inject myself. Being on a pump definitely gives me better control over my diabetes!
All food falls into three main nutrient categories: protein, fat or carbohydrate. Out of the three, the main nutrient which affects blood glucose (sugar) levels is carbohydrate. When carbohydrate is digested it is turned into glucose. Glucose enters the bloodstream and causes blood sugar levels to rise, usually 15 minutes after eating, depending on the type of food. Insulin is then required to allow sugar in the form of glucose to move from the bloodstream into cells for energy.
Knowing how to calculate the amount of carbohydrate in food makes it easier to match the amount of insulin needed. This is known as carb counting.
What foods contain carbohydrates?
Two methods of counting carbohydrates:
A slice of bread is very different in France than in the US or in Nepal. Thanks to my pump, I can adjust my bolus which makes it easier.
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.
It can be a challenge to reach and maintain the HbA1C goal whilst minimising the risk of hypoglycaemia. However, by understanding the body’s needs, the effects of food and learning how to keep blood glucose within recommended levels, it is possible to manage diabetes effectively.
HbA1c: an important measure of how effectively diabetes is being measured using a measure of the amount of glucose that has attached itself to each red blood cell over the preceding 2 to 3 months to assess the level of diabetes control.
So, as someone living with diabetes, how can I better manage my glucose control and have flexibility when eating?
Food plays a central role in diabetes management and keeping blood glucose levels under control. With Multiple Daily Injections (MDI) it can be more difficult to manage delayed meals, skipped meals or diverse diets. With an insulin pump, eating can be easier and meal types and timing more flexible.
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 adjustments, particularly after meals and overnight, and can thus help to achieve better glucose control.
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.
When I started MDI, I had 2 injections of long-acting insulin at fixed times so I had to get up early even during weekends. For my meals, as I was not carb counting, I had to eat the same quantity of food and vegetables every day. It was pretty boring. To be honest, now that I’m doing carb counting and that I use the Bolus Wizard on my pump, I can’t even imagine how I did it before!
The MiniMed® 640G insulin pump 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:
Many people with Type 1 diabetes may benefit from an insulin pump without even knowing it. In general if you experience any of the following, you could obtain better control with an insulin pump:
The best way to stay within a healthy glucose range is to self-monitor blood glucose SMBG) at least 4 times per day and make adjustments to the therapy as needed. The MiniMed 640G insulin pump with the use of the Bolus Wizard can make these calculations and adjustments to help improve glucose control.
The MiniMed 640G insulin pump is also available with the additional integrated options of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and CareLink™ Therapy Management Software.
When coupled with CGM, the MiniMed 640G insulin pump is currently the only insulin pump with the SmartGuard® feature which may help reduce the impact of hypoglycaemia*. If glucose levels fall dangerously low, SmartGuard can predict when you are approaching lows 30 minutes in advance and automatically stop insulin delivery. When your glucose levels recover, it will automatically resume insulin delivery. This could be a big advantage over SMBG because the MiniMed Integrated System alerts you prior to crossing pre-set threshold limits, as well as showing current glucose trends