Farmington Hills, MI (August 15, 2006)--- Over the past decade, technology has become an increasingly important factor in our daily lives. It’s hard to imagine life without the internet, cell phones and TIVO. For people with chronic diseases, application of new technology is vital to controlling their conditions. Supplies such as insulin pumps, continuous glucose sensors, insulin pens, inhaled insulin and blood glucose meters are some of the “gadgets and gizmos” that are helping many people manage their diabetes.
With all the advances in diabetes treatment, education is the basis of diabetes management. Learning to properly use these new gadgets as well as learning what affects blood sugar levels is crucial to diabetic care. Donna Rice, Wellness Program Manager at the Botsford Center for Health Improvement, says, “Knowing which technology to use for diabetic care depends on individual needs. Effective diabetes education focuses on what works best for you.”
Each “gadget and gizmo” is used differently and has advantages and disadvantages. One way to receive your insulin is through an insulin pump. The insulin pump delivers insulin through a plastic catheter placed underneath the skin of your abdomen. Individuals program the pumps to deliver a continuous amount of insulin along with additional doses at mealtimes. The primary advantage of an insulin pump is that you’re often able to achieve normal or near-normal blood sugar levels, which can help prevent long-term diabetes complications. A disadvantage is that some people do not like the dependence of being attached to something all the time.
Another gadget is the insulin pen. The pen is the size of an ink pen and has a self-contained insulin cartridge. You turn the dial to the desired dose of insulin, insert the needle under your skin and press a button to inject the insulin. Depending on your dose of insulin, the pen would last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Some pens are reusable and you can insert a new insulin cartridge into the pen. This device is convenient, discreet and easier to use than a syringe. It is also a convenient gadget when traveling.
The insulin inhaler is the most recent tool for obtaining insulin. The inhaler uses powdered insulin that you breathe in through the mouth and into the lungs where it is absorbed into the blood stream. The inhaler has a long shelf life and works quickly. It is also good for people who have a phobia of needles. An inhaler is not suitable for smokers or people with asthma.
With all of the tools available, it is important for diabetics to learn what is out there. Every person is different and needs different supplies for many reasons. It’s important to discuss options with your physician and to work with a diabetes educator to see what works best for you. To learn more about diabetes education and the “gadgets and gizmos” best for you, contact the diabetes educators at the Botsford Center for Health Improvement at (248) 477-6100.
The Botsford Health Care Continuum is an integrated system of care which includes Botsford General Hospital, the Botsford Physician Network, Community Emergency Medical Service, the Botsford Continuing Care Corporation and the Botsford Center for Health Improvement. The Botsford site on the internet is www.botsford.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Dumas, Beth Montalvo or Stacy Brand
PHONE: (248) 442-7986