Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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New Tools 2008

by Diane Fennell

What it does: The OneTouch Ping is a blood glucose management system composed of an insulin pump and a meter-remote that communicate with one another wirelessly. The meter-remote can be used to measure blood glucose, calculate a bolus dose, and remotely control pump functions such as delivering bolus doses. The two components of the system must remain within approximately 10 feet of each other to ensure that information is transferred.

The meter-remote requires a 1-microliter blood sample, which can be drawn from the fingertip, forearm, or palm, and returns results in 5 seconds. Readings may be tagged with comments indicating whether the results were influenced by a meal, exercise, or particular state of health (such as stress or menstruation). This device can hold at least 20,000 results in its memory; averaging is available for 7-, 14-, 30-, 60-, and 90-day periods. As an additional feature, the OneTouch Ping can store information for up to 500 foods from the CalorieKing.com database and can also be programmed with customized food information (for homemade items, for example). Information from this food database can be used in conjunction with the bolus calculator to help determine bolus doses for meals and snacks.

The insulin pump can deliver bolus doses in increments as small as 0.05 units and has a basal rate increment of 0.025 units per hour. It has a self-illuminating, flat-panel screen, can hold up to 200 units of insulin in its reservoir, and is waterproof at up to 12 feet for as long as 24 hours. (The meter-remote cannot get wet.)

Availability: The OneTouch Ping is available by prescription. For more information or to obtain the forms needed to order one, visit www.animascorp.com/get-insulin-pump-ping.aspx or call (877) YES-PUMP (937-7867).


Product: Colesevelam (Welchol)

Manufacturer: Daiichi Sankyo Inc.
(877) 4DSPROD (437-7763)

What it does: Welchol is a member of a class of drugs known as bile acid sequestrants, which help lower blood cholesterol. This type of medicine works by binding to bile acids in the intestine and preventing them from being reabsorbed. Because bile acids are synthesized from cholesterol, and because the body needs bile to help with digestion, the liver works to produce more of it, using up cholesterol in the process.

In addition to its cholesterol-lowering effects, Welchol has also been shown to improve blood glucose control in people with Type 2 diabetes. As such, this drug is the only medicine approved for both lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and controlling blood glucose.

Welchol is available in 625-milligram tablets and is taken either in one 6-tablet dose or two 3-tablet doses daily with meals. It is approved for use alone or with statins (another class of cholesterol-reducing drugs) for managing cholesterol and for use in combination with the diabetes drugs metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Riomet, Glumetza), a sulfonylurea (DiaBeta, Glynase, Micronase, Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL, Amaryl), or insulin for blood glucose control in adults with Type 2 diabetes.

Welchol should not be taken by people with a bowel obstruction, a history of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) caused by high triglycerides (a type of blood fat), or a triglyceride level over 500 mg/dl, and caution should be used in people with triglyceride levels over 300 mg/dl. This medicine may interfere with the absorption of the vitamins A, D, E, and K, the sulfonylurea glyburide, the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (Synthroid and others), and birth-control pills containing ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone. It is therefore recommended that people who also take vitamin supplements or any of these drugs take them at least four hours before taking Welchol. The most common side effects of Welchol are constipation, indigestion, and nausea.

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