Good healthcare evolves to achieve better treatments, better therapies and safer care. In the case of diabetes this mission can translate to achieving more blood glucose control, less hypoglycaemia and to ultimately finding a cure.
Fortunately, there has been a groundswell in drugs, devices, software and alternative therapies in diabetes treatment over the last decade that all aim to make the lives of people living with diabetes easier. Some of these evolutionary developments include the onset of digital health, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and the artificial pancreas.
The double-edged sword that is diabetes can affect various areas of your life, but it can therefore also be managed in different ways. Here’s a look at the latest developments in diabetes treatments and management in five respective areas.
It’s no state secret that diet plays a huge part in managing type 1 diabetes and minimising the onset of type 2 diabetes. The latest diet plan that has gained traction among diabetics is the ketogenic or "keto" diet – a high fat, moderate protein and very low carbohydrate eating pattern. Studies have found that the keto diet can have a beneficial effect in bettering the diabetic state and helping to stabilise hyperglycaemia.
If you have diabetes, exercise is one of the most powerful tools that can help you control your weight and blood sugar, according to Harvard Medical School. The beautiful thing about exercise is there really isn’t any form that’s outdated. However recent studies show that resistance training and aerobic exercise both helped to lower insulin resistance in previously sedentary older adults at risk for diabetes. Combining the two was better than either one alone.
3. Blood sugar monitoring
The latest developments in glucose monitoring is flash glucose monitoring (FGM). FGM’s continuously monitors glucose levels in the interstitial fluid through a sensor that sticks onto the back of your arm. The FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system is one example of a FGM that’s designed to liberate patients from the hassles of the traditional finger-prick, blood glucose monitor.
In November 2016, the FDA approved Soliqua 100/33 - a combination of insulin glargine and lixisenatide. The two drugs combined means patient with type 2 diabetes only need one injection instead of two which make a big difference to the everyday life of someone with diabetes. Soliqua 100/33 can be used together with diet and exercise to manage type 2 diabetes.
5. Insulin Therapy
Insulin therapy is a vital part of treatment for people with type 1 diabetes and for some with type 2 diabetes. Insulin is usually directed to the fat under your skin through a syringe, insulin pen or insulin pump to maintain blood sugar levels. Several new insulin pens have been under development this year including Novo Nordisk’s new pens.These pens* can be connected to CGM’s and Flash Glucose Monitoring Systems, such as the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System and its accompanying app, the FreeStyle LibreLink, to give users accurate insulin dosages and an injection history that includes the size and time of their last dose while keeping track of the last 800 doses. This Talk about health management through digital health tools!
*This technology has been launched in Europe and is not yet available for South Africans.
Always consult your healthcare team and doctor before making any changes to your diabetes treatment and management.
This post is sponsored by Abbott Laboratories SA (Pty) Ltd. produced by BrandStudio24 for Health24.