Technological advancements in the field of medicine have been a blessing in recent times. Newer discoveries in this field have given people and doctors a lot of hope in the management, treatment, and cure of different conditions. In terms of management, testing and diagnostic protocols have become more accurate and reliable. Researchers are also able to come up with these solutions fast enough to be able to mitigate the damage caused.
One such medical condition that has seen a vast multitude of advantages in terms of the preciseness of the diagnosis and the methods of treatment would be diabetes. If you happen to google the history of insulin and how it was first administered, you would be pleasantly baffled and amazed as to how far technology has come to manage this issue.
Irrespective, diabetes management is not an easy task. It requires continuous effort and vigilance on the parts of different people, especially the person diagnosed. In India, with the lack of insurance for these medical supplies, it becomes very expensive for every person with diabetes to have state-of-the-art technology like a continuous glucose monitor to assist them. Therefore, they have to make do with the best supplies available in their range and capacity to keep their levels under control and maintain optimal health.
The use of medical devices for people with diabetes is now essential. Even something as basic as a glucometer or an insulin machine would be counted as a device that aids and assists a person with diabetes. Owing to the widespread prevalence of this condition, it becomes important for people to be aware of the possibilities and options that they have at their disposal that would make their lives easier. This knowledge can also work very well as a caregiver for someone with diabetes. This is a condition that lasts lifelong and the person diagnosed would require moral support and help from people around, especially on difficult days.
In case of a recent diagnosis, your doctor will educate you about the different options that you have as a T1D or a T2D in India. From the modes of insulin administration to the check-ups and blood tests, you will require guidance for all of these aspects initially. Since diabetes comes with a lot of nuanced features, its management and care would also not be very straightforward. However, once you get the hang of it, it may not be very tough either. Most of the devices are made to be user-friendly and easy to learn. They can be used by younger T1Ds or even people who have been living with diabetes for decades.
Here are a few devices that are commonly used for diabetes control and management.
One of the most commonly used devices in all types of diabetes and related conditions would be a blood glucose meter. Also known as the glucometer, this monitor provides information about the values and readings of the blood sugar levels instantly. A super helpful device and a must-have since it can help manage and treat the highs and lows of the condition.
In the initial days of the diagnosis, regular testing of blood sugars can provide a lot of insight and learning. Based on the daily readings, the insulin dose via different methods like the pump or injections can be decided.
Along with the glucometer, you will have to keep a handy supply of glucometer test strips compatible with that particular device. The readings from this machine are what will help you eventually reach your diabetes management goals as you can titrate your insulin doses for the morning, afternoon, and night, accordingly.
A continuous glucose monitor is an important device and can be used at any stage of diabetes management. The basic function of this device is to record blood sugar levels however, it offers a bit more than the basic glucometer. This device has a round sensor that is usually inserted into the arm wherein a small cannula goes inside the arm that takes the blood sugar readings. The reader, a small mobile phone-like device, can be tapped against that sensor to make them compatible. Once this calibration is done, the sensor will record the blood sugar levels every 5 minutes.
Doctors primarily recommend the use of a CGM:
While it is not insured in India, investing in a continuous glucose monitor, twice a year, should be considered.
One of the most common ways of injecting insulin into the body, especially in earlier times, used to be the syringe. The red and translucent white syringe would be filled with insulin using the insulin vial and the decided dose would be injected into the body. Till today, many old-school T1Ds and T2Ds use the syringe to inject short-acting or long-acting insulin. These days, the transition is also being made into an insulin pen injection.
Another brilliant way of administering insulin would be with the help of a pump. This has a small machine that stores the insulin in a reservoir. Attached to the reservoir would be a cannula (thin and hollow wire-like structure) that would carry the insulin. The wire would be attached to a patch (usually in the abdomen, buttocks, or inner thighs) that would administer the insulin inside the stomach via a small fiber inside the body attached to the patch. The pump continuously delivers small units of insulin (pre-decided by you and your doctor) throughout the day and night and a dose will be administered depending on your carb-to-insulin ratio to be injected pre-meals. All this will be done by the click of a few buttons on the pump
An insulin pen device, or a smart pen, is a reusable pen that can also be used to inject insulin into the body. This device has an inbuilt smart system that would calculate and track the doses. Additionally, some pens are also equipped with the features to provide helpful reminders and alerts based on the settings.
These pens would be filled with insulin cartridges instead of vials. You will also require a set of different needles for insulin pen as using the same needle over and over again might lead to infections. Before using the pen, you need to figure out with your doctor the dose amount pre meal, the dose timings, and the insulin quality. You can keep two pens – one for the short-acting insulin and the other one for longer effects.
These strips are primarily used during high sugars. The physiology behind it would be that when your body does not have the required amount of insulin to use the sugar, the glucose molecules break down the fat to use as energy. This results in the production of ketones. High ketone levels occur during high sugars, and if untreated, can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis.
Ketone test strips are self-explanatory and the urine is used to understand the level of ketones in the body. The color-coded key is on the box that will help you analyze the results by yourself. These strips can be used it –
Follow the instructions on the ketone test strip box and test your ketone levels as per the recommendation from the doctor. In case the ketones are high, visit your doctor immediately.
These are just a few of the supplies that a person with diabetes would need to have in their house and be aware of. Along with an insulin pen injection and all the others, more supplies like glucose tablets, lancets, battery for the pump, etc would also need to be kept at home for needs and emergencies. Even though these sound like a lot, they are manageable once you get the hang of them. Make your journey of diabetes management easy with the help of the best of technology and keep up with the newest innovations and discoveries.
Was this post helpful?