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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa
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Short Needles

August 9th, 2010 · No Comments

Sometimes it’s superior to be short. Especially if it’s a needle.

Now, the company that makes some of the highest quality needles and lancets has gone even further. Becton, Dickson and Company, which many of us know simply as BD, announced a few days ago that it has produced a pen needle that is even smaller and thinner than anything available before.

BD says that it BD Ultra-Fine Nano is the “world’s smallest pen needle” and is proven to be as effective as longer needles for anyone — big or small, thin or fat. These new needles promise to be less painful for any one of the 5 million Americans who inject insulin or GLP-1 to manage their diabetes.

Please catch the reference to GLP-1. This means that not only insulin users but also those of us who use Byetta or Victoza. These are the newest class of diabetes drugs that people with type 2 diabetes can use to reduce their A1C and their weight at the same time.

This shorter needle is just 4 mm long and has a thin 32 gauge. It provided equivalent glycemic control compared to 31 gauge needles that are 5 mm or 8 mm long and had “reduced pain, no difference in insulin leakage and was preferred by patients,” according to a study reported in Current Medical Research and Opinion. While five of the seven authors of this study work for BD, which raises a red flag, two of them are independent researchers. And one of them, Timothy Bailey, M.D., the director of the AMCR Institute in San Diego, I greatly respect and know personally.

Even though this needle is only 4 mm long, it reaches the subcutaneous tissue — the layer of fat that all of us have below our skin — that is the recommended site for injections of insulin and GLP-1s. And it’s not too long to mean a risk of injecting into muscle, where we can absorb insulin too fast, increasing the risk of hypos. So this new needle promises better glycemic control.

With this needle we don’t have to pinch-up the skin. And it fits all of the insulin pens and dosers sold here.

As I writer, I don’t like to admit that pictures can sometimes be superior to words. Even photos that I have taken myself, like this one. They seldom are, but this is an exception.

Here is one of those new needles mounted on a saline pen. You can see for yourself how short it really is.

A BD Ultra-Fine Nano Pen Needle on a Saline Pen

This is a mirror of one of my articles that Health Central published. You can navigate to that site to find my most recent articles.

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Posted in: Medication

Intensive Glucose Control Works

July 28th, 2009 · 2 Comments

The American Medical Association today published the results of a large and long study that is good news for anyone who has diabetes. The study shows that intensive control substantially lowers the risk of some serious complications of diabetes.

No surprise that intensive control works. But the surprise is how well it works.

The study followed 1,375 people with type 1 diabetes for 30 years of their diabetes. The complications measured were proliferative retinopathy, nephropathy, and cardiovascular disease. Conventional treatment led half of them to proliferative retinopathy, one-quarter to nephropathy, and 14 percent to cardiovascular disease.

Those in the intensive therapy group has substantially lower rates of these complications — 21 percent, 9 percent, and 9 percent respectively. Fewer than 1 percent became blind, required kidney replacement, or had an amputation because of diabetes during those 30 years. [Read more →]

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Posted in: Complications

Comparing Insulins for Type 2s

April 5th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Some of our doctors don’t help us when they use insulin as a threat: “Unless you reduce your blood glucose, I am going to have to put you on insulin.”

So it’s no surprise that many of us who have type 2 diabetes think we have failed when our doctors prescribe it. This comes from thinking of injecting insulin as a last resort.

It isn’t. More and more of us are now starting to take insulin as soon as our doctors have diagnosed our type 2 diabetes. Probably half of the men in my diabetes support group started taking insulin as a first choice.
[Read more →]

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Posted in: Medication

Diabetes Conversation Maps

October 14th, 2007 · 1 Comment

When we discuss with others what we’re learning, we retain that new knowledge much better than when we just passively engage with the new information. Now, a diabetes organization is partnering with company that is determined to show health care professionals how to actively communicate with those of us who have diabetes. [Read more →]

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Posted in: Psychosocial

First-Phase Insulin

July 8th, 2007 · No Comments

First-phase insulin release is beginning to get the recognition it deserves. But we still have a long way to go to understand it.

“It’s a bit esoteric,” Dr. Alain Baron, Amylin Pharmaceuticals’ senior vice president of research, told me Friday. “Most physicians don’t understand its significance.” [Read more →]

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Posted in: Medication

Short-Acting Insulin Isn’t Short for Most Type 2s

June 28th, 2007 · No Comments

If you forgot to test, you’re in good company. It seems that the scientific researchers whom you rely on for your professional guidance on diabetes made the same mistake. [Read more →]

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Posted in: Medication

I is for Insulin

June 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

Like hypos last week, insulin is in the news. Considering that nothing is better at causing hypos than insulin is, they are connected in more ways than one. [Read more →]

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Posted in: Medication

Misdosing Insulin

March 18th, 2007 · No Comments

We have known for several years that we often miscode our blood glucose meters. Now we have scientific proof that this miscoding can cause big errors in insulin doses with potentially serious health complications. [Read more →]

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Posted in: Medication