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PHOEBEMOORE Posts: 25
2/26/10 9:05 P

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The biotech company SmartCells, Inc., based in Mass. developed SmartInsulin by attaching insulin to a biodegradable polymer. The polymer contains binding molecules that hold the insulin In place until a person's glucose levels rise. When glucose reaches higher levels, the polymer sheds insulin into the bloodstream. SmartInsulin is in pre-clinical stages, but has shown a great deal of promise in treating diabetes in animals. Their website is Smartinsulin.com. JDRF has financially partnered with them, and I got this information at JDRF.org.

I'm hoping when they start clinical trials there might be one in Tampa or Miami, as I'd hate to have to go to Mass to be involved. I probably have too much stuff wrong with me to be accepted anyway. But it's the hope I'm holding, as I'm about to give up on the closed loop insulin/blood testing systems.

Hope that helps.

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HMB621's Photo HMB621 SparkPoints: (4,136)
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2/25/10 10:25 P

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Hi Ladies,

It is nice to know you're not the "only one" isn't it? I have also taken antidepressants for the last 10 years or so (Gee, since I started teaching!) but it was mostly for the anxiety and overwhelming feelings I got trying to "do it all." Lately though, it's turned towards depression, which I've been blaming on the extra weight and job stress, but it could be related to the diabetes as well. I am seeing my family doctor and just started to see a therapist for treatment, though I'm not sure how I feel about that. My endocrinologist has also been very supportive. He's with the Joslin Diabetes Center in Pittsburgh, so he's more informed than many other doctors.

I also joined insulin pumpers years ago, but haven't used the site in some time. I'm also curious about the smart insulin. What is that?

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HHI0901's Photo HHI0901 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/25/10 6:41 P

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Wow, lots of stimulating things going on here! It makes me glad to know other people get the same comments or have the same issues that I do! When I was diagnosed 14 years ago I was also told there would be a cure in a few years... ugh! I've been following the work of Dr. Denise Faustman (www.faustmanlab.org) and it seems promising.

Anyway - what is SmartInsulin? I've never heard of it.

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PHOEBEMOORE Posts: 25
2/25/10 10:29 A

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Thanks for your advice. I'll check out the website you mentioned. I've been logging my food intake for about three weeks, and it just confirmed I'm averaging 1,100 - 1,300 calories a day. I eat a good diet, walk daily with my personal trainer retriever at least 30 minutes, lift weights and do yoga twice a week. It seems like every time I have something go wrong and have to temporarily take prednisone and increase my insulin because of it, I add five pounds that I can't lose after the episode. Sometimes it's hard to keep on keeping on, but there's not really much choice, so I try to make the best of it. But I hate buying bigger clothes!

I used to be on the Board of Directors for JDRF in Southeastern WI and would go to their annual meeting and testify before congress for funds. Met several people that had successful islet cell transplants which eliminated their need for insulin injections--but required them to take anti-rejection drugs--who know which is worse. Now I have my hopes on the SmartInsulin being developed. I truly don't expect a cure because it would limit the profits of the drug companies, so what motivation do they really have. Again, thanks for your encouragement.

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DENVERGAIL's Photo DENVERGAIL Posts: 9
2/25/10 9:52 A

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Phoebe,

So nice to meet you! We were diagnosed around the same time. Do you remember the doctors telling you & your parents that there would be a cure in "just a few years"? I'm still waiting too!

I can't tell you how different life is with a pump!
Check this out... I've been on an online bulletin board for many years for people who use a pump and for those looking for information.
www.insulin-pumpers.org

I have very sensitive skin (redhead, freckles, sunburns, acne...) and lots of allergies including hives, red-itchy eyes swollen shut, you name it. I've never had a problem with the adhesive that is used to hold the infusion set in place on my skin. Never crossed my mind that it would be a problem actually.

I'm not sure, but it is probable that syringe needles still use a nickel alloy. Nickel is a highly allergenic metal. In the early days of the pump, the infusion sets used a metal needle made with nickel. After 3 years, I had to stop using the pump since I would have a horrible allergic reaction the moment I put it under my skin. I was off for about 2 years before the manufacturers figured out they couldn't use a nickel alloy.

The infusion sets are now made with a teflon cannula - the only metal that ever comes into contact with your skin is when you insert the cannula. The needle itself touches your skin only at the prick point. It does not contact you subdermally because the teflon cannula surrounds it. The needle inserter comes out and the cannula is left in place for 2 days (or sometimes 3 days (and you never use your syringes more than once, right?) The only problems I've ever had are related to whether or not I washed my hands before inserting the set.

Good luck with your weight loss goals. I started tracking my intake yesterday - and am shocked at how little I eat, but MAYBE it has to do with the fact that I'm logging it. I'm feeling thinner already.

Warmest regards!!

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PHOEBEMOORE Posts: 25
2/25/10 9:05 A

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I can't tell you how interesting all your posts were to me. I've had diabetes since I was 18 and am now 60. Have always been insulin dependent, but never started using the pump. I'm going to a new endocrinologist in March, and I'm sure he'll suggest it. I've always been concerned about the needle site because I have ultra-sensitive skin and frequently have problems with hives when my skin gets irritated. I have several autoimmune conditions as well. I've recently broken out in a bumpy rash at my injection sites which I rotate frequently. All of them have had rash since last July. It's very discouraging. I'm trying to drop 25 pounds which have appeared over the past 4 years. Your posts have really given me insights. Thanks.

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DENVERGAIL's Photo DENVERGAIL Posts: 9
2/25/10 12:07 A

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Heather,

I know a lot of facts about the physiology of Type 1. The correlation of Type 1 and Depression is huge. Think about it - we're injecting a hormone that our body doesn't make. It is a variable rate on a daily basis (unlike thyroid medication which is a fixed amount).

I have taken an antidepressant for almost 20 years. It's a fact of my life. I took a leave of absence from work about 3 years ago. I still am not working at a full-time position, but am 3/4 time with benefits, plus I have my own small company to make up the difference in income. You have to take care of yourself first and foremost!!!

Look at it this way - when you get on a plane and they go through the security demonstration they tell you to always put on your own oxygen mask FIRST. It is the same with taking care of ourselves - if we don't take care of ourselves first, then we won't be around to take care of those that depend upon us. That is the truth.

I am seen at one of the leading diabetes research and treatment centers in the U.S. My team and I always roll our eyes at the emphasis the world seems to have on Type 2. In fact, the complication rates that have been driven into us since the day we were diagnosed are all derived from Type 2. Yep. The Type 2 diabetics give us Type 1s a really bad name in terms of complications.

Bottom line is - if we (Type 1s) don't take care of ourselves we die. We don't suffer complications, we die. Type 2s exist for years and years without any treatment - and when they have their legs amputated and experience kidney failure due to untreated diabetes it is all lumped into the DIABETES category.

We do NOT face the horror of complications that those with Type 2 face. We take our insulin and we test our blood sugar - or we die. And when we test and watch what is happening in our bodies - then we live a very very good life.

I am here to tell you that after 38 years I play tennis 5 days a week during the summer (3 days a week in the winter). I bicycle. I ski. I am a mom. I have a career. I have a WONDERFUL LIFE - regardless of the diabetes.

I hope things start looking up for you. Please see someone about your depression and definitely see about taking time off from work to get things taken care of. Your family depends on you!!

Hugs.

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HMB621's Photo HMB621 SparkPoints: (4,136)
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2/24/10 11:13 P

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I hear you! At least my family has stopped telling me I should eat.

Have you noticed that almost anywhere you go/look the mention of diabetes is always Type 2? Does the world not realize how many of us are dealing with insulin dependent diabetes? That is something that really irks me!

I didn't know Type I's reach menopause earlier than "normal" women. Just another "complication" of diabetes. I've recently started having problems with depression, which I know is common with diabetics. Between work stress, normal everyday stress, dealing with diabetes, and being overweight... I'm just not the happy camper I used to be. I'm in the process of trying to take a leave of absence from work so I can focus on me for a change because my health is not under control. I usually have an A1C around 6, but the last one was 8, and I never went for blood work prior to my most recent visit. I'm feeling really guilty about taking time off work, but I HAVE to take care of myself. (Just wish I could get used to that idea!)

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DENVERGAIL's Photo DENVERGAIL Posts: 9
2/24/10 10:19 P

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Hi Heather! We definitely have the "forgetfulness" problem in common. I've asked my tennis teammates and my BF to remind me to turn my basal down - else I'm consuming extra calories too! But, this is all new. I've never had to be like this before last summer.

I haven't had any problems with gaining weight until the last 6 months. I've had a pump for more than 23 years. I am very active and eat next to nothing just to maintain my weight around 130 (which is solid for my height 5'4"). The last 6 months - everything and nothing changed. I play tennis a lot. I eat what I want, whenever I want (does anyone else have to argue with people who "mean well" when you tell them you DON'T HAVE TO EAT LUNCH RIGHT NOW EVEN THOUGH IT'S NOON and, yes, their friend who takes insulin has to eat at noon, blah blah blah. GRRRR).

I weighed a lot more when I took shots. Being on the pump has allowed me to be and maintain a healthy weight. Until now. But, I know it's not the pump - it's my changing metabolism.

We, Type 1 Diabetic women, are in a special category of reaching menopause (on average) 10 years earlier than the rest of the non-Type 1-population. Erk.

In fact = why does this site not have the option to indicate Type 1 Diabetes? I may be the right age for Type 2, but there is no magic that suddenly changes me from type 1 to Type 2 at this age... argh. Did you all have to agree that the diet recommendations must be approved by your doctor and so on?

Okay - off my soap box about that topic - for now. LOL.

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2/24/10 9:44 P

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I hope you don't mind me jumping into your discussion, but it's not often I find people who are going through the same things as I do. I've been diabetic for 21 years, and using a pump for 8. The pump may allow us more freedom and better control, but it's also contributed to my weight gain since I eat whatever I want and just cover it with a press of a button. Aside from that and 2 kids later, I'm also going to be turning 36 soon, and my metabolism has changed. I was always active, but never had to actually schedule exercise, and I was ok with my weight. But in the two years since my second child was born, I've gained major pounds, and they aren't going away on their own! My problem is forgetting to set a temporary basal before working out and then I get mad that I have to eat and undo all the work I did. It's so frustrating!! Anyway, if either of you (or any other diabetics) would like to keep in touch, let me know.

Take care,
Heather

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HHI0901's Photo HHI0901 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/24/10 8:36 P

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You're right, it is whatever we need. I guess since I started keeping track of my food I eat sooo much less carbohydrates!
It took me a long time to figure out how to balance the food and exercise but now I think I have it down - I usually eat a banana and some protein (eggs, ham) 20-30 minutes before I work out, take 1 unit of insulin, and I'm good to go.
I imagine if your A1C was that high you must have felt pretty bad at the time!! At least you are doing great now. See ya around :)

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DENVERGAIL's Photo DENVERGAIL Posts: 9
2/24/10 7:07 P

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Yes, 25 total (bolus, basal, corrections, etc) per day. I don't think of it as "impressive" as it is the reality for each of us - we take what we need to stay healthy! If you take 60-70u then that's what you need. :)

I am frustrated with the balancing act. I work out. I forget to turn down delivery and an hour later I'm in the kitchen gulping orange juice. This afternoon it was G.S. cookies (I LOVE samoas!) I'm not a snacker. I don't graze through the kitchen. But, as I've aged I know my metabolism is even whackier than being "just" diabetic (which is whacky enough on it's own).

I know that genetics have something to do with the rate/risk of complications. When I was in college, the highest A1c I had was near 15. Ouch. Back in the olden days (pre glucose monitoring) it was all a guessing game. It wasn't until about 1980 that we could actually test our blood sugar without having a visit to the Dr's office for a blood draw. And what did it tell us? Nothing that we didn't already know (this was before A1c's too).

Thanks for all your support. I really appreciate it!!!

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HHI0901's Photo HHI0901 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/24/10 6:51 P

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You use 25 units per day?? That's really impressive! When I was at my highest weight I used 60-70 of Humalog per day and now I use 25-35.

I'm glad to know it is possible to have blood sugars like yours and be complication-free, because I'm usually around low 7s too! Thanks for the peace of mind :)

It really is worth it to join groups and get involved - I think that is why trying to lose weight has never worked for me before this!

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DENVERGAIL's Photo DENVERGAIL Posts: 9
2/24/10 6:47 P

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Thanks for the welcome!

My doc & I like to see my A1c in the low 7's. I am ultra insulin sensitive... at this weight my daily average is about 25u. At my normal weight I'm at 20u. Trying to maintain tighter control just puts me into hypoglycemic hell. I still function, and no one can tell I'm hypo, at 35. Dangerous!!

Thanks for the hint on putting everything into the site. I will carve time out to do it - I am tired of my clothes not fitting and I don't have the budget to by a new wardrobe. LOL.

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2/24/10 6:35 P

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Congrats on being in such great control!! If you don't mind, what do your A1Cs run? I've been type 1 for 14 years (pump for 12) and don't have any complications so far but I'm always worried about it.

Anyway it's amazing how well this site works if you take the time to put in all your food and everything.

Good luck getting into the gym! You can do it!!

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DENVERGAIL's Photo DENVERGAIL Posts: 9
2/24/10 6:30 P

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I was dx'd with Type 1 on 2/14/72. Just celebrated my 38th anniversary with no complications. Have had a pump for about 24 years.

I have (I should say HAD) maintained the same weight for about 20 years. 6 months ago, the pounds started packing onto my backside. Have ruled out thyroid, so now I'm trying to motivate myself to drop the weight.

I had always been able to maintain through playing tennis and a decent-enough diet. But, I find myself at a loss with trying to lose these 10+ pounds. emoticon

I made my first trip to the gym yesterday. Am skipping tonight. Have cardio workout on Thursday nights (pre-paid, so I'm going). Friday morning to the gym. This weekend, am skiing Saturday. Sunday back to the gym.

I really hate juggling my B.G. I've always been able to balance everything out with an extra Snickers bar - but these days the Snickers just attaches itself to my behind. emoticon

My doc is sympathetic but keeps reminding me I turn 50 this year. Wah. emoticon

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