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Junior Cup 2014: 22nd-24th August in Holland

Dear All

We are happy to announce that the registration for the Junior Cup Diabetes 2014 has opened today (02/04/14). The event this year will take place from the 22nd- 24th August 2014 in Sports Centre Papendal in Arnhem, Holland.

This year’s participation criteria is:

• Boys and Girls with type 1 diabetes
• Using an insulin pump
• Never participated in Junior Cup Diabetes
• Between the ages of 10-14
• Must be available to travel to the Netherlands for 22nd – 24th August 2014 (3 days/2 nights)

Registration closes on the 30th June 2014

How to register

To be in with a chance of representing the UK and Ireland in the Junior Cup Diabetes 2014 customers will need to visit www.juniorcup-diabetes.com

Thanks for reading Andrew Borrett www.mypump.co.uk & www.mypumpblog.com

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Hi all,

Firstly thank goodness the weather seems to have improved as February was certainly another wet month however the first week of March has actually seen some sunshine – let’s hope it continues J

I have as you know been cycling to and from work each day which has not been great with all the wet weather, my journey is only 4 miles but I now use a road cycle as opposed to my ebike (Electric bike) as it is a great way to keep fit but it certainly is harder work, I have also had some issues with my BG levels even though I have been having a 30carb energy bar before my commute. The worst part is not so much when I first get home but during the night as it most take quite a while for all that energy I have used to affect my BG level, this has meant a fair few very low BG’s during the night at 3.0 and below which is never very nice and can be quite scary.

So if you do have any suggestions to try and keep my BG level more stable during the night after my cycle commute I would really appreciate it as I am certainly doing something wrong ?

I am just waiting to test the iCare Advance BG Meter which on first impressions looks to be a very simple and straightforward to use BG meter, I also very much like the look of the New Bayer Contour Next BG Meter – both of which I hope to try soon and will let you know my thoughts.

iCARE  

bAYER1

 

 

I am sure like me you are possibly waiting to hear when the Dario BG meter will be released in the UK as it certainly looks very interesting and I know you can already use the App but still no meter – very frustrating.

dARIO

Has anyone yet tried the New honey treatments which may help with Low BG levels as I have heard of two companies called Diabee Honey Doses and Honey on the go, however this is not something I have ever tried so again I would be very interested to hear your thoughts ?

As always please do keep me updated on any new products I may not yet have seen as I would love to hear from you or even if it is just to say “Hi”.

Have a great weekend.

Andrew

www.mypump.co.uk

www.mypumpblog.com

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Elgringo’s Retina Screen from Mike at Diabetes In Spain

By on January 22, 2013  in Ramblings
Thanks to Mike for this Blog – I wanted to share as I am due for my Annual Eye Check Up and Retina Screening in a few weeks.

730760 10151349075483518 944538258 n Elgringos Retina Screen

Yep, that’s mine!

Hey Guys!

Just checking to see how everyone is doing!  Hope you are all doing fantastically well!

Moving on, I had my Annual Retina Screening at my local clinic.  I’m sure we know how important having our eyes etc.. checked on a regular basis whilst trying to avert the dreaded Diabetes Retinopathy.  So this quick, painless and non intrusive method is a brilliant way to make sure our eyes stay in great shape.

I took a pic of mine (scared the nurse to death when I asked to snap a pic) although I won’t have the results for up to 2 weeks.  I am hopeful that all is ok this time!

 Elgringos Retina Screen

Diabetic Eye Screening

For those who wonder what it all looks like, here is a image courtesy of the UK NHS Diabetic Eye Screening service.  I would have taken self portrait but a) the room was dark b) I had a hand over one eye and c) I was being blinded by the flash going off millimeters away from the centre of my eye! icon smile Elgringos Retina Screen

Stay healthy!

Mike – Diabetes In Spain

PS: The picture was taken cause I’m a nosey bugger and it also forms part of my photo project over at www.elgringo365.com

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Hi,

I just wanted to share some info regarding blood glucose meters and a superb company called Menarini Diagnostics who have a range of blood glucose meters called GlucoMen (LX PLUS and GM) which I have been using for a while now and found them easy to use, the customer support team have also been very helpful.

Here is a little bit of company info about Menarini:

Menarini Diagnostics was established in the UK during 1987. The company is now established as one of the fastest growing diagnostics companies in the UK with annual growth in excess of 20%. To date Menarini has already placed more than 700 analysers of various types in the UK market. MDUK are market leaders in the field of diabetes diagnostics, with leading edge systems for HbA1c, blood glucose and continuous glucose monitoring.

Nearly 60% of all HbA1cs in the UK are performed on our lab systems. That’s more than 1 million people relying on MDUK HbA1c systems every year. Over 1 million self tests are performed on GlucoMen blood glucose meters every day across Europe.

MDUK’s goal is to work closely with all Diabetes Specialist Nurses and patients, and continue to do the right things to support the growing number of people who choose to rely on the
GlucoMen LX systems to help manage their diabetes at home.

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I have been using the Glucomen LX PLUS for a while now and when I first received the meter it was in a lovely gold box so also a little bit of bling (ha ha), anyway sorry back to my thoughts…..

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MDUK’s GlucoMen LX PLUS is a blood glucose meter that incorporates a 2-in-1 blood glucose and ketone testing facility.

The ketone testing is particularly useful for insulin users and those who may wish to test their blood ketone levels.

GlucoMen LX PLUS meter advantages

The GlucoMen LX PLUS is a no coding meter that provides:
** Pain free with a unique lancet introducing comfort zone technology
** Blood test results in 4 seconds
** Coloured covers to personalize your device – hmmm funky.
** 0.3 microlitre sample for easy and comfortable testing
** Meal markers for controlling your diabetes
** The device has a rubber grip, which makes it easy to use and prevents it sliding off surfaces.

Alternative site testing is available for blood glucose tests however ketone testing should be done on the fingers alone.

The GlucoJect Dual S lancing device that comes with the meter has Comfort Zone technology designed to reduce pain when testing, this is one the best lancing devices I have tried.

A number of different coloured skins (10) are available for use with the meter.

More information on GlucoMen LX PLUS along with diabetes education and videos can be found on the company website www.glucomen.co.uk. They also have a facebook page with latest news and updates.

At the end of the day it’s down to your personal choice but this is certainly a meter that is worth trying.

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INPUT Insulin Pump Exhibitions 2012
Any (insulin pump) Question Answered

Have you heard about insulin pumps and wondered how to find out more about them? Do you have questions about what it’s like using a pump? Would you like to see in real life the makes and models of pumps you’ve heard about? Or do you have questions or concerns about NHS funding for pumps? Your chance to chat with pump users and pump company representatives about all these topics (and more) could be just around the corner at an INPUT roadshow!

Current Venues and Dates (further information on venues below). More dates and venues being added soon.

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Who: open to all people with diabetes and their family members or carers who want to learn about the principles and practical aspects of pump therapy over a cup of tea or coffee.

We have invited the following companies to exhibit:

Abbott (Freestyle Navigator)
Advanced Therapeutics (Dana & Dexcom)
Animas
Cellnovo
Medtronic
Roche
Ypsomed (OmniPod)

View my Blog about the superb previous Input Roadshow I attended in Luton.

www.mypump.co.uk
www.mypumpblog.com
****

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Hi,

I can’t believe I have already been on an Insulin Pump for 4 years which means my current pumps warranty is up for renewal and at the moment I use an Animas 2020 pump which has been great.

So I am currently using the New Animas Vibe and hope my blog shares some information that you may find useful.

The Animas Vibe insulin pump and CGM system combines state-of
the-art Dexcom G4 Sensing technology with high-performance Animas pumping. That means it gives you the features Animas® pumps are known for, like waterproof durability¥, fine-tuned dosing and a high-contrast, self-illuminating colour display. It’s also designed to streamline the whole CGM experience for you, while giving you a full-colour view of how your glucose is behaving.

Animas Vibe is designed to give you a more complete picture of your glucose*. In addition, its packed with a unique combination of features designed to help you perform at your best.

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I didn’t realise that the pump needed to be replaced after 4 years and was a little worried that it may not be funded again but my hospital at High Wycombe are very good and sorted everything out for me very easily. I had been speaking with Caroline and Jill from Animas about renewing my Animas 2020 pump and that I would like to try the Animas Vibe with CGM which they arranged for me.

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My day started at High Wycombe Diabetes Centre with Caroline, Jill and Una (DSN) on Monday 30th January 2012, as you can imagine I was very excited indeed. My old pump was really difficult to read the screen which had put me off the Animas pump but what I discovered was that the screen on my old pump had burnt out so needed replacing (That was a relief and of course Animas said they would replace it). We went through the functions of the new Animas Vibe pump which is pretty much the same as the Animas 2020 apart from the fact it has CGM so I already had a head start, I love how easy the Vibe is to use and the fact you have a nice clear colour screen especially when looking at the CGM trend graph as pictured above. The team at Animas and Una were really great and went through everything with me especially on how to use the CGM and inserting it, I am just so frustrated that I can’t get funding from the PCT for CGM.

The actual insertion of the sensor is very easy and didn’t really hurt at all but more of a scratch which I was pleasantly surprised with, the sensors are recommended to be placed on your tummy and not on your back which makes it easier to insert. I did however have an issue with the first sensor which must have hit a blood vessel as a couple of hours later the CGM alarmed to say it was not working, I spoke to Animas who said to change the sensor as when I was with them it looked as though it had possibly hit a small blood vessel. The setting up of the CGM was very easy once the sensor had been inserted and I actually managed easily on my own. The sensor last for 7 days and alarms to let you know once the 7 days has finished, I like the fact you can wear it for 7 days without changing. The second sensor I used went in perfectly and I had no problems at all and again was like a sharp scratch so no pain really.

In regards to the results given by the CGM please remember that the CGM is really to be used to give trends rather than exact blood glucose readings, at the end of the day pricking your finger is still the most accurate. My results compared to finger prick testing were out by quite a way to be honest (not all the time though) but I had been suffering with a nasty chest infection for over a week then travelled to Sweden for a few days, this probably didn’t help with the results so I do hope I get another chance to test the CGM now I am well – we shall see. I have one sensor left as of today Monday 27th Feb and plan to use this after my next Diabetes check up and I will then have used my months trial and can upload my results for my DSN.

So would I use CGM if it was funded by the PCT – yes most definately as it made me feel a lot less worried whilst travelling knowing it would alarm if my BG level was too low.

I hope this helps and hopefully I will get the chance to try some more sensors while I am feeling well but watch this space. Please email or comment if you have any questions at all.

Many thanks

Andrew Borrett
www.mypump.co.uk
www.mypumpblog.com

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INPUT Insulin Pump Exhibitions 2012
Any (insulin pump) Question Answered

Have you heard about insulin pumps and wondered how to find out more about them? Do you have questions about what it’s like using a pump? Would you like to see in real life the makes and models of pumps you’ve heard about? Or do you have questions or concerns about NHS funding for pumps? Your chance to chat with pump users and pump company representatives about all these topics (and more) could be just around the corner at an INPUT roadshow!

Current Venues and Dates (further information on venues below). More dates and venues being added soon.

20120315-214310.jpg

Luton – 14th April 2012
Chester – 19th May 2012

Time: 1pm – 4:30pm
Who: open to all people with diabetes and their family members or carers who want to learn about the principles and practical aspects of pump therapy over a cup of tea or coffee.

We have invited the following companies to exhibit:

Abbott (Freestyle Navigator)
Advanced Therapeutics (Dana & Dexcom)
Animas
Cellnovo
Medtronic
Roche
Ypsomed (OmniPod)

****

Luton – Saturday 14th April 2012
Venue: Hilton Garden Inn Luton North Hotel, LU2 8DD

***

Chester – Saturday 19th May 2012
Venue: Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel, Chester, CH1 1HL.

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‘Feet first’ for diabetes patients

As a new study highlights major variations in diabetes-related foot amputation rates, Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, explains why action is needed to cut rates of preventable amputations.

If I were to tell you about a place where thousands of feet were amputated every year as a result of poor healthcare, you would assume I was talking about somewhere in the developing world.

Well you’d be wrong. The fact is that here in the UK, thousands of people with diabetes have amputations every year.

Not only does an amputation dramatically reduce quality of life, but the likelihood of dying within five years is greater than for breast, bowel or prostate cancer.

And yet an estimated 80% of the 5,000 diabetes-related amputations a year in England could be prevented through better healthcare and improved management of the condition.

The fact that so many people are needlessly having their feet amputated is a national disgrace. And yet despite the large numbers, awareness of the problem is worryingly low even among people with the condition.

But it does not have to be like this.

The scandal of preventable amputations is one we hope to bring to an end with our Putting Feet First campaign. Over the next five years, we want the number of amputations in people with diabetes to reduce by 50%.

Raising awareness of the issue will be a big part of this.

‘Insufficiently thorough’
The 2.8m people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes should know how important it is to manage blood glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure well, as well as checking feet regularly and making sure shoes fit properly.

But they also need to know what healthcare you should expect – because all too often it falls short of what people are entitled to.

Firstly, everyone with diabetes should get an annual foot check.

These are important for identifying problems at an early stage, but many thousands of people are not getting them. And when they are being done, they are sometimes insufficiently thorough.

I have even heard of foot checks where the patient is not even asked to take their shoes and socks off!

Also, at the end of the check patients should be told what their risk status is, so if this does not happen then you should ask.

Secondly, if you have a foot ulcer then you need to be seen by a diabetes specialist foot care team as soon as possible.

It should certainly be within 24 hours, as an ulcer can deteriorate in a matter of hours.

Some areas are already doing well in terms of getting diabetes-related ulcers referred to these specialist teams within 24 hours.

But there are also poorly-performing areas where this does not happen.

Tragically, that omission can be the difference between someone keeping their foot and losing it.

If people with diabetes are not offered this level of care, they should insist on it and complain if they don’t get it.

But the point is that decent healthcare is something everyone should get as a matter of course.

For this to happen, we need to address the reason that large swathes of the country are doing so badly.

We know from speaking to health professionals that many of them are desperate to give people with diabetes the best possible foot care but feel unable to do so under the existing system.

This is why the government needs to show leadership on this issue by insisting that all areas of the country offer the same standard of care that is already available in the best areas at the moment and monitoring and managing standards to ensure that they are being delivered.

This greater political will is the only way to bring an end to the tragic postcode lottery of amputations and in doing so create an NHS that really does put feet first for people with diabetes.

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The importance of regular eye checks – by Tim Harwood

Author: Sarah Steel at Diabetic Friend

Why is it important for diabetics to have regular eye tests?
As diabetics we constantly have all kinds of advice thrown at us in an almost threatening kind of way! We are told that unless we follow certain pieces of advice we risk all sorts of bad things to us … Such advice comes at us from many different people including the GP, diabetic nurse and the podiatrist. Well unfortunately this article plans on doing very much the same, although the person doing the advising is the Optometrist!

Depending on the area you live in, most diabetics should be on some sort of diabetic retinal screening programme which your GP should enrol you on. Diabetic retinopathy is the biggest cause of blindness (apologies for this depressing fact!) in the working age range and this is why it is so important that you have regular checks for it. Clearly this is the negative side of diabetic retinopathy but the positive side of diabetic retinopathy is that it shouldn’t be the biggest cause of blindness in the working age range as it generally can be treated. Providing your diabetic retinopathy is picked up early enough by either your Optician or retinal screener is it likely to be treatable.

What exactly is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is effectively a disease of the retinal blood vessels at the back of your eyes. The result of the disease is that the blood vessels become weakened and are therefore are more likely to leak and haemorrhage. If this occurs then there is an interruption to the blood flow (and therefore oxygen) of the retina and consequently vision can be lost. In addition to this, if the diabetic retinopathy is left untreated the retina will produce new blood vessels in response to a lack of oxygen in the retina. These new blood vessels are however even more fragile and ‘leaky’ then the normal blood vessels, further exacerbating the problem.

Having said this, not all diabetics suffer from diabetic retinopathy. Around 40% of diabetics will suffer from diabetic retinopathy to some degree and this most likely if you suffer from type 1 diabetes. The single most important factor in reducing your chances of developing retinopathy is by controlling your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels for long periods of time will put you at a much higher risk of developing the disease.

Why have regular eye tests?
The main problem with diabetic retinopathy is that you may have it right now and be completely unaware that you do. There may be diabetic retinal changes that are only affecting your peripheral vision and so consequently you will not notice it. These peripheral changes tend to accumulate and then all of a sudden your central vision becomes damaged and there is very little that can be done about it. By attending for regular eye tests/retinal screenings, the Optometrist can detect the early retinal changes which can be treated before they affect your central vision. Unfortunately once your central vision is damaged there is often very little that can be done about it. If there are significant retinal changes in your peripheral retinal then you will be assessed to see if laser treatment will be beneficial to you. This is not however the laser eye surgery that you see advertised on the TV as it in no way corrects the prescription in your glasses. The aim of diabetic laser treatment is to prevent your diabetic retinopathy from affecting your central vision. In summary your Optician can pick up and monitor any early diabetic retinal changes and act on them before they affect your central vision. By attending for an eye examination every year you are massively reducing your risk of developing any visual problems. If you combine this with keeping a tight control of your blood sugar levels, there is no reason that you should ever have any diabetic retinopathy problems.

This article was brought to you by Optometrist Tim Harwood. Tim has monitored people with diabetic retinopathy for over 10 years and has seen significant improvements in the treatments that can be offered. Tim also writes articles for his own website Treatmentsaver which covers a whole range of topics including a laser eye surgery forum for which he is the moderator. I hope this article has made you realise that by taking a few simple steps you can significantly reduce your risk of developing the disease. This article was not meant as a lecture more as in inspiration that if you do right things your vision should be unaffected for life!

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Hi all,

So the end of British Summer time has finally hit us all with vengeance and at 5.00pm tonight it was almost dark which is awful.

As you may already know I have had numerous trips to eye clinics due to suffering with Diabetes Retinopathy for the past 7 years which is really awful and was a real scary shock when I was first told, it was Vision Express that actually discovered the problem and instantly booked me into my Diabetes eye clinic. The problem really started after I had small blood vessels at the back of my eyes burst which affected my vision and made it very cloudy in both eyes. The treatment started with laser to burn around the blood vessels which prevents any new weak blood vessels from forming which then burst. Laser itself is very uncomfortable indeed and I have had approx 10,000 burns in each eye which I am told is the limit but this does seem to have stopped the bleeding which is great news and I am so thankful to the Eye Specialists. After all the laser it still left my vision cloudy so meant I had to have what’s called a Vitrectomy in each eye which basically entails having the clear jelly in your eye removed (Your eye replaces this fluid), I can honestly say this operation is not nice at all and means you have dissolvable stitches in your eyeball (Gross I know). Having said all that If this had not been done I would certainly not be typing this Blog even though one eye has very poor vision and both eyes have awful night vision.

So to the present day – my eyes seem to be stable at the moment and my latest eyesight test did not show any problems, even my prescription had not changed apart from my short sight vision which has got slightly worse. My next Diabetes eye check up is at the Western Eye Hospital in a few weeks time so fingers crossed I get the all clear but I am a little worried.

One of the worst things I am left with is very poor small detail reading in both eyes meaning typing Blogs like this I have to have the page zoomed in to make the words larger, damage to my central vision in my right eye meaning details in my right eye is near on impossible to read, also my night vision is really bad and means I am unable to drive in poor light so this time of year is even worse as it is dark late afternoon. It means I have to carry a very bright torch with me that literally lights the whole path/road that cost me a fortune and even then it is really hard to see if I am on my own walking home from work, without a super bright torch I would literally be stuck and please let me know of any pocket torch companies who make super bright torches. We just take our vision for granted and I am also guilty of this in the past.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment.

Andrew Borrett

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