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Clinical Director

Delaying Diabetes

Written and clinically reviewed by Marissa Town, RN, BSN, CDCES Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack the insulin-producing  beta cells of the pancreas.1 There are many different areas of research related to diabetes, and one of them is preventing type 1 diabetes. There is a large group of healthcare professionals and scientists who are working in collaboration through the group Trial Net (trialnet.org), with the goal of preventing type 1 diabetes. They have been working since 1994 to identify people who have diabetes autoantibodies, and then studying ways to slow or hopefully stop the […]

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Are Extended Wear Infusion Sets the Next Big Thing?

Written and clinically reviewed by Marissa Town, RN, BSN, CDCES There are many studies showing that insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors help improve blood glucose levels.1,2,3 But one of the things that continues to be a challenge with Automated Insulin Delivery, also called closed loop systems, is the infusion set. If the infusion set does not work properly to deliver insulin, the systems cannot regulate blood glucose levels. Researcher Lutz Heinemann published an article in the Journal of Diabetes Scientific Technology in 2012 calling the Infusion set the “Achilles heel” of insulin pumps.4 When researching ultra rapid insulins used in […]

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Balancing Blood Sugar Anxieties: Do you fear high or low?

Written and clinically reviewed by Marissa Town, RN, BSN, CDCES The mythical land of living life with diabetes in the “normal” range of 70-120 is just that: mythical. No matter what type of diabetes you have, it is nearly impossible, with the tools we have today, to maintain blood sugars in the target range 100% of the time. While our goals as people with diabetes may be similar, they are personalized, nuanced, and influenced by a number of different factors. As a mother of young children, avoiding severe lows is one of my main goals in my diabetes self-management. When I […]

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Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Diabetes Systems

Written and clinically reviewed by Marissa Town, RN, BSN, CDCES DIY systems include a range of components, with each patient-designed part integrated into what becomes the system-of-choice for a person with diabetes.  It takes research, patience, and resources to assemble a DIY artificial pancreas or CGM data stream, and your mileage may vary in terms of use.  The systems we’re talking about in this article were created by people with diabetes when they took their data, goals, and expertise into their own hands to create an entirely new way of dealing with their diabetes. Nightscout was created by parents who wanted […]

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Financial Stress & Diabetes

Healthcare in the United States is something that has been a hot topic in the news in recent years. We have a unique system and when compared to other high-income countries, we spend more money, but we have a lower life expectancy.1 Diabetes is one of the most expensive conditions in the United States.  Here are some of the stats:2 Costing the US $237 billion in 2017 1 in 4 dollars spent in healthcare in U.S. are for diabetes Person with diabetes on average costs $16,752 each year In a study from January 2020, researchers looked at the estimated lifetime […]

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We Need More Research on People with Diabetes Assigned Female at Birth

Written and clinically reviewed by Marissa Town, RN, BSN, CDCES As someone who lives with diabetes and has a uterus, I can attest to the fact that diabetes complicates the functionality of my entire body. I can also say, without a doubt, that my normal hormonal fluctuations affect my blood sugars in seemingly sporadic and inconsistent ways. But what’s interesting, and frustrating, is that there are not a lot of published studies that focus on female health issues and diabetes. When I searched in PubMed for scholarly articles using the two phrases “diabetes mellitus” and “female,” eight of the first ten […]

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Glimpse into Normalcy

Written and clinically reviewed by Marissa Town, RN, BSN, CDCES This past weekend, a team of 40 dedicated volunteers and staff for CWD’s Friends for Life conference met in our home-away-from-home: Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. For me, it was at first very scary to be around so many other humans after a long year of isolation and social distancing due to COVID … especially in public spaces where mask usage was not at 100%. But we collectively experienced an incredible sigh of relief when we determined, in coordination with Disney’s Conference planning team, that we could safely hold a modified […]

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How to Fast Safely with Diabetes

Fasting, which is the practice of not eating or drinking for an extended period of time, is something that many people do for many different reasons. April marks the beginning of Ramadan, and with it brings challenges for people with diabetes who want to participate in the fasting tradition. Although people with diabetes are exempt from the fasting portion of Ramadan, it is something many desire to follow. No matter what those reasons are, we hope this this article helps people learn how to fast safely, with support from their healthcare team. Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:1-2 Flipping the “metabolic switch” […]

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The Personal Experience of Sharing Your Blood Glucose Data

Written and clinically reviewed by Marissa Town, RN, BSN, CDCES Imagine you have a device on you at all times that clearly shows every up and down of your blood sugar levels, and someone else is watching those levels. And it’s not just the data that is on display, but sometimes it can be all of the emotions of diabetes out there for others to see, too. Although many people with diabetes try our best not to feel emotions about our blood sugar levels, it’s almost impossible not to feel disappointed about a high blood sugar. To think, oh yeah, I […]

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Diabetes Identity

Written and clinically reviewed by Marissa Town, RN, BSN, CDCES My friends with diabetes and I often joke which came first, the type A personality tendencies or the type 1 diabetes? When you’re diagnosed with diabetes at a young age, it’s hard to say what pieces of your personality are attributed to growing up with a chronic condition and what is just your personality, regardless of health conditions. When I was in nursing school, I learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and realized that it made sense to me completely. How could my emotional needs be met if my body was […]

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