Happy Labor Day 2019! On this day of appreciation for all the hard-working people out there, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the fact that new technology is {finally} making diabetes less burdensome.

Throughout history, dealing with this illness has been equivalent to a full-time job in itself. But new closed-loop systems (aka Artificial Pancreas technology) that combine an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor with an algorithm for "smart" blood glucose control are easing the burden in a big way.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the folks in the DIY community who have created homemade closed loop systems (OpenAPS and Loop!) that thousands of patients are able to use NOW.

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And thank you also to the industry players working diligently to improve and launch new systems. 

 

How Looping Makes Diabetes Less Work

In case you're wondering just how life-changing this new technology is, take a look at what PWDs (people with diabetes) and D-parents have been saying in the Looped Facebook group:

  • "I can't live without it. It has changed my life for the better." - Sydney, age 15

  • "Looping has helped me get better blood sugar control with less effort. It also helped me keep my A1c in the 5's during pregnancy... " - Kris, age 37

  • "Looping feels like an extra layer of protection for us. At nighttime especially, it's nice to have something watching our son's back for scary lows." - Ashley, son age 5

  • "Looping has given me the freedom to put my wants and needs first. It allows diabetes to be on the back burner without risk to my health… After almost 20 years with type 1, I have my life back." - Theresa, age 35

  • "Looping has given me near normal A1c for the first time in my 24 years with diabetes. I have the energy to play with my grandkids, to enjoy the outdoors, to actually be present in my marriage. Loop has given me my life back." - Shawn, age 48

  • "Looping has allowed not only me but also my husband to finally sleep through the night because it keeps my levels stable. My CGM is no longer alarming and keeping us awake!" - Anne, age 33

  • "Looping… enabled me to tackle problems I couldn't fathom a solution to. My own doctor told me I have better control than he does -- and he's not diabetic." - Sean, age 33

  • "With Loop I feel better, sleep better, and parent better. I have more time and energy to do what I enjoy in life and I'm less distracted as there is less of a 'constant vigilance' element to my diabetes management. Loop changed my life!!!" - Mary, age 37

  • "Loop has given me access to a tool that has helped me achieve the best A1c result in years with very little effort. I've dropped 3 percent in just the first month. It's incredible! A true lifesaver in every sense!" - Kristen, age 45

  • "Loop has made the incredible challenge of raising a toddler, and now a 5-year-old, more manageable. From unpredictable eating, to spontaneous play, we manage it all better with a little less planning involved. We even get to sleep most nights." - Stephanie, son age 5

  • "Looping has allowed me to enjoy my life without constant worry about my BG numbers. I am more at peace and happy." - Lynn, age 59

  • "We haven't set a temp basal in over six months, and he recently had his lowest A1c ever." - Nadine, son age 13

  • "Loop has given me much more sleep than the prior 7 years with a T1 9-year-old." - Laura, son age 9

  • "Looping is proactive… I haven't slept this well in years." - Scott, age 36

  • "It freed up so much space in my brain to allow me to focus on living in the moment with my family." - Noor, age 30

  • "It has changed my life and I can never go back." Stephanie, age 38

  • "As a busy mom to 4… it has relieved my stress around worrying about my sugars constantly... even now in pregnancy!" - Brooke, age 39

  • "The biggest change has been not living with anxiety, obviously in addition to the amazing features and control of Loop." - Mendy, child age 2

  • "Looping allows us to focus more on life, and less on life with diabetes." Leigh, daughter age 8

  • "Going from MDI to pumping was like going from a donkey cart to a Model T… Looping is like an F35." - Joel, age 41

  • "Looping has allowed me the freedom that most other 24-year-olds have… I can focus on nursing school!" - Elisa, age 24

 

DIY Diabetes Reaches Critical Mass

According to experts, 2018 was the year that the DIY diabetes community reached a tipping point, with a “critical mass” of people now involved.

And there's exciting new research underway to quantify the impact of these DIY systems -- both the glycemic outcomes and psychosocial impact -- supported by the Jaeb Center for Health.

D-Dad Jason Wittmer tells Medicine Matters: “(Diabetes) is tough even with these tools... as patients still have to think about their diabetes, they still have to do a lot of things to keep themselves healthy – you can’t just turn these systems on” and expect they will do everything for you.

But, he says, closed-looping “takes a really bad situation, and it makes it more livable and people can focus on living their lives.”

Amen to that.

Happy (Less) Labor Day, fellow PWDs!