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Diabetes specialists inject awareness

By May 19, 2022No Comments
Kate Stephen, territory manager with Tandem Diabetes Care, displayed one of her company’s new wearable insulin pumps that she uses herself, during a diabetes education night at the Legacy Centre last week. There were many displays and experts on hand to answer questions. Geoff Lee Meridian Source


Local diabetics took advantage of the opportunity to bone up on new technology and resources to manage diabetes without having to make a medical appointment.

The Lloydminster Lions Club, Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Primary Care Network hosted a one-stop diabetes education night at the Legacy Centre last week.

Diabetes health care providers and medical technology companies set up booths to provide visitors with a personalized experience.

That was the way it worked for Helen Poon, a diabetes sales consultant with BD Medical. Poon showed each visitor how to use the new Nano Pro insulin pen needle that she sells.

“I am demonstrating how to have proper injection technique in order to lower your A1C using an insulin pen needle,” said Poon.

A1C is a test for diabetics along with diagnosing it.

“I want people to know when you use a shorter 4mm pen needle-like Nano Pro and you have proper injection technique, that alone can help you lower A1C without additional drugs or cost,” explained Poon.

Kate Stephen, a territory manager, Tandem Diabetes Care, took the opportunity to pitch a new wearable insulin pump.

It’s called the Tandem t: slim X2 insulin pump with Control Q technology that helps to keep your blood sugar levels in the proper range.

“The insulin pumps help to give insulin every five minutes versus an injection you need multiple times a day,” explained Stephen.

She uses the pump herself and says it’s improved her quality of life.

“It’s fabulous. I think my sleep quality has been amazing and my time in range, meaning my blood sugar, is between 3.9 and 10. I can easily say I am 90 per cent time in range,” said Stephen.

“I am as well controlled as someone without diabetes.”

Albertans living with diabetes will soon have access to newer, more technologically advanced insulin pumps through their government-sponsored health benefit plans.

Insulin pump benefits will be transferred from the Insulin Pump Therapy Program to government-sponsored health benefit plans on Aug. 1. 

The government announced the plan on May 2 noting low-income Albertans will continue to receive these benefits at no cost.

“That will be an important switch but probably a good one,” said Kendre Parke, a registered dietician with Primary Care.

She says it’s a program that works with pump companies like Medtronic.

“They will determine through an endocrinologist and through diabetes educators whether someone is a good candidate for a pump and should be receiving funding,” explained Parke.

“At that time they will get a pump provided for them and the education to go with it.”

Type 1 diabetes is a genetic disorder that often shows up early in life, and Type 2 is largely diet-related and develops over time and can be treated with medications, weight loss, exercise and healthy foods.

Lloydminster Co-op Marketplace Pharmacy manager Michelle Teasdale was on hand with her staff to explain what a pharmacist can do for a diabetic client.

“We can sit down with you and review your medications, making sure they are working well for you,” said Teasdale.

“It’s just having that one-on-one consult to help manage your diabetes as best as you can.” 

The pharmacy also provided information on high blood sugar, low blood sugar and what to look for and just how to manage your care as a diabetic as best as you can.

“We can help to direct you to other health care professionals who can help you in your journey,” added Teasdale.

Krista Nairn, a dietician with Saskatchewan Health Authority kidney health was hoping to raise awareness about the effect of diabetes on your kidneys.

“So just helping many people understand diabetes can cause kidney disease and what they can do to help to manage that,” said Nairn.

“I am happy to be here. I am from Saskatoon, so it’s good to raise awareness in Lloydminster.”