November is one of my favorite months and not just because my favorite color is orange. It is the start of the holiday season. Everyone will start decorating and spreading holiday cheer and as a country we need as much cheer as we can get.
November also means that Thanksgiving is on the horizon and I will get to love on my family. This is the one holiday that we collectively take such pride in. We generally rent houses to accommodate 50- 60 people and plan out activities and lots of meals. There is something about pulling into the driveway that always gives me butterflies. My favorite activity is when we all just sit around talking and laughing. This is definitely good for my soul but allows us to really connect. In the black community, it is common to not discuss medical issues and/or concerns but as a family we try very hard to break this cycle.
This year part of the discussion will be centered around the latest treatment information for type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes has personally attacked my family and it’s important that we all stay on top of our health for better outcomes.
November is also Diabetes Awareness Month and I have teamed up with Med-IQ to generate awareness around type 2 diabetes while shedding light on new treatment options. During a Facebook live discussion on type 2 diabetes, Dr. Jay Shubrook Jr, Director Clinical Research and Diabetes Services at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University discussed the genetic connection to Type 2 Diabetes. In fact, he stated” that it runs strongly within families” Diabetes is something you inherit but is later triggered by other factors. Despite being the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, there is hope!These conversations in my family are centered around love and support. Shame can play a big part in why people want to keep this disease a secret. No one wants to be judged, shamed or blame and while we recognize that the symptoms can differ with each person, we have made changes to include more healthy options on the dinner table.
What happens if you’re diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes?
Lifestyle changes can make big improvements. And fortunately, there are medications that can make getting to your target goal quicker. Getting control early is key. And this is a disease you need to take control of. In a survey conducted by Med-IQ, 74% of people with diabetes were not taking insulin and the main reason they are not taking insulin was because their doctor never mentioned it to them. It is important to discuss all treatment options with your diabetes care team. There is a lot of help out there so please take the time to build a team that is right for you. You do not or should not be on your own.
Examining the latest in Type 2 diabetes treatments
It is important to know why you should bother with treatments, the benefits and any potential side effects.
Why bother with treatments?
- At least 8 parts of the body can cause blood glucose to rise in different ways, including the pancreas, gut, fat cells, kidneys, muscles, brain, nerves, and liver.
- Keeping blood glucose at target levels can help people with diabetes live long and healthy lives. Because so many parts of the body play a role in type 2 diabetes, many types of health problems can occur if blood glucose levels are above target for a long time. For example, high blood glucose levels can injure the heart, kidneys, nerves, eyes, and feet.
- People with type 2 diabetes can manage their blood glucose levels with healthy lifestyle changes and medicines. Lifestyle changes include self-management education and support, medical nutrition therapy, regular exercise, counseling programs to help people who use tobacco products stop smoking, and psychosocial support.
Why combine insulin and GLP-1 receptor agonists?
The fixed-ratio combination injectables offers more benefits than either one alone. The combination may help you reach your blood glucose goals because it:
- Makes treatment easier—only one daily injection with a pen device is needed
- Targets many different pathways involved in diabetes
- Needs less frequent blood glucose monitoring than some other medicines
- Lowers the risk of weight gain and low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia)
- Lessens unwanted side effects of each treatment—the risks of weight gain (with insulin) and gastrointestinal symptoms, mainly nausea (with GLP-1 receptor agonists), are lowered.
Why should I consider a fixed-ratio combination injectable therapy?
- When your blood glucose levels are not well managed with your current medicines
- When you are already taking both medicines separately, you may find it easier to do just one.
- When you experience intolerable side-effects of current treatment
What are possible side effects?
Your healthcare provider or diabetes care and education specialist will discuss possible side effects with you. Some people with other medical conditions in addition to type 2 diabetes may not be able to take treatments with GLP-1 receptor agonists. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider or diabetes care and education specialist about all other medical conditions and any medicines that you take.
What are the currently available fix-ratio combination injectable therapies?
iDegLira is a titratable fixed-ratio combination containing insulin degludec (100 U/mL) and liraglutide (3.6 mg/mL).
iGlarLixi is a titratable fixed-ratio combination containing insulin glargine (100 U/mL) and lixisenatide (33 µg/mL).
Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input! The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with diabetes and your care team, which will help us develop future educational initiatives.Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize and to send a follow-up survey as part of this same initiative.
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