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CategoriesBlog post,  Newsletter

To Automate or not to Automate? Your Guide to Sensor Augmented (aka Hybrid Closed Loop) Insulin Pumping

Whether you’re coming due for a new pump soon or just staying up to date with the latest in type 1 technology, you may have seen exciting announcements about sensor augmented pumps recently and wondered, is this right for me?
In this article we are going to discuss the pros, cons and options available for this technology.

What is a sensor augmented insulin pump (also known as hybrid closed loop)?

A sensor augmented insulin pump uses a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and a specialized algorithm to allow the pump to make adjustments to the insulin being delivered, with the goal of keeping blood sugars within the target range. This includes increasing, decreasing and even stopping insulin delivery in response to the information it is receiving, and the trend in blood sugar that the CGM is predicting. The goal of all sensor augmented insulin pump systems is the same – to keep blood sugars in the target range more often, and reduce the number of pump related decisions a user may have to make in managing their diabetes.

What are the pros of this technology?

One of the biggest benefits of this technology is that the insulin pump can help manage the ups and downs in your blood sugars that may be difficult to predict. Did you know that there are over 42 known factors that can affect our blood sugars throughout the day? Most of these factors aren’t easy to predict or manage (check out this article on the 42 factors affecting blood sugars from DiaTribe for more https://diatribe.org/42-factors-affect-blood-glucose-surprising-update) .

These can include things like:
⦁ poor sleep
⦁ increased stress
⦁ exercise
⦁ hormonal changes

Sensor augmented insulin pumps can help manage the unpredictability of life with type 1 diabetes by changing insulin delivery to match what blood sugars are predicted to do rather than just delivering a set insulin rate like in your traditional pump. This can help with improving your time in range and your A1c.

While using a sensor augmented insulin pump doesn’t mean you can just “set it and forget it”, they can significantly reduce the burden of blood sugar management by dramatically reducing the number of decisions you need to make throughout the day. In fact, in most cases, these pumps work best when they have the least amount of intervention from the user.

Sensor augmented insulin pumps also do a great job at preventing and reducing the severity of low blood sugars. As your blood sugars start to drop, an automated pump will reduce or suspend your insulin temporarily to help keep your blood sugars in range. Think about times when you may have been more active than usual unexpectedly, or your meal may have been unexpectedly delayed, or perhaps you had alcohol and your blood sugar had started to drop without you knowing. These are all situations that can be improved with the help of a sensor augmented pump.

What about cons to this technology?

With all of these great features, it’s hard to imagine the downside of sensor augmented pumping. Here are a few things to consider:

Sensors may not be covered by your health insurance plan and they can add significant cost to your pumping budget. Before considering a sensor augmented pump, it is always best to look at the costs involved and sort out insurance coverage if available. A great resource is this calculator from Connected in Motion https://www.connectedinmotion.ca/ontario-diabetes-cost-calculator/

Some people simply don’t like having another piece of hardware attached to them. While sensor augmented pumps can be used in the traditional, non automated mode, to get the benefit of the technology means wearing both a pump and sensor 24/7.

Using a sensor automated pump requires the user to give up some control and put trust in the system for it to work its best. This can be difficult for some people who are used to constantly making adjustments to their pump or micro-bolusing. Consider your personality type and whether you will be able to relinquish some control of your pump management to a new automated system

You still have to carbohydrate count and deliver food boluses. Luckily, an automated pump can help reduce the impact of the inevitable inaccuracies that come with carb counting.

Currently in Canada, this technology is only available with tubed insulin pumps If you’re currently using a tubeless pump or are new to pumping and feel like tubeless is the most important feature for you, keep in mind that automation isn’t available at this time.

Although research has shown improvements in time in range and reduction in hypoglycemia with this technology, no system is perfect and therefore this is not guarantee. Luckily, with the help of your health care professional, usually improvements can be seen.

Think you’re ready to try sensor augmented pumping?

There are currently two options available: the Tandem T-Slim pump that pairs with the Dexcom G6 and the Medtronic 780G which pairs with the Medtronic Guardian sensor. Here is a chart comparing both pumps.

Pump CompanyMedtronicTandem
Pump NameMedtronic MiniMed® 780G™
Tandem t:slim X2™
Unique/New FeaturesMinimed Mobile App – Allows pump and transmitter to communicate with each other.
Carelink™ App allows data to be automatically uploaded.
Carelink™ Connect – Data sharing app
Upgradable via software.
⦁ You can choose: 5.5, 6.1, 6.7 mmol/L as target instead of just 6.7mmol/L with 770G
⦁ Temp target of 8.3 mmol/L
Control IQ when used with Dexcom G6 – pump adjusts insulin delivery based on 30 minute predictions. Also delivers an automatic correction bolus up to once per hour when sensor glucose (SG) is predicted to be above 10 mmol/L in 30mins.
⦁ Control IQ target: 6.1 mmol/l
⦁ Control IQ sleep mode: allows for tighter glucose control overnight
⦁ Control IQ Activity mode: prevent hypoglycemia with temporarily increased blood glucose targets.
Key FeaturesSmartGuard™ Auto Mode capability when used with Medtronic’s Guardian™ (3) Sensor System – pump adjusts basal rate based on sensor glucose (SG) reading. Automatic correction boluses are delivered up to once every 5 minutes.
Integrated CGM with Suspend Before Low: insulin delivery automatically suspends 30 mins before reaching your preset low blood sugar level
Basal- IQ technology when used with CGM (Dexcom G6) – pump automatically suspends insulin if sensor glucose (SG) readings are predicted to drop below 4.4 mmol/L in 30 mins, and resumes as soon as SG begins to rise.
⦁ Touch screen
Upgradable via software
⦁ Share or review glucose data with the Dexcom Clarity or Dexcom G6 Apps. Manual download required to share all pump data.
ConnectionInfusion set & tubingInfusion set & tubing
Reservoir size300 units300 units
Max. bolus25 units25 units (with an option for additional 25 units)
Battery typeAA batteryInternal Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery
Water ProofingWater proof up to 12 feet for 24 hoursWater resistant at 3 feet for 30 minutes. Recommended to remove for bathing, showering, swimming
Contact information1-866-444-4649

If you would like to learn more about these as well as other pump options or if pumping is right for you, check out the LMC Diabetes Education Program Pump Ready Workshop! You can register by clicking this link: https://lmcvirtual.as.me/

CategoriesBlog post,  Newsletter

5 Tips for Managing Blood Sugar this Fall and Winter

With the colder weather approaching, you might notice some changes in your blood glucose levels. This can be for a number of different reasons, such as changes in what you’re eating, your physical activity level or even the temperature outside. Here are some helpful tips to help keep your readings steady through the changing seasons.

  • Brush up on carbohydrate counting. Winter months may come with an increase in carbohydrate intake as we switch from cold salads and grilled meats to warm and comforting soups, stews and casseroles. These mixed dishes can sometimes be a challenge to carb count for, especially if they are home made or come without a food label. If you have a favorite home made recipe that you enjoy often, consider taking the time to calculate the carbohydrate in your recipe. While it can be tedious to do the first time, once its done you’ll have a good idea of how much to count each time you enjoy your home made favorites. Check out this great online article that outlines the steps: https://waltzingthedragon.ca/diabetes/nutrition-excercise/carb-counting-mixed-recipe-home-baking/. This article focuses on baked goods, but the same steps can be used for any mixed dish.

    As always, if you think you might need a carb counting refresher, please feel free to attend a free LMC Diabetes Education virtual workshop: https://acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=15031958

  • Make sure your insulin is stored correctly. You may have heard that your insulin can be affected by the heat, but did you know it can also be damaged by the cold? It’s recommended to never use insulin that’s been frozen, so be sure to bring in your prescriptions from the car after a trip to the pharmacy. Change out your reservoir, pod or cartridge in your insulin pump early if you think the insulin has been frozen after spending a day outside in the cold. Keeping your insulin close to your body when you’re out on cold winter days (think ski days, for example), can help prevent it from freezing.

  • Keep active. Similar to a changes in diet, we also may be less active in the winter. Summer activities seem endless and fun-filled while fall and winter may bring visions of darker evenings, colder weather and snow shovelling. You may have to be creative to find activities you enjoy in the fall and winter. Fall is a great time to go hiking and biking through scenic trails. Once the winter weather hits, try brining your exercise indoors with some home workouts (DVDs, online exercise classes etc), or bundle up and enjoy winter activities such as skating, snow shoeing or skiing. Check out your local community centre for indoor exercise options at an affordable price.

    You may notice you need more insulin in general if you are less active in the fall and winter. This is because exercise can increase insulin sensitivity. Speak to your healthcare team if you think your insulin doses need changing and you need help.

  • Stay on track with meal planning and preparation. Summer may feel more relaxed with longer days and kids being out of school. Fall and winter brings back-to-school and major holidays to prepare for. This can make it difficult to stay on track with healthy meals. For a busy week ahead, check out Diabetes Canada’s 1 week meal plans: https://diabetes.ca/nutrition—fitness/meal-planning/7-day-diabetes-meal-plan.

    Looking for more meal tips? Check out the LMC Diabetes Education ‘Meal Planning’ virtual workshop for more tips on staying on track with meal planning. Click here to register: https://acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=15031958.

  • Don’t forget to “fall back”. Daylight savings time ends on November 5th this year. If you’re using an insulin pump, don’t forget to change the time on your pump, along with all of your other devices to ensure that you’re getting the right insulin delivered at the right time. Changing the time on your meter and sensor can also help you and your healthcare team make sure that you’re correctly identifying when patterns are happening.

While summer seems to always go by so fast, there are so many great things to look forward to and enjoy in the fall and winter. We hope you can embrace some fun fall activities and enjoy your favorite comfort foods this season, along with spending quality time with family and friends during the many holidays that will be celebrated in the coming months.

CategoriesBlog post,  Newsletter,  Type 1

Strategies to Manage Physical Activity with Type 1 Diabetes

We’ve all heard that regular physical activity is important to your overall health and wellness. But why? Being active helps to improve your mood, clear your mind, minimize stress, provide more energy, build and maintain muscle, manage your weight and protect your heart.….just to name a few. The recommended amount of physical activity is 150 minutes per week that includes 2 days a week of muscle strengthening activities, also known as resistance training. Did you know that just 20 minutes of resistance training twice a week can lead to major improvements in body weight and blood sugar levels? Examples of these types of exercise include walking, biking, swimming, weight lifting, running, gardening, doing chores around the house and even being intimate.

For people managing Type 1 Diabetes, being physically active can get a little tricky at times. When you are active, your muscles use sugars that are either stored in your body or are floating around in your blood stream for energy like gas for a car. Certain types of exercise can lead to low blood sugars while other types of activity can lead to high blood sugars. It is important to understand how activity and exercise affects blood sugars so that you can plan ahead to stay safe and enjoy what you are doing! As you exercise more, your body may become more sensitive to insulin, increasing the risk of low blood sugars during physical activity or for up to 48 hours after. Finding the right balance with carbohydrates and insulin to manage blood sugars during and after activity can be a challenge. Your diabetes educators are here to help you!

Let’s review the three types of exercise:

  • AEROBIC – light to moderate intensity exercise for more than 10 minutes.

Blood sugars tend to drop more often during and after aerobic exercise
e.g. cardio, running, swimming, biking, skating

  • MIXED – alternating periods of moderate to high intensity exercise.

Blood sugars tend to stay the same, but you should still watch closely
e.g. basketball, soccer or high intensity interval training (HIIT)

  • ANAEROBIC – high intensity resistance exercise.

Blood sugars may spike (go high) and you may need to correct after anaerobic exercise
e.g. weight training, resistance bands, cross-fit, jumping rope

Planning Ahead for Exercise

There are a few different ways you can prepare for exercise to help prevent low or high blood sugars.

Consider using technology:

Take advantage of technology by wearing a continuous glucose monitor sensor that gives you quick access to your blood sugar readings. Use trend arrows to help make decisions about whether to have a snack or take a break from activity. If you do not wear a sensor, check your blood sugars more often with a finger poke while you are exercising and for the next 48 hours after. Set an alarm on your phone to check blood sugars around three o’clock in the morning; especially if you have a very active day.

Adjust insulin before or after exercise:

If you wear an insulin pump or manage your blood sugars with multiple daily injections (MDI), you may want to adjust your pre-meal bolus dose depending on how intense the activity will be, how long you will be active for, how much insulin you have on board (IOB) and when your last meal or bolus was taken. You may need to adjust your insulin up to 90 minutes before starting any activity.

If you are going to be active within two hours of your last meal, or your blood sugar reading is under 7.0mmol/L, you may want to eat 20-30 extra grams of carbs or take only half of your usual insulin dose. If you are wearing an insulin pump and plan to be active more than two hours after your last meal, you may want to run a temp basal rate for 90 minutes before you plan to start exercising. Set it to run during your activity and up to 1-2 hours after you are finished to help manage blood sugars. You may also want to consider setting a temp basal rate at bedtime to reduce your insulin by 10-20% to avoid having a low blood sugar through the night. Your needs may be different, especially as you exercise more or try different activities. Speak to your diabetes educator to find the right temp basal setting for you.

Be careful where you inject insulin before exercise:

Be sure not to inject insulin in or around muscles in your arms or legs before exercise. As muscles get warmed up, sensitivity to insulin increases, which means the risk of a low blood sugar also goes up if insulin is injected in areas that muscles are being used.

Consider ExCarbs:

Speak to your diabetes educator about another strategy you can used, called ExCarbs to help figure out how many grams of carbohydrates you should eat before, during and after your activity or how many units of insulin you should subtract from your usual pre-meal dose.

Stay Safe:

Plan your activities with a friend or loved one who knows how to recognize symptoms of a low blood sugar and what to do to help you if you have a low blood sugar. Make sure to wear medical alert identification and proper shoes that fit well. Do not exercise if you are not feeling well or have ketones.

Follow the GOLDEN RULE: make sure to ALWAYS carry low blood sugar treatment supplies like glucose tablets, juice boxes, regular pop or candies and drink extra water to stay hydrated. As a general guideline, you should drink water before starting activity and drink 250mL of water for every 20 minutes of exercise.

Watch and see how physical activity affects you! 

It may take some time to learn what works best for you to manage your blood sugar when exercising. Try different kinds of activity or make changes to the intensity or amount of time you exercise until you find the right fit. Remember to check your blood sugars before, during and after activity to see how your body reacts to exercise.  You may want to keep a journal to track and look back on what you have already tried and how well it works or what changes need to be made. Always speak with your healthcare team before starting a new activity for help adjusting your insulin or pump settings. Happy Exercising!

Join Diabetes Depot for the ‘Adjusting for Activity’ workshop on July 6th from 7:30 to 8:30pm ET for more information. Click the link to register: https://diabetesdepot.ca/index.php/workshops-ask-the-expert-sessions/


Diabetes Canada – Planning for Regular Physical Activity

Diabetes Canada Podcast – Diabetes 360 with Dr. Mike Riddell (Season 1, Episode 7)

CategoriesBlog post,  Newsletter,  Type 1

Pump Tips for Summer Activities

Summer has arrived!  As the weather gets warmer, an increase in activity or insulin sensitivity might affect your blood sugar management.  Here are some insulin pump tips:

Exercise & Activity

Working up a sweat feels good and helps cool down your body, but it can expose your pump to moisture without you even realizing it. Keep your pump dry while exercising and on hot days by wearing it in a case made from water-resistant materials; such as a sports or nylon case or on your belt clip. If you decide to disconnect your pump while working out, make sure it’s put in a safe place.

Summer Pumping

If you’re a ‘podder’, your pump is waterproof, your PDM is not! If you are wearing Medtronic or Tandem pumps, your pump is water resistant, but should be disconnected near water. If you are heading to the beach, pool, or waterpark for the day, consider staying connected to your pump until entering the water, then disconnect and put your pump in a shaded, dry spot. Take breaks from being in the water so that you can check your blood sugars and see if you need to connect to give yourself a correction bolus dose.

Make adjustments to your pump settings or insulin doses if you are more active or if your insulin is working better in the warmer weather.  Not sure how to do this?  Ask your CDE or attend the Diabetes Depot / LMC Diabetes Education workshop ‘Adjusting for Activity’ on July 6th from 7:30 to 8:30pm ET for more information. Click the link to register: https://diabetesdepot.ca/index.php/workshops-ask-the-expert-sessions/

CategoriesBlog post,  Type 1

Pump Tips for Spring Activities

It’s spring!  As the weather gets warmer, an increase in activity or insulin sensitivity might affect your blood sugar management.  Here are some insulin pump tips:

  • Don’t forget to double check that you have changed the time on your devices for Daylight Savings!
  • Make adjustments to your pump settings or insulin doses if you are more active or if your insulin is working better in the warmer weather.  Not sure how to do this?  Ask your CDE or attend an LMC Diabetes Education specialty workshop.
  • Consider your infusion set site and tubing:
    • Consider the type of activity – swinging motions from baseball, golf, or tennis could dislodge an infusion set on the stomach
    • Keep in mind if you are using your arms or legs for your infusion sets, your insulin may be absorbed much more quickly after those areas of the body are exercised
    • Ensure that tubing isn’t exposure or placed in a way that it might  snag. You may have to secure the site with additional tape.
    • Ensure your infusion site can stick properly, as sweating from activity can loosen the attachment. Try skin-tac or IV 3000 adhesive tape prep to help with this.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels more often to look for patterns.
  • Ask for help if you are looking to start a new activity program to make sure it is safe for you.
  • Reach out to your health care provider if needed – they are always there to support you.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment!
CategoriesBlog post,  Type 1

Managing Intimacy with Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes can be troublesome on a good day and can get in the way… especially during moments that are more intimate. There is no doubt that date night with diabetes can get a little tricky. Keeping the “magic” alive with Type 1 comes down to preparation and communication.  

Diabetes can be affected by sex and sex can be affected by diabetes.  Talk with your partner about how you manage your diabetes, what kind of tools and technology you use, where you wear them, what causes a low blood sugar, how to recognize signs of a low blood sugar and what needs to be done to treat it.

Before intimate moments happen it’s important to prepare yourself and your partner so that you both know what to expect and look out for. With a little bit of planning ahead, you can avoid the stress and worry about how diabetes may dampen the mood. 

Dealing with Devices

If you wear an insulin pump, map out your plan in advance to limit “technical difficulties”.  If you wear a tubed pump, will you suspend insulin delivery and disconnect from your pump? Or will you find a spot to tuck your pump away that won’t cause it to get tangled up during intimate moments? You don’t have to disconnect, but you may feel more free without anything attached to you in the moment. If you think you might forget to reconnect after, consider trying longer tubing when you order your next box of infusion sites or set an alarm on your phone to remind you to reconnect.

There’s always a chance you might have a site or sensor pop off during your intimate moments. If you experience a lot of friction and sweat, consider using over-the-counter adhesive products like SkinTac or SkinPrep wipes to give your sites a little extra stick. If you are worried about insulin pump or CGM device beeping ruining the mood, play some background music to drown out the alerts and alarms or set your alerts and alarms to vibrate. Chances are you will still hear them, but they won’t be as distracting for your partner with your favourite music enhancing the mood.  Stay calm, keep extra supplies nearby and replace the site when the time is right.

Remember that having sex usually increases your movement and raises your heart rate, which can increase your chance of having a low blood sugar. Get creative about how to manage blood sugars during sex and always keep low treatment supplies, water and snacks within an arm’s reach so you can react to changes in your blood sugar quickly and conveniently.

Having light-hearted conversations with your partner about these hiccups after the fact can be helpful, too, so they know you weren’t hurt and everything is okay. A little pillow talk while you cuddle afterwards can help any mishaps from being a problem in the future.

How Type 1 Diabetes Can Impact Your Experience


Sexual dysfunction can affect 35-70% of women managing diabetes. High blood sugars can cause an increase in urinary tract infections, vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex, a lack of sex drive or difficulty reaching sexual climax. Nerve damage over time can also reduce sexual response. Weight-gain, anxiety and depression can also contribute to a decreased sex drive. Some tips to help make things more enjoyable include: using lubricants, practicing daily Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve sensitivity, and/or trying couples therapy to help you communicate your needs.

Another factor to consider for women is pregnancy.  Preparing for pregnancy with diabetes is very important to both mom and baby. Be sure to speak to your doctor about pregnancy planning well in advance if you are thinking of having a baby.


The ability to have or keep an erection affects approximately 35-45% of men with diabetes. Higher blood sugars can lead to nerve and small blood vessel damage that impacts blood flow to the penis over time. This can lead to erectile dysfunction and may cause problems with ejaculation.  Prescribed medications can be effective.  Approximately 70-80% of men who take prescribed medications find them helpful.

Hormones are also affected in men managing Type 1. Lower testosterone levels, specifically, tend to cause a drop in libido. There are medications, injections, gels and specialized equipment available to help you through these challenges. Speak to your doctor or diabetes educator for more information.

What Can Your Partner Do for You?

It’s important for both people in the relationship to understand that when you are intimate with someone living with Type 1, there may be challenges and unique situations. Communicate your needs and help your partner understand more about how you manage your diabetes.  

Many aspects of Type 1 and blood sugar management are trial and error. It’s natural for you or your partner to be curious, concerned, anxious, excited or everything at once. Different approaches may need to be tried to discover what works best for your positive intimate moments.

It’s important that your partner does not take any of it personally and understands how diabetes and sex fit together.  Encourage your partner to learn more about Type 1 and ask questions about things they don’t understand. When the partner of someone living with Type 1 has a better understanding of the day-to-day needs and challenges of diabetes and how best to offer patience, support and space to handle health issues, this will lead to a more enjoyable experience overall.


Diabetes Canada: https://www.diabetes.ca/managing-my-diabetes/stories/sex—diabetes%E2%80%94what-you-need-to-know

Diabetes UK: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/life-with-diabetes/sex-and-diabetes#:~:text=High%20blood%20sugar%20levels%20can,some%20feeling%20to%20your%20genitals.

American Diabetes Association (PubMed): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671088/

Beyond Type 1: https://beyondtype1.org/sex-drugs-diabetes/ 

CategoriesBlog post,  Newsletter,  Type 1,  Type 2

Healthy Eating Tips and Recipes

Healthy Salad Tips for Winter

Salads are a great idea because they require minimal prep, no cooking and are easy to fit into a busy schedule!  Get the most out of your salads by following these tips:

  1. Aim to include both dark green and orange veggies such as kale, broccoli, bell peppers and carrots. These coloured veggies have important nutrients such as vitamin A and folate.
  2. Keep it fresh and cost effective by using seasonal vegetables.
  3. When you do cook, make extra vegetables for leftovers which can be added for variety in a future salad. Roasted cauliflower in your salad is delicious!
  4. Dressing choices matter! Vinegar and oil-based dressings generally contain less fat than creamy dressings.  As an alternative, mix flavoured hummus with a small amount of water to your desired consistency and give that a try!
  5. Watch the extras! Bacon bits, cheese, croutons, dried fruit and nuts can add up to a lot of extra calories and fat. Use a lighter hand with these additions.
  6. If your salad is the main meal, make sure it’s balanced! Ensure there is a whole grain such as quinoa and a source of protein such as legumes, boiled egg, tuna or chicken.
  7. Have fun and be creative! Explore salad recipes in cookbooks or online to get inspired.  The combinations are endless. Experiment with some raw and some cooked veggies or add fruit such as fresh berries.

Here are some salads to try from the Diabetes Canada recipe collection:


CategoriesBlog post,  Newsletter,  Type 1,  Type 2

Getting Back on Track in the New Year

Welcome to 2023!  The holiday season can be exciting and fun, but also stressful and challenging for managing diabetes.

Many people find this time of year a lot more stressful than the rest of the year.  Stress can be caused by timelines at work, coordinating visits with family and friends, family dynamics, health concerns, finances or just being out of your regular, daily routine.  Feeling stressed can cause blood sugars to rise and can make managing your diabetes challenging.  

Here are some helpful tips to help you get back on track and kick off a happy, healthy New Year when it comes to dealing with stress, feeling down, out of a routine or feeling tired. Learning and trying out different ways to cope with and reduce stress is important to overall health and wellness. If you feel overwhelmed, here are some ideas you may want to explore and try:

  • Breathing slowly and deeply. Breathe in for a count of four seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, breathe out for a count of four seconds, wait four seconds before your next breath and repeat until you start feeling better. Focus on your breath!
  • Try distracting yourself or changing your environment by going for a walk, listening to some music, or watching a funny TV show.
  • If you’re feeling pressure to catch up on your to-do list or get started with your new year’s resolutions, remind yourself that it’s perfectly OK to let some things go. Working slow and steady to make new habits for the long-term is always better than setting goals that aren’t realistic and harder to achieve. Try making a schedule of when you can work on your to-do list and resolutions!
  • Try planning ahead and writing things down. Plan your meals for the week in advance, make your grocery list based on your meal plan, map out your schedule, ask for help to get things done, and remember that it’s OK to say ‘no’ every now and then!

Holidays aren’t always holly and jolly for everyone. For some people, holidays seem to worsen feelings of depression. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, are struggling financially, or feel lonely. When diabetes management gets harder and blood sugars go higher, it may cause you to feel depressed. It’s okay to not always feel okay, but it’s important to know what to do when you feel down.  Here are some ideas that may help:

  • Try talking to a trusted family member, friend, or healthcare provider
  •  Do something nice for yourself each day — go for a walk, read a book, get together with a friend, take a yoga class.
  • Create a routine for yourself, which includes getting up at the same time each day, eating regular meals, checking your blood sugars, exercising, and getting to bed at a decent hour.
  • Volunteering is a great way to help others and help you feel good about yourself at the same time.
  • Take advantage of online support forums.
  • If you’re really struggling, seek help through a crisis support line (Immediate Crisis Support: Text WELLNESS to 741741). There are also more resources for you or those you care about at wellnesstogether.ca

Enjoying (too many) holiday treats, experiencing unusual eating and sleeping schedules, having a few more alcoholic drinks than usual, and being less active can quickly throw off your diabetes management. During these times, the blood sugar roller-coaster can make you feel tired, grumpy and less likely to take care of yourself.  It’s important to get yourself back on track with no guilt!  Some tips to get you started again:

  • Make it a priority to start eating healthy – fill up on vegetables and pass on (or along) some of the holiday treats leftover in your house!
  • Find time to get up and stay active.
  • Check your blood sugars more often or back to the routine you had pre-holiday.
  • Take your diabetes medicine(s) as prescribed.

Celebrations at any time of year can be exhausting. Feeling tired is your body’s way of telling you to slow down and pay attention to taking care of yourself. It is easier said than done… and constant fatigue can lower your immune defenses and make you more susceptible to becoming ill.  Here are tips to get back on track:

  • Don’t skip meals and do limit the amount of foods that are higher in sugars, fats or those that are processed.
  • Build up your activity level. Guidelines for adults suggest at least 150 minutes of activity per week.
  • Make a point to go to bed at a certain time each night, or plan for a short nap during the day to catch up on lost sleep.
  • Find a relaxing activity.  Consider an online or in-person yoga class, treat yourself to a massage, or just set aside some quiet time for yourself.

Give the last gift of the season to yourself!   Whether you are best motivated to improve your diabetes management habits by setting New Year resolutions, or setting a one or two SMART goals (Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Relevant-Timely), or approaching things as they arise – please proceed in a way to set yourself up for success and a healthier future!  

Do something today that your future self will thank you for!

The Diabetes Depot and LMC Teams wish you a happy and healthy 2023!

CategoriesBlog post,  Newsletter,  Type 1,  Type 2

New in 2023!  Diabetes Depot Monthly T1D Education Workshops & Ask-the-Expert Sessions

Sign up for the first workshop T1D Tools & Technology that will cover where we’re at and what exciting new diabetes tech is coming. We are excited to focus on Foot Care in February with a Foot Care workshop, to help make foot care part of your daily routine. More workshops are coming soon! Be sure to bookmark this page, so you can easily find and join our workshops

We’re also kicking off the Ask the Expert Series with Kristen, a Certified Diabetes Educator.   This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about T1D tools, devices, and technology. Our fabulous expert is full of knowledge and tips to help you self-manage your diabetes with confidence.

February’s ask the expert session will include an LMC Chiropodist, a foot care expert. Find out all the ins and outs of taking care of your feet to avoid complications!

January 19th at 7:30pm ETT1D Tools & Technology – Where We’re At and What’s Coming Next Join this workshop for updates on the exciting new diabetes tech coming – pens, pumps, sites, sensors, apps, and more!
January 26th at 7:30pm ETAsk the Expert Session – T1D Tools & Technology 30-minute Q&A with a live expert who will be available to answer general questions about this month’s workshop topic
February 9th at 7:30pm ETPut Your Best Foot Forward – How to Take Care of Your Feet Join this workshop
February 23rd at 7:30pm ETAsk the Expert Session – Foot Care Specialist 30-minute Q&A with an LMC Chiropodist

Be sure to bookmark this page, so you can easily find and join our Diabetes Depot workshops

Did you know?  Diabetes Depot was founded in 2004 by one of Canada’s first CDE pharmacists and a fellow T1D pumper.  In 2019, LMC Pharmacy acquired the business, where we continue the mission to offer supplies, savings and support for people living with diabetes, their family and caregivers!  As an affiliate of LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology Clinics, we are pleased to share the expertise of the LMC Certified Pump Trainers and Certified Diabetes Educator Pharmacists, Dietitians and Nurses with the Diabetes Depot community.

Bonus Education Access to LMC DEP Specialty Workshops!

To learn more to help you get back on track in the New Year, checkout the specialty workshops offered by LMC Diabetes Education. These include:

  • Eating on a budget – January 9th at 7:30pm ET
  • ABCDEES of Diabetes – January 17th at 10:30am ET
  • Cooking with Lara – January 25th at 3:00pm ET
  • Lets Get Fit  – January 25th at 7:30pm ET
  • Fad Diets – January 30th at 1:00pm ET

February is Heart Month, a time to bring attention to the importance of cardiovascular health, and what you can to reduce you risk of cardiovascular disease. Join us for one of our Healthy Heart workshops provided by LMC Diabetes Education.

  • February 8th at 2:00pm ET
  • February 14th at 10:30am ET
  • February 22nd at 2:00pm ET

FYI – About the LMC Diabetes Education Program…..

The LMC Diabetes Education Program is committed to providing quality comprehensive diabetes self-management education and support to those living with diabetes. We want to help you with your diabetes management from developing more skills and confidence, to Making Healthy Easier while living with diabetes.

As an affiliate of LMC Pharmacy, the operators of Diabetes Depot, we are pleased to share our expertise, resources and support with the Diabetes Depot community.

CategoriesBlog post

Reminder: Check Your Medications Before Heading Back-to-School

Going back to school next month?  Here are some medication reminders to help prepare.

Taking Insulin?  Check your glucagon

If you take insulin, it’s best to have glucagon available in the event of severe hypoglycemia.

Glucagon injections, as with all medications, have an expiry.  Before school starts is a good time to check your supply to be sure it isn’t expired.

Glucagon is now also available in a nasal powder version, called Baqsimi.  The nasal spray version is very easy to use (no injection training required) and tends to have a longer expiry date.

Have severe allergies?  Check your epinephrine injection

If you have life-threatening allergies, you likely have been prescribed an epinephrine injection.  Before school starts is a good time to check your supply to be sure it isn’t expired, especially if you must leave one at school or the daycare centre.

In Canada, there are 3 auto-injection device versions of this:

  • EpiPen – in 0.15mg and 0.3mg strengths
  • Allerject – in 0.15mg and 0.3mg strengths, with a built-in “talking box” giving the user directions
  • Emerade – in 0.3mg and 0.5mg strengths

The 0.5mg strength is no typo – it’s a newer, higher dose version.  If you need help to know which strength of epinephrine device you should get, or have coverage question, please contact our Diabetes Depot pharmacist [email protected]

Are you a university student?  Consider having an “emergency box”

If you take insulin, you already know it’s a good idea to have glucagon on hand.  Just also make sure your housemates or residence friends know when to use it, where you keep it and how to use it, if required. 

Here are some other items to consider putting together in an “emergency box”:

  • If you use an insulin pump, extra batteries are always good to have around
  • First aid supplies – an inexpensive way to have these items on hand is to get a mini first aid kit from the dollar store
  • Tweezers – especially if you are in a tick-prone area or will be making excursions into the woods
  • Over-the-counter medications such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain – because when you have a headache is exactly when you don’t want to have to go out to get something for it
  • Naloxone kit – even if you do not take recreational drugs, this is something to have on hand that may save someone else’s life.  And they are available free from pharmacies.
  • Flashlight and batteries

Your Diabetes Depot Pharmacist

Have questions about your medications?  Need to get others in your care circle trained in case of an emergency?  Diabetes Depot is operated by LMC Pharmacy-Brampton.   Our Certified Diabetes Educator pharmacists are here to help with titrations, medication concerns, coverage questions, and group training for items such as glucagon and epinephrine.  Our LMC Certified Pump Trainers are also here to help troubleshoot with your pump.  These services are available at no charge to Ontario clients of Diabetes Depot.  Contact us at [email protected]

Have a great, safe and healthy school year!

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