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Remote Wireless Monitoring Can Help Patients Newly Diagnosed with T1

Dec 8, 2014
A patient of mine was newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
He started on insulin and I taught him about glucose targets; insulin administration, including the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia; and how to prevent, recognize, and treat hypoglycemia. I also taught him about the “honeymoon period,” which, I told him, was likely to happen.
His numbers were in his target range on the insulin dosage he was started on. We set up a remote wireless monitoring system so that I could check in and look at his numbers on a daily basis. I let him know that I was available to talk with him if he had questions.

After setting up the remote system, I noticed his numbers were getting to the lower side of his targets. I called and it seemed he was entering the “honeymoon period” we had discussed. I advised him to cut back on his insulin.  He then proceeded to tell me he was having these “spells” where he felt funny, very weak, had a headache, and was very hungry. He didn’t capture his blood glucose levels at that time, but he would eat and then would feel better. I reminded him these are signs of hypoglycemia.

He cut back on his insulin as was recommended and his symptoms of hypoglycemia stopped. His numbers stayed within his target range. Luckily, he was able to prevent some serious hypoglycemic events.

Lessons Learned:
When someone is newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, there is a lot to learn. These are a few of mine:
  • I can’t expect my patients to remember everything.
  • Always teach about the possibility of the “honeymoon period.”
  • I want my patients to know I am there for them, but I don’t want to burden them by checking on them (calling, emailing, texting) too often.
  • I’ve found using remote wireless monitoring helps me help my patients while they are learning to be more independent in their diabetes management. It also gives me, as a health care provider, peace of mind.
  • Tools for Your Practice: Hypoglycemia Patient Questionaire, Treating Hypoglycemia, and Hypoglycemia Classification

Certified Foot Care Nurse
Associate Medical Editor, Diabetes In Control

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