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Improvements In Diabetes Management (Types 1 & 2) | Aaron Reich, PA-C

Improvements In Diabetes Management (Types 1 & 2) | Aaron Reich, PA-C

While we do not yet have a cure for diabetes, new medications, tools, and technologies make living with diabetes much easier than in the past. Looking back over the last decade or so, it’s impressive how far diabetes innovation has come. Aaron Reich, PA-C is a Diabetes Specialist at Utah Spine Care | Ogden Clinic and a diabetic himself. Today he’s discussing how diabetes management has improved over the last decade.

Improvements in Type 1 Diabetes Management

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)

Evidence shows that use of continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM, helps to improve glycemic control and reduce episodes of hyper/hypoglycemia. CGM help patients be more aware of their blood sugar readings, proving continuous readings throughout the day, ultimately leading to improved control. CGM devices are helpful for insulin diabetics who need to maintain tight control over their blood sugar readings, and avoid serious complications from hypoglycemia.

How is CGM improving diabetes care?

Finger stick alternative: CGM drastically reduces or even eliminates the need for finger sticks. Many people with Type 1 diabetes check their blood sugars with a meter up to 10 times a day. That amounts to 70 finger sticks a week or 2,880 times a year! Less fingertip soreness is a huge plus for quality of life.

Smart Insulin Pens

Delivering insulin via pen has grown in popularity, making it easier and more convenient to inject insulin than using the traditional vial and syringe. Insulin pens have also proven their worth by increasing accuracy in dosing, adherence, and quality of life.

Like phones and appliances, the insulin pen has become “smart”. Pens don’t just deliver insulin, they also contain a memory that records the time, date, and dose of insulin injected. Smart pens can transmit data to the cloud (such as the dose of insulin injected) and this data can be shared with healthcare providers for integrated care and management.

Improvements in Type 2 Diabetes Management

“Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen huge developments in medications for Type 2,” says Aaron Reich. “The goals in caring for patients with Type 2 are to eliminate symptoms and to prevent, or at least slow, the development of complications.”

The Use of GLP-1 Medication

“People with Type 2 diabetes have many medication options,” says Reich. “Most are familiar with insulin or metformin, but there’s another class of drugs that are called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, shortened to GLP-1s.”

The first GLP-1, exenatide (Byetta) was first approved by the FDA in 2009 as a twice-daily injectable, intended to be taken within an hour of morning and evening meals. Up until 2019, GLP-1s were only injectable medications when Rybelsus, the first oral GLP-1 came to market.

Benefits of GLP-1 medication:

  • GLP-1 helps with Type 2 diabetes management by increasing the secretion of insulin.
  • GLP-1 has also been shown to assist with weight loss through suppressing appetite and slowing digestion.
  • This medication can be taken once weekly, daily, or before meals, depending on the kind of GLP-1 medication.
  • GLP-1s are recommended if glucose targets aren’t reached within three months as part of dual therapy with metformin or basal insulin. It’s also recommended in patients with or at risk for cardiovascular diseases, patients who need to minimize hypoglycemia or lose weight.

Aaron Reich

Why are you passionate about helping patients with diabetes?

“While completing my Master’s degree, I started honing in on what I wanted to focus on,” says Reich. “I knew diabetes had to be a part of my practice in some capacity since I’m a diabetic with a firsthand perspective and a large interest in it. It’s a rarity to connect on this level with patients; understanding the burden these patients walk daily. My experience helps with trust and putting in the effort to help themselves.”

Aaron Reich is a Physician Assistant at Utah Spine Care | Ogden Clinic in Layton. He splits his practice between Spine Care and Diabetes Management and is accepting new patients for both specialties. If you or a loved one is diabetic and in need of an overseeing provider, please call Utah Spine Care | Ogden Clinic at (801) 732-5900 or book an appointment with Aaron Reich online.