5 Tips for a Smooth Transition to the MiniMed 670G System

I recently switched to the MiniMed™ 670G system with SmartGuard™ technology and I now trust that the system is working to help take care of me. I spend less time correcting highs and lows and don’t have to look at my CGM graphs as often. The MiniMed 670G system is the next step along my journey and it’s making my diabetes life easier, but it came with an important learning curve in the beginning.

In the 10 years, I’ve been using an insulin pump, it’s always been from Medtronic. This hybrid closed loop pump is very different from my other pumps and it took some time for me to figure out how to make the most of it.  Along the way, I learned quite a bit and I’m excited to share some of my top tips.

 1) Talk to your healthcare team often!  In the first couple of months, I uploaded to CareLink software on a weekly basis and discussed the reports with either my pump trainer or my endocrinologist. They had wonderful advice for me and were essential in fine-tuning my settings. Now my blood sugar is almost always in range while I sleep and I spend a lot less time dealing with highs and lows throughout the day.

 2) Expect your carb ratios and active insulin time to change…perhaps more than once.  Using my old pump, I was certain my carb ratios and active insulin time were solid.  Which they were…for that pump.  I’ve come to realize that the MiniMed 670G system works differently, and so my settings are different as well.  My mealtime boluses are bigger (which was weird for me at first.)  And, I was bit hesitant, at times, when I saw how many units I’d be dosing.  But, I trusted the system and new carb ratios—they work!

3) Pre-bolusing is more important than ever. If you used to pre-bolus on your old pump, you should probably continue on the MiniMed 670G system. For some reason, when I started on the new system I stopped pre-bolusing for my meals.  I’m not sure why because the insulin I’m using in the new pump is the same.  It still needs the same head start I gave it before meals.

4) Be careful not to overcorrect your low glucose.  Lows are probably the area that has changed the most for me.  I used to go low a lot – several times a week and sometimes several times a day.  Since switching to the new system, the number of lows that I experience was immediately reduced and I find that I have more energy. I must have gotten so used to the lows that I didn’t realize how exhausting they are. And I’ve noticed that since I spend less time with low blood sugar, my hypoglycemia awareness has come back. In the past, my blood sugar had to be in the 50s (and sometimes 40s) for me to feel the symptoms.

Now, I feel a low come on right away, and on the odd occasion that I do have a low blood sugar, I’ve found that I need to eat fewer carbs to get myself back up into range. This is because as my glucose drops, the system gives me less insulin, so it takes fewer carbs to correct.

5) And my best tip is…be patient!  It takes time for this pump to learn your body.  I knew that going in, but once I was on the system I found it really hard to let go and trust it to learn me.  Patience is the key.  Once I stopped sweating the small stuff and let the pump do its thing, I was amazed at how much less work it takes to manage my diabetes.  It didn’t happen overnight.  Each week things got a little bit better, and it took about three months before I felt like everything was in tune. Now I worry less about my diabetes and feel like Auto Mode has me running on auto-pilot!

Over the years with diabetes, I’ve progressed from urine testing and exchange diets, to finger sticks, carb counting and meal-time insulin, to CGMs and insulin pumps.  Each one took time and adjustments, but they each made managing my diabetes a little bit easier. And now that I trust my MiniMed 670G system, it’s not my CGM alarms waking me up at night, it’s just my husband’s snoring…

Important Safety Information

The Medtronic MiniMed™ 670G system is intended for continuous delivery of basal insulin (at user selectable rates) and administration of insulin boluses (in user selectable amounts) for the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in persons, fourteen years of age and older, requiring insulin as well as for the continuous monitoring and trending of glucose levels in the fluid under the skin. The MiniMed™ 670G system includes SmartGuard™ technology, which can be programmed to automatically adjust the delivery of basal insulin based on Continuous Glucose Monitor sensor glucose values, and can suspend delivery of insulin when the sensor glucose value falls below or is predicted to fall below predefined threshold values. The system requires a prescription. The Guardian™ Sensor (3) glucose values are not intended to be used directly for making therapy adjustments, but rather to provide an indication of when a fingerstick may be required.

A confirmatory finger stick test via the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter is required prior to making adjustments to diabetes therapy. All therapy adjustments should be based on measurements obtained using the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter and not on values provided by the Guardian Sensor (3).  Always check the pump display to ensure the glucose result shown agrees with the glucose results shown on the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter. Do not calibrate your CGM device or calculate a bolus using a blood glucose meter result taken from an Alternative Site (palm) or from a control solution test. It is also not recommended to calibrate your CGM device when sensor or blood glucose values are changing rapidly, e.g., following a meal or physical exercise.  If a control solution test is out of range, please note that the result may be transmitted to your pump when in the “Always” send mode.

Pump therapy is not recommended for people whose vision or hearing does not allow recognition of pump signals and alarms. Pump therapy is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to maintain contact with their healthcare professional. The safety of the MiniMed™ 670G system has not been studied in pregnant women. For complete details of the system, including product and important safety information such as indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions associated with system and its components, please consult http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/important-safety-information#minimed-670g and the appropriate user guide at http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/download-library

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