Here it is–March Madness–when the NCAA tournament is happening and the final four colleges (Kentucky, Duke, Wisconsin and Michigan State) compete to see who is going to be the very best school in college basketball. For diabetics, there is another competition going on between traditional insulins and Afrezza. This morning a noted blogger Amy Tenderich released her report on Afrezza Inhaled Insulin. Afrezza does change lives, and I certainly wish her even greater success in her personal diabetes journey. Here are some other thoughts and opinions on the March Madness going on right now off the basketball court.
- In starting Afrezza some people are misunderstanding the dosing and how it compares to their past RAA insulin use. Know this, at least from a few of our experiences, that for the first two weeks or so, you will notice unusually higher Afrezza dosing and usage (and this is not just me, but also Adam, Brian, etc.)- my take is that this phenomenom seems to be how this new drug gets accustomed to your body and having a more efficient pancreas/liver relationship again. The other thing to consider is that Afrezza is not your old insulin in a different form-it acts uniquely different, works faster and leaves the body sooner. It doesn’t correspond or have a direct relationship to old insulins, so if you take 8U of Novolog or Humolog, it is not equivalent to how 8U of Afrezza will work–please get that out of your mind if you feel that way–Afrezza is a brand new drug. Perhaps when you use it, sometimes you will use a similar dose as your old insulin, but that is where the similarity ends. Once again, just like when you started on Novolog or Humalog or any injectable, you needed to figure out how your body reacts with those drugs, (ie. the drop rate on a set of carbs and how long it stays in your body). Afrezza does requires the same initial review and adjustments. After taking a dose of Afrezza, some might get nervous especially if they “under-dosed” and don’t see their blood sugar fall, and then panic and take an injection of their old treatment, and I don’t think this is the optimum way for anyone to have different insulins working and peaking throughout the system at the same time. The key to this is that almost everyone on Afrezza reports that once they are over the “dosing”hurdle, which for Afrezza is characterized by fast onset and soft landings, your confidence goes through the roof because it is very predictable and you live in “real-time”. After 2-4 weeks–and most of us by then feel like our pancreas’s are “working” again at that time, even th0ugh as type 1’s we know this is not possible. For type 2’s, you really have it made with Afrezza–and Afrezza Spiro is my new hero in that regard. Plot his BG #’s on a graph for the last 3 weeks and the results are beyond stellar, with absolutely no inconveniences. This is a huge deal, as he spreads the word to his doctor and other type 2’s, they will not only become more compliant (biggest issue among doctors), they will love this new non-invasive treatment option.
- People seem to be afraid to “knock down” their highs” in the bud”—that is when their blood sugars are turning up and approaching more than the 140 area. The reason I think diabetics are apprehensive is that this is something you cannot do using traditional insulins—with those you always have to wait for hours so I can see why taking a corrective dose might seem very scary and strange. If I need a follow-up dose an hour or 2 hours later it is just never an issue in my opinion. It is no different than taking a follow-up dose with RAA insulin if necessary 3 to 4 hours after a meal. The difference is that the Afrezza adjustment takes literally minutes to start working and you will be back in normal range ready for the next meal. This is why I call it “real-time” insulin–you can live, whether that means play sports, exercise, go out at night, or play in a rock-n-roll band and you will most likely have less worries about your blood sugars because Afrezza is predictable and fast acting.
- Some online Posters (if genuine) are missing the point—living a near “normal” life again without injections, waiting for hours, babysitting this disease, and being obsessed with diabetes day and night is worth trying to do something about and spreading the word about. Feeling better = living better. Ask any afrezza user—(ie. someone with more than a month or more experience who understand the process and has been succesful at “time in zone”and keeping in tight control )-do you feel better (watch testimonial)? “Yes, like never before!” will usually be the answer you will hear. Interestingly, you will almost never hear anyone say they are going back to what they were doing previously- to me when I had to stop taking Afrezza because the drug trial was over, it was like going back to live in the “dinosaur age”. At that time, I had to wait 2 years before I could have a prescription filled for Afrezza–the worst two years of my life! Simply can’t imagine anyone going back to their “old ways” after using Afrezza. To me, that would be definite “madness”. Remember if your A1c is >6.5 you are doing long-term terrible damage to your body—with Afrezza you can get that number down further and be safer and healthier. In this regard, Afrezza is life-changing and I’ve seen nothing out there comes even close the pharmacokinetics of a normal functioning pancreas like Afrezza does.
- This is why I am so excited about the performance of Afrezza. In all of history this is the first time that diabetics can safely manage their blood sugars to “near” or at a “non-diabetic” level. Do you see what is so “life-changing” about that? Simply, if you can get your blood sugars down you can halt the progression of diabetes and increase your chances of not suffering from neuropathy, kidney disease, amputations, blindness, etc.! Since the average A1c mentioned in an article by Amy Tenderich was between 7.5 to 8.0, research says it is killing our bodies, and those levels are way to high for us on a daily basis. Simply, as a measure of diabetic success–it is unacceptable! Especially, when drugs like Afrezza can take care of this problem.
- Chronic hyperglycemia (high blood sugars) that average more than 120 to 130 mg/dl gradually damages tissues throughout the body and makes a person more susceptible to infections. Read about it here.
- I believe the new target for A1C levels for diabetics is less than 7% which equals to 154mg. This is still far higher than a normal range of 4-5.6% A1C (you can see what the ranges are below):
- Non Diabetes = 4-5.6%
Pre-Diabetes = 5.7-6.4%
Diabetes = 6.5%+
- For those new to A1C levels please this is interesting. Read here.
- People saying they will “wait” to try Afrezza. That’s fine for some folks, but if your glucose levels are out of control, and you are “out of range” for the majority of your day, you really need Afrezza now—before even more physical damage is done to your body. Interestingly for previous ”out of control diabetics like myself—you will usually experience a “flip-flop” for your % in a range. For example, if you were 20-30% of your time in a range of (70-130)—you will notice that time in that range will go to 70-80% or higher. I get emails from people thanking me who say they are experiencing that “control” I speak about–and love hearing about their success. If you’re doing damage to yourself, please get help right away and don’t ignore the symptoms.
- With Afrezza you can achieve a much lower a1C with less risk of severe hypoglycemic lows from my experience—my past experiment testing afrezza with eating nothing and then taking an Afrezza dose proves this point. In fact, in the Afrezza drug trials the person who had half the issues was taking additional diabetic drugs so when I read people mixing slow, fast and ultra rapid insulins together as sort of a “cover all bases” approach–ie, “a cocktail”, I do get nervous and worried about them. Diabetes is tough. May I make a suggestion to all those expecting miracle results from day 1 and reaching non-diabetic #’s your first week, that you please don’t! By all means ask for help, but I find it strange that some people go on Afrezza and they start giving out advice to others and I would say please learn to ride your own bicycle before you help others figure out how to ride theirs. The most concerning part is that they post their CGM data and you can visually see the spots where they needed to do a “corrective” dose, and probably got very scared and are mixing in their “old” regimen to compensate, which messes everything up. Be patient and remember what it was like when you first went on insulin and you will do just fine. Not every day especially when you begin is going to be a “flat line” – give yourself some grace and some time. One of the reasons I post as much as I do, is to try and “shorten” that learning curve for all new Afrezza users, which is the reason this blog exists.
- Lastly, how do I know Afrezza will be a blockbuster? Well, besides the fact it changed my life, when I have my A1C test with Dr. Bode at the 3 month mark (and others have their measured results after using Afrezza for 3 months) you will hear and see something NEVER before happening among extremely large and uncontrollable groups of diabetics—that the most challenged diabetic poplulation will suddenly be showing up to their doctors appointments with at or NEAR or NON-DIABETIC A1C’s! This is going to change EVERYTHING! Why do you think my endo Dr. Bruce Bode said “unbelievable so much? Because if you try an adjust diabetics down too much what happens every time—hypoglycemia—ie. emergency room visits, hospitalization, families scared out of their minds. But when they see Jackie, Eric, Brian, me probably reporting A1c’s in the 5’s or very low 6s this should make the national news—because then it will be obvious that anyone and everyone can possibly get there with Afrezza and stop that long-term damage! And we all had A1c’s that were way out of zone in every way (just look at the charts I posted on the day Afrezza launched on my website). On my webcast on May 7th, I’m sure this topic will come up. And when doctors see how well it worked for the most challenged diabetics—they will feel ultra comfortable prescribing it to type 2’s who won’t need a basal dose nor take needles to begin insulin therapy which will preserve their remaining “beta” cells, providing them a longer and higher quality of life.
March Madness—it’s more than basketball, for many it will be the first time they will hear about Afrezza. I thank Amy for her “test drive” article that will inspire many others to try and better their treatment results. My hope is that everyone out there gets the “tight control” and consistency they so desperately need to avoid the complications from living with high blood sugars. Please don’t underestimate the risk and damage before it’s too late. That would be the real “madness!”
Some of us are posting our “Afrezza Users “Real Life” Results to help bring awareness to Afrezza and the importance of “time spent in zone” and having healthy, controlled blood sugars. Our mutual hope is that if we can do it–guess what–YOU can too! And once you have that “control” and “time in zone” then you can help others experience the same success. Advice for you: get out of the stands, and get in the game! It’s time to dunk on diabetes and win back that feeling of freedom in your life!