The Looping Chronicles: To loop or not to loop?

This is the first instalment in the looping chronicles, where I will be sharing each step of my looping journey with you…

Let me start by saying I am no tech wiz so please bare with me! I was always really apprehensive about looping. The first I heard about looping, was people searching for old Medtronic pumps on social media that were loopable and paying extortionate amounts to get their hands on one. One diabuddy told me they had spent thousands on setting looping up. Then it seemed to become more accessible with the Riley Link which started being used by some of the most influential diabetes bloggers and it was tempting since I was on the Omnipod. But I still wasn’t sold on the idea, not only making the investment, but to have something else in control of my diabetes.

It wasn’t until I decided to switch from the Omnipod that looping became a factor. If you follow my journey I was enamoured by the T:Slim and the integration with Dexcom but after switching to the Freestyle Libre and on further investigation, the T:Slim just wasn’t for me. When my Diabestie Ceri-Ann told me about the Dana Rs and the fact it was controllable from a mobile device I was sold (read about the Dana Rs here). And the fact it was directly loopable, was a plus. I didn’t anticipate looping any time in the near future but having the option was a benefit.

Only a few nights after starting the Dana, I decided to investigate Android APS and how easy it was to loop with and honestly what looping really was. Because I knew bits from social media but I hadn’t ever done any research myself.

I found out that looping was essentially creating an artificial pancreas. Your CGM (continuous glucose monitor) sends your blood sugars to your phone and using algorithms sends the correct amount of insulin to your insulin pump which then delivers it. I mean how crazy and futuristic is that?

Some loop systems require a communicator like the riley link to work but because the Dana Rs is bluetooth enabled, it can talk directly to the phone.

After doing the research, I realised that there were some real benefits to looping, especially during the night. The system would regulate the amount of insulin required which would theoretically mean no CGM alarms going off in the night time. I decided that I would take the first steps in looping with Android APS and build the app that way it would be ready for if and when I decided to take the leap.

Want to find out more about Android APS click here

Looping is DIY, not regulated and used at your own risk. You should always consult with your medical professional. Although my diabetic consultant cannot recommend looping he is supportive of patients who make that decision on their own.

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