Cory Conacher is living his dream of playing NHL hockey. At 5 foot 8 inches and born in December 1989, he was always the youngest and smallest on his team. At 8 years old, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which means his body doesn’t produce insulin. Nonetheless, he hasn’t let his size or his diagnosis get in the way of his hockey career.
Playing at such an elite level, it is crucial that Cory manage his diabetes both on and off the ice. Rather than rely on injections, he wears a Medtronic insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system to help him manage his glucose levels. “The insulin pump and CGM system has helped me take some of the guess work out. It gives me more peace of mind that my [blood glucose] numbers are under control.”
An insulin pump is a small, portable device that continuously delivers insulin, which allows for insulin delivery to more closely mimic the function of a healthy pancreas.
Cory’s CGM is integrated into his insulin pump and comprises a glucose sensor inserted just under the skin, which gives him real time data on how his glucose levels are trending to help him keep his blood glucose levels in target range. His CGM also has a low glucose suspend feature, which is clinically proven to reduce hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).
Athletes are not the only ones who may benefit from CGM. The Federal Government has partnered with the JDRF to fund numerous studies through the JDRF CCTN, including the CGM TIME trial which looks at when to start CGM on children, and CONCEPPT, a study investigating CGM use during pregnancy. Additional research is also being done in Canada in support of the closed loop artificial pancreas, including key studies being led by researchers in Montreal and Toronto.