Diabetes monitoring while driving (RACING!)

By RoyceTX Latest Reply 2011-06-01 13:28:34 -0500
Started 2011-05-30 11:02:07 -0500

One of the drivers who finished in the top 10 in this year's Indy 500 was diabetic. The announcer said that his pit crew kept track of his BG and kept it in the 200s. How did they do that? I understand they gave injetions by a flexpen insulin device giving the injection through his drivers suit. How did they keep constant monitoring his BG? Or did they?

I try to keep my BG between 120 and 150 while on long drives. Easy for me to stop and make a test and constantly eat a few M&Ms from time to time, but I don't think a race driver could do that.

How was his diabetes controlled during the race?

9 replies

MarkS 2011-06-01 12:34:03 -0500 Report

Hey RoyceTX, I too like Teresa Rose, live in Indianapolis. I saw in the paper prior to the race that they actually have the read out on his steering column, so that he could visually see the reading as he drove. With the technology in the race cars its easy to transmit to the pits (every other car function and variable is transmitted to the pit engineers electronically so that they can monitor the car's performance). I can't see any reason why they can't have the driver inject, if necessary, during a pit stop, or conversely drink something with a source of carbs. My guess is that with the stress and physical demand of driving his blood sugar would have more of a tendency to decrease rather than increas; but that's just an educated assumption.

Richard157 2011-06-01 10:02:49 -0500 Report

A CGM can give numbers that are considerably different from the glucose meter readings. Even when my CGM is performing well, I can see occasional numbers that are as much as 40 points higher or lower than the meter numbers. I think that may be the reason that they wanted the driver to be above 200 during the race. If he was actually 40 points lower than the CGM reading, that would still put him in the high 100s and he would be safe. I stay 70- 130 about 90% of the time and running above 200 for several hours would make me feel sick. I don't think I would drive a car at all under those conditions. A race track would definitely be off limits for me, no matter how well trained I was. The driver must be comfortable with high numbers, which leads me to believe he has a high A1c and is putting himself in danger of having diabetes complications. That may be more dangerous than racing.

RoyceTX 2011-05-30 14:53:56 -0500 Report

Minimed makes a monitor that transmits a BG reading from a needle insert ever few moments to the Minimed pump via radio signal. My meter also sends a signal to pump which I'm sure you are familiar with, but the pump doesn't act on that signal it just stores it for future information. Now the pump injection is slower than the flexpen I heard via TV they were using to keep him from going into the 300s. Strongly suspect they were using some quick source of carbs. I find that regular Coke-Cola is the fastest for me outside of an IV infusion. Four oz. of cooke will increase my BG by 20 mg% pretrty quick. When traveling I use M&Ms as they are slower and possibly smoother in their effect.

Now my meter and pump don't communicate much further than 6-8'. Wonder if they had some sort of re-transmission to the pit so that they could make preparation for a quick injection.

Suspect the Diabetic Connect people could get direct information from the Indy driver, his pit crerw or his MD to relay to us.

AuntieM234 2011-05-30 14:14:46 -0500 Report

What a great topic for discussion! Wow, RoyceTX, my sentiments mirror Teresa Rose's. As to how his diabetes was controlled during the race, I have no idea. Sorry, man.

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2011-05-30 14:05:40 -0500 Report

I am from Indianapolis, Indiana & The Indy 500 has always been a big deal in my home town. I think this is incredible how having diebetes didn't stop this driver from accomplishing his goals & driving in this race. It is a pretty grueling race. Heck I always wondered what the drivers did when they had to go to the bathroom I never even thought of one of them having diebetes & having to moniter their BG & do injections while driving this long hot race & then finishing in the top 10!!! Incredible. I'm so proud of this person.

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