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Jul
01

Heat and Diabetes

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During the summer months and especially when it is both hot and humid it becomes extremely important to stay hydrated and limit exposure to high temperatures and the sun. Having diabetes, kidney disease and other chronic diseases that compromise fluid and electrolyte balances place individuals at greater risk for heat sensitivity and heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

These conditions may be heat exhaustion or even heat stroke or sun stroke. Heat related injuries/ conditions occur when internal body temperature rises above the normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat stroke is a condition where the body’s core temperature is as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Who is at risk?

  • Individuals most prone to dehydration and heat conditions are the young, (babies and young children) and the elderly; these are those under 5 years of age and those older than 65 years of age.
  • Those who work outside during the day, especially in the hottest hours, from early morning until midday have an increased risk of heat exhaustion or heat/sun stroke.
  •  Athletes who perform intensive exercise on hot, humid summer days have the potential for heat related illnesses.
  • Even individuals taking medications for blood pressure or fluid restriction can be at risk for developing heat related conditions.

The body perspires from four places the head, hands, feet and armpits.  Sweating helps lower the body’s internal temperature. Exercising in clothing that covers these areas with helmets or shoulder pads limits the potential for sweating/ perspiring causing body temperature to rise.

Heat exhaustion is a condition that can occur from water depletion in the body.  The symptoms here can include; excessive thirst, weakness, headache or even a loss of consciousness.  The body may also be depleted of salt.  Here symptoms can include; nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps and dizziness.

Treating Heat Exhaustion:

  • Go indoors or at the very least move to a shady location.
  • Drink water to rehydrate.
  • Place cold wet cloths or ice on the back, arm pit and groin area.

A change in the individual’s responsiveness should occur. If it doesn’t, contact a health care provider, the condition could escalate to heat stroke.

Heat Stoke / sun stroke can become a fatal condition. The person may show symptoms of massive headache, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, inability to perspire with red or flushed dry skin, hallucinations, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or losing consciousness.

Treating Heat Stroke:

  • Call 911! The individual needs to get to the hospital.
  • While awaiting medical assistance, move the individual to a cooler area, preferably air conditioned.  Remove any excessive clothing and administer first aid if needed.
  • Fan air over the individual or wet the person’s body with water. A cool shower would be ideal, but a garden hose will work.
  • Place cold packs or cloths on back, arm pits, groin area to reduce internal body temperature.

Tips to avoid heat stroke or heat exhaustion:

  • Avoid drinks that contain caffeine.
  • Skip alcoholic beverages
  • Remember thirst is not a good mechanism to tell how much water one should drink.
  • Always carry with you a water bottle filled with clean fresh water.
  • Skip the workout in the hottest hours of the day.
  • Wear clothing that breathes when being out in the heat or sun.
  • If you work outside, stay well hydrated, wear a hat, and take breaks from being in the sun for extended periods of time.

Do you have more questions about this topic?

Call Diabetes Management & Supplies to speak to an educator.

888-738-7929 ext 2102

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Jun
14

Diabetes Disaster Preparedness

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A natural or man made disaster can have an unnerving affect on any individual.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorm and earthquakes call upon people to have a plan on hand.

Fires, gas leaks, and terrorists attacks can place a city and all its individuals in a state of rushed emergency.

When an individual has diabetes it is most important to have a plan.  Not just one single plan but also a plan for contingency action.

An individual should always have a stash of supplies ready. Test strips, batteries, pump and CGM supplies, and skin preps or alcohol pads packed in a to–go bag or plastic case by the door.

Insulin will need a way to remain cold so a container that maintains temperature should be readily available. Prescriptions for current diabetes medications should be current and placed in a plastic baggie with a pen if you currently use a local pharmacy. If your medications are at a nationwide pharmacy, one should be able to obtain medications through the computerized system of records.

It is important that the individual wear some form of identification of the disease state.  Medical ID’s are available as bracelets, necklaces, dog tags even key chains that allow others to know ones health status.

Having plenty of portable water is a must whether you are stuck in your home for several days or on an evacuation route to a safer location.   Having at least three days worth of water for the individual with diabetes is a must to reduce the potential of dehydration.

Food is always an issue if evacuation is a solution in the plan.  Snacks that match carbohydrate needs should be available for the person with diabetes. Packing a bag filled with protein snacks, carb snacks and snacks with mono-unsaturated fats like nuts can be consumed if  restaurants or food store or chains are not  nearby.  An individual with diabetes can always carry a six pack of glucose control liquid meal supplement if that restaurant which is only two miles away takes six hours to reach.

Planning ahead can be the best solution to disaster situations as it can reduce the stress of the event and help maintain blood glucose in target ranges.

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Apr
18

Medicare Replacing All ID Cards

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In April of 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will began replacing Medicare ID cards for 60 million Medicare beneficiaries. This is a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security numbers from Medicare cards to help combat identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars.

The new Medicare cards will use a unique and random number, which will be called your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The MBI will replace the Social Security number that is on the current ID cards. The new MBI numbers will consist of 11 characters and will contain a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. Beneficiaries will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare cards and keep the new MBI confidential. The new Medicare cards and MBI will not change Medicare benefits for Medicare beneficiaries.

On  your  next supply order with Diabetes Management & Supplies, please verify that we have your correct social security number on file. Once you receive your new card, you will not need your old card any longer. There will be a 21-month transition period where providers will be able to use either the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) or the old Social Security-based ID number. The transition period will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018 and last through December 31, 2019.

In order to ensure that you receive your new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) card, please ensure that Medicare has your correct address. You will not receive your new card if your address is not updated with Medicare. In order to avoid denied claims, the address that you have on file with Diabetes Management & Supplies needs to be the same address that you have on file with Medicare.

When you have received your new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) card, please call us at 504-734- 7165 or toll free at 1-888-738-7929 to give us your new information so that we can update your file.

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Mar
27

What’s Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk?

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Today is American Diabetes Association® Alert Day®, and we’re asking you to encourage your employees to take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test. In 60 seconds, an individual can learn their risk for type 2 diabetes and access a wealth of resources that motivate them to act now and take the necessary steps to improve their health.

One in three Americans is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, a disease that can lead to serious complications including kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness, and amputations. But a type 2 diabetes diagnosis doesn’t have to be in your employee’s future—it can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes.

Learning your risk is the first step!

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Mar
26

Dining out with Diabetes

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Dining out for both regular meals, breakfast, lunch or dinner or for a special occasion can be an obstacle for the individual with diabetes.  There are several tips or strategies that can be used to enjoy the eating/ dining out experience.

Know the components of a healthy diabetes modified meal plan.  Partake of your food choices by understanding the number of grams of carbohydrate, the portion size of   protein and fat that are usually the foundation of a meal.

A diner can go online and review a restaurant or a food establishment’s menu to make a selection prior to arrival at the location.

Several phone applications provide nutrition information for national restaurant chains.  Small neighborhood restaurants may also do the same.

Calorie King, the book or the app can provide listings of carbohydrates, protein, fat and sodium as well as other key nutrients and is an available tool for diner who has diabetes.

The Restaurant Experience:

One can ask for shared plate service, have the server request that the meal be split in two before it is served. You and your dining partner get half the calories and save half the cost (expense) allowing you to go dining again.

After the meal has been ordered you can ask the server to place the one half of the meal in a take home box, before the plate ever reaches the table.

During the meal, you can use the healthy plate method by visually dividing the plate in two. Filling one half with low carbohydrate vegetable choices, take the other side and fill one quarter of the plate with a lean protein choice: fish, chicken, lean beef, then fill the remaining quarter with a serving of carbohydrate.  Look for a carbohydrate choice that you have not identified as a trigger food that usually raises the blood sugar extremely high.

If this meal is a special occasion meal where a dessert or a cake may be served, eat the plate making sure it is filled with the low carbohydrate vegetable choices and then select a small size portion of the cake or dessert.

If you select the salad option do remember that the salad dressing will add calories to the meal. Acknowledge that if you choose the low fat salad dressing option it will have added carbohydrate to maintain its taste, and when choosing the low carbohydrate dressing additional fat is added.

Ask for the dressing to be placed on the side, and then you can dip each individual piece of salad into the dressing and cut down on the total amount of dressing that is used.

These simple strategies will allow an individual who has diabetes to enjoy the dining out experience.

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Mar
09

Medicare Replacing 60 Million ID Cards

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Beginning April of 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin replacing Medicare ID cards for 60 million Medicare beneficiaries. This is a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security numbers from Medicare cards to help combat identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars.

The new Medicare cards will use a unique and random number, which will be called your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The MBI will replace the Social Security numbers that is on the current ID cards. The new MBI numbers will consist of 11 characters and will contain a combnation of numbers and uppercase letters. Beneficiaries will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare cards and keep the new MBI confidential. The new Medicare cards and MBI will not change Medicare benefits for Medicare beneficiaries.

Once you receive your new card, you will not need your old card any longer. There will be a 21-month transition period where providers will be able to use either the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) or the old Social Security-based ID number. The transition period will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018 and last through December 31, 2019.

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Feb
26

Exercise Planning for Diabetes

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girl-diabetes-exercise

When an individual has diabetes it is essential for one to make exercise a part of their diabetes self management plan. The AADE self Care behaviors stress Being Active as a key element/ goal of managing diabetes and staying in target or goal range.

Physical activity or exercise can be defined in several ways.

People can perform endurance, resistance, flexibility and functional forms of exercise. Exercise can take the form of sports, dancing, yoga, weight lifting or even grocery shopping.

Before the introduction of any exercise program it is important that the individual check with their physician to determine if they are exercise or physical activity ready or safe.

To determine the intensity of exercise or physical activity the use of the Borg Scale can be used if an individual takes any medications that can affect the heart.

Intensity of exercise used to be determined by a formula of 220- current age, then multiply by .6 .7 or .8 to be in a target zone for fat burning.

The usual recommendation for exercise is to get 30 minutes of a cardio exercise at least 5 days per week reaching approximately 150 minutes of exercise per week.

 

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Jan
23

Weight Management in Diabetes – Weight Loss

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AdobeStock_108700523

Attaining a healthy weight for the individual who has diabetes is always a challenge. The person with Type 2 diabetes may need a plan for weight reduction. The young child with Type 1 might need to put on several pounds to be better able to insert their insulin delivery device giving enough fat for better insulin delivery. The weight loss strategy must meet the needs of the individual for either weight reduction, weight maintenance or weight gain.

AdobeStock_21335169-640x429For the individual who wants to lose weight, first off a realistic goal for loss needs to be set for a certain time frame.

Knowing what to eat and how much to eat to provide for all nutrient needs while restricting caloric intake is not an easy task.

Physical impairments can impede an individual’s ability to be active or exercise on a regular basis thus affecting the amount of caloric use. Exercise and physical activity is performed so that a person can burn calories that are consumed. Prior to the initiation of any exercise program consultation with the physician is a must to determine health status and readiness for physical activity.

African American woman celebrating on scale

Simple weight loss tips have the individual assessing current weight, deciding on a healthy loss per week and devising a plan of caloric restriction, caloric utilization or a combination of the two methods.

For individuals who count carbohydrate it is important to recognize the number of calories in one carbohydrate serving (15 grams of carbohydrate = 60 calories). Then, the individual will need to how many calories are in a pound (3500 calories) and how many carbohydrate servings will be allowed in their daily meal plan.

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Jan
23

Exercise Planning for Diabetes

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Diabetes-and-exercise

When an individual has diabetes it is essential for one to make exercise a part of their diabetes self management plan. The AADE self Care behaviors stress Being Active as a key element/ goal of managing diabetes and staying in target or goal range.

Physical activity or exercise can be defined in several ways.

People can perform endurance, resistance, flexibility and functional forms of exercise. Exercise can take the form of sports, dancing, yoga, weight lifting or even grocery shopping.

doctor_with_smiling_patientBefore the introduction of any exercise program it is important that the individual check with their physician to determine if they are exercise or physical activity ready or safe.

To determine the intensity of exercise or physical activity the use of the Borg Scale can be used if an individual takes any medications that can affect the heart.

Intensity of exercise used to be determined by a formula of 220- current age, then multiply by .6 .7 or .8 to be in a target zone for fat burning.

The usual recommendation for exercise is to get 30 minutes of a cardio exercise at least 5 days per week reaching approximately 150 minutes of exercise per week.

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Jan
10

What is CGM?

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Continuous Glucose Monitoring or CGM is a wireless device worn on our abdomen that provides glucose readings every five minutes. This generates 288 readings a day. You still need to check your blood glucose two times daily to make sure the monitor is working correctly, but a CGM provides valuable information for people who have wide swings in their blood sugars or who has A1c values that don’t match their blood sugar meter results.

Dexcom_Graph

You should also think of a Blood Glucose Strip as a picture and a CGM as a video in-motion. With a CGM you will find solutions to many of these common challenges:

  • Privacy in checking your blood sugar levels while at a restaurant or in a meeting.
  •  Do you have children or grandchildren you are constantly worried about their blood glucose during the day or night?
  • Are you concerned about Dawn Phenomenon?
  • Have you ever had hypoglycemic unawareness?
  • Are you abut to get behind the wheel? Is your blood sugar going up or down?

Click here to take a short survey to see if continuous glucose monitoring will benefit you.

 For more information concerning the CGM and other questions you have please call us at 1-888-738-7929.

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Ordering Supplies and Equipment

A diabetes treatment plan is very important. Make sure you know how things should work. Carefully following any medication orders and instructions is vital to your plan's success. Make sure you don't run out of supplies just as you refill prescriptions so you don't run out of medication.

Here are some ways you can let us help you reorder supplies:

At Diabetes Management & Supplies, we value the part we play on your treatment plan team and realize that winning is promoting good health.