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Archive for Lifestyle Tips

Sep
08

Obesity in Children

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By Eloise D. Keene, MS, MPH, RD, LDN, CDE, Certified Diabetes Educator, Diabetes Management & Supplies

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Childhood obesity affects all groups of children in today’s America and in 2019 the United States is experiencing an epidemic of this condition.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports in data from 2015 -2016 that the rate of childhood obesity has more than tripled since the 1970’s with as many as one in five (1 in 5) children aged six through nineteen (6-19) who suffer from this condition. CDC statistics have children from two through five years old experiencing a 10.4 % (percent) rate of obesity. Children between the ages of six to eleven (6 -11) fare worse with an obesity rate of 15.3% (percent). These rates are based on growth charts that measure height and weight by age and gender.

Obesity in children is defined as a case in which BMI (Body Mass Index) exceeds the recommended level for age and height. Obesity has previously been defined as a state of malnutrition. Over nutrition with excess caloric intake but lack of necessary nutrients is still a form of poor nutrition.

Developing obesity in childhood can be influenced by factors of lack of economic resources, lack of physical activity, social conditions (lack of access to food, unsafe neighborhoods) mental health status and genetics.

Research suggests that childhood obesity can be a precursor to chronic adult health conditions, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia (i.e. high cholesterol, high LDL and high triglycerides) cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Families may create an aggregate of risk factors that predispose the children to obesity by the choice of high fat, high caloric foods and the lack of physical activity or exercise. For children in most stages of growth it may be more important to encourage more physical activity than caloric restriction.

The keys to less childhood obesity may be found in an increase in physical activity, the limitation of less healthy high fat, high sugar, high sodium foods and the choice of higher nutrient density and lower in calorie and fat foods.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Local diabetes supply company set to train people living with diabetes on use and benefits of continuous glucose monitors, time in range therapy

People living with diabetes, caregivers, health professionals and students are invited to free workshop on CGM use and self-care techniques on August 6th from 6 – 8 PM in New Orleans

New Orleans, LA – July 25, 2019 – New Orleans-based Diabetes Management & Supplies (DMS) has partnered with Medtronic, a global medical technology, services and solutions company to host the Your Time in Range Forum, an educational workshop designed to help people living with diabetes learn about self-managing the disease and improving their quality of life with continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and time in range therapy.

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. A person with diabetes, either doesn’t make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it makes as well as they should. As a result, too much or too little blood sugar stays in the bloodstream. Over time, this could cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss and kidney disease. Time in range is the percentage of time glucose levels are in a normal range – between 70 – 180 mg/dL, per unit of time. More time in range means fewer severe highs and lows and could result in a healthier quality of life for people living with the disease.

“We are excited to bring this event to New Orleans and to educate people struggling with pre-diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes about techniques and technologies that will help them self-manage the disease,” said Cynthia Pazos, President of Diabetes Management & Supplies. “Our goal is to fill every seat and to inspire individuals living with diabetes to work towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

Attendees will receive hands-on training on how to use CGMs and maintain time in range glucose levels. In addition, clinical healthcare professionals and DMS staff will be available to qualify patients for diabetes supplies and discuss self-managing techniques. Guests will enjoy healthy meal and dessert sampling from local chef, Ashley McMillan.

The forum will take place on Tuesday, August 6th from 6 – 8 PM at the Buddy Stall Diabetes Learning Center located at Diabetes Management & Supplies’ office at 10 Commerce Court, New Orleans (Elmwood Business Park), LA. The event is open to individuals living with diabetes and their families, caregivers, healthcare providers, healthcare technologists, nutrition experts and students. Seating is limited. Only the first 100 registrants can participate. To attend, email customerservice@diabetesms.com by August 2nd.

DMS has been in business for over 20 years in New Orleans. Ranked as one of the nation’s largest resources for patients who have diabetes, the company provides not only medical supplies to tens of thousands of individuals, but equips healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers with a comprehensive education program for managing the disease.

About Diabetes Management & Supplies

Diabetes Management & Supplies was launched in 1997 by pharmaceutical and medical device industry veteran, Cynthia Pazos. As one of the largest distributors of diabetes products and supplies in the U.S., the company is dedicated to the prompt and proper fulfillment of customer’s needs for diabetic supplies. DMS offers the most complete selection of insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, blood glucose monitors, test strips, insulin syringes, orthopedic shoes, and medical home equipment. Today, DMS is the largest diabetes supply company in Louisiana and ranks as one of the largest nationally, serving tens of thousands of people in all fifty states and Puerto Rico.

Media Contact: Michelle Jackson

Diabetes Management & Supplies Media Liaison

t. (678) 548-2461

e. events@prsolutionsllc.org

Event Flyer:

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Jul
29

10 Steps to Preparing for an Emergency

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By Eloise D. Keene, MS, MPH, RD, LDN, CDE, DMS Certified Diabetes Educator

When an individual has diabetes, it is important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency situation. These situations may be as a result of a natural disaster such as a flood, tornado, earthquake or hurricane; however, they can also be man-made disasters like gas leaks, power outages, hazardous chemical spills, or even fires. Any of these incidents may cause a person with diabetes to leave or evacuate from their current location and find themselves in an entirely different environment. Having a preparedness plan can make this transition for the person with diabetes easier and more efficient for all those involved.

Here’s how to prepare:
1. Wear a medical ID that informs everyone that you have diabetes.
2. When possible, have a to-go kit or bag already prepared for a possible evacuation (a must during
hurricane season). The bag should include:
  • A plastic baggie with a pen/pencil, notepad/notebook, your current prescription for oral or injected medications and supplies, your health insurance card, living will, and healthcare power of attorney information.
  • Contact information for your healthcare providers and two emergency contacts.
  • A letter from your diabetes healthcare team that provides your most current diabetes treatment regime.
  • If possible, a 30-day supply of all medications.
  • Blood glucose testing supplies with one or two meters and extra batteries.
  • CGM supplies for use with a continuous glucose monitoring system.
  • Insulin pump supplies to include, extra batteries, several infusion sets, several reservoirs or cartridges, and/or pods.
3. A cooler/ice chest with refreezable gel packs ready for insulin and unused injected medications.
4. Two to three day supply of non-perishable food (i.e. meal replacement bars and shakes, peanut butter, cheese crackers and dry cereal).
  • Three day or more supply of bottled water.
  • Rapid acting carbohydrate source to treat hypoglycemia (i.e. hard candy, 6 oz. juice boxes, regular soda, glucose tablets, sugar, honey, or glucose gel).
5. Containers or empty laundry detergent- type bottles for used testing or insulin delivery supplies.
6. First aid kit with cotton swabs, topical medications, bandages. etc.
7. Pack extra comfortable clothing, include extra underwear and socks.
8. Have a mobile phone with extra batteries or an extra charger.
9. Have cash stored in a waterproof and insulated to-go bag.
10. Select a designated location to meet if you and family members become separated and you are unable
to contact them.
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May
20

How healthy is your gut?

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Do you suffer from bloating, constipation, diarrhea or a lack of regularity?

Are you always hungry and cannot seem to control your appetite or maintain a healthy weight?

If so, you too are like many others who may be suffering from an unhealthy gut.

Now you may be wondering, what is all the talk about and why is there so much conversation about the gut?

The answer is simple; a healthy gut and GI tract may be the two secret keys to better health.

We see it on television, read it in magazines (especially at the supermarket), hear it on the radio, on podcasts and watch it on YouTube videos. Gut health is everywhere. Every health ambassador on every platform, preaching the importance of the health and wellbeing of the intestinal tract and the micro flora found within it.

The goal of the “healthy gut” is to get the entire gut flora back in “wack”, as scientific as that sounds. “Healthy gut” biome is great for nutrient absorption and toxic elimination. Science is starting to recognize that a unhealthy gut can cause symptoms that may cause stomach bloating, skin issues, obesity and even poor sleep.

A “healthy gut” can develop by eating more fermented foods and good bacteria. There are several foods that support the human microbiome, supply the right bacteria and then help to promote the “healthy gut”. These foods include both prebiotics and probiotics that initiate and maintain the healthiest environment inside one’s gut.

Prebiotics initiate and feed the gut’s micro flora. They are essential nutrients that nourish and grow the signals that initiate the healthiest responses from the immune and endocrine systems. Prebiotics are the source that nourishes and nurtures the growth of probiotics in the microbiome. Prebiotics can establish an environment for growth in the large intestinal tract with the most active, healthy microbiome that produces the signals for satiety, blood glucose regulation, immune system support, and gastric emptying regularity.

Foods that encourage a healthy gut are dairy free yogurt, yogurt and kefir. These foods contain strains of probiotics or good bacteria that are beneficial and that help repair the gut and possibly decrease some symptoms of “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Yogurt has three strains of good bacteria while kefir has ten strains of the active bacteria.

Garlic and onions are prebiotics that help feed the healthy bacteria that already exists in the gut. High fiber food choices like lentils and green beans improve the gut. Using coconut oil, a medium chain fatty acid can also produce a positive effect on the human micro biome.

Lastly, a source of both prebiotic and probiotic strength for wellness of the gut environment is found in chocolate. Of course, as with all food choices moderation is a key when adding this particular food to the individual’s meal plan.

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Apr
10

Fasting Safely

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spoonDuring the month of April, people of various faiths will celebrate holidays that will include religious or spiritual fasting. Lenten fasts of no meat on Fridays to the week-long and a day Passover ritual of abstaining from leaven breads, are religious practices and cultural beliefs that are followed by individuals of all ages and walks of life. Among the many who will fast are those with diabetes.

Generations of people who have Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, will celebrate their faith by limiting their intake of food, water or both items for one meal, a whole day, or even for several days.

The limitation of food or fluid intake for even just one meal can have an effect on a person with diabetes, therefore, it becomes important for those with the disease to recognize the symptoms of a potential hypoglycemic episode, to know how to adjust insulin to match carbohydrate intake, to alter physical activity and to understand how to use medical technologies to help them maintain good glucose management while they practice their religious observances.
Tips for fasting safely:
  • Always speak with your doctor or health care provider or diabetes educator before starting a fast.
  • Wear diabetes medical alert jewelry - bracelet, necklace, dog tags - at all times.
  • Keep emergency contact information on you where it can be quickly found.
  • Understand that fasting can affect medication regimes – a change in eating schedules can directly affect when medications are taken.
  • Check blood glucose more frequently.
  • Do remember for many religions, there are exemptions from participating in the fast if doing so would jeopardize the health and safety of the individual.
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Jan
31

Heart Smart Exercise & Eating Tips

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IMG_3932LET’S GET MOVING!
Regular exercise and eating habits are key to having a healthy heart and a great quality of life. For those of us who struggle to eat well and stay active, here are a few tips:
Exercise Tips
Tip #1: Commit to exercising or participating in a physical activity on a regular basis. The same exercise plan to abate diabetes can keep your heart healthy.
Tip #2: Try to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. Exercise or physical activity can be broken into three types: cardio or endurance, resistance or strength building, flexibility or functional.
Healthy Eating Tips
Tip #1: Use monounsaturated fats like olive oil or canola oil in the cooking process.
Tip #2: When preparing food, bake, broil, stew or grill rather than fry.
Tip #3: Choose lean meats rather than fatty meats. A choice that allows one to cut the fat away can still be an option. A piece of meat that has the fat marbled or streaked through it may not be as healthy.
Tip #4: Eat fish two to three times weekly.
Tip #5: Reduce the consumption of salty foods. Large intakes of sodium or salt can affect blood pressure.
Tip #6: Become an expert label reader. Both the ingredient list and the nutrition facts section can identify the amount of sodium that is in the food. Remember that sodium hides in processed food products.
Overall, let’s work hard to eat better and increase our mobility! We can do it!
All exercise or physical activity plans need to be discussed with one’s physician before the initiation of the program.
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Nov
15

Infrared Heaters: 10 Amazing Benefits

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Infrared heaters produce heat that is similar to the heat produced by the sun. The infrared rays emitted are easily absorbed by the items in your home, which gently increases the temperature of their surroundings. As cool surfaces heat up, infrared heaters raise the ambient temperature of the room. Besides warming up your home, infrared heaters provide many other benefits.

1. Infrared Heaters & Safety

When purchasing a space heater, safety is a main concern. The core temperature of infrared heaters never get as high as a conventional heater’s temperature. A protective metal sheath usually covers the heating elements as well. This means animals and children can touch the surface of an infrared heater without being burned.

2. Minimal Maintenance

Nobody wants to be burdened with a bunch of maintenance tasks. Because infrared heaters have no moving parts, maintenance is minimal. There are no motors to wear out, air filters to replace or lubrication required. Your infrared heater will need periodic cleaning of the reflectors and replacement of the heat source to ensure optimal performance.

3. Quick Heat Recovery

Some space heaters require a long cool-down time between being turned off and being turned back on. Infrared heaters will still provide the same strong, penetrating heat no matter how long it’s been after being turned off.

4. Infrared Heaters Heat Silently

When in noise-sensitive environments such as bedrooms or studies, finding a heater that doesn’t operate loudly is important. There are no moving parts or fan blades whirring on infrared heaters, therefore they deliver heat silently.

5. Comfortable, Gentle Heat

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Infrared heaters can make you comfortable indoors no matter what the temperature is outdoors. Inside the heater, a  hot coil is wrapped into a circle so that all of the heat can be transferred evenly. The heat produced is reflected by a special polished metal, a reflector, and the heat can be felt several yards in front of the heater.  Also, infrared heaters aren’t affected by drafts or wind.

6. Infrared Heaters Provide Instant Heat

Instead of warming the air like other conventional heaters, infrared heaters heat objects directly in their paths. Heating the air wastes energy and the benefits of the heat aren’t felt immediately. The rays produced by infrared heaters penetrate and warm you beneath the skin. The infrared rays radiate outward, heating all nearby objects, producing a widespread effect. This all happens immediately, with no need to wait for the heat to buildup.

7. Cost Effective

The benefit of any space heater is zone heating. With an infrared heater, heating only the parts of your home that you’re using at any given time is possible. When you aren’t heating your entire home, you’ll save money on your heating bill. Infrared heaters can save you up to 30-50% on heating costs. Actual savings vary depending on insulation, ceiling height, type of construction and other factors.

8. Environmentally Friendly

This day in age, the earth’s resources must be used responsibly. Infrared heaters operate without any carbon combustion, no toxic by-products of combustions, no open flame, and no fuel lines to leak. They add nothing to the air and take nothing away from the air, making them environmentally friendly.

9. Energy Efficient

Infrared heaters use a substantially lower amount of energy than conventional heaters. Some infrared heaters can operate on as low as 300 watts of electricity and 800 watts is enough power to provide heating to a room. The reflective metal used in its design transfers almost 100 percent of the heat created. Also, there’s no need to turn on the heater in advance to pre-heat the room because heat is delivered instantly.

10. No Dry Heat

Unlike conventional heaters that draw moisture out of the air as a part of their heating process, infrared heaters don’t produce dry heat. This way you can avoid uncomfortable side effects such as itchy eyes and throat.

For any questions about the benefits of infrared heaters, or to browse a wide selection of models, feel free to visit  Air & Water, Inc.

 

Link to original source: https://www.air-n-water.com/infrared-heaters-benefits.htm

Categories : Lifestyle Tips
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Mar
23

Hitting the road: Have pump, CGM will travel!

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one_touch_chartWhether you have already planned a summer vacation or still in the process, incorporate your pump or CGM needs into your travel plans instead of treating your needs as an afterthought or an overwhelming fear. There’s nothing new under the sun and you can also reap the benefits of those who have traveled the vacation path before you.

Flying through the screening process? You don’t have to encounter problems passing through security at an airport. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a helpline number to assist patients with medical conditions who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying. Call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227.

You can obtain a Transportation Security Administration Card to print out and bring with you to notify TSA of your diabetes can be found online.  If you have concerns about wearing an insulin pump or CGMS through scanners, contact the manufacturer of your medical device.

Tips for traveling while wearing an Insulin Pump or CGM

  • Always have Plan B in place in case something goes wrong with your current device, such as carrying syringes or pens to give injections and carrying extra supplies in case you run low.
  • Be sure to carry some form of prescription or letter from your physician that treats you for your diabetes.
  • Carry all of your medicines, such as insulin, and all related supplies in your carry-on baggage. Be sure to place these items in a clear plastic bag that is labeled. It will help to remove this bag from your luggage so that the TSA officials can clearly see what is inside. Also, in case your checked luggage is lost, you will still have your insulin and supplies with you in your carry-on bag.
  • If you wear an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitoring device, it is OK to continue to keep them on as you go through security at airports or terminals. The scanners will not harm these devices in anyway. Please notify the TSA officials as you move through the checkpoints that you are wearing a pump or CGM. Usually, the TSA official will pull you to the side and do a more thorough search of the device, such as swabbing the pump or monitor and/or your hands.

A printed checklist might help elevate stress and keep your plan in your hands, front and center. Medtronic, an industry leader in insulin delivery systems, has a downloadable checklist for traveling with a pump and/or CGM. Click HERE for a copy.

Learning how to handle life’s challenges like traveling and treatment plans is a covered topic in diabetes self-management courses. If you need help developing life and treatment strategies, Diabetes Management & Supplies can assist with diabetes self-management and education services. For more information, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email education@diabetesms.com.

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Feb
09

Goals can pack more punch than resolutions

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SMART-goals

The start of each year is a prime time to consider your life, health and ways to improve both. Motivation and method are both key to setting new goals and ending your year with a sense of accomplishment.

Good health is important, but it will not just happen. SMART Goals provide a road map to success because those goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Diabetes is often a numbers game: blood sugar level, A1C, weight, etc. Beyond those faceless figures, one should focus on goals that bolster your diabetes control. “I want to lower my A1C to 7, but ‘why?’”

If you want to accomplish a task, you set a plan, you set deadlines and you take action. Most people are familiar with SMART goals in the workplace, but they also apply to health. For example, let’s say you wanted to an A1C of 7.5, but your level is now 11. It would be unrealistic to say you wanted reduce your A1C to 11 in next month.

It would be more realistic to set up a SMART goal:

  • Specific – I will decrease my average fasting blood sugar by 2 points each week.
  • Measureable – I will keep track of blood sugar levels three times daily so I can track my
    progress towards my goal.
  • Attainable – Is the goal attainable for me? Your diabetes care team should be consulted about ways to reduce your A1C and risk of complications.
  • Realistic – Is the goal realistic for me? Lowering one’s blood sugar is a great goal, but drastic drops can increase changes of hyperglycemia.
  • Timely – I will make an appointment with my care team every three months in 2016 to evaluate my A1C with hopes to start 2017 near 7.5.

Other goals that will impact blood sugar control include getting regular and sufficient exercise, gaining or losing weight, following a diabetes nutrition plan, and being more compliant to medication schedules.

Need help turning your goals into a viable game plan? Diabetes Management & Supplies offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services. For more information on specific needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email education@diabetesms.com.

The National Diabetes Education Program, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers an online resource for making a plan for success. Visit Diabetes Health Sense and make your plan today!

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Feb
01

Monitoring: It’s a numbers game you can win!

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Blood sugar levels are tested in your doctor’s office, but that is not enough. Blood sugar changes not only from day to day. It changes from hour to hour. Some people run high in the morning and others at night. Certain foods might cause a spike. A long walk may drop levels too low.

Glucose monitors are machines that measure blood sugar from finger sticks. Continuous glucose monitors are worn on the body. They records several readings a day without finger sticks.

Why test your blood sugar?

  • Tell how well you’re reaching health goals
  • Know how diet and exercise affect blood sugar levels
  • Know how other factors, such as illness or stress, affect blood sugar levels
  • See the effect of diabetes drugs on blood sugar levels
  • Know when blood sugars are too high or low

To get a full picture of your diabetes, you need regular monitoring. Testing often will show problem areas and how your levels react to certain foods. A blood sugar reading might be an early warning sign in sudden illness.

Another method of monitoring blood glucose is Continuous Glucose Monitoring or CGM. A CGM automatically takes several blood sugar readings throughout the day, sends alerts for extreme readings and feeds those levels to the insulin pump. The goal would be blood sugar control that is consistently stable.

The CGM reads blood sugar levels every one to five minutes and shows whether a person’s blood sugar is rising or falling. Combining CGM with insulin pump therapy can provide a method to monitor and manage blood glucose levels. The information obtained can also help to fine-tune the pump settings.

The American Heart Association offers these tools to help you understand the importance of monitoring and staying as healthy as possible:

  • Diabetes-Friendly Recipes. Recipes to satisfy cravings – sweet, savory or somewhere in between.
  • My Diabetes Health Assessment. Having type 2 diabetes greatly increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Learn your 10-year risk and ways you can lower it.
  • Diabetes Quiz. Take this short quiz to learn the facts about diabetes.

The diabetes educators at Diabetes Management & Supplies can help take the guess-work out of your monitoring needs. For more information on specific monitoring or insulin delivery needs, call our Education Department 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.