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Archive for Treatment Trends

Oct
06

Flu season precautions start in October

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flu-seasonThe Influenza Season should raise caution flags for both adults and children living with diabetes. Persons who are Type 1 or Type 2 are not more likely to catch the flu, but they are at a higher risk of serious flu complications, often resulting in hospitalization and sometimes even death. Complications that can develop from the flu include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections.

The flu also can make chronic health problems, like diabetes, worse. This is because diabetes can make the immune system less able to fight infections. In addition, illness can make it harder to control blood sugar. The illness might raise sugars, but sometimes people don’t feel like eating when they are sick, and this can cause blood sugar levels to fall. So it is important to follow the sick day guidelines  for people with diabetes.

Everyone 6 months and older should get a yearly flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible, but getting vaccinated later is OK. Vaccination should continue throughout the flu season, even in January or later. Some children who have received flu vaccine previously and children who have only received one dose in their lifetime, may need two doses of flu vaccine. A health care provider can advise on how many doses a child should get.

The diabetes educators at Diabetes Management & Supplies can help educate and prepare individuals for the challenges of diabetes. For more information on the DMS diabetes education services, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email education@diabetesms.com.

Related: Nasal sprays, FluMist out this year

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Aug
14

Cloud-assisted blood sugar monitoring near

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cgm_googleThe future of glucose monitoring seemed very promising after a recent announcement that Dexcom, a leader in Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM), announced plans to partner with Google to provide the next generation of monitoring technology that will involve smaller sensors and data stored “in the cloud” for instant archiving and record-keeping.

Dexcom will work with the new Google Life Sciences company to make bandage-thin CGM devices. Google Life Sciences, a part of the parent company Alphabet, is one of the companies created in a recent Google corporate reshuffling.

CGM devices give glucose readings continuously through the day. This helps people with diabetes track their blood sugar levels in more effectively. Blood sugar monitors use finger sticks for each reading, but CGM can provide up to 288 glucose readings a day. Most CGM users have type 1 diabetes, but some patients with type 2 diabetes who are insulin-dependent also use CGM.

Diabetes Management & Supplies is a certified distributor of Continuous Glucose Monitoring devices and a provider of diabetes education and insulin pump training. For more information on CGM, insulin delivery or training needs, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.

For more on this CGM advancement, see:

Sep
03

Recent studies: small babies, big adults at risk

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Weight is a common factor when discussing diabetes. Two unrelated studies released this week, however, show how opposite ends of the weight issue can lead to the development of diabetes. Babies born at low birth weights and adults with higher than normal weights were shown to have an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Boston University researchers studied more than 20,000 black women ranging from age 21 to 69. They looked at many factors and focused on birth weight and cases of type 2 diabetes later in life.  Babies born at 5.5 pounds or less were 13 times more likely to develop diabetes. Babies born under or near 3 pounds were 40 percent more likely to develop diabetes in adulthood.

The connection between birth weight and adult-onset diabetes is seen in other demographics. Black women were studied because that group is more likely to have low birth weights and is also seen to have higher than normal cases of diabetes. The researchers feel that low birth weight leads to poor lipid regulation and problems with the pancreas.  They also point to theories that low weight at birth and diabetes share the same genetic source.

An unrelated study also released this week looked at the factors linked to the large increase in U.S. diabetes cases. The number of diabetes cases doubled from 1976 to 1980 and doubled again from 1999 to 2004.  The team concludes that skyrocketing obesity is the greatest factor in the diabetes epidemic.

Andy Menke, the lead researcher, explained that there has been a substantial increase in obesity in the U.S. population during the study period. Other factors linked to diabetes include race, ethnicity and age.

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Aug
21

There’s an app for that: Phone diabetes testing

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G_mate_monitoringThe technology to test and manage blood sugar results from smartphones took a big step this week. The Philosys group received 501K approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Gmate SMART Blood Glucose Monitoring System.

The Gmate SMART meter is not much bigger than a quarter. It connects to the headphone jack on the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. It will use a free app to deliver blood glucose test results, without the use of an adapter or Bluetooth device.

The Gmate system will offer features such as goal setting, graphing, and the ability to email or text blood glucose test results directly to members of a diabetes care team.

Philosys is based in South Korea. Sales senior vice-president Mike Tickle said the company continues its efforts to be a technology leader for the diabetes mobile monitoring arena.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests talking to your doctor about whether you should be checking your blood glucose. People that may benefit from checking blood glucose include those:

  • Taking insulin
  • That are pregnant
  • Having a hard time controlling blood glucose levels
  • Having low blood glucose levels
  • Having low blood glucose levels without the usual warning signs
  • Have ketones from high blood glucose levels

The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) lists Monitoring among its seven self-care behaviors for people living with diabetes. The actions are often seen as goals ensuring improvement and the best control of blood sugar levels.

The following video shows how the device is used and some of its features.

For more information, visit:

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Aug
21

Gout drug may lessen diabetes kidney damage

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diabetesThe use of a gout drug could help people living with diabetes avoid kidney problems.  Allopurinol is the generic name of a drug used to treat gout. When high levels of uric acid gather in the body, gout is the result.

Several research groups have formed PERL or “Preventing Early Renal Function Loss in Diabetes.”  They will study the effects of allopurinol on people with type 1 diabetes. The three-year study will test if the uric-acid cutting drug will also lower kidney damage.

New regimens have been introduced over the past 20 years. Blood sugar and blood pressure controlling drugs have not decreased the number of ESRD cases or end-stage renal disease.

Kidneys are made up of millions of small blood vessels. The vessels act as filters cleaning waste products from the blood. Diabetes can cause this filtering system to break down leading to kidney failure.

Consistently higher blood sugar levels make the kidneys filter too much blood. Over time, the filters start to leak and protein leaks into the urine. A person with ESRD would need a kidney transplant or start blood-filtering treatments using a dialysis machine for survival.

Allopurinol lowers the uric acid that causes gout. PERL researchers also hope uric acid reduction will protect kidneys when diabetes is present. The drug is on the market under the brand names Aloprim,Lopurin and Zyloprim.

The study will use subjects with type 1 diabetes, but it is hoped that one day the drug also could help those with type 2 diabetes.

For more on the study and kidney damage:

Categories : Treatment Trends
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Jul
31

Knock-knock: Insulin opens door for energy use

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insulin5The term “insulin” is easily associated with diabetes. While many people may consider it to be only a diabetes drug, it is a natural substance produced by the body. The pancreas is a small organ that creates insulin. The cells in the body need blood glucose (sugar) from carbohydrates for energy, but blood sugar can’t go directly into the cells without some help.

Enter insulin – the key that unlocks the cell door.

When you eat, blood sugar rises as the food provides a new stream of energy. The beta cells in the pancreas get a signal to release insulin into the blood. Insulin then attaches to the cells and allows the sugar to be absorbed and used for fuel.

Insulin is important to keep balance in the bloodstream. It keeps blood sugar levels from getting too high, preventing a condition called hyperglycemia. If also keeps blood sugar levels from being too low, preventing a condition called hypoglycemia.

In people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin so they will need to take insulin injections to keep blood glucose levels under control. People with type 2 diabetes also can use injected insulin to control blood sugar. Insulin is often used with pills to treat type 2 diabetes.

Afrezza-from-MannKindThe latest treatment trend involved inhaled insulin. First, insulin is made into a powder form. The tiny particles of insulin would then be put inside of an inhaler similar to that used by people with asthma. The fine powder is then inhaled into lungs and eventually is released into the bloodstream. This process is still being perfected, but you can read more in our earlier blog item: FDA approval opens door for inhaled insulin.

The diabetes educators at Diabetes Management & Supplies can help take the guess-work out of your medication and treatment plan. For more information on insulin delivery or training needs, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.

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miss_idahofullChildren and adults living with diabetes are getting new inspiration from Miss Idaho who competed in her state’s pageant proudly wearing her insulin pump to the outside of her bikini bottom. Sierra Sandison, 20, not only won the pageant, but also inspired the masses with her hast tag challenge #ShowMeYourPump.

Sandison said “show me your pump” and her social media photo received nearly 5,000 likes and more than 3,000 shares. She also inspired several people to post pictures of themselves or their children proudly wearing insulin pumps.

As our understanding of diabetes increases, people living with diabetes are being given an expanded tool box of products and devices that can be used for treatment and daily management. Insulin pumps have been used since the 70s so as a category they are not new. They have, however, increased in popularity as the technology associated with them has evolved. Insulin delivery through a pump is popular with people with extremely busy lifestyles and the pumps may provide a more stable, consistent blood sugar control.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA), offers an Insulin Pump 101 for those new to pumping and as an update on the latest features of the new class of insulin pumps. The pump parts and associated terminology are explained.

The diabetes educators at Diabetes Management & Supplies can help you decide if pump therapy is right for you and help take the fear out of using an insulin pump.

They can also provide insulin pump training on all major insulin pumps. Working with your doctor, the educators can also help pumpers improve their control by helping them fine tune pump settings and avoid fluctuations in blood glucose as well as other pump and infusion site issues.

In addition to pump therapy, our educators can also teach people with diabetes how to use a CGM. For more information on specific monitoring or insulin delivery needs, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.

miss_idahoSandison is determined to pass her pump pride to the masses.  “When I first started competing, I was using injections rather than a pump,” she wrote. “I didn’t want people to see a weird-tubey-machine-thing attached to me all the time, and could not wrap my head around having a medical device on my body for the rest of my life.

“Then, I heard about Nicole Johnson: Miss America 1999,” she wrote. “She wore her pump while competing at Miss America. My whole perspective changed.”

Now, your turn! Please share your experiences with us here or on the DMS Facebook page. You can also reach us through Twitter at @DiabetesMS. Show the world that while you have diabetes, diabetes does not have you … Show us your pump! #ShowMeYourPump

 

Jul
22

Partnership new hope for type 1 treatment

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The Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) recently announced plans to seek a clinical trial to study a new cell replacement therapy to treat type 1 diabetes. JDRF, the leading type 1 diabetes research and advocacy group, is working with the drug company ViaCyte on the new therapy process.

JD_ViacyteJDRF and ViaCyte are collaborating on what they are calling the VC-01 therapy. ViaCyte has already submitted a MAF (Medical Device Master File) with the Food and Drug Administration for Encaptra, the drug delivery system that VC-01 uses.

The therapy seeks to mimic what the pancreas does in healthy people. Immature pancreatic cells are implanted under the skin inside of a thin plastic pouch. As they mature, the implanted cells should be able to sense when blood sugar is high and also produce insulin to restore blood sugar healthy levels. A person with type 1 diabetes has a pancreas with poor or no glucose-regulating functions.

“The promise of regenerative medicine is to replace what’s lost in the disease,” said Paul Laikind, President and CEO of Viacyte. “In our case, we’re seeking to replace the beta cell that produces insulin that controls blood glucose. In this way we hope to reduce the burden on patients with type 1 diabetes.”

The Learning Center of Diabetes Management & Supplies (DMS) explains that type 1 diabetes makes up only 5-10 percent of cases diabetes and used to be called juvenile diabetes. Three-quarters of people who develop type 1 are under the age of 18, and most others are under 40 years old, but older adults can also develop it.

The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Most experts believe it is an autoimmune disorder, which is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. With type 1 diabetes, an infection or some other trigger causes the body to destroy the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.

Patients with type 1 diabetes are treated with insulin daily and take it with a syringe, insulin pen, or insulin pump. In addition, they may use a Continuous Glucose Monitoring system (CGM) to monitor their blood glucose constantly. All patients test their blood glucose levels multiple times each day.

DMS offers two options for the various supply needs related to diabetes management. The DMS Product Directory lists some of the products available to those using insurance to get supplies. The new DMS online store provides a secure, efficient setting to make cash sales with the convenience of credit card transactions. There is no need for insurance information or documentation when using the online store.

Customers can also even browse a vast selection of the latest insulin pumps and request a custom quote from the DMS pump staff.

For more on the new type 1 diabetes therapy

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May
30

Diabetes experts call for uniform pump training

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Insulin pump use is becoming more popular and a national group of diabetes experts are calling for more consistency in how pumpers are trained and educated to use their devices.

insulin-pump-for-childrenThere is a need for everyone connected to insulin pump use to get on the same page according to new guidance from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE).

The group of diabetes specialists acknowledges that pumps have become more sophisticated, and in order to get the best benefit, training programs should be developed.

The statement, published in Endocrine Practice, is an update to an earlier guidance from 2010 and offers recommendations for patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes on pump therapy.

Insulin pumps are small computerized devices that deliver insulin in two ways:

  • In a steady measured and continuous dose (the “basal” insulin)
  • As a surge (“bolus”) or an extra amount of insulin taken to cover an expected rise in blood glucose, often related to a meal or snack, at your direction, around mealtime.

The diabetes educators at Diabetes Management & Supplies can help you decide if pump therapy is right for you and help take the fear out of using an insulin pump.

They can also provide insulin pump training on all major insulin pumps. Working with your doctor, the educators can also help pumpers improve their control by helping them fine tune pump settings and avoid fluctuations in blood glucose as well as other pump and infusion site issues.

In addition to pump therapy, our educators can also teach people with diabetes how to use a CGM. For more information on specific monitoring or insulin delivery needs, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.

Also see: Survey offers insight on pump therapy

May
27

Women, children focus of complication findings

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JDRF_kids

New findings shine light on the importance to combat type 1 and type 2 diabetes with the intent to avoid the life-altering complications that can result from those conditions. Studies recently released show that women with type 2 diabetes have a greater chance of developing heart disease and that a complication of type 1 diabetes can leave children with temporary decreased memory and attention capabilities.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a serious type 1 complication, can cause temporary changes to the brain matter of children at the onset of the condition.

“Children and adolescents diagnosed with type 1 diabetes with diabetic ketoacidosis have evidence of brain gray matter shrinkage and white matter swelling,” said Dr. Fergus Cameron, head of diabetes services at Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria, Australia. “While these changes resolve within the first week, there are associated residual cognitive changes — memory and attention — that are present six months after diagnosis.”

diabetes_testingNew evidence also sounds an alarm for women who are living with type 2 diabetes. Women are 44 percent more likely than men with diabetes to go on to suffer coronary heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Coronary heart disease is the narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. It is also called coronary artery disease. Chest pain or discomfort called angina is the most common symptom. Angina is the pain felt when the heart is not getting enough blood or oxygen.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) urges those wanting the best chances to avoid complications to adopt treatment plans with “tight control.” Tight control is not easy.  Tight diabetes control means keeping your overall blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.

Tight control efforts may keep you healthy and product for many more years, but you might need help getting it done. Diabetes Management & Supplies offers accredited diabetes education services that can make managing diabetes and other conditions an easier task. For more information on care management needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email an educator at education@diabetesms.com.

Recent articles on complications:

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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.