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Archive for Diabetes in the News

Sep
03

‘Go nuts’ and reduce your diabetes risk

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Pistachio_HeartDiabetes develops in stages and for many, the state of pre-diabetes will be seen before full-onset diabetes is diagnosed. Researchers in Spain set out to prove that eating pistachios every day will not only slow down this progression, but also reduce the risks associated with diabetes.

Two groups of people with pre-diabetes were followed in a recent study. Both groups were on a reduced calorie diet. One group, however, was given 2 ounces of pistachios a day.  The pistachio-eating group showed significant drops in blood sugar and marked improvement in insulin and blood sugar processing. This group also had a dramatic drop in inflammation.

The Spanish study used pistachios, but previous studies and research has found that eating nuts can lead to lower risk of heart disease and drops in cholesterol.

The Diabetes Management & Supplies Web Learning Center includes resources related to pre-diabetes and other forms of diabetes. It explains that pre-diabetes was once called borderline diabetes. A person is pre-diabetic when their fasting blood sugar is between 100 and120. A pre-diabetes diagnosis is also given with an A1c test result between 5.6-6.5%. As its name suggests, left unchecked, pre-diabetes develops into type 2 diabetes.

These higher than normal blood sugars are the result of insulin resistance, a medical term to describe the circumstances of the pancreas producing insulin to lower blood sugar, but the body resisting it. High blood sugar is the result.

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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.

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Aug
07

Safe at School aids children with type 1 diabetes

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safe_at_schoolsThe start of each new school year is full of to-do and shopping lists. Parents of children with type 1 diabetes top their lists with steps to avoid blood sugar highs and lows and ways to properly train their children to use glucose testing devices or insulin pumps. These parents aren’t following the crowd. What they must do may only affect one child in the school, but it is critically important.

The Safe at School initiative, started by the American Diabetes Association, has stepped forward to provide the extra direction and resources to help both children and caregivers affected by type 1 diabetes.

Safe at School helps families develop written plans to manage diabetes at school and ways to tackle the challenges that arise on both academic and medical fronts. Legal assistance is given to make sure each child’s needs are being met in school. Advocacy efforts on the state and national level help encourage legislation and public policy that aids children living with diabetes.

One example of Safe at School policy victories is Louisiana Senate Bill 759. Signed into law in two years ago, it allowed school employees to volunteer and be trained to help children with diabetes in school.

For more updates from around the country, visit Safe at School Updates on the ADA Web site.

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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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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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May
15

Researchers look for Type 1 longevity secrets

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Many people who have lived with Type 1 diabetes for 50 years never expected to see their senior years. The tides are changing, however, and it is becoming increasingly common among people with Type 1 diabetes to live much longer than expected.

A Canadian study is underway to find out the secrets to long life with Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes. “We are now seeing that people with Type 1 diabetes can live for a lot longer than we had initially thought,” says Dr. Bruce Perkins, an endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto who is heading the national study.

The Diabetes Management & Supplies Learning Center explains that while the cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown, it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder. These conditions occur 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.

Diabetes Management & Supplies offers accredited diabetes education services that can make managing all forms of diabetes easier tasks. 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.

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Apr
30

Study: High blood sugar harms brain tissue

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diabetesPeople living with diabetes who keep tight control of blood sugars may be doing a great favor to their brains, according to a study released this week from the University of Pennsylvania. The study found that patients with type 2 diabetes had a higher risk for brain degeneration.

The environment of high blood sugar can not only damage the heart and kidneys, but also may harm the brain in two ways, the researchers concluded. Patients with severe forms of the disease had less brain tissue, based on MRI scans of their brains, than those with milder cases of diabetes — even when those people’s blood pressure was under control through treatment.

For every 10 years a person has diabetes, the brain looks two years older than other people without the disease in the same age range.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has long warned that diabetes increases the risk of stroke. A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is suddenly blocked damaging the brain tissue. Most strokes happen because a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain or neck. A stroke can cause movement problems, pain, numbness and issues with thinking, memory or speaking.

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.

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Apr
29

A1C is gauge showing level of diabetes control

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Many tests and statistics become important when one is trying to control blood sugar levels.  The A1C test (or hemoglobin A1c test) is recommended every 3 to 6 months. It tells the doctor and patient the average blood sugar level over the last 2-3 months. It is not the same as the finger stick blood test done at home. Frequent higher blood sugar levels will lead to a higher A1C.

The American Diabetes Association explains that the A1C test gives an idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working. In some ways, the A1C test is like a baseball player’s season batting average, it tells you about a person’s overall success. Neither a single day’s blood test results nor a single game’s batting record gives the same big picture.

A normal A1C level for a person without diabetes is 4 o 5.9. Diabetes experts say that a person with diabetes should have an A1C level below 7%, or as low as possible without risking dangerously low blood sugars.

Hemoglobin is a protein that links up with sugars found inside red blood cells. Its job is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body. Glucose enters your red blood cells and links up (or glycates) with molecules of hemoglobin. The more glucose in your blood, the more hemoglobin gets glycated. By measuring the percentage of A1C in the blood, you get an overview of your average blood glucose control for the past few months.

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Why is the A1C test important?

  • Clinical studies show that A1C levels close to normal, lower the risk for complications and lower the cost of care in the long run
  • A decrease of just one percentage point in A1C level can lower the risk for eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and heart disease by an average of over 50 percent
  • The doctor uses the A1C level as a guide to adjust medications
  • A high A1C means that a change must take place to reduce the risk for serious damage that may result from diabetes. The needed changes may be in lifestyle (diet, physical activity, weight, etc.), or in medications or both

Just this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave clearance to a new test to gauge A1C. Drug company Abbott announced that its new ARCHITECT Clinical Chemistry Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test – which can aid physicians in diagnosing and monitoring diabetes and identifying people at risk for the disease – has received 510(k) clearance from (FDA).

Abbott adds that more than 25 million Americans are living with diabetes and several million remain undiagnosed. They said they feel that people with diabetes who can understand and manage their condition can prevent or delay health problems, which may lead to longer and healthier lives.

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.

For more on the new Abbott test, see the company release.

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.