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Archive for Children and Teens

Oct
06

Alert: Nasal sprays, FluMist out this year

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Nasal sprays used in the past to prevent the spread of influenza should not be an option for the 2016-17 flu season.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is only recommending the use of injectable influenza vaccines this year.

The category of injectable vaccines includes inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines. The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017.

The nasal spray version of the flu vaccine was very popular with parents and pediatricians because many children are afraid of needles. This year, however, the nation’s leading pediatrics group is leaning to the side of caution.

In a policy statement recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the group recommended children over six months old receive the flu shot rather than the FluMist vaccine, which federal health officials have recently discovered was not effective in preventing the flu during the past three seasons. About a third of children who are vaccinated against the flu each year receive FluMist.

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.

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Apr
06

Glucose control key in avoiding kidney damage

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Good blood sugar control today will reduce the risk of damage to kidneys and other organs tomorrow.

kidney_chartThe kidneys filter waste products from your blood and keep fluids in your body balanced. Having diabetes puts you at a greater risk for developing kidney disease also called diabetic nephropathy. This complication is also called diabetic kidney disease. It is a progressive kidney disease caused by damage to the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys that are used to filter waste from the blood.

High blood glucose, sometimes paired with high blood pressure, slowly damages the kidneys. High blood sugar makes the kidneys filter too much blood. All this extra work is hard on the filters. After many years, they start to leak and useful protein is lost in the urine.

People living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes can experience kidney complications. Chronic hyperglycemia, excess blood sugar, is the primary cause of the disease. In type 1 diabetes, hyperglycemia starts in the first decades of life and is usually the only recognized cause of nephropathy. With type 2 diabetes, to the contrary, hyperglycemia starts near middle-age, usually when the kidneys have already suffered the long‐term consequences of aging and of other recognized promoters of chronic renal injury such as arterial hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol, and smoking.

Early detection of kidney damage is important, but there might not be noticeable symptoms in the early stages. It’s important to have regular urine tests to find kidney damage early because early kidney damage might be reversed.

Later in the progression, swelling in your body is a primary symptom. The feet and legs are key areas where swelling will be seen as kidneys become damaged.

Keeping blood sugar as close to normal as possible is the first step to preventing kidney disease. Control your blood pressure by checking it on a regular basis and following your doctor’s recommendations for acceptable levels. Finally, don’t use tobacco because it narrows your blood vessels including the already tiny ones working deep inside your kidneys.

Educating individuals on best ways to avoid this and other diabetes complications is a goal of self-management courses. If you need help developing a strategy to avoid complications or face other challenges, 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.

Mar
10

Later flu season shines light on sick-day prep

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flu-seasonAlthough the calendar says the influenza season should be over, cases of the flu are increasing into March 2016 instead of winding down to a close. Avoiding illness is a prime goal, but people living with diabetes should be aware of the special needs presented by sick days caused by the flu and other conditions.

The blood sugar targets for a sick day are the same as other days. A blood sugar reading over 180 mg/Dl is still a high blood sugar. The purpose of a sick day management plan and more vigilant testing has to do with limiting hyperglycemia and dehydration. The goals are to prevent DKA in the Type 1, avoid dehydration of the Type 2 individual and avoid potential hospitalizations for either individual.

A sick day plan should include these elements of good blood sugar control.  Monitoring, meals and medications are key while exercise or physical activity is usually halted during the illness.

The sick individual needs to follow a schedule for monitoring that gives the diabetes care team information to direct the modifications for the patient’s needs. Meals and eating will play an important role as medication will need to be adjusted to match rising or falling blood sugar levels. Medications are to be taken on the usual schedule or may be modified to meet the patient’s needs by the doctor or a member of the healthcare team.

Recording temperature, blood sugar, medication amount and time, fluid and food intake and the presence of ketones are highly important on sick days. This log or report will give insight to the diabetes care team of current health status and allow them to help adjust medication or intake to prevent dehydration or ketoacidosis.

The individual with diabetes or the parent/ care giver of the child with diabetes should be proactive in assessing conditions during an illness. Certain foods, testing equipment and testing supplies need to be handy before a sickness occurs.  The phone number of the doctor or diabetes care team should be readily available.

A log to monitor the sickness over time, glucose meter, lancets, lancing device, test strips, control solution, and a bottle of Ketostix should be included in a sick day management tool kit. The food pantry should contain: broth, both sugar-free and regular Jello, both diet and non-diet soft drinks, both sugar-free and regular popsicles, both thin and creamy soups, regular and sugar free pudding, yogurt, juice and milk.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that across the country, this flu season was significantly less severe than in the last few years, though number of cases have been increasing since early January.

Did you know the CDC tracks the flu like a hurricane? Visit CDC Flu Central for current reports, maps and alerts.

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Nov
02

Diabetes: A proactive, informed approach

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This month (November) is Diabetes Awareness Month, a time set aside to education and inspire those living with a form of diabetes and those who can take steps to reduce their risk of the preventable conditions associated with diabetes.

Diabetes is not a single disease. It is group of similar conditions that fall into the same category because the symptoms and effects on the body may be similar. The most common types of diabetes in our presence society are Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes. Understanding what they have in common, how they differ and the associated risk factors is crucial to raising awareness and encouraging prevention, when possible.

insulin-pump-for-childrenType 1 Diabetes accounts for only 5 – 10 percent of all cases, 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 develop it as well.

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.

This condition can be passed down through families. In fact, in most cases of Type 1 Diabetes, people inherit risk factors from both parents. Such factors appear to be more common in whites, who have the highest rate of type 1 diabetes.

The pathway to developing Type 1 Diabetes can take years. In studies that followed relatives of people with Type 1 Diabetes, researchers found that relatives who later developed diabetes had certain auto-antibodies in their blood for years.

bigstock-Progress-In-Glucose-Level-Bloo-2485554Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 – 95 percent of all cases. It used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but, unfortunately, both children and adults develop this kind of diabetes. Many people think of it as the kind of diabetes that does not require insulin. However, about half of people with type 2 diabetes will eventually need insulin. This is because the pancreas produces less and less insulin over time, so it must be injected to meet the body’s needs.

The causes of Type 2 Diabetes are not completely understood, but it almost always starts with insulin resistance. So what contributes to this insulin resistance? Here are some of the most common risk factors:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Growing older – your risk increases as you age
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Lack of exercise
  • Member of a high-risk ethnic group, such as:
    • African American
    • Asian American or Pacific Islander
    • Hispanic American
    • Native American
    • Overweight or obese

Gestational Diabetes is diabetes that develops while you are pregnant. Gestational diabetes is still diabetes, which means your blood sugar levels are abnormally high. That excess sugar crosses the placenta and can make your baby grow too large and lead to problems with your pregnancy and delivery.

The causes of Gestational Diabetes have not been determined, but the many hormonal changes during pregnancy contribute to what is called insulin resistance – which is your body not using the insulin that your pancreas produces.

For more on these forms of diabetes, visit the Diabetes Management & Supplies Learning Center.

Aug
27

Planning key when school, diabetes mix

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Attending school or getting a child with diabetes ready for school presents an added challenge. School supplies and pencils and pens are joined by diabetes testing supplies, needles or insulin pens. Proper planning and measures, however, can counter the anxiety and stress.

A parent of a child with diabetes should first contact the school and connect with the school nurse. A health plan specific to the child should be carefully crafted with providers or a diabetes care team. The child must be properly educated to safely attend school and the school must be prepared and educated on the exact needs of any child living with diabetes.

The Joslin Diabetes Center makes some basic points to cover with school and diabetes mix:

  • Know the school’s policies
  • Create a plan specific for each person
  • Provide the school with a container of supplies
  • Investigate the cafeteria and menu plans
  • Select a means for disposal of sharps
  • Have a plan for field trips and special events

Students who qualify for services under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), should have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is the document that sets out what the school is going to do to meet the child’s individual educational needs. There are a lot of specific rules about developing an IEP, reviewing it, and what it must contain. Because IEPs are so detailed and have specific requirements, school districts often use their own form. Although students with diabetes who qualify for services under IDEA are also covered by Section 504, there is no need to write two separate plans. Diabetes provisions should be included in the IEP.

The term “504 Plan” refers to a plan developed to meet the requirements of a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (commonly referred to as “Section 504”).

A 504 Plan sets out the actions the school will take to make sure the student with diabetes is medically safe, has the same access to education as other children, and is treated fairly. It is a tool that can be used to make sure that students, parents/guardians, and school staff understand their responsibilities and to minimize misunderstandings.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that every student with diabetes have a Section 504 Plan or other written accommodations plan in place.

Students leaving for college should also take steps to prepare for the new demands of college life and the continued health needs of living with diabetes.

For more, visit: Back to School with Diabetes | The Basics or Written Care Plans for School

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:

Jun
29

Jockey with diabetes shares winners circle path

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chris_cardfrontChris Rosier is well on his mission of bringing hope and becoming a positive role model to children living with type 1 diabetes. Rosier, the Diabetes Management & Supplies spokesman, was invited to be a guest speaker at the annual Arizona American Diabetes Association’s Camp (AZDA) held at Friendly Pines.

Rosier and the campers discussed different types of pumps, testing strips, and more seriously, the struggles and stigma that follow this disease. “I don’t remember my life without diabetes,” said 14-year-old Ginger Netten of Scottsdale.

Rosier, 34, was in his mid-20s before he was diagnosed. “I went blind for a week,” Rosier said. “You want to make a grown man cry. Take away his sight.”

Learn more about Chris by visiting the DMS blog: Jockey set to motivate youth with diabetes.

Full article from the Daily Courier (AZ): Diabetes does not have to hold you back.

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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.