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Jul
29

Medications keep insulin, blood sugar balanced

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bigstock-Samples-of-medicines-tablets--44874709Our bodies work best when the sugar in our blood is balanced with insulin.  Our cells need insulin to be able to use the sugar for fuel. Diabetes is the result of the body not making any or enough insulin. If the sugar isn’t soaked up into the cells, it collects in the blood. High levels of blood sugar will hurt organs like the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys.

When diet and exercise are not enough to control blood sugars, medications can help achieve good control. Some drugs help your body make more insulin or better use your own insulin. Insulin can be injected and taken as a drug.  Taking insulin helps or replaces your own insulin.

Over time, your diabetes changes. As your state of health changes, your medications may also change. You may need more drugs or other combinations to stay healthy.

Both oral and injectable medicines can be used to help people living with diabetes. Oral medicine, pills taken by mouth, work on specific organs to stimulate insulin development, help the body burn sugars better or have other functions. Injectable medicines are injected into the body with various devices or instruments. Insulin is the first injectable that might come to mind, but other injectable medicines include Byetta, Victoza or Symlin.

No matter which drug or combinations of drugs you take, it is important to closely follow doctor’s orders and seek help or ask questions if you are unsure about your daily regimen.

The diabetes educators at Diabetes Management & Supplies can help take the guess-work out of your medication and treatment plan. For more information on specific medication 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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Jul
11

New online store a complete supplies solution

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A name you know and trust – Diabetes Management & Supplies — has expanded in an effort to bring you more options and services. Our online store is now open and you can visit us at any time at www.Onlinestore-Diabetesms.com.

screen_item_launchShop our inventory of hundreds of products geared to the needs of people living with diabetes. Items include pump supplies, continuous glucose monitors, orthopedic shoes, test strips, meters and home health equipment. You can even browse our selection of the latest insulin pumps and request a custom quote from our expert staff!

The online store provides a secure, efficient setting to make all CASH sales with the convenience of credit card transactions. There is no need for insurance information or documentation to make your purchases. The items are purchased and shipped directly to your door.

Diabetes Management & Supplies is the largest diabetes supply company in Louisiana and ranks as one of the largest nationally, serving tens of thousands of people in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. It was recognized as the third fastest growing business in the state of Louisiana by New Orleans City-Business.

Visit our online store now and drop us an email if you have any questions or comments on how we can continue to be your committed health partner.

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Jun
12

Monitoring helps evaluate, achieve control

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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

workout_testingTo 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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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
16

Self-Management services help fine tune skills

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bigstock-friendly-african-american-medi-49942391Sometimes we think that what we are doing to manage our diabetes is enough, but our blood glucose numbers don’t reflect that. There are health care professionals who specialize in diabetes who can help you figure out what you need to do to better manage your diabetes.

This brings to mind a patient who worked with the educators at the DMS Diabetes Self-Management Education center.

“Sam” was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13. That was more than 20 years ago. At the time of diagnosis, he went through a rigorous two-week education program where he learned about carbohydrate counting and meal planning, blood sugar testing, and how to inject and adjust insulin.

Even though he had been educated a while back and thought he was doing fine, in reality he had forgotten some things that could help him better manage his diabetes. He also was not aware of some of the most recent information regarding the treatment of diabetes.

His A1C level (the three-month average of blood sugar test) has dropped to a normal level and he is feeling better. Just like Sam, working with diabetes educators can help you get back on track and insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid have benefits that cover this service.

Diabetes Management & Supplies offers accredited diabetes education services that can make managing all forms of diabetes easier tasks. The program is accredited by American Association of Diabetes Educator’s Diabetes Education Accreditation Program (DEAP). This accreditation means that it meets the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management. The program focuses on the AADE7™ Self-Care Behaviors which are:

  • Healthy eating
  • Being active
  • Monitoring
  • Taking medication
  • Problem solving
  • Healthy coping
  • Reducing risks

Certified diabetes educators teach patient’s either individually and/or in small group settings. Our registered dietitians also provide medical nutrition therapy for those in need of additional and disease-specific nutritional counseling. 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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May
12

Diabetes treatment plan road map to success

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A diabetes treatment plan is your strategy to stay on top of your health. Monitoring your blood sugar, tracking and taking drugs are crucial. The directions are given, but they must be carried out to change things. You may have many medical professionals, but you complete the team.

Here are some things you can do to take charge of your health:

  • Follow healthy meal plans best for your unique needs
  • Keep up with your medications and store them right
  • Take your insulin or medications as instructed
  • Monitor and test your blood sugar
  • Keep good records of your reads
  • Share those readings with your doctor or diabetes educator

You have learned the basics about drugs and testing. Now is a good time to ask specific questions about your treatment plan. Make sure you know how things should work. Take steps to change your routine if something is not working right.

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.

Visit the ADA for more on tight control in diabetes treatment plans

May
08

Knowing health numbers, labs aid control

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Diabetes will affect a variety of areas in the body and staying in control means staying abreast of the facts and stats of your specific health. Below is a listing of recommended exams, tests and vaccinations for people living with diabetes. Understanding the importance of all of these items is crucial to reducing the risks associated with diabetes.

Many tests and statistics become important like the A1C. 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.

Prolonged high blood sugars will damage organs and body systems making numbers like blood pressure and weight a part of your overall health picture.

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.

Recommended at every visit:

  • Blood pressure
  • Weight
  • Brief Foot Inspection.

Recommended lab tests:

  • A1C
  • Microalbuminuria
  • Blood cholesterol
  • Eye Exams
  • Foot Exams
  • Dental Exams
  • Recommended Vaccinations – Flu shot
  • Pneumococcal Vaccination

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.

Visit the DMS Learning Center for more detail: Recommended Diabetes Exams and Tests

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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.