Archive for December, 2012
The words “diabetes” and “remission” are usually only used together with some skepticism and debate, but a recently-released study hopes to prove that intensive diet and exercise may help type 2 diabetics achieve “near-normal” blood glucose levels. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report details the findings on more than 4500 participants who were termed obese or overweight. One in nine people in the diet and exercise group saw their blood sugar levels dip back to the normal or “pre-diabetic” range.
Complete remission of type 2 diabetes is still rare, researchers said. But they added the new study can give people with the disease hope that through lifestyle changes, they could end up getting off medication and likely lowering their risk of diabetes-related complications.
“Kind of a long-term assumption really is that once you have diabetes there’s no turning back on it, and there’s no remission or cure,” said Edward Gregg, the lead author on the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For more on the study and its findings check out:
- Medscape Today: Intensive Diabetes Intervention May Lead to Remission
- Reuters Online: Diabetes remission possible with diet, exercise
- US News: Intensive Lifestyle Changes Keep Type 2 Diabetes at Bay
The holiday season may help bring attention to a rarely-discussed diabetes symptom: depression. Whether emphasized by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or just noticed in contrast to the festive season, depression may be one sign of diabetes or a flag that one’s diabetes is not in good control.
The American Diabetes Association explains that people with diabetes are at a greater risk to depression and the complications of poorly controlled blood sugars are very similar to the symptoms of depression.
Spotting depression in yourself or someone you love is an important step to countering depressions effects. The signs include:
- Loss of pleasure: You no longer take interest in doing things you used to enjoy.
- Change in sleep patterns: You have trouble falling asleep, you wake often during the night, or you want to sleep more than usual, including during the day.
- Early to rise: You wake up earlier than usual and cannot to get back to sleep.
- Change in appetite: You eat more or less than you used to, resulting in a quick weight gain or weight loss.
- Trouble concentrating: You can’t watch a TV program or read an article because other thoughts or feelings get in the way.
- Loss of energy: You feel tired all the time.
- Nervousness: You always feel so anxious you can’t sit still.
- Guilt: You feel you “never do anything right” and worry that you are a burden to others.
- Morning sadness: You feel worse in the morning than you do the rest of the day.
- Suicidal thoughts: You feel you want to die or are thinking about ways to hurt yourself.
You should contact your doctor if you see any three of these signs. Taking action can affect both your mental and physical well-being.
The words “healthy, holiday, dining” may not seem to go together, but it is possible to entertain and dine during the holidays and still keep your health goals in mind. Chef John Wright of Diabetes Management and Supplies sets a festive and diabetic-friendly tone in the latest Eating Wright segment.
Chef Wright’s meal starts with Cranberry and Blue Cheese Salad and homemade Sun-dried Cranberry Vinaigrette dressing. He then serves seared pork tenderloin, mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed vegetable medley. He topped the sweet potatoes with seasoned, roasted pecans.
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Diabetes testing supplies add expense to the load required to maintain good control of blood glucose. A new health threat is now presenting itself because third-party outlets like eBay, Craig’s List and Amazon.com are being flooded with deals on testing strips. Health care experts are warning that those bargains may put both the buyer and seller in harm’s way.
Depending on the brand, those little strips could costs $1 each and many people with diabetes use several each day, but an official with the American Diabetes Association points out many reasons to avoid the underground test strip market. Sue Kirkman, MD, the American Diabetes Association’s senior vice president for medical affairs and community information, says opportunities to resell strips are “incentivizing financially strapped people to sell their test strips rather than use them to maintain their health.”
What’s more, there is risk to the buyers, who may not know what they are getting. The FDA cautions it is important to know if strips have been stored right, not exposed to temperature extremes and aren’t expired.
The Diabetes Forecast offers tips in “Four Ways to Save on Strips” which include prescription assistance and shopping for meters based on the costs of the strips they use.
See Buyer Beware: Cut-Rate Test Strips for Sale for complete article.
Visit the DMS Products section for a list of safe, affordable testing supplies.
If you are a daily coffee drinker, you don’t need scientific proof that a cup of Joe has valuable benefits. Newly-released findings suggest that your morning brew may reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Researchers from the Institute for Scientific Information of Coffee presented their findings at the 2012 World Congress on Prevention of Diabetes and its Complications. The report shows drinking three to four cups of coffee a day could cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 25 percent.
Coffee has gotten lots of bad health press in the past because of its link to heart disease, sleep disorders, heartburn, high blood pressure and more. The researchers seemingly have their work cut out for them, but they have developed arguments to show that coffee has positive effects on metabolism and energy expenditures.
On the other hand (no pun intended), think how much you would learn from 288 blood sugar tests. You would know how your blood sugar changes while you’re asleep, during a long afternoon between meals, or when you’re out running errands. Such information would help you and your doctor make smart decisions. The payoffs are huge: lower A1c, the lab test showing blood sugar control over the past two to three months, better health and reduced risk of the problems that come with uncontrolled diabetes.
Well, here is the good news: you don’t have to stick your fingers 288 times a day to get this information! You just need to wear a CGM, which stands for continuous glucose monitor, also continuous glucose monitoring. Think of a finger stick as a snapshot of your blood sugar. Put 288 of them together, and you have a movie — a true picture of how your blood sugar changes.
CGM involves three pieces of technology working together.
- First of all, a tiny sensor is inserted into what is called the interstitial fluid under your skin. This sensor measures your blood sugar every 5 minutes.
- The sensor communicates with a transmitter attached to the skin.
- The transmitter sends the information to a monitor or an insulin pump. Either device records and displays your blood sugars in real-time and in graphs, over three to 24 hours, however you want to see it.
Who can benefit from CGM: The short answer is just about anyone with diabetes, because studies show wearing a CGM improves the A1c. That said, here are examples of people who would find CGM technology especially valuable:
- People who have frequent episodes of extreme highs and lows. These episodes are termed “excursions,” and often go undetected without CGM. Testing your blood sugar 3-4 times a day can’t capture them.
- People who have hypoglycemic unawareness, meaning they don’t know when they experience a low blood sugar. Seeing when these lows tend to happen will help prevent them. This might be by decreasing insulin or medication or eating a sufficient number of carbohydrates at the previous meal.
- People who are frustrated with poor blood sugar control and their efforts to improve it. Having 288 pieces of information every day makes everyone — patients, physicians and diabetes educators — confident in making changes to treatment.
- Ideally, when someone has an A1c test performed, no one should be surprised by the result; that is, blood sugar readings and averages on the person’s meter should be strong hints what the A1c will be. When it is unexpectedly higher or lower, CGM would help solve the mystery.
How to learn more about CGM: Call DMS at (888)738-7929 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will provide you with information and, if you decide to proceed, get what we need from your doctor. We will also check with your health insurance company to see if CGM is covered and, if so, what your out-of-pocket expenses will be.
Diabetes poses a unique challenge to the scores of children born with type 1 diabetes or who develop it at a very young age. The International Diabetes Federation launched the “Life for a Child” program in 2001 with support from the Australian Diabetes Council and HOPE worldwide. Life for a Child provides support and resources to children with diabetes in developing countries.
The IDF estimates that there are approximately 490,000 children younger than 15 years with type 1 diabetes and probably a similar number of young diabetics between 15-25. An exact figure is uncertain because of lack of data. Additionally, the number of children and adolescents developing type 2 diabetes is on the increase around the world. The IDF estimates that 80-100,000 children and young people around the world are in urgent need of assistance.
Lack of access to insulin remains the most common cause of death in a child with diabetes. In some areas, the life expectancy of a child with diabetes is less than a year after developing the disease. Many die undiagnosed, others dies due to lack of insulin or expert care.
Visit the IDF Life of a Child Program.
For more on type 1 diabetes, visit the DMS Learning Center.