Archive for July, 2014
The 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.
The 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.
Our 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.
Children 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.
Sandison 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
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.
JDRF 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
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.
Shop 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.
Blood sugar control is key to the best results for people living with diabetes. Two recently-released studies offer promising ways to understand what affects blood sugar spikes and glucose levels and offers ways help.
These findings go back to diet and exercise as ways to control blood sugar fluctuations. One study found that consuming whey protein before breakfast helped to ease the blood sugar spike seen directly after eating. The other study found that the exercise combination of aerobic activity and resistance training sparked an added benefit or tighter blood sugar control.
Whey has been found to improve the body’s insulin response. Researchers took that fact and developed a novel approach for enhancing glucose-lowering strategies in type-2 diabetes. There were 15 test subjects who were not using oral meds to control their diabetes. They consumed whey protein, had meals and were tested 180 minutes later. The study found the group who had whey protein had blood sugar levels 28 percent lower than a group who did not have whey protein.
Exercise has always been suggested as a tool for blood sugar control, but European researchers wanted to determine what exercise regimens would be best for people living with diabetes. The University of Vienna study found patients with diabetes had better blood sugar control and fasting numbers with aerobic exercises such as swimming or jogging than as a result of resistance training such as toning exercises or muscle strengthening.
Dr. Timothy Church from LSU System’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center found similar results in a 2009 study of 262 sedentary women and men with type 2 diabetes. The Baton Rouge researchers compared the effect of aerobic training, resistance training, and a combination of A1C levels. Subjects who did both experienced benefits that those who just used one method did not experience.
For more on the studies: