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Feb
09

Goals can pack more punch than resolutions

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SMART-goals

The start of each year is a prime time to consider your life, health and ways to improve both. Motivation and method are both key to setting new goals and ending your year with a sense of accomplishment.

Good health is important, but it will not just happen. SMART Goals provide a road map to success because those goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Diabetes is often a numbers game: blood sugar level, A1C, weight, etc. Beyond those faceless figures, one should focus on goals that bolster your diabetes control. “I want to lower my A1C to 7, but ‘why?’”

If you want to accomplish a task, you set a plan, you set deadlines and you take action. Most people are familiar with SMART goals in the workplace, but they also apply to health. For example, let’s say you wanted to an A1C of 7.5, but your level is now 11. It would be unrealistic to say you wanted reduce your A1C to 11 in next month.

It would be more realistic to set up a SMART goal:

  • Specific – I will decrease my average fasting blood sugar by 2 points each week.
  • Measureable – I will keep track of blood sugar levels three times daily so I can track my
    progress towards my goal.
  • Attainable – Is the goal attainable for me? Your diabetes care team should be consulted about ways to reduce your A1C and risk of complications.
  • Realistic – Is the goal realistic for me? Lowering one’s blood sugar is a great goal, but drastic drops can increase changes of hyperglycemia.
  • Timely – I will make an appointment with my care team every three months in 2016 to evaluate my A1C with hopes to start 2017 near 7.5.

Other goals that will impact blood sugar control include getting regular and sufficient exercise, gaining or losing weight, following a diabetes nutrition plan, and being more compliant to medication schedules.

Need help turning your goals into a viable game plan? Diabetes Management & Supplies offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services. For more information on specific needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email education@diabetesms.com.

The National Diabetes Education Program, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers an online resource for making a plan for success. Visit Diabetes Health Sense and make your plan today!

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Feb
01

Monitoring: It’s a numbers game you can win!

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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

To 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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Insulin pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring devices work best when insertion sites and parts and accessories are changed as recommended. Resolving to make “a healthier you” in 2016 can start with a good understanding of your device and its disposal parts and ensuring you are always equipped with adequate supplies.

infusionInsertion site management refers to choosing the best locations on your body to place insertion sets and sensors, but it also involves the frequency in which the site is changed and new supplies are put in place.

John Wright, Diabetes Management & Supplies Director of Sales, wears an insulin pump and stresses that site management can affect the level of blood sugar control. “It is most important with insulin pumps as the infusion set is infusing insulin,” he explains.  “The CGM, however, doesn’t affect the blood glucose as much if the patient wears it for longer.”

Insulin pump wearers will experience poorer blood sugar control when a site has been used too long before rotation.

It is recommended that CGM sensors be changed every six to seven days, but infusion sets should be changed every two to three days. For the best site locations and interval times, consult your doctor.

Infusion set placement should avoid the following areas:

  • Into the 2-inch (5.0 cm) area around your belly button
  • Where your body naturally bends a great deal
  • In areas where clothing might cause irritation (for example your beltline)
  • Where you have scarred or hardened tissue or stretch marks

cartridge_web-(1)Insulin pump use will require supplies that include insertion sets, reservoirs, tubing, cartridge caps, batteries, dressings and adhesives. This list varies depending on the individual users and the brand of pump.

CGM devices will require supplies that include sensors, receivers, transmitters and batteries.

To ensure the best results, keep an eye on your supplies on hand and always place reorders enough in advance that you don’t run out of supplies or over use your insertion sites. Click HERE for our efficient reorder form or call 1-888-738-7929 to place an order by phone.

 

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Dec
18

Holiday season may host seasonal depression

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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.

Visit the ADA for more on the link between diabetes and depression.

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Dec
18

Plan for a safe, healthy holiday party season

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Holidays can be hard when you are trying to handle your diabetes. When family and friends gather, food is often involved. Routines are often disregarded for parties, shopping, cooking and decorating. Learning how to choose the best foods for you can be stressful.

Keep in mind that New Years and Christmas are days to relax and celebrate. Treat yourself to your favorite stuffing or homemade pie on these days.  Keep these treats to the holidays. You will then avoid turning this time into a whole season of blood sugar trouble.

These tips can help you stay on track during the holidays:

  • Drink water and eat a snack before you go to parties. You won’t make choices when hungry.
  • Be sure to eat some food when drinking alcohol. This will help prevent low blood sugar.
  • Help out the host. If you are going to a party, call first and ask if you can bring a dish. Now, you will know there will be food that fits into your needs.
  • Look for hidden carbohydrates. Gravies, soups, dips and salads can have flour, sugar, potatoes, corn and bread. Remember to count these foods with your allowed carbohydrates per meal.
  • Don’t forget about free foods such as non-starchy vegetables. These foods fill you up, but will not affect your blood sugar. Chicken, turkey and cheese are often on party trays. These are not free foods so it is important to be aware of portion size and servings.
  • Work in exercise. Just a 15-minute walk before or after a holiday party can help to keep your blood sugar in control when you are celebrating.

Enjoy your holidays. Make good choices to keep your blood sugar in control. This will allow you to have many more healthy and happy holidays.

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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.

Oct
01

Stay equipped for diabetes treatment plan

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a1c_meal
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 improve your condition. 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 that are best for your unique needs
  • Keep up with your medications and store them correctly
  • Take your insulin or other medications as instructed
  • Monitor and test your blood sugar as directed
  • Keep good records of your blood sugar readings
  • Share those readings with your doctor or diabetes educator

You may have learned already 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. Carefully following any medication orders and instructions is vital to your plan’s success. This is where we can help. Make sure you don’t run out of supplies just as you refill prescriptions so you don’t run out of medication. Learn more: Diabetes treatment plan a road map to success.

Here are some ways you can let us help you reorder supplies:

  • Call us at 1-888-738-7929
  • Email customerservice@diabetesms.com
  • Click to fill out an Order Form

We value the part we play on your treatment plan team and realize that winning is good health.

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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.