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May
22

Follow precautions to keep summer fun, safe

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People living with diabetes should not wait until temperatures approach 100 to take precautions. According to the National Weather Service, individuals with diabetes should begin taking precautions when the heat index reaches 80 or 90 to avoid heat stroke, sunstroke, and other problems.

Getting plenty of water and avoiding long periods of unprotected exposure to the sun are simple steps that might help.

It is common to protect insulin from temperature extremes, but health care providers or diabetes educators should be asked about the harm that high temperatures can cause to oral medications, glucose monitors, strips and insulin pumps.

Visit WebMD for more on preparing or summer with diabetes

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Jan
30

Jockey relates and inspires youth with diabetes

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chris_rosier

Race days are fast-paced and exciting for jockey Chris Rosier, but they are also full of the challenges and victories related to his life with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Management & Supplies is inviting a group of young people with diabetes to meet Rosier, the only professional jockey with Type 1 diabetes racing in the United States today.

A Day at the Races will be held on Lundi Gras, the Monday before Mardi Gras at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans. The participants range from 6 to 17.

web_chris_vertRosier, the company’s “Face of Diabetes,” is a member of the DMS patient family and he wants young children and teenagers to know that having diabetes does not limit them from having and achieving their dreams. Rosier controls his diabetes and with the help of Insulin Pump therapy and Continuous Glucose Monitoring. He wears both the Medtronic Insulin Pump and Enlite Continuous Glucose Monitor supplied by DMS.

The day of the event, Rosier will lead a tour of the stable and paddock. After the big race, each tour participant will be invited into the Winner’s Circle to take pictures with the winning jockey and horse.

Rosier was born in San Diego, but he says he “grew up” at the horse tracks.  He traveled and moved around quite a bit. He calls Haughton in Bossier Parish his home. While he has competed in big and small arenas, he has the distinction of racing in one of the biggest events of all, the Kentucky Derby. Rosier rode Summer Bird to a sixth-place finish in the 2009 Kentucky Derby.

Rosier has been riding professionally since he was 19, but found out that he had diabetes when he was in his early 20s. His diagnosis came shortly after he broke his collarbone during a spill off a horse. Later, he was stricken by temporary blindness. Soon after, his doctors diagnosed him with Type 1 diabetes.

He regained his health and strength, climbed back into the saddle and back into professional racing. He soon gained all the motivation he needed for his life and career. “I have three kids and a wife that support me and keep me going,” Rosier said.

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Jan
20

This is a test: Best repeated tomorrow!

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0127-accu-chek-aviva-meterPeople living with diabetes are given a host of numbers in reports from their doctor’s visits. Those numbers are very important, but should be paired with the information that can be gained every day through home monitoring of blood sugar.

Blood sugar testing is very important because it helps you manage your diabetes on a day-to-day basis. Blood sugar numbers help you to understand and take control of your diabetes.

Tools used at home to test and monitor blood sugar levels include blood glucose meters and Continuous Glucose Monitoring devices. Speaking with your doctor or another member of your diabetes treatment team will help you decide which monitoring method is best for you.

When and how many times to test your levels each day will vary from person to person so you should follow the specific testing schedule your physician has established with you. Many schedules may call for once-daily testing while others require two or more testing time that might be before or after meal.

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Jan
20

NoYo#: Know Your Numbers to reach goals

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Daily blood sugar levels plus lab reports are just two tools needed to develop a road map to diabetes management success.  Knowing those numbers tells you where you are, but goals represent where you would like to be.

A lab report crucial to your goal-setting is your A1C level also known as hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c. The A1C is a common test for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It measures how well diabetes is managed over a period of time instead of just one instance. An A1C reading of 6.5 is the usual indicator of a diabetes diagnosis.

a1c

A1C test recommendations

  • Every 6 months when you are meeting treatment goals and have stable blood sugars.
  • Every 3 months when therapy has changed or if you are not meeting blood sugars targets.
  • Used by physician to allow for timely decisions on therapy changes.
  • In-home testing may be done with across the counter testing device called A1C Now®.  See this at www.a1cnow.com

When setting goals, it is important to strive for noted, but reasonable change. Home testing may be recorded each day, but it might take three to six months to evaluate the big picture and see true progress or regression. Be very patient and don’t expect to drive your averages down or up like the numbers on a scale. Slow and steady not only wins the race, but it also provides a safe playing field for your diabetes treatment plan.

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Oct
24

Fall into some good habits: Take a hike!

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UntitledIn almost every corner of the country, fall signals a beautiful change in outside scenery or a reprieve from hot or cold conditions. Walking may be just the ticket for those looking to increase their exercise and physical activity.

Walking is one of the most highly recommended forms of physical activity for people with diabetes. It requires very little preparation and cost. It can be done practically anywhere – parks, malls, and in the street or the woods.

perform_shoeTake good care of your feet and they will take care of you. You might not spend a lot, but invest in good walking shoes. The shoes need to fit comfortably, with plenty of room in the toe area. They should not rub at the heel. Some walking shoes include an extra pair of eyelets close to your ankle. Lacing these may help prevent heel friction. Make sure your walkers have flatter, broader soles, which help improve balance.

Wear good socks. Cotton socks can bunch and retain moisture. Check out newer synthetic fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin.

A regular walk will be an effective way to control blood pressure. People living with diabetes should consider these tips from About Health magazine before taking off.

  • Begin slowly and easily. Walking just 5 or 10 minutes on the first day is perfectly acceptable if that’s all you can accomplish. The important thing is to not get injured or sore, which could end a walking campaign at the starting line.
  • Add 5 or 10 minutes per week. As one continues to improve, aim for 45 minutes to an hour, five to seven days per week. That’s an ideal amount of time for blood glucose maintenance. However, health benefits begin to accrue at just 30 minutes per day.
  • Break it up. Several 10- to 15-minute sessions are just as effective as one longer walk.
  • Count your steps. During the last few years, pedometers — small devices that clip to the belt to count steps — have become popular. They can help track total steps taken on daily walks, or all day long. Recording walking totals can be motivating.
  • Find a place to walk. If one’s neighborhood is unsafe, limit walking to daytime, walk in groups or try a nearby school track, community center or shopping mall.

For more on specialized shoes, check out the I-RUNNER line of diabetic shoes or our full line at Onlinestore-Diabetesms.com.

 

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Oct
23

Vaccination best precaution in avoiding the flu

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flu-seasonThe nation is preparing for the start of the influenza (flu) season and people living with diabetes should make sure their fall plans include getting vaccinated against the flu. The U.S. flu season runs from late November until March. Because of changes in the various strains, last year’s flu shot will not protect you as a new season begins.

The Flu is a respiratory infection caused by a number of viruses. These viruses are “airborne,” which means they pass through the air and enter the body through the nose or mouth. Each year, the flu is caught by 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population. The flu can be serious or even deadly for elderly people, newborn babies, and people with chronic illnesses like diabetes.

Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly and are worse than those of the common cold.

  • Body or muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Many people confuse catching a cold with the flu. Colds rarely cause fever or headaches. The flu rarely causes an upset stomach. The condition often called the “stomach flu” isn’t influenza at all, but gastroenteritis.

Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu. Complications of the flu can be life-threatening and result in death.

Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.

People living with diabetes are at greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu and are at a greater risk of having to be hospitalized after contracting the flu. Because of this increased risk, the flu shot should be considered mandatory for people with diabetes.

Also see:

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Oct
23

Sick-day guidelines for people with diabetes

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If you have diabetes – even if your blood sugars are in good control – and are sick with flu-like illness, you should follow these additional steps:

  • Be sure to continue taking your diabetes pills or insulin. Don’t stop taking them even if you can’t eat. Your health care provider may even advise you to take more insulin during sickness.
  • Test your blood glucose every four hours, and keep track of the results.
  • Drink extra (calorie-free) liquids, and try to eat as you normally would. If you can’t, try to have soft foods and liquids containing the equivalent amount of carbohydrates that you usually consume.
  • Weigh yourself every day. Losing weight without trying is a sign of high blood glucose.
  • Check your temperature every morning and evening. A fever may be a sign of infection.
    Call your health care provider or go to an emergency room if any of the following happen to you:

    • You feel too sick to eat normally and are unable to keep down food for more than 6 hours.
    • You’re having severe diarrhea.
    • You lose 5 pounds or more.
    • Your temperature is over 101 degrees F.
    • Your blood glucose is lower than 60 mg/dL or remains over 250 mg/dL on 2 checks.
    • You have moderate or large amounts of ketones in your urine.
    • You’re having trouble breathing.
    • You feel sleepy or can’t think clearly.

Also see Take Charge of Your Diabetes: Taking Care of Yourself When You Are Sick

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control

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weight_combo

Weight is a common factor when discussing diabetes. Two unrelated studies released this week, however, show how opposite ends of the weight issue can lead to the development of diabetes. Babies born at low birth weights and adults with higher than normal weights were shown to have an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Boston University researchers studied more than 20,000 black women ranging from age 21 to 69. They looked at many factors and focused on birth weight and cases of type 2 diabetes later in life.  Babies born at 5.5 pounds or less were 13 times more likely to develop diabetes. Babies born under or near 3 pounds were 40 percent more likely to develop diabetes in adulthood.

The connection between birth weight and adult-onset diabetes is seen in other demographics. Black women were studied because that group is more likely to have low birth weights and is also seen to have higher than normal cases of diabetes. The researchers feel that low birth weight leads to poor lipid regulation and problems with the pancreas.  They also point to theories that low weight at birth and diabetes share the same genetic source.

An unrelated study also released this week looked at the factors linked to the large increase in U.S. diabetes cases. The number of diabetes cases doubled from 1976 to 1980 and doubled again from 1999 to 2004.  The team concludes that skyrocketing obesity is the greatest factor in the diabetes epidemic.

Andy Menke, the lead researcher, explained that there has been a substantial increase in obesity in the U.S. population during the study period. Other factors linked to diabetes include race, ethnicity and age.

For more, visit:

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Sep
03

‘Go nuts’ and reduce your diabetes risk

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Pistachio_HeartDiabetes develops in stages and for many, the state of pre-diabetes will be seen before full-onset diabetes is diagnosed. Researchers in Spain set out to prove that eating pistachios every day will not only slow down this progression, but also reduce the risks associated with diabetes.

Two groups of people with pre-diabetes were followed in a recent study. Both groups were on a reduced calorie diet. One group, however, was given 2 ounces of pistachios a day.  The pistachio-eating group showed significant drops in blood sugar and marked improvement in insulin and blood sugar processing. This group also had a dramatic drop in inflammation.

The Spanish study used pistachios, but previous studies and research has found that eating nuts can lead to lower risk of heart disease and drops in cholesterol.

The Diabetes Management & Supplies Web Learning Center includes resources related to pre-diabetes and other forms of diabetes. It explains that pre-diabetes was once called borderline diabetes. A person is pre-diabetic when their fasting blood sugar is between 100 and120. A pre-diabetes diagnosis is also given with an A1c test result between 5.6-6.5%. As its name suggests, left unchecked, pre-diabetes develops into type 2 diabetes.

These higher than normal blood sugars are the result of insulin resistance, a medical term to describe the circumstances of the pancreas producing insulin to lower blood sugar, but the body resisting it. High blood sugar is the result.

For more discussions, visit:

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G_mate_monitoringThe technology to test and manage blood sugar results from smartphones took a big step this week. The Philosys group received 501K approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Gmate SMART Blood Glucose Monitoring System.

The Gmate SMART meter is not much bigger than a quarter. It connects to the headphone jack on the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. It will use a free app to deliver blood glucose test results, without the use of an adapter or Bluetooth device.

The Gmate system will offer features such as goal setting, graphing, and the ability to email or text blood glucose test results directly to members of a diabetes care team.

Philosys is based in South Korea. Sales senior vice-president Mike Tickle said the company continues its efforts to be a technology leader for the diabetes mobile monitoring arena.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests talking to your doctor about whether you should be checking your blood glucose. People that may benefit from checking blood glucose include those:

  • Taking insulin
  • That are pregnant
  • Having a hard time controlling blood glucose levels
  • Having low blood glucose levels
  • Having low blood glucose levels without the usual warning signs
  • Have ketones from high blood glucose levels

The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) lists Monitoring among its seven self-care behaviors for people living with diabetes. The actions are often seen as goals ensuring improvement and the best control of blood sugar levels.

The following video shows how the device is used and some of its features.

For more information, visit:

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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.