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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Should You Use Hyperbaric Oxygen to Cure Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

July 31st, 2015 · No Comments

We seem to have been successful in using hyperbaric oxygen therapy for more than 40 years. Yet we still don’t know if it works and for what conditions.

Many of our doctors use it to cure chronic diabetic foot ulcers that otherwise could lead to amputation. Since these ulcers are a common complication of diabetes, and when you lose a foot your life will be so seriously impacted, this therapy, known as HBOT, is something we need to carefully consider.

I have been convinced that the use of hyperbaric oxygen might offer many benefits ever since I visited an 82-year-old man named John Erb in Costa Rica two years ago. He is an expatriate American who took me inside his hyperbaric oxygen chamber and showed me to what he attributes his strength. I took the photo below, as I wrote in my photo essay “Rancho Naturalista,” the fantastic ecolodge that he owns.

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→ No CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Complications

Foods Addicts Have Help Here

July 23rd, 2015 · 4 Comments

When I joined a meeting of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous recently I introduced myself by saying, “My name is David and I am a food  addict.”

I’m a food addict and I am in recovery, but I’m not anonymous. I lost half of my body weight and have kept it off. It has been a struggle and continues to be one that almost all of us with type 2 diabetes share. Until I went to the annual convention of the American Diabetes Association in June, I didn’t know about Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. Had I found it soon my journey to a normal weight would have been much easier.

before-after-weight-loss

These are before and after pictures of someone I am calling “Eric, because in public members of FA don’t use their full names or reveal their faces.

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Why Insulin Costs So Much

July 19th, 2015 · 4 Comments

Everyone who has type 1 diabetes has to use insulin, and about 25 percent of the people who have type 2 diabetes rely on it to control their blood sugar. But its costs are skyrocketing and no end is in sight.

At the annual convention of the American Diabetes Association in Boston this June I listened with perhaps 1,000 other diabetes professionals to one of the world’s top experts on diabetes talk about insulin costs.  Irl Hirsch, MD, is the professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, also treats patients with diabetes, and has type 1 diabetes himself.

insulin costs history

For several years, readers of my articles have written me to complain about the rising cost of insulin. Because I know how expensive that insulin has become, I made sure to hear Dr. Hirsch’s presentation. But I was surprised to see that he cited one of my articles in a slide that he presented.

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→ 4 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Medication

Eat Mindfully to Lose Weight

July 18th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Do you eat when you aren’t hungry? Do negative emotions or responding to external food cues drive you to eat? Are you obsessive about food? Or do you sometime go on a food binge

Many of us who have diabetes have these forms of disordered eating, says Carla Miller, a professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University. The diabetes professionals who stayed to the final day of the American Diabetes Association’s annual convention in Boston in June were able to hear her presentation of “Mindful Eating — Am I Hungry?” I was there.

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Why Diabetes Drugs Are Expensive

July 16th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Practically everyone who has diabetes uses one or more drugs to help to manage it. But most of these medications are expensive, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved far fewer diabetes drugs in the past 10 years than between 1995 and 2004.

At the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in Boston earlier this month, thousands of diabetes professionals listened with interest as four experts explained why. I represented HealthCentral.com during the entire conference and made a point to be in the audience as four experts brought us up to speed about the “Costs of Medications for Diabetes.”

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Reducing Pain with Better Lancets

July 13th, 2015 · 4 Comments

By
Dr. Christopher Jacobs Ph.D.,
Biomedical Engineering
CEO, Genteel LLC

Transparency

Genteel LLC neither makes nor markets lancets; however, the company does manufacture and sell a vacuum-assisted lancet holder (poker), so it is in the company’s best interest for its customers to use the best possible lancet. Genteel undertook this study so its customers would have a better lancing experience; however, because Genteel uses regular square shaft lancets, it follows that what makes a lancet optimum with Genteel will, in almost every case, ensure it also works best regardless of which poker a person chooses. It is Genteel’s hope that use of a better lancet, which will lower pain and increase blood draw consistency, will encourage users to test more often, because the proper lancet will significantly decrease the discomfort and pain.

Figure 1: Genteel LLC engineer doing close-up examination of lancets to be rated

Figure 1: Genteel LLC engineer doing close-up examination of lancets to be rated

Background

At Genteel’s laboratory, we performed a “Consumer Report” type study on many brands and models of lancets, commonly referred to as “square shaft.” These are the most popular individual lancets, found worldwide(see Figure 2). If the shaft is viewed horizontally, as an arrow would fly, the base would appear to be square, with no flanges or rings. Genteel purchased and tested thousands of these, and after examination, found the need for considerably more reliable engineering and production quality control to make a really good lancet. There was sufficient difference found between brands and models such that the user could have a noticeably improved lancing experience just by changing to a better brand and model. While this study was undertaken on square shafts lancets, the knowledge gained could apply to many other types.

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Bydureon and Byetta Change Our Brains When We Eat

July 13th, 2015 · No Comments

More and more of us who have type 2 diabetes take one of the new drugs that mimic the action of the GLP-1 hormone so that we can manage blood sugar better. When we do, we are often pleasantly surprised to learn that taking one of these two drugs can also help us to lose a lot of weight.

Now, a  study by Dutch researchers at the Diabetes Center of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam  shows us how this positive side effect happens.

Researchers had been trying to learn how those drugs could help us get down to a normal weight, so the Dutch researchers used sophisticated techniques to see how they work. They studied one type of these GLP-1 mimetics called exenatide, which we use in the U.S. as the brands Bydureon and Byetta.

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Cutting the Low-carb Cost

June 29th, 2015 · 6 Comments

Did you think that it would be cost a lot to follow a low-carb diet? This is a widespread myth that is setting back successful management of diabetes. That myth makes the assumption that a low-carb diet means reducing the inexpensive fat in our diet and at the same time increasing how much expensive protein we eat.

steak

We actually increase the amount of fat that we eat when we eat low-carb. And we don’t eat more meat or other protein on a low-carb diet than people following the Standard American Diet — appropriately abbreviated as the SAD — do.

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Reduce Stress to Improve Your Diabetes Control

June 27th, 2015 · 6 Comments

Article By Cathy Bykowski

Stress. Only six letters long, yet this word is so incredibly powerful. Stress has the ability to influence so much of our lives, relationships, moods, and health. For people with diabetes, stress can be particularly damaging. However, understanding what stress is, how it affects your body, and how to overcome it can begin to take its power away.

Stress is the result of your daily demands outweighing your available resources. At any given minute you have a set number of resources, which can be tangible, like money or food, or intangible, like time or patience. As long as you have enough resources to meet the demands that are placed on you, life is good. For example, your bills (demands) come in and you have plenty of money (resources) in your bank account. No problem – your demands are easily met by your resources and you have no stress. However, if the demands that are placed on you are greater than your resources, you feel it. For example, let’s say you are working against a deadline that is fast approaching. You may feel that the work you still have to do (demands) is much greater than the time left to do it (resources). This is when you experience that familiar feeling called stress.

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Low-carb is the Best Diet: 5 Reasons Why

June 22nd, 2015 · 11 Comments

All of us who has diabetes have five persuasive reasons to eat very few carbohydrates. For years, however, we have been misled.

1. Managing Our Metabolism

One of the strangest things about diabetes is that some people still consider a low-carb diet to be controversial. This is in spite of the obvious fact that diabetes is a disturbance of our carbohydrate metabolism. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body produces essentially no insulin; if you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use the insulin that your body produces well enough.

salad

Consequently, it should be clear that the first thing that we should know about managing our diabetes is how much carbohydrates we can eat. Based on the experiences and testing of Dr. Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who lived for 11 years among the Eskimos in Northern Canada, we have known since 1930 that we can thrive on a diet that includes no carbohydrates.

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