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

Entries Tagged as 'Diabetes Basics'

What You Must Ask Your Diabetes Doctor

February 15th, 2017 · Comments Off

You need to be prepared to learn as much as you can in the typically short office visit when you go to a new doctor for the first time. Some people actually recommend that you go to your first appointment with a list of 19 or 20 questions to ask the doctor. Be sure to ask your most important ones first because getting answers to that many questions would take hours.

A typical appointment with a doctor in the U.S. is 20.5 minutes, according to a 2015 study. But consider yourself lucky if your appointment is even that long.

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Posted in: Diabetes Basics

Why You Probably Don’t Need a Diabetes Specialist

February 14th, 2017 · Comments Off

You may have a big problem when you want to make an appointment with a diabetes specialist. You probably won’t even get an appointment, and if you do, be prepared for a long wait. But you may not need to see one of these specialists.

Doctors who specialize in treating diabetes are called endocrinologists, a mouthful of a word that people with diabetes usually shorten to “endos.” In addition to diabetes, these doctors also treat other endocrine conditions, including osteoporosis and thyroid diseases.

Some endos sub-specialize in diabetes and are called diabetologists. But it’s hard enough to find an endo, and searching for a diabetologist will be even more difficult.

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Chill Out to Lose Weight

January 16th, 2017 · Comments Off

Last year was the hottest year on record, although the temperatures in most of the U.S. seem to be rather chilly now. But even if you aren’t too fond of the cold, this seasonal weather can actually be good for people with diabetes.

But we have to know how to take advantage of the chill. Doing so can be easy and yet challenging.

All we have to do is turn down the thermostat. Researchers have discovered that when we get mildly cold, which they define as being cool without shivering, our bodies burn more calories. As a result, managing our weight can be easier.

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Posted in: Diabetes Basics, Diabetes Developments, Diabetes Diet

High-deductible Health Insurance Can Be Expensive

September 23rd, 2016 · Comments Off

Every day more people with diabetes sign up for high-deductible health insurance in hopes that they will save money. Because they have low monthly premiums, these plans are increasingly popular.

But instead of being less expensive, they are more costly for most people with diabetes. This is the conclusion of a study that Frank Wharam, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, presented this June at the annual convention of the American Diabetes Association in New Orleans. This is the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes, and I was in the audience to represent HealthCentral.com.

The proportion of people who have high-deductible health insurance is skyrocketing, partly due to the Affordable Care Act. In 2006, only 10 percent of insured Americans had deductibles of $1,000 or more. But this proportion shot up to 46 percent last year, and Professor Wharam says that it is “likely to explode.”

The way that high-deductible health coverage works is by charging a lower monthly premium than what you would have to pay for a standard plan. But when you use your health care coverage, your out-of-pocket costs are higher.

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Posted in: Diabetes Basics, Diabetes Medication, Psychosocial

Why You Aren’t Managing Your Diabetes Better

July 24th, 2016 · Comments Off

With so many new diabetes drugs available, we could be managing our blood glucose a lot better. In the past 10 years alone, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved more than 40 different diabetes treatments. In some clinical trials of these drugs more than half of the participants reduced their A1C level from an average of 8.4 percent to the American Diabetes Association’s suggested goal of 7 percent.

Yet in this decade there has been virtually no change in the overall percentage of people with diabetes in this country who have an A1C level of less than seven. Only about half of us had an A1C below 7 in the most recent study.

I Interview Dr. William Polonsky

These sobering facts formed the basis of a joint presentation in June 2016 by Steven Edelman, MD, and William Polonsky, PhD, in New Orleans at the American Diabetes Association’s annual convention, the largest annual meeting in the world of diabetes professionals. They addressed a crowd of hundreds of medical professionals on “The Efficacy Mirage in Type 2 Diabetes –Why Do Clinical Trial Results Disappear in Real-World Practice?” in a presentation that I had the opportunity to hear.

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Posted in: Diabetes Basics

The Internet Search Shortcut for Diabetes Data

December 18th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Since you are reading this article on the Internet, you can pride yourself that you can use the world’s largest information technology. But this technology is so new and complex that nobody can claim to fully understand it.

Learning how to search the Internet is such a new skill, the tools have become so sophisticated, and the data is so vast that you have to work at it full-time to master it. I have worked at it every day for more than 20 years in my career of writing about diabetes and I am still learning new tricks. It’s time for me to share some of the best ones.

search

In just two decades knowing how to search the Internet has become an essential learning skill. With more than four billion Web pages, the Internet already contains far more information than the world’s largest physical library, which has about 170 million items including some 14 million books.

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Posted in: Diabetes Basics

You Probably Don’t Drink Enough

December 17th, 2015 · Comments Off

As we grow older the sensation of thirst frequently declines, a new study show. “Thirst is not a good guide to the need to drink in older people,” writes Lee Hooper, PhD, and other researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Not drinking enough water can lead to disability and even death.

But the standard advice has been to drink only when we are thirsty. Now it seems that this isn’t right for everyone.

fox drinking water

The new study, “Which Frail Older People Are Dehydrated?,” was published recently in The Journal of Gerontology. While only the abstract is free online, Dr. Hooper kindly sent me the full-text. This is the first report that takes into account both a large study group and a large range of health factors. The research took place in 56 residential care homes where the team studied 188 people older than 65.

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Searching the Internet for Diabetes Information

November 16th, 2015 · 3 Comments

When you want to learn anything about diabetes beyond what you read here, the quickest and easiest way is to search the Internet. But the amount of information and misinformation there has grown so immense that the simplest search can seem like an impossible task.

In the past two decades or so, the Internet has become essentially the biggest library ever created. Nobody knows how many websites are out there, partly because that number changes so rapidly, but there are probably about one billion of them with well over four billion web pages.

Because the Internet is the new digital equivalent of a physical library, consider that the British Library in London is the world’s largest physical library. It has about 170 million items including some 14 million books. And instead of card catalogs that libraries use, the Internet has search engines and links to help you find your away around its vast resources. Although card catalogs index a library’s holdings by author and title and may list one or two subjects, the Internet’s search tools take cross-referencing to a higher dimension.

search

Starting an Internet search is easy. You just enter the name of your search engine of choice in whatever browser you use. You can use one of many different browsers, like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox. But for search engines, two-thirds of all Internet searches use Google. So if you haven’t used it, you might want to remember its Internet address: google.com

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Posted in: Diabetes Basics

Seeking Medically Accurate Videos? An Innovative Diabetes Video Portal

September 27th, 2015 · 2 Comments

When you look for high-quality videos about diabetes health topics, it’s frustrating and often unsuccessful. Yet finding the right information at the right time is critical to staying in control of your health.

A friend of mine with deep ties to the diabetes community, Dr. Dirk Boecker, is developing a new medical video portal: Lucy’s Cabinet — Top Medical Videos. He has brought together experts in the field of diabetes to select the highest-quality videos across a wide spectrum of diabetes topics.

medical videos

Dr. Boecker is inviting us to beta test the portal. I checked out the portal, saw some of my favorite videos there, and even suggested a new category, a passion of mine, as you know — low-carb.

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Posted in: Diabetes Basics

Fear or Denial about Diabetes

September 25th, 2015 · 4 Comments

When you found out that you have diabetes, you might have been awfully scared. That’s good.

“My numbers are 6.1,” Tina wrote me recently. “Where should I start? I’m so scared!”

scared

Tina has type 2 diabetes, and this may be the most important question she ever asked. So I answered her carefully:

When people get diagnosed with diabetes, Tina, they are either scared or in denial about it. Being scared is better. But even being scared doesn’t help.

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Posted in: Diabetes Basics

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