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

Watch Out for Dangerous Drug Interactions

September 29th, 2015 · No Comments

Do you take drugs? I’m asking mainly about the prescriptions that your doctor prescribed. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg for some of us.

It’s easy to forget to consider some of the drugs that you take. Of course you included your prescriptions, but did you remember to include those that you buy over the counter? Also, some people don’t realize that herbal supplements are drugs. When you include these sources, it’s not uncommon for some people with diabetes to be taking three or even more drugs for their condition.


Drugs in any of these categories have side effects, some of which nobody discovers until many people start taking them. For example, half a million people were taking the prescription diabetes drug Rezulin 15 years ago when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned it after at least 63 of us died from the liver failure that it caused.

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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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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!”


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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This Is the Only Bad Fat Now

September 21st, 2015 · 19 Comments

We were wrong about saturated fat, which was probably the most terrible mistake in the history of nutrition. Not long ago we called trans fat the worst fat, as I wrote in 2002 at “New Label for Worst Fat” for Diabetes Wellness News. But now we know that it is the only bad fat, because saturated fat is off the hook.

food label

Nutrition Facts for Pop Secret “Jumbo Pop Movie Theater Butter”

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Check Your Blood Sugar Without Pain

September 16th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Unless we have a complication of uncontrolled diabetes, it’s not painful. But checking our blood sugar level sure can hurt. Some people don’t even check their blood sugar because they have needle phobia.

Injecting insulin or one of the incretin mimetics (like Byetta, Victoza, or Bydureon) rarely hurts, as I know from my own experience with Byetta. Diabetes can of course lead to painful complications, but by tightly managing our sugar control we are almost certain to avoid them.

Lancets and the lancing devices that hold lancets can cause pain. But they don’t have to.


I’m still amazed that we put so much emphasis on the meters that check our blood sugar while seldom giving a second thought to our lancets. This is where the rubber meets the road. Over the years I’ve seen lots of comparison of our meters, but not a single one comparing lancets.

Until now.

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Take Charge of Your Foot Health with This Kit

September 15th, 2015 · No Comments

You can’t feel it when you lose the ability to feel your feet. When I put it this way, it sounds obvious. But, A study of 1,100 people with diabetes aged 61 or more found that more than 90 percent of them were unaware of it.


When you lose feeling in your feet, you have neuropathy, the most common complication of diabetes. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse says that between 60 and 70 percent of us have a form of it.

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Why You Need to Cut Your Carbs

August 30th, 2015 · 6 Comments

More and more of us are beginning to follow a low-carb diet as the American medical establishment is starting to accept the wisdom of this way of managing diabetes. But if you have diabetes, why should you cut your carbs? And anyway, what do we mean when we say  “low-carb?”


A critical review of “Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management,” in the journal Nutrition early this year presented the evidence for its several big benefits:

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Social Relationships Reduce Our Risk

August 24th, 2015 · 2 Comments

When you nurture your social relationships, you are doing something as important for your health as your physical activity, your weight, and the other well-known risk factors. For those of us who have diabetes, managing our blood sugar certainly has to come first, but nothing else matters as much as having a healthy social life.


If you are socially isolated, you increase inflammation in your body and damage your immune system. It can be a factor leading to diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. But when you surround ourselves with supportive friends, even managing your blood sugar is easier.

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The First Five Questions You Must Ask Your Doctor

August 21st, 2015 · 3 Comments

Did a doctor just tell you that you have diabetes? If so, it was probably during a short appointment. Only if you were awfully lucky, did you find out the most important things that you will have to do to manage it well.

Instead, you were probably in shock, and because of that you probably missed what the doctor told  you. So you’ve got to be prepared for the next appointment, and this is what you need to ask:

When I see a doctor, my first question is, “How much time do we have for this appointment?” Our doctors tend to dominate the time that we have together, so asking this will give put him or her on notice that you have your own questions.

Consider yourself lucky if your appointment is for 20 minutes. I still remember when in 1994 a doctor told me I had diabetes. I didn’t know a thing about it and started to ask him questions. But he cut me off, saying that my appointment was limited to 14 minutes.


You can read dozens of websites that will list the 10 or more questions for you to ask your doctor. That’s nonsense! You will be lucky to have time to ask more than one of them and get a solid answer. In my experience, your doctor will go on and on in answering your first question, getting into details that you aren’t ready to understand yet.

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The Tasty Bean that Doesn’t Raise Your Blood Sugar

August 17th, 2015 · 23 Comments

It would be great if you could eat tasty meals that are high in carbohydrates while keeping your blood sugar low. Actually, even if you have diabetes and otherwise follow a very low-carb diet, you can do precisely this.

If you have had diabetes for a while, you know that when you chow down on carbs, your blood sugar level is sure to go up. But there’s an exception. In the United States this food is a little-known secret, but in India it’s well-known.

It’s my fault — at least in part — for keeping this special carbohydrate food a secret. I have known about it ever since 1994 when I began to gather information on the Glycemic Index. I’m not sure when I first wrote about it on my own website, but it was in 1998 or earlier, and I have eaten it since then even as I otherwise follow a very low-carb diet. I have mentioned this food in passing here at, but I just realized that I never previously gave it the attention here that it deserves.

Chana Dal

Now the secret is out: I’m talking about chana dal, which in India is sometimes also known as Bengal gram dal (or dhal) or chholar dal. Its scientific name is Cicer arietinum Linn, which actually doesn’t help us, because this the same scientific name as that of garbanzo beans (chick peas), which have a higher Glycemic Index.

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