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

Reducing Pain with Better Lancets

July 13th, 2015 · 9 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 · 2 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 · 7 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 · 13 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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The Five Principles: Your Body Knows What You Need

June 19th, 2015 · 4 Comments

We get a wake-up call to change the way we eat when we find out that we have diabetes. But then when we start looking for diet advice, we hear so many different voices that it’s almost worse than before.

teardrop (1)

Yet it’s worse to throw up your hands in despair and continue in the old ways. We can find a way out of the swamp of diet data and confusion. Within each of us is inner wisdom that our body has when we listen to it.

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Shopping Lists Save Money and Health

June 16th, 2015 · No Comments

Do you make a list and check it twice, like Santa Claus does to see if you’re nice? Everyone from Santa to airline pilots and brain surgeons are doing that now. Except perhaps food shoppers.

list

For those of us who have diabetes, nothing is more important than the type and amount of food that we eat. Making a grocery list helps us to make sure that we don’t run out of what we need. That’s been a reason why I keep a list on the side of my fridge and take it with me whenever I go to the store. But even more important, according to a new study, is that taking a shopping list with us when we go to the market helps protect us from being too spontaneous.

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Alcohol Is Especially Challenging for Diabetes

June 13th, 2015 · 11 Comments

The apparent benefits of moderate drinking have gone up in smoke. Especially for those of us who have diabetes, any amount of alcohol presents special challenges.

get drunk

The liquor industry continues to claim that moderate drinking of alcohol may reduce the risk of heart disease. But those supposed benefits are now evaporating especially for people with diabetes.

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The Saturated Fat that Helps Prevent Diabetes

June 12th, 2015 · 3 Comments

A new study indicates that the people who eat high fat dairy products reduce their risk of developing diabetes. But eating a lot meat increases the risk.

butter

Published just this month in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study included 26,930 people from the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study in Sweden. During the 14 years of follow-up 2,860 people in the study were diagnosed with diabetes. Only the abstract is free online, but the lead author, Ulrika Ericson, a PhD nutritionist from Sweden’s Lund University, provided me with the full text of the study.

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Using the Good Stress of Fasting for Diabetes Control

May 28th, 2015 · 18 Comments

We can use the stress of intermittent fasting to manage diabetes better.

empty-plate

Lots of stress is bad for anyone and especially for those of us who have diabetes. But ironically some stress is healthful. That’s especially true about intermittent fasting.

High levels of stress lead to high levels of blood sugar of people with diabetes. There really is a “stress-diabetes connection.”

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