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

Diabetes Scams and How to Foil Them

February 23rd, 2015 · 1 Comment

If you wanted to make a lot of money fast and weren’t limited by any ethics like honesty, I can’t think of any better target than those of us who have diabetes. I don’t think that we are any more gullible than other people. But we have all the characteristics that scammers value the most:

1. We are a sitting duck. Because diabetes is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured, it is by definition a chronic disease. Scammers have plenty of time try to tempt us.

2. We represent a big audience for anyone who wants to get into our pockets. One of every 11 Americans have diabetes, a total of about 29 million people. About 21 million of us know that we have diabetes.

3. Diabetes is a growth industry. From 1980 through 2011, the crude prevalence of diagnosed diabetes increased 176 percent.

4. We know that we have to take charge of our health every day and can’t rely on our doctors who we see only every few months. This do-it-yourself ethic leaves us much more vulnerable to unethical people who want our money than people with other health conditions who simply rely on their doctors.

But we aren’t helpless prey. We have an excellent tool that will protect us: our minds. In this post I am trying to add a few tips for you to consider. This post won’t be telling you about the scams that I have encountered. For one thing, I have read literally thousands of these phony pitches. For another, some of the scammers operate on the basis that any publicity is good publicity.

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New Diabetes Test Sites That Work

February 16th, 2015 · No Comments

The usual problem with using one of our fingertips to check our blood sugar is that it hurts. Our fingertips need to have lots of nerve endings because we use our fingers as fine sensing devices.

That’s why people with diabetes got excited about using alternative test sites about 15 years ago when blood glucose meters that require just 1 microliter or less of our blood first became available. These sites have far fewer nerve endings, so any pain from testing there is uncommon. But researchers soon discovered that the alternative test sites we were using, like the forearm, had one serious limitation.

Our fingertips detect a change in our blood sugar level first, and these alternative sites can sometimes lag by more than a quarter of an hour, as I reported in an article, “Lag Time in Alternativeland,” on my website in 2001. While that wouldn’t matter much when our blood sugar is steady, if it were falling into the hypoglycemic range, the consequences could be serious. That’s why some meter manufacturers have generally recommended since then that we don’t use alternative sites if our blood sugar is likely to be falling. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to know if we are going hypo unless we test.

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Journaling for Our Diabetes Health

February 9th, 2015 · No Comments

A couple of years ago I wrote here about how keeping a journal of positive things in our lives can make those of us who have diabetes happier. But writing down the worst things that we experience might help even more.

When we get a diagnosis that we have diabetes, it can be one of our most traumatic experiences. No wonder then that so many of us either go into denial that it’s anything of importance or otherwise panic at the thought of it.

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Vegetarian and Low-Carb Diets for Diabetes

January 31st, 2015 · 27 Comments

About a month ago I became a vegetarian. But I am staying with the very low-carb diet that I began in 2007. It makes it possible for me to manage my blood sugar levels and my weight. My motivation for further restricting the variety of foods that I eat was an ethical consideration.

Different people become vegetarians for various reasons. Some people choose to avoid meat, poultry, fish, and seafood for their own health and others for religious, ethical, and environmental concerns.

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The Difference Between Types of Diabetes

January 26th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Many of us who have diabetes worry whether we have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. But particularly for those of us who take insulin, it may not be worth the stress. And for many of us it certainly can’t be diagnosed definitively.

Determining which of these two main types of diabetes we have isn’t easy even for endocrinologists, much less the primary care physicians who most often try to help us manage our diabetes. For some of us, none of the tests can tell us for sure whether we have one type of diabetes or another.

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Manage Your Diabetes with Diabetes University

January 18th, 2015 · 4 Comments

Ever since 1969 when Richard K. Bernstein became the first person with diabetes to use a blood glucose meter and discover the huge impact that carbohydrates have on our blood sugar, he has been committed to helping the rest of us manage our diabetes. He has helped thousands of patients who have diabetes, written nine books and more than 100 articles about it, and continues to offer free monthly webcasts.

But only now has he established a diabetes university.

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When Remission Is Better Than a Cure for Diabetes

January 12th, 2015 · 7 Comments

If we had a cure for diabetes, we would be so happy.

No more needles or pills! We wouldn’t have to consider how every tasty morsel we put in our mouths would raise our blood sugar or remember to exercise even when we would rather sit on our easy chairs. We wouldn’t have to do regular fingersticks, despair over our A1C levels, or moan about our BMI. We could relax.


Graphic courtesy of Ginger Viera

When Dr. Frederick Banting isolated insulin in 1922, the world hailed him for discovering the cure for diabetes, awarding him and Professor J.J.R. Macloud the 1923 Nobel Prize in Medicine.  Life saving for anyone with type 1 diabetes, insulin certainly is, but we all now know that it is no cure.

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Hunger Is Not the Enemy of Diabetes

January 5th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Hunger can be a big problem when we try to lose weight. But some weight loss strategies cause less hunger than others, and we can actually use whatever hunger we have to work for us when we decide to eat less.

Those of us who have diabetes seem to be continually trying new ways to manage our weight. I think that I tried everything from very low-fat (Dean Ornish’s) and high-starch diets (John McDougall’s) to the Standard American (SAD) and Mediterranean diets. Only when I took a prescription drug (Byetta) and later when I switched to very low-carb, because I wanted to avoid the side effects of drugs, was I able to take off all the weight I needed to lose.

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Painless Lancing for Diabetes

January 2nd, 2015 · 2 Comments

For readers of this post Genteel is offering $20 off through Monday, January 12, 2015, because of some confusion over the expiration date of the previous offer. Please use the promo code ‘MENDOSA20′ on the Order page to get your discount.

The only painless way for us to check our blood sugar level, the Genteel lancing device, is on sale. But it’s only for readers of this article and your friends and family and only through this Friday, December 5.

I wrote about it when it first became available in June in this article: “Gentle Testing for Diabetes.” I use it myself and know that it is painless.

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Are You Thankful for Diabetes?

December 26th, 2014 · 5 Comments

If you aren’t suffering from a complication of diabetes, you actually have every reason to be thankful that you have this dreaded disease. Even if you already have some complications, you can reverse most of them.

Thanks to Leighann Calentine!

In fact, I have been able to reverse two of them: one was a microaneurysm in my left eye, which if I didn’t do anything, could have led to my becoming blind in that eye. The other was some diabetic peripheral neuropathy in my feet; the neuropathy has come and gone. Both complications went away when I redoubled my efforts to reduce my blood sugar.

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