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

Negotiate for Your Diabetes Drugs

September 29th, 2014 · No Comments

Like most of us, my health insurance covers some of the cost of medications. But because I don’t need any diabetes medication and am in good health, I use few prescription drugs and don’t come close to reaching my deductible. So I pay the whole cost out of my pocket for the few medications that I get from time to time.

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Consequently, I have had to learn that American pharmacies operate like third-world businesses in one important respect. We have to negotiate with them.

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4 Reasons Why People with Diabetes Need to Eat Organic Food

September 28th, 2014 · No Comments

For most people the big benefit of eating organic food may be consuming less pesticide in their diets. But for people with diabetes it’s different.

High blood sugar means having a compromised immune system. Extra sugar in our blood exhausts the immune cells in our body and feeds germs. More than most people we need help.

This help can come from consuming antioxidants. Numerous studies have linked antioxidants to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including heart, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases (like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) and certain cancers. Now, a major study that the British Journal of Nutrition published yesterday show that food grown organically has much higher levels of antioxidants than do conventionally grown crops.

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The full-text of the study, “Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses,” is available free online.

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The Best Exercise for People with Diabetes

September 27th, 2014 · No Comments

Lately I’ve been thinking about the best way for those of us who have diabetes to get the exercise we need to stay in shape and to help us manage our diabetes better. But until now I only had my own opinion.

The best exercise, I had decided on the basis of my experience, was to get the exercise we like, because that’s the only exercise that you or I will keep on doing. That’s true, but frankly I didn’t have much more to say about it. Now I do, because a new study shows for a fact that this is what works.

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This morning Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab announced some exciting new research. It had appeared in the May issue of a journal that I wouldn’t otherwise have read, Marketing Letters: A Journal of Research in Marketing.

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Receiving the Diabetes Diagnosis

August 4th, 2014 · No Comments

“Did anybody ever tell you that you have diabetes?”  Since you are reading this, my guess is that somebody gave you this diagnosis.

On February 7, 1994, Dr. Joseph Blum, my primary care physician at the VA Clinic in Santa Barbara, California, broke the news to me with those words. He added that my A1C level was 14.4. Before that nobody had even hinted that I had diabetes.

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I didn’t know enough about diabetes to be shocked, to panic, or go into denial. These the reactions that many people have when they learn that they will have to live with this disease for the rest of their lives.

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Mindfulness and Meditation for Diabetes Management

July 27th, 2014 · No Comments

Last night my thoughts returned again and again to a missing package. The sender had written me that my order had been delivered, but I hadn’t received it. I tried and tried to suppress that thought and to get back to sleep. Finally, meditation helped.

This was for me a painful example of what psychologists call “thought suppression.” Like many people, I have experienced thought suppression lots of times. But I don’t remember having read about this concept before starting to prepare this article, which reviews a new study of how meditation and mindfulness can help people with diabetes and other long-term conditions.

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Gentle Testing for Diabetes

July 20th, 2014 · No Comments

Nobody ever dared to claim that drawing a drop of blood to check our blood sugar levels could be gentle. Until now.

A new company named Genteel has just started shipping its “gentle lancing instrument.” The box that it comes in says right on it that it give us “blood testing without pain!”

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For many of us who have diabetes using a blood glucose meter and lancing device is the most painful thing we have to do. And most of us perform this onerous chore several times a day.

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LiveBold with Diabetes

July 13th, 2014 · No Comments

If we don’t manage our diabetes, it’s likely to come with complications in its wake. But it’s sure to come with a stigma now.

The stigma of diabetes is that it’s our fault. It blames the victim.

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Before (Sitting)

Their theory is that we get diabetes because we’re fat, lazy, and weak-willed. Many people assume that it’s especially because we got fat that we got the disease.

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Low Carbs Cut Diabetes Inflammation

July 6th, 2014 · No Comments

We already knew that diabetes and inflammation often go together. But now a study by researchers in Sweden shows us how to reduce our level of inflammation and bring down our blood sugar level as well.

Localized inflammation, like that caused by periodontal infection, is susceptible to localized treatment. But generalized, or systemic, inflammation can also bedevil those of us who have diabetes. The new study addresses this previously intractable problem.

“To simplify somewhat,” writes Dr. Richard K. Bernstein in Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, “inheritance plus inflammation plus fat in the blood feeding the liver causes insulin resistance, which causes elevated serum insulin levels, which cause the fat cells to build even more abdominal fat, which raises triglycerides in the liver’s blood supply and enhances inflammation, which causes insulin levels to increase because of increased resistance to insulin.” Does this sound like a vicious cycle to you too?

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Two Large Meals a Day for Diabetes

June 28th, 2014 · 7 Comments

Until now, some experts on health have recommended that we eat several small meals a day to help us lose weight. It also seemed logical that eating smaller meals would have less of an impact on the blood sugar of those of us with diabetes.

But a new study demonstrated that some people with type 2 diabetes who ate only breakfast and lunch lost more weight than when they ate six smaller meals a day. In this randomized crossover study they also had bigger decreases in fasting blood sugar, bigger improvement in insulin sensitivity, and bigger improvements in other markers of better diabetes management.

Researchers in the Czech Republic worked with 54 people with diabetes for 24 weeks to have them eat the same number of calories spread over either two or six meals a day. The people in the study followed diets of eating six small meals a day or two large daily meals for 12 weeks. Then they switched to the other diet plan for 12 more weeks.

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Exercise Snacks Control Diabetes Levels Better

June 21st, 2014 · No Comments

All of us snack on food from time when we’re hungry and hope that it wouldn’t raise our blood sugar too much. But I wonder how many of us take “exercise snacks.”

New studies on food and exercise snacks point us in different directions. Food snacking may not be what it’s cracked up to be, and I will report on that study soon. But a new concept of exercise snacking is showing that brief but intense exercise before meals can help us manage our diabetes better.


In the paragraph above I emphasized the phrase “before meals” because we already knew that when we get exercise after a big meal we can quickly bring down our blood sugar level. That’s a good strategy that I have followed myself ever since my late wife asked me after dinner one evening what she could do to reverse a high level somewhere above 200. We went out for a moderate 10 to 15 minute walk, and when we got back home and she tested again her level had dropped to little above 100.

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