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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa
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The Best Way to Check Our Diabetes Control Is Back

May 25th, 2014 · 3 Comments

The A1CNow meter for checking the key level of sugar in our blood is back. Chek Diagnostics, which changed its name from Polymer Technology Systems on March 27, just started shipping this meter that lets us check our A1C level at home.

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I reported here on December 24 in “A Christmas Gift to People with Diabetes with Polymer” that the company had purchased the A1CNow business from Bayer Diabetes Care.

During the transition in ownership the availability of the A1CNow meter became spotty. Fortunately, the new owners didn’t change the device or its name. It is fortunate because they didn’t have to wait for the long approval process that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires for new and revised devices.

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A Vitamin D Surprise for People with Diabetes

May 18th, 2014 · No Comments

We have known for a long time that vitamin D is important for our health. Recently scientists discovered that it helps us stave off heart disease and regulate our diabetes. But until now they couldn’t tell us how much vitamin D we need to get each day to help us manage our blood sugar levels.

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The Sunshine Vitamin on the Yellowstone River

Just a week ago I pointed out in my most recent article here, “Best Vitamin D Choices for Diabetes,” that “the experts still haven’t decided on precisely how much vitamin D we need.” They just did.

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Best Vitamin D Choices for Diabetes

May 17th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Scientists and doctors have begun to recognize that almost all of us need to get more vitamin D. Those of us who have diabetes often have very low levels of vitamin D in our systems.

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The experts still haven’t decided on precisely how much vitamin D we need or the best ways to get it. But two massive new studies have shed much needed light, including a finding that the type of vitamin D that doctors usually prescribe doesn’t help at all.

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Managing Diabetes with a Strange Fat

May 16th, 2014 · No Comments

Of the four major types of fat that we eat, polyunsaturated fat is the strangest. But it’s the type that those of us who have diabetes most need to take time to understand.

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Wayne Shows a Sockeye Salmon He Caught

Last week I reviewed a huge — and hugely important — new study that vindicated saturated fat. That study, “Saturated Fat is Back for People with Diabetes,” analyzed data from 72 cohort studies and randomized trials with more than 600,000 participants from 18 countries and concluded that total saturated fat was not connected to the risk of heart disease.

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Saturated Fat is Back for People with Diabetes

May 15th, 2014 · 19 Comments

A fundamental pillar of misguided medical dogma fell last week. A massive study has just exposed the belief that saturated fat, the type of fat in dairy products and meat, causes heart disease. It doesn’t.

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But for almost 60 years this fear of saturated fat, unsupported by any good science, has stopped the safest and most effective way we have to manage our diabetes. For the first 13 years after my diabetes diagnosis in 1994 it stopped me from eating low-carb — which requires high-fat for energy — making tight blood sugar control and weight management impossible without drugs.

This fear is probably also the basis for the twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity that plagues the modern world. Until now the medical establishment has pushed us to eat “whole grains” and other high glycemic carbohydrates that make preventing and managing our diabetes so tough and contributes so much to our collective gain in weight.

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Sleep More, Weigh Less for Diabetes Control

May 14th, 2014 · No Comments

The twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity might be connected with our increasing sleep deprivation. But how?

A professor at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine and her colleagues determined to find if they might be related. Ruth Patterson, Ph.D., led a unique study that just came out and finally offered some tested answers.

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Diabetes Help on the Internet

April 11th, 2014 · No Comments

Recently a fellow passenger asked me what I missed most about home. We were on a small ship and were out of contact with the rest of the world.

I realized that besides missing my friends and my usual food and drink, being able to use the Internet was what I wanted most. In fact, just as my shipmate asked that question, a devastating rainstorm had hit my hometown. I didn’t learn about it until the end of the week, when I could check my email and found messages from several friends.

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The Safety of Diabetes Drugs

April 6th, 2014 · No Comments

A possible connection between one of our newest and most important classes of diabetes drugs and pancreatic cancer has frightened many of us. But people with diabetes can now breathe easier.

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The United States Food and Drug Administration and its European counterpart just released their joint findings concluding that these drugs, which include Byetta, Victoza, Bydureon, and Januvia, have “no compelling evidence of an increased risk of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.” The full-text of this report, “Pancreatic Safety of Incretin-Based Drugs — FDA and EMA Assessment,” is available free online in one of our most prestigious medical journals, The New England Journal of Medicine.

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Managing Erectile Dysfunction with Diabetes

March 27th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Of the many possible complications of uncontrolled diabetes, erectile dysfunction is the one we talk about the least. Unlike essentially all of the other complications, it doesn’t bring us physical pain, but the emotional trauma it often brings can be devastating.

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It doesn’t have to be that way. If you were the only guy who had erectile dysfunction, having it might well embarrass you. But now we know that perhaps 30 million American men have it and that it increases with age. “About 4 percent of men in their 50s and nearly 17 percent of men in their 60s experience a total inability to achieve an erection,” according to estimates by the National Institutes of Health. “The incidence jumps to 47 percent for men older than 75.”

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Why We Take Which Diabetes Drug

March 22nd, 2014 · 2 Comments

Although I have managed my diabetes by eating low-carb ever since 2007 and enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who has diabetes, I certainly recognize its limitations and the importance of diabetes drugs.

Low-carbing isn’t easy. The transition from fueling our bodies with carbs to one of burning fat can challenge us in seven ways as I wrote here last month. Even then, when we get through the transition period, many people find that sticking with it can take too much discipline, particularly when family members all too willingly share their bagels and bread.

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