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

Diabetes Educators Can Help Us Manage Blood Glucose

January 13th, 2016 · No Comments

Diabetes self-management education, which is known as DSME,  leads to a statistically significant decrease in A1C levels. That’s the conclusion of a systematic review of 118 studies. But this review doesn’t support the recommendation of the American Diabetes Association that the best time for this education is right after diagnosis.

The Worse Your Level the More This Helps

The review shows that this diabetes education typically improves blood glucose control by about 0.6 percent more than the usual care that we get. While this may not sound like a lot, it is. For example, if your A1C is 9.0 you can expect that it will drop to 8.4 after you get educated in this way.

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The Best Time to Walk

January 12th, 2016 · 1 Comment

The surprising news is that taking a walk before eating is a great way to keep our blood glucose levels low. But whether we take a walk before or after eating — or both — we will bring down our blood glucose level at the point where it goes highest.

walk

Taking a little walk after dinner used to be a tradition in this country. Few people do that any more, and now is the time for those of us who have diabetes to bring it back. While we are at it, we can start a new tradition of even shorter walks before dinner.

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→ 1 CommentPosted in: Exercise For Diabetes

Taking Standing Breaks Helps Your Health

January 11th, 2016 · 5 Comments

Just standing up is the easiest exercise. But we need to schedule it.

Standing up might be one of the smartest things that you do today. So, push that chair away from your desk. Pause that long meal to rise from the table. Pull your butt up from that easy chair.

stand

Sitting for more than half an hour at a stretch is hazardous for your health. It’s particularly bad for anyone who has diabetes or prediabetes.

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Use Insulin as a FIRST Resort

January 10th, 2016 · 12 Comments

You can get the best control over your diabetes by taking insulin until you are ready to go on a very low-carb diet. But if you have type 2 diabetes, you may have always thought that taking insulin was something you used when everything else failed to manage your blood glucose level.

insulin

“If you don’t shape up, I’m going to make you inject insulin,” is a threat we may hear from our doctors. How about turning the table on your doctor and ask for it yourself?

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→ 12 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Medication

Victoza Can Reverse Fatty Liver Disease

January 9th, 2016 · 12 Comments

The diabetes drug called liraglutide, marketed as Victoza, can reverse a common and serious complication of diabetes, according to a new study. This is good news for anyone who is already taking it or Byetta or Bydureon to manage blood glucose.

victoza

This complication goes by the mouthful of a name “non-alcoholic steatohepatitis,” or NASH, which is inflammation of the liver, which a buildup of fat in the liver causes. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, which half to 70 percent of all people with type 2 diabetes have, can lead to NASH.

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The Best Sources of Potassium

December 24th, 2015 · 10 Comments

You always knew that you should be eating more fresh veggies and fruit. But after reading this now, you will know why you need to and where you can get the potassium you need in your diet.

A study that the American Society of Nephrology published online November 12 in advance of print in its Clinical Journal, discovered that when we get more potassium in our diet, we have fewer kidney and heart problems. While only the abstract is free online, the lead author, Shin-ichi Araki, M.D., Ph.D., from the Shiga University of Medical Science in Otsu, Japan, kindly sent me the full-text of the study.

It found that among more than 600 people with type 2 diabetes that they followed for an average of 11 years the more potassium they pee (technically “urinary potassium excretion”) the fewer of these problems they had. What goes in must come out.

Now, the Dr. Araki and his colleagues recommend interventional trials to see if increasing our the amount of potassium we get in our diet will help us. We don’t need to wait years for these studies to be set up, analyzed, and reported. We can increase the amount of potassium we get from our food now.

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The Internet Search Shortcut for Diabetes Data

December 18th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Since you are reading this article on the Internet, you can pride yourself that you can use the world’s largest information technology. But this technology is so new and complex that nobody can claim to fully understand it.

Learning how to search the Internet is such a new skill, the tools have become so sophisticated, and the data is so vast that you have to work at it full-time to master it. I have worked at it every day for more than 20 years in my career of writing about diabetes and I am still learning new tricks. It’s time for me to share some of the best ones.

search

In just two decades knowing how to search the Internet has become an essential learning skill. With more than four billion Web pages, the Internet already contains far more information than the world’s largest physical library, which has about 170 million items including some 14 million books.

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→ 2 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Basics

You Probably Don’t Drink Enough

December 17th, 2015 · No Comments

As we grow older the sensation of thirst frequently declines, a new study show. “Thirst is not a good guide to the need to drink in older people,” writes Lee Hooper, PhD, and other researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Not drinking enough water can lead to disability and even death.

But the standard advice has been to drink only when we are thirsty. Now it seems that this isn’t right for everyone.

fox drinking water

The new study, “Which Frail Older People Are Dehydrated?,” was published recently in The Journal of Gerontology. While only the abstract is free online, Dr. Hooper kindly sent me the full-text. This is the first report that takes into account both a large study group and a large range of health factors. The research took place in 56 residential care homes where the team studied 188 people older than 65.

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Give Thanks This Year for Your Diabetes

December 11th, 2015 · 1 Comment

During this holiday season, when most of us in the Western world have too much to eat, I encourage you to give thanks for the abundance we can enjoy even while we suffer from diabetes. Consider, if you will, what diabetes and gratitude have in common?

Actually, they share two important things. First, they share the month of November every year, and second, all of us who have diabetes have much for which we can give special thanks.

diabetes month

By presidential proclamation November 2015 is “National Diabetes Month.” On October 30, President Obama called on all of us to “raise diabetes awareness and help prevent, treat, and manage the disease.”

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Do You Get All the Fiber You Need?

December 9th, 2015 · 9 Comments

Few Americans get all the fiber the experts tell us we need to eat. If you follow a very low-carb diet, following their advice is much more difficult. Grain, beans, nuts, seeds, fruit, and vegetables are the only sources of dietary fiber in our food, but when we go low-carb, we eat little if any grain or beans.

But it’s likely that the experts are wrong.

fiber

The National Academic of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine) recommends that adult men and women 50 and younger get 38 and 25 grams of fiber and that older men and women get 30 and 21 grams respectively. That’s not easy for anyone and just about impossible on a very low-carb diet.

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