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

The Sugar Scandal Against Diabetes

October 16th, 2016 · Comments Off

You probably have heard about the recent report that the sugar industry paid three Harvard professors to play down sugar’s role as a cause of heart disease and instead to put the blame on saturated fat. But if you have diabetes, you might well have assumed that this scandal, which just now surfaced, doesn’t have anything to do with you.

In fact, the connection between diabetes and the diet that you follow to manage it couldn’t be more direct.

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Comments OffPosted in: Diabetes Developments, Diabetes Diet

Correct Your Injection Technique

October 15th, 2016 · Comments Off

If you inject insulin or one of the GLP-1 agonists, the chances are that you are putting yourself at an unnecessary risk of a complication.

The needles you use are probably too long. Only 30 percent of the people who use insulin have adopted the much shorter 4 mm needle that became available in 2010. About half of the people who inject diabetes drugs reuse their needles, particularly those who inject with a pen. Only about 40 percent of needle users rotate their injection sites correctly.

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Comments OffPosted in: Diabetes Medication

The Best Way to Prevent Diabetes

October 14th, 2016 · Comments Off

If you have prediabetes, the standard advice to avoid getting diabetes is to do three things at once: cut calories, eat a low-fat diet, and get exercise. But a recent study shows that it makes more sense to focus on just the last one of these.

Ever since 2002, when researchers published the results of the Diabetes Prevention Program, we have known that intensive lifestyle changes are the best way to avoid diabetes. That program aimed at reducing your weight by 7 percent, eating a low-fat diet, and increasing your physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, such as walking or biking.

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Comments OffPosted in: Exercise For Diabetes

Does More Fruit Matter?

October 10th, 2016 · Comments Off

September was the “Fruits & Veggies–More Matters” month. But does it matter to those of us who have diabetes?

Fewer than 1 in 7 American adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables, the U.S. government says. The recommended amount isn’t much: just 2½ cup-equivalents (2½ cups of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, 5 cups of leafy salad greens, or 11⁄4 of a cups of dried vegetables).

Significantly, what our government considers to be vegetables do not include grains, which are a separate food group. Nor does the vegetable group include nuts, seeds, and soy products, which are considered to be a protein food.

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Comments OffPosted in: Diabetes Diet

The Bad Words for People with Diabetes

October 9th, 2016 · Comments Off

These are some of the worst words to use about people with diabetes:

We aren’t diabetics who try to control our disease. Instead, we are people with diabetes who manage this condition.

Team Novo Nordisk in June asked people with diabetes, parents, and partners to share their opinions on the language of diabetes. Almost 400 people responded to the survey that the team published on August 15.

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Comments OffPosted in: Psychosocial

Don’t Let Diabetes Destroy Your Sex Life

September 30th, 2016 · Comments Off

Your intimate relationships can suffer when you have diabetes. But it’s not inevitable.

Challenges to sexual performance remain a taboo subject for many people, even as sex itself has come out of the bedroom and our culture has become increasingly sex obsessed. Consequently, you may be reluctant to discuss your concerns with a date, a partner, or even with a healthcare provider.

Those of us who have diabetes tend to accept, albeit reluctantly, that we have or may get the physical complications that can come with it. Yet we too often try to hide the emotional complications that can be equally devastating to satisfactory intimate relationships.

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Comments OffPosted in: Diabetes Complications

Eat the Carbs Last

September 24th, 2016 · Comments Off

When you eat protein and vegetables before eating food that’s high in carbohydrates, your blood glucose and insulin levels won’t spike as much after the meal as when you eat the carbs first. This is the main message of a new study previewed in June.

Alpana Shukla, MD, presented her findings in a poster, “Food Order Has a Significant Impact on Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Excursions,” at this year’s annual convention of the American Diabetes Association in New Orleans. This is the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes, and I represented HealthCentral.com.

The findings make an important point for those of us who have Type 2 diabetes. Until now, the conventional nutritional advice has been mostly negative — what not to eat, eat less, and so on. But it turns out the timing of what we eat matters too.

This new study is a small one, involving only seven people with Type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese. Dr. Shukla and her seven Cornell associates measured the blood glucose levels of these participants every half hour for three hours after they ate the same amount of calories in protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates in a different order on separate days.

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High-deductible Health Insurance Can Be Expensive

September 23rd, 2016 · Comments Off

Every day more people with diabetes sign up for high-deductible health insurance in hopes that they will save money. Because they have low monthly premiums, these plans are increasingly popular.

But instead of being less expensive, they are more costly for most people with diabetes. This is the conclusion of a study that Frank Wharam, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, presented this June at the annual convention of the American Diabetes Association in New Orleans. This is the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes, and I was in the audience to represent HealthCentral.com.

The proportion of people who have high-deductible health insurance is skyrocketing, partly due to the Affordable Care Act. In 2006, only 10 percent of insured Americans had deductibles of $1,000 or more. But this proportion shot up to 46 percent last year, and Professor Wharam says that it is “likely to explode.”

The way that high-deductible health coverage works is by charging a lower monthly premium than what you would have to pay for a standard plan. But when you use your health care coverage, your out-of-pocket costs are higher.

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Comments OffPosted in: Diabetes Basics, Diabetes Medication, Psychosocial

This Device Can Warn You If You Will Get a Foot Ulcer

September 22nd, 2016 · Comments Off

Foot ulcers can have an their early warning system, and this is probably the only good thing about them. When one of these ulcers are developing developing, it may not be obvious even to a doctor. But it will likely be a warmer spot on your foot.

To take advantage of this warning, a new medical system uses temperature data to predict that an ulcer will develop more than a month before it surfaces. With this system, doctors would have more time to treat it.

Foot ulcers can follow neuropathy, which 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have. But neuropathy is not an inevitable consequence of diabetes.

“The best way to prevent neuropathy is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as possible,” the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states. “Maintaining safe blood glucose levels protects nerves throughout the body.”

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Comments OffPosted in: Diabetes Complications

This New Meter Is Accurate and Can Be Yours Free

September 18th, 2016 · Comments Off

I hope you are already using a blood glucose meter, if you have diabetes or prediabetes. Using one of these meters is the only way that you can know how you are doing with the food you eat, the exercise you get, and the medicine you take may be sending your levels too low or too high.

Do you already have a meter? If you do, you may want to consider a new one. I remember an endocrinologist telling me 20 years ago that we should get a new one every year. Because the technology is much better nowadays, we probably can keep using a meter longer than that. But any meter can go out of whack — for example, if you drop it. And the newer ones keep getting better.

The new Jazz Wireless 2 meter from AgaMatrix of Salem, New Hampshire, is likely to be superior to the one you are using. It’s one of the most accurate and certainly the smallest blood glucose meter that you can use. It’s also one of the least expensive on the market.

AgaMatrix isn’t one of the Big Four meter companies. LifeScan, Accu-Chek, Abbott, and Panasonic Healthcare (which early this year bought Bayer Diabetes) dominate the health insurance formularies, so many people with diabetes fail to look beyond them.

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Comments OffPosted in: Diabetes Testing

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