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

The Glycemic Index Still Matters for Diabetes

June 15th, 2014 · 9 Comments

The glycemic index is about foods that are high in carbohydrates, and the easiest way to manage our diabetes is a very low-carb diet. But low-carbing is basically taking the glycemic index one step further.

A low-carb diet isn’t a no-carb diet. In fact, the glycemic index is as important for those of us who eat 50 or fewer grams of carbohydrates a day as for people who use insulin or pills.

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At the end of 2007 I switched from relying on pills and the glycemic index when I decided that a very low-carb diet was safer than using medicine, which always has side effects. Before then, my first book was about the glycemic index. I co-authored What Makes My Blood Glucose Go Up…and Down? together with the world’s top glycemic index scientist, Professor Jennie Brand Miller of Australia’s University of Sydney, and her associate Kaye Foster Powell.

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→ 9 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Diet

Short-term Insulin: Long-term Results for Type 2 Diabetes

June 8th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Insulin has usually been the last resort for those of us who have type 2 diabetes. “If you don’t shape up, I’m going to make you inject insulin,” is a threat we may hear from our doctors.

When all else fails and our blood sugar is still too high after trying the pills for diabetes, many of us go on insulin, although usually with reluctance. But by that time most of the beta cells of our pancreas that store and release insulin into the bloodstream have also failed.

Ongoing research at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital suggests that we’ve got it backwards. When people with type 2 diabetes take insulin for a short term soon after their diagnosis, it can have long-term effects.

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Generic Test Strips for Diabetes

June 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

Generic products can help us manage the costly disease known as diabetes. In the past few years we got generic pills, including metformin. Now we have genetic test strips for our blood glucose meters.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved generic test strips that we can use with most of LifeScan’s OneTouch Ultra meters. Now you can buy them now.

LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson company, sells more blood glucose meters in the United States than any other meter manufacturer. You are more likely to find their meters on your health plan’s formulary than those made by any other company.

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UniStrip Technologies in Charlotte, North Carolina, offers generic test strips for LifeScan’s four best-selling meters in the Ultra family: the OneTouch Ultra, Ultra2, UltraSmart, and UltraMini. PharmaTech Solutions (owned by Shasta Technologies) in Westlake Village, California, offers generic strips for three of these: the OneTouch Ultra, Ultra2, and UltraMini.

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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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