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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa
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A Great New Meter System for Diabetes Blood Sugar Tracking

February 12th, 2014 · No Comments

The OneTouch Verio Sync may be the best blood glucose meter for people with diabetes. But before you rush out to buy one as a Christmas present for yourself or for a loved one, please note one problem. It’s not yet for sale.

The Verio Sync Paired with an iPhone

LifeScan Inc., the company that is making it, tells me that they expect their new meter to become available in January, February, or March of next year. LifeScan sells more blood glucose meters in this country than any other company, and the Verio Sync will join their three other current OneTouch meters. They are the OneTouch Verio IQ, the OneTouch Ultra Mini, and the OneTouch Ultra 2 (LifeScan also developed the OneTouch UltraLink, which works with a Medtronic insulin pump, and the OneTouch Ping meter remote that works with the Animas insulin pump).

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Will the Diabetes Sentry Prevent Hypos?

December 27th, 2013 · 2 Comments

I wish that I could give you an unqualified endorsement of the new Diabetes Sentry. It is the only noninvasive device currently on the market for the detection of hypoglycemia symptoms. Worn like a wristwatch, it is simple and easy to use.

It can detect the two most common symptoms of hypoglycemia, a blood sugar level that can be dangerously low and which many people with diabetes call a hypo. The common symptoms are a drop in skin temperature and an increase in perspiration. When a Diabetes Sentry detects one of these symptoms, it sounds an audible alarm.

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Marvelous Macadamias for Diabetes

December 23rd, 2013 · 2 Comments

If all that you demand of what you eat is that it is healthy and tastes good, macadamia nuts are a wonderful choice for those of us who have diabetes. But no food is perfect.

Unlike all other nuts, eating macadamia nuts won’t wreck your ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats, which are both polyunsaturated fats. The absolute amount of polyunsaturated fats in even a large amount of macadamias is so low that relative amount need not be a concern. As long as we get a ratio of 1:1 or even twice as much omega 6 and omega 3 in our total diet we are doing fine. We can do that by eliminated from our diet soybean, corn, canola, and cottonseed oils and by eating fatty fish like salmon or sardines or mackerel or by taking fish oil or krill oil capsules.

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Diabetes without Drugs

December 15th, 2013 · 12 Comments

If you have type 2 diabetes, you can manage it well without any drugs — without any oral medications and without insulin. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will always have to take insulin injections, but you can likely use less than you do now.

To manage diabetes well means keeping your blood sugar level down in the same range as that of people who don’t have diabetes. The way we check this level is the A1C (sometimes called glycated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1c, or HbA1c). This test tells you what your average blood sugar level was during the previous two or three months by using a drop of blood about as small as that you use on your regular fingerstick tests that tells you what your level is right then.

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Drinking and Diabetes Don’t Mix

December 8th, 2013 · 8 Comments

Compared with some other stuff we put in our mouths, the trouble with alcohol might not seem to be a big deal for most of us who have diabetes. We all know, of course, that even a little alcohol can mean big trouble for those of us who can’t handle alcohol in moderation.

More than 30 percent of adult Americans have “experienced alcohol use disorders during their lifetimes,” according to a 2007 study in JAMA Psychiatry. That study also found that 17.8 percent have alcohol abuse problems and that 12.5 are alcohol dependent.

Our genes are responsible for about half of the risk for alcoholism, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The other half is our environment, which includes our friends.

If you were sure from your experience that you can handle a little alcohol and if you were a middle-aged or older man who didn’t have diabetes, a little alcohol might actually be good for you. That’s because the response of some people to different amounts of alcohol seems to be quite unusual. It’s not something that could be plotted on a straight line. Researchers call it a U-shaped or J-shaped curve, where among middle-aged and older men, abstinence seems to be a little worse than moderate consumption, while heavy consumption is much worse.

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Grateful for Diabetes

December 2nd, 2013 · 4 Comments

Those of us fortunate enough to be Americans have so many things to be grateful for this month, and we will celebrate that gratitude in four weeks. In fact, those of us who have diabetes have a whole month to be thankful for it.

Yesterday, President Obama proclaimed November 2013 to be National Diabetes Month. While this Presidential Proclamation seeks to raise the awareness of everyone about the prevention and management of diabetes, the President didn’t say why the month when we celebrate Thanksgiving is the same month that we recognize diabetes.

But I know that the link between Thanksgiving and diabetes is a strong and positive one. Knowing that we have diabetes can be good for us.

You may think that I’m crazy, but some of us are thankful that we have diabetes. I wish all of us could share this feeling.

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Emergency Preparedness for Diabetes

November 24th, 2013 · 1 Comment

Like everyone else, those of us who have diabetes need to prepare for emergencies. But because we have more and different needs, we have to do more than just think about what could go wrong. Sadly, that’s what most people do.

Some people have set aside stores of food and water. But only about 10 percent of American households are prepared for an emergency. Yet climate change and increasing weather extremes are creating more and more emergencies.

The United States experienced an average of 50 natural disasters each year in the previous decade — more than 560 in total — according to the records that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, keeps of “major disaster declarations.” Already in the first three years and 10 months of this decade FEMA declared 280 major disasters, an average of more than 73 per year.

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The Trouble with Peanuts in Managing Diabetes

November 18th, 2013 · 3 Comments

If you have diabetes, beware of peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut oil.

Some people think that because most tree nuts, like almonds, are so healthy, that peanuts should also be good for us. But peanuts aren’t nuts at all. They are a legume, and unlike most nuts we can’t eat them raw.

Actually, we can’t eat them at all if we want to avoid some of the side effects that we can get from them. Some of these side effects can be quite serious.

I can think of only nine reasons why we have to avoid peanuts or anything made from them. Maybe you can think of more, but these eight might be enough to give anyone pause:

1. Peanuts have a lot of carbohydrates, which raise our blood sugar level. Take a look at the US Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, which is the gold standard of nutrient facts and is fortunately back online today now that the government shutdown has ended. When you exclude the water content in peanuts, they are 37 percent carbohydrate, 39 percent fat, and 24 percent protein.

“One tablespoon of natural, unsweetened peanut butter contains 3 grams of carbohydrate and will raise my blood sugar 15 mg/dl,” writes Dr. Richard K. Bernstein in the 2011 edition of his book Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. “Imagine the effect on blood sugar of downing 10 tablespoons!”

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The Best Snack for Weight Loss and Diabetes

November 11th, 2013 · No Comments

Almonds are both my favorite snack and trail food. In fact, lately I seldom eat anything else between meals or on trails.

Unlike some other tasty nuts like cashews, almonds are much lower in carbohydrates, which are the part of our diet that is almost solely responsible for raising our blood sugar level. Nothing else in our diet is more important for managing our diabetes than keeping that level in check.

Some other nuts have a somewhat more favorable ratio of those super-healthy monounsaturated to polyunsaturated fats than almonds. But I avoid them as a matter of taste. I can eat macadamia nuts nonstop until the container is empty, but my body gets so full that I can easily put on a few pounds. On the other hand, I don’t particularly appreciate the taste of other healthy nuts like pecans or walnuts.

As a trail food nothing can compare with any sort of nuts. They can withstand rough handling in our packs and require no refrigeration. But when I’m at home, I keep my snacking almonds in the freezer. Raw almonds are sometimes too soft for my taste, but eating them right out of the freezer gives them that degree of crunch that I appreciate.

Two big reasons why almonds have become my only snack and trail food are weight loss and diabetes. After traveling almost all summer, I’m struggling to take off the last few pounds that I gained on my trips. I stick with almonds for my diabetes because they are one of the most carb-friendly snacks.

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The Top Ten Diabetes Terms

November 5th, 2013 · 4 Comments

This post is a text preview of a slideshow that my associates at HealthCentral will be preparing next week. This is my way of explaining the most important terms that we have to live with non-technically in 65 words or less each.

Insulin Resistance
When you need more insulin than the beta cells of your pancreas can provide, glucose builds up in your blood instead of going into the cells in the rest of your body. This resistance to your own insulin causes high blood glucose, which doctors call hyperglycemia. It can lead to prediabetes, which in turn can lead to diabetes, if you don’t change your lifestyle.

Type 2 Diabetes
When the cells of your body are resistant for several years to the insulin that the beta cells of your pancreas makes, they compensate by making more insulin. Eventually, however, they works so hard that they can’t keep up and begin to die off. That’s when you get type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes. But now, even children are getting it.

Type 1 Diabetes
If you have type 1 diabetes (formerly called juvenile diabetes), you usually aren’t resistant to the insulin that your beta cells make. Instead, something else, perhaps an infection, kills most of the beta cells so the rest of the cells in your body get little or no insulin that your body makes. To make up for this lack you have to take insulin shots.

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