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

Stop Walking the 10,000 Steps!

March 10th, 2016 · 11 Comments


It’s a myth that we should walk 10,000 steps every day. Yet walking is the easiest and best physical activity for almost all of us who have diabetes. More is almost certainly better.

Do you know why and when the 10,000 figure originated? Way back in the 1960s a Japanese company was trying to sell pedometers. Some really smart people came up with that number for its extremely successful marketing campaign.

This advertisement didn’t have its roots in research, and my search of the U.S. National Library of Medicine didn’t turn up any scientific basis for it. While some studies have used the 10,000 step figure as a benchmark in the past few years, they are taking it for granted rather than as a fact.

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Take Zinc If Your Diabetes Is High

February 27th, 2016 · 10 Comments

If you are healthy, you may not need to take a zinc supplement. But if your health isn’t good enough, a new meta-analysis indicates that you probably need to take one. The study categorizes people with type 2 diabetes as “non-healthy.”

zinc (1)

The mineral zinc plays an important role in how our bodies use insulin and in the metabolism of carbohydrates. When non-healthy people take a zinc supplement, the new study found that they can “significantly reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.”

An earlier meta-analysis focused entirely on people with diabetes. It found that zinc helps us manage both our blood glucose and lipids better.

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Walk Away Your Diabetes

February 26th, 2016 · 2 Comments

Walking significantly decreases our blood glucose level, according to a recent meta-analysis. This analysis of 18 studies involving 20 randomized clinical trials including 866 people with type 2 diabetes found that on average it cuts the typical A1C level from the equivalent of  6.5 to 6.0.


This is especially good news for us because walking is “the activity of choice” for people with diabetes. This has long been the way that about half of us get our exercise, according to a nationwide survey.

Do it your way

It can be performed at a variety of speeds with different intensities. I prefer to do my walking slowly on long hikes in nature, but even walking through a mall helps a lot.
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Full-fat Dairy Helps You Avoid Prediabetes and Diabetes

February 17th, 2016 · 5 Comments

The official Dietary Guidelines still advise us to limit the amount of saturated fat that we eat. But a large study of more than 15,000 adults published a few days ago concluded that when people eat a lot of full-fat dairy foods they are less likely to get the metabolic syndrome.


The metabolic syndrome is a group of five risk factors that can increase your chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. One of these five risk factors is insulin resistance, which usually leads to prediabetes and on to diabetes. You can reverse prediabetes, but there is no cure for diabetes.

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Don’t Let the Sugar Label Confuse You

February 16th, 2016 · Comments Off

We need to “consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars.” This is a key recommendation of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which the U.S. government released on January 7.


But previous versions of the guidelines didn’t set a specific goal. And the Nutrition Facts labels that we have now on all of our packaged foods are confusing because they still don’t separate added sugars from those that occur naturally.

For those of us who have prediabetes or diabetes, the added sugars are a special concern, and these new Dietary Guidelines recognize it. The guidelines include a statement that we have some evidence that indicates eating less added sugar is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

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Take Metformin If You Have Prediabetes

February 15th, 2016 · 4 Comments

Do you have prediabetes? You might be able to ward it off with the help of one of the diabetes drugs.


Metformin might stop you from getting diabetes and could also help you in other ways. But persuading your doctor to prescribe it could be a challenge.

The biggest and perhaps the best study of people who have prediabetes showed that taking metformin cuts the risk of diabetes by 31 percent. While this was less than the reduction of 58 percent that the “lifestyle intervention” provided, in real life we usually aren’t able to get that much guidance from our medical team.

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Prediabetes Can Be Your Wake-up Call

February 14th, 2016 · 2 Comments

Even if you have prediabetes you have a good chance of preventing type 2 diabetes. That’s the good news from five big research studies from around the world. But the studies also show that perhaps up to 70 percent of the people who have prediabetes will get type 2 diabetes, which no one can cure.

CDCPCredit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

If you know that you have prediabetes, you can think of yourself as being especially lucky. You can take your diagnosis as a wake-up call. Or, as the Certified Diabetes Educator Susan Semb calls it in the subtitle of her book Prediabetes, it is “an opportunity.”

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The Good News About Diabetes in 2015

January 22nd, 2016 · Comments Off

The year 2015 brought more good news to people with diabetes than any year since a doctor told me 22 years ago that my A1C level of 14.4 meant that I had diabetes. At that time I weighed more than 300 pounds and didn’t get any exercise.

But because I have been a journalist for most of my life, I decided to learn everything I could about diabetes. For the past two decades I have written about diabetes here, and for the past 10 years I have shared what I know about managing it in my posts and slideshows at


Phyllisa Deroze

I know that diabetes isn’t a progressive disease, in spite of what some people think. I also know that well-managed diabetes causes nothing. From my personal experience I know that you can be healthier than you ever were — if you get more active, lose weight, take your medicine, and cut your stress.

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Did You Set Your Diabetes Goals?

January 18th, 2016 · 1 Comment

I celebrated the new year on December 21, when it started. Like me, you can celebrate it with good intentions for diabetes health.


Most people celebrate ten days later on what our calendar says is New Year’s Eve. After a night of partying, it’s typical to respond with good intentions to turn over a new leaf in the next 365 or 366 days. These resolutions are made to be broken because we not only aim too late but we also aim too high.

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Diabetes Educators Can Help Us Manage Blood Glucose

January 13th, 2016 · Comments Off

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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