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Diabetes Update: Email News

Number 53; January 16, 2003

By David Mendosa


On the Green River Rafting down the “Green” River

This newsletter keeps you up-to-date with new articles, columns, and Web pages that I have written. I list and link most of these on my Diabetes Directory at www.mendosa.com/diabetes.htm

From time to time Diabetes Update may also include links to other Web pages of special interest.

My most recent contributions are:

  • Email News
    In my current column on the Web site of the American Diabetes Association I come close to giving away the big secret of how I keep up-to-date on diabetes developments. The column covers news sources that you can subscribe to and have them come directly into your email inbox. These are pretty good sources, but frankly they don’t compare to Google News and Yahoo! News. Also, I didn’t mention What’s New With Children with Diabetes, because its presentation leaves so much to be desired. However, I always find interesting links there. It comes by email every Sunday evening, and you can subscribe at http://www.castleweb.com:81/guest/RemoteListSummary/cwd_whatsnew. The URL for my column on Email News is http://www.diabetes.org/main/community/info_news/web/default.jsp

Updates include:

  • Palm GI Database
    Just added to my main glycemic index page at http://www.mendosa.com/gi.htm is a link to a database of glycemic index and glycemic load values for the Palm operating system. This is equivalent to http://diabetes.about.com/library/mendosagi/ngilists.htm for desktop computers. Thanks to Stephen Jackson for the database. You will need the Palm Mobile DB database program to view the file data. This is available free for download to your PC at http://www.handmark.com/products/mobiledb .

  • New Becton Dickinson Meters
    Becton Dickinson, which until now has been in the diabetes marketplace primarily as a syringe and lancet manufacturer, will introduce two new meters in February or March (one of them has been available in Canada for a few months). Both meters—the BD Latitude and the BD Logic—will deliver your results in just 5 seconds and require a very small drop of blood—only 3┬ÁL (0.3 microliters). That’s as little blood as TheraSense meters, which, however, take 15 seconds to return a result. But unlike TheraSense meters, BD does not recommend them for alternative site testing. A customer service representative even told me that they haven’t even been so tested. The Latitude is a complete system including an insulin pen, while the Logic is a stand-alone meter.

    Personally, I just got a new Accu-Chek Compact meter. My new health insurance provider only covers meters and strips from Roche (Accu-Chek) and Abbott MediSense (Precision Xtra or Q.I.D only). I switched from an alternative site meter, the Precision Sof-Tact, which uses MediSense test strips that the insurance doesn’t cover. I was reluctant to switch from the Sof-Tact, because testing with it is almost always essentially painless even if it took more time than most new meters.

    My new Compact meter is quite fast, uses a small drop of blood, small, and very convenient with a drum containing 17 test strips, which I never even have to touch. I never thought that I would go back to testing on my finger tips, but it is not quite as bad as I remembered.

    Previously I used a LifeScan One Touch Basic, One Touch Profile, One Touch FastTake, One Touch Ultra, Bayer Glucometer Dex, Glucometer Elite XL, TheraSense FreeStyle. In addition, I tested half dozen others briefly for my articles. The Compact has to rate with me as the easiest and most convenient to use of any of these meters. Theoretically, the Glucometer Dex 2, which uses a 10-strip cartridge, comes close, but is considerably bigger and my experience with its predecessor, the Glucometer Dex, was quite unsatisfactory in terms of accuracy.

    BD has a good point (pun not intended) in emphasizing the lancet used with the company’s new meters. BD is noted as the quality (high-cost) producer of syringes and lancets. The BD Ultra-Fine 33 Lancets are the thinnest lancets on the market. My guess is that they are 33 gauge, but it is just a reasonable guess, because nowhere does the BD site explicitly make that point (a customer service representative confirms that they are 33 gauge). I have long used the 30 gauge BD Ultra-Fine II Lancets and would love to switch to the finer lancets. But BD says they will only work with the BD Lancet device and with the new BD meters. However, a customer service representative says that the new 33 gauge lancets will fit in a regular BD lancing device, which of course is the same size as most other lancing devices. Maybe the problem is that the drop of blood that the new lancets provide might be too small to use with any other brand of meter (except TheraSense meters, which use the same small blood sample), but I will certainly test the new lancets as soon as I can buy them.

    I have updated my “On-line Diabetes Resources Part 14: Blood Glucose Meters” Web page at http://www.mendosa.com/meters.htm accordingly.

Research News

  • C-Reactive Proteins
    A new study by physicians at the University of California, Davis, is the first one to conclusively link C-reactive proteins to the formation of blood clots. The study will appear in the January 25 edition of the journal Circulation, a publication of the American Heart Association. Previously, CRP had been recognized as a risk marker for heart disease.

    “The effect of CRP is especially acute for patients with diabetes and metabolic syndrome,” Sridevi Devaraj, a co-investigator and assistant professor of pathology at UC Davis, says in the university’s press release.

    There had already been considerable concern about CRP among some of us who have diabetes. One of the diabetes mailing lists that I subscribe to has included several messages encouraging us to get our CRP level tested. So, last week I asked my endocrinologist why he hadn’t ordered a CRP test for me. His reply was interesting and persuasive.

    “I wouldn’t know what to make of the results,” he replied. “Because you have diabetes, I already know that you are at risk of heart disease.”

Book Review:

    The New Glucose Revolution
  • The New Glucose Revolution
    I just reviewed this book two issues ago, so I’m not going to repeat it here. This is just an update to tell you how well it’s doing. “New Glucose has been #1 on Amazon since yesterday afternoon,” Publisher Matthew Lore wrote me this morning. He added later that BN.com also had it as #1 (when I looked, it was #2). He knows of my interest in the book because he discovered the original Australian edition on my Web site before publishing U.S. editions himself. Undoubtedly, sales got a major boost from Jean Carper’s “EatSmart” column in this past weekend’s USA Weekend magazine. Her column is also online.

Boilerplate:

  • I send out Diabetes Update e-mail in HTML format, which all Web browsers and most modern e-mail programs can display. HTML has live links to all the sites named in the text so that with a simple click of a mouse you can connect to the site you have just been reading about.

  • This newsletter is free and will never include advertising. Nor will I ever sell, rent, or trade your e-mail address to anyone.

Archives:

I send out Diabetes Update about twice a month. Previous issues are online:


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