My most recent articles are:
- Recent Research Reports
Whatever you think about the American Diabetes Association, you have to admit that this rather conservative organization sponsors conventions where thousands of scientists present the latest research on everything related to diabetes. There is nothing of the kind larger than its 65th Annual Scientific Sessions in San Diego this summer.
It included 55 abstracts dealing with blood glucose testing. Especially interesting were four presentations that looked at testing on the palm of the hand. For my review of these and the other most important abstracts, please read my current “Meter News” column in the September issue of Diabetes Health magazine or read it on my website at http://www.mendosa.com/research.htm
- Fourth Edition of My Book
Now that this newsletter has about 10,000 subscribers, there must be a few of you who read Chinese better than you read English. I have just what you have been waiting for — the Chinese edition of my first book, What Makes My Blood Glucose Go Up — And Down? I wrote it a couple of years with Jennie Brand-Miller and Kaye Foster-Powell. Taiwan is now the fourth country in which this indespensable reference work has been published — after the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. This book has the answers to the 101 most important questions about foods and other things that can increase or reduce your blood glucose as well as the listing of the glycemic index and glycemic load of about 750 foods that have been tested so far.
Since I find Chinese hard to read, I can’t tell you how much the book costs. But whatever it costs, I know that it’s worth it. The ISBN is 986-13-034-3.
- The Dawn Phenomenon
There’s another way for us to help control the dawn phenomenon (where your fasting numbers are worse than when you go to bed). Initially, I reported on my lack of success with the ExtendBar. Then, in the July issue of Diabetes Update I reported the advice from John Walsh and Ruth Roberts to take a green apple (like a Granny Smith; not an unripe one) at bedtime. Since then some correspondents have reported apple success, while others weren’t so lucky.
Now, I am happy to report the recommendation of correspondent Renee Gerger. She writes:I wanted to share with you that vinegar pills have changed my whole blood sugar control in a positive manner. I have used several brands, but find that GNC works the best. The difference I noted in the GNC product is that it contains cayenne along with some other substances. I have dawn syndrome and by taking two pills at bedtime I have eliminated it completely. I now have normal readings in the a.m. and most of the day. I also take one or two at dinner.
One has to be cautious because they are so effective that they can reduce blood sugar too much. I have been experimenting with the pills and have noticed that I can reduce my Prandin by taking the vinegar pills. Presently I take Actos once a day and one Prandin at breakfast, one at lunch, and two at dinner. I now don’t take a Prandin at lunch, and if I am having a larger carb intake at dinner, I take both Prandin and maybe one vinegar pill. With a dinner that is really “legal” I don’t take a vinegar pill at that time, but still take two before bed even if my blood glucose is well below 100, because of the dawn syndrome effect. If I don’t take the vinegar, then my blood glucose is over 130, and with the vinegar it has usually been below 110.
That was so intriguing to me that I immediately followed up with Renee. I asked her where she had heard about taking vinegar pills for the dawn phenomenon. She doesn’t remember, and may well have discovered it herself. She says that she had read about the effects of vinegar and used a lot on salads and did notice a difference. “Then I started taking a tablespoon of cider or white vinegar straight at dinner and at bedtime and saw some difference (balsamic and other vinegars are not recommended).”
Because I am a rather skeptical journalist, just to be sure I asked her if she has any connection with the vinegar industry or GNC. Her reply was unambiguous: “I do not have any conflict of interest, as this has been a personal investigative journey.”
At that, I dashed out to the local GNC store and found the same vinegar pills that Renee is using with such success. I made sure to get the same formulation that she uses: apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper fruit powder, ginger root powder, and Garcinia cambogia fruit extract; code 439011. I was especially interested in the cayenne, both because I love it and because it is often used to relieve the pain of neuropathy (I didn’t taste the cayenne — or the vinegar for that matter — and I don’t have neuropathy). Another correspondent suggests that other ingredients besides the vinegar, specifically the Garcinia, might be effective.
My first trial, alternatively taking two vinegar capsules one night and none the next for a total of 20 nights, was not as promising as I hoped and expected. During that time my blood glucose levels were erratic, but taking two vinegar capsules helped, although they did not always prevent the dawn phenomenon.
In fact, taking two vinegar capsules resulted in five occurrences of the dawn phenomenon and five times that my morning numbers were lower. During the 10 nights that I didn’t take two capsules, I had the dawn phenomenon six times.
That was disappointing. But I figured that Renee was on to something, and is a lot smaller than I am, so I would need to take more capsules. I did; I increased the dose to four.
During this trial of four capsules, I had the dawn phenomenon 19 times and didn’t have it 19 times. Not wonderful and only a little better than without the vinegar capsules. I can only hope that your results are closer to Renee’s than to mine.
- Glycemic Index Weight Loss
Since I wrote the forward to Glycemic Index Weight Loss, I obviously like it. The people who published the book in turn liked my forward so much that they excerpted a bit of the forward on the cover:Written with a refreshing style, this book is not only knowledgeable…but also extremely practical for millions of people.…Unlike fad diets, the glycemic index is based on science that you can follow for a lifetime.The lead author, Lucy Beale, is a weight-loss expert and the author of three previous books in the Idiot’s series. The second author, Joan Clark is a registered dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.
In my forward to this book I reviewed the development of the glycemic index and glycemic load for people with diabetes and for those who are trying to lose weight:This book is the culmination of the most significant dietary advance of the past quarter century. Scientists developed the concept of the glycemic index in the 1970s. The first article in a professional journal to use that term appeared in 1981.
It took many more years for consciousness of the glycemic index to seep into the general culture, and I suspect that I had something to do with that. Shortly after I received the diagnosis in February 1994 that I have diabetes, my diabetes educator mentioned that she had read an item about the glycemic index in a professional book. Somehow, that caught my attention, and I never let go of it.
It led to my 1996 article about the glycemic index in Diabetes Interview (now called Diabetes Health) magazine, which I think was the first article anywhere about it in the popular press. Subsequently, I have written about 20 articles and co-authored one book on this subject alone and about 500 other articles on diabetes in general.
People with diabetes like me were the first to appreciate the value of the glycemic index, because it helps so much in controlling our blood glucose. Then, people who are trying to lose weight caught on to its significance.
People discovered that when you eat low on the glycemic index, you lower your insulin levels, increase your energy, and stop storing fat, which you begin to burn. This chain of events leads automatically to weight loss.
After one of America’s largest magazines featured the weight loss advantage of following the glycemic index in a 2003 cover story, the world at large begin to know about it. That article directed readers to my website, mendosa.com, which was overwhelmed when people downloaded up to 27 billion bytes per week of my glycemic index articles.
Hundreds of people have subsequently written to thank me for helping them lose weight by avoiding high glycemic foods. Someone even went so far as to write, “Thank God for you and your site. If angels are messengers on this earth, then you will get your wings in the next life.” That seems a bit extreme, but it is true that many people are now losing weight by paying attention to the glycemic index of the food they eat.
This will work for you too. When you pay attention to a recent extension of the glycemic index called the glycemic load, weight loss and blood glucose control becomes even easier. That’s because the glycemic index tells you tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. The glycemic load tells you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food.
You can reap great benefits from the practical use of the glycemic index and the glycemic load. Working with these concepts correctly will help you meet your goal.
Alpha Books (a member of Penguin Group) published The Complete Idiot's Guide to Glycemic Index Weight Loss for $18.95 in July 2005. The ISBN of this 332-page trade soft cover book is 1-59257-404-1.
- Diabetes-Free Kids
If you have type 2 diabetes, there’s a good chance that your children will get it, if they don’t already have it. That’s because if both parents have type 2 diabetes, each of their children have about a 40 percent chance of getting it, according to Alan Shuldiner, M.D., at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I wrote about his studies of identical twins in my 2000 column for the American Diabetes Association’ website, Diabetes Genes.
This is why many subscribers to Diabetes Update might well be interested in Diabetes-Free Kids: A Take-Charge Plan for Preventing and Treating Type Diabetes in Children. Just 20 years ago type 2 diabetes was virtually unheard of in children. Now at least 35 percent of children with diabetes have type 2. Those comparative numbers alone are enough to show parents that they can help their kids from facing the disease that us adults with diabetes have.
The authors of this book are two people eminently suited to the task. Sheri Colberg-Ochs is an associate professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and the author of The Diabetic Athlete. She has type 1 diabetes, and because of her expertise I recently interviewed her for a forthcoming magazine article about people with diabetes using calorie counting devices. Co-author Mary Friesz is a nutritionist, a Registered Dietitian, and a Certified Diabetes Educator who specializes in working with children.
They give us a sound and sensible plan for preventing or controlling type 2 diabetes among your children. I was especially impressed with their wisdom about obesity, which plagues most children and adults who have type 2. They point out that excess body fat is appropriately considered a symptom of insulin resistance (and diabetes) rather than the cause. And¬¨‚Ä†they say that you can improve your control of diabetes without weight loss.
What really works for diabetes control, they show, includes a more active lifestyle and choosing foods for better glycemic control. Using the glycemic index and limiting the glycemic load are key. And there is a lot more excellent advice here that makes this book invaluable for anyone who has or plans to have children.
Avery, a member of Penguin Group, published Diabetes-Free Kids for $14.95 in June 2005. The ISBN of this 218-page trade soft cover book is 1-58333-221-9.
- True Lemon
I do hope that you get something of value from each issue Diabetes Update. My goals are to be upbeat without being Pollyannish and to give you what we journalists call “News You Can Use.”
In turn, I get the satisfaction of helping others by publicizing my work. I also get books, DVDs, CDs, and VCR tapes about diabetes, some of which I review here. And every week or two a company sends me a new product that they hope I will like and tell you about. Frankly, I am not usually impressed.
But this month Grand Brands LLC in Baltimore sent me something so good that we actually bought more with our own money. Their product is called True Lemon and is simply crystallized lemon. Each packet is the equivalent of two lemon wedges.
It is easy to use. It has a good, strong, tart lemon flavor. It tastes just like lemon. It is completely natural and kosher. The packets are convenient. It’s good in water, Diet Pepsi, on fish, on anything that is too sweet, like Diet Snapple. Unless you have a big lemon tree in your yard, at about 9 cents per packet, it is less expensive and certainly more convenient than lemons.
After we used up the free sample that Grand Brands, the manufacturer, sent us, we bought a box of 150 packets (plus 40 “free” packets), from one of the online vendors linked at the website for True Lemon. The total cost was $17.94 including shipping.
What does this have to do with diabetes? Just two things that I can think of:
- Each packet has essentially no calories and no carbohydrates, and
- Using acidic foods, like lemon and vinegar, is an excellent way to control blood glucose, as I wrote in Acidic Foods.
The website is True Lemon.
It may be old news to specialists in foot care, like my friend Dr. Tom Burke, a former associate professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, who is now the MedAssist director of research and clinical affairs. But I read about the TempTouch for the first time in The New York Times on August 30. Barnaby Feder’s article, “New Priority: Saving Feet of Diabetics” has this gripping paragraph:And it [a new diabetes management program] is sending them [people with diabetes at high risk for developing foot wounds] home with a new $150 device that makes it easy to check the skin temperature on the bottom of their feet every day, along with instructions to phone immediately if either foot is warmer than 90 degrees or if one foot is 4 degrees warmer than the other. Either reading is an early warning sign that an ulcer is developing.I had to learn more, so I immediately wrote Tom. He replied right away:“It’s pretty old news. Dr. Lavery did the study and it was published last November in Diabetes Care.”Dr. Lawrence Lavery’s article, “Home Monitoring of Foot Skin Temperatures to Prevent Ulceration,” is online. It reported great success in reducing foot complications with the use of a handheld infrared skin thermometer, the “TempTouch” made by Xilas Medical in San Antonio, Texas.
Xilax Medical recommends that we test each morning. Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover it yet, Don Lawson, CEO of Xilas Medical, told me. “It’s too early to go to Medicare, because they need more data, which we are now collecting,” he says.
He sent me a TempTouch, which arrived yesterday. Catherine and I will use it, and I will report on it here.
- This month I learned about podcasts. Dr. Alan Rubin, an endocrinologist practicing in San Francisco who has written one of the best books about diabetes, told me about his podcast when I interviewed him for a forthcoming article. Then, separately, I learned more when I looked into podcasts generally, because I am thinking about buying Catherine an iPod for our 10th wedding anniversary next month.
iPods excel at playing podcasts, but they aren’t the only way to hear them. For example, you can download Dr. Rubin’s podcasts from http://www.drrubin.com/ with your browser. But a wonderful Apple Computer program called iTunes, version 4.9, for either the Mac or a PC lets you subscribe to a series of podcasts with almost no effort and interfaces beautifully with an iPod. In iTunes, click on Music Store then Podcasts — not Podcasts on the main menu (which is where you will find the podcasts that you have previously downloaded or subscribed to) — to find new podcasts. You can download versions for either platform at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/.
Since I wasn’t familiar with podcasts, I looked them up in the wonderful and free online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Its article on podcasting says (at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting):Podcasting is a method of publishing audio broadcasts via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed of new files (usually MP3s). It became popular in late 2004, largely due to automatic downloading of audio onto portable players or personal computers. Podcasting is distinct from other types of online media delivery because of its subscription model, which uses a feed (such as RSS or Atom) to deliver an enclosed file. Podcasting enables independent producers to create self-published, syndicated “radio shows” and gives broadcast radio programs a new distribution method. Listeners may subscribe to feeds using “podcatching” software (a type of aggregator), which periodically checks for and downloads new content automatically. Some podcatching software is also able to synchronise (copy) podcasts to portable music players. Any digital audio player or computer with audio-playing software can play podcasts.
I used iTunes to subscribe to the 17 episodes of Dr. Rubin’s podcasts that are available to date. They are well worth listening to. But I didn’t find any other podcasts that attracted my attention, although I am looking forward to the future availability of NPR programs like “All Things Considered,” “Fresh Air,” “Car Talk” and “This American Life.”
- This Newsletter
Diabetes Update keeps you up-to-date with new articles, Web pages, and books that I have written about diabetes.
I list and link most of these on my at Diabetes Directory and in the site’s menu.
From time to time Diabetes Update may also include links to other Web pages of special interest.
- HTML Format
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.
- My Guarantee
- Is and will remain free.
- Nor will I ever sell, rent, or trade your e-mail address to anyone.
- I will link sources of information.
- I will disclose any conflict of interest.
- If and when I learn of any errors of fact, I will correct them.
I now send out Diabetes Update once a month. Previous issues are online:
- Diabetes Update Number 1: Diabetes Genes of December 10, 2000
- Diabetes Update Number 2: DiabetesWATCH of December 18, 2000
- Diabetes Update Number 3: Starlix of January 3, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 4: Native Seeds/SEARCH, Tepary Beans of January 17, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 5: Insulin Makes You Fat of January 31, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 6: Available and Unavailable Carbohydrates of February 15, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 7: Dates of March 1, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 8: Quackwatch of March 15, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 9: The Cost of Insulin of March 30, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 10: Sof-Tact Meter of April 2, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 11: iControlDiabetes of April 16, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 12: Cinnamon, Tagatose of May 2, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 13: Glycemic Index of May 15, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 14: Eat Your Carrots! of May 31, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 15: Glycemic Load of June 21, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 16: Homocysteine of July 2, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 17: Chana Dal Tips of July 15, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 18: Lag Time in AlternativeLand of August 2, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 19: Fiber of August 15, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 20: How Diabetes Works of August 30, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 21: Insulin Resistance of September 14, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 22: Trans Fats, Honey, CU of October 1, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 23: Pedometer Power of October 15, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 24: Is Glycerin a Carbohydrate? of October 31, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 25: Kill the Meter to Save It of November 15, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 26: Protein, Fat, and the GI of December 1, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 27: Insulin Index of December 14, 2001
- Diabetes Update Number 28: Fructose of January 4, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 29: Aspirin of January 14, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 30: Stevia of January 31, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 31: Gretchen Becker’s Book of February 19, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 32: The UKPDS of March 4, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 33: Financial Aid of March 18, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 34: Pre-Diabetes of April 1, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 35: More Glycemic Indexes of April 15, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 36: Gila Monsters of April 30, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 37: Is INGAP a Cure? of May 15, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 38: Native American Diabetes of June 3, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 39: FDA Diabetes of June 19, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 40: Diabetes Support Groups of July 1, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 41: New GI and GL Table of July 15, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 42: Diabetes Sight of August 1, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 43: DrugDigest of August 18, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 44: Hanuman Garden of September 3, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 45: Guidelines of September 16, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 46: Trans Fat of October 4, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 47: Nutrition.Gov of October 16, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 48: Our Hearts of October 31, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 49: Our Kidneys of November 15, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 50: A1C<7 of December 2, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 51: Diabetes Searches with Google of December 16, 2002
- Diabetes Update Number 52: e-Patients of January 2, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 53: Email News of January 16, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 54: Third Generation Meters of January 31, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 55: Hypoglycemic Supplies of February 14, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 56: Food Police of March 1, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 57: Vitamins of April 1, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 58: Lancets of May 1, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 59: Accurate Meters of June 1, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 60: Chromium of July 1, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 61: Traveling of August 1, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 62: My Book of September 1, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 63: Hot Tubs of October 1, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 64: Home A1C Testing of November 1, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 65: Detemir of December 1, 2003
- Diabetes Update Number 66: Erectile Dysfunction of January 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 67: Acidic Foods of February 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 68: Net Carbs of March 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 69: Glycemic Index of April 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 70: Dreamfields Pasta of May 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 71: Cholesterol of June 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 72: Meter News of July 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 73: Pill Splitting of August 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 74: GlucoMON of September 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 75: Coding of October 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 76: Sleep Apnea of November 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 77: Keynote Address of December 1, 2004
- Diabetes Update Number 78: Mangosteen of January 1, 2005
- Diabetes Update Number 79: Noninvasive Dream of February 1, 2005
- Diabetes Update Number 80: Pelikan Sun of March 1, 2005
- Diabetes Update Number 81: Medtronic Monitors of April 1, 2005
- Diabetes Update Number 82: ExtendBars of May 1, 2005
- Diabetes Update Number 83: GlycoMark of June 1, 2005
- Diabetes Update Number 84: My British Book of July 1, 2005
- Diabetes Update Number 85: Disintegrating of August 1, 2005
- This Newsletter