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Diabetes Developments

Diabetes Developments

Fitness and Photography for Fun

My new blog,  “Fitness and Photography for Fun” is a special part of my Web site. The reason for it is to inspire other people — particularly people with diabetes — to get the exercise they need in a way that they enjoy.

For me it’s photographing nature. For some people it’s listening to music they love on their iPod. For others it’s going out with friends.

When you do something that you love, it’s easy. Even if it’s also exercise. I make my exercise easy and enjoyable for myself by taking along my camera whenever I go out.

When I was in high school, I got my first film camera. I went digital a few years ago. I love to take photographs of the beauty of nature everywhere that I go.

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Diabetes Developments, Exercise For Diabetes

The Best Time to Lose Weight

Any time is a good time to lose weight if your body mass index is over 25. So I’m surprised to learn that there is a best time.

A large study that the professional journal Diabetes Care will publish in its October issue indicates that if you have diabetes, the best time to lose weight is right after your diagnosis. Even if you gain back that weight, by taking off the pounds then you have a better chance of keeping your blood glucose and blood pressure levels under reasonably good control.

The study comes from Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Washington, one of the country’s largest health maintenance organizations with about 480,000 members. Its Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, has taken the lead in analyzing the electronic health records of its members. This is one HMO that knows how the improved health of its members can improve the organization’s bottom line at the same time — and acts on that knowledge.
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Diabetes Developments, Diabetes Medication

Living Longer with Byetta

The diabetes drug Byetta can help us control our blood glucose and lose weight. That’s huge — and just the beginning of the story.

Full disclosure: I own 100 shares of stock in Amylin, the company that developed Byetta.

About a year ago, after the Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Chicago, I reported here how Byetta can reduce our risk of heart attacks and strokes. These are the most common and deadly complications of diabetes.

Now a study presented at the ADA’s recent Scientific Sessions in San Francisco indicates that the reduced risk to our hearts may lead to previously unheard of benefits. Taking Byetta can lower our chance of dying compared with other diabetes drugs. The Times says that the chance of dying while taking Byetta is about 75 percent lower than on the other drugs.
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Diabetes Complications, Diabetes Developments, Diabetes Medication

Conquering Sleep Apnea

You can conquer sleep apnea. I know you can because I conquered a most severe form of it. And I’ve now even given away both of my continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, which is the standard treatment for overweight people who have sleep apnea.

About half of all of us who have diabetes also suffer from sleep apnea. While not all of us who have diabetes suffer from it, everyone with sleep apnea suffers. People lose their jobs because they nod off to sleep at work rather than at night. People crash their cars because they fall asleep at the wheel. Even those who don’t get fired or have traffic accidents suffer by being sleepy much of the time.

My fear of killing myself and my passengers by nodding off during an afternoon drive was in fact what finally persuaded me to seek treatment. Four years ago, when I finally began to get my sleep apnea under control with a CPAP machine, I wrote my first article about it. That article, for Diabetes Wellness News, is now online.
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Diabetes Developments

Mouth Control

Our mouths are key to diabetes control. And not just what we put in them.

How would you like to reduce your A1C level by 0.67 percent — like from 6.67 to 6.0 — without putting less in your mouth or even increasing your exercise? This third type of A1C control may be the easiest ever.

Research presented at last month’s Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association that I attended in San Francisco made this point. Dr. George Taylor, associate professor of dentistry at the University of Michigan, reported there on recent studies demonstrating the association between periodontal problems and the complications of diabetes. He spoke in the first symposium ever by dentists to ADA meetings.

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Diabetes Developments, Diabetes Diet

How to Eat Your Heart Out

How can you turn down food that your spouse lovingly sets in front of you?

When does the bonding experience of emotional nurturing in sharing a meal with a loved one override your diabetes diet requirements?

Does the health of your heart ever trump intimacy?

A friend’s dilemma reminded me of these questions and a difficult part of my personal history. A quarter of a century ago when one of my unhappy marriages was failing, I wrote a poem that started like this:

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