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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Diabetes Insurance Plan Cuts Cost of Having Diabetes

Diabetes insurance reduces costs was the headline last year but I am concerned that with the cutback being contemplated, this may suffer its demise. Not without a fight though if we can help it. While the powers that be are thinking of ways and means of reducing debt by touching Medicare and social security, we can do our part to ensure this will not happen.

I remember being so happy at the new insurance plan reported last year. It was such a win-win situation for the diabetics. The premium will not only be reduced but also the one insured will get free coaching and drugs and supplies. The employers were supposed to foot the bill! And diabetes management will get a boost!

Not being a diabetic, I don't know if every employer signed up for this kind of health insurance for their employees. That would be the best way for we know that many people with type 2 diabetes pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of pocket every year to cover their share of the cost of drugs, testing supplies, and doctor visits that keep the disease in check.

Having serious complications, can make the costs even exponentially higher for both patients and the companies that employ them. The insurance giant UnitedHealthcare developed a new health plan at that time targeting specifically at employees who have diabetes or are at risk for developing it.

Providing the workers coaching and extra financial help to put a stop to or manage diabetes, the insurer is helping both the employees and their employers save money. It is an open debate as to how much the employers will save but it is clear that the employees will benefit from this arrangement. United said the employers have so far absorbed the higher insurance cost.

The workers who have diabetes and enroll in the plan will get free diabetic supplies and drugs. Their co-payments on doctor visits for exams and regular screenings along with the free diabetic drugs and supplies can save the employees approximately $500 annually.

In addition, they also receive free coaching so they learn to manage their diabetes more effectively. Those who enrolled and are at risk to develop diabetes will also receive savings on exams and screenings. They can also get access to a program of weight management.

Now we know that any program that will help people with diabetes improve manage their condition and reward them for it is indeed very encouraging. The employers and the those responsible for this must believe in the precept that I adhere to. Those who will help enough people get what they want will also get everything in life they want.

This is important especially amidst the troubling statistics regarding childhood obesity that because of this, one of three children born in 2000 has a chance of developing diabetes. It is therefore a good thing that when United Health Care tested this, about 75% said they'll do it.

There is so much enthusiasm but we know in any program such as this, there are some obstacles to overcome. For instance, how long will the employers agree to this when the economy is hurting them too? There are things we can do. We can adhere to eating healthy and exercising so we at least have something going for us if circumstances put a break on this diabetes insurance.

Insurance woes common for diabetes patients: the high-deductible policies that are increasing in popularity 'really hit people with diabetes.'.(Practice ... An article from: Internal Medicine News

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Diabetes Care - What Do the Egg Nutrition Center and American Egg Board Say on Egg Consumption?

Diabetes care in relation to egg consumption is an issue that is back again. The debate on whether eggs are good or not for the diabetics began when a research found that eating too many eggs is related to the diabetes risk increase which is a shame because eggs have nutritional benefits.

In the case of the nutritional value of eggs, a large body of science is on the egg side. For one thing, eggs contain a high quality of protein that promotes muscle strength, energy and growth. The nutritional value of eggs cannot be denied just like for milk. Some even use eggs for weight management purposes.

Eggs also have important nutrients that are shown to lower the risk of neural tube birth defects. In addition, they are supposedly good at promoting eye health. In this connection, an article was published that reported the link between egg consumption and type 2 diabetes.

To arrive at the conclusion, the researchers examined the collected data from the Physicians' Health Study 1. Finding that consuming eggs was connected to a greater incidence of type 2 diabetes was quite unexpected. Why? Because we've known all along the nutritional benefit of eggs.

That is also why, there is a need for more studies on this issue. Now if the other subsequent studies will arrive at the same conclusion, it is time to see if lessening the consumption of eggs will do the same. However, until they do so, it is good to continue to enjoy eating eggs especially the study did not really address the biological mechanism that contributed to the result in their findings.

There are also other factors that could have given meaning to the conclusion. Besides there were other issues left unaddressed like the BMI question, the age of the participants, smokers versus non-smokers, drinkers between non- drinkers. The researchers were cognizant of the limitations to the point the conclusion may have been just related to unhealthy lifestyle.

Now what does the American Egg Board say about this? The AEB is the link between the consumers and the egg producers and consists of 18 members with 18 alternates from all over the country. The secretary of agriculture appointed these people. I was disappointed not to see their take on the result of the study but probably because it has the Egg Nutrition Center that provides necessary information on the role the eggs play on the diet.

That's it. There are two commissions for you whose take on the study linking egg consumption to increased risk in type 2 diabetes is not available at least in this article. Keep tuned for I will research on this further so as to get clear direction regarding egg intake on diabetes care.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Health Insurance for Kids Passed

Health insurance for children passed. It is just ridiculous not to have it. I knew the president, either Obama or Clinton, would do this presidential act. I am writing about this again because I am concerned from what I am hearing about revamping the health insurance and we may lose what we got. Losing this coverage will be difficult to swallow especially for parents if their child has diabetes.

What will happen to the millions more children of lower-income parents who were supposed to gain health coverage under an expansion of State Children's Health Insurance Program that President Obama signed into law? Are they going to lose this coverage? There is so much rhetoric, it is not easy to sift through the fine print.

I remember clearly it was Wednesday when the House of Representatives voted 290-135 in favor of the legislation. Then the Senate followed suit and in late January and passed the bill on a 66-32 vote. I like what President Obama said that we are not a nation that will leave families having a difficult time to fend for themselves.

President Obama is right to say that "No child in America should be receiving primary care in the emergency room in the middle of the night." This is a program that will take care of the children in families that cannot qualify for Medicaid and who at the same time, cannot afford private insurance.

The president did promise to cover all Americans and so he said passing the health insurance to cover the children is a kind of down payment for that promise. The trouble is now he may be forced to give up some of what he is hoping for just to keep the government functioning.

The economic stimulus plan tried to make investment in health care. This includes funds for states so that program cuts can be avoided. With the recession costing a lot of families losing their jobs, this would have been such a welcome break. The president of the American Medical Association at that time, Dr. Nancy Nielson, agreed.

Due to the increase in unemployment, more children have probably been added to the list of the uninsured. This of course puts increasing pressure on state health-care programs. The new law will enable states to extend health care coverage to more children of parents who cannot afford the insurance but earn more than what is allowed to qualify for Medicaid.

A senior fellow by the name of Edwin Park analyzed the health policy at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said the law will help the states because before this law they have not been able to figure out what to do regarding health coverage for children.

The law is supposed to get through to fiscal 2013 with 4.1 million children gaining coverage who will join the 6.7 million children who are already on the program. Tobacco products will be taxed at a higher rate and this is supposed to fund the health coverage for children.

President Bush was noted to have vetoed two times similar expansions. He complained that it would lead to the federalization of the health care system. Other critics also said that the standards to qualify are too broad and so the children who are already on private insurance will move to the public one.

Now you can see why I am so concerned that we will take a step backward on this very important issue. That is why I am writing about this so that we can all get together and not lose what we have already gained in the form of the children's health insurance.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Diabetes and Peanut Allergy Compared

Diabetes and Peanut Allergy is a topic I wanted to write on as I remember the FDA peanut recall expanded last year. There were quite a few peanut product manufacturers who came out in the open to volunteer to recall their products before the FDA could do so.

That was also around the time when the I was so glad insurance for children passed. It is just ridiculous not to have it. I knew the president, either Obama or Clinton, would do this presidential act. Gaining this coverage is such a welcome relief for parents especially if their child had diabetes.

After doing quite a bit of research in the form of documentary analysis I was quite surprised at the interesting result I found. It is that the children who suffer from peanut allergy may be more stressed out and anxious about their condition than the diabetic children.

Natalie J. Avery reported this at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's annual meeting. How did they come up with these findings? Well they based it on the data they gathered from the questionnaires given to 7 - 12 year old children, all forty of them.

The participants were divided into two groups. The twenty children who were allergic to peanuts were in one group while the other twenty children who were dependent on insulin were in another group. The children were asked to complete the questionnaire where high scores showed lower quality of life.

The researchers started with a hypothesis that the quality of life will be similar for the two groups. Much to their surprise the findings indicated that the children who were allergic to peanuts had worse quality of life than the other group.

You don't believe me? Well, here are the statistics: The peanut allergy group had a mean score of 55 and 54. This was reported by the University of Southampton's (in England) medical student, Ms. Avery. These were higher scores than the diabetic children whose scores were 46 and 35.

Just in case you're still skeptical of these findings due to the ages of the children involved, for which I don't blame you, the participants received cameras for 24 hours. Here they recorded how they were affected by either the diabetes or the peanut allergy.

They described the meanings of the photos and how they felt. It showed that the children who were allergic to peanuts were more afraid of getting allergic reaction than the diabetic children of getting hyperglycemia. The peanut group of children said that they have to be more careful of what they eat than the diabetic children.

They further reported that they feel more in danger than the diabetic children. They also worry more about being away from home. In addition they said that they have more restrictions as to the activities they participate in. Their life is more threatened and the fact that they cannot prevent being exposed to peanuts make them feel less in control.

How about you? Do you agree with these findings? Whether you agree or not, it would be nice to get the basis of your agreement or disagreement. As for me, I kind of think of this as something positive for the diabetic children.
And that's the comparison between diabetes and peanut allergy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Exercise Improves Quality of Life

Exercise improves the quality of life is a given. It is one of those things we should do on the unconscious competence level. This means that it should be automatically done. There should really be no resistance whatsoever in having to exercise. It is not even that we are asked to do much for walking around the block is acceptable.

It is easy to see how exercising improves one's quality of life. Not only does it make one be more energetic but also it boosts one's health and well-being. In a study, women who were sedentary claimed they had a lot more energy after they started exercising. They also experienced being in better mood than before getting active.

What was even surprising was that the more exercise they indulged in, the better they felt. And get a load of this: Even ten minutes of daily exercise gave them added benefits when you think of the quality of life they acquired. One of the authors of the study, Tim Church who is also Pennington Biomedical Research Center's director of preventive medicine research, agreed.

The women in the study were more self-assured in doing their work activities daily like carrying in bags of groceries, keeping up with their grandchildren and climbing the stairways. It was the same thing in their social interaction. They improved in this aspect too even though some did not lose weight.

Now the above benefits are just the physical manifestation of the benefit for there are more, like in lower blood pressure level. The regular physical exercise also reduced the risks of diabetes, cancer and heart disease although it mentioned that the cholesterol level also was reduced.

We have to be careful about lowering the cholesterol level because there is a new study in town that says this could affect the cognitive functioning of the brain. Perhaps, this could be the start of our talk with the doctor. Or what I will do is strike the happy medium. I will have to lower the cholesterol level only up to a certain point.

This is what Tim Church and company did. They signed up 430 women who were both postmenopausal and sedentary. They assigned them to any of four groups. One is the group that did not do any exercise. One exercise group had to walk briskly or got on the stationary bike for just over an hour per week. Another group did the same but for a little more than two hours and the third one, you guessed it, did three hours a week.

The women had to complete questionnaires at the start and end of the study to check on the improvement. And the improvement is something that these women appreciate because they improved in all areas like energy, agility, physical and mental health as well as emotional health.

The only area they did not report improvement on was when it comes to pain in the body but then they did not report much of this at the start. The group that reported the most improvement was the three-hour a week group.
Suffice is to say that regular physical activity is our friend and we should keep it that way because it looks like it improves all areas of our life. So it's not really how long your life is but how well you live that life. So do you exercise?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Diabetes in Children Gets Tremendous Boost

Diabetes in children issue gets help from this great resource not only for the child with diabetes but also for the parents and caretakers who have to look after him. Not only will the child get a toy in Rufus the Bear but also he will get a monitor and diabetes bracelet and other materials. The only thing that bugs me with this is that the child in order to qualify will have been diagnosed only in the last three months.

It is confusing and somewhat scary to learn your child has type 1 diabetes. It is not easy to explain this to the child especially if you have to teach him about blood testing, proper eating habits and injections. Thank goodness for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Illinois which has developed a tool to help educate children and their families.

This tool is called the Bag of Hope which contains a lot of materials that help those who take care of diabetic children. This bag is in the form of backpacks that are given free to children who have been diagnosed with diabetes. And get this, it is only for those who have been diagnosed in the past 3 months.

Here's what the backpack contains:

Rufus Comes Home Book
A stuffed toy called Rufus, the Bear with Diabetes
A booklet regarding carbohydrate counting and healthy habits, entitled "A First Book for Understanding Diabetes."
A keychain digital watch and compass
A DVD on "You Can't Catch Diabetes from a Friend"
Accu-Chek® Aviva Compact Blood Meter.

Carol Cramer created Rufus the Bear in 1996. She created this two years after her son Brian who was three years old then was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. To help children know about the sites for injection and how to rotate them, Carol placed patches on Rufus arms, tummy, bottom and legs.

The fun part for the children is when they pretend to give Rufus an injection. There are also red patches on both sides of Rufus paws so that a child can pretend to check his blood glucose. Rufus also always wears a Medic Alert bracelet. Read more diabetes facts at this site.

"Rufus Comes Home" is about a young boy named Brian who is type 1 diabetic. This was inspired by the Rufus the Bear creation. The story tells of Brian's mother who made the Rufus for him so that Brian will learn to come to know about his diabetes.

H. Peter Chace, M.D. wrote the "A First Book for Understanding Diabetes". Dr. Chace was the past executive of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Denver, Colorado. He is also the clinical director and the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from JDRF.

The mission of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Illinois (JDRF Illinois) is to find a diabetes cure through supporting research. To find a cure for the complications is also part of its mission. This organization is amazing because it provides education and support for families and those who have type 1 diabetes.

JDRF Illinois is the highest grossing chapter in the country. They have events like The Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes where they raise funds to be able to accomplish their mission. They also have the Chance of Lifetime Gala. Annually, JDRF Illinois contributes $14 million to fund research that will find a cure to type 1 diabetes and its complications. Certainly, it's great help to solve the challenges of diabetes in children.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Type 2 Diabetes Classes

Type 2 diabetes classes were held to help the type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar level. For example, The University of Florida/ IFAS Bay County Extension conducted a series of classes and may likely be holding these classes again. The program will include eight classes taught by qualified educators and health professionals.

Nutrition consultations with a registered dietitian and blood pressure measurements are included. Classes were held from March 2 to April 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. Classes were held at the Bay County Library Meeting Room, located at 898 W. 11th St.

I do not know if there are diabetes classes again this year but if you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, are at least 21 years old, and want to see if you are eligible, please call the Extension office at 784-6105 no later than Feb. 25. The $75 cost includes program materials and services. There were a limited number of partial scholarships available for those in need.

“Pursuit to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (As Amended) this University of Florida Affirmative Action Plan ensures equal employment opportunity and advancement opportunity to all individuals.

The University does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), national origin, ancestry, age, disability, family care status, protected veterans status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.

Free Diabetes Classes Offered
The Diabetes Health Department at Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH) recognized last year the American Diabetes Month by hosting two free diabetes events in November. A registered nurse and a registered dietician were available to answer questions and provide information on what diabetes is, how to control it, and what to do to lower the risks of diabetes.

diabetes. All attendees received free diabetes handouts and giveaways.

Diabetes is a serious disease that leads to potentially life-threatening complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation. November is American Diabetes Month, a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of prevention and control.
Join PPH and the American Diabetes.

Diabetes is a very common medical condition, yet individuals with diabetes often do not have enough information to help them make wise decisions regarding the foods they eat, their management of medications, avoiding foot and eye problems, and getting enough exercise. These topics were addressed at “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes,” a two-day course targeted to individuals with Type 2 Diabetes.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Mexico Senator Asked FDA to Ban Aspartame Use in USA

Diabetics have an advocate in the New Mexico Senator. Why did I say that? It is because this senator mentioned how the diabetics have fallen victims to aspartame when this was cited in the Hawaii request for the approval of the use of this artificial sweetener be withdrawn.

Last year, NM Senator Ortiz y Pino wrote a letter to Dr. Frank Torti who was acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. He requested that approval for the use of Aspartame be cancelled. Why am I revisiting this issue? I still see this artificial sweetener around and so I thought if more people jumped in and joined the voices, the collective cry would be heard.

From 1966 to 1981, FDA turned down the application of G.D. Searle but due to the insistence of Donald Rumsfeld, Searle CEO, the approval was forced through the FDA. Since then, there were numerous petitions from doctors and laymen alike but all these have been ignored.

The answer to all these petitions was the assurance that tests have been conducted where aspartame has been shown as safe. The trouble is that there are 92 alleged symptoms that have developed from using aspartame. This cannot be ignored when planning meals for the diabetics.

Among the symptoms are blurred vision, headaches, epilepsy, skin rashes multiple sclerosis and death. Having been shown to produce such a huge mountain of neurodengenerative and medical proof, the New Mexico senator believed that this would result in Dr. Torti to order its removal from the market.

Senator Ortiz further said that this is too late to make the removal just a precaution but believed that it is urgent its removal will prevent more medical harm to victims in the future. He mentioned that ten colleagues of his have cosponsored this.

Senator Chun Oakland from Hawaii also introduced this and cosponsored by ten members of the Hawaii Senate. This resolution will be the repository of evidence for the victims in Hawaii particularly the diabetics and those with seizures.
Last year, Senator Kalani English from Hawaii introduced SB576 that would totally ban aspartame in Hawaii. He had the backing of 14 out of the 25 members of the Hawaii Senate. Mele Carroll, a representative, also introduced HB669 banning the sale and use of aspartame in Hawaii.

Needless to say, the American public has to be protected from further harm. After all, Senator Ortiz said FDA has known for four decades and three years that this chemical is metabolized as aspartic acid, methanol, phenylalanine formaldehyde, and diketopiperazine, which has been proven as a carcinogen.

Let us all do the right thing and put the public health and well being top of the list while setting aside whatever private agenda we have in mind. After all health is an important asset for any nation to preserve if it has any hope to prosper. Those in office should say, "My loyalty to the party should end where my loyalty to the country begins." On this my cry is, help the diabetics.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Diabetes Early Signs

Diabetes early signs is a topic that has been written numerous times but it bears repeating for fear that some are not able to process this due to a busy schedule. The important thing is to have this caught early so strategies can be put in place to ward off the dreaded complications.

Sometimes the symptoms do not appear until the damage has been done. Listen to the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association which is for adults 45 years and over to get tested every three years. This was the figure the last time I checked and I will keep on the alert on this and other issues pertaining to diabetes because changes happen so fast.

So if there is anyone of you who has found a different figure, step up and let us know because we are all on this together and we have to help each other spread the word. We have to rely on one another and what a good time to start this cooperative spirit on this the first day of diabetes month.

Type 1 diabetes is the more serious and the symptoms may just come up suddenly while type 2 diabetes starts slowly and it may take years before the symptoms can appear. Sometimes, it is just diagnosed on a routine medical examination when a complication appears.

So you see, many do not know they have this condition. That is why it is wise to heed the recommendation of the American Diabetes Association to get tested. The key to stay healthy is to get a regular check up for one can easily fight this condition more easily earlier than later.

The diabetes early signs are unexplained hunger, unusual thirst and frequent urination. Due to the inability to utilize the carbohydrate consumption and synthesize the energy, people tire easily. For some, despite consuming large meals, weight loss occurs. To make matter worse, the symptoms are not the same for everybody.

There may also be itchiness and bacterial infections. Those with diabetes may also develop sores that do not easily heal. It is the same thing with cuts and wounds. Hands and feet may feel numb so extra care should be given to the feet. They have to be protected from burns and injuries.

We hope that people will listen and get themselves tested especially those who are at risk. It is only if we heed this recommendation can we stay healthy. This is the only reason we are keeping this blog and the website open. So get tested even before the appearance of the diabetes early signs.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Children With Diabetes Endangered by Nurse Shortages

Children with diabetes are the victims of nurse shortages. This was reported last year by Diabetes UK and I wanted to revisit it because of the increased risk on the diabetic kids when it comes to hypoglycemic events and long term complications like kidney failure, amputation and blindness because of the shortage in PDSNs (pediatric diabetes specialist nurses).

After doing an extensive research on this issue, I found that the nurse shortage is still real. Special mention however, must be made on a study that concluded the PDSN has an important role in educating the children with diabetes as well as their parents and others who take care of them.

This key role is not substantiated by the overloaded assignments of the nurses. In England, they look after more than 150 children. This is double than the number of the recommended 70 in order to be able to do a good job. The large number of caseload these nurses have to do will not allow enough time to do everything that has to be done.

Just gathering the data alone on where each kid is at, takes time. Then putting all the data together to arrive at the necessary steps to improve the condition takes time too. Then they have to teach these kids, their parents and those who care for them how to manage the diabetes in a most effective manner.

Each child is different and has therefore his own needs. These individual needs have to be addressed and should be given attention as to the individualized support and advice needed for optimum benefit. It is clear that getting such a huge caseload will not meet the needs of the children with diabetes.

The report shows that the caseload of the PDSN has risen since 2007. In fact, less than 7% of PCTs have improved the caseload. This is not right when one considers that over 80% of children with diabetes have not been able to achieve the blood glucose level that is recommended.

This fact should be considered as a priority. These specialist nurses play a key role in the management and care and without them, these children are going to suffer. Let us therefore hear the cry of those who need this badly so we can help our future generation among these children with diabetes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Exercise May Be Best for Diabetes Prevention

Exercise, experts say, may be the best option to prevent diabetes. They say that an intense workout for a few minutes may do it. Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University did a study on this and found that sedentary cases who exercise hard for just 7.5 minutes a week improved their health significantly.

The researchers asked the men to ride a stationary bike for 15 minutes on a two-week period. They found that these men improved the way they metabolize glucose. As a result, they lowered their blood glucose levels. That is why the researchers recommend that people try to do four to six 30-second sessions of intense workout two times a week to obtain the blood glucose benefit.

The question is how does exercise prevent diabetes? Researchers from Yale found that intense workout is more effective than the one done leisurely in controlling and preventing diabetes. They had three groups of healthy but sedentary 72 year old women who were not obese to do some amount of exercise.

They asked one group to do hard training of 80% of aerobics, the second group to do moderate (60%) exercise and the third group to do easy (50%) exercise. They all did the same amount of work and burned 300 calories per bout. The group that did the intense type of workout showed a great improvement to metabolize sugar and curtailed the formation of fat.

Needless to say, but I am going to say it anyway, is that the ones who did the low intensity exercise did not benefit as much as the intense group did. This could only mean that intense workout can aid in helping in not only preventing diabetes but also in treating it. There are some data on diabetes and exercise here.

Here’s how the researchers explained it. As soon as the meal is over is the time when the most tissue damage happens. In other words, this is the time when the blood sugar rises to the highest level. You see, right after we eat, the glucose goes from the intestine into the blood stream. Now we know that the only storage areas for the glucose is the liver and the muscles.

So when the muscles are not exercised, they are full of sugar so the extra glucose after eating has nowhere else to go after it gets into the bloodstream. Now when the muscles are exercised, the stored sugar is emptied out, leaving room for the new glucose.

So after eating, the glucose that goes to the intestines and the blood stream can go to the muscles right away. This therefore prevents the rise in the blood glucose level. This makes sense, doesn’t it? This is indeed an exciting news because it holds some kind of promise that there can be help indeed in making the blood sugar behave better.

The important part of this study is that the more intense the exercise is, the greater the benefit is by way preventing the development of diabetes. And if the diabetes is already present, the greater is the ability to control or manage it. Cautionary measure though should be taken. Intense exercise could be bad for someone with certain kind of conditions so consult with the doctor before embarking on a regimen of intense exercise.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Diabetes Drugs, What’s in the Pipeline

Diabetes drugs have for their goal to get the blood glucose levels of patients under control. There is one that does this with a side effect of weight loss. These drugs are called GLP1 agonists. Mind you, just because they say this, it does not mean that we will take their words as gospel truth. We still have to monitor our body's reaction to this drug.

That said, with approximately 90% of those with type 2 diabetes being obese or overweight, then this side effect could be a blessing as long as we keep our wit about us so that this does not turn out to be more than a blessing in disguise. We have to be careful when it comes to how is diabetes treated.

Are there fewer injections now and more sales of drugs? That's what we hear and that's what studies are telling us. Byetta, for example, just made $679 million in sales one year when it has been in the market since 2005. They say that the main cause for this poor performance (although it is not so in my book) is because it has to be injected two times a day.

I can understand why the twice a day injection will turn people off especially when there are oral drugs that work well at keeping the blood glucose levels within the target range. More especially now with the drug that promises weight loss on top of the blood glucose control.

There are other drugs as well and I am not 100% sure at what stage they are in when it comes to the Food and Drug Administration’s say-so. They have become more cautious and rightly so in the wake of the fiasco involving GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia and the potential heart problems they may cause.

The last time I looked, a number has been trying to develop a once a week version. This should not pose a major challenge except that with the development of any drugs, anything goes or nothing is certain. There are quite a few in the pipeline at different stages of clinical trials but as to which one will ultimately get the FDA nod, I will not hazard a guess.

The article I read has a list of diabetes treatment that I like because it will give us an option as to the form of treatment we need. It could be oral or to be injected and even with the last one, there is a choice as to the number of injections one can tolerate.

Actually those developing a drug that will be injected are taking a chance for people usually do not like sticking a needle in various parts of their body. So those whose researches are underway can still fall flat on their faces. The thing is diabetes is here to stay for awhile so these pharmaceutical companies will keep developing diabetes drugs.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Diabetes Rising Among Children

Type 1 diabetes can double in twenty years. It looks like it is rising at 3% each year. The question is why. This brings me to the book I want to share with you. This book tries hard to demystify this mysterious rise by investigating the scientific hypotheses. Interested? I thought you would.

Let us get to the statistical background first. Type 1 diabetes is now double the figure we had in the 1980s. Compared to 100 years ago, it is ten to twenty times more common. It is widely known and accepted that type 2 diabetes is on the increase as well but the increase in type 1 has not been given much attention.

Enter Dan Hurley who is an award-winning reporter who put together proof from studies that have been published and came out with DIABETES RISING: How A Rare Disease Became A Modern Pandemic, And What To Do About It. He mentioned the studies that documented the rise of type 1 diabetes

While researching for his book, he was shocked to find out that type 1 is rising as quickly as type 2. He thinks that this has not been given much media attention because it does not match the idea that it is a super-disease that is not common and is due to a genetic predisposition.

Genes of course has not changed so it must be something to do with the change in lifestyle or the environment. He sought the explanation with this and so the book looks at some scientific hypotheses that could shed the light on the mysterious increase. Here are the five leading ones:

1. The hypothesis on the cow’s milk exposure in the infant milk formula during the first six months of the baby’s life can inflict harm to the immune system.

2. The accelerator hypothesis claims that the fast increase in children’s height and weight has put the cells that produce insulin under stress and so has increased the propensity to develop type 1.

3. The hypothesis on hygiene claims that the lack of exposure to agents that cause disease that once were common leads autoimmune hypersensitivity which results in the damage to the beta cells that produce insulin.

4. The sunshine hypothesis as the name indicates claims that more time now spent indoors has reduced sunlight exposure and vitamin D is which is now linked to increased risk for type 1 diabetes.

5. The hypothesis on exposure persistent organic pollutants or POP increases the risk not only for type 2 diabetes but for type 1 as well.

There you have the five hypotheses. I have not made up my mind which of those can graduate into becoming theories. What do you think? One thing I am sure though. We have to increase our awareness to this and continue to work on getting them eliminated so that we can stop the rising statistics on type 1 diabetes.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blood Pressure When Lowered Decreased Risk for Kidney Disease

Blood pressure, lowering it that is, was raised in the recent research that the type 2 diabetics should be considered to have antihypertensive treatment. Why? Because they found out that of the 11,140 diabetic patients in their study, the risk for kidney disease was reduced by 21%. The risk was also decreased among those who did not have high blood pressure.

There is also news that lowering the blood pressure provided some help to type 2 diabetes patients. For these patients, lowering the blood pressure with perindopril-indapamide lowered the risk for kidney disease as well. This is how they found this out.

The guidelines suggest that the type 2 diabetics should have systolic pressure under 130 according to Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff, who also has PharmD and is associate professor of medicine and pharmacy at Gainesville's University of Florida.

She conducted a study on this very issue and found out that those whose systolic pressures were moderately controlled did just as well as those whose blood pressure was under tight control. Systolic pressure of course is the upper of the two numbers that represents the maximum pressure applied when the heart contracts.

The researchers studied the possible benefits of getting the blood pressure below the present recommendations for the diabetics which is 130 mm Hg/80 mm Hg as well as for nephropathy which is 125 mm Hg/75 mm Hg. The examiners followed these people up for the mean figure of 4.3 years.

Here's another side of this story. The guidelines suggest that the type 2 diabetics should have systolic pressure under 130 according to Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff, who also has PharmD and is associate professor of medicine and pharmacy at Gainesville's University of Florida.

She conducted a study on this very issue and found out that those whose systolic pressures were moderately controlled did just as well as those whose blood pressure was under tight control. Systolic pressure of course is the upper of the two numbers that represents the maximum pressure applied when the heart contracts. You will get more information on hypertension right here.

The number of participants included 11,140 diabetics who also were in the ADVANCE study. The patients were randomly assigned to take a placebo or a combination of perindopril-indapamide. The researchers found out that those patients who were assigned to the blood pressure-lowering drugs decreased their risk for kidney disease by 21%

Those who did not have high blood pressure at the start also reduced their risk for kidney disease when they were given blood pressure-lowering drugs. This finding showed the need for patients to receive antihypertensive treatment even if they had normal blood pressure.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Diabetes and Eating, What Can I Eat?

Diabetes and eating are linked so you can take care of yourself by knowing how much, when and what to eat. A wise choice of food will make you feel good, lower the risk for heart and other problems and lose weight. It will also help keep the blood glucose level within the target range. You will also find some information at Diet for Diabetes.

Find out from your doctor what's your target level and how often you should check your sugar level. You can keep the blood glucose target by eating right, moving more and taking medicine if needed. It is also best to follow a regular schedule for meals and exercise. When and what to eat affect how the medicine you take works.

A small woman who exercises or a small or medium woman who wants to lose weight and a medium-sized woman who does enough exercise may eat 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day. That means 6 starches, 2 fruits, 3 vegetables, 4 to 6 ounces of meat, 2 milk, and up to 3 fats.

A large woman who wants to lose weight, a small man with healthy weight, a medium-sized man or large man who wants to lose weight and a medium-sized man who does enough exercise may eat 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day. That means 8 starches, 3 fruits, 4 vegetables, 4 to 6 ounces of meat, 2 milk, and up to 4 fats.

A large or medium-sized woman who does a lot of exercise with a physically active job, a medium-sized man or large man who exercises a lot and with a physically active job, and a large man with a healthy weight may eat 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day. That means 10 starches, 4 fruits, 4 vegetables, 5 to 7 ounces of meat, 2 milk, and up to 5 fats.

Starches supply fiber, minerals and vitamins and carbohydrates. But eat the healthier ones like whole grains and fat-free variety. Some examples are pasta, bread , potatoes, corn, pretzels, beans, cereal, crackers, rice, tortillas, lentils, yams. Eat something belonging to this groups at each meal.

Vegetables should be a part of every meal as they provide fiber, minerals and vitamins. Examples are broccoli, lettuce, peppers, carrots, spinach, vegetable juice, cabbage, green beans, celery, and tomatoes. For optimum benefit eat them raw or steamed using water or low-fat or fat-free salad dressing.

Fruits also supply us with fiber, minerals and vitamins. Examples are dried fruit, apples, grapefruit, strawberries, oranges, watermelon and so on. Buy the smaller pieces and eat them raw or cooked without adding sugar. Eat more fruits than drinking juice as they have more fiber. The dessert with fruits should be reserved for special events.

Milk supplies us with minerals, vitamins, carbohydrate, calcium and protein but drink the fat-free or low-fat kind. Eat only a limited amount of sweets and fats; they are not as nutritious as the other groups. Fats contain a lot of calories so reducing your fat-intake could lead to weight loss.

The group of meat and meat substitutes includes eggs, cheese, tofu, fish, poultry. You should eat a small amount of this group each day. But eat them the healthy way with the meats trimmed with just a little bit of fat left. Poultry should be eaten without the skin and cook by grilling, broiling, roasting and some other healthy ways.

Due diligence was employed in the writing of this to include the most current information but sometimes new data come along so make sure you get the latest information by getting in touch with FDA. I hope this covers the link between diabetes and eating.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Diabetes Complications Can Be Prevented by Educating Patient

Diabetes complications are what we need to avoid especially approximately one out of eight people in South Carolina, for instance, has diabetes so they are advised to get educated on how to look after their condition in order to avoid complications. There is evidence that complications have been avoided by getting to know what to do and applying this knowledge.

Education is the basis for diabetes care in clinical practice and research. That is why we have the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) which helps spread the word that diabetes is not only common and costly but also that it is serious and controllable. Type 2 diabetes is even preventable.

Here are some of the programs that NDEP has for us. There is the Four Steps to Control Your Diabetes. For Life. The four steps aid in making people understand diabetes to the point they learn to monitor and manage their diabetes that enable them to stay healthy.

Then there is the program called Small Steps. Big Rewards. Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: Information for Patients . This programs comes in three booklets that help people evaluate their risk for developing diabetes. This program also helps to implement a program that will delay or prevent the coming of diabetes. It has a calorie and fat counter and an activity tracker.

Guiding Principles for Diabetes Care is another NDEP program that is focused on diabetes care. It helps the professionals in health care to determine who have pre-diabetes and who are yet undiagnosed. Its mission is to prevent the long term diabetescomplications.

I did this program called Small Steps. Big Rewards. Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Health Care Provider Toolkit in the beginning of this blogspot and it really helped because there are strategies there that give recommendations with the steps to follow in order to delay or prevent the coming of diabetes.

Working Together to Manage Diabetes: A Guide for Pharmacists, Podiatrists, Optometrists, and Dental Professionals, 2007 is an NDEP program that I have not looked at yet but I aim to so I can report on it. Besides, it is not really for diabetics so I can take my time to access it. But I think it is still important to go over it so we can understand our health care team better in their desire prevent diabetes complications.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Glycemic Index, What's In It for You?

Glycemic index, here we go again for it is playing a role in a study. It looks like eating foods with a low-glycemic index will help maintain the blood glucose level to as normal as possible. This latest study even found this as important as consuming the correct amount of carbohydrates at each meal.

What is glycemic index anyway? It is the measure of how the food affects the blood glucose level. The carbs that quickly break down and let go the glucose to the bloodstream have high GI while those that break down slowly and release the glucose gradually have a low GI.

Studies have shown that blood sugar goes on a roller coaster ride whether we like it or not. This is the problem that can damage the body. It can lead to some chronic diseases. The development of atherosclerosis is particularly a problem so how do we go around this diabetic-diet dilemma?

The key is to control the blood sugar in order to slow down the complications but we have to go farther than this. While it is true that the quantity of carbohydrate is part of managing this issue, the quality of the carbohydrate is as significant as its number. This is where the glycemic index comes in.

The Human Nutrition Unit at Sydney University has a Glycemic Index team that includes Professor Jennie Brand-Miller. This team tested 1126 foods to determine the link between a food's GI and the other factors associated with the glucose level after meals.

This is what they found. The results that the so-called normal response depends on the type of carbohydrate. In order to control the blood sugar, it is wise to consider both the quantity and quality of the carb. It is not enough to say eat more whole grains for this might encourage the diabetics to eat carbohydrates with a high glycemic index.

It is better to say "less" rather than "more" or "low glycemic index" with foods that are rich in carb. So look for the GI symbol on food labels. I don't know if we have this the world over but Australia and New Zealand have this symbol. Opt for lower GI rice. Potatoes have high GI so if you love them, cut back on the amount. So next time you eat, watch out for the glycemic index.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Diabetes Prevention - Health Ministry to Launch War on Diabetes

Diabetes Prevention - a Ten-Year Plan has been instituted by the Abu Dhabi's Ministry of Health to battle the diabetes epidemic. They started their program in 2009 and I will follow their progress from year to year and report it to you from time to time. You see, my plan is to find out if this ten-year plan will be a success and whether we can have this implemented all over the world.

The ten-year plan includes improvement in all areas including facilities, services, education and research. I believe that improvement in all those aspects will certainly contribute to the control and prevention of diabetes. Services and facilities are my two favorite areas to improve.

What spurred the action of the Ministry of Health is the fact that approximately 24% of Emiratis have been diagnosed with diabetes. Compare that figure with the one released by the World Health Organization and you know that the 24% figure is dismal indeed. The global occurrence of diabetes according to WHO is 2.8%.

The plan of the Ministry of Health involves both secondary and primary ways of preventing diabetes. It includes improving the healthcare services for the diabetics and assessment of the research that pertains to diabetes. They will also have patients as well as their families involved in the quality control of the services which is just the right thing to do, don't you think?

The diabetics and their families are in the best position to assess the quality of the services and facilities because they are at the receiving end of both. We do not want anyone to evaluate the quality of services who have not even actually experienced the best of the services or the lack thereof.

Community participation will be encouraged to fight diabetes. The health, psychological and social effects of diabetes will be confronted as well as awareness will be promoted. People will be advised to have test periodically so that early treatment can be started. This will be a crucial part of diabetes prevention.

They planned to have a publicity campaign with the focus on the incidence of diabetes. In fact in 2003, an endocrinologist invited by the Ministry of Health on the program of visiting doctors called diabetes as the "disease of the century." Doctors also expect about half of the people inflicted by this condition do not know they have it.

The growing crisis is the fact that type 2 diabetes is linked to lack of exercise and obesity which are lifestyle risk factors. Diabetes is expected to cost $2.7 billion US a year to treat in 2020. This is according to Daman which is the national health insurer. That is why they instituted a "lifestyle coaching" service so that the burden on the health care system will be reduced.

They had a 5km walk as part of the WALK UAE event. The number of participation doubled so awareness is growing. The walk was organized by the Abu Dhabi's Imperial College of London. They partnered with the Emirates Foundation. You see, they are working hard to make this work - the Ten-Year Plan of Diabetes Prevention.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Diabetes Status Affects Brain Damage in Dementia

Diabetes therapy helpful in dementia? The finding of this study is definitely helpful in determining what to do therapeutically speaking as it is quite revealing how different the injury patterns are between those who have diabetes and those without. This is why we take good care of ourselves. I can't wait to hear what the researchers will do as this opens up doors for discovering treatment options.

Dementia patients who were elderly and were with or without diabetes seem to have definite patterns of cerebral damage. This is according to the study findings that were published in the Archives of Neurology. University of Washington's Joshua A. Sonnen, M.D. in Seattle and his colleagues conducted a wide-ranging neuropathologic evaluation of 259 participants in a community-based study of incident dementia.

The participants underwent autopsies, including 196 with known diabetes status. Among those without dementia, the researchers found that biochemical and neuropathologic end points were the same in the diabetics and those without diabetes.

But among the 71 participants with dementia, the researchers found that the diabetics whose diabetes was treated tended to have more microvascular infarcts. They also had a higher concentration of cortical interleukin-6. Those without diabetics and had dementia tended to have more amyloid-beta peptide. They also had increased levels of F2-isoprostanes in the cerebral cortex.

Among the participants who had dementia and whose diabetes was untreated tended to have more amyloid plaque load. These new characterizations of two different patterns of injury depending on whether they have diabetes or not may have some implications treatment-wise.

The researchers tested the hypothesis that diabetes leads to definite neuropathologic procedures that is a factor to the development of dementia and that this could be suppressed by anti diabetic treatment. That is why they concluded that their findings may have some implications in diabetes therapy.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Patients May Participate in a Walking Program

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a complication that could come along with diabetes. So many millions are living with diabetes and the number is still rising. In fact, it is expected to rise to more than 25 million Americans by 2010.

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy can lead to foot ulcers which sometimes will require amputation. While before the recommendation of scientists and physicians is for those with foot ulcers to stay off their feet, now there is a new graduated walking program where these people can participate and therefore prevent some illnesses that could threaten life.

Due to numbness or loss of feeling in the foot, diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a nerve disorder that affects the feet and the legs. It leads to pain and ulceration. Ulcers could be the result because of loss of muscle. This exposes the bones to a lot of pressure under the foot.

Doctors recommend exercise for the diabetics because there has been proof that it lessens the mortality risk as well as the occurrence of a cardiovascular disease. Joseph LeMaster who is University of Missouri's associate professor of community and family medicine said that type 2 diabetics can increase their mortality risk by 39% and their risk for cardiovascular disease by 34% if they do not do some form of exercise of moderate intensity regularly.

The diabetics are known to be less active than the regular population and those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy are found to be even less physically active. So in a study at the University of Missouri, LeMaster checked the effects of exercise involving the lower extremity and walking program on the development of diabetic foot ulcer.

Here's how he did it. He assigned the diabetic subjects with this nerve condition into two groups. One group was monitored often and given exercises to strengthen the legs and a walking program that was graduated. In addition, this group received a telephone call every two weeks to motivate them. The other group is the control group. Both groups received eight sessions with a physical therapist and also some form of diabetic foot care education.

What did LeMaster find? He observed an increase in the total of foot lesions and ulcers during the first six months. But guess what he found after a year? Drum roll, please! The number of foot lesions and ulcers has started to go down in the first group compared to the control group. This shows that the risk has gone down too.

What is the moral lesson of this finding? Since weight-bearing exercise did not result in in increase of foot ulcers, it follows that this type of exercise should be safe for diabetics provided the walking program is closely supervised by a medical professional and that they have no ulcers at the start and have appropriate footwear. This type of exercise therefore is recommended for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Diabetes Complications and Ways to Avoid Them

Diabetes complications are many but there are ways to avoid them. The top thing to do is to commit to the lifelong responsibility of managing the condition. The diabetes health team will help and give support but the onus is on us to take care of ourselves by eating healthy, moving more, keeping healthy weight and blood glucose level and following doctor's order.

Quit smoking and you will lower risk to develop diabetes complications. So do keeping the cholesterol and blood pressure under control and keeping the vaccines like for flu, pneumonia, tetanus shot with the 10-year boosters. Ask your doctor about hepatitis vaccine and for other ones you may need.

Then make sure to take care of your teeth as diabetes may make you vulnerable to gum infections. Pay particular attention to your feet also to avoid problems by daily washing in lukewarm water and moisturizing the ankles and feet with lotion. Check for blisters, sores, etc every day and see the doctor if any wound does not heal in a few days.

Be responsible about drinking alcohol in moderation. Drink only with a meal and count the calories from the alcohol consumption. And because diabetes increases the risk for stroke and heart attack, take a low-dose aspirin every day but ask the doctor the strength that fits you best.

Last but not least, have an annual physical and eye exam as the doctor will be able to see signs of diabetes complications and help you take steps to avoid them. Finally, be stress-free by learning how to relax. I am going to send people who signed up for alerts and tips some ways to relax. You can sign up to receive tips and alert at this page on diabetes complications.

Then there is the VVRH. What I like about the Valley View Regional Hospital is their Diabetes Self-Management Education Program that offers information and skills needed to diabetics so they can manage diabetes and avoid serious complications like blindness, amputations and kidney damage.

That is why I commend the Valley View Regional Hospital's Diabetes Self-Management Education Program. It will really help the diabetics avoid those complications. But my question is, why is it that a program such as this are in some places and not in others? I shot them an email to ask this but I have not heard from them.

Hopefully you can tell any health care team so they can show you the directions where to go for such a program. And then if your area's hospital does not have a similar program, encourage them to have one so we can all work together to prevent diabetes complications.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Diabetes Conference Helps Diabetics Cope

Diabetes Conference, the 30th one presented by the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi was such a big help for the diabetics because there were topics on how to look after the condition from diabetes educators themselves. This allowed the attendees to put the things they need to do right in the forefront of their minds.

This type of diabetes conference should be offered all over the country so every diabetic can avail himself of the chance to attend. This is great news for JPS Health Network to consider coverage for weight loss surgery. It's a good thing they are doing more than paying lip service to the prevention of diabetes.

Although the patient will still have to go through counseling regarding nutrition and diet, it is still a step in the right direction to have a plan like this come on the board level. Hopefully all others will follow suit. And this is what some people do. Let me tell you the story.

Someone attended his very first conference on Children with Diabetes and he was impressed. He thought it was incredible and changed his life in more ways than one. So over a few months he tried to explore the experiences he had and the things he learned.

The Friends for Life Conference he attended was unique in the sense that it focused on Type one diabetics. Other conferences had to balance the needs of type 1 and type 2 diabetics. That was okay for him because he was able to make those conferences worth his time. An example is here for you to scroll down for a video on pre-diabetes conference in Barcelona .

But this large conference was different for him. For one thing the organizers asked for his help. Jeff and Laura the organizers had been doing this for 15 years and now the children they are trying to help are growing up. They will continue to focus on children with diabetes but they want to do it for adults too.

So they needed some feedback and gave the people a chance to help shape the conference designed for type 1 diabetics. Imagine having the chance to shape up a huge diabetes conference. What would you do? It was easy for they needed answers to these questions:

  • What challenges in life were thrown to you most often? Do you have the help to deal with those challenges? Do you need more resources? If so, what are they?
  • What do you think is the best format for the conference? Should it be with a panel of experts or just someone leading the discussion?
  • What topics should be included in the sessions that people will find worth offering?

There you have what they need. They understand that recognizing the needs for the conference may take a few years. It is our responsibility to help them do this. We know that people wanted something like this. They know that a meeting like this magnitude will good and one way to help the diabetics is through a diabetes conference.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Diabetes Health Plan With Incentives for Preventive Care Offered by UnitedHealthcare

Diabetes health plan is offered by UnitedHealthcare. I can't believe there's such a company that will offer a health plan for the diabetics who take care of their condition. For one thing, my experience is that they do not cover pre-existing conditions. So if you're working and your employer hired UnitedHealthcare to administer their health plans, it won't do any harm to see if you can be covered as well.

But surprise, now they added incentives for preventive care. I am thinking it is because it is covered by Medicare now. It really is about money, isn't it? It could be that it won't cost them that much to add the incentives or I could be wrong which is what I hope because prevention is really dear to my heart.

Here's how the Diabetes Health Plan will work. They will reward any pre-diabetic and diabetic who follow the steps that are medically proven in managing their condition. This includes preventive screenings, routine exams and regular monitoring of the blood sugar. The use of wellness coaching is even included. This will certainly help know how to prevent diabetes and their complications.

What are the benefits of this? Well, prescription drugs that are related to diabetes as well as supplies could be had at no charge. There will also be lower co-payments for visits to the doctor that are related to the condition. The estimated savings for this is up to $500 a year.

These incentives will empower those concerned to take charge of their condition and their overall health thus helping them prevent the diabetic complications. This will also lower the cost for the employers in providing health coverage for their work force. So you see it is a win-win situation.

This will be a good thing and hopefully turn around the report from the Center
for Disease Control and Prevention that shows two-thirds of the diabetics do not follow the advice of their doctors regarding the management of their condition. They explained the reason for this non-compliance and I am glad they did because I do not want anyone just to blame the diabetics.

They say that the high cost of supplies, doctors' visits and drugs plays a role in the diabetics not following the guidelines. Lack of knowledge regarding diabetes and the complications also prevents the diabetics and the pre-diabetics in not following the guidelines.

So hopefully, now that they are lowering the cost and providing training and information along with wellness coaching, the diabetics and pre-diabetics will be more prone to follow the recommendations regarding diabetes management. And this will work out with the right diabetes health plan.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blood Glucose Level Target Ranges, New Ones For UK

Blood glucose level target ranges have been adopted. Diabetes UK has updated this in light of the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) recommendations. Before this, the IDF (the International Diabetes Federation) suggested that changes be made to the target ranges after meal. We know that a blood glucose test measures how much sugar which is called glucose, in the blood.

Then in 2008, NICE prepared and published their rules on the blood glucose level target ranges for type 2 diabetes. Several different types of blood glucose tests are used and so Diabetes UK since it continually updates their own data, decided to follow NICE recommendations. They have therefore made the changes to reflect the new guidelines.

In order to understand the new guidelines, it is good to see what is to target for. Of course the best target is to aim for the blood glucose level that is as close to normal ranges as possible like for those who do not have diabetes. Usually, the blood glucose levels increase slightly after eating. And this is their reading before meals: 3.5-5.5 mmols/L before meals while for two hours after meals, it is less than 8 mmols/L.

Opinions as to the blood sugar target to aim for vary. This is understandable because each individual has his own needs. Therefore, the target should be one that is agreed by both the person with diabetes and his diabetes care team. Both have a say on what to aim for when it comes to the blood glucose levels.

In 2004, NICE recommendations for children with type 1 diabetes before meals is 4-8 mmols/L. Two hours after meals, the recommendation is less than 10 mmols/L. For adults with type 1 diabetes, it is 4-7 mmols/L and for two hours after meals, it is less than 9 mmols/L. We know that blood glucose tests are done to test to see if one has diabetes or to keep an eye on the treatment of diabetes.

In 2008 NICE recommendations for type 2 diabetes have changed to 4-7 mmol/L for before meals and less than 8.5 mmols/L for two hours after meals. So you see it is important to self-monitor the blood sugar level as part of the routine every day. This way we can determine if an abnormally low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) has occurred. This way, we can watch for symptoms for either hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia as well as those of possible complications. That's how important it is to check one's blood glucose level. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"I Don't Care About X Factor Daughter Alexandra's Pop Riches"

Chronic kidney disease is an example of what could happen if we do not take care of our condition. Diabetes complications can only be avoided if we exercise prudence in looking after ourselves. Alexandra Burke is a successful singer who does not care for all the riches that come with success without good health.

It is because her mother Melissa who was once the high-spirited star of Soul II Soul cannot enjoy life with the singer who desperately wants to soak up the sun and swim in the sea with her mother but that she cannot do because all her mother could manage is a short drive to the nearby hospital three times a week for kidney dialysis.

For 44-year old Melissa has chronic kidney disease which is a diabetes complication. She is waiting for a kidney transplant and in the meantime is receiving dialysis. Approximately 40% of diabetics develop chronic kidney disease which is usually due to poor diabetes management.

It is hoped that the number 60,000 undiagnosed diabetics in the UK as estimated by the experts will take heed and get diagnosed so they can start laying out and following a plan of action that will help avoid the chronic kidney disease. The government is running a kidney disease pilot screening program in Birmingham, Oldham and London.

Melissa's mother died in 1992 from diabetes complications yet Melissa turned a blind eye to that. She admitted she did very little to control her blood glucose and ignored the symptoms and signs of chronic kidney disease. She said she started her health problem in 1085.

She was exhausted all the time she said in a interview at her home after going through a punishing dialysis session that lasted four hours. She also said she was thirsty all the time but she thought it was due to her pregnancy. A visit to her general practitioner confirmed that she has diabetes.

We all know that high blood sugar or hyperglycemia when not taken cared of can damage the blood vessels and nerves that can result in such complications as stroke, heart disease, infection to the gums, amputation, blindness and chronic kidney disease.

Though devastated for having been diagnosed with diabetes and confessing that she did not want to die, Melissa continued to ignore her condition. Her doctor reassured her that her condition can be monitored and controlled. The first line of defense as we know is a combo of physical activity, healthy diet and weight control. This is the way we can avoid chronic kidney disease.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chronic Kidney Disease Can Be Prevented

Chronic kidney disease really can be prevented and this article attests to that fact. What I like about this news article is that it outlined all the possible causes of chronic kidney disease and then one by one eliminated it through mentioning how to take care of the cause.

The National Kidney Foundation identifies chronic kidney disease as damage to the kidney with its loss of functioning of approximately 50% for at least three months. Chronic kidney disease is the cause of death in thousands of people in the United States so it is wise to see how we can prevent it.

The estimate as to the number of people affected by the chronic kidney disease is approximately 20 million people in the United States. It is sad to note that the number of Americans suffering from chronic kidney disease has doubled in the last ten years. And the cost is almost $28 billion a year.

That said, it is good to determine the ways to prevent this disease. And what better way to do this than to find what are the causes of this loss of kidney functioning. Experts agree that the causes are high blood pressure, diabetes, infection, hardening of arteries, chemical toxins, some type of arthritis conditions and blockage of the kidney.

Frequently high blood pressure causes chronic kidney disease. How does this happen? Increase in blood pressure damages the small blood vessels in the kidney, causing it to be unable to filter and drain everything that needs to be cleaned out. So how will knowing this help us prevent chronic kidney disease?

Simple, keeping the blood pressure within the target level of 130/80 will do it. They even say that doing so will even reverse the condition and they have the evidence to prove that this is so and not just a pigment of one's imagination. So let us promise each other to keep the blood pressure at a healthy level, shall we?

Diabetes is also a cause of chronic kidney disease. Experts agree that this is the foremost cause. Now that more and more Americans are becoming diabetic, it follows that chronic kidney disease will statistically increase also. So keeping diabetes under control is very important. And preventing diabetes is even better. How do we do this?

Exercising regularly and eating healthy will keep the weight within healthy level. And one who is already diagnosed as diabetic should see the doctor on a regular basis for treatment and assessment. Since high fats and cholesterol are risk factors, these should be checked by the doctor.

So you see, we can prevent the occurrence of this dreadful condition. Regular visits to the doctor for evaluation and treatment of all the risk factors if they are indicated will protect us from harm and keep us away from getting chronic kidney disease.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Prevent Diabetes With Lifestyle Changes

Prevent diabetes complications is one that Shields focused on and is to be commended for being such a good role model for diabetic to emulate. For in only looking after ourselves in changing our lifestyle to a healthy one will we be able to avoid the complications that type 2 diabetes can bring along.

Preventing diabetes through lifestyle changes has been documented and proven by studies after studies. People at risk for developing diabetes should stand up and take notice of this. The trouble is people who read this type of item either has diabetes or know someone with the condition.

That said, those who are at risk and are not interested in alerts such as this will not know that they can prevent diabetes. So it is for us people to try to spread the word around so that all those concerned will avail themselves of strategies that can prevent diabetes.

One such study was conducted by researchers in Finland. They found that eating healthy and exercising were able to stave off the beginning of diabetes. They studied 522 middle-aged people who had impaired glucose tolerance. We know that this is an intermediate step to develop diabetes. They divided this group into two sets.

They assigned one set to receive ordinary help and advice while the other group received personalized guidance and health counseling on eating healthy and moving more. They named this set the intervention group. Which group did better? I know that in your heart, I will bet my bottom dollar, you know which group showed better rates, diabetes-wise.

You are right for at the end of the research, they found the intervention group who received personalized care from exercise specialists and dietitians had better diabetes rates meaning, the number of people who developed diabetes was 58% lower. In fact, 27 people developed diabetes compared to 59 in the group that received the standard care.

Can you blame the lead author of the study for saying that they have proven that type 2 diabetes can be prevented? The lead author, Jaakko Tuomilehto, MD, PhD, said further that the lifestyle changes do not have to be drastic. Even small changes can help. The people in the intervention group, for example, lost an average of 9.26 pounds during the first year of the study.

So what is the recommendation? Talk to your doctor about the ways you can become healthier and your risk to develop diabetes. The benefit is not only confined to diabetes but also there is improvement in blood pressure, blood lipid levels like triglycerides which can show the risk to develop heart disease. So spread the word to your friends and loved ones so they can prevent diabetes.