Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Take a moment to enjoy this video - it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face - Charles

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Diabetes Lifestyle and Exercise


Why any particular person gets diabetes isn't completely known. Complicating the situation is the fact that there are different types of the disease, though Type 1 and Type 2 are the most common. Of those, Type 2 accounts for about 90% of cases.

Fortunately for those who are at risk, many factors are lifestyle choices and therefore can be altered. Even after contracting the disease, much of the management of the disease involves controllable issues. Even though the risk of contracting diabetes is present for anyone, it's good to know you can drive it to much lower odds by adopting healthy choices.


Obesity is widely recognized as one of the leading risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes. While there is a genetic influence - some shed or gain weight and body fat more easily than others - it is subject to influence by choices. A high BMI (Body Mass Index) is an adjustable number with the proper diet and exercise. A BMI of higher than 27 correlates with increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. The number should not be taken as a sole determinant, however, since its diagnostic value is less for those who are very muscular or are pregnant.

Beyond simply being overweight, where the majority of excess body fat resides plays a role in the odds of contracting Type 2 diabetes. Those who tend to store body fat around the waist are at higher risk. While that in itself is largely a genetic issue - some individuals are naturally pear-shaped, others are not - the results can be influenced by diet and exercise.

Claims of supplements that target fat at the waistline are yet to be proven. Similarly, assertions that it's possible to selectively remove waistline body fat through specific exercises are ill-founded. But an overall weight-reducing diet and general exercise program will help reduce large fat deposits, including those of the waistline.


Generally a sedentary lifestyle increases the odds of contracting Type 2 diabetes, along with other health issues. Partly that's the result of adopting a mindset that brings with it a number of less than ideal choices. But in particular, the lack of exercise is a direct cause of higher body fat percentage.

Exercise certainly burns calories. But even the resting state burns about 70 calories per hour just to power metabolic processes. But regular movement helps stimulate the lymph system, strengthen and loosen muscles, oxygenate tissues and brings with it many other positive benefits.

Exercise helps control blood pressure
, a factor in contracting diabetes. It helps regulate glucose levels, which have a major role in the disease since excess glucose in the blood is a defining attribute of diabetes. It alters cholesterol levels, another risk factor for contracting the condition.

Exercise can play a large role in the management of the condition. Not only does it improve overall health, helping to stave off future complications and deal with dips in well-being, it directly improves the diabetic condition. But, it needs to be done properly.

Before embarking on any exercise regimen, a diabetic should consult his or her physician and insist on clear answers and feasible suggestions. The diabetic will need to find out which exercises are safe and under what conditions. That will vary from person to person, and often day to day.

The level of blood glucose rises, for example, in response to exercise. But how much and how rapidly differs from person to person and day to day. A high blood glucose level, say 300 mg/dL can rise even higher with vigorous exercise. Those with Type 1 diabetes who have a fasting glucose level above 250 mg/dL will likely have ketones in the urine. Exercise can raise that further, producing a dangerous condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.

Alternatively, insulin treatments can produce hypoglycemia (having too low a level of glucose in the blood). But consuming carbohydrates to level it off may have undesirable side effects, such as encouraging excess body fat. That excess in turn may help push those with pre-diabetes into full blown diabetes, over time.

Any exercise routines should be realistic and begun slowly. Many diabetics need to reduce their level of activity below what would be normal for another person. But they can still benefit from the many positive health effects of a good routine. Just as with the elderly or others who may need to curtail some kinds of activity, the diabetic needs to monitor their condition carefully and exercise appropriately.


Even people without any medical condition can become discouraged and give up on exercise too easily. Working muscles that have been sedentary (a lifestyle that often raises the risk of acquiring diabetes in the first place) can lead to soreness and discomfort. That creates negative incentives to continue the exercise program. Starting slowly and working up to greater effort can solve that problem. Adopt exercise as a part of an overall lifestyle, not as a targeted cure for any specific problem.

Walking several times per week is a good start. For those who have access to a pool, swimming is a good cardiovascular exercise category that is easy on the joints.

At first, you may feel a bit too tired to even get started. That may be the result of low blood sugar. If your physician approves, eating a small snack can help get you up for the effort. A small adjustment to medication may work for others.

Monitoring is important, even during exercise, since it can change blood glucose levels quickly. A special watch is available that provides a timer for measuring routines, but will also monitor glucose level. But whatever method you choose, keep a close eye on things, and always stop exercising immediately if you start feeling dizzy or nauseous.

Just start your program, and stick with it. In the end you will definitely feel better, and even look better.

Charles Thompkins
Diabetic, Senior and Black Blog

Note to Webmasters:
You have permission to reprint any article signed by me, with blog name and links. Articles of this kind are the sole property of this blog, and when reprinting on your site, you must include the article as is, along with links. And please let me know if you have linked to one of the article here - perhaps we can become link partners - or I can exchange articles with your site or blog.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Follow up on the sweet potato pies

My grandson and I baked four sweet potato pies for Thanksgiving. The pies turned out great, and he will be so proud when the whole family samples them tomorrow.

And no, I did not go overboard, and only had one small piece - he by the way ate two pieces, and I think a third when no one was looking.

This is the time of year when families come together, often from great distances. I hope each of you are able to spend a wonderful holiday with your family. And for those of you traveling, please be safe.

For my diabetic friends, remember moderation with all the temptation - and we've got another holiday just around the corner!.

Going to spend time with the family this weekend, and do a little yard work before winter sets in. Will be back blogging on Monday.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Diabetes and Politics

Over the past few weeks thousands of people like me, and you contacted the White House and Congress urging the passage of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill.

Last night the House voted to override the President’s veto. While votes were picked up, the votes need to override the veto fell short. A sad day for much needed diabetes research. But this is the politics of this administration concerning the health of Americans.

Click the link below to find out how your U.S. Representative voted and to send them letter about the vote:

I'm glad to report that my representative Pete Visclosky, Democrate, Indiana did vote to override the President's veto, and I did send him a thank you for his efforts.

This bill contained what would have been the first funding increase in two years for diabetes prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The President vetoed the bill because it was about $10 billion over the budget he submitted earlier in the year. It should be noted that this budget would have continued to under-fund diabetes research and prevention.

Maintaining inadequate funding levels while diabetes grows at an alarming rate is unacceptable.

The National Association for Diabetes is planning to go back to Congress and try to convince them to stand strong and continue pushing for the higher funding for diabetes research and prevention.

I will post updates as they become available.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sweet Potato Pies - The Temptation Starts

This time of the year always brings food temptation to millions of diabetics.

My grandson wants to make sweet potato pies - his favorite, and mine too. Yes, I started this last Thanksgiving, and gave him my personal family recipe.

For a 6 year old, he actually produced some fine pies (with mom's assistance), and of course he enjoyed eating them more. So this past week he says, "Pa Pa, when are we making the sweet potato pies for Thanksgiving?"

What's a Grandpa to do? So this coming Tuesday, we will make pies - and yes, I will avoid the temptation to go overboard - and uhh Grandma will also be monitoring us as a backup.

I do so well the rest of the year, but I hate this disease around Thanksgiving and Christmas - which brings me to an article I just read - Charles

Are You Ready for the Holidays? - by David Spero

Well, here it comes: The hardest time of year for people with long-term health conditions like diabetes.

During the holidays, there's always lots of food, lots of alcohol, and lots of people. Sometimes you're traveling; sometimes you have guests coming to you. It's hard to keep on a self-management routine when your situation keeps changing, when it might be harder to find time to exercise and harder to stay on your meal plan.

Finish reading article posted at the Diabetes Management Blog

Test Strip Art

What to do with all those used test strips? Yeah, that's an issue every diabetic is confronted with. Personally I put mine in empty water bottles, but Diabetes Mine blog shows more interesting things to do with these strips - Charles . . .

Head on over, and check out Test Strip Art

New Diabetes Drugs Actos Ad Launch

Well the diabetes drug war debates continue . . . see previous posting on Avandia - and here's what's next - Charles

The makers of Actos (pioglitazone), Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., announced they are to launch a large advertising campaign in the USA for their diabetes drug; following a safety warning issued a day before for Avandia (rosiglitazone), a rival medication.

Local and weekly newspapers throughout the country will feature full-page adverts. The headline will contain the following text׃
"If you have type 2 diabetes, Actos has been shown to lower blood sugar without increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke."

Read full article at Medical News Today

Heart Attack Warning for Anti-Diabetes Drug Avandia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that the manufacturer of Avandia (rosiglitazone), a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, has agreed to add new information to the existing boxed warning in the drug's labeling about potential increased risk for heart attacks.

People with type 2 diabetes who have underlying heart disease or who are at high risk of heart attack should talk with their health care provider about the revised warning as they evaluate treatment options.

During the past year, FDA has carefully weighed several complex sources of data, some which show conflicting results, related to the risk of chest pain, heart attacks and heart-related deaths, and deaths from any cause in patients treated with Avandia.

Read full article

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Diabetes in Children and Adolescents

The theme of this year's World Diabetes Day campaign is Diabetes in Children and Adolescents.

Diabetes has a unique impact on children and their families. The daily life of children is disrupted by the need to monitor blood glucose levels, take medication, and balance the effect of activity and food. Diabetes can interfere with the normal developmental tasks of childhood and adolescence, which include succeeding in school and transitioning to adulthood.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the rising prevalence of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents.

Early diagnosis and early education are crucial to reducing complications and saving lives. The healthcare community, parents and guardians must join forces to help children living with diabetes, prevent the condition in those at risk, and avoid unnecessary death and disability. Support must also be given to caregivers and to school personnel. In this way, children with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can reach adulthood with as little adverse impact as possible on their well-being. For children with diabetes in developing countries the situation at present is bleak.

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. It can strike children at any age, including pre-school children and even toddlers. Yet diabetes in children is often diagnosed late, when the child has diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), or it is misdiagnosed completely.

Type 1 diabetes is growing by 3% per year in children and adolescents, and at an alarming 5% per year among pre-school children. It is estimated that 70,000 children under 15 develop type 1 diabetes each year (almost 200 children a day). Of the estimated 440,000 cases of type 1 diabetes in children worldwide, more than a quarter live in South-East Asia, and more than a fifth in Europe.

Type 2 diabetes was once seen as a disease of adults. Today, this type of diabetes is growing at alarming rates in children and adolescents. In the US, it is estimated that type 2 diabetes represents between 8 and 45% of new-onset diabetes cases in children depending on geographic location. Over a 20-year period, type 2 diabetes has doubled in children in Japan, so that it is now more common than type 1. In native and aboriginal children in North America and Australia, the prevalence rate of type 2 diabetes ranges from 1.3 to 5.3%.

In many parts of the world, insulin, the main life-saving medication that children with diabetes need to survive, is not available (or is available but remains inaccessible for reasons of economy, geography or constraints on supply). As a consequence, many children die of diabetes, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

Those closest to the child - family, school staff, family doctor - may not be aware of the ominous signs. The World Diabetes Day 2007 and 2008 campaigns set out to challenge this and firmly establish the message that ‘no child should die of diabetes'.

Source: World Diabetes Day - Year of the Child

Monday, November 12, 2007

World Diabetes Day Countdown!

Just two days to go for the global celebration! - Charles

Read previous posting for World Diabetes Day

Diabetic Foot Care

If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are too high. Over time, this can damage your nerves or blood vessels.

Nerve damage from diabetes can cause you to lose feeling in your feet.

You may not feel a cut, a blister or a sore. Foot injuries such as these can cause ulcers and infections. Serious cases may even lead to amputation. Damage to the blood vessels can also mean that your feet do not get enough blood and oxygen. It is harder for your foot to heal, if you do get a sore or infection.

You can help avoid foot problems. First, control your blood sugar levels. Good foot hygiene is also crucial.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

View the interactive Diabetes Footcare tutorial at Medline Plus

Don't Let the President Veto Funding for Diabetes!

Last Friday the U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending bill that provides the first funding increase in two years for diabetes prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Senate passed this bill last Wednesday and now it is on its way to the President.

This should be great news. However the President has stated that he plans to veto this bill.

Your help is needed to send a strong message asking President Bush not to veto the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill.

This bill provides a 5% increase for the Division of Diabetes Translation in the CDC, and a 2.7% increase for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

According to current CDC estimates, diabetes prevalence is increasing at an alarming rate each year.

If left unchecked, the United States could be looking at more than 50 million people with diabetes by the year 2050.

The funding in this bill would go a long way to combating this public health crisis. Please ask the President not to veto the first increase for diabetes prevention and research efforts in the past two years.

Please click on Take Action Now and ask the President not to veto the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Diabetes - Diet and Diabetes

Diabetes - Diet and Diabetes

There are multiple aspects to the relationship between diet and diabetes. On the one hand, anyone with diabetes will need to take extra care with diet in order to help maintain the proper glucose level.

On the other, those who don't have diabetes - but have a genetic and/or environmental or lifestyle disposition to develop it - can help stave off the disease in part through good dietary choices.

It isn't the case, for example, that eating sugary foods leads to diabetes. The causes of the disease are complex and not fully understood. But what is known shows that there is both a genetic and many possible environmental factors. Only part of that is the amount of sugar ingested.

Nevertheless, it's true that those with a high sugar diet will tend to be overweight - as measured, in part, by a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 27 - and therefore are at greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. That's particularly true for those who tend to carry that extra weight around the waist.

As such, a diet that is generally healthy for everyone is the same diet that will help stave off diabetes, or lessen its effects for those who already have the disease.

A diet that contains the proper amounts of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, as well as good protein sources, is helpful for everyone, including the diabetic. Fat itself isn't to be totally excluded, but should be consumed in moderation.

Fat gets a bad reputation because (a) it's over twice as high in calories than other foods (9 calories per gram as opposed to 4) and, (b) there are certain fats that are less healthy than others (trans fats as opposed to healthier unsaturated fats). A certain amount is essential for good health.

While a diabetic should be prepared at all times to consume a snack or bar that will help stabilize glucose at the right level, in general it's helpful to establish a routine. That makes it easier to monitor glucose level and to predict what it is likely to be when you're not watching it. That also helps smooth out the level of glucose in the blood over time. Spikes or dips are to be avoided.

Those with diabetes who also want to reduce weight or body fat need to take extra care. After consulting a physician to establish a good diet for their particular circumstances, counting carbohydrates will need to become a regular routine. Most carbohydrates are what the body breaks down to produce glucose. That has a direct effect on the glucose-insulin balance so important for keeping diabetes under control.

While protein or fat consumption doesn't directly determine the amount of insulin needed, these too should be consumed in carefully regulated quantities. Excess consumption can make anyone overweight and the diabetic is more negatively affected if that occurs than others.

Consistency is key. Establish a healthy diet plan for your individual circumstances and stick to it, making gradual adjustments as needed. In the long term, it will help minimize any problems associated with diabetes to the maximum extent possible.

Charles Thompkins
Diabetic, Senior and Black Blog

Note to Webmasters:
You have permission to reprint any article signed by me, with blog name and links. Articles of this kind are the sole property of this blog, and when reprinting on your site, you must include the article as is, along with links. And please let me know if you have linked to one of the article here - perhaps we can become link partners - or I can exchange articles with your site or blog.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cracking the Code on Gestational Diabetes

Stopped by Diabetes Notes blog today, and found this good news article - Charles

We are getting closer to cracking the code on gestational diabetes and thus providing more treatment options for all diabetics.

Researchers out of Stanford University School of Medicine have been closely examining the protein called menin in the pancreas. It is already known to help prevent cancer in the pancreas as well as other organs but now… we have a more specific gestational diabetes implication.

Read the full blog posting at Diabetes Notes

Diabetics Need to Get Flu Shots

Diabetics need to get a flu shot every year.

Diabetes makes it harder for the immune system to fight flu germs, and getting the flu can actually raise your blood sugar level. Anytime the body is under stress, your bodies sugar level will go up trying to fight the infection. And unfortunately your blood pressure will usually go up too.

I got my flu shot this week, so if you are diabetic, make sure you get your shot before flu season gets under way.

Cou You Have Diabetes and Not Know It?

There are 20.8 million children and adults in the US with diabetes -- and nearly one-third of them (or 6.2 million people) do not know it!

Take this test at the link below to see if you are possibly at risk for having or developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. If you are a member of one of these ethnic groups, you need to pay special attention to this test.

If you'd like to learn more about your risk for diabetes or its complications, get your Diabetes PHD (Personal Health Decisions) today!

It's a free, powerful health risk calculator that shows you your risk for diabetes and other serious health conditions.

Diabetes PHD

Diabetes and Women

Women and Diabetes Are At Higher Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke, But They Can Reduce Risks

Approximately 9.1 million women in the U.S. have diabetes.

Women are special in many important ways. For instance, a woman is often the person responsible for making the health and lifestyle decisions for her family. Sometimes, she is so busy caring for others that she may neglect her own health.

You will need Adobe Reader to view this document

Monday, November 5, 2007

ESRD To Rise Dramatically With Aging 'Boomers' Rising Diabetes Rates

Baby Boomer" population, rising diabetes rates, and improvements kidney disease treatment allowing better survival -- the authors project continued increases in numbers of Americans affected by End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

By 2020, the incidence (new cases) of ESRD is expected to rise to 151,000 per year (compared to 107,000 in 2005). Prevalence (all cases) is expected to increase to 785,000 (compared to 485,000 in 2005).

Read the complete article at Medical News

Diabetes Link for Life

Diabetes Link For Life Interactive Website

Link for Life is an interactive program on diabetes and heart disease (starring Type 2 Lou), and it's filled with practical tips and valuable information.

The American Diabetes Association is proud to announce that Link for Life won a Gold Award from the World Wide Web Health Awards.

Are you ready to learn how you can reduce your risk for heart attacks and stroke? View Link for Life in either English or Spanish.

Link for Life

Minorities At Higher Risk for Diabetes

When I found out I had diabetes, as a Black male I knew that statistically I was more pron to have this disease. But, what I did not know until recently is that Blacks, Native Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders are all at a higher risk for diabetes.

* 3.2 million or 13.3% of all African Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes.
* African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes as non Hispanic whites.
* Twenty-five percent of African Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have diabetes.
* One in four African American women over 55 years of age has diabetes.

Click for More Info:

Additional link - You will need Adobe to views this PDF File

Approximately 2.5 million Hispanic/Latino Americans over the age of 20 have diabetes and are at increased risk for serious complications such as kidney disease, blindness, and amputations.
Click for More Info

At 17%, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups.
Click for More Info

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with diabetes are at high risk for heart disease.
More Info

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fake Diabetes Drug Promoted on Fake China Website

China's battle against fake and substandard drugs has taken an unusual twist with the discovery of a Web site masquerading as that of the country's food and drug watchdog.

The site was apparently set up to promote a diabetes medication, according to a report on government-run Web site

But not only is that site a fake, the drug is too, the report added.

Read full article - Fraudsters fake Web site of drug watchdog

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Adults With Diabetes Doing Better Prevention Job

I JUST stopped by the Senior Time blog, and saw some GOOD NEWS - CT

Adults With Diabetes Doing Better Prevention Job

(HealthDay News) -- Fewer American adults with diabetes are developing cardiovascular disease, and more of them are closely monitoring their blood sugar levels, according to new U.S. government research released Thursday.

Read full blog posting at Senior Time

World Diabetes Day - 10 Days to Countdown

10 days to go to World Diabetes Day!

1. More than 100 beacons of hope!
2. Help support children with diabetes
3. The Global Diabetes Walk รข€“ still time to register
4. Overwhelming demand for WDD material

"Around the globe on World Diabetes Day over 100 landmark buildings and sites will light up as beacons of hope for the 246 million people living with diabetes.

Since the last update, an astounding total of 110 landmark buildings and sites have answered the call to light up in blue for World Diabetes Day.

The latest landmarks are from: Argentina; Australia; Australia; Azerbaijan; Bolivia; Brazil; Colombia; Colombia; Ecuador; Mexico; Nauru; Sweden; Turkey; the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

See the list of the latest landmarks


According to research, there are approximately 54 million people in the U.S. with pre-diabetes!

Before developing Type 2 diabetes, people almost always have what is called "pre-diabetes".

This term simply means that the blood glucose levels are much higher than normal, but the levels are not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. It also means you may be likely to develop diabetes, and may already be experiencing some of the health effects.

Diabetic symptoms can develop gradually with time, so often they are not recognized. And unfortunately some people don't have any symptoms at all. The typical symptoms include always being thirsty, a frequent desire to urinate, blurred vision, along with being tired most of the time.

Also if you are overweight and 45 years of age or older, you should get tested on your next doctors visit.

In addition, risk groups include those with high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes - women who have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, or those belonging to an ethnic or minority group at high risk for diabetes (Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders).

Studies have shown that without diagnosis, pre-diabetics have a good chance of having long term damage to the heart and circulatory system. And research has also shown that taking action to manage pre-diabetes blood glucose levels can delay or may even prevent Type 2 diabetes from ever developing.

If you have been determined as having pre-diabetes, you should be checked for Type 2 diabetes every 1-2 years after your diagnosis.

For more detailed information, visit the FAQ on Pre-diabetes at the American Diabetes Website.

November is American Diabetes Month

There are “many faces of diabetes.”

Nearly 21 million children and adults in the United States are living with diabetes, and another 54 million people are at-risk. But those aren’t the only faces affected by diabetes. If you are a parent or loved one caring for someone with diabetes, your face is in the picture too.

Every week throughout November’s American Diabetes Month, the American Diabetes Association will focus on a different “face” of diabetes.

Care Givers - Week One
Employees – Week 2
Diabetes around the world – Week 3
At-risk populations – Week 4
Youth and Type 1 Diabetes – Week 5

For detailed info on each weeks focus, visit the American Diabetes Assoc. site

Diabetes - Coping With Diabetes

Coping with diabetes typically involves a combination of physical treatments and psychological adjustments.

Over time, diabetes can affect the kidney, eyes and other vital organs and systems. The kidneys may filter less efficiently. Eyesight may become less sharp. But all those physical circumstances can be managed through careful diet, exercise, and (if needed) drugs.

In addition, coping with the disease and its effects involves another dimension, one less easy to quantify and treat, and one which has both physical and mental consequences.

Stress from being concerned about those effects can be both cause and consequence.

Stress weakens the immune system, which in turn reduces the body's ability to ward off infection, colds and so forth. Those are just some of the possible complications of diabetes. But those in turn may lead to additional stress as the ability to function is reduced. A vicious cycle is established.

Breaking that cycle requires a broad spectrum of diabetes management techniques. Keeping the body as healthy as possible will minimize the effects. Keeping the right attitude will help reduce the odds of the effects occurring in the first place.

That's not easy. Accepting that management of diabetes and its effects is a long term, often a lifetime, proposition is the first step.

Careful monitoring of blood glucose levels is a basic and essential factor. Controlling that level - by diet, exercise, and medications - is vital. That helps reduce the physical strain on body systems. That helps reduce the worry. Monitoring and management will need to become a daily routine, as common as brushing your teeth.

Knowledge can help motivate the patient to engage in that practice. Being fully aware of the possible complications, and the near certainty of having them if inaction is the choice made, can provide an incentive to take action. Knowing what your body will do can help you control both the potentially harmful physical effects and your attitude about them.

But knowledge alone doesn't lead to the right course of action.

A commitment of the will is essential. It takes courage to control diabetes and lead a normal life. That kind of courage is larger in some ways than the type required for emergencies. Long term commitments to meeting daily challenges requires the kind of patience and fortitude that is tougher to call up all the time than for a one-time event.

But that kind of commitment doesn't happen simply by wishing for it. Few can simply will themselves onto the right path. It starts by facing small challenges and overcoming them. A minor dietary change. The adoption of a single brief exercise routine three times a week. Then the actions can become wider - more dietary changes - and longer term, more exercise routines carried out every day.

As you conquer those small hills a little bit at a time, you gain the confidence that you can tackle larger ones and over a lifetime. In time, managing diabetes for most people becomes a routine little more difficult than doing an average school or work assignment. It becomes a few more things on the list of daily challenges to meet and solve in order to get those daily rewards.

Charles Thompkins
Diabetic, Senior and Black Blog

Note to Webmasters:
You have permission to reprint any article signed by me, with blog name and links. Articles of this kind are the sole property of this blog, and when reprinting on your site, you must include the article as is, along with links. And please let me know if you have linked to one of the article here - perhaps we can become link partners - or I can exchange articles with your site or blog.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day - Year of the Child

Celebrate the first United Nations observed World Diabetes Day - More than 80 iconic sites and buildings around the world are currently set to light the World Diabetes Day skyline on November 14!

On December 20 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a landmark Resolution recognizing diabetes as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease. The Resolution designates World Diabetes Day as a United Nations Day to be observed every year starting in 2007.

The UN Resolution makes World Diabetes Day stronger than ever and provides the opportunity for a significant increase in the visibility of the campaign and an increase in government and media participation on or around November 14. The Resolution will ensure even greater reach for awareness-raising activities throughout the diabetes world.
Diabetes in Children and Adolescents

The theme of this year's World Diabetes Day campaign is Diabetes in Children and Adolescents.

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. It can strike children at any age, including pre-school children and even toddlers.

Visit the site for more info . . .

Monday, October 29, 2007

Is Diabetes an Epidemic in Black America?

How DIABETES Is Ravaging The African-American Community

* Thirteen percent (3.2 million) of all African-Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes.

* Twenty-five percent of African-Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have diabetes.

* African-Americans are 1.8 times more likely than Whites to have diabetes.

* One in 4 African-American women over 55 years of age has diabetes.

* African-Americans are almost twice as likely as Whites to develop diabetic retinopathy (blindness).

* African-Americans are as much as 5.6 times more likely than Whites to suffer from kidney disease as a result of diabetes complications.

* African-Americans are 2.7 times more likely than Whites to suffer from lower-limb amputations.

Source: American Diabetes Association

COPYRIGHT 2007 Johnson Publishing Co.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group

This info is from an interesting article I ran across this weekend - Charles

LookSmart's FindArticles - Is diabetes an epidemic in Black America? The growing number of cases indicates the problem has reached a new level

Ebony, March, 2007, by Kevin Chappell

Patti LaBelle is Diabetic, Senior and Black

African American Grammy award winner Patti LaBelle has spent 40 years on state in the entertainment business, but offstage she has learned to curb her intake of sweets to keep her diabetes in check.

"You know, having diabetes is like having to treat your body like a temple, not an amusement park," says LaBelle, quoting from one of her books, Patti's Pearls. "I work hard to treat my body right. I try to eat the right thing and do the right thing on the road which is sometimes impossible."

Patti was diagnosed with diabetes 13 years ago, and has since become a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association.

"I found out I had diabetes when I had a fainting attack on stage," says LaBelle. "They rushed me to the hospital. I thought I was just overworked. The doctor said, 'You know you're a diabetic.' But I didn't have a clue. I was lucky to find out early."

"We have to take advantage of doctors and get ourselves checked, especially Black Americans" says LaBelle, "because we tend to get diabetes more."

"Diabetes messes with your eyesight," says LaBelle. "My eyesight only started diminishing after I was diagnosed with diabetes. It is hard for me to read without reading glasses. And I get my eyes checked every year."

"I go to the bathroom all night when my sugar is high," says LaBelle. "It does so many things that I can't even tell you about because I'm not a doctor. I can tell you how it works on me and I'm not going to play with it. I am going to be a serious patient and I'm not going to mess around with it."

LaBelle, who has had to work on her health and change her eating habits, and has written a cookbook with diabetic recipes.

LaBelle says, "Diabetes is no joke. It is a silent killer. You don't feel sick. You don't feel anything. You think you're all that and think you can eat a Snickers bar - but it will kick you in the butt the next morning. You really have to check yourself before you wreck yourself."

I have not purchased Patti's book yet, if anyone has, please give your feedback - the reviews look good.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

iGoogle Gadgets

This is a great little online tool - your own little note pad - click on pad to find out how to put on your site, blog, google page, or wherever - Charles

Dining Out With Diabetes

Dining Out With Diabetes

Juicy, seasoned chicken breast with a crisp tossed salad made with fresh, crunchy cucumbers, sliced tomatoes and carrots in a raspberry balsamic dressing followed by some fresh fruit and a scoop of ice cream.

Sound good? Order it the next time you go out for dinner—whether you have diabetes or not.

Contrary to common conception, diabetes doesn’t mean that dining out is out of the question, nor that your meals must be boring. With sensible meal choices and proper planning, you can enjoy any restaurant experience to its fullest.

Read Complete Article

Diabetes Common Symptoms

The symptoms of diabetes can be puzzling.

Even the common ones may not be present in all cases. They may come and go. And the same symptoms can be produced by other conditions. Nevertheless, there are a cluster of common circumstances that tend to mark out the disease.

Unusually frequent urination is one of the classic symptoms that suggests the possibility of diabetes. One defining attribute of the disease is excessive glucose levels in the blood. Either the body produces too little insulin to deal with it (Type 1 diabetes), or the insulin isn't used correctly (Type 2).

The body attempts to compensate by eliminating the excess glucose using the urine. The kidneys work at higher than normal levels to filter out the excess sugar. When they can't remove enough, the remainder is passed through when other fluids are eliminated as waste products of metabolic processes.

One result, and an accompanying symptom, is excessive thirst. The diabetic feels as if he or she is always thirsty, and no matter how much fluid is taken in it never seems like enough. That in turn prompts still more urination.

Another common and possible symptom is continual fatigue. Since insulin isn't performing its role properly by aiding the cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream, the diabetic may feel tired. Glucose is the major source of energy for powering an enormous variety of the body's functions from cell repair to major muscle movement.

But other body systems can be affected by diabetes and show up as symptoms.

Blurry vision can result from any number of conditions, even simple age where it is often just presbyopia. Presbyopia results from reduced elasticity of the lenses as we age, leading to a lessened ability to focus. But the cause in the case of diabetes is very different.

High blood sugar levels reduce fluid in the tissues, including those of the eye and in particular the lenses. That affects your ability to focus. When the disease becomes more advanced it can cause new blood vessels to form in the retina. That again affects your vision. Though in this circumstance, the result is more often seeing dark spots or flashing lights, or rings around room lights.

In some instances, cuts (particularly on the feet) may be slower to heal when a person has Type 2 diabetes. The reasons are not yet fully understood, but it is one more indicator. At the same time, the immune system is affected, leading to a lowered ability to fight off infection.

Since so many of these symptoms can be (and are) produced by a number of other conditions, the best course of action if you suspect you have diabetes is to seek a professional diagnosis. Simple blood tests can determine with a high degree of confidence whether or not you do in fact have the disease. They're relatively painless and most are covered by ordinary health insurance.

Charles Thompkins
Diabetic, Senior and Black Blog

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You have permission to reprint any article signed by me, with blog name and links. Articles of this kind are the sole property of this blog, and when reprinting on your site, you must include the article as is, along with links. And please let me know if you have linked to one of the article here - perhaps we can become link partners - or I can exchange articles with your site or blog.

Diabetes, Yes I Have It Too

My Introduction to Diabetes

I was personally introduced to diabetes within the past year.

Diabetes does run on my fathers side of the family, but being a retired Senior citizen, I never thought I would be a diabetic at my age.

Well surprise! On a routine visit to the doctors office, that was the News - Type 1 Diabetic. Upon the diagnosis, I realized I had become another statistic - another African American with diabetes.

We have an extremely good health care system here in Northwest Indiana, and I went to several diabetes classes at Porter Memorial Hospital learned quite a bit about the disease, healthy diets and how to cope with diabetes.

I am now aware that I need to eat three times a day, and of course change quite a few bad eating habits. Also I have to pass on the evening snacks while watching TV - unless my sugar for some reason is too low. Basically I have done quite well, and my sugar levels are consistently where they should be, but I also realize that I cannot be complacent on taking my medication, getting off my diet, or slacking up on exercise.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to reach and network with people who are diabetic, and most importantly to reach those who may have diabetes, but have never been tested.

For those who have not been tested, just take the time and do it. Had I not gone to the doctor, I don't even want to think of the consequences to my health and lifestyle. And being a man, I will be the first to say we are known not to take care of health issues, and ignore symptoms until the last minute. Most of us really hate going to the doctor, or even admitting anything is wrong.

African Americans
in particular have a tendency to not seek medical help soon enough, and in some cases lack of insurance and financial concerns overide good health care. This is disturbing because from the statistics, we are the ones that seem to have a higher incidence of diabetes, along with high blood pressure and heart disease. In each case, seeking medical attention is the first step in controlling any disease. There are many health fairs and centers that provide testing free of charge, so please just get a test to be safe.

Just about everyone has heard about diabetes, but very few people really know enough about the symptoms, possible causes and treatment.

So, what exactly is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease characterized by chronic high levels of glucose in the blood. Excess glucose can have a number of ill effects, including poor cut healing or kidney damage, even coma. At one time this disease could have been a death sentence for many, but the advancement of monitoring and insulin delivery methods today; it is just little more than another daily routine task to perform.

Though the underlying causes are not fully understood, diabetes results from either too little insulin being produced, or its ineffective use of it by the body. I have Type 1 diabetes - which is genetic, affects mostly younger people, and can generally be treated with insulin pills.

In Type 2, the cells may resist insulin's action, once again leaving too much glucose in the blood. Also about 3% of pregnant women develop what is called gestational diabetes, but it usually goes away after giving birth. Most medical professionals agree that diabetes comes from a genetic predisposition, along with other environmental or lifestyle factors.

In all cases, the symptoms are usually roughly the same: excessively frequent urination, unquenchable thirst, sometimes accompanied by dizziness or stomach pains. Naturally, these common symptoms can have a number of causes.

Testing for diabetes is simple and relatively painless, only requiring a small blood sample. Blood glucose level is measured, with normal running around 99 mg/dL, while diabetics have a level of 126 mg/dL or above. It may require more than one test to confirm the disease.

Once confirmed, regular blood glucose monitoring is a must. Fortunately, today there are many convenient ways to do that.

Testing devices the size of a cell phone are common. A small sample of blood is smeared on a strip fed into the instrument, which delivers a number within seconds. Some recent devices measure glucose level through the skin using an infrared beam.

Treatments are equally easy for most diabetics
. In some cases careful diet and appropriate exercise may be enough to keep the right glucose-insulin balance. In the usual case, insulin delivery is called for. But that too is much easier than in generations past.

Small insulin-containing pens can deliver the exact right dose painlessly. Newer oral inhalers are on the market that has met with success.

Though no one wants to have to deal with diabetes, managing the disease is now easier than ever. The possible long term complications of untreated diabetes remain what they always were. By keeping them in check with simple techniques, most diabetics can enjoy an active fulfilling life just as anyone else.

Time permits going more into detail about the symptoms of diabetes - so I will go into detail about this in the next posting.

Charles Thompkins
Diabetic, Senior and Black Blog

Note to Webmasters:
You have permission to reprint any article signed by me, with blog name and links. Articles of this kind are the sole property of this blog, and when reprinting on your site, you must include the article as is, along with links.

And please let me know if you have linked to one of the article here - perhaps we can become link partners - or I can exchange articles with your site or blog.