Friday, November 30, 2012

Eye Complications - Living With Diabetes

Went to get my eyes examined last week, and instead of just getting a new prescription, I found out I have cataracts. Having surgery in a few weeks, and by next month I will be back on track. If you are a diabetic, please stay on top of regular eye exams - Charles

  • People with diabetes are at increased risk for eye complications.
  • Most people with diabetes will get some form of retinopathy, a disorder of the retina.
  • Huge strides have been made in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy.
  • The earlier problems are diagnosed, the more successful the treatments can be

Many people without diabetes get cataracts, but people with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop this eye condition. People with diabetes also tend to get cataracts at a younger age and have them progress faster. With cataracts, the eye's clear lens clouds, blocking light.

To help deal with mild cataracts, you may need to wear sunglasses more often and use glare-control lenses in your glasses. For cataracts that interfere greatly with vision, doctors usually remove the lens of the eye. Sometimes the patient gets a new transplanted lens. In people with diabetes, retinopathy can get worse after removal of the lens, and glaucoma may start to develop.

People with diabetes are 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma than people without diabetes. The longer someone has had diabetes, the more common glaucoma is. Risk also increases with age.

Diabetic retinopathy is a general term for all disorders of the retina caused by diabetes. There are two major types of retinopathy: nonproliferative and proliferative.

Read the full article at Diabetes.Org

Weight Loss Surgery May Not Combat Diabetes Long-Term

Weight loss surgery, which in recent years has been seen as an increasingly attractive option for treating Type 2 diabetes, may not be as effective against the disease as it was initially thought to be, according to a new report
The study found that many obese Type 2 diabetics who undergo gastric bypass surgery do not experience a remission of their disease, and of those that do, about a third redevelop diabetes within five years of their operation.
The findings contrast with the growing perception that surgery is essentially a cure for Type II diabetes. Read entire article - Weight Loss Surgery May Not Combat Diabetes Long-Term -

Thursday, November 15, 2012

On World Diabetes Day, The Paradox Of Diabetes Research

People with diabetes struggle to achieve important health goals. 

It’s estimated that more than 85% of Americans with diabetes are not able to maintain simultaneous control of their blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure – essential for reducing the risk of serious complications.

The disease of diabetes is chronic, it’s progressive, and – most important – it’s an incredibly personal disease. 

A treatment that works for a child with type 1 diabetes will likely not be right for a 23-year-old athlete with the same disease - or a middle-aged, overweight person with type 2 diabetes - or a senior citizen with multiple health problems that happen to include diabetes.

Read full article - On World Diabetes Day, The Paradox Of Diabetes Research 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Diabetes Patients Face Risk Of Blindness

More than 60% of people who have had Type 2 diabetes for at least 20 years - along with nearly all who have had Type 1 diabetes for the same amount of time - will develop diabetic retinopathy, according to the American Diabetes Association.

More than five million people in the U.S. have diabetic retinopathy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a number that is expected to grow to 16 million by 2050.

If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to loss of eyesight. It is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans.

Read more here

Monday, November 12, 2012

Joining AARP Helps Veterans

Just re-newed AARP membership - good to know part of my dues will go to help the brave men and women who serve our country - Charles

Help AARP honor our veterans and troops. 10% of your dues will be sent to the USO to support the USO Warrior and Family Care program.

Young, Slim, and Type 2 Diabetic

Type 2 diabetes is threatening a new group of people: Seemingly Fit Women

The CDC estimates that one in nine adults has diabetes and, if current trends continue, one in three will be diabetic by the year 2050 - and there is a disturbing increase in a much younger set.

Suddenly, a condition that can take half a lifetime to develop has become a young person's problem. Even more surprising, about 15% of people with Type 2 diabetes aren't overweight, according to the National Institutes of Health. They're not feasting on ice cream and cheeseburgers. But their average-weight bodies are hiding a dark secret.

Read more at Women's Health 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

How Clean Hands Help Manage Diabetes

Did you know unwashed hands can change glucose meter readings by up to 10%

You have been told since childhood that washing your hands keeps germs away. This healthy habit may also help you manage your diabetes.

Clean hands get you the most accurate readings from your glucose meter, according to two new studies. Here’s the lowdown on scrubbing up.

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6 Toxins To Wipe Out Of Your Life

A number of daily use items stacked on store shelves call out to us with their beautiful packaging and attractive promises—”24-hour freshness,” “incredibly clean” and such. But scratch the surface, and some scary facts emerge.

Room fresheners: Room fresheners can be chemical-laden and toxic. To keep your room smelling fresh, create your own potpourri, with dried herbs and essential oil. The way to make it is explained quite nicely here.

Laundry fresheners: Beware of the word ‘fragrance.’ It sure sounds inviting, but those jasmine and lavender scented laundry detergents and dryer sheets can be loaded with chemicals that can cause skin problems to  reproductive dysfunction.

Permanent-press cotton sheets: Use untreated cotton sheets in the bedroom: the permanent press cotton-polyester ones may seem more convenient but release chemicals that can irritate the throat and eyes.

‘Regular’ apples and peaches: These are among the most contaminated produce, and by paying a little extra for organic ones, you can cut down on upto 80% fewer pesticides entering your body.

Mothballs: The insecticides in them  have been linked to health problems, including cancer-causing agents. Cedar chips are known to be a safe alternative to them. Make a sachet of these chips, adding a little lavender essential oil, to keep clothese free of damage from months.

Perfume and colognes: Packaged in alluring bottles and heady in their scent, perfumes and colognes often contain hundreds of synthetic compounds that have been linked to skin problems, reproductive issues and other disorders. Pure plant essential oils, mixed with organic carrier oil, are a wonderful alternative.

Source6 Toxins to Wipe Out from Your Life | Care2 Healthy Living

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bypass Surgery Better Than Stents For Diabetic Heart Patients

Those with diabetes who have clogged heart arteries are better served by bypass surgery than stents, which prop open blood vessels, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (November 5).

The study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, noted a lower combined rate of heart attacks, strokes and death (18.7%) for the bypass group, as opposed to rate of 26.6% for the stent group. A total of 1,900 patients were included in the study.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lessons from the History of Insulin

You would have to be a centenarian to remember what diabetes was like before the discovery of insulin in 1922. 

Type I diabetes in children was a death sentence. They wasted away, grew weak, and suffered indescribably before their inevitable death. They had insatiable thirst and hunger, but trying to satisfy their hunger only made things worse, and they continued to lose weight.

The only treatment available was a rigorous diet (on the order of 400 calories a day with minimal carbohydrates), and all that did was prolong life by a few months.  Patients usually had to be hospitalized to control their intake with carefully measured quantities of unpalatable food.

Intake was adjusted by testing the urine, which was a complicated procedure at the time. Instead of a convenient dipstick, testing involved Benedict’s solution, test tubes, eyedroppers, teaspoons, a bottle for urine, and an aluminum cup. (Much later, urine testing was discarded in favor of the much more accurate blood testing.)

Read Full article at Science Based Medicine

Sunday, November 4, 2012

American Diabetes Association and CVS Pharmacy Sponsor Diabetes Campaign

CVS Pharmacy is partnering with the American Diabetes Association as the sponsor of "A Day in the Life of Diabetes" photo-sharing campaign on the ADA's main Facebook page.

The CVS Pharmacy ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes program will donate $1 to the American Diabetes Association for every photo or image uploaded, up to $25,000. CVS Pharmacy will also co-host a Twitter chat on Nov. 15 with Dr. Elizabeth Seaquist, VP medicine and science for the ADA.

ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes Member Drive:
The program is free and open to all members of the CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare savings and rewards program; cardholders can sign up at Once enrolled, patients and caregivers gain access to:

  • $5 coupon for joining'
  • Monthly e-newsletter filled with recipes, tips and extra savings; 
  • More than $130 in savings from Diabetes Health Magazine available through Dec. 31, 2012.

CVS ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes - For those with diabetes and their caregivers

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ben Vereen Promotes Birmingham Model For New Diabetes Project

Those familiar with the long illustrious career of singer-actor-dancer Ben Vereen know that in his day he likely would have cleaned up on reality shows like "American Idol' and "America's Got Talent."

But fewer fans may realize that in 2007, the Emmy and Tony award winner faced his own scary and uncertain reality when on Christmas Day he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

"The fear factor is so strong," Vereen said this morning in Birmingham, recalling that diagnosis. "You wonder if you'll go blind, or they'll take your leg, or even die."

Read more about the project at Blog

Friday, November 2, 2012

November is American Diabetes Month

The vision of the American Diabetes Association is a life free of diabetes and all of its burdens. Raising awareness of this ever-growing disease is one of the main efforts behind the mission of the Association. 

American Diabetes Month® (ADM) is an important element in this effort, with programs designed to focus the nation's attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the many people who are impacted by the disease.

Here are just a few of the recent statistics on diabetes:

  • Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion.

American Diabetes Month takes place each November and is a time to come together as a community to Stop Diabetes®!

Understanding Insulin Resistance

Though you may not be living with diabetes, your body could be battling against the hormone insulin. 

The condition, called insulin resistance, occurs when insulin can't effectively do its job.

"People often don't realize that insulin resistance can develop into diabetes," said Dawn Sherr, a diabetes educator for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. "And if they're not aware they're insulin resistant, they don't know what steps they can take to prevent it."

Insulin resistance is a fuzzy, often misunderstood concept. Here, we answer five common questions.

Q: How does the body become resistant to insulin?

A: When you eat, food is broken down into glucose to be used for energy. Insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, tempers the amount of sugar in the bloodstream by helping glucose get into the muscle, fat and/or liver cells. "We think of insulin as a 'key' that opens doors to the body's cells, so glucose can enter," said diabetes educator Gary Scheiner.

With insulin resistance, it's like having locks that are frozen or rusty. The keys won't turn, and glucose can't get into the cell. The pancreas, alarmed by the increase in blood sugar, cranks out more insulin.

Eventually, the overworked pancreas breaks down. Blood sugar levels rise even further, causing pre-diabetes and setting the stage for Type 2 diabetes. "Most people think of diabetes as high blood sugar caused by too little insulin," said Scheiner, the author of "Think Like a Pancreas." But the insulin resistance is really the root cause of almost all cases of Type 2 diabetes.

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