Living With Diabetes

Diabetes starts long before the symptoms appear. The sooner your doctor can start tracking blood glucose levels, the sooner you can start avoiding diabetes. Researchers have now found after tracking over 6,500 people that glucose levels begin to change up to 13 years before the onset of diabetes. If it is possible to deal with those changes early, it is possible to change diet, exercise and a few other lifestyle habits that will delay or eliminate the chances of a person getting diabetes.

If you already have symptoms such as excessive thirst, tingling or pain in your hands and feet, having to urinate more than often or vision changes, check with your doctor as soon as possible and get tested. Getting tested for diabetes has become much more simple than in the past and the results are more accurate. Once you know if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes you will be able to start treating it so that it does less damage to your body.

Since diabetes is so insidious, it is important to look for the signs in the paragraph above. Diabetes is different for everyone, but diet, exercise, regular visits to your doctor, using a glucose monitor daily – as many times as your doctor prescribes – and taking any medication or insulin your doctor gives you is essential to warding off more serious problems and complications.

Some people have neuropathy as a result of diabetes. Usually their feet tingle, burn or hurt and their hands and sometimes arms tingle or have throbbing pain. This is because the nerves are being damaged by the diabetes. Your doctor can prescribe medication that will deal with both the pain and work with the nerves.
There are many more choices of medication and treatment for diabetes than there were even a decade ago.

A close family friend was diagnosed with diabetes many years ago when the options were basically oral medication or insulin shots. I remember how painful the glucose checks were because the lancets were much more midievel than they are now. She took pills and changed her diet and finally had to go on insulin shots. Other than that and some extra exercise – in her case, walking more – she lived for many years after the diagnosis. When she finally had to go on dialysis, at first she went to the hospital to have it done and then she got a portable dialysis machine that she could use at home. When her feet hurt, she used an electric wheel chair when she went shopping every week.

She lived a full life with her children and grandchildren and died in her early 80’s which is considered at least 2 years longer than average. She lived to see her 4th grandchild turn 1. That was her last grandchild, so this was a special gift. She told me that she knew she was going to die soon because of some of the acute changes in her body but she said she was OK with dying because she had a long life, traveled, had a wonderful husband, children and grandchildren and had outlived most of her friends. She was not unhappy about dying, but she said it wouldn’t be her first choice. What she did say that was profound was that because she did what her doctor said, changed her diet, lost weight early in the game and took her glucose measurements and her medication like clockwowrk every day, she was in charge of her diabetes, it was not in charge of her. She said that because of this, she kept the more difficult symptoms under control much longer and she lived much longer, too.

When you hear someone who has diabetes and is at the end of their life and knows it telling you these things, it is sobering. What she said has changed my life and the lives of others, helping them to live healthier – either to avoid diabetes or to control their diabetes. Whether you have diabetes or not, the information she gave me is invaluable for all of us.

Reaching Out to Help With Diabetes

There are nearly 24 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes and there are more efforts to help unify the diabetes community and help them live healthier lives. The American Diabetes Wholesale a diabetes supply company trying to keep diabetes managable for all diabetics, especially the uninsured, has partnered with Charlie Kimball, the 24 year old Firestone Indy Lights Race Car Driver who has Type 1 diabetes. They have announced the launch of GlucoStories and Charlie Kimball Share Your Story Contest.

The goal is to bring people living with diabetes together and provide them with a way to share their personal experiences. The contest is asking people to explain how their diabetes has affected their lives and the grand prize winner will receive the a trip to the Firestone Indy Lights Championship Race at the Homestead- Miami Speedway on Friday, October 9, 1009 in Florida.

“Reaching out and supporting people in the diabetes community is what American Diabetes Wholesale is all about,” said Chris Maguire, Vice President of American Diabetes Wholesale. “GlucoStories is an extension of our commitment and partnering with Charlie Kimball to bring this program to the community was a win-win for everyone involved.”

Charlie was diagnosed in 2007 at the age of 22, but has been involved in competetive racing since he was 9 years old. He has some special accommodations to help him continue racing, including a continuous glucose monitoring system installed on that shows his glucose levels constantly on his steering wheel. He also has a drink pack installed in his cockpit in case he needs to sip orange juice if his blood sugar is low when he is driving.

“Diabetes doesn’t slow me down and is as much a part of my life as racing. Being able to merge the two is an incredible opportunity,” said Charlie Kimball, Professional Indy Lights Race Car Driver. “My hope is that by sharing my story, other people will be comfortable and open about sharing theirs. We’re all working towards the same goal of finding a cure and living a healthy, productive and successful life in the meantime.”

OFFICIAL INFORMATION

With the support of Home Diagnostics, Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Diabetic Rockstar, American Diabetes Wholesale and other partners, GlucoStories is a platform for people with diabetes or those who support people living with diabetes to inspire and feel inspired about living the best life possible. To learn more about the prizes, rules and to enter the contest, please visit www.glucostories.com and share your experiences with diabetes. Contest and story submissions deadline is July 6, 1007 Midnight, EST.

GlucoStories Contest Rules: no purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.), 13 years and older who did not purchase any equipment for purposes of entering the promotion and are not a practicing physician at time of entry. Void where prohibited. Enter Contest by: 7/6/09. Sweepstakes starts 7/15/09 and ends 8/17/09. For Official Rules, odds disclosure and prize descriptions, visit http://www.glucostories.com. Sponsor: American Diabetes Wholesale, 2501 NW 34th Place, Suite 35, Pompano Beach, FL 33069.
Reaching Out to Help with Diabetes

Portable Urine Glucose Meter

Tanita Corp of Japan, will begin selling a portable digital urine glucose meter that indirectly checks blood glucose level by measuring urine glucose level. The meter is called UG-201 and will go on sale June 20, 2008 in Japan. The company has sold a stationary digital urine sugar meter since 2004.

Tanita Corp have had many request for a portable model because people are always on the go. Although the UG-201 is unable to measure the blood sugar level itself, it contributes to the prevention of metabolic syndrome and diabetes by measuring the urine sugar level, which is closely correlated with the blood sugar level. The product allows easy measurement simply by urinating on the sensor.  This meter is convenient and easy to use. Results show in about six seconds.

Although there is no manufacturer’s suggested retail price, the expected market price for the starter set including the main unit, sensor cartridge, etc is about $154.00. Each sensor cartridge is good for 200 uses and will cost $58 to replace. The company is aiming at initial annual sales of 3,000 sets and cumulative sales of 30,000 sets by fiscal 2010.

FreeStyle Freedom Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System

Abbott Diabetes Care announced the availability of the FreeStyle Freedom Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System. It will offer all the same benefits of the Abbott’s Freestyle, but the newly designed FreeStyle Freedom Lite system provides accurate, reliable results. It will limit the discomfort and inconvenience of glucose monitoring. It will be easier to use by requiring smaller samples and provide faster results.The new FreeStyle Freedom Lite will only require a 0.3 micro liter sample of blood. This makes it the worlds smallest sample size requirement and the least amount of pain. It has one of the largest displays, which makes it easy to read and easy to use. The FreeStyle Freedom Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System is available with an instructional video and product brochure in both English and Spanish. This system will give people with diabetes a way to help simplify their diabetes management routine. A better diabetes management routine will ultimately lead to improved health.

External Insulin Pump Pros & Cons

Did you know that diabetics now have access to technology which allows insulin to be automatically injected into the body without the use of syringes and needles? It is an extremely convenient way to maintain your insulin treatments while enjoying more stress-free time and without the worry of injecting yourself before every meal throughout the day.

External insulin pumps can be programmed to deliver small units of insulin on a constant basis by a measure of time. And with the manual option of injecting extra insulin with a button (bolus of insulin), it makes the ideal tool for a diabetic to handle their disease and insulin control with ease.

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External Insulin Pumps: Say Goodbye to Needles & Syringes

For many people who have diabetes that must treat themselves with insulin injections on a daily basis, the external insulin pump is a godsend. External insulin pumps are the closest technology available that can automatically mimic the body’s natural process of insulin control. This device takes care of the gradual induction of rapid acting insulin, and is fully automated.

As far as price is concerned, external insulin pumps are very expensive. The cost can be as high as $6,000 or more for just one unit. But the investment is entirely worth it when you consider that injecting insulin every day for the rest of your life is a reality. And many diabetic patients do not have the luxury of achieving regular glucose control with the use of syringes and insulin pens alone.

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Accu-Chek Glucose Meters for Free

accu-chekIf you’re wanting to get your hands on an Accu-Chek (also referred to as Accu-Check) blood glucose monitor for free, there are several ways to go about getting one.

The first and easiest way to get one is to visit an online mail order company like FreedomMed or American Diabetes Services and fill out a short form. They will them check your insurance or Medicare and file all necessary paperwork.

Another option is to visit a pharmacy that carries the Accu-Check monitor and see if they have a fre option. Some will provide you a free monitor if you purchase supplies from them.

The third way to get one is to go to the manufacturer and see what free programs are available. Keep in mind that you may have to pay insurance co-payments or deductibles where required.

One Touch Ultra 2 Diabetic Testing Meter

OneTouch Ultra 2 Glucose MeterThe OneTouch Ultra 2 is a blood glucose monitoring device for people with diabetes. This device has advanced features that range from fast results, a more compact size and it offers almost pain free blood glucose level monitoring. The small blood volume required also allows alternate locations to be used for testing, instead of just the fingertip. This could include the forearm or palm.The OneTouch Ultra 2 is packaged in a kit that contains a carrying case, the OneTouch UltraSoft Adjustable Sampling Device, sample  lancets, test strips and a replacement cap for use with the sampling device when using another site testing location.

This device is available for purchase at most pharmacies, both physical and online. It is also available for free by companies like FreedomMed and American Diabetes Supplies. Visit their websites to see if you qualify for the OneTouch Ultra 2 for free with through your insurance or Medicare.