Thursday, December 27, 2007

Can Diabetes Screening be Harmful?

I hope all of you are having a great Christmas season. I spent my Christmas here in Boston to avoid an expensive flight home to L.A. Oh well, I'm ready to kick off the new year anyway.

I was searching for some diabetes blogs when I came across this transcript of a radio broadcast on NHPR titled: "Diabetes Screening Isn’t Always Beneficial"

In the report, a researcher states that "one of her concerns about diabetes screening is the potential rush to medicate." Though I find myself agreeing that premature medicating is certainly a cause for concern, I was still rather upset with a previous statement that we should be pursuing these screenings only "on the basis of having good studies that show that we help them in terms of making them live longer or live better."

I think most would agree that detecting signs of diabetes early certainly wouldn't do any harm.

She does go on to say that "the symptoms themselves lead people to raise the issue with their doctors and get the condition identified in a timely manner." But I would contend that waiting for symptoms to become an issue big enough to bring up with your doctors is a bit too late. I know in the case of type 1 diabetes, those symptoms are NOT anything anyone would wish for. I would think that for type 2 diabetes, the long-term affects of long-term exposure to high blood glucose is definitely something people would also want to avoid.

The way I view this is that screening for diabetes will help raise awareness in those who don't have it yet. If and when they do develop diabetes, they will at least be more prepared than having no exposure to what diabetes is.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stay Warm, Stay Happy

Smile, Space Heater, SmileWell, we've had a few snowstorms in the past week and Boston is freezing cold. As tempting as it is for a Southern Californian like me to naturally run out into the snow and make snow angels wearing nothing but a t-shirt and shorts, I've come to learn of the pain that the cold and wet brings afterwards.

So here's a few random articles and posts I found about staying warm and staying happy for someone living with diabetes in a cold environment.

Andy Bell from dLife's Blogabetes talks about how Exercising in Your PJs can help you stay warm and active during the days nobody ever leaves the house.

A link from My Fall From Grace's Denise talks about how bundling up in the cold actually makes a difference because "Chilling the feet lowers the immune system"!

...and I know all of you are wondering: the happy space heater above was found on Faces in Places.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Simple Way to Explain What is Diabetes

I stumbled upon this explanation of diabetes management on Scott Hanselman's blog where he uses the airplane analogy. I thought it would be pretty helpful for people trying to understand the delicate balance of testing, eating, retesting, dosing insulin and testing again.

Scott has type 1 diabetes and is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, so it's understandable that he'd come up with a way to explain it quite thoroughly.

If you still don't get it, maybe this image I whipped up might help...

Diabetes Insulin Dosing Plane Analogywhat happens when taking too much insulin after a big meal

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The 2007 NoNaBloPoMo Award

Failed NaBloPloMo 2007 Award
Yeah, I know I'm kinda late, and this is semi-lame...
...but I still couldn't resist!

E-mail me if you want one tailored for your own blog too.
Congrats to everyone who gets to sport the real deal!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Your Stories Matter

AmyT at Diabetes Mine started a post about Feeling Displaced which turned into a heated discussion about the attitude people with diabetes have online.

Well one of the responses got me thinking...
Terry: "When you find us tugging on people's sleeves and bitching out loud to non-diabetics on a constant basis about how bad we've got it or how misunderstood we are, THEN you can call us cry-babies. Otherwise we're just our own little club with our own language and concerns. Let us have our whiny fun."

Terry makes an interesting point.

As a non-diabetic, I never ever cared to know what diabetes even was. But stumbling upon Diabetes Mine and countless others has opened my eyes to something that's actually a BIG deal. Do you think people would care about the AIDS epidemic if they didn't talk about it all the time in the school system? Do you think that finding out someone had Cancer would have the same shock if it wasn't always perceived as so "deadly".

There's a problem with diabetes awareness because it is both an epidemic and a very deadly disease yet it hardly gets the attention of something that is either.

All it took was 1 guy traveling the world with a drug-resistant strain of Tuberculosis to grasp the nations attention in fear. Yet something like diabetes doesn't even need to be spread, it doesn't discriminate, and can affect virtually anyone.

People just don't seem to care if they don't think it ever affects them... and that's a deadly misconception about diabetes. I'm always grateful to have found the online diabetes community and everyone's contribution in helping me learn more. Your every day stories are reality. That's a reality that helps remove the ignorance that keeps the rest of us oblivious (until it's too late).

So until a real cure comes around... keep sharing, crying, laughing and whining to your heart's content.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

If Only I Had Better Meme-ories

Well since Chris tagged me about 2 week ago and just about everyone else in the DOC has participated, I've definitely been putting this off too long!

Here's my 7 random facts:

1. When I was on the wrestling team, I always weighed in around 115 lbs. Since we had more than enough wrestlers that were under 112, my coach would let me weigh in at the 119 lb. weight class, and allowed me to compete against 125 lb weight class. Which was awesome since I would be the only one pigging out the day before a tournament. I figured I had enough wrestling practice to satisfy a lifetime, so it ended after 1 season.... #1

2. When I lived in Los Angeles, I wore glasses. The week I moved to Boston, I switched to Contacts. So everyone in L.A. always knew me with glasses. Everyone in Boston had no idea. What does glasses have to do with all this? I have 2 eyes... #2

3. I took Japanese in High school, and I don't remember any of it except: "Watashi no namae wa Albert des." which means "My names is Albert." yeah... 3 years down the drain... #3

4. I was a very poor student... like completely apathetic about homework... yet somehow I pulled off 4 years of perfect attendance. Go Figure... #4

5. I was the Drumline Section Leader in my high school marching band. I was given the opportunity to write several cadences and arrangements for the drumline during those years. Though most people associate the drumline leader on the Snare Drum, my passion was in the Tenor Drums. yeah, baby... 5 drum goodness for #5

Now you guys might understand why I'm excited about the game Rock Band.

6. When I first started to learn how to ride a bike, I crashed onto the asphalt parking lot in front of Sears one day, halting my desire to ever learn how to ride the bike. Last summer, my friends came to visit me in Boston and we went biking around Boston. I was utterly terrified because I never learned how to ride in the first place... since I was 6 yrs old... #6

7. In California, I told myself that when I had the money, I would change my license plate to "SOLOBAN". Which is my music artist name. Now I'm in Massachusetts and it wouldn't quite fit as perfectly as on California's 7-character license plates... #7

Alternate #7:
My Grandpa has been insulin-dependant for the past 7 years. Sadly, it meant nothing to me until about the time I started this blog.

Well there you go! You probably know way more about me than you would have ever cared to know. But I figure if I'm going to be a part of this community, I need to start putting myself out there!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WiD? Wednesday: Sale, Sell, Cell!

Thanksgiving, Black Friday
Well it's one more day until Thanksgiving, but more importantly, it's only two days until Black Friday! Retail stores throughout the country rejoice. Shoppers hoping to save a buck scramble to spend their money. Tensions flare in long lines and traffic jams.

Me? I'll probably enjoy sleeping in for once. Though the sales at these stores are tempting, it's not as tempting as a couple more hours of sleep!
  1. Speaking of sales, Scott Strumello shared about which is working to "highlight that your prescription drug buying history -- including name, address, date of birth and drug regimen is FOR SALE."

  2. George at the B.A.D. blog shares about his experience with Weight-Watchers and Diabetes. "I can still eat whatever I want. I have to make sure I know the carb count and the points value." Along with his weight, Ninjabetic also watches his carbs, his blood glucose level, his insulin intake and... YOU.

  3. Now I know this might be old news, but I just stumbled upon this video about Raw for 30 days the other day. In the trailer they "show" how a handful of people "cure" their diabetes through a change in strict diet for 30 days. Hurray! (NOT) So as great as that sounds, they did not seem to take the time to really differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It also adds to the stereotype that Diabetes = Obesity. After watching the trailer I felt angered. (uh-oh) I know they're just trying to promote healthy diets, but by making diabetes into something so general, it really makes it unfair for those who live with it each day. (especially type 1s)

  4. While we're on the topic of misunderstanding, here's a great article written by Julie K. Silver, M.D. of Harvard Medical School that I found on Gather. She addresses the many misconceptions of linking sugar intake with causing diabetes: "Assuming an elevated blood sugar level is the cause of diabetes is like assuming that coughing is the cause of pneumonia."

  5. For those of you who actually care about understanding how diabetes directly and indirectly affects our daily activities, Denise writes about what happens physiologically during exercise: "because blood flow increases during physical exertion, absorption of insulin from injection sites may be accelerated, especially if it’s injected near the muscles being used. Certain medications for type 2 diabetes, especially sulfonylureas, can also cause blood sugar levels to drop too low during exercise."

  6. Though exercise and diet may help people with type 2 manage their diabetes, type 1s are still searching for a cure. Recently, NPR reported that "Two teams of scientists have independently discovered a way to turn ordinary human skin cells into stem cells with the same characteristics as those derived from human embryos." (thanks to Manny for the tip)

I'll be spending my Thanksgiving here in Boston, away from my family (who are all in sunny southern California). However, the friends that are still around here in Boston will keep me busy during this short break. I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Inflammation, Calibration, & Diabetes Education

I wish I had taken pictures of the Prudential Center while it was lit up, but it would have probably turned out blurry and small. So here's a nice picture of the Prudential Center here in Boston all nicely lit up [courtesy of ADA]
Prudential Center blue lights

Went to Philadelphia this past weekend and visited the famous Pat's and Geno's for the first time. While I was riding in a cab on the way to the hotel I spotted a building with the ENTIRE side of the building lit up in the shape of a blue ribbon. I'll just assume that it's linked to WDD, but if not, that's still cool. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera out at the time and the image exists only in my imagination memory.

Definitely NOT a figment of my imagination.

Other online buzz about diabetes:

"Inflammation is the key. Their research proves that obesity without inflammation does not result in insulin resistance, much less diabetes."
- David Mendosa

"DexCom™ Receives FDA Approval to Calibrate Its SEVEN™ Continuous Glucose Monitoring System Using Any FDA Cleared Blood Glucose Meter."

"...the field of diabetes education is facing a crisis. There are only about 15,000 CDEs in the U.S., yet nearly 21 million Americans are already affected by diabetes, and the number is growing every day."
- Amy Tenderich

Friday, November 16, 2007

Betting $1 Billion On Another Flop?

MannKind makes inhaled insulin"Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug company, flopped miserably with a seemingly can’t-miss idea. But Alfred E. Mann is so certain he can succeed that he is betting nearly $1 billion of his own money on the effort."
- New York Times

"This should be great news.
However the President has stated that he plans to veto this bill."
- Dr. Bill Quick

"...while the big organizations like JDRF get a lot of attention, the fact is that smaller organizations like Insulin for Life have a much more immediate impact on the lives of children around the world..."
- Scott Strumello

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

19 Essential Facts about Diabetes

Since today is World Diabetes Day, I put together 19 simple facts that everyone should know...

1. There is NO CURE for Diabetes. (yet.)

2. There are 2 Types of Diabetes.

3. Type 1 Diabetes = Broken Pancreas = No Insulin Production = Deadly Amounts of Glucose in Blood

4. If left untreated (insulin shots), you can will die from Type 1 Diabetes.

5. More than 200 children get type 1 diabetes every day.

6. #5 does NOT happen because their parents fed them a bunch of sugar.

7. Children may die because their families cannot afford the medication they need.

8. Type 2 Diabetes = Malfunctioning Pancreas

9. Type 2 does NOT necessarily = Obese

10. Obese does NOT necessarily = Type 2

11. Obesity is sometimes linked to Type 2 Diabetes, NOT Type 1

12. Diabetes does not discriminate and is linked to genetic disposition.

13. Over 50% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented.

14. "nearly 80% of the American public does not know the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes."

15. You don't want to be in that 80%

16. "almost 70% believe a cure exists for type 1 diabetes."

17. You definitely don't want to be in that 70% either.

18. If you understood facts 1~17, you are now much more informed than 80% of the US about Diabetes.

19. Halle Berry did not cure diabetes.

Ok, so the last 6 facts weren't really THAT essential, but good to know nonetheless!

[please leave me a comment if there are any corrections to these facts that need to be made if you discover them]

Monday, November 12, 2007

Word In Your Hand

This video pulled from over 120 photos that were submitted between August and November, 2007 by members of for the Word In Your Hand project.

Music by me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Does America really know Diabetes?

Even though the President has declared November 2007 as National Diabetes Month, I really wonder how aware of Diabetes he really is. I'm sure he's heard about diabetes and probably heard about the statistics of how greatly it affects Americans... but does he KNOW diabetes?

I just have the gut feeling that, just like most Americans, our president isn't quite aware of the personal realities that surround such a disease. I, like most, didn't know jack about diabetes until I had a reason to learn about it. Despite my grandfather having Type 2 diabetes longer than I've been alive, I never really thought much of it. All I knew was that he had to prick his finger every once in a while, and that he was probably taking meds for it.

Well now I know that he's been insulin-dependent for the past 10 years! Actively seeking out information about what living with diabetes is like has helped me understand the daily struggles he goes through. My parents worry about him often, and my mom tells me his blood sugar levels are all over the place (from 60 to 400). I wish there was some way to motivate him to care more about his diabetes management. But seeing the tiredness in his eyes from all the different medical issues he's lived through, it's understandable how fed up with everything he can be.

It's tough when you don't have people to share your struggles with. But fortunately, my parents are always there for him. Always encouraging him. Always loving him. Always sacrificing themselves for him.

This week in Diabetes Month is focused on Caregivers. I've been blessed to be able to witness the unconditional love my parents have shown for their parents. It's love that I see when my mom and dad used to carry my grandma everywhere during her last years. It's love that I see when my dad puts up with his father-in-law's stubbornness to exercise. It's love that I see when my mom sacrificed her every morning to care for the basic needs of her mother-in-law.

This is the kind of genuine love and care I'd want to have for my parents and loved ones as I continue on in life. This is the kind of sacrifice and love I see in the parents of children with diabetes. This is the kind of love and care I see in the wives of non-compliant spouses.

This is what it really means to support a loved one with diabetes. It's something that most of America will never understand. It's something we all can only hope the future leaders of America (our world) would truly understand...

Here are some links provided by the ADA:
Here are a few of my own links for those who are looking for support:
Here are some blogs by parents of children with diabetes:
For spouses of diabetes:
(not sure why I don't know any blogs of spouses of compliant diabetics off the top of my head.)

Friday, November 2, 2007


That stands for No National Blogging Month For What is Diabetes?

Though NaBloMo looks like fun, I know I'd just be disappointing myself and my (very few) readers. So there's a lot that has happened last month and I haven't really had time to post as often as I'd like. So here's a half-month-long procrastinated quick update of random seemingly unrelated things:

1. The JDRF/TuDiabetes video...
('cause Community is #1)

I can't stress enough how important community is in our lives. We aren't meant to live life alone, nor are we meant to struggle alone. Having a community that understand you best is what helps everyone overcome the hard times, and celebrate the good times. Places like TuDiabetes help people who's lives have been touched by Diabetes to come together.

The DOC's Allison Blass recently wrote an article at The Diabetes Self-Management Blog about how support and education intersect in diabetes blogs.

2. Word In Your Hand
(not quite 2diabetes, but TuDiabetes)

My submission was selected as an honorable mention! If you haven't participated in this project yet, head over to TuDiabetes and add your own photo of what Diabetes means to you.

Word in Your HandWhat is Diabetes?
It's knowledge that I'm missing,
a void that needs to be filled.
Yet, it something within my grasp.

3. ADA Walk
(which happened a whole 3 weeks ago)

Ok, so this was quite a while ago, but I just wanted to post up pictures before It gets lost into the ether. There was a TON of people who showed up, and we pretty much stormed the Boston Commons and Charles River. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did walking for a great cause!
The Boston Hatch Shell!

The balloon finish line!

These guys had the crowd going wild! How? they were giving out iPods as prizes!

4. The Boston Red Sox win the World Series!!!!!!!!
(4-0 Victory baby)

The Sox take the title over the Colorado Rockies. I gotta admit that I'm now sucked into the Red Sox Nation ever since news of Daisuke starting appearing. What a year to start liking the Red Sox huh? Too bad I wasn't IN Boston itself, but I could hear the helicopters flyin around from a safe distance in my Cambridge apartment.

Now to enjoy the upcoming Pats vs Colts game!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The State of Diabetes

There was an article in the Boston Globe today that was written by Ranch Kimball, the president and chief executive of Boston-based Joslin Diabetes Center, about the chronic cost of chronic diseases. Ranch describes the overwhelming costs that diabetes has on our health care system as well as how greatly it affects this state.
"More than 6 percent of Massachusetts residents had diabetes in 2005"

"Three in five people with diabetes have at least one complication"

"one in three has two complications"

"one in 13 has five complications, which can range from heart attack and stroke to blindness and kidney failure."

"Fifty percent of people with Type 2 diabetes have complications by the time they are diagnosed with the disease."

"Diabetes costs the United States at least $132 billion a year - or one of every 10 healthcare dollars."

"Reducing chronic disease must be our next collective priority."

I hope this serves as a wake-up call for the general masses all the way up to the political candidates.

Friday, October 12, 2007

When Health Professionals Fail to Understand

Amy Tenderich just posted up a story by a woman in Germany who lost her job in a medical lab over her diabetes. What sucks is that despite working in a professional health environment, the employer failed to understand the effects that diabetes has.

You can find the whole story at

As an individual, there's only so much we can do about the injustices in this world. I've come to realize that we can only be held accountable for doing what we are personally capable of. However, I do feel like I am responsible for taking the actions that are clear to me. This means sharing this story with those I can and making others aware of the situation.

Maybe one of these days it'll land in the hands of the right people. People who are in the right place and the right time to truly make a difference. Spread the word, bring hope to others.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

6 Awesome Online Diabetes Resources

When I started this journey a few months ago, I literally had no knowledge of what diabetes was and what it meant to people who live with it. So after countless hours of searching, reading, and more searching, I've come to familiarize myself with the online diabetes community.

To my delight, I have come across a ton of online resources. However, it's really hard to focus with the overload of diabetes information and many voices to be heard. Some of you may have noticed that I've already posted links to them (along with my custom made buttons) on the right side of my blog.

To encourage my readers to actually visit these links, I've selected the best 6 online diabetes resources and wrote a short blurb on each of them.

Hope these help anyone who's seeking to find out more about diabetes:

One of the most comprehensive websites I've found on living with diabetes. dLife has a ton of articles and content created by some of the best diabetes writers on the web. They also created and host dLifeTV, a weekly program dedicated to diabetes that gets national airtime. But honestly, I think the best move by dLife thus far was the creation of one of the best diabetes blogs...

2. Blogabetes
Lively and frequently updated, dLife's Blogabetes is host to some of the best and opinionated bloggers in the diabetes community. With 12 writers all with different experiences living with diabetes, Blogabetes is a one-stop shop for the diabetes blog enthusiast.

Tu Diabetes was started by Manny Hernandez and now has 1083 members and counting! This has pretty much been the resident social network for anyone who lives with or has been affected by diabetes. With an active community and forum, TuDiabetes has become one of the best places to find community among others living with diabetes.

4. Diabetes Daily
You've probably already seen their 'diabetes headlines scanner' displayed on the side of my blog or many other blogs through the online diabetes community. Diabetes Daily provides bloggers a place to share their stories as well as be discovered by other bloggers and readers. Their website features a forum and an active chatroom that is filled with people always willing to talk about anything diabetes.

5. Children With Diabetes
The mecca of online resources for parents of children with diabetes. They host a few events each year throughout the U.S. Their online forum is also one of the best places for parents to share stories, support each other, and find out about new diabetes issues.

6. American Diabetes Association
"The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading 501(C)3 nonprofit health organization providing diabetes research, information and advocacy." OK, I stole that from their about section... but it seriously is one awesome organization. Aside from having their own comprehensive resource of diabetes information, the ADA website has a section that posts up the latest diabetes news. With a section for everyone, the ADA is definitely worthy of this list.

Well I hope all of you have found this list to be somewhat helpful. I think I'll put together a list of some of my favorite blogs and why I think they are awesome. Let me know if there are other awesome online diabetes resources if you find them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Chuck Norris Diabetes Rumble, LifeScan PR Stumble

Kerri at Six Until Me posted this a few days ago, but anyone who lives with or is affected by diabetes MUST read these 10 Things You Should Know About Chuck Norris... And Diabetes. First, I ALOLed when I read them. Then, I printed it out and stapled it outside my cubicle for all to see.

Amy at Diabetes Mine sent a haunting message to the corporate world with her response to J&J LifeScan's "so-called 'Public Service Announcement' (PSA) pitch to bloggers about its OneTouch UltraMini "Splash of Color" campaign." The community response is overwhelming and actually warranted a response from a LifeScan Rep. This totally reminds me of the "overt or disguised advertising" that Chrissie addressed in her blog.

Last Thursday, the American Diabetes Association urges congress to pass the ADA Restoration Act.
"Since the original legislation was enacted, a series of Supreme Court rulings have limited the criteria for who is covered by the law, resulting in many individuals with chronic diseases - including diabetes - no longer protected because they don't meet the stringent definition of disability. Their cases are dismissed by courts that never reach the issue of whether they were treated unfairly."

The ADA is also having their Step Out to Fight Diabetes walk in Boston this Saturday! Maybe I'll see some of you guys out there! And I might just post some pictures if I remember to take any! This will be my first diabetes event so I look forward to joining everyone.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Dynamic Diabetes Duos Save Appendages

Special Teams Fight Diabetic Amputations

"...many of the 80,000-plus amputations of toes, feet and lower legs that Americans diabetics undergo each year are preventable, say specialists who brought more than 900 health providers to a meeting last week to figure out how to do just that.

One recommendation: For hospitals to create diabetes limb-salvage teams."

Randy Jackson and the American Heart Association Promote Awareness about the Connection Between Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

"Through the campaign, Jackson shares more of his story about living with type 2 diabetes and provides information about how to successfully manage it. The campaign calls upon those who either have, or know someone who has, type 2 diabetes to share their tips and inspirational stories on the campaign's Web site,"

It seems like a lot of celebrities are finally going public with their diabetes. It's definitely encouraging to see that people are using their blessings to speak up and help others not feel so alone.

Friday, September 28, 2007

A Gassy Alternative to Blood Glucose Testing

"Breath-analysis testing may prove to be an effective, non-invasive method for monitoring blood sugar levels in diabetes, according to a University of California, Irvine study."

This sounds like a great alternative to the whole pricking. But my concern would be the variations with each person's breath. Would food get in the way? Honestly, I would think this is a very hard to control thing, since who knows what chemicals go into our mouths when we eat, drink or kiss?

I think there would definitely be a problem with accurately monitoring one's blood glucose level. But there might be some merit in at least detecting hypers and hypos, without the need of a trained dog. This will definitely be something interesting to follow.

Something Fishy About Type 1 Diabetes Prevention

Omega 3 fatty acid reduces type 1 diabetes
"...higher consumption of omega-3 fatty acids -- found in fish -- by children at risk for type 1 diabetes decreased by 55 percent the risk of pancreatic islet autoimmunity, which is linked to development of diabetes."

Alzheimer's Disease Could Be A Third Form Of Diabetes
"With proper research and development the drug arsenal for type 2 diabetes, in which individuals become insulin resistant, may be translated to Alzheimer's treatment..."
So I realize I'm pretty decent at digging up random news and posts on diabetes. I might not be the most insightful and authoritative to speak on these issues. But that does not mean I can't be fascinated by them. So I'll just be sharing them with all of you for the time being.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Man's Best Friend Smells Hypos

Scanning the diabetes blogosphere found me a post by Kate about her new dog Chino that can react to the odor change in her son Lance related to change in his blood sugar level.

Amy at Diabetes Mine has also started a discussion about creating a code word for someone to say when they are having an episode of hypoglycemia. Go on over and add your input there!

Going along with 'Many Faces of Diabetes', For those of you who have Type 1 Diabetes, Penny is still looking for faces to add to her 'Faces of Hope' presentation. Please help her if you can.

CGMs too expensive? Bernard has found a special discount for the Dexcom. Check out his post if you want to find out more.

dLife recently launched Blogabetes, a blog featuring some of the best diabetes bloggers in the diabetes online community. They just fixed the comments function a few days ago so go check them out!

While we're on the topic of awesome community blogs, the AADE has also opened up a blog on their Side by Side website.

If you aren't aware of the AADE, it "is a professional association dedicated to promoting the expertise of the diabetes educator, ensuring the delivery of quality diabetes self-management training to the patient and contributing to the future direction of the profession."

But if you're reading this blog, you probably already knew that.

November is American Diabetes Month

Well, November is 34 days away and during American Diabetes Month, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) will highlight these "Many Faces of Diabetes."
  • Caregivers: (November 1-3) Supporting a loved one with diabetes can present its own unique challenges.
  • Employees: (November 4-10) Promoting healthy lifestyles in the workplace can help to prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications, saving companies thousands of dollars a year.
  • Diabetes around the world: (November 11-17) Worldwide over 246 million people have diabetes. By 2020, that number is expected to rise to 350 million.
  • At-risk populations: (November 18-24) One in two minorities born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime if current trends continue.
  • Youth and Type 1 Diabetes: (November 25-30) Youth diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have the most urgent need for care. The new ADA Planet D campaign will provide resources and networking to those youth and their families.
If you want to participate in something during this month, check out the ADA website to find out What's Happening Locally.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rachael Ray, Elliott Yamin & Diabetes

I think it's awesome when the general public get exposed to a genuine concern such as diabetes. Rachael Ray just did a show on diabetes that featured Elliott Yamin, an American Idol star that was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 16.

Elliot even shares about how diabetes changed his life forever. "I went from being this happy-go-lucky kid, and then the next thing you know I have this disease that isn't curable. I felt like my world was crashing down -- it was a tough pill to swallow."

The show also follows a 12-year-old girl Rebecca, who has Juvenile Diabetes and is a fan of Elliot. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

IDF Launches New Guideline for the Management of Postmeal Glucose

I came across this press release today that emphasizes what I've already been noticing around the blogosphere:
AMSTERDAM, September 19 /PRNewswire/ --
        IDF today issued the new global guideline for diabetes care which includes the management of postmeal glucose.(1) The guideline emphasizes that people with diabetes should have their blood glucose levels closely monitored after meals in order to optimize diabetes control and reduce the risk of complications, particularly cardiovascular disease.(2) This new approach will assist clinicians and organizations in developing effective strategies for managing diabetes. The new evidence-based global guideline was unveiled at the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Amsterdam.

        The new guideline offers a series of recommendations identifying how diabetes care could be optimised. Topics addressed in the new guideline are postmeal hyperglycaemia, treatment strategies and regimens, self monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), and non- pharmacologic and pharmacologic therapies. "Diabetes is now recognized as one of the largest epidemics humanity has ever faced and a leading cause of death. It accounts for 3.8 million deaths per year, many of which are related to cardiovascular disease. This new advancement underscores the importance for people with diabetes and their healthcare providers to adopt all possible ways to better manage the disease," said Professor Stephen Colagiuri, Chair of the IDF Task Force on Clinical Guidelines.

        Until recently, a key recommendation for good diabetes management was to lower fasting or premeal blood glucose levels; however, recent studies suggest a link between postmeal glucose control and improved outcomes in people with diabetes. Existing global guidelines do not include the management of postmeal glucose.

        In people with normal glucose tolerance, blood glucose levels are automatically monitored and controlled by the body. After eating, the body releases enough insulin to keep the plasma glucose within a normal range that rarely rises above 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/dl) and usually returns to premeal levels within two to three hours.

Interesting, cause I've tested over 160 a few times after lunch... and I don't even have diabetes (knock on wood)! Props to those who really take the time to manage their blood glucose levels after every meal.

        In people with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes, their body has little or no automatic control of blood glucose levels. After eating, they often experience extended periods of elevated blood glucose levels. This is due to a number of factors, including insufficient insulin secretion, decreased sensitivity to insulin action, inability to suppress glucose output from the liver and deficiencies in other hormones related to digestion.

        The new IDF Guideline recommends that people with diabetes try to keep postmeal blood glucose levels to less than 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/dl) two hours following a meal, a time frame which conforms to guidelines published by most of the leading diabetes and medical organizations.

        IDF advises SMBG because it is the most practical method for measuring postmeal glucose and it allows people with diabetes to obtain "real-time" information about their glucose levels. This information enables people with diabetes and their healthcare providers to make timely adjustments in their treatment regimens to achieve and maintain their blood glucose levels within target.

        "IDF recommends that people with diabetes include physical activity, healthy eating and weight control in their daily regimen," said Professor Antonio Ceriello, Chair of the Guideline Writing Group. "These remain the cornerstone of effective diabetes management and not only reduce postmeal glucose levels, but also improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels". The guideline also includes information on a number of medications which specifically target postmeal glucose levels.

Well if you didn't know these things already, I'm glad that you now do. From the looks of it, these recommendations are common knowledge for anyone who manages their diabetes regularly.

I'm glad the IDF has set this as a new guideline because it may shed light on the many people in the world who cannot afford or access the proper resources to manage their diabetes.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Diabetes Care Coalition: A1C TV Spots

"Don't you wish there were warnings to protect you from life's risks?"

I stumbled upon the Diabetes Care Coalition website today and wanted to share it with you all.

The commercials are very well done and I think they get the point across quite well! The website also makes things very simple to understand.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Break the Silence

So as I was reading through Dae's Blog, I came across this short film she had posted that featured the perspectives of the 25 IDF Youth Ambassadors. This clip is really helping view diabetes from a global standpoint.

Some of the lines that struck me the most were:
"Every 10 seconds someone dies of diabetes...
                    within the same 10 seconds two people develop diabetes"

"There is no money to afford insulin,
             why do I care if I have diabetes?
I don't care 'cause there is no way
               I can buy the vial of insulin every month."
- Jessica, Ghana

"246 million people are living with diabetes"

"Diabetes is a silent killer...
                                We need to make diabetes a priority."
We live in a society that is constantly bombarding us with messages and advertisements at every opportunity, making it hard for us to focus and recognize things that are actually urgent. I consider myself blessed to be aware of the effects and risks surrounding diabetes without actually having it myself.

A1C is Important, says everyone

So I was reading up on some diabetes news yesterday and I found out that the Ad Council, ADA, JDRF, AADE and NCLR are "launching the first ever national public education campaign geared to raise awareness of A1C."

Now that's a nice string of acronyms I just typed out there... but A1C?
"A1C is an important tool to reduce the risk of deadly complications like heart attack and stroke." (simply states the press release)
Ohhhh.... Now being new to everything here, I'm still not entirely sure what the A1C is, but I'm pretty sure it's a big deal. I've also been familiarizing myself with the diabetes online blogging community and I definitely seen A1C mentioned every now and then in some popular blogs. That warrants a little more research on my end.

For now, at least I know that 7% is the magic number everyone aims for.

So if you happen to be reading this blog and have diabetes, I have a question for you: "Do you actively keep track of your A1C?"

Here are a few useful links regarding A1C (that I have yet to read):

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Facing Reality

6 years ago, our country experienced the worst terrorist attack to date on U.S. soil. As a result, 2,974 people died that day and a shockwave was sent through our country. That shockwave continued to travel to the rest of the world, eventually leading to our "involvement" in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Through all the events that happened: people bonded together, conflicts erupted, loved ones were lost... and heroes were born.

Let us remember all the lives that were lost on that day, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents and children....

Let us honor all the firefighters, the policemen, the medical personnel, rescue workers and everyone who risked their own lives on that day, all for the well being of others.

But wait...

Somehow in the midst of trying to comprehend the profound impact 9/11 had on our country, I began think about the number of lives that were lost... how 2,974 is almost the 3,500 students in my high school... how a single act of terrorism rocked our world... why it was so easy for us to rally together as a nation... why it was so easy for our nation to react...

Then something drove me to seek out this bit of information that gave me a wake-up call:

According to the ADA: "diabetes contributed to 224,092 deaths in 2002."

Doing the math... that's over 75 times more than 9/11. Now don't take this the wrong way. I'm not trying to offend anyone here or be unpatriotic, but there's just something about all of this that continues to draw me in for a closer look into what I can't see.

It is undoubtedly easier for us to recognize the tremendous loss of life when we have a tangible enemy to blame for a tragedy. But when we face a faceless foe, like diabetes, it becomes tremendously more difficult to realize the gravity and impact it has on our society, especially those of us who don't have to live with it day by day.

I am not trying to steal focus away on what happened six years ago, but I've just come to the realization that downplaying the reality of the daily unseen losses is not going to bring about any justice.

If diabetes were a man, there would be an international manhunt for him right now. But the reality is that this enemy is hardly known, and known only to those who's lives it has already tried to terrorize.

Yet, in the face of such antagonism, heroes are born. Heroes like...

...the diabetes educators and the AADE, raising awareness and teaching people how to live with diabetes

...the many researchers working towards a better monitoring, treatment and, ultimately, a cure

...the children who's lives will forever be different, but who's courage to persevere bring hope to us all

...their parents, sacrificing everything so that their kids can enjoy life they deserve

...the individuals, who choose to live full lives with a reality that still remains unaware to the rest of the world

...and their friends & families, supporting them when they needed them most

It is unsung heroes like them that also make our nation an incredible nation. All of them fighting together to rid the world of oppression from what we can only comprehend as diabetes.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Discovering Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association:
"There are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes."
Unfortunately, it seems to be of little or no concern at all for the remaining 93% of the population.

To be completely honest, I was one of those 93%.

Even though my grandfather has been living with diabetes for 27 years (insulin-dependent for the past 7 years) and my mom is borderline diabetic, diabetes never really crossed my mind.

Fortunately, I'm now in a place in my life where knowing everything about diabetes is of the utmost priority. No, I'm not training to be a CDE. No, I don't have diabetes. No, I'm not even dating a girl with diabetes.

Actually, it's my
job to be as up to date about diabetes as I can possibly be... And I'm quite proud to be working for a company that cares enough to have me do so.

So here it starts, a blog about my journey of discovering world of diabetes.