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.