Diabetes - General Information
Safe, Effective in Early Study
An "artificial pancreas" designed to deliver the key blood
sugar-regulating hormone insulin to diabetic patients without
the need for injections has been found safe and effective in a
preliminary study with ten patients.
The device is an insulin
reservoir, implanted in the tissue lining the abdominal cavity
and connected to a sensor implanted in the jugular vein. The
reservoir requires insulin refills every month or so. When the
sensor detects an increase in blood glucose, the reservoir
delivers the required amount of insulin.
Most insurances now pay for diabetics to have blood glucose
monitoring equipment in the home. Keeping the machines clean
and in good working order are vital for accurate results.
Follow the manufacturers' instructions for proper cleaning and
Be sure hands are clean before performing the test, but don't
use alcohol to cleanse your fingertip. It's drying and may
cause fingertips to crack. Wash hands with a mild
antibacterial soap like Dial.
Diabetes Test After
Heart Attack Shows Future Risk
Testing patients who have had heart attacks for signs of
diabetes before they leave the hospital may identify those
with the highest risk of future heart attacks. Many people
hospitalized for a heart attack have undiagnosed diabetes or
prediabetes, a term coined to describe the millions of
overweight and obese people who have blood sugar levels
suggesting an elevated risk of full-blown diabetes.
Medications, exercise and diet changes, all of which can
restore normal glucose levels, may reduce the risk of heart
attacks in patients who have already had a heart attack.
Diabetic Dental Care
Immaculate mouth care is a must. Diabetics are much more prone
to gum disease. More frequent dental visits may be needed and
careful brushing and flossing are a necessity. Avoid
ill-fitting dentures that may cause mouth sores.
Diabetic Eye Care
If you're a diabetic, regular visits to your eye care
professional are a must to prevent problems that could lead to
Diabetic Foot Care
* Take the pressure off your feet by losing weight if you are
* Inspect your feet at least once per day. If you can't see
well, ask someone to do it for you.
* Wash feet with mild soap and lukewarm water daily.
* Wear white cotton socks rather than synthetic ones with
* Don't go barefoot or wear ill-fitting shoes.
* See a podiatrist regularly for toenail trims and other
Diabetics Are Prone
to Foot Problems
Diabetics have decreased sensation and circulation in their
feet making them prone to foot infections/wounds that could
eventually lead to amputation.
Drug Could Delay
Acarbose, a drug that blocks the digestion of starch, could
prevent or delay the development of the most common form of
diabetes in those with slightly high blood sugar.
Exercises to Avoid
Diabetics should avoid exercises that involve pushing or
pulling heavy objects and lifting weights. Blood sugar levels
and blood pressure are raised during this kind of exercise.
FDA Approves New
A non-nutritive sweetener said to be 7,000 to 13,000 times
sweeter than sugar received approval from the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration to be marketed as an additive in candies,
soft drinks and various other products.
Like other familiar sweeteners, Neotame is a white crystalline
powder that dissolves in water. It is made by Monsanto, which
also makes NutraSweet's sweetener Equal. Neotame is approved
for use in baked goods, nonalcoholic beverages, chewing gum,
confections, frozen desserts, gelatins and puddings, jams,
jellies, fruit, juices, toppings and syrups.
The FDA declared the product to be safe for consumption after
reviewing more than 113 animal and human studies, some of
which looked at any possible links with cancer-causing or
neurological side effects.
Inhaled insulin may soon offer an alternative to needles for
people with diabetes.
Novo Nordisk, a Denmark-based company, has ongoing clinical
trials to test the safety and effectiveness of an electronic
pulmonary insulin system. They say it may be available in the
United States and Europe within a few years.
This is the first electronic pulmonary insulin system
currently being tested in clinical trials. It works by
converting a special liquid insulin into aerosol particles,
which are inhaled into the lungs.
Regular Exercise Is
Exercise is extremely important for diabetics as it
strengthens the cardiovascular system, increases circulation
to the arms and legs and helps control blood sugar levels.
Walking, jogging, rowing and swimming are best.
Shoes for Diabetics
* Avoid plastic shoes and waterproof shoes. They encourage
perspiration and fungal growth.
* Avoid tight or unventilated footwear.
* Don't wear boots all day.
* Choose cotton or leather shoes.
* Wear sandals as much as possible in the summer.
* Don't wear the same shoes two days in a row.
* Air shoes in the sun to inhibit fungal growth.
Diabetics should follow their American Diabetic Association
diet and eat small meals more frequently such as three small
meals with one or two healthful snacks between meals. This
helps maintain a more stable blood sugar level.
Some symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) are:
excessive urination, weight loss, excessive hunger and thirst.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see
Some symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are: cool,
clammy skin, numbness of the mouth, a fluttering in your
chest, hunger and feeling faint. Emergency treatment includes
ingesting something containing sugar like orange juice, a
candy bar, or sugared soda pop. Follow that with some cheese
or peanut butter crackers to sustain your blood sugar level.
What's an Exchange?
In an exchange diet, foods that are similar are grouped
together. Serving sizes are well defined so that each will
have the same amount of carbohydrate, fat, and protein as any
other. Foods can be "exchanged" or traded with others in a
category while still meeting the desired overall goals.
Exchanges can be applied to most any eating situation and may
make it easier to follow a prescribed diet. For example, if a
nutrition plan calls for one starch exchange a person could
choose 1/2 cup of cooked pasta, OR one slice of bread, OR a
small (3 oz.) baked potato.