Diabetes Articles
  • Sign Up
FacebookTwitterDiggStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditLinkedinPinterest

bookDiabetes articles about daily topics that affect those living with diabetes. There is a lot of information about diabetes and hopefully you find this information useful in your everyday life. Here we have compiled a list of older articles from our previous "The Diabetes Network" along with links to blogs and articles, an extended reading archive. You can use the search in the top-right menu to search for specific articles.

 

Endo Appt #....(Oh who's counting anymore?)

Monday we set out early for J.J.'s 3 month endo visit. We debated even going, considering the snow storm and the amount of time it would take us. Normally a 1:15 minute drive took us 3 hours. We were an hour late!!! We called en route to let them know we were coming, hoping they would still see us. Our endo (I LOVE HER!!) said she would see us no problem!

The office was like a ghost town. Normally a very active clinic now had the lights dimmed, and very few people milling about. Turns out JJ was her only patient that morning. The nurse said they had a ton of cancellations. Well, good for us!! That means first class treatment!! As if we don't receive it normally.:)

The appointment was very routine. Great news is that his A1C is down from 8.2 to 7.7!! Awesome for us to see it come down on the pump. We were beginning to wonder. She helped us try to figure out our trouble spots!! Nights as usual are still bad and recently when he goes out to play in the snow he goes low. It's amazing what a little activity can do the the BG's!

Real Estate Issues

One new development was a lump on the bum!!! She found one on the upper quadrant of his left cheek. She showed me how to recognize it and had me feel for it. She asked if he wasn't feeling his site changes as much or would he direct me toward that spot for the site change? Sure enough....his site changes were becoming a breeze. What has happened is that he's kind of formed a "callous" of sorts. We've used that particular area so much that the insulin can't absorb as well and it's formed a "lump". He doesn't feel the site changes as much there, so he's always telling me to "go higher". She said the lump should go away, but we can't use a pretty large area of his small bum......we're losing good real estate!!!! Hopefully it will dissipate quick so we can rotate that site back in.

Since we had extra time with our endo we got in a discussion about "prevention" of diabetes. I had recently read an article in the "Diabetes Forecast" that said if a woman ate veggies every day of her pregnancy her child was half as likely to get diabetes. But those that only ate veggies 3 times a week had a 50% increase in risk. I was skeptical of the findings. But also there's a big push for Vitamin D supplements especially in Northern climates.....what's up with that? Well, she had some interesting information to share.

First the veggies thing. She said studies like that are so hard to pinpoint any one thing unless you begin to look at a lot of other factors. Since the "research" only studied veggies and nothing else, it really can't conclude a whole lot. She said about ten years ago she studied all the available studies out at the time and none of them could pinpoint any one factor for prevention.....like say we know that folic acid is important for pregnant women.

"....it is good for the eyes to see the sun!"(Ecc. 11:7)

However, she said one thing they have determined is that the closer people live to the equator the less people are diaganosed with type 1. And that they've tracked people groups that normally reside near the equator having a lower rate of diagnosis, but once that people group is moved closer to a polar region their rates increase. Thus all the research into Vitamin D....a vitamin we get most from the sun!! Their clinic now is recommending all kids get supplemented or make sure they take in 4 glasses of milk a day. She didn't say that taking Vit D would "prevent" type 1 (they just haven't proven that yet!), but most kids are deficient in it, especially us Minn-e-soh-tans!!!!

So......my thought......considering the LONNGGGG drive in a snow storm.....is that a move to a tropical location is in order!!! Equator here we come!!!!!:)

Read Full Article

Things That Make Me Go Hmmmmm

I have a headache and can't imagine posting anything too insightful, so instead here are the things running through my diabetic brain right now:

1) How did I manage to keep such awesome BG numbers Thanksgiving Day and the following days, while still enjoying in my favorite homemade pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and chocolate caramels (yes, I indulged in all of the above)?

2) How come after getting back to work and my normal routine, including a good and sweaty spin session this morning, now my BG numbers are so high? I hope I am not getting sick.

3) Why have I been hungry all day, even after eating half a bag of almonds during the day and big fettuccine alfredo meal? Normally, it would be because of my workout this morning and my muscles storing up all the glucose they can, but then I would expect lower BGs, which as #2 indicates is not the case.

4) Why did pricking my fingers hurt soooo bad last week? No matter which finger I tried? Thankfully, that has come and gone.

5) Why does the nursing room at work always have to be in use when I want to check my BG and/or take some insulin? I guess some people actually need to use it for it was intended.

6) When will taking insulin in a public restroom ever become normal and not gross to me?

7) How come sometimes when I poke myself I bruise or bleed or it just really hurts, while other times I feel nothing?

8) Maybe having a pump would help solve many of my questions/issues? But then which pump, how much would it cost, how difficult would changing infusion sites be, how would I hide it under my clothes, etc???

Well on that note, I think it's time to schedule another appointment with my CDE!

Read Full Article

Why this but not that?

I work as a CPA, but do not prepare federal income tax returns as part of my work. Never have; I just don't want to specialize in that. Around this time of year, as April 15th approaches, lots of well meaning friends express concern about "how busy you must be this time of year". This is in spite of me having told many of them previously that I don't do taxes. I do not find this to be upsetting at all, and have plenty of patience and grace to extend to those friends, as I'm sure they extend to me on other things.

Contrast that with how I feel when those same well meaning friends make comments about my diabetes. You know what I'm talking about....things like "oh, I forgot, you can't eat that, can you?", or "you need to eat your lunch right on time, don't you?" That in spite of me having told them previously that Type 1 diabetes is not so much about what I cannot eat or when I eat (thanks to my pump), but about matching insulin with what I do eat and my activity level. Why do those questions still cause a flood of emotions, and leave me often reliving the comment long after it is made? I do my best to extend grace to those friends, and in my head realize it's unrealistic to expect them to remember much about my diabetes. But it's a battle to fight through those initial emotions to get there sometimes.

Both are sterotypes of sorts, but one leaves me feeling judged, and the other does not. How about you, have you found a dichotomy in how you respond to D related comments vs. comments about other aspects of your life?

Read Full Article

Invisible Illness Week - Sept. 13-19

Via Karen at Bitter-Sweet Diabetes, I am posting this to raise awareness of Invisible Illness Week. Despite 20 years with the ups and downs of living with bigD, I don't think I've ever considered myself ill - I guess that goes to show just how invisible it is; even to me! But, I have been struggling with my feelings about living with an invisible disease and whether I can come to peace with adding someone to my team who would make type 1 diabetes much more visible, but no better understood, to the rest of the world. I'll post more about that later. In the meantime, it's Meme time:

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know...

Read Full Article

Why I will never get an A in Diabetes Math

Why I will never get an A in Diabetes Math

Simplify.  Solve.  Repeat.


127bg + 20g carbs - 4 units insulin + 3 hours housework = 232bg


232bg + 40g carbs - 3 units insulin + 30 minutes sitting in car = 180bg


180bg + 10g carbs + 5 min waiting to get trail pass = 70bg


70bg + 30g carbs + 15 min cross country skiing = 42bg


42bg + 15g carbs + 60 min skiiing = 82bg


82bg + 30 g carbs + 90 min skiing = 559bg (recheck: 508bg, which is really the same number given meter accuracy)


559bg - 3.2 units insulin + 90 min waiting = 395bg


395bg - 1 unit insulin + 2 hour nap = 120bg


120bg + 10 g carbs + 2 hours loafing and feeling like crap = 187bg


187bg + 3hours sleeping = 51bg


51bg + 15 g carbs + 3 hours sleeping = 237bg

Read Full Article

Islet cell transplants can be cost effective as well as increase the quality of life- a study

I recently found this abstract and thought it was very interesting and exciting. I was able to get a copy of the entire article from a friend, thanks Jason, but can't print all of it due to copyright laws. I am going to attempt to write about the highlights of what this shows. A health economic analysis of clinical islet transplantation

Keywords:

  • cost;
  • cost-effectiveness analysis;
  • economic model;
  • health economics;
  • islet cell transplantation

Beckwith J, Nyman JA, Flanagan B, Schrover R, Schuurman H-J. A health economic analysis of clinical islet transplantation. Clin Transplant 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-0012.2011.01411.x. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract: Islet cell transplantation is in clinical development for type 1 diabetes. There are no data on the cost in relationship to its benefits. We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis and made a comparison with standard insulin therapy, using Markov modeling and Monte Carlo simulations. The patient population was adults aged 20yr suffering from hypoglycemia unawareness. Data were estimates from literature and clinical trials: costs were based on the situation in the United States. For insulin therapy, cumulative cost per patient during a 20-yr follow-up was $663000, and cumulative effectiveness was 9.3 quality-adjusted life years (QALY), the average cost-effectiveness ratio being $71000 per QALY. Islet transplantation had a cumulative cost of $519000, a cumulative effectiveness of 10.9 QALY, and an average cost-effectiveness ratio of $47800. During the first 10yr, costs for transplantation were higher, but cumulative effectiveness was higher from the start onwards. In sensitivity analyses, the need for one instead of two transplants during the first year did not affect the conclusions, and islet transplantation remained cost-saving up to an initial cost of the procedure of $240000. This exploratory evaluation shows that islet cell transplantation is more effective than standard insulin treatment, and becomes cost-saving at about 9–10yr after transplantation.

This study has attempted to compare the cost of managing Type 1 diabetes by intense insulin therapy to the cost of intervention with an islet cell transplant. Also woven into the design is how both affect the quality of life.

It begins with data on islet cell graft survival. I converted their graph into a chart.

one year results: full function= 93% partial function= 8% no function= 0%

five year results: full function= 47% partial function= 37% no function= 17%

ten year results: full function= 27% partial function= 49% no function= 24%

This shows that most recipients make it to one year, and half make it to five years with no insulin.

And that half make it to ten years with at least partial function.

This is very positive. Its personally disappointing to me because I am behind the curve. I only made it 2 years with no insulin, but it gives me hope that I will remain where I am for awhile which is still at a very good place. This data reflects what I notice from the cast of characters on the islet cell recipient facebook page as well.

The Quality of life variable was very complicated and I am going to simplify it greatly. It was comparing how the hardships of each treatment affected the quality of the patient's life. The values ranged from 0 which is worst to 1 which is best. The values that I thought the most interesting were:

A healthy person aged 25-34 had a quality of life valued at 0.91

A diabetic aged 25-34 had a quality of life valued at 0.81 If this person had hypoglycemic unawareness, which all recipients do, a reduction of 0.06 put this pt at a 0.75 quality of life.

From here, adjustments were made base on diabetes causing complications that the insulin group would face, and side effects and graft failure issues that the transplant group would face. A graph shows a mostly parallel line with the transplant group slightly ahead of the insulin group.

Then came the cost analysis. The numbers themselves were stunning.

Cost of the organ procurement was $25,000.

Cost of harvesting the islets was $20,000. with a 50% success rate means $40,000.

Cost of immunosuppression was about $1400/month

Cost of transplant was $93,500. Each successive year was $19,000.

Cost of insulin therapy/year was $6,600. The cost of having complications varied from $106,000 for renal failure to $1,400 for neuropathy.

Combining these two variables shows that initially the transplant is more costly. But, over time, as the cost of the transplant stabilizes, the cost of insulin therapy and its long term complications increases. This study covered a span of 20 years. At about 9 years, the costs intersect and the islet cell transplant remains the lower cost option.

Interesting numbers here were:

20 year cost of insulin therapy was $663,000. Quality of life years gained was 9.1.

20 year cost of islet cell transplant was $519,000. Quality of life years gained was 10.9

The article goes into much more detail, but these are the highlights. It also includes a discussion about how the transplant procedure is expected to improve. This has already proven to be true in that due to a change in an enzyme used in the harvesting procedure, more islets are now obtained per pancreas than when I had my transplant in 2008. And there is much more on the horizon............

Read Full Article

Subcategories

Find out if you qualify for discount Diabetic testing supplies, free offers or other running discounts at this time.


  1. First Name*
    Enter first name
  2. Last Name*
    Enter last name
  3. Phone*
    Enter valid US phone number
  4. E-mail*
    Enter email address



By submitting this form I authorize to be contacted by telephone. Please be assured that we value and protect your privacy. Co-Pays and Deductibles may apply.

About The Diabetes Network

The Diabetes Network was developed with the idea that people living with diabetes needed a central place to go for resources as well as get ideas, suggestions and encouragement. We have put a lot of effort into this website to make it easy and fun to navigate as well as informative so that you can have a voice when it comes to managing your diabetes. Please let us know how we can improve this website to better suit your needs.

More about our Mission

We're on a mission to make the healthcare community more technologically advanced than ever before. This website adapts to fit your tablet, iPad®, iPhone®, Android® or other smartphone. Just one of the ways we are working to make life easier for those living with Diabetes. Learn More...