Cuba and Heberprot – B

A med available in Cuba, and other parts of the world, but not in the US. I thought you should see the entire post. I will writing about it tomorrow, Friday.

toritto

Úlcera del pie diabético 

Pie con úlcera curada luego de recibir tratamiento con Heberprot-P

Most of you who waste your precious time reading this blog know that I am “elderly”; I will be 73 later this year.

You may also know that I have been a type 1 diabetic for virtually all of my life. Two shots of insulin a day for as long as I can remember.

I survived a heart attack in 1995; slept through it, got up and went to work. No massive pain. No elephant sitting on my chest. Just a small strange pain about the size of the tip of my finger in the middle of my chest. I felt like I was getting the flu; low grade fever, general aches and fatigue. I drove to work on the Jersey Turnpike at my usual 80 miles an hour. Could have killed a whole bunch of folks.

I took a few sick days but didn’t feel any better. When I…

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On My Return From Blindness – A Repost

A wonderful description of diabetic retinopathy and what can be done about it in some cases. But, do you really want to lose your sight? Really? You don’t have to, you know. You can control your Diabetes and achieve A1c goals. The closer you are to ‘normal,’ the more the risk of any complications are reduced.

What do you say? Is that extra food or extra weight really worth the cost of your sight? You can win your War On Diabetes!

toritto

On the 4th anniversary of my return from blindness – May 5

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This morning I had my yogurt and coffee in the lanai on a nice, rainy day watching sand hill cranes for the first time in what seemed like a very  long time.

Yesterday my daughter delivered me to the outpatient surgical center at our local regional medical center at 5 30 AM for a scheduled vitrectomy of my eyes two hours later.  The day was here.

Bleeding  into the interior vitreous of my eyes had resulted in blindness.  They were so filled with blood and debris that they were virtually unusable.  I could not see the screen of my giant TV.  It was dark.  This is how long term diabetics go blind.

Suddenly while watching t.v. streaks appeared in my vision; it was streaks of blood inside of my eyes – both of them at once.  The streaks of…

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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

DIABETES?

The other day someone said something that got me to thinking about where Diabetes comes from; what causes Type 2 Diabetes?  It wasn’t found under some cabbage leaf, right?  Well, at least I don’t think it was.

First, the question: What causes Diabetes?  Seems simple enough, right?  And, since the disease has been known to exist for 3,564 years you would think some progress toward what causes the disease should have been made.

Well, not so much.  When you search on “What causes Diabetes” you get a lot of results. Lot’s of them.

I could go on and on, but the basic answer is that after over 3,500 years we don’t really know the why behind Type 2 Diabetes; we cannot answer the basic question, “What causes Diabetes.”  Can you believe that?  I really find that unacceptable.

Do you know what you get when you search for the reason Diabetes exists?  A description of the disease.  Hey, we know what Diabetes is!  We live with it.  We have declared War on it and are fighting for control.

But, ask the question what causes Diabetes, and you will get something like, “Well, we aren’t really sure…being overwright and life style are risk factors” followed by a description of the disease.  Aren’t you the tiniest bit amazed the question has not been answered?

Risk Factors Are Known

Yes, it’s known that heredity (your genes) play a part in getting the disease, but it’s just a part.  And, then there is life-style – it can influence it, but that’s about all.  Influence.  So, does that mean slim or normal weight (BMI of less than 25) people get Diabetes?  Yes.  Does it mean every obese (BMI over 30) will get Diabetes?  No.

The fact is that if you line up ten folks who are overweight or obese, not all of them will have or get Diabetes.  And, that’s just a fact.  Likewise if you line up ten folks who have a normal weight (BMI less than 25) and are active, will all of them not have or get Diabetes?  No – some of them will get Diabetes.  The fact is you can’t tell by looking at someone’s weight to determine if they will get, or have, Diabetes.

Again, weight and life-style are risk factors.  I would be the first to tell you that I think it was my weight and life style that strongly contributed to getting Diabetes.  Why?  Well, I lose 70 pounds and begin to exercise a bit and my Diabetes is under control.  Seems like common sense to me.

There’s Dough (Money) in Diabetes

“Approximately 165 million prescriptions for antidiabetes medications were filled in 2010, a 3.8% rise over the previous year. Human insulins and synthetic analogues, including Lantus SoloSTAR (insulin glarine [rDNA origin]), combined for 64% of growth in the class.”  Pharmacy Times  The price tag? $25,000,000,000!  What would happen if just a small percentage went into looking for the real cause and finding a cure?  Think it could be found?

No wonder we know far more about how Diabetes works, rather than what causes the disease.

Folks, that has to change. Research has to go into finding why Diabetes happens.  It’s got to go in until they find out why some folks get it and some don’t.  Once the why, or the real cause, of the disease is found, then a cure can be developed.

Until then what can you do?  Well, you give yourself the best chance at not getting Diabetes if you eat in a healthy manner, watch portion sizes and do not over-eat; and, you add a bit of exercise and activity to your life.  Wow, that’s the same thing I do to control the disease.

You can fight and win your War On Diabetes.  Whether you are fighting to Prevent, Delay or Control Diabetes, you can through a few life-style changes decrease your chances of ever getting the disease.  You have to fight…please.  You can. I believe in you!

By the way, you can see the Top Selling Drugs of 2013 here, it’s an interesting list.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing.

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Posted in Meds and More!, Prediabetes

Diabetes History

old-magnifying-glass-word-history-13199603

We get so busy fighting Diabetes on a daily basis; battling to control a disease that effects millions of people world-wide, that we may never ask a simple question: When did it start?  If you are like me, Diabetes started when you were diagnosed.  It’s almost as if it never existed before that moment.

Oh, how wrong can we be?  I was doing a bit of research for another post, and came across what is essentially The History of Diabetes.  Okay, don’t yawn, yet.  You might find it interesting, too.

Diabetes2_History_Slide_1

Did you know that the first recorded case of Diabetes is from Ancient Egypt.  Yep.  Right there in the hieroglyphs dated to 1550 BCE a disease is mentioned that is strongly suspected to be Type 2 Diabetes.  Yeah – 1550 BCE.  Why that’s 3,564 years ago.  We have an ancient disease.  It’s mentioned again in writings from India from 600 BCE.  And, there is little doubt that they are referring to Diabetes.

Fast Forward to 1910 and the American Diabetes Association is on the case.  “Insulin” is identified and the lack of it leads to Diabetes.  That’s 104 years ago.  But, you know what, that’s still ancient history.  It wasn’t until 1936 that two types of Diabetes were identified.  The reality is they are very different kinds of diseases, but they both have their roots in an insulin deficiency.

It wasn’t until the 1950’s that medications in pill form were identified to aid in fighting Type 2 Diabetes.  The 1950’s!  Diabetes has been around for 3,500 years at that point and they are just developing meds.  Take a look now.  We must have made up for lost time because there are more than 100 meds to control Type 2 Diabetes.

Portable glucose meters, and where would we be without those, did not arrive on the scene until the late 1960’s. Can you believe that?  I could not control my Diabetes without having that valuable information at my finger tips.  (Okay – that was a bit of a bad pun.)

I am really struck by the fact that it wasn’t until recently we have had the tools to use; tools that work reliably, to aid us in our War On Diabetes.  How can we not win with these weapons at our disposal?  How can we allow ourselves to face the complications Diabetes can bring if it is left unchecked?

If you haven’t, declare your War On Diabetes today.  Now.  Don’t wait.  You know what you need to do. Eat a healthy diet heavy on the fruits and vegetables and eat fewer carbs.  Exercise just a bit five days a week.  take your Meds as prescribed. Diet. Exercise. Meds.  Use your weapons and win.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing.

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Posted in Meds and More!

Diet and Weight Loss

scale big

You know, the original title to this post was “Diet and Weight Loss for Type 2 Diabetics.”  Sounds a bit long, doesn’t it?  And, then I realized that I am not only thinking about Diabetics at the moment, but about everyone.  What?  Everyone?  You thought this was a blog about Type 2 Diabetes.  Have I lost my mind?

Well, I hope I haven’t lost my mind.  This blog ultimately is about Preventing, Delaying and Controlling Type 2 Diabetes; that is the War On Diabetes.  And, the best battle plan is to start the war when you can Prevent it, right?  So, who can prevent Diabetes?  Not a trick question.  The answer is: Anyone who does not have it.  I know – Well, duh.  But, stick with me for a moment.

Type 2 Diabetes can be linked to a certain lifestyle.  A life that does not include any form of exercise and eating just about anything which causes weight gain.  Notice I wrote linked.  Why?  Because if you line up 10 folks who are obese by BMI standard (a BMI of 30+), you can’t tell by looking who will have Diabetes and who will not.  You can’t tell who will get it and who will not.  But…and it’s a big but…weight, and what it represents (lack of exercise) can contribute to getting Diabetes.

In my heart of hearts I believe that if I had not become 70 pounds overweight (BMI 34.6), I would not have Type 2 Diabetes today.  Why do I believe that?  Because as soon as I lost the weight and got down to a BMI of 24.9 or 25.0, I was taken off of meds and control my Diabetes through a bit of exercise and eating a healthy diet that is portion controlled.  Heck, the only portion I knew when I was overweight was, “More.”  Sound familiar?

So, how did I do it?  I started a lower carb diet immediately and stuck to it.  Three meals (50 carbs each) and  three snacks (15 carbs each).  I slashed in-take and started walking 30 minutes a night.  I had to gain control and my doctor told me one of the best ways to do that was to lose a little weight and walk.  It worked for me.

Now, I know not everyone can take that approach.  There are a lot of “I can’t have thats” in the beginning until you learn what works for you – the reason I maintained a food journal.  Ultimately I believe it’s the best approach, but it takes a willingness to be hungry knowing you aren’t going to die due to hunger – even if you feel like it.  It takes discipline to make the right choices every meal all of the time.

bite of pie

All of the time?  Yeah.  You see, I think that if you give yourself a ‘free day’ like so many advise, you will think you are punishing yourself when you are eating a healthy diet the other six days.  It’s human nature.  “Be good” for six days so you can have that piece of pie or a big serving of mac and cheese.  Folks, that is not a way to live.  The truth is that I still live within the carb counts I listed above, but if I want a little of this or that – it’s okay.  Emphasis on LITTLE.

So, if you can’t take the ‘all-in’ approach in the beginning and you need to lose weight, what can you do?  Research and select a program that will work for you and that you will stick with.  Yes, sticking with it for months will be very important for weight loss to be successful.

us news best diets

How do you choose one?  There are hundreds of ‘diets’ out there with new ones being added weekly.  Most seem to be about losing a few pounds fast – ignore them.  You can’t be in it for fast, or the weight will come back fast.  Lucky for us US News has rated weight loss systems.  Start your research there.  When you select one – be committed and stick to it.  Don’t go mixing and matching – it won’t work.  A system is just that: “a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method” to achieve a desired result.

What’s the result you want?  Weight loss and controlling Diabetes.  Follow a system for weight loss and your Diabetes should get under control.  What’s the worst that will happen?  Some weight loss…and that’s a bad thing?

By the way, on my way to weight loss, I stopped wanting all of the other stuff (cookies, pies, a lot of pasta, etc).  I don’t know how it works, but my body just stopped sending signals every time I went by a burger joint or saw a commercial for ice cream. No, it did not happen over night, but it did happen and could happen to you.  How much easier will life be without the cravings and desires for certain foods?

So, lose the weight.  Pick a plan that works to you and stick to it.  You can prevent Diabetes from happening.  or, the worst that happens is that you delay Diabetes if you have Prediabetes – and every day delayed is a good thing!  Or, if you have been diagnosed, take action – lose the weight if you need to and control the disease.

You can do it. You can fight and win the War On Diabetes.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing.

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Posted in Diabetes Control, Exercise & Diet

News & Views

snoopy reading a newspaper

Welcome to Friday!  Regular readers know it’s time for another edition of News & Views.  News and Articles of interest to those who have Diabetes.  There’s a lot of news this week, so let’s get to it.

Eating Out? Best and Worst Choices.   “Between oversized portions and the dizzying number of menu options, eating out can wreak havoc on your waistline, not to mention your overall health.”  We have choices when eating out that go beyond the safety of salads.  Good article done with photos.  I learned that before diagnoses I made 100% poor choices!

Why is Type 2 Diabetes an Increasing Problem?  “Type 2 diabetes is responsible for more than three million deaths each year and this number is increasing steadily. The harmful genetic variants associated with this common disease have not yet been eliminated by natural selection.”  Scientific study to determine why Diabetes is spreading worldwide with an emphasis on studying DNA.  Okay, not the most interesting reading, but it is valuable and important information.  There needs to be more study in this area.  Who knows where it could lead?

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Many Type 2’s Never Warned About Threats to Vision  “More than half of adults with type 2 diabetes who are at risk of vision loss from their condition have not been advised by their doctors of the danger.”  Vision loss is one of the complications that uncontrolled Diabetes can cause.  An annual eye exam that includes dilation or taking a photo of the retina is absolutely necessary.  What is even more necessary is to control your Diabetes so the the chances of vision loss are greatly reduced.

Weightlifting cuts’Risk of Diabetes in Women “Women who pump iron in the gym cut their risk of developing diabetes, say researchers.”  This is from a study our of the UK and reminds me of something a female co-worker said earlier this week.  “I can’t believe how many more calories I burn lifting weights than in a strong cardio workout.”  Just a reminder: You don’t have to go to a gym to lift weights; you can do it at home.  Weights can be pretty inexpensive.  You can also get the benefits of resistance training from push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches.  By the way, this may also apply to males!

Top Tech on the Horizon for 2014  “Take a peek into the future of diabetes care with seven in-development products poised to make waves in the diabetes world. All except BlueStar were unavailable in the United States as of Oct. 1, 2013—the cutoff date for inclusion in this guide.”  A lot of these are for our Type 1 Cousins, but what they get first, we Type 2’s might benefit from later.  And, you have to be impressed with how folks are taking technology to make the life of a diabetic easier.  Techies, eat your hearts out!

sources-protein-dieting

Getting Enough Protein? Look at These 16 Snacks.  “According to the CDC, Women over 19 need 46 grams of protein a day, and men over age 19 need 56 grams of protein a day…Not sure if you’re meeting your minimum? Then you probably aren’t.”  Another article in pictures.  I love my snacks and got some new ideas from this article.  Heck, there are foods shown I can include in more of my main meal planning!

Carb Guide for Type 2’s.  “Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. But carbs also raise your blood sugar. When you have type 2 diabetes, it’s important to aim for a balanced carb intake. It can seem confusing and a little overwhelming at first, but don’t be discouraged.”  When I started to control Diabetes I did not know the difference between a calorie and a carbohydrate.  This is valuable information presented well.

The Link Between Diabetes and Depression  “Depression is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for depression. Patients with both conditions fare better when both conditions are treated at the same time.”  Diabetes can effect the entire body.  Doesn’t it make sense to treat the entire body and mind, if necessary?  Of course, it does. A study from the University of Pennsylvania proved it.  Interesting reading.

Researchers Debunk Obesity Paradox for those with Type 2 Diabetes.  “For people with Type 2 diabetes who had hoped that their love handles might serve some purpose by reducing their risk of premature death, Harvard researchers have some bad news: The “obesity paradox” does not exist.”  Last line of the article: “The maintenance of a healthy body weight should remain the cornerstone of diabetes management,” they concluded.”  Weight control and maintenance are supremely important in your War On Diabetes.  Know your BMI – where it is and where it should be!  Talk with your doctor to make that determination.

See?  I wasn’t kidding; there is a lot of news!  You can find even more here.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing.

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Posted in Complications, Diabetes Control, Exercise & Diet

Report from The Doc

report card

I had a visit with my doctor this week.  Of course, before going I had a bit of blood drawn for an A1c test and a cholesterol check.  Two of three months ago he decided to take me off of my cholesterol med, a minimum dose of lipitor, and he wanted to know what would happen. Don’t you love being a bit of a lab experiment?

The short of it:

  • Cholesterol “good.”  Not great, but he did not put me back on any cholesterol meds.  I believe I need to work to get the numbers a little better, though.
  • A1c – 6.0 – actually went down .1 over the Holidays!  To say I was amazed would be an understatement.  I expected slightly higher.  So, it seems as though my “Holiday Strategy” was successful.
  • Weight – exactly the same as it was two or three months ago.  First time that has happened.

He was pleased; and, so was I.

You all know I didn’t start where I am today.  Fighting a War On Diabetes is not a war that is won over night.  It takes patience, failure, and persistence to win your War On Diabetes.

As always, thank you for reading.

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Posted in Diabetes Control
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