Diabetes Pharmacist

Diabetes Pharmacist

information & education about diabetes & related subjects

Healthy Vegetarian Meal Planning

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Diabetes Recipes, Diet and Diabetes, Insulin Pumps, Obesity and Diabetes, Tips for People with Diabetes, Type 2 diabetes

Studies indicate that a vegetarian diet encourages a healthy weight and also improves blood sugar control and insulin response for people with Diabetes

vegan diet and healthy eating for diabetes

 A vegetarian diet offers many health benefits for everyone. It promotes a healthy weight and decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Studies indicate that for those managing diabetes, a vegetarian diet also improves blood sugar control and insulin response. There are a few different types of vegetarian diets but if you decide it’s right for you, you’ll find a vegetarian diet offers many delectable options to enjoy. Take a look at the recipes below and add them to your menu today.

  • The Crunch Time Veggie Wrap is as colorfully festive as it is tasty. The recipe only makes one serving so it is easy to create a quick lunch for work with just 28 carbs per serving.
  • If your taste buds are craving something a little sweeter, they will love a Beet, Carrot, and Apple Salad. With walnut halves nestled among parsley, this slaw-like salad is lovely enough to serve for a dinner party with only 112 calories per serving.
  • Sweet Pepper-Green Onion Quesadillas are a perfect comfort food and healthy at the same time because they only have 12 carbs. Whip them up on a busy weeknight and the whole family will run to the table.
  • This Jamaican Red Bean Soup is easy to make and with six servings you will have enough left over to pack for lunch the next day. It has an estimated glycemic load of 8 and packs a variety of yummy vegetables.
  • Try this Asparagus Polenta Bake for an elegant and healthy side dish. It is easy to make and brings five grams of protein. You will enjoy the flavorings of Portobello mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes, as well.
  • This recipe for Vegetable Lasagna is another feast for the eyes and the tummy. Invite some friends over and enjoy this beautiful dish with only eight grams of fat per serving.

If you are considering changing to a vegetarian diet, it may be helpful to speak with a dietician who can help you create an eating plan that incorporates all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. If your goal is to lose weight, it is important to stay within an appropriate calorie range.

We are available at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy to answer any questions you may have about diabetes, diabetes supplies or insulin pumps.

Call 1-866-403-6287 and let us help you today!




Tips to Conceal Your Insulin Pump

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Insulin Pumps, New Devices for Diabetes, Tips for People with Diabetes

Your insulin pump may not be the season’s hottest new accessory. Use these tips to help you hide your pump and keep your confidence.

pump cover


Let’s face it. Your insulin pump is probably not this season’s hottest accessory, and for many people, its visible appearance can cause physical insecurity and embarrassment.  While around the abdomen is often suggested, you don’t always have to play by the rules.  Remember, a little e creativity can go a long way! With summer just around the corner, use these tips to help you discreetly hide your pump and regain your confidence.

Long shirts Hook the pump onto the waist of your skirt or pants and let your long shirt flow over it. Many people opt for the side of the body, because it tends to have less visibility in that location.

 Pockets. If you are wearing shorts or pants with several pockets, such as cargo pants, it’s easy to place your insulin pump in a pocket and tuck in the tubing.

 Undergarments. If you are preparing for a special occasion and wearing a dress, you can also place your insulin pump clipped to the center of your bra. There is also the option to hook the pump on the front of your underwear near your hip. A thigh strap can also be a good option to connect your pump to and conceal underneath a dress. Whether, it’s a fancy night our or a casual dress wearing day at the office, these locations can always be utilized.

Socks. Yes, you can even place your pump in your sock! This might seem like an uncomfortable location, but it can be done.

While these tips should help you conceal your pump more easily, having diabetes and living with a pump is nothing to be ashamed of.  If you’re looking for pump accessories, Focus Express Mail Pharmacy has a wide variety of accessories available including pump paks and slip clips.

If you have any questions, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help!  They have  been helping people manage their diabetes for years and they are available to answer questions about diabetes, insulin pumps and supplies.

Call them today at 1-866-403-6287 or visit them at www.FocusPharmacy.com





What You Need to Know about Pre-Diabetes

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Diabetes Conditions, Diabetes testing supplies, Diet and Diabetes, Exercise and Diabetes, Obesity and Diabetes, Tips for People with Diabetes, Type 2 diabetes

Learn more about pre-diabetes and lifestyle changes that you can make to improve your overall health and reduce your chance of getting diabetes.

When you think of pre-diabetes, just consider it a warning sign of sorts. It isn’t a guarantee you’ll later receive a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, it’s quite the opposite since it provides you the opportunity to make changes that will actually decrease your likelihood of getting Type 2 diabetes. Read on to learn what pre-diabetes is really all about.


What it Is

Just as the phrase implies, pre-diabetes simply means your glucose – or blood sugar – level is higher than the normal range, but does not yet fall in the diabetes range. Your body produces insulin, a hormone that helps control your blood sugar. In those with pre-diabetes, that process isn’t working as well as it should. Typically this means you aren’t making enough insulin after eating or that your body isn’t responding to insulin correctly. Some people call this borderline diabetes, but the bottom line is it can be an excellent wake-up call to remind you that without changes to your health, you may eventually be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. But with those changes, you may be able to prevent diabetes altogether.

What it Means for You

The good news is that it’s not too late! Since having pre-diabetes is more like a red flag of sorts, it is possible to improve your health and prevent a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. By taking care of your well-being and making necessary lifestyle changes, you greatly reduce your risk factors. This includes incorporating exercise and proper nutrition into your daily lifestyle. Try to work out for 30 minutes each day. Aim for aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate. Choose foods that mix lean meats, veggies and whole grains while skipping the sugars and starches. If you can maintain a healthy weight, you’ll also decrease your change of getting diabetes. In fact, losing even 5 -10 percent of your body weight can make a big difference.

Tests you Might Encounter

Having pre-diabetes also means you’ll likely need one or more of the tests described below to allow your healthcare provider to best chart your course of treatment if necessary.

An A1C test lets your physician know what your average blood sugar level was for the past few months. It’s quite painless and doesn’t require fasting or drinking a special liquid. Using this test, diabetes is diagnosed at an A1C of 6.5% or higher. Pre-diabetes is considered an A1C of 5.7 – 6.5%, and a normal result is anything less than 5.7%.

A Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test determines your blood glucose level when fasting. That means you won’t be able to eat or drink anything other than water for eight hours prior to testing. Thankfully, the test is usually performed right away in the morning. Using the FPG test results, diabetes is labeled at 126 mg/dl or higher, while pre-diabetes is 100-125 mg/dl, and a normal reading is anything less than 100 mg/dl.

The Oral Glucose (OGTT) checks your blood glucose level before you drink a certain sweet drink as well as two hours after. It shows how your body processes the glucose. A result of 200 mg/dl after the two hours indicates diabetes, while pre-diabetes is 140 – 199 mg/dl, and a normal result is anything less than 140 mg/dl.

The final test, a Random (or Casual) Plasma Glucose test, is simply a blood check performed any time of the day when you have severe diabetes symptoms. You likely won’t be required to test this particular way while you have just a pre-diabetes diagnosis.

Where to Look for Assistance

You now know which blood glucose tests you might encounter, what pre-diabetes means for you, and how to use it as an opportunity to make changes to your health. However, you might still have questions about diabetes and diabetes supplies. The experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy can help! They’ve helped people manage diabetes for many years and have the answers when it comes to diabetes supplies and insulin pumps. Check them out at www.Focuspharmacy.com or call 1-866-403-6287.


Understanding Your Role as a Diabetes Caregiver

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Diabetes Conditions, Diabetes Recipes, Diabetes testing supplies, Diet and Diabetes, Exercise and Diabetes, Insulin Pumps, Tips for People with Diabetes

Quick tips for those getting started as a diabetes caregiver and understanding how to support a loved one with a recent diabetes diagnosis


A diabetes diagnosis can be mind-boggling for both patient and caregiver. When you work together, the transition to a healthier lifestyle does not have to be overwhelming. The tips below can help you start the journey.

Educate Yourself

Before you can adequately help your loved one embark on this journey, you must understand the challenges of diabetes. Learn as much as you can by visiting sites such as the American Diabetes Association. You will also find blogs like those on Mayo Clinic’s site or Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are not only informative, but offer tremendous support in your time of transition. There are even blogs offering information on insulin pumps, A1C, nutrition, and more.


As you and your loved one move forward it is important that you talk about how you both feel.  Provide positive encouragement along the way but voice your concerns as well. It is important that your friend or family member understands that their diabetes affects you, too. But it is equally important to learn to encourage the right way; without nagging. Doing so may cause them to be defensive and damage your relationship.

Form a Partnership

Doing things together makes everything easier. This is a terrific time to start exercising jointly. Consider joining a gym together or finding ways the whole family can exercise at the same time. For instance, have a family bike ride or take a walk after dinner.

Find healthy recipes the family will enjoy and introduce good nutrition for everyone. If you don’t live together, start a healthy recipe exchange and consider having dinner together once a week. You may find that both of your families start eating better.

You can also go to your loved one’s medical appointments. Two heads are better than one when it comes to listening to and remembering medical advice and asking questions.

These lifestyle changes will be healthy for all. The experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to answer any additional questions that may arise. Simply call 1-866-403-6287, toll-free.





Transitioning Your Child to an Insulin Pump

Posted in Children with Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Diabetes testing supplies, Insulin Pumps, New Devices for Diabetes, Tips for People with Diabetes

Transitioning your child to an insulin pump can be an overwhelming experience, but very beneficial in the long run given the flexibility a pump offers


Transitioning your child to an insulin pump can be overwhelming, but the long-term benefits are tremendous and there are many resources available to help both you and your child navigate the change. Here are some tips to help you through the transition.

  • Communicate. The most important thing you need to remember during this change is to communicate clearly to your child that the transition to an insulin pump is a good thing! The pump will allow your child more flexibility with meals, snacks, exercise, sleeping and more. Your picky eater can skip a meal or even have a snack as the pump allows for better control of blood glucose levels. You and your child can also choose together when to eat, when to exercise and when to sleep.
  • Convenience and Comfort. With a pump, your child can leave the embarrassing days of syringe handling behind. With a pump, insulin intake is easy and discreet. It can be done anywhere, at any time, since the process is very simple. After your child checks his or her blood sugar, he or she presses a few buttons and insulin is automatically delivered to the body. This can be particularly useful if your child has eaten more than originally planned since extra insulin can be taken with just the press of a button. Also, with a pump, there is less pain involved as daily individual injections are eliminated.
  • Improvement. A very important observation to make regarding this transition is that insulin pump therapy often results in a significant improvement in blood sugar levels, which can be sustained over many years.
  • Patience. It is important to realize that helping your child make this transition will take time as your child adjusts to the new system. While the transition will take time, the benefits and peace of mind will be worth the effort.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the insulin pump or helping your child make the transition from injections to an insulin pump, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to help.

Call today toll-free  1-866-403-6287 or visit at www.FocusPharmacy.com



Trim the Fat, not the Flavor: Tips for Healthy Cooking

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Diabetes Recipes, Diabetes testing supplies, Insulin Pumps, Tips for People with Diabetes

Tips for those with diabetes to eat healthy and reduce dietary fat without sacrificing flavor including quick and easy to follow daily low-fat substitutes.


Hearing from your doctor that you need to change to a healthier diet as part of your diabetes treatment plan may cause some to have thoughts of eating cardboard, kale chips, with boiled chicken thrown in for protein. But times have changed and a healthy diet is now one bursting with flavor. Follow some of the tips below and you will likely find that you are enjoying succulent meals that tickle your tummy as much as they delight your doctor.

  1. Go lighter by switching from ground beef to turkey or meatless crumbles. Turkey is lower in fat  without sacrificing flavor. You can season it the same way as beef and enjoy it just as much. Meatless crumbles are a vegetarian option which is equally low in fat, no cholesterol, yet full of flavor.
  1. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away then substituting applesauce for cooking oil will likely work just as well. When used in baked goods, you will never notice the replacement.
  1. Here is a great trick for replacing whole milk: Combine one tablespoon of vegetable oil (in liquid form) with one cup of fat-free or low-fat milk. Low-fat milk is lower in both trans-fat and saturated fat, and cholesterol than whole milk. By using this crafty combination, you will hardly notice the difference and save many empty calories.

Reduce even more fat with these additional savvy dairy tips:

  1. Butter tastes great but can clog your arteries. Pass it up for margarine which has no trans-fat and is low in saturated fats.
  2. You can also trim fat by using 1 cup of evaporated skim milk, 1/2 cup of low-fat yogurt, or unsalted cottage cheese versus heavy cream.
  3. Substitute 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup cholesterol-free egg substitute for one egg.

Trimming the fat does not mean you have to skimp on flavor.  As you embark on your new dietary lifestyle many questions may arise. Partner with your physician as your primary resource, but also know that the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to answer your questions regarding diabetes, insulin pump supplies, and diabetes testing supplies. Call them today, toll-free,  at 1-866-403-6287 and get ready for a healthier you!







Diabetes and Retinopathy: What You Need to Know

Posted in Diabetes Advice, Diabetes Conditions, Diabetes Research, Diabetes testing supplies, Insulin Pumps, Tips for People with Diabetes

Retinopathy is the most common eye disease those with diabetes suffer from. Prevention lies in lowering the risk factors by managing your diabetes and your overall health.

 If you or a loved one have diabetes, you’re likely aware that it can affect a number of different areas of the body. One such area? The eyes. There are a few different eye diseases that those with diabetes can suffer from, including retinopathy. Read on to learn more about this potentially serious condition, including whether you’re at risk for it.

What is Retinopathy?

 You might be wondering what exactly is retinopathy? It’s actually the most common eye disease those with diabetes suffer from. It also happens to be the leading cause of adult blindness in America. It occurs when blood vessels in the retina change in some way. Sometimes, the vessels swell and allow fluids to leak in. Other times new, but abnormal, vessels grow on the retina’s surface. A healthy retina is crucial for good vision since it converts light to signals it sends to the brain via the optic nerve.

What are the Symptoms of Retinopathy?

It’s possible to have retinopathy and not even realize it since, at first, changes to your vision may be subtle and not painful. Over time, however, the condition often worsens and can even cause vision loss. The disease typically affects both eyes. When a portion of the retina – the macula – swells due to leaking fluid, macular edema occurs and can cause blurred vision. When new blood vessels grow on the retina’s surface, they may bleed into the eye and block vision. Since there are little or no symptoms of retinopathy early on, a comprehensive dilated eye exam is recommended at least annually.

How is Retinopathy Treated in those with Diabetes?

The National Eye Institute is continually researching retinopathy to better detect and treat the condition. Currently, no treatment is needed in the first stages of the disease, unless macular edema is present. In its most advanced stage, called proliferative retinopathy, the disease is treated with laser surgery. The technique involves using scatter laser treatments to help shrink any abnormal blood vessels. The physician burns the affected areas with thousands of tiny laser burns performed during two or more sessions. Although it can cause side vision loss and reduce color and night vision, it can preserve the rest of your sight.

What are the Risk Factors for Retinopathy?

While anyone with diabetes is at risk for retinopathy, certain factors increase that risk, including:

  • The duration of your diabetes
  • Poor control of blood sugar levels
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Pregnancy
  • Tobacco use

Prevention of retinopathy, then, lies in lowering these risk factors by managing your diabetes, your overall health, and keeping your blood sugar level in a healthy range. If you ever have questions about this, and other eye diseases, talk to your health-care professional.

The experienced staff at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy is also available to help you better manage your diabetes and answer your questions about diabetes supplies and insulin pumps. Take advantage of their expertise by calling, toll-free,  1-866-403-6287 or by visiting www.FocusPharmacy.com.



Your Insulin Pump Breaks: Now What?

Posted in Insulin Pumps, New Devices for Diabetes, Tips for People with Diabetes

insulin pump minimed threshold suspend


Your insulin pump is a great tool to more effectively manage and regulate your diabetes. However, just like any other technological device, your pump can malfunction. The first thing to remember if this happens is to not panic!

If your insulin pump malfunctions, perhaps the alarms are malfunctioning or the buttons aren’t working properly, or if it breaks completely, you should contact your pump help line. If your pump maker’s help line is unable to help you troubleshoot your device and it looks like it is unrepairable, the manufacturer should be able to send you a replacement pump within 24 hours. In the meantime, you should always have a current prescription or a bottle of long-acting insulin handy that can be used in the interim while you wait for your new pump. However, before using your back up insulin, it’s important to check its expiration date. Yes, insulin does expire!

Once you have received your new pump and are ready to resume using it, remember, that long-acting insulin can stay in your body for several hours so it’s important to let it wear off before resuming normal pump delivery. If you have any questions or concerns about the proper wait time or what your routine should be while off the pump, contact your healthcare provider for instructions.

As soon as your new pump arrives, you must calibrate its settings with your appropriate rates and ratios. Make sure you write the proper settings down and keep them in a safe place before your current pump malfunctions so they’ll be handy in case of an emergency.

If you have any questions about your insulin pump or diabetes supplies, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are there to help. Focus Express Mail Pharmacy has been helping people manage their diabetes for many years and their pharmacists and insulin pump associates are available at 1-866-403-6287 or online at www.FocusPharmacy.com.



Don’t Let Winter Prevent you from Working Out

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Exercise and Diabetes, Tips for People with Diabetes

Learn how you can help manage your diabetes by staying physically fit even during those long, cold winter months!

winter 2

In many parts of the country, wintertime means snowy sidewalks, icy streets, and freezing temps. Whether you experience it, or can imagine it, winter weather can make getting your workout in a little more difficult than usual. Nonetheless, exercise is important year round, even if you don’t have a diabetes diagnosis. So don’t be discouraged, and don’t let the sometimes-bleak winter season keep you from getting fit. Check out these four great ways to get your blood pumping this winter.

Walk Your Way to Health

What’s one exercise that can burn up to 200 calories in just thirty minutes? If you guessed walking, you’re right! Walk at a relaxed pace for thirty minutes and you’ll burn around 100 calories, while a thirty minute brisk walk can burn double that amount. This low-impact workout appeals to many because it essentially can be done anywhere and it’s an excellent way to control one’s weight. That means it can also help in managing your diabetes and preventing complications associated with the disease. When walking outside in the winter, just be sure to dress warmly and wear proper footwear when it’s icy!

Dance it out with Zumba

A very trendy workout option is Zumba, a popular exercise for anyone who loves dancing (and burning calories at the same time). Best described as social exercise, Zumba classes are ideal for those wanting to spend time with others while getting in shape. These classes are held indoors, so there’s no problem if it’s cold outside, and because they are popular, there’s a good chance you can find one or more classes near you. So lace up your ‘dancing’ shoes and give this somewhat new form of exercise a try. You’ll likely have so much fun practicing your moves, you will forget you’re also doing your body a favor!

Swim to Reduce Stress

Head to the nearest pool of water and you’ll instantly find yourself in the perfect place to get fit. Swimming happens to be the fourth most popular exercise in the U.S. and serves as an excellent aerobic workout for your whole body. It reduces your stress levels, gives your joints a break from the pounding of other exercise, and is actually fun too. If you’re not a fan of swimming laps, try a water aerobics class and still enjoy the benefits of water based exercise. Another bonus? Indoor pools at many gyms are heated so you’ll also take the chill off while working out!

Go Find Hidden Treasure

So you say you have a hankering for the outdoors? This last exercise option might just be your pick then. Geocaching is a treasure hunt of sorts that involves a little technology since you’ll need access to Wi-Fi and GPS. Your smart phone’s GPS should easily suffice. Just take your family (or take a solo trip!) and go find the treasures hidden in your area as shown on the official Geocaching website. You’ll all learn a little more about problem-solving and teamwork while enjoying the benefits of being active and being outdoors. You really can’t go wrong with this year-round activity, so bundle up and give it a try.

Just Stay Active!

Diabetes is something you manage year-round and staying fit should be as well. Thankfully, winter doesn’t need to threaten your workouts. Just choose one of the activities above to stay active and, in turn, help manage your diabetes. Make your pursuit of fitness a goal this year and before too long, you may discover you actually enjoy it.

At Focus Express Mail Pharmacy, we’re here to answer all your questions about diabetes as well as insulin pumps and other diabetes supplies. We have experienced pharmacists ready to help you manage your diabetes as we’ve helped others just like you over the years. Simply visit us at  www.FocusPharmacy.com or call, toll-free,  1-866-403-6287 today!


How to Recognize Type 1 Diabetes in Your Child

Posted in Children with Diabetes, Diabetes, Diabetes Conditions

If you are concerned that your child might have Type 1 diabetes, use these warning signs to help you recognize a potential diagnosis.


 children with diabetes 3

 Diabetes in children is unfortunately all too common. The condition occurs when a child’s pancreas no longer produces the insulin and , in order to survive, insulin must come from an alternative source. It can sometimes be difficult to recognize diabetes in your child, given most kids who have diabetes do not have another family member with it. If you are concerned your child might have diabetes or if you’re a cautious parent, use these warning signs to help you recognize a potential Type 1 diabetes diagnosis in your child.

Weight loss. This might seem contradictory to your pre-conceived ideas around diabetes, but in children, rapid weight loss can be the first sign of Type 1 diabetes, despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger.

Constantly thirsty. This condition happens because a child with undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes is constantly having fluid pulled from their body tissues as their blood-glucose levels rise. The result is extreme thirst. Another indicator is that your child may especially crave sweet, cold drinks.

Frequent bathroom trips. If you’re noticing your child take more bathroom trips than normal, this can also be a telling sign of Type 1 diabetes. Urination is more frequent when there is too much glucose in the blood.

Fatigue. Becoming easily tired can occur quickly if your child’s cells are deprived of sugar. This is another warning sign.

Irritability or unusual behavior. Children with Type 1 diabetes can become moody or irritable quickly as a result of unbalanced and/or low glucose levels in their system.

If you recognize any or all of these signs in your child, you should consult your healthcare provider immediately.

If your child is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to help. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions. Specifically, our expertise is in diabetes and  the medications and supplies needed by a person with diabetes. Contact us today at 1-866-403-6287 or visit us at www.FocusPharmacy.com