Diabetes Pharmacist

Diabetes Pharmacist

information & education about diabetes & related subjects

Older Adults and Diabetes: The Importance of Staying Active

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

Learn why physical activity is especially important for older adults with diabetes and how to get started caring for your body today.

 older adults walking

We all know maintaining a high level of physical activity is important for everyone, regardless of their age or whether they have diabetes. But sometimes, those with the disease underestimate the positive effects of exercise on managing their overall health.  Since more than 25 percent of Americans age 60 and older have diabetes, it’s likely you or a loved one is affected. In fact, almost 400,000 Americans, 65 and over, are diagnosed with diabetes each year. Those in this age group can improve their overall health by incorporating exercise into their diabetes care plan.

What are the Benefits of Physical Activity?

 Why exactly is it so important to stay physically active? First, along with weight loss, it often helps prevent type 2 diabetes in those with a pre-diabetes diagnosis. Second, it provides many other health benefits including raising your HDL cholesterol and lowering your blood glucose levels, not to mention reducing your risk for having a heart attack, a stroke, or developing cancer. Finally, it helps improve your outlook and quality of life, reduce stress, and clears your mind; especially helpful for both those who are recently diagnosed or who have had diabetes for a long time.

What Counts as Physical Activity?

 This is the good news – you likely already have a number of options available to you when it comes to choosing an exercise you enjoy. It’s important to choose something you like doing so you’ll be more likely to stay committed. Walking is an excellent activity to incorporate into your daily routine.  Add stretching and free weights if you’re able. Slowly build up your fitness level as you increase speed and distance each week. Feel free to invite a friend along if you prefer social exercise.

What about Safety in Exercise for Older Adults?

One common fear of adding exercise to the care program for older adults with diabetes is that of falling or damaging joints. Research actually shows, however, that muscle-strengthening activities and aerobic exercise such as walking, actually reduces the risk of falling. Be sure to wear shoes that fit properly or consider an activity such as swimming or cycling on a stationary bike. Both provide relief for your joints while also offering cardiovascular benefits from raising your heart rate, which is important in controlling diabetes.

 How Do You Begin Exercising?

Always talk to your physician before starting an exercise program. He or she will help you determine which type of activity might be best, as well as how often and how long to do it. The most important thing is taking that first step; committing to yourself that you, and your health, are worth the effort. And don’t forget to take advantage of the expertise that Focus Express Mail Pharmacy has to offer. We will answer all your questions about diabetes and diabetes supplies so your care plan is the best it can be for managing your condition. Call  toll-free 1-866-403-6287 or visit www.FocusPharmacy.com

Can Your Diabetes Supplies Expire?

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

Using expired diabetes testing supplies can be dangerous to your health. Make sure you know these expiration date rules!

insulin pump supplies and diabetes suppliesdiabetes supplies and insulin pump supplies

It’s easy to know if the milk in your refrigerator is good to drink. Store it properly and just look for the expiration date. It’s clearly printed on the bottle. Once the date is past, you’re probably not going to want to pour a glass.

But what about your diabetes testing supplies and insulin? How much do you know about the expiration dates of these life-saving devices and supplies? Here’s what you need to know.

Bottle and Pen Expiration Dates

Look closely enough on your insulin bottle and you will find a date printed on it. If you keep your insulin refrigerated properly, you can expect consistent performance from your insulin up to that date. After that date, the insulin will begin to degrade and will no longer be as effective. Since “consistency” is the name of the game when managing blood glucose levels, you need to know what effect insulin will have on your body.

Insulin pens will also have their expiration date marked. Typically, expiration dates for insulin is at least a year out from when you purchase it from the pharmacy.

28 Days After Opened

Once you begin using a new bottle of insulin, a 28-day clock starts – regardless of the expiration date listed on the bottle. For example, if you open up a bottle on January 1, 2015 that expires on December 1, 2015, you need to throw the bottle out after January 28. What is left will not predictably help you control your blood glucose levels. Trying to simply use more insulin to make up for its lost potency beyond the expiration date is not a reliable way to control your blood glucose levels and is dangerous.

Test Strips

Test strips also have expiration dates. Also, once opened, they are good for three months. After that, or after the expiration date, throw the test strips away because they can give you inaccurate readings.

Donating Unexpired Supplies

If you have unexpired supplies that you need to get rid of, you can donate them to make sure they can be put to good use.  This blog post can tell you more, but here are some organizations that accept donated supplies:

Whether you have questions about diabetes supplies expiration dates or insulin pumps, call Focus Express Mail Pharmacy toll-free at 1-866-403-6287 and we will be more than happy to answer your questions.  www.FocusPharmacy.com

 

Managing Your Diabetes During Pregnancy

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Diabetes and Pregnancy, Diabetes Conditions, Insulin Pumps, Tips for People with Diabetes

Learn how you can manage your diabetes successfully to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy.

pregnancy2

Before you rock that pregnancy glow, register for every baby item you could possibly need, and prep the nursery, be sure to consider the implications of pregnancy and your diabetes. Rest assured you can still enjoy a healthy pregnancy; it will simply go much smoother if you properly manage your diabetes during its duration. Read on to learn what that little miracle of life means for your diabetes and your insulin pump.

Plan Ahead for Peace of Mind

Although it might seem like an obvious first step, you should meet with all your health care providers – not just your obstetrician – before you even get pregnant. Having a plan in place will help ensure a healthy pregnancy and offer peace of mind as you prepare for managing your diabetes while growing a baby! Don’t underestimate the value of diabetes educators. They can teach you how pregnancy affects diabetes and give tips on how you can control your blood glucose during the next nine months. Keep in mind they’ll likely recommend you have close-to-normal glucose levels for about three months prior to becoming pregnant.

Consider Insulin Pump Therapy

In recent decades, insulin pump therapy has become a popular option for managing your diabetes during pregnancy. In the past 25 years, the number of insulin pump users increased dramatically – from 6,600 to 500,000. That includes the many women who chose insulin pump therapy as a means of managing diabetes during pregnancy. This type of therapy is most often part of a pregnancy health plan for those with Type 1 diabetes, but can be used successfully for those with Type 2 diabetes as well.

 Understand the Benefits and Risks of Insulin Pump Therapy

One of the most important benefits of using an insulin pump while you’re pregnant is having the ability to adjust your insulin dose in very small increments. Some pumps, in fact, allow these adjustments in 1/40-unit increments. You can also change the basal rate of insulin infusion every half hour or hour, which allows you to be right on target when it comes to matching your insulin delivery with your body’s insulin needs. These two features are especially advantageous since your hormone levels change throughout pregnancy, requiring more frequent alternations in your insulin delivery.

Be aware that an insulin pump carries a risk though: If an insulin infusion is disrupted for some reason, you could quickly have high blood glucose since only rapid-acting insulin is used in pumps. Although this is a concern for everyone with diabetes, it’s especially so if you’re pregnant since it also affects the health your baby.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Nutrition

Even when you’re not pregnant, diet plays an important role in managing your diabetes. Add baby to the picture and diet becomes even more critical. Collaborate with your physician and be open to changing your meal plan and food choices if necessary. Such a change could make a vital difference in helping you avoid glucose levels that are either too high or too low. Focus on the quality of food you eat while pregnant; choose foods that provide you, and your baby with the necessary nutrients while keeping your levels in check. This means eating whole foods, vegetables, whole grains, fruit, lean meats, beans, poultry, and some types of fish.

Whether you’re in the initial stages of family planning or you just found out you’re expecting, take a moment to enjoy this exciting time in your life. Know that with a little preparation and commitment, you can achieve a successful pregnancy while managing your diabetes at the same time. And don’t forget to take advantage of the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy. They can save you time by answering all your questions about insulin pumps and diabetes supplies, leaving you to do what’s more important – plan for your new addition. Contact them at 1-866-403-6287 or visit www.focuspharmacy.com.

Managing the Transition to an Insulin Pump

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

Transitioning to an insulin pump  from injection therapy is a significant change, but can provide many benefits and improve your overall health.

Insulin pump for diabetes

Moving from insulin injections to a pump is a big transition, but a smart decision given the many benefits a pump provides. Even though injections are less expensive and require less education, there are still many benefits that an insulin pump provides. Here are a few of the changes to expect:

  •  Better control

An insulin pump gives you the opportunity to have better control of your blood sugar by continuously delivering insulin causing fewer highs and lows in glucose levels. In addition, insulin delivery through a pump is more accurate and precise.

  •  More flexibility

Insulin pumps offer you more freedom with what you eat and allowing you the ability to exercise without having to eat a large amount of carbohydrates.

  •  Less resistance

If you are currently using injections, you may develop less resistant areas of your body where the insulin will not absorb properly.

  •  Less painful

With a pump, you may have one injection every three days versus roughly 15-18 injections in a three-day person with injection therapy.

 

Once you have made the decision to transition, you might experience a few challenges. Here’s what to expect and how to manage those challenges.

  • Overall well-being. After the physical transition, an insulin pump will improve your overall health and can make you feel better on a consistent basis. With a moderated blood sugar level, your overall daily routine should improve.
  • Appearance. Since you will have a physical pump hanging from your side, this will be something for you to consider how to transition. If you are concerned with how to hide the pump, we recommend trying a few different things to figure out what works for you. Fastening the pump on belt loops and using pockets can all help you find a workable solution.
  • Patience is key. You must be patient with the transition process and realize that it can take several months before you are comfortable using your pump. Your body will take time to adjust to the new system.

The pump is not for everyone, just like injection therapy is not the best solution for all. When you decide to move to an insulin pump, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to learn how to program your insulin pump, insert your infusion set and learn how to problem-solve any issues you may have with your pump as well as your glucose levels. You can also find a workshop that can help you better understand the features of your pump and help you gain better control of your glucose levels. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider.

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the insulin pump or making the transition, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to help and answer your questions regarding diabetes and diabetes supplies.

Contact us today toll-free  1-866-403-6287.

Recognizing Signs of Neuropathy. Should You Be Concerned?

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Diabetes Conditions, Insulin Pumps, Tips for People with Diabetes
diabetes neuropathy insulin pumps

Neuropathy is a serious – but treatable – common complication of diabetes. Make sure you know the symptoms.

If you have diabetes, you know it is important to closely track your blood glucose levels due to the wide array of complications that can result from having sugar levels that are too high or too low.  Properly managing your diabetes will also help prevent the development of neuropathy.

Neuropathy is defined as a disorder of the peripheral nerves and most often affects the hands and feet, causing weakness, numbness, tingling, and pain. Peripheral neuropathy is the leading form of neuropathy in the United States, affecting 60-70% of those with diabetes. Fortunately, when diagnosed early, peripheral neuropathy can often be controlled.

Symptoms of Neuropathy

Preventing neuropathy involves understanding the signs as well as the importance of managing blood glucose levels. Let’s take a look at some of the common symptoms

  • Sensory Symptoms 

Numbness, loss of balance, prickling pain, electric shock-like feelings, burning, hypersensitivity to touch and tingling are all potential signs of neuropathy.

  •  Motor Symptoms

Difficulty with motor tasks like turning keys or opening jars can be a sign of neuropathy. You should also watch for issues with your feet – such as if your toe scuffs on the ground often or if you find yourself tripping a lot. Difficulty getting up from a seated or laying position may be another indicator.

  • Autonomic Symptoms

Lack of sweating while exercising, dry skin, sweating in defined areas, sensitivity to bright lights, and fainting are all potential indicators of peripheral neuropathy.

When to See a Doctor

If you notice yourself experiencing these symptoms, see a doctor right away to prevent additional damage to your peripheral nerves. Your doctor will help determine the best course of treatment for you; many causes of peripheral neuropathy can be successfully treated.

Still have questions? The experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to help. Call us, toll-free at 1-866-403-6287 and we will be more than happy to answer your questions regarding diabetes, insulin pumps and diabetes supplies.

 

3 Simple Ways to Lower Your Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Diet and Diabetes, Exercise and Diabetes, Insulin Pumps, Obesity and Diabetes, Tips for People with Diabetes

It’s never too late to make simple lifestyle changes to lower your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Use these tips to help you start. 

fruits and exercise

 Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. However, if you make simple lifestyle changes, it can significantly lower your risk of a diagnosis. The best news is that it’s never too late to make those changes! Follow these tips to get on the path to a healthy lifestyle.

Get Physical.

Regular exercise not only helps you lose weight, it also lowers your blood sugar and boosts your sensitivity to insulin. The more you exercise, the more efficiently your body uses insulin. Therefore, the more you work out the more likely your body is to control its own blood sugar, lowering your risk for Type 2 diabetes. It is recommended you exercise three to four times a week.

Add Whole Grains and Fiber To Your Diet.

Whole grains and fiber, including fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, are good for many reasons. Whole grains help maintain blood sugar levels and fiber keeps you full which can help with weight control.

Lose Weight

While not the only contributing factor, being overweight is often a major underlying cause of Type 2 diabetes. By losing just 7 percent of your total overall body weight, it significantly alters your risks.

While adopting these healthy habits can lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, there are many risk factors you still need to take into consideration.  To learn what these factors are and how at risk you are for developing Type 2 diabetes, you can take an online type 2 diabetes test that will ask you questions about your age, weight and family history.

 If you have already been diagnosed with Type 2 (or Type 1) diabetes, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to answer your questions on everything from diabetes, to insulin pumps and supplies.

For more information on our products or to talk to a friendly expert, call us today at 1-866-403-6287.

 

The National Diabetes Statistics Report 2014: What You Need to Know

Posted in Diabetes Advice, Diabetes Statistics, Diet and Diabetes, Exercise and Diabetes, Obesity and Diabetes, Tips for People with Diabetes

This report reveals trends in diabetes diagnosis and management through activity, medication, and diabetes supplies such as insulin pumps.

cdc

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently released the National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2014. Drawing on figures produced by the 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2010-2012 National Health Interview Survey, and 2012 Indian Health Services  data, as well as the 2012 U.S. Census, the CDC reports the estimated total number of people with diabetes is 29.1 million people (9.36% of the population). They estimate that another 8.1 million are undiagnosed.

The report breaks the numbers down by age group, type (1 or 2), and race/ethnicity. According to the report, 28.9 million Americans ages 20 or older are living with diabetes. Within that, 1.7 million new cases were reported from 2010-2012, with the 45-64 age range producing the most new cases (892,000) during that time. 90-95% of new adult cases are Type 2.

 This report also addresses the statistics of prediabetes, a condition of high blood glucose or hemoglobin A1C levels. As of 2012, it is estimated that 86 million Americans aged 20+ have prediabetes. The ethnic distribution is just about equal within this age group, with non-Hispanic blacks being slightly more susceptible at 39% of cases.

Diabetes Management Recommendations

In its report, the CDC advises that diabetes can be managed by a healthy diet, regular exercise, and reducing risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure. Taking diabetes medications can help treat diabetes as well. Educating oneself on the dangers and good self-care techniques is also necessary to stay healthy.

Seeking help on diabetes management and diabetes supplies

If this report has raised some questions for you, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to help. Our number is 1-866-403-6287. We have a complete selection of diabetes supplies including insulin pumps and are available to answer all of your questions regarding diabetes, insulin and diabetes supplies.

 

Diabetes and Added Sugar: Know What You’re Eating

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Diet and Diabetes, Insulin Pumps

Learn what sugar really is, where it’s found, and how avoiding it could help you better manage your diabetes.

  sugar

It’s been called “white poison” by some and “toxic” by others. There’s no doubt sugar is a hot nutrition topic right now. But for those with diabetes, steering clear of the white stuff is not just a health trend. Instead, it should be part of your daily quest to manage your diabetes and improve your overall health.

 Exactly What is Sugar?

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that helps fuel your body, but has no other nutritional value.  It does, however, help maintain the freshness of pastries and baked goods, provide bulk to ice cream, serve as a preservative for jelly, and aid in the fermentation of bread and alcohol. Sadly, though, consuming too much added sugar can lead to health issues including obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease, and trouble controlling type 2 diabetes.

What are the Types of Sugar?

Is all sugar bad, you ask? The truth is, two types of sugar exist – naturally occurring and sugar which is added. You can guess which is the most important to avoid. Naturally occurring sugars such as fructose and lactose are found in fruit and milk, respectively. The real problem begins when sugars and sweeteners are added to your food and beverages. These “added” sugars include high-fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, and other sugar molecules ending in “ose.”

Where is Sugar Found?

Avoiding these added sugars – and the added calories that come with them – is often more difficult than you might think. The health benefits, however, are worth it. To begin avoiding added sugar, first understand the types of foods and drinks that are packed full of it. You might assume sugary snacks, candy, soft drinks, and baked goods are the only culprits. Don’t forget, many types of bread, fruit juices, and sweetened applesauce are hiding sugar, too. Next, know how much added sugar you’re actually consuming. Take a look at product labels and remember that four grams equals one teaspoon of sugar and 16 calories. That means a snack food with 40 grams of sugar is just like eating 10 teaspoons of sugar at 160 calories.

How Can You Avoid Sugar?

Now that you know what added sugar is and why you should avoid it, let’s move on to how exactly you can limit your intake. Start by following these 10 tips:

1)     Steer clear of candy and baked goods.

2)     Eat more lean proteins, whole grains, and veggies for snacks.

3)     Reduce the amount of sugar you regularly add to cereal or coffee.

4)     Buy fresh fruit instead of fruit canned in syrup.

5)     Enhance the flavor of foods by adding spices such as cinnamon, ginger, or allspice instead of sugar.

6)     Drink water instead of sugary soda or fruit juice.

7)     Cut processed foods out of your diet, which are often the highest in added sugar.

8)     When baking, use unsweetened applesauce instead of sugar in your recipe.

9)     Don’t keep sugar on your table, where it is too much of a temptation.

10) Consider a natural aspartame-free sugar substitute such as stevia.

Once you begin eliminating added sugar from your diet, you may be pleasantly surprised to find you not only manage your diabetes better, but you manage your weight better as well. Another pleasant side effect of a sugar-less diet can include lower cholesterol too.

If you have questions about living successfully with diabetes or about your insulin pump or other diabetes supplies, contact Focus Express Mail Pharmacy. Our experts are here to discuss your health strategies – like avoiding sugar! — and share information about our complete selection of diabetes supplies. Just visit www.focuspharmacy.com or call toll-free 1-866-403-6287.

Coming Soon: Easier Diabetes Management with a Combined CGM and Insulin Pump Site.

Posted in Insulin Pumps, New Devices for Diabetes, Uncategorized

 

With the release of Medtronic’s MiniMed Duo that combines a continuous glucose monitoring (cgm) sensor and insulin infusion site, now is a great time to evaluate your insulin pump options

 Minimed 530G  2

Medtronic recently announced the world’s first two-in-one device to combine a glucose sensor and insulin infusion set into one on-body device. The new MiniMed Duo, which is used with the MiniMed® Veo(TM) system, will simplify integrated insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).

New Two-in-One Breakthrough

In the past, many have been reluctant to use a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device because it would have meant wearing a second device on their body. By integrating blood glucose monitoring with an insulin pump, you get one device that can monitor your blood sugar levels and deliver insulin.

According to the press release, the MiniMedDuo offers enhanced simplicity. Both the glucose sensor and cannula are inserted with one easy-to-use insertion device and users only have to change one device every 3-days.

Insulin Pump Benefits

Insulin pumps offer so many benefits and can be powerful tools. They are often popular with people that have unpredictable schedules or are very active. They allow better control of blood glucose levels which can reduce the risk of complications including eye disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. The MiniMed Duo is an exciting advancement in diabetes care.

“MiniMed Duo is the latest breakthrough designed in response to the needs of insulin pumpers who don’t want to wear two separate devices on their bodies, addressing one of the most common barriers to CGM technology,” said Greg Meehan, Vice President and General Manager of the Continuous Glucose Monitoring business at Medtronic Diabetes.

The MiniMed Duo is now available in Europe but is not yet available in the United States.  Stay tuned for more information on this exciting new device!

Insulin Pump Questions?

Have a question about your insulin pump options? The experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help. Call toll-free 1-866-403-6287 or go to our website www.FocusPharmacy.com. We have a complete selection of insulin pumps and diabetes supplies and any one of our highly trained and experienced staff is available to answer all of your questions.

 

Safe While you Sleep: New Study Offers Promise for those with Type-1 Diabetes

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

Learn how one recent study could make all the difference for those with Type-1 diabetes during nighttime.

sleeping

 

Having diabetes means always being aware of your body, the disease, and the many health choices necessary in successfully managing it. You might think that nighttime brings relief – a time of rest when those with diabetes can forget they even have it. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. It’s just as important to be vigilant in monitoring your blood glucose levels while you sleep. Thankfully, new research promises simplicity for those with Type-1 diabetes to stay safe AND get a good night’s sleep at the same time.

What Happens to Blood Sugar at Night?

While sleeping at night, those with Type-1 diabetes, including children, often struggle with knowing when their blood glucose drops too low. At night, they’re more likely to lose control of their levels, increasing the likelihood of hypoglycemia. This, of course, can lead to seizures and sometimes even death. That’s why a new study, conducted by a Stanford University School of Medicine scientist, offers much needed hope for adults with Type-1 diabetes and parents of adolescents who have it as well.

 What Did the Study Involve?

Findings from the study include new data that will soon allow insulin pumps to automatically shut off as necessary to keep blood glucose where it needs to be. Those in the study wore a sensor under the skin and an insulin pump that was wirelessly connected to a computer near their bed. The computer monitored when low blood sugar levels might occur and stopped insulin delivery for a time. The patients didn’t have to wake during this entire process.

What Does the Study Mean for those with Diabetes?

Not only could this provide more rest to parents used to waking their kids with Type-1 diabetes each night, it offers peace of mind for both adults and children with the disease each night they go to bed. And since the technology already exists, there won’t be any technical obstacles to work through. However, getting FDA approval may take a while – likely two years at least. Still, a development such as this will likely act as one more way those with diabetes can more easily and safely manage their health.

Where Can You Find Diabetes Supplies and Information?

If you have questions about insulin pumps, or diabetes supplies, take advantage of the expertise you’ll find at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy. They offer a complete selection of insulin pumps and supplies in one convenient place, take care of ALL of the insurance billing, save you your co-pay,  and are happy to answer all of your questions. Check their website at www.FocusPharmacy.com or call toll-free 1-866-403-6287 to learn more!