Diabetes Pharmacist

Diabetes Pharmacist

information & education about diabetes & related subjects

Picking the Perfect Insulin Pump

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

Especially when getting your first insulin pump, it might be difficult to know where to start. Learn to pick the pump that matches your needs and your lifestyle.

Choosing an insulin pump can be difficult. There’s a lot to consider and this piece of technology can have a huge impact on your health and quality of life so you want to make the right choice. Especially if you’re buying your first pump, it might be difficult to know where to start. We’re here to help! Here are some tips to help you pick the right pump to match your needs and your lifestyle.

What should you look for in an insulin pump?

There are many features to consider. Here are a few:

  • Ease of use: Is the pump easy to use? Can you easily see the screen?
  • Capacity: Does it hold enough insulin for your needs?
  • Appearance: Are you comfortable with the size and weight of the insulin pump?
  • Features: What are the temporary basal settings, for example?
  • Customer service: Does the company offer 24-hour support?

Consult the experts.

Once you have narrowed down your search, consult with your doctor and our experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy to get a professional opinion on the insulin pumps you are considering. It’s the best way to learn in detail, the differences between the different pumps that are available.

For instance, if you’re looking for safety features, performance, and convenience, the Animas IR 1250 may be the right insulin pump for you. If specially fine-tuned insulin delivery is what you’re looking for, consider the Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm Revel Insulin Pump. Need a detailed history of your insulin and blood sugar? The ACCU-CHEK® Spirit insulin pump system offers a history recall of the last 30 boluses, last 30 alerts and errors, last 30 daily insulin totals, and last 30 temporary basal rate increases and decreases and an infrared port for wireless data transfer. If you’re looking to be extra discreet, the OmniPod® Insulin Management System is a good choice because it is the first tube-free insulin pump system.

Don’t feel overwhelmed. With more than 50 combined years of experience with insulin pumps, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help. We can answer all your questions regarding diabetes, insulin pumps and diabetes supplies. Call toll-free 1-866-403-6287.

Diabetes-Friendly Tailgating Recipes

Posted in Diabetes Advice, Diabetes Recipes, Diet and Diabetes, Tips for People with Diabetes

Make one of these mouth-watering tailgate recipes that are both easy-to-make and diabetes-friendly.

 diabetes recipes for tailgating

Fall is finally showing it’s colors and that means we’re in the heart of the football season. And with football comes tailgating alongside your family, friends, and fans just like you.You’ll likely face your fair share of tempting tailgate treats this season but you don’t have to deprive yourself completely. Instead, simply nosh on delicious tailgating recipes like those below. They’re taste bud friendly and diabetes-friendly too!

 Apricot Chicken Wings

apricot chicken wings for diabetes recipes

Can’t decide if you’re craving something sweet or spicy? Satisfy both cravings with this chicken wings recipe that will literally have you licking your fingers; it’s that good. With just six ingredients and the most simple of instructions, it makes the perfect finger food for any tailgate or fall party. The chicken serves as a healthy protein and the garlic is low in calories, but rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Serve these prize-winning wings with celery for even more health benefits.

Mini Nacho Cups

mini nacho cups diabetes recipes

Imagine getting the perfect bite of nachos every time. These little nacho cups make the food-lover’s dream a reality. Filled with just the right amount of guacamole, tomatoes, cheese, and green onions, each tortilla chip is a tiny bit of happiness all on its own. Eight of these miniature nacho cups equal just one fat exchange and one starch exchange. That means you can enjoy this traditional tailgate food with just a few tweaks while keeping your glucose levels under control.

Creamy Spinach Dip

creamy spinach dip for diabetes recipes

What could be better than a creamy spinach dip that rivals the one offered at your favorite restaurant? A healthier version, of course! With an ingredient list that includes shallots, spinach, chives, and yogurt, this creamy dip is chock-full of nutrition. It takes just 15 minutes to prepare and is a very versatile side; meaning it’s delicious with either pita chips or your favorite sliced veggies. This dip also tastes great for up to three days if refrigerated, making it a tasty AND convenient option for your next tailgate party.

Fresh Salsa

fresh salsa for diabetes recipes

A party isn’t a party unless there’s salsa involved, whether it’s served at a tailgate or not! This fresh salsa is just that – FRESH. Made of whole, healthy ingredients including tomatoes, green onions, and jalapenos, it helps make sure you get your vegetable servings for the day. At the same time, the cilantro and lime juice combine to pack a little punch. At just 20 calories a serving, it helps weight-watchers as well. Talk about a delightfully healthy side that just happens to be diabetes-friendly too.

Whether you have diabetes or know someone who does, remember that a diagnosis doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life’s simple pleasures. A tailgate party with your favorite people is one of those. So get ready to cheer on your team and try a few of the tasty tailgate recipes above. For questions about diabetes, insulin pumps or diabetes supplies, contact Focus Express Mail Pharmacy at www.FocusPharmacy.com or 1-866-403-6287. We’d love to share our expertise in helping you manage your disease and achieve optimal health.


Is It Time To Transition To An Insulin Pump?

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

Have you been thinking of switching to an insulin pump? This article will help you figure out if it could be right for you.

joel thinking about an insulin pump

 You may be wondering if it is time to transition to an insulin pump. To help you with this decision, how many of these diabetes related questions do you answer, “yes” to?

  • Has your A1C been hovering on the high side for a while?
  • Is your blood sugar difficult to control?
  • Are you physically active and have an unpredictable schedule?
  • Have you tried everything and still have consistently high blood glucose levels in the morning?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, it means you should probably give some serious thought to using an insulin pump.  If you haven’t already, take a look at two of our past posts to learn even more about transitioning to an insulin pump:

In this post we’ll cover some basic information to show you why an insulin pump might be right for you.

How an Insulin Pump Works

There are different types of insulin pumps. Some insulin pumps have tubing connected to a cannula that is then inserted into the skin, but there are also pumps that do not have tubes. The pump can be programmed to release small doses of insulin continuously (basal), or a bolus dose close to mealtime to control the rise in blood glucose.

Benefits of Using an Insulin Pump

The benefits of using an insulin pump are many and according to the American Diabetes Association, they include:

  • Eliminates need for individual insulin injections,
  • More accurate injections,
  • Improved A1C,
  • Fewer large swings in blood glucose levels, and
  • Easier control of blood glucose levels when exercising.

With all these benefits, you owe it to yourself to at least check out your insulin pump options.

You Are Not Alone

When you begin looking at insulin pumps, you might find it overwhelming as there are many different models to choose from. Changing how you manage your diabetes can also be scary and intimidating, but know that you are not alone. Focus Express Mail Pharmacy is here to help you as you look for and begin using an insulin pump and we will answer your questions about diabetes, insulin pumps, and diabetes supplies.

Put our more than 50 combined years of experience with insulin pumps and over 100 combined years of experience with diabetes supplies and prescription medications to work for you to make sure you choose the insulin pump that is right for you. Call 1-866-403-6287 to talk to us and get your questions answered.

Free Program to Help You Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Advice, Type 2 diabetes

If you are currently living with type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association is here to help with a free program to help you manage your diabetes.

active adults

If you have been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or if you are currently living with the disease, it can be overwhelming to say the least. However, the American Diabetes Association provides help with a free program, to guide you through managing and living with the disease. Available in both Spanish and English, this program provides information on topics such as:

  • Food and Nutrition
  • Stress and Emotions
  • Physical Activity
  • Preventing Complications
  • Staying on Track

It also offers recipes, peer support online and via phone as well as support from your local ADA office. Information and resources are available online, through mail and text messaging. Over the course of 12 months, you will have access to the Care4Life Diabetes Program, which sends personalized text messages to help you learn healthy eating habits, remember medications and appointments and stay motivated. You will also receive five informational packets, three free issues of the Diabetes Forecast magazine and various recipes to help you and your family. Lastly, you will receive a monthly e-newsletter packed with useful information and resources. You will also have access to the American Diabetes Association online community and local events. To sign up by phone and enroll in this free program, call 1-800-342-2383.

If you are living with type 2 diabetes, you are certainly not alone. There is support available to help you manage the disease and live a happy, healthy and normal life. In addition, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to answer your questions regarding diabetes, insulin pumps and diabetes supplies.


Tips for Traveling with Diabetes

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

If you have diabetes, you need to do some special trip planning. This blog offers you some tips to help you stay safe while you’re traveling.


So you’ve booked your flight and you’re ready to go on your big trip. If you have diabetes, though, you need to do some special trip planning. This blog offers you some tips to help you stay safe while you’re traveling.

Keep a Small Bag with You at All Times

Your small bag should have all of your basic diabetes supplies that you may need while traveling. The American Diabetes Association recommends including every item on this list in your handbag:

  • Insulin and enough syringes you’ll need for the trip
  • Oral medications with prescription labels attached
  • A diabetes identity card with your doctor’s emergency phone number
  • Additional medications including antibiotic ointment, anti-nausea, and other medications as recommended by your doctor
  • Well wrapped snacks with crackers, cheese, peanut butter, fruit, raisins, juice box, and a few pieces of hard candy to treat low blood sugar levels
  • A portable meal you can eat in case of unexpected delays while traveling

Keeping this emergency bag with you while you travel will make it easier to handle any unexpected circumstances that would make it difficult to manage your blood sugar.

If you have an insulin pump, you may want to click on this advice from Medtronic. They discuss:

  • Preparing to Travel
  • Preparing for Flying
  • Updating the Time on Your Insulin Pump
  • Travel Checklist
  • Airport Security Guidelines

Keep Anything Vital in Your Carry On

Did you know that more than 2 million bags were reported lost or mishandled by the airlines last year? If your checked luggage ends up lost, you don’t want to be without important medications, syringes or blood-testing supplies.

Instead of putting these in your checked luggage, keep your bag with your diabetes supplies with you at all times.  You don’t want to arrive at your destination and then immediately need to scramble to get the supplies you need because they were lost by your airline!

Tell the TSA Screener Your Have Diabetes and Are Carrying Supplies

The TSA will allow you to carry these diabetes medications, equipment and supplies on the plane.

  • Insulin and insulin-loaded dispensing products
  • Unused syringes when accompanied by insulin
  • Used syringes when accompanied by a hard-surface container to place them in
  • Lancets, blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, alcohol swabs
  • Insulin pump and insulin pump supplies as long as it is accompanied by insulin
  • Glucagon emergency kit
  • Urine ketone test strips
  • Liquids or gels
  • Continuous blood glucose monitors

If you have any questions about traveling with diabetes, we would be glad to help.  Focus Express Mail Pharmacy can answer any of your questions about insulin pumps, diabetes supplies, and more.  Call toll-free 1-866-403-6287 or visit www.FocusPharmacy.com.


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.


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.