When choosing an insulin pump infusion set, there are many factors to consider. Here are tips to choose what’s right for you based on your unique needs.

insulin pump infusion set 2

Choosing an infusion set is an important decision if you’re living with diabetes and using an insulin pump to control it. Most insulin pumps require an infusion set to deliver insulin to the body. It consists of thin plastic tubing, a cannula and a plastic connector that joins the tubing and cannula together. Infusion sets come in many different styles, each suited to meet an individual’s unique needs.

Below are a few differences to be aware of when making your selection.

Teflon vs Steel Cannula.

A Teflon or “soft” cannula is a thin, flexible needle and is a popular choice given its comfort and ability to remain inserted for up to 72 hours. On the other hand, a steel cannula is a thin metal needle and can only stay in place for up to 48 hours. However, despite the flexibility and comfort of a soft cannula, it can also lead to kinking, which disrupts the flow of insulin into the body. This can potentially not be detected, which can be deadly. Therefore, users of soft cannulas need to know how to troubleshoot immediately if kinking occurs. Steel cannulas, however, are durable and will not kink. Despite this feature, the cannulas can cause discomfort during movement or physical activity.

Insertion Methods

There are two options for inserting a cannula, manual or with an insertion device. The manual method is useful for people wanting to control the speed of insertion. However, many prefer using an insertion device, which is helpful for people with arthritis, Parkinson disease, or any other condition that affects fine motor skills. Insertion devices also make it easier for insertion into certain parts of the body such as the buttocks or the back of the arm. Both insertion methods work effectively, so it is entirely up to the user.

Infusion sets also come in two insertion angle styles. There is straight or angled. Each offers advantages and disadvantages. Straight infusion sets allow for shorter needles, however, shorter needles can become dislodged more easily. Angled infusion sets are more popular among people who are active, but the needle is longer, which may be less appealing to some individuals.

Site Selection

Different areas of the body absorb insulin at similar rates. However, there can be slight variations from one body area to another. For most people, the most comfortable place to insert an infusion set is the abdominal area. Other options include the outer thighs, backs of the arms, hips and buttocks. When selecting an infusion site, it is a best practice to avoid areas with less fat and places where the infusion set might be constricted. For children, the buttocks seem to be one of the most comfortable infusion sites. Also, because a child cannot see this area, it is less likely that they will tamper with or remove the infusion set.

In addition to choosing the right site, it’s important to ensure proper infusion site care, which is essential for preventing infections. Cleanliness is critical, so start with washing your hands and the area of insertion. Despite impeccable site care, infections can still occur. At the first sign of infection, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Special Considerations

When choosing the infusion set right for you, there are several other items to take into consideration. Some manufacturers’ pumps are compatible only with their own infusion set systems, while others are compatible with a variety of product lines. This feature may impact your final selection, so be sure to check first. Also, you might want to contact your insurance company because coverage on different types of sets may vary.

If you have any questions, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help! The experienced staff at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy have been assisting people with diabetes for years and are available to help answer your questions about diabetes, insulin pumps and insulin pump supplies.

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

People with Diabetes need to pay attention to their feet, especially in the winter, to prevent infections or worse. Here are some useful foot care tips.

 foot care

It goes without saying that people often pay little attention to their feet. But, for diabetes patients this oversight could lead to serious complications. Statistics show that 15-20% of people with diabetes end up in the hospital due to foot infections or foot ulcers. Either condition can lead to amputations, so foot care should be a very serious priority! Your health care provider should perform a complete foot exam at least annually; more often if you have existing problems.

Winter is especially a tough season for feet. Be proactive with these tips to keep them in tip top shape.

Inspect Daily

Take a few minutes in the morning or evening to give your feet a once over. Look for breaks in the skin, discharge, any noticeable color changes, or painful calluses and corns. Take a look at your socks and shoes also. Discoloration on your socks or stones in your shoes can mean problems. If you have sight issues or can’t easily see your feet, then ask a family member or friend to assist you.

Choose Good Footwear

Cold and wet winters can increase your chances of developing a foot ulcer. Having good shoes can help combat this. Choose footwear that is sturdy, has proper padding, and is warm. Don’t pick shoes that are too constricting as you don’t want to decrease blood flow to your feet. Wool socks are your friend in winter. Avoid materials that are synthetic or lock in moisture, opt instead for materials like wool that keep moisture at bay.

Keep Your Feet Dry

Wet feet are dangerous for diabetes patients because moisture can lead to bacteria growth. Make sure to always dry your feet well and change out of wet socks as soon as possible.

Trim Your Toenails

Toenails that are left untrimmed can create infections and ulcers. Your doctor can show you how to trim your toenails correctly. If you struggle with this task, seek professional help. You might be surprised to learn Medicare and other insurances may cover nail care as a part of diabetes treatment.

Don’t Burn Your Feet

In winter there’s more likelihood of being around hot implements like heating blankets, hot soaks, fireplaces or radiators. It’s imperative to be very careful if your feet are near these items. Getting even a second degree burn can be a major problem. If you do experience any kind of burn on your foot, contact your health care provider immediately and seek treatment.

Control Blood Sugar

Making sure your diabetes is under control is not only important for overall health but foot health as well. Poor diabetic care will often first appear through the feet. Consider a device like an insulin pump to manage your sugar levels.

If you have questions, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here for you!  Focus Express Mail Pharmacy has been helping people manage their diabetes for years. We can answer your questions about diabetes, insulin pumps, supplies, and more. Call us today at 1-866-403-6287.

 

Read all about how breastfeeding your child might help you avoid Type 2 diabetes after giving birth.

 

 breastfeeding 2

You’ve probably already heard all about the benefits breastfeeding provides newborns, but did you know the benefits don’t stop with your baby? If you suffered from gestational diabetes during pregnancy, new studies show that breastfeeding can actually help you too!

Breastfeeding Study’s Promising Findings

Researchers discovered that moms with previously-diagnosed gestational diabetes who breastfed for two or more months after their baby’s birth had lowered odds of later developing type 2 diabetes. Even better news? The longer the women breast-fed, the lower the odds became.

It’s important to note that the study didn’t reveal breastfeeding actually caused a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes; it simply found a link between the two. The research team followed nearly a thousand women two years after they experienced gestational diabetes and childbirth. Almost 12 percent of them developed type 2 diabetes, with those who exclusively breast-fed having a 54% lower risk than those that did not breastfeed at all. Those who fed their babies even some breastmilk in addition to formula still reduced their odds by a third compared to those feeding formula only.

The length of time the moms breastfed mattered too. Those who breastfed between two and 10 months had half the risk of developing diabetes, with those breastfeeding more than 10 months showing an even further reduced risk.

How Breastfeeding Affects your Body

All these results and percents show that breastfeeding can yield benefits for those moms who had gestational diabetes, but how exactly does it work in the body? Lactating gives the body’s insulin-producing cells a rest since they don’t have to make so much insulin in order to lower blood glucose. According to the study’s lead researcher, breastfeeding uses up glucose and fat because the blood transfers those nutrients to the breast tissue to facilitate milk production. He likens breastfeeding to giving the body a recovery period and providing a reset for the body’s metabolism after the metabolic chaos of pregnancy subsides.

Sometimes women with complications such as gestational diabetes find it difficult to focus on breastfeeding or they have other complications that make it difficult. Finding support from a physician or lactation consultant can be essential to successful breastfeeding. Remember that other lifestyle factors can reduce future risk for diabetes, too. These include weight loss, increased activity, and dietary changes.

Use the Resources Available to You

When you have questions about diabetes prevention and management, look no further than the trained experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy. Let them answer your questions about not only diabetes, but insulin pumps and insulin pump supplies as well. Learn more at www.focuspharmacy.com or call 1-866-403-6287.

 

What’s the link between weight, diabetes and poor sleep? Focus Express Mail Pharmacy explains.

poor sleeppoor sleep 2

If you’ve been having trouble getting your Z’s, there might be a health reason? You see, many diabetes patients have trouble getting a good night’s rest, leaving them feeling drowsy and lethargic throughout the day.

Diabetes and sleep

Diabetes and sleep problems often are intertwined. For those not diagnosed with the condition, sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance, which then can develop into diabetes.

And diabetes, especially when it comes to high blood sugar, can be the culprit behind nighttime woes. High sugar levels cause frequent urination, which equals interrupted sleep at night. For those with diabetes, this means a vicious cycle of low energy from lack of sleep leading to poor diet choices, then poor rest due to the subsequent spike in blood sugar, and so on. If this sounds familiar, doctors recommend focusing on getting sugar levels under control.

Weight and sleep

According to WebMD, being overweight is one major risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes, and it also can negatively impact your quality of rest. Excess weight also can lead to sleep apnea. This disorder causes snoring and pauses in breathing, which leads to interrupted sleep and fatigue, worsening the side effects and severity of diabetes. If you have diabetes, snore, and often feel fatigued, it’s a good idea to schedule a time to see your doctor. If a sleep study determines that you do, in fact, have sleep apnea, treatment can include lifestyle changes or a mask or other device to facilitate nighttime breathing.

Bottom line

Those with diabetes need to be diligent about getting the proper amount of sleep–it’s just as important as diet, doctors say.  Although it’s generally accepted that the average amount of sleep needed is around 7.5 hours nightly, it varies from person to person, and can be as little as four or as many as 10 or more hours each night. The main determinant should be the amount of regular sleep that leads to the individual feeling rested.

Have questions? The experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to answer your questions regarding diabetes, insulin supplies and diabetes supplies. Contact us at 1-866-403-6287 or visit www.focuspharmacy.com.

 

 

 

Here are some suggestions for people suffering with diabetes to eat and live heathier in the coming year.

 happy new year

Eating healthy and exercising are common resolutions for many in the New Year, not just for those with diabetes. Although most of us start out with good intentions of living a healthier lifestyle, it’s easy to get off track and let old habits return if you don’t plan carefully.

Here are a few simple steps you should take to make your goal of living healthy with diabetes in 2016 a success.

  • Set Specific Goals – It’s easy to say you’re going to be healthier, but if you don’t set specific goals it probably won’t happen. Having a goal such as walking for a half hour in the morning, or trying a new vegetable every week, will help you stick to your plans. When choosing a goal, you’ll want to consider what behavior you want to change – whether it’s not being active or eating unhealthy foods. You’ll also need to be realistic about the amount of time you need to accomplish the goal. Remember the best goals are both obtainable and measurable. One other tip: Be sure to write your goals down and put them somewhere visible so you don’t forget.
  • Make a Plan to Reach Your Goals – Once you’ve set goals for yourself, it’s important to come up with a plan to execute them. You’ll want to consider what things might distract you or even prevent you from achieving your goals. Don’t know what to consider? The American Diabetes Association has a great planning tool to help you create a plan that works.
  • Get Moving – Now that you’ve established your goals and have a plan in place, it’s time to get to work! It’s a good idea to track your progress, as well as reward yourself along the way so that you stay engaged in your plan. If you are successful at doing a half hour walk every morning for a month, treat yourself to a special gift or day of pampering as a reward.

You can also make it more fun by switching up your goals periodically. For example, if your goal was to eat a new vegetable every week and you’ve done that for a while, maybe switch to eating a new fruit every week or find some new healthy recipes to try.

Congratulations on committing to a healthier you in the New Year! We hope these steps will help you along the way.

The experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to answer your questions regarding diabetes, insulin supplies and diabetes supplies. Contact us at 1-866-403-6287 or visit www.focuspharmacy.com.

 

 

                                                           

Scientists are working in many areas to prevent and cure diabetes. Here’s an update on three key areas of research.

diabetes research

Now is one of the most exciting times in diabetes research. Scientists are working in many areas, and three key types of research – viruses, gut microbiome and inflammation – are getting a lot of attention lately. This research may have a significant impact on diabetes prevention and treatment down the road. Here is a little about what the scientists are doing.

Viruses

Recent studies have made strides in determining the connection between viruses and Type 1 Diabetes. Although access to pancreatic tissue from human donors is limited, groups like the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) are taking the lead examining the impact of viruses by coordinating studies using the most up-to-date technology. Scientists are hopeful they will soon have more information on the relationship between viruses and diabetes, which they believe might lead to a simple vaccine to prevent the disease in many people.

Gut Microbiome

Did you know there is more bacteria living in your gut than there are cells in your body? Scientists have made great strides of late studying the impact of the bacteria living in our digestive tract on the development of our immune systems. Scientists have also been studying the foods we eat and how they impact various good and bad bacteria. By understanding which foods promote good bacterial growth and force out bad bacteria or fight viruses, treatments can be developed for autoimmune diseases and in the long run, even help in the fight to prevent diabetes.

Inflammation

Inflammation is a very broad term and isn’t a bad thing when it occurs in moderation. Inflammation is one of the body’s ways of responding to a germ attack by working with the immune system to ward off bacteria or a virus. However, in some cases inflammatory responses can react to things that aren’t invaders, like insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, and trigger a chain reaction that can lead to sepsis, diabetes (both type 1 and type 2), heart disease and other health issues. Scientists are looking into ways to control inflammation (and preventing damage to the pancreas) without totally getting rid of the immune benefits of inflammation.

You can read more about these developments here. And remember, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to answer your questions regarding diabetes, insulin supplies and diabetes supplies. Contact us at 1-866-403-6287 or visit www.focuspharmacy.com.

 

When you’re living with diabetes, it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit handy in the event of an emergency. Here’s what you need:

 first aid kit

Always having a first aid kit prepared, isn’t pessimistic. It’s smart, especially if you are living with diabetes. A well-stocked first-aid kit is easy to put together and will prove useful in both minor and major emergencies.

We recommend keeping your first aid kit in a room you spend a lot of time in or a place that is in easy reach. However, bathrooms, with all their heat and humidity, are not a good storage location.

To get started, first, select a waterproof container to hold the supplies and pack in the basics such as:

  • Aspirin, which is crucial for anyone suffering a heart attack. Baby aspirin is chewable which allows the medicine to work faster.
  • Wound care products such as a saline solution, helpful for cleaning any wounds prone to bacteria, dirt and debris. This is particularly important for people with diabetes, who may be more susceptible to infections.
  • Antibiotic Ointments, bandages and gloves. Be mindful of allergies. If anyone in your family is allergic to a certain product, like latex, stock non-latex gloves and bandages in your kit
  • Diabetes essentials such as a blood glucose meter, injective pen needles and insulin syringes. Even extra meter batteries can be included.
  • A list of emergency phone numbers to places like your doctor’s office and your local poison control office

You can find a full list of all recommended items, including diabetes specific ones and even some first aid tips here.

It’s important to keep in mind some extra precautions for diabetes related contents. You cannot store insulin in a first aid kit because it must be refrigerated. But you can definitely stock other supplies like a backup meter, extra insulin pump infusion sets, and fast-acting glucose gels or tablets.

Don’t forget to keep your first aid kit items current. If you plan to stock your kit with any medications that can expire, it’s important to check them frequently; experts recommend doing so at least twice a year. Also, don’t forget to refill or replace items as you use them.

A first aid kit is the first step in preventative care, but if you do injure yourself, be sure to schedule a follow up appointment with your health care provider. First aid is essential, but it’s only the beginning of the healing process. Continued care will ensure your stay safe in the long run.

 If you’re living with diabetes, keep in mind it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit.

And if you have any specific questions about diabetes, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help! We’ve been answering people’s questions about diabetes, insulin pumps and supplies for years. We can help you too.

Call us today at 1-866-403-6287 or visit us online, at www.FocusPharmacy.com

 

 

 

A clinical trial shows those with diabetes given the drug Jardiance were 38% less likely to die from a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease.

 research

It’s an unfortunate truth, but diabetes is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In fact, people with Type 2 diabetes are five to eight times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and to suffer a fatal heart attack or stroke.

Good News

Until recently, there has been little progress made in developing a drug that could reduce this risk. Prospects are brighter however with the release of results from a clinical trial ordered by the Federal Drug Administration. The New England Journal of Medicine published results last month that showed individuals who were given the blood sugar-lowering drug Jardiance were 38% less likely to die as a result of a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular issue than those given a placebo.

Also, those taking Jardiance were 35% less likely to be hospitalized for heart failure than those who took the placebo. Both findings bode well for diabetes sufferers.

Significant, Surprising Results

The results are surprising to many in the medical community as previous drug trials have not had a significant impact on reducing death from cardiovascular disease and stroke for those with diabetes. The clinical trials sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Eli Lilly and Co., suggest that among diabetes patients with cardiovascular disease, 39 people would have to be treated to prevent one premature death. This “number-to-treat” ratio puts the drug’s effectiveness on the same level as cholesterol-lowering statins and maybe even ahead of blood pressure medications.

Jardiance reduces blood sugar in diabetes patients by helping eliminate it from their urine. In all, 8.3% of the people taking the placebo died of any cause during the course of the study, compared with 5.7% of the people taking Jardiance.

Bright Prospects

Although the findings of the study are surprising to many, it is encouraging to see progress made in reducing one of the leading causes of death for those with diabetes.

If you have questions about diabetes and diabetes supplies, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help! Visit our website at www.FocusPharmacy.com or call us at 1-866-403-6287.

 

 

 

 

Learn all about newly-discovered risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes.

 medications

Studies on diabetes continue to produce new information for treatment and prevention. Recent research has uncovered even more risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes, a disease that afflicts tens of millions of people in the U.S. alone. In addition to already-known risk factors including family history, obesity, and lack of physical activity, there are four additional factors to consider. As always, be sure to discuss these factors with your doctor before making changes to medications or eating habits.

Vitamin A Deficiencies

Research completed earlier this year led scientists to believe that a vitamin A deficiency may be linked to developing Type 2 diabetes. There are actually two types of vitamin A; the first is preformed (known as retinol) and is found in fish, poultry, meat, and dairy. Pro-vitamin A (known as beta-carotene), is found in fruits and veggies. Both types play a vital role in helping cell growth and maintaining a healthy immune system and healthy vision. Findings also suggest that synthetic forms of this essential vitamin might help reverse Type 2 diabetes, something definitely to be researched further.

Statin Use

Statins are drugs often used to lower cholesterol. Their use is also one of the latest risk factors for developing diabetes. In fact, one study showed that statin use could increase the risk for diabetes by up to 46%. It should be noted that though this study included a large sample size, it was made up only Caucasian men, meaning the findings might differ in women and people of other ethnicities. The results, however, should prompt caution when taking this type of medication.

Sugary-Drink Consumption

Sugar-filled drinks get a bad rap, and that may be for good reason. Their consumption has actually been linked to an 18% increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. It’s not just soda pop you may need to steer clear of; fruit juice and artificially sweetened drinks are culprits too. High consumption is defined as 250 ml or about 8 oz. per day, a guideline to keep in mind when cracking open that next can of pop.

Low Birth Weight

A separate study at Harvard became the first to explore the effect of prenatal and postnatal factors in regards to developing diabetes. When it came to birth weight and lifestyle, it was determined that a low birth weight and living an unhealthy lifestyle were each associated with a higher risk for getting diabetes. Together, though, the two risk factors painted an even grimmer picture. About 18% of Type 2 diabetes cases were attributed to a low birth weight and an unhealthy lifestyle.

 

As more and more risk factors for diabetes are discovered, you’ll likely have questions about diabetes prevention and management. Let the trained experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy help answer your questions about not only diabetes, but insulin pumps and insulin pump supplies as well. Learn more at www.FocusPharmacy.com or call 1-866-403-6287.

 

Here are handy tips to help avoid common insulin pump problems before they occur.

 

 insulin pump minimed threshold suspend

If you use an insulin pump to help manage your diabetes, you may encounter minor problems along the way. While it’s true insulin pumps aren’t fail safe, they are one of the most effective ways to manage diabetes. Here are some possible problems you can prevent with some pre-planning and care.

Bubbles

One of the most common pump problems is getting bubbles in the line. This happens for a number of reasons. If you have refilled the cartridge and failed to prime the reservoir it can lead to bubbles. Likewise if you change to a new infusion set and don’t prime the air from the tubing you also can get bubbles. Make sure you are properly priming your pump when changes are made. A loose connection is a third reason. Proper tightening when connecting your infusion set is all it takes to avoid this. Lastly, taking insulin straight from the fridge can create bubbles as it warms to room temperature. You should always allow insulin to warm to room temperature before connecting.

Blockages

Occlusions are another issue you may face with your insulin pump. This happens when there is a blockage that stops your pump from delivering insulin correctly. Always check for any noticeable blockages in the tubing. If there are no noticeable blockages and this problem occurs, you may need to change the infusion site as there may be a cannula that has been caused when the pump was inserted.

Leaks

Some problems occur from wear and tear and need to be addressed when they appear. A leaking pump reservoir happens when the O-rings around the plunger become weak or damaged. In this instance try a new reservoir, available from the manufacturer.

Looseness

If your infusion set comes loose, you will also experience problems. It does happen, most often due to sweat around the site of the infusion. If this issue occurs regularly, consider a different type of adhesive or infusion site.

Perseverance

Care in using your pump will help prevent these common problems. But if they do happen, don’t let them make you reconsider using an insulin pump.  Remember, all forms of diabetes management will have hiccups along the way. Using an insulin pump helps deliver a steady flow of insulin helping you manage your diabetes more easily. If you have questions, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here for you!  Focus Express Mail Pharmacy has been helping people manage their diabetes for years. We can answer your questions about diabetes, insulin pumps, supplies, and more. Call us today at 1-866-403-6287.