Recent research shows that women who eat a diet high in potatoes might have an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes.

potatoes

Potatoes seem to be on every menu and for good reason: The starchy tubers are cheap, nutritious and delicious. Although once only widely eaten in Europe, North America and eastern Europe, recent years have seen increases in consumption in the rest of the world, with China currently the largest producer, accounting for one-third of potatoes grown globally. So what’s the downside to the spud’s spread?

Continue Reading Potatoes, Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes: What’s the Deal?

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.

 

A new study explores whether antibiotic usage increases the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

 

 antibiotics

A recent study in Denmark regarding antibiotic use and diabetes has created quite a buzz. Researchers found that in the years prior to their diagnosis, people with Type 2 diabetes took more antibiotics than those without it. This, of course, doesn’t prove that antibiotics cause the disease, but it still might make more people question their usage of such medication.

Frequent Use in America

Classified as “medicines used to treat infections and diseases caused by bacteria,” antibiotics are said to be prescribed to four out of five Americans each year. The aforementioned study showed that those with Type 2 diabetes were overexposed to antibiotics when compared to those without, not just before their diagnoses, but afterward as well. Researchers’ findings showed that taking an antibiotic of any type increased patients’ likelihood of getting a diabetes diagnosis by 50 percent if they had filled five or more prescriptions.

It remains unclear if the higher risk is because diabetes might develop over time, increasing the risk of infections (and the need for antibiotics) before a person is even diagnosed with diabetes. It could also be that the risk for diabetes increases if a person has repeated infections or exposure to antibiotics.

Animal Study Findings

When researched in animals, it has been found that antibiotics affect sugar and fat metabolism and also alters gut bacteria. Since there is ongoing speculation that gut flora and antibiotics could be linked to how the body metabolizes sugar and the development of diabetes, the findings of the Denmark study haven’t necessarily surprised many. Because diabetes is increasing in incidence globally and remains a challenge in the health care world, further studies will be made into how exactly antibiotic use corresponds with the disease.

What It Means

The primary takeaway is that anyone — with or without diabetes — should always be cautious when prescribed an antibiotic. Only take them when necessary and always under the guidance of your physician. As you continue on your journey of managing your diabetes, you’ll likely have questions about your insulin pump and other diabetes supplies. Let the trained experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy help. We have over 50 years of combined experience helping people just like you live life with diabetes fully. Check us out at www.focuspharmacy.com or call 1-866-403-6287.

 

Seven common questions relating to diabetes in women.

 women diabetes

Like most diseases, diabetes affects each person in a slightly different manner. Just as your body is uniquely yours, so is the diabetes that you manage. And being a woman with the Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes yields yet an additional set of distinct questions. Read on for the answers to some common questions regarding diabetes in women.

Which diabetes medication has side effects specific to women?

Thiazolidinediones, or TZDs, are oral medications that may cause women who aren’t ovulating and have yet to go through menopause to begin ovulating. This means they’re able to conceive again. In addition, oral contraceptives might be less effective when taken with TZDs, increasing the chance of conception even more. Examples of TZDs are Actos and Avandia.

Should women with diabetes abstain from alcohol?

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends women with diabetes stick to one drink per day, if they choose to drink alcohol at all.  According to their guidelines, one drink is the equivalent of one glass of wine or 12 ounces of beer.

Do women with diabetes have any sexual-health issues because of the disease?

It’s possible for some women to experience some changes in their sexual health due to diabetes. These include discomfort during intercourse, a decrease in vaginal lubrication, and an overall lack of libido.

Is it okay for a woman with diabetes to breastfeed?

Typically, yes, it’s perfectly fine for a mother with diabetes to nurse her child. Breast milk is generally recommended for all mothers who have preexisting or gestational diabetes since it provides the best nutrition for the baby.

Why are women with diabetes more likely to develop recurrent yeast infections?

Because glucose, or sugar in the blood serves as a trigger for yeast to grow in the body, women with diabetes tend to develop recurrent yeast infections more frequently.

What is the recommended daily intake of cholesterol for women with diabetes?

The ADA suggests cholesterol levels be less than 200, with LDL (bad cholesterol) under 100 mg/dL, HDL (good cholesterol) above 55 mg/dL, and triglycerides under 150 mg/dL.

Will a woman with diabetes pass the disease on to her children?

There are many factors that determine whether someone with diabetes will pass the disease on. Risk factors include whether there is a history of diabetes in the family, how old the mother is when the child is born, and the mother’s age at the time of diagnosis.

Information is power, so feel encouraged knowing the more knowledge you have about diabetes will help you manage its effects on your body. No matter the issue, though, remember to discuss any health concern or change in medication with your physician.

How We Can Help

As you embark on your journey to managing your diabetes, you’ll likely have questions about your insulin pump and other diabetes supplies. Let the trained experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy help. We have over 50 years of combined experience helping people just like you live life with diabetes fully. Check us out at www.focuspharmacy.com or call 1-866-403-6287.

 

Learn what happens to your blood sugar levels overnight and how you can keep them in check!

early morning

After a diabetes diagnosis, there is usually a time of education. You learn all about the disease and how it affects your body. Part of that learning curve is discovering when your blood sugar levels tend to be high or low. You might also quickly learn that, for someone with diabetes, the early morning hours can be an important time of the day.

What Happens to Your Body Overnight

For many with diabetes, they may take insulin but still wake up with high blood sugar levels. This is caused by one of two things. The first is called the “dawn phenomenon.” As you sleep, your body goes through a series of changes. One includes increasing the amounts of the hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, that fight insulin’s job of lowering your blood sugar levels. This typically happens between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. These hormones enter your blood system right when your bedtime dose of insulin is wearing off, thus leading to high glucose levels.

The “Somogyi effect” is a bit different. Also referred to as “rebound hyperglycemia,” the term refers to a pattern in the body. This includes an episode of low blood sugar – hypoglycemia – followed by high morning sugars. In the middle of the night, your blood sugar levels can drop low enough that your body releases hormones to raise it. This might happen if you took too much insulin earlier in the evening or perhaps if you didn’t eat enough of a snack before bedtime.

How to Know Which One You Have

Though both result in high blood sugar levels in the morning, your doctor will need to know which is causing the increased levels. To determine the cause, a physician will typically have you check your levels for a few nights in a row, usually between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. If your blood sugar is consistently low at that time, the Somogyi effect is, well, likely in effect. But, if at that time, your levels are normal or high, your doctor will likely assign blame to the dawn phenomenon.

What You Can Do About It

Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can impact the way your blood sugar levels act during the night. You might need to:

  • Avoid carbohydrates before bedtime.
  • Adjust when you take your evening dose of insulin.
  • Take long-acting insulin before bed so it works at its peak right when your blood sugars go on the rise.
  • Take extra insulin overnight if needed.
  • Use an insulin pump that’s programmed to release medication when you need it during the early hours of the morning. CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) pumps work very well at controlling levels since they continually regulate insulin.

How We Can Help

As you continue to learn more about diabetes, and more specifically, diabetes’ effect on YOUR body, you’ll understandably have questions. Let the trained experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy help. We have over 50 years of combined experience helping people with diabetes live life to the fullest by providing  diabetes supplies and insulin pumps conveniently and for little or no cost. Check us out at www.FocusPharmacy.com or call  toll-free 1-866-403-6287.

 

Diabetes can be dangerous for your feet. To avoid serious complications, use these tips to help both you and your feet stay healthy.  

toes

An unfortunate side effect of diabetes can be possible complications with your feet, which might be very dangerous if you are not careful. Even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause reduced blood flow to the feet making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. To avoid serious foot problems, follow these guidelines:

Stay aware

It is recommended to inspect your feet everyday to ensure there are no issues. You should also have your health care provider check your feet at least once a year. He or she should also be able to provide a list of do’s and don’ts for foot care to help you.

 Take good care of your feet

Wash your feet every day and dry them carefully especially between your toes. Keep your skin soft and smooth and use lotion, but not between your toes. It is also recommended to wear socks and shoes at all times and to not walk barefoot. Moving frequently and keeping the blood flowing to your feet will also help keep them healthy.

Seek attention

If you recognize anything out of the ordinary, it is important to seek medical attention right away. This could include cuts or ingrown toe nails. It is also important to note if your feet change color or shape or if there’s a difference in sensitivity. You should rely on your health care provider to take care of trimming your corns, calluses or ingrown toenails if you are not able to safely do so. Check with your health care provider to determine if there is a foot care specialist on the team you can seek assistance from.

Keep your diabetes in check

It is most important to simply take care of your diabetes to maintain your health from toe to head. Work with your health care team to keep your glucose within target range. It is also critical to get and remain active to keep your diabetes under control. Again, your healthcare team can make exercise recommendations.

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

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

 

 

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.

 

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

caregiver

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.

Communicate

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.

 

 

 

 

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.