Before deciding if an insulin pump is right for you, learn more about what to expect!

 insulin pump new

Deciding if an insulin pump is right for you is a big decision. Many patients choose an insulin pump because they find it allows them to manage their diabetes easier. However, before making your choice, here are a few  things to take into consideration.

How it Works

An insulin pump  delivers insulin to your body throughout the day simulating the continuous release of insulin through your pancreas. You can control how much insulin is delivered by two different methods. There is the basal rate method, which sends a small amount of insulin at preset times  and keeps your blood sugar stable between meals. Basal insulin is the “background” insulin needed throughout the day to maintain your target glucose values when you are not eating. Your basal insulin accounts for about half of your daily insulin requirements.Then, there is the bolus rate, which is a larger dose given before meals to “cover what you eat.”

With a pump, a needle (canula) is inserted in the skin in the abdomen. The canula is connected to an infusion set which is connected to the insulin reservoir in the insulin pump and stays in place for two to three days. Based on your specific needs, you can program the pump to inject insulin when you need it. This method is much more automated than traditional injections, where you use a syringe or insulin pen device and have to manually inject yourself every time you need insulin.

Pros

  • Users report better quality of life compared to using other devices for delivering insulin.
  • The use of rapid-acting insulin for basal needs gives much more freedom from a structured meal and exercise regimen.
  • More precise amounts of insulin can be delivered as compared to a syringe.
  • Studies of people with Type II diabetes on insulin pumps have shown noticeable improvements in HbA1c, sexual performance, and neuropathy pain.

Cons

  • Insulin pumps, cartridges, and infusion sets may be far more expensive compared to syringes for insulin delivery.
  • Some users may find that wearing the pump all the time (together with the infusion set tubing) is uncomfortable or unwieldy.
  • Possibility of the insulin pump malfunctioning
  • Users may experience allergic reactions or skin irritations from the adhesive on the back of an infusion set.

Who Can Use it

Typically more people with Type I than Type II diabetes  use insulin pumps because they are insulin dependent but there has been an increase in pump usage by people with Type II diabetes.Ultimately, choosing a pump is a big decision. Make sure that you consult with your physician to discuss your individual situation and lifestyle. An insulin pump may be just the thing to get your diabetes under better control.

If you have questions, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are always ready and able to help you with your  diabetes, insulin pumps and supplies.

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

 

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.

 

Scientists have invented a temporary tattoo that can monitor glucose levels. This new technology may soon be a common part of diabetes supplies

diabetes testing tattoo

Tattoos may get a bad rap but what if one, albeit the temporary variety, could help you monitor health issues? Researchers and nano-engineers have been developing a temporary tattoo that might be the next best thing in diabetes supplies.

How Does it Work?

The technology for these medical tattoos is advanced, however the application and use is very simple. Electrodes are printed into a thin disposable paper and applied to the skin. These electrode sensors measure the glucose level in the patient.

The tattoos are still a few steps away from being able to offer a numerical measurement. Patients can see that there has been a spike in their glucose levels but cannot yet determine what the numerical value of that spike is. Further development will also introduce Bluetooth capabilities that can transmit data to doctors or cloud storage and provide numerical output.

Right now, each tattoo lasts a single day. The price point for the tattoos is very low, making the daily application a fairly inexpensive proposition.

The best news? The hope is that with this new technology finger pricks may be a thing of the past! If approved the device will be the first painless method to check daily blood sugar rates. Another benefit: No pain may lead to an increase of those diagnosed with diabetes to actively monitor their blood sugar levels.

What the Future Holds

There are plans underway to expand the capabilities of the tattoos. Along with use as a diabetes supply, it is also hoped that this technology will be able to measure metabolites, medications, alcohol or even illegal drugs.

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 or visit www.FocusPharmacy.com.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices are an important part of diabetes supplies for some people who need to keep an especially close eye on their condition.

 

 CGM

With new advancements in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, diabetes management is becoming much easier, very quickly. Currently, although not for everyone, CGM devices are an important part of diabetes supplies for some people, especially those who need to keep a close eye on their insulin levels.

Monitoring Levels Continuously with CGM

Here’s how they work. The CGM system uses a tiny sensor that is inserted just under the skin, usually painlessly. Working wirelessly with a remote device, the sensor gathers information on your blood glucose levels day and night, collecting readings about every five minutes.

 Available Now

CGM devices are currently FDA approved and available by prescription. They are more expensive than traditional glucose monitoring  but when combined with periodic finger sticks (at least one finger prick is needed every 12 hours to calibrate the CGM), can give some people with diabetes and their doctors a more complete picture of glucose levels throughout the day.

Other Benefits

If you’re like many who use insulin pumps and a CGM system is recommended for you, there’s good news. Many pumps can be linked to the CGM device. Rather than manually programming your pump, it will be activated at the right time through your CGM system.

What does the future hold for diabetes supplies?

Scientists are continuing to test and develop new CGM systems with the goal of combining glucose monitoring and insulin delivery automatically, much like a healthy human pancreas does naturally. Ultimately, although not a cure, an artificial pancreas could significantly improve the care of those with diabetes, making the condition much more easily managed.

With more than 50 combined years of experience with insulin pumps and over 100 combined years of experience with diabetes supplies and prescription medications, the professionals at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy can help YOU with insulin pump questions or concerns.

Give them a call at  1-866-403-6287. They have a complete selection of insulin pumps and diabetes supplies and are available to answer all of your questions.

www.FocusPharmacy.com

Having diabetes means watching for blood sugar swings. Find more information on what causes these swings and how to control them.

 good-health

If you’re living with diabetes, you are more than likely worried about swings in your blood sugar levels. Here is a list of common reasons for these swings. Keep in mind that some contributors can cause your blood sugar to go up, others down and a few affect it in both ways.

  • Caffeine. Caffeine can cause an upswing, hindering blood sugar control in people with diabetes. For many, the consumption of coffee can cause your blood sugar to go up even if you drink it black. Other drinks containing caffeine such as black tea and energy drinks can cause a similar reaction.
  • Sugar-Free Foods. Despite being sugar-free, many of these foods can cause your blood sugar level to actually rise. The reason is the carbohydrates from starches that sweeten these foods. You are best to check the total carbohydrates on the package label and pay attention to the sugar alcohols shown before consuming.
  • Stress. Stress is more than a mental state. Your body reacts to it by releasing hormones that can cause your blood sugar to rise. This is more common for people with type two diabetes. Ease stress by learning to relax through deep breathing and exercise.
  • Bagels. Bagels are packed with carbohydrates and calories. But, if you love a bagel, an alternative to a normal sized bagel can be a mini bagel. As always, check with your healthcare provider about dietary items that might spike your blood sugar more than you would expect.
  • Cold Medicines. Surprisingly, cold medicine sometimes contains sugar or alcohol. Even though the content is small, it’s best to use products that are sugar free and alcohol free. You should also consult with your doctor about the possible effects of over-the-counter products before you buy them.
  • Alcohol. Alcoholic drinks contain plenty of carbohydrates, which can raise your blood sugar, but then also drop it suddenly for a period as long as 12 hours after drinking. If you do choose to partake of adult beverages, it’s best to do it with food and monitor your blood sugar closely.
  • Yogurt. Yogurt contains healthy bacteria that can improve digestion and help you control your blood sugar. However, some yogurts contain added sugar and fruit, so be careful to count and moderate your carbohydrate intake.
  • Sleep. Blood sugar can decline during sleep and potentially can get dangerously low, especially for those with type 1 diabetes. It is recommended to check your blood sugar before bed and right when waking up. In addition, a snack before bed can also help maintain proper levels. Conversely, lack of sleep can raise blood sugar so it’s important to get your proper rest.
  • Exercise. Physical activity is a terrific health booster, but if you have diabetes, be sure to tailor a regime to your individual needs. When you work out enough to raise your heartbeat, your blood sugar may raise temporarily and then drop after. If you engage in an intense workout, your blood sugar may drop for up to 24 hours after you finish. It is important to check your blood sugar before, during and after exercise.

If you have questions about blood sugar swings or anything related to diabetes, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help! Focus Express Mail Pharmacy has been helping people manage their diabetes with information, insulin pumps and diabetes supplies for years.

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

 

 

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.

 

 

Learn surprising diabetes statistics regarding the prevalence and growth of diabetes and what you can do to learn more if you are diagnosed with diabetes.

diabetes stats

Diabetes is life changing. When you are first diagnosed, the amount of information you have to learn can sometimes be overwhelming. It may feel like in order to responsibly manage your diabetes, you need to get a Master’s in Endocrinology. That, of course, isn’t the case, but there is a lot to learn. If you’re reading this, you know at least a thing or two about diabetes, but how much do you know?

Growth in Diabetes

Because those with diabetes often manage it in private, diabetes sufferers may be more common than you think. In 2010, there were 25.8 million individuals with diabetes in the United States. As of 2012, however, there were 29.1 million – meaning that about one in eleven individuals in the US have diabetes. That’s a staggering 12.8% increase in just two years.

Undiagnosed Cases

If you have diabetes, you know the importance of closely managing your blood sugar. Consistently mismanaging it has a serious negative impact on your life. Imagine if you couldn’t manage your diabetes well because you never even knew you had it. That’s the situation with over 8 million people in the United States. While 29.1 million have diabetes, only 21 million are diagnosed. This is a worrying statistic for the health of the population of the United States.

Ethnicity and Diabetes

Did you know that ethnicity can be an indication of the likelihood of a diabetes diagnosis? The following are the rates of diagnosed diabetes by ethnic background:

  • 7.6% of non-Hispanic whites
  • 9.0% of Asian Americans
  • 12.8% of Hispanics
  • 13.2% of non-Hispanic blacks
  • 15.9% of American Indians/Alaskan Natives

Diabetes and Death Rates

In case you needed a reminder why careful control of your diabetes is so important, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the Untied States in 2010. Effective management of your blood sugar is an essential part to your ability to lead a long, healthy life.

What You Can Do

By being educated on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise, eliminating smoking, and visiting your physician on a regular basis for health check-ups can help reduce your chance of developing Type II diabetes.

If you already have diabetes, it is especially important to work closely with your healthcare team.

The experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available to help answer your questions about diabetes, insulin pumps, and supplies on our website or at 1-866403-6287. Visit the Focus Express Facebook page and become a fan for helpful information on products, recipes, studies on diabetes, and more.

 

New research says artificial sweeteners could be a precursor to diabetes.  

 sweeteners

 Artificial sweeteners have become increasingly popular in recent years. From diet sodas to “sugar-free” pies and cakes, these ingredients are easily found by anyone looking for an option to sugar. However, this so called healthier option could actually not be healthy at all according to a new study.

A recent New York Times article reported that a new study on artificial sweeteners found they can disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. This can cause metabolic changes potentially leading to Type 2 diabetes. In a series of experiments, performed mostly on mice, scientists found that sweeteners alter the microbiome, the population of bacteria that is in the digestive system. This different mix of microbes changes the metabolism of glucose, causing levels to rise higher after eating and to decline more slowly than they otherwise would. A change in the microbiomes has been linked to several conditions including obesity and diabetes. In the same study, researchers also tracked the effects of nutrition and intestinal bacteria on an individual’s long-term health. For the non-diabetic participants, researchers found a correlation between the use of artificial sweeteners and signs of glucose intolerance. In addition, the intestinal bacteria of those who used artificial sweeteners were different from those who did not.

Researchers of this study advise that the findings are not conclusive enough to make particular recommendations, but instead should start a healthy discussion around this topic. Previous studies on this topic have also been inconclusive.

The American Diabetes Association suggests recipes that use artificial sweeteners as a good option for a sweet tooth fix, providing a low calorie and low carbohydrate option. While these products are a workable alternative to sugary food and drinks, it is recommended to use these products in moderation until more is known regarding the effects of artificial sweeteners on the body.

If you are already living with Type 2 diabetes, 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 insulin pumps and diabetes supplies.

Call us today at 1-866-403-6287 with your questions. We also invite you to visit our Facebook Page for additional information on products and studies on diabetes.

 

 

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!

Are you one of the millions of diabetics worldwide who must endure multiple painful daily insulin injections?  Maybe you have considered other therapies such as an insulin pump but were intimidated by the somewhat invasive procedure. What if there was a way for you to restore your body’s ability to produce insulin using your very own cells?  This is the basis of a revolutionary new therapy called “autologous cell replacement” therapy that is being studied by researchers at a small biotech company named Orgenesis.  

 

The fundamental process of ACR therapy is the harvesting of one’s own stem cells and re-implanting them, in order to regenerate functional adult cells; in this case, the intent is to regenerate cells that are capable of producing insulin.  The first step is to extract healthy liver cells via a standard liver biopsy. These cells are then sent to a lab where they are carefully separated, and a portion of them are manipulated using a therapeutic agent known as PDX-1. This “master regulator” oversees pancreatic development and can be used to transform a portion of your liver cells into “autologous insulin producing” cells that function similarly to beta cells, which normally produce insulin in the pancreas of healthy people.

 

In addition to producing insulin, these new AIP cells are also capable of storing and secreting insulin in a glucose-regulated manner. These cells are then transplanted back into the patient’s liver where they will continue to produce insulin; because they were originally produced by the patient, there is no risk of rejection. Your liver would now serve a dual-purpose by continuing to work in the normal metabolic function yet produce insulin as well.

 

The use of PDX-1 to change the function of liver cells has been shown to be successful in mice using recombinant adenovirus gene therapy, and researchers are currently working to initiate the first clinical trial for human patients. You may have heard on the news of the controversy surrounding stem-cell therapy, but that is the great feature of ACR therapy: you are using your own stem cells to treat your own disease. This eliminates the need for organ donation as well as embryo-derived stem cells.

 

The benefits from this therapy would be significant, as patients would be able to eliminate multiple daily injections, rigid dietary restrictions and regimented exercise plans. While the progress being made at Orgenesis is truly remarkable, it must be realized that the therapy is years away from being a viable option. Until the day comes when ACR therapy is the first treatment option for diabetics, the people at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help you receive all your current diabetic supplies at no out-of-pocket cost. With over 20 years of experience in all diabetic therapies, Focus Express Mail Pharmacy will no doubt be pioneering new and exciting therapies such as ACR to all those who suffer from diabetes.