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.

 

 

                                                           

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.

 

Read about reversing Type 2 diabetes and find out if it’s possible for you.

reverse

If you or your loved one has just received a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, you might wonder if the disease is curable. Or you might ask, is it  at least reversible? The short answer is yes, but such a reversal of symptoms doesn’t happen overnight. It also requires a bit of commitment. Read on to learn more.

 Defining Type 2 Diabetes

Let’s take a look at just what it is you’re trying to reverse. Type 2 Diabetes affects how you metabolize sugar. When glucose levels in your body rise, your pancreas makes and releases a hormone called insulin. That insulin makes the sugar leave your blood and move to your cells so it can be used as energy. Once your blood sugar levels are back down in a healthy range, your pancreas no longer releases the insulin. In those with Type 2 Diabetes, however, the pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin or the body is, for some reason, resistant to it. The glucose then builds up in the blood and causes diabetes symptoms including fatigue, infections, blurry vision, and excessive thirst.

Is Reversal Possible?

When discussing the diabetes reversal, it’s important to remember that, while possible, a lot depends on how long you’ve had it, how severe your case is, and even your genetic makeup. Reversal typically refers to managing the disease to the point where you can stop taking medication. It allows for the fact that you still need to manage your lifestyle in such a way that you can continue drug-free. The good news is it is often possible to accomplish this goal. Results of one study were most positive in those who were newly-diagnosed, without a severe case, and who lost the most weight. In fact, up to 20% of the people fitting this criteria were able to go off their medications altogether.

What it Takes to Reverse Diabetes

So, how did they go off diabetes medication? Or more importantly, how can you? Two factors have the greatest affect – physical activity and diet. In the study, successful participants exercised for 175 minutes each week, or 25 minutes each day. One fairly simple way to start incorporating more physical activity is by walking. It is free, requires no special equipment, and is effective. If you’re new to walking, just start slowly. Take a short walk and over time increase the distance and intensity of your walks.

When it comes to nutrition, the study participants who found success also limited their caloric intake to between 1,200 and 1,800 calories each day. Don’t just focus on the quantity of food you consume though; be sure to consider the types of foods you eat as well. If you hope to manage and even reverse the disease, you’ll need to incorporate healthy fats, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein into your diet. Limit your alcohol and sweets, and eat the same amount of carbs at each meal. You might find meal planning helps you maintain your commitment to healthy eating.

Those participants in the study who were able to stop taking diabetes meds also received counseling and education on their lifestyle changes. So don’t underestimate the value of learning more about your healthy lifestyle and talking with someone about the changes you’re making and how they’re affecting your daily life.

How We Can Help

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Learn how you can help manage your diabetes by staying physically fit even during those long, cold winter months!

winter 2

In many parts of the country, wintertime means snowy sidewalks, icy streets, and freezing temps. Whether you experience it, or can imagine it, winter weather can make getting your workout in a little more difficult than usual. Nonetheless, exercise is important year round, even if you don’t have a diabetes diagnosis. So don’t be discouraged, and don’t let the sometimes-bleak winter season keep you from getting fit. Check out these four great ways to get your blood pumping this winter.

Walk Your Way to Health

What’s one exercise that can burn up to 200 calories in just thirty minutes? If you guessed walking, you’re right! Walk at a relaxed pace for thirty minutes and you’ll burn around 100 calories, while a thirty minute brisk walk can burn double that amount. This low-impact workout appeals to many because it essentially can be done anywhere and it’s an excellent way to control one’s weight. That means it can also help in managing your diabetes and preventing complications associated with the disease. When walking outside in the winter, just be sure to dress warmly and wear proper footwear when it’s icy!

Dance it out with Zumba

A very trendy workout option is Zumba, a popular exercise for anyone who loves dancing (and burning calories at the same time). Best described as social exercise, Zumba classes are ideal for those wanting to spend time with others while getting in shape. These classes are held indoors, so there’s no problem if it’s cold outside, and because they are popular, there’s a good chance you can find one or more classes near you. So lace up your ‘dancing’ shoes and give this somewhat new form of exercise a try. You’ll likely have so much fun practicing your moves, you will forget you’re also doing your body a favor!

Swim to Reduce Stress

Head to the nearest pool of water and you’ll instantly find yourself in the perfect place to get fit. Swimming happens to be the fourth most popular exercise in the U.S. and serves as an excellent aerobic workout for your whole body. It reduces your stress levels, gives your joints a break from the pounding of other exercise, and is actually fun too. If you’re not a fan of swimming laps, try a water aerobics class and still enjoy the benefits of water based exercise. Another bonus? Indoor pools at many gyms are heated so you’ll also take the chill off while working out!

Go Find Hidden Treasure

So you say you have a hankering for the outdoors? This last exercise option might just be your pick then. Geocaching is a treasure hunt of sorts that involves a little technology since you’ll need access to Wi-Fi and GPS. Your smart phone’s GPS should easily suffice. Just take your family (or take a solo trip!) and go find the treasures hidden in your area as shown on the official Geocaching website. You’ll all learn a little more about problem-solving and teamwork while enjoying the benefits of being active and being outdoors. You really can’t go wrong with this year-round activity, so bundle up and give it a try.

Just Stay Active!

Diabetes is something you manage year-round and staying fit should be as well. Thankfully, winter doesn’t need to threaten your workouts. Just choose one of the activities above to stay active and, in turn, help manage your diabetes. Make your pursuit of fitness a goal this year and before too long, you may discover you actually enjoy it.

At Focus Express Mail Pharmacy, we’re here to answer all your questions about diabetes as well as insulin pumps and other diabetes supplies. We have experienced pharmacists ready to help you manage your diabetes as we’ve helped others just like you over the years. Simply visit us at  www.FocusPharmacy.com or call, toll-free,  1-866-403-6287 today!

 

The chance of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis increases with age, but it’s never too late to make lifestyle changes to improve your overall health and beat the odds.

The older you get your chance of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes increases. Approximately 25 percent of adults over the age of 60 have Type 2 diabetes; however, it’s never too late to make critical lifestyle changes to minimize the likelihood of a diabetes diagnosis. It’s a new year and the perfect time to adjust your everyday habits that could have a big impact on your total health.

 One of the most important things you can do to manage your health is maintain a healthy  weight. Being overweight substantially increases your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes along with several other health problems including cardiovascular disease and stroke.

To help you lose weight and continue to maintain a healthy weight, consider these tips:

  • Maintain a healthy balance between caloric intake and physical activity. Burn more calories than you eat!
  • Eat breakfast every day. Forcing yourself to eat breakfast helps you avoid over eating throughout the day and balances out your total daily caloric intake.
  • Keep a record of what you eat along with your physical activity. This helps you better understand how your food intake and exercise affect you, while helping you to work towards a healthier balance.
  • Choose healthy foods in your diet including whole grains, cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lean cuts of meat.
  • Avoid breads, grains and heavy starches.
  • Get active! Physical activity enhances your overall health by reducing your stress, lowering your blood pressure and your blood glucose. This can significantly lower your chance of getting Type 2 diabetes. Working out doesn’t have to be boring! Try swimming, dancing or hiking.

Remember, it is never too late to make important lifestyle changes that can enhance your overall health and lower your chance of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. You can do this! If you already have diabetes, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help. We are available to answer all of your questions about diabetes and diabetes supplies including insulin pumps.

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

 

 

Your insulin pump is a powerful tool to help you more easily manage your diabetes. It delivers a small, continuous stream of insulin to your body day and night and is programmed to match your body’s needs.

insulin pump ring

 

Now that you’ve decided to start using an insulin pump, you should take a look at this list of things that you need to be doing.

1.Find the right insulin pump for you- There are different insulin pumps for different lifestyles. You need to make sure you do your research so you find the right insulin pump for you.

Things to consider when looking for an insulin pumps:

  1.  Ease of use: Is the screen easily visible? Are the buttons easy to find and press?
  2. Capacity: How much insulin does the pump hold? Is it enough for you?
  3. Appearance: Is the pump the right size and weight for you?
  4. Features: Are there special features – like temporary basal settings – that you are looking for?
  5. Customer service: What kind of support does the company offer? Is it available 24 hours a day?

There’s a lot to consider, so be sure to find answers to all of these questions.

 2.Determine the placement of your pump

You’ll want to figure out where you want to wear your pump. Although it is often worn around the hip area, you have options and should change your site every two to three days. Some good locations on your body to put your pump include your lower abdomen, lower back, back of your legs, and your hip area.

3.Take precaution when exercising

You will have to work harder to stay within your target range for blood glucose while exercising. Make sure you understand how the type of exercise you take part in can affect your blood glucose. Exercise that requires bursts of energy may actually increase your blood glucose levels while endurance exercise may lower it. Make sure you understand how your workout will change your blood glucose level.

Also, do your research so you can understand how your pump can help you manage your blood glucose while exercising. Some pumps, for instance, can deliver an extra bolus of insulin. Know your pump and how it can work best for you and your lifestyle.

4.Check your pump regularly

Make sure you check your insulin pump to confirm it is working correctly.  Start by checking your infusion site for irritation. Changing your injection site every two to three days will help prevent irritation

You should also monitor your insulin pump to ensure that the basal program is running, that there is no error message, and that you are receiving the correct doses.

 5.Stay calm if your pump malfunctions

Prepare for potential pump malfunctions by keeping a troubleshooting guide on hand at all times to reference. Print out a copy of it to keep in your car or luggage and think about saving it electronically on your phone and laptop. If you suspect a mechanism malfunction, contact your pump company immediately.

Still have questions? We are here to help. The experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy  have been helping people manage their diabetes for many years and are available to answer questions about diabetes, insulin pumps, and supplies. Simply call our friendly customer service reps toll-free at 1-866-403-6287 Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm eastern time. You will always get to talk to a real person.

 

 

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

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

fruits and exercise

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

Get Physical.

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

Add Whole Grains and Fiber To Your Diet.

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

Lose Weight

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

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

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

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