Tips for People with Diabetes

A new year brings new developments in diabetes care, and tech improvements in insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems.

 New Year

The New Year means we can expect new developments in diabetes care and treatment. And this year promises some exciting and innovative diabetes products, including new, more technologically advanced insulin pumps and improvements in continuous glucose monitoring systems.

Here is what is on the horizon for diabetes care in 2016:

Insulin Pumps

Advances in insulin pumps in the coming year will include making the pumps thinner and easier to use, and having them function more like smartphones. Insulet is developing a next generation controller for their patch insulin pump, the Phoenix EDM, which will be thinner and have a touchscreen interface. A new version of the Medtronic Minimed Insulin Pump is also expected that will add predictive LGS capabilities as well as a new user interface and buttons.

Blood Glucose  Monitors

Exciting changes are also being made to diabetes monitors. The Abbot Freestyle Libra, expected to be released this year, will employ a first-of-its-kind factory-calibrated flash system to allow users to scan a sensor and display a reading at any time.

Dexcom is also expected to release a new version of their monitor in 2016. It’s still not known all the new features the G6 version will have, but one expected improvement is that it will not require calibration.

Insulin Pens

Novo is on track to release a faster version of their Novolog for type 1 and 2 diabetes. The new version is expected to improve post-meal glucose levels by combining a short-acting insulin and two well-known excipients, a vitamin and an amino acid. Lilly also has a new basal insulin, Basaglar, which was just approved by the FDA and should be available before the end of the year.

Other New Diabetes Treatments

Combination drugs will continue to be the focus for the drug companies in 2016. Sanofi filed a new drug application last fall for its GLP-1 agonist Lyxumia (lixisenatide) and once that is approved, experts expect approval for combination drug Lixilan (Lyxumia+Lantus) to follow. Novo Nordisk also has a combination drug, Xultophy, a blend of GLP-1 agonist Victoza and their new basal insulin Tresiba, expected to hit the market later this year.

In addition to these new combo drugs, a new nasal glucagon is coming soon. Eli Lilly and Company acquired the rights to Locemia’s novel nasal glucagon that is reported to be easier to carry and use. Lilly is expected to file for approval for this device early this year.

If you have questions regarding diabetes, insulin pump supplies 0r blood glucose testing supplies, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy will happily answer them. Contact us at 1-866-403-6287 or visit www.focuspharmacy.com

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.

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve means lots of delicious food. You won’t be left out when you whip up some of these diabetes friendly dishes.  

 new year 2016

Right before making those New Year’s resolutions to cut back or get into shape it seems everyone indulges on holiday treats. This can be a nightmare if you suffer from diabetes. But, with a little help you can throw a great New Year’s Eve spread and keep your diabetes in check. Each of these recipes comes from a great dietetic cookbook. One or more might even make fabulous Holiday gifts!

Spanish Style Dates and Bacon

Dietician and cookbook author Robin Webb shares her recipe for this tasty tapas style dish in The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook. With only a few ingredients you might be skeptical but trust us. You’ll never look at a boring date (the edible kind) the same again.

Chili Lime Shrimp

If you’d like something a little more filling to round out your holiday offerings why not go for chili lime shrimp. You can serve it a variety of ways to accommodate everyone at your celebration, such as in lettuce cups, on a skewer, or over rice, without any feelings of missing out. Discover more great recipes in Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking by Lara Rondinelli-Hamilton.

Mini BBQ-Topped Potato Halves

Settling in to watch college football on New Year’s Day? These appetizers are great for a crowd. You’ll want to pay attention to how much sugar is in the BBQ sauce you choose and consider swapping white potatoes for sweet potatoes for a unique flavor and lower starch count. But the best news? They’re super quick to make. In 15-Minute Diabetic Meals by Nancy S. Hughes you’ll find this recipe and more.

Jeweled Basmati Rice with Goji Berries

Maybe your resolution for 2016 is to expand your palate. Start with this flavorful international dish. Make it as a side dish with roasted chicken or fish and swap the basmati rice for brown rice if you’re worried about carbs. The tangy burst of berries sets this dish apart. Find more recipes like this in Corrine Trang’s Asian Flavors Diabetes Cookbook.

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

                                                           

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.

 

 

 

 

Living with diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holidays. Try a few of these recipes to keep your meal plan on track while enjoying your favorite foods.

 turkey 2

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is just a week away! For many of us, that means traveling to see our friends and family and enjoying our favorite holiday treats. However, if you’re living with diabetes, it can be difficult to find recipes that allow you to enjoy your favorite holiday foods while staying on track.

Try out these yummy recipes for a few fun ideas.

  • Lemon Garlic Turkey. It isn’t Thanksgiving without turkey. We recommend looking for a turkey labeled natural or organic to avoid the extra sodium. This recipe skips the butter and stuffing, but still leaves plenty of flavor with fresh garlic, Meyer lemons, and thyme . With less than 200 calories a serving, we give it two thumbs up. And don’t forget the white wine dressing.  
  •  Sweet Potato Casserole. Of course we didn’t forget the sweet potato casserole. This alternative recipe skips the butter and uses honey and freshly grated orange zest for great flavor. Made with low fat milk and canola oil, you can enjoy this recipe (relatively) guilt free.
  • Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Sage. This classic pair goes great as a side dish and is super simple to prepare. Made with fresh sage, olive oil and chicken broth, you only need to set aside a half hour to make this one. You can also enjoy the under 70 calories price tag. 
  •  Maple Pumpkin Custard. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a pumpkin dessert. Try this delicious alternative to a pumpkin pie combining delicious maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. The best part is this sweet treat is less than 230 calories plus offers up tons of protein and fiber!

 Didn’t see one you liked? Click here for more diabetes friendly recipes including stuffing, dinner rolls and more!

If you have any questions about diabetes, 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 can answer your questions about managing your diabetes, including insulin pumps and supplies.

 

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