The bolus-basal insulin injection regime for those living with diabetes works like your body should, but may not be a suitable fit for everyone.

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If you have insulin dependent diabetes, you’re very familiar with bolus insulin, the type of insulin that is short-acting, typically taken with meals. However, not as many people with diabetes are as familiar with the other kind, basal insulin or, for that matter,  the bolus-basal insulin regime. Read on to learn the difference between bolus and basal injections and why a bolus-basal routine might be right for you.

Continue Reading Bolus and Basal Injections and What You Need to Know

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.

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.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 medications

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

Vitamin A Deficiencies

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

Statin Use

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

Sugary-Drink Consumption

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

Low Birth Weight

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

 

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

 

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

 

 insulin pump minimed threshold suspend

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

Bubbles

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

Blockages

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

Leaks

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

Looseness

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

Perseverance

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

 

 

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

 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for those managing diabetes. Get your day started right with these breakfast suggestions.

 healthy breakfast

We’ve heard all our lives that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but when you’re also managing diabetes it’s even more important. In order to help your insulin pump or any other diabetes supplies work as they should, it’s important to do your part by managing your diet. Eating a well-balanced breakfast can help adjust insulin levels after waking and start you off on the right foot for the rest of the day.

Fruits

When you’re in a hurry there’s nothing faster than grabbing a whole serving or piece of fresh fruit. Instead of buying bottled juices invest in a juicer and make your own using whole fruit and no added sugars. If you’ve got a little more time why not whiz some frozen fruit into a smoothie; or top oatmeal or yogurt with dry fruit and nuts.

Whole Grains

Carbs get a bad rap when treating diabetes but in moderation they are an important part of a balanced diet. Quick cooking oats only take a few minutes to prepare; or you can opt for steel cut oats which are easy to make ahead to have on hand in the morning. Make a big batch of granola on the weekend and portion into smaller bags so you can top yogurt, eat with milk, or enjoy as a snack.

Nuts

Nuts are packed with protein and offer an energy boost. Instead of reaching for caffeine grab some nuts! They’ll also keep you full throughout the morning. Mix some into your granola, oatmeal or eat as is. Peanut and other nut butters are also a good way to get the benefits of nuts in a different form. Just keep your eye out for added sugars –opt for the no sugar added varieties instead.

Eggs and Dairy

Egg and egg substitutes take very little time to prepare and can be eaten in a million different ways. Quiche, frittatas, and stratas are different egg bakes that can be made ahead of time and quickly reheated in the morning – or eaten cold! A simple scrambled egg with fruit and a slice of whole wheat toast is a tasty, balanced, diabetes friendly breakfast that will take only minutes to prepare.

Vegetables

Vegetables for breakfast? Why not! Use up veggies left over from lunch or dinner the previous day by tossing them into egg scrambles. Mix diced peppers and onions with hash browns for a savory way to start your day. Load up celery with some nut butter for a grade school throwback snack. In Mediterranean countries sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives are always on the breakfast table along with fresh cured meats and dairy, why not give it a try!

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 at www.FocusPharmacy.com