How I Met My Meter by Judith Jones Ambrosini

July 30, 2014 by
Diabetes Late Nite

Diabetes Late Nite

July’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast features a new segment titled, “How I Met My Meter” featuring Mr. Divabetic’s Digital Divas. Since our podcast aired we’ve been receiving numerous e-mails from people with diabetes sharing their “How I Met My Meter” stories.

Here’s the “How I Met My Meter” story by Judith Jones-Ambrosini who is the author of the Sisterhood of Diabetes

“Approximately twenty years after diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in 1962 I met my first home blood glucose monitor. It was such an overwhelming occasion – a great gift. My Glucometer gave me the power to test my own blood glucose at home or anywhere I felt like doing it instead of going to the doctor’s office where he pricked my sensitive fingers with a guillotine-like lancet.

Yes that first Glucometer called for calibrating, wiping off blood drops with a cotton ball as part of the procedure, recharging batteries and waiting impatiently for the 60 seconds to tick down to get a number.  But, it really was quite an epiphany for this girl who had become used to slicing Clinitest strips into 3 or 4 pieces to get more tests out of each strip.  I also remember the frustration of not getting a big enough drop of blood to make the test work.  But despite its bulkiness and weight I became quickly enamored by my first Glucometer.

There have been many more meters through the years and yes, they are more accurate, faster, cheaper, don’t require calibration and are sleek and lightweight with streamlined cases —  but I will always have a place in my heart for the first awkward, boxy, somewhat daunting Glucometer that changed the way I managed my diabetes.  It gave me the power to know my numbers and act on them in a flash.  After over a half century of living with diabetes I think of technology being our “cure” today with all its sophisticated advances and accuracy that make living with diabetes almost a cakewalk.  However if it weren’t for that first Glucometer, who knows where we would be now.”

Checking your blood sugar is one of the best ways to know how well your diabetes treatment plan is working which is why your meter is so important. The main goal of treatment is to keep blood sugar levels in the normal or near-normal range which is why the relationship with your blood glucose meter is so important. E-mail your “How I Met My Meter” stories to: mrdivabetic@gmail.com

BUY NOW: Judith Jones- Ambrosini’s fabulous book, The Sisterhood of Diabetes features 44 true-life stories of women with diabetes-the challenges they faced and the adventures they took — available on Amazon. The message of SISTERHOOD OF DIABETES  is to live your dreams with diabetes, or any other challenges, with a positive attitude and inspired determination.

TUNE IN: Mr. Divabetic Show on Breast Cancer & Diabetes on Tuesday, July 22, 6-7 PM, EST. Guest include Poet Lorraine Brooks, Dr. April Speed, Mari Michelle Ruddy, Mary Sue Englund and E.P. McKnight.

July’s Diabetes Late Nite the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic and his guests talk about the concept of ‘reversing diabetes.’ LISTEN NOW

 

The Ugly Truth About Naked Juice!

July 29, 2014 by
Shady Labels

Shady Labels

The happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic  wants to encourage you to make a habit of reading food labels so you can be more informed about what you’re actually eating and drinking.  However  you may be frustrated to learn that many food labels contain words or phrases that are deceiving   Terms like “fat free” or “all natural” are often slapped on a food item that may not be healthy at all. While many products have “all natural” labeling or packaging, there is no universal standard or definition for this claim.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have a formal definition for the word ‘natural’ on packaged foods, leaving the door wide open for misleading practices by food manufacturers, some consumer advocates warn. Studies show that 77% of consumers trust ‘natural’ labels most of the time.

Did you know that Naked Juice agreed to settle a very important class action lawsuit which accused the company of deceptive labeling?

The primary basis of the lawsuit stemmed from the company’s use of the words “All Natural” on products that contained Archer Daniels Midland’s Fibersol-2 (“a soluble corn fiber that acts as a low-calorie bulking agent”), fructooligosaccharides (an alternative sweetener), other artificial ingredients, such as calcium pantothenate (synthetically produced from formaldehyde), and genetically-modified soy.

Since these ingredients are either genetically-engineered or synthetically produced and do not exist in nature, it is completely misleading to consumers for these juices to claim to be “All Natural.”

As part of the settlement, Naked Juice, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, has agreed to remove the label “All Natural” from all of its juices and to pay a $9 million settlement to the class action group.

Without a question, this is a big, big win for consumers and is a huge step forward for more accurate labeling in the U.S.  It also puts other food manufacturers on serious notice that GMOs are anything but natural and cannot be marketed as such.

TUNE IN: Mr. Divabetic Show on Breast Cancer & Diabetes on Tuesday, July 22, 6-7 PM, EST. Guest include Poet Lorraine Brooks, Dr. April Speed, Mari Michelle Ruddy, Mary Sue Englund and E.P. McKnight.

July’s Diabetes Late Nite the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic and his guests talk about the concept of ‘reversing diabetes.’ LISTEN NOW

My Husband Can’t Get An Erection

July 28, 2014 by
June's Diabetes Roundtable

June’s Diabetes Roundtable

What do you do when your husband can’t get an erection, and if he does, its only for a second before its gone?

The best thing you can do is to be supportive and patient. Make sure he knows that you do not think less of him because of the situation. More common than most men will admit, a loving couple does not need to have penetration to enjoy love making. Try sticking with the less obvious methods (oral for both) and also make a game out of your play time.

Finding the cause is the first step to finding the cure, but unfortunately most men will not seek help because they are too embarrassed to do so. It is been estimated that about 35%-75% of men with diabetes will experience at least some degree of erectile dysfunction — also called ED or impotence — during their lifetime.

Men with diabetes tend to develop erectile dysfunction 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes.

To get an erection, men need healthy blood vessels, nerves, male hormones, and a desire to be sexually stimulated. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control erection. Therefore, even if you have normal amounts of male hormones and you have the desire to have sex, you still may not be able to achieve a firm erection.

Additional treatments men with diabetes might want to consider includeintracavernous injection therapyvacuum constriction devicesintraurethral therapy, and sex therapy.

So what treatment is best? It depends on many factors including a man’s health and his ability to tolerate the treatment. Ask your doctor if you should see a specialist (a urologist) to determine the best treatment for your situation.

His self esteem is probably pretty low  right now, so you will need to be more patient then ever and prepared to do the bulk of the work until he can begin to relax. Let him know you did not marry him for his sexual prowess alone, and do whatever you can to pleasure him. You should find he does not need to be fully erect to reach orgasm if you are willing to try.

TUNE IN: Mr. Divabetic Show on Breast Cancer & Diabetes on Tuesday, July 22, 6-7 PM, EST. Guest include Poet Lorraine Brooks, Dr. April Speed, Mari Michelle Ruddy, Mary Sue Englund and E.P. McKnight.

July’s Diabetes Late Nite the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic and his guests talk about the concept of ‘reversing diabetes.’ LISTEN NOW

Mr. Divabetic Show on Diabetes Innovators in August

July 27, 2014 by
Mr Divabetic Show Podcast

Mr Divabetic Show Podcast

The happy healthcare host Mr. Divabetic showcases some of the most exciting developments and creative minds in diabetes on his free monthly podcast scheduled for Tuesday, August 26, 6 – 7 PM, EST. Meet the makers of the mobile apps, ‘HelpAround ‘and ‘mySugr,’ the co-founder of Jerry the Bear and the author of a “divabetic” inspired mystery series.

“I became interested in spotlighting some of today’s most creative and innovative developments in diabetes and diabetes management while I was preparing for my upcoming stage show about the history of diabetes, ‘Diabetes Time Machine’ at the ADA Expo in Pittsburgh, PA. My stage show will feature a look into the future and the newest developments that are changing the way we learn, talk and live with diabetes. I think Scott, Aaron and Tyora are amazing and I’m thrilled to share their great work with our community.”

HelpAround is a mobile safety net for people with diabetes. When you post a request on HelpAround, the app searches for “helpers” in their Diabetes Safety Net. HelpAround identifies people with the highest chances of being able to help you, notifies them, and invites them to respond.

mySugr is a mobile app that has a similar purpose as a diabetes logbook. It provides immediate feedback and helps you stay motivated. You win points for every entry made which help tame your diabetes monster. The goal is to tame your monster every day. Challenges are available to help you set and attain personal goals.

Jerry the Bear is a best friend for children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He helps kids master their medical procedures, from counting carbs to monitoring their blood sugar levels – all through play!

Tyora Moody is an author and literary entrepreneur of Eugeena Patterson Mysteries. Eugeena Patterson is a newly retired, recently widowed, empty nester who  was recently diagnosed with diabetes. When this self-proclaimed “divabetic” isn’t managing her blood sugars she’s solving murders as an amateur sleuth who lives in Charleston, SC.

Guests include Scott Johnson, Tyora Moody and Aaron Horowitz.

TUNE IN: Mr. Divabetic Show on Breast Cancer & Diabetes on Tuesday, July 22, 6-7 PM, EST. Guest include Poet Lorraine Brooks, Dr. April Speed, Mari Michelle Ruddy, Mary Sue Englund and E.P. McKnight.

July’s Diabetes Late Nite the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic and his guests talk about the concept of ‘reversing diabetes.’ LISTEN NOW

Help, How Can I Get Rid of My Cankles!

July 26, 2014 by

kirstie-alley-feetOn August’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast we explore  the connection between self-worth and diabetes. A lot of women’s self-worth and self-esteem is based on their like or dislike of their appearance. Short legs, big hips, heavy arms and cankles are body parts that most women tend to hate.

What exactly are cankles? Jason Alexander’s character in the movie Shallow Hal used the term, “cankles” to criticize an overweight women’s lower leg saying, “It’s like the calf merged with the foot, cut out the middleman.

The first misconception of cankles is that it has to do with leg fat, and being overweight but this isn’t the only cause. According to cankles.org, the constant swelling could be a result of many factors that range from your diet to hormonal fluctuations.

Many women who have cankles are genetically predisposed to this type of lower leg, meaning if one of your parents had them, you might too. This may be caused by obesity or the structural absence of a well-defined calf muscle—even if you are physically fit.

You can develop cankles because of a genetic cause, weight gain, water retention and/or lower body swelling or poor circulation.

During pregnancy or periods of poor circulation, feet and ankles can swell considerably. Doctors can help with treatment of this problem.

One way to get rid of the cankles is to cut out processed foods with high salt content from your diet, and do not add salt to your cooking. Drinking more water will actually help you flush the sodium out of your system. And avoid alcohol.

RE-THINK PINK: The Mr. Divabetic Show podcast on Breast Cancer and Diabetes with Mari Ruddy, a two-time breast cancer survivor who has been living with diabetes for 33 years

Salt, Diabetes And Heart Disease! Oh, My!

July 25, 2014 by

to-much-salt-400x400Eating a high-salt diet may double the risk of developing heart disease in people with diabetes, according to a new study from Japan. In the study, the researchers also found the effects of a high-sodium diet were worsened by poor blood sugar management.

“The study’s findings provide clear scientific evidence supporting low-sodium diets to reduce the rate of heart disease among people with diabetes,” said Chika Horikawa, from the University of Niigata Prefecture in Niigata. “Although many guidelines recommend people with diabetes reduce their salt intake to lower the risk of complications, this study is among the first large longitudinal studies to demonstrate the benefits of a low-sodium diet in this population.”

The average American takes in about 3,300 mg of sodium per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Main sources of salt in people’s diet include salt used in cooking and sodium naturally found in meat, vegetables and dairy, as well as processed foods, which have high levels of sodium.

People with Type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious health problems if left untreated, and the condition is a risk factor for heart disease. More than 29 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes, and another 86 million have high blood sugar levels and could progress to having diabetes, according to the CDC.

For any person, too much salt in the diet can raise blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for developing heart disease.

The negative effects of salt on blood pressure and heart health has long been established. Even for healthy, young people, dietary guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day. A limit of 1,500 mg is recommended for groups at increased risk of heart disease, including African-Americans, people older than 51, and people with high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes.

One way you can cut back on sodium is to eat more fresh foods. Most fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium. Also, fresh meat is lower in sodium than are luncheon meat, bacon, hot dogs, sausage and ham. Buy fresh or frozen poultry or meat that hasn’t been injected with a sodium-containing solution. Look on the label or ask your butcher.

Copyright 2014 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

TUNE IN: Mr. Divabetic Show on Breast Cancer & Diabetes on Tuesday, July 22, 6-7 PM, EST. Guest include Poet Lorraine Brooks, Dr. April Speed, Mari Michelle Ruddy, Mary Sue Englund and E.P. McKnight.

July’s Diabetes Late Nite the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic and his guests talk about the concept of ‘reversing diabetes.’ LISTEN NOW

How I Met My Meter by Jessica Clark

July 24, 2014 by

DIVA44.001July’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast features a segment with the Digital Divas (Taryn and Jessica) titled, “How I Met My Meter.” One of the biggest  relationships for people living with diabetes is the one they have with their blood glucose meter. Was it love at first sight? An online hook-up? Did you settle? Or are you still looking for the perfect one?

Checking your blood sugar is one of the best ways to know how well your diabetes treatment plan is working which is why your meter is so important. The main goal of treatment is to keep blood sugar levels in the normal or near-normal range but if you can’t read the display? You have trouble downloading the information? Or your meter is malfunctioning?

Jessica’s been living with type 1 diabetes for over 22 years. Here’s Jessica‘s story on how she met her current blood glucose meter:

“Not many people would remember my first meter. It was bigger than an iphone, required a gallon of blood, AND took an entire 60 seconds to get a reading! Needless to say, any meter after it was a step up.

Through out the years,  I tried many different style and varieties. Sadly, as diabetes become more prevalent, more companies made more meters, in more styles. I tried the colorful ones, the larger ones and the ones with more features. There was even a meter with a rechargeable battery and a color screen!

When i got my insulin pump it came with a one touch meter that could link and bolus to my pump. It was nice, and for times when I needed to conceal my pump (like a dress) I could easily bolus without needing to undress in the restroom. However, it was kind of bulky. Trust me, when you have a tiny purse, carrying an decent sized meter takes up valuable room. Eventually, I got a “free trial” meter that was a freestyle lite. It was perfect! So tiny, (affordable, free), easy to read the screen, everything! I always gravitate back to it when I try a new meter out. No matter how many times I stray, I can always go back to my freestyle. It will always take me back, work the way I need, and most importantly, leave room for more make up in my purse.”

The results of blood sugar checking tell you if your diabetes treatments are on target. Your blood sugar  can be affected by activity levels, stress, emotions, sex, anxiety, foods, hormones and medications (including insulin and oral diabetes medications). To interpret results, it is important to consider all of these factors.

You should review your blood sugar results regularly with a healthcare provider. The record should include the time and date, blood glucose result, and dose of medication used; additional notes about what you ate, exercise, and difficulties with illness or stress can also be helpful but are not generally required every day.

TUNE IN: Mr. Divabetic Show on Breast Cancer & Diabetes on Tuesday, July 22, 6-7 PM, EST. Guest include Poet Lorraine Brooks, Dr. April Speed, Mari Michelle Ruddy, Mary Sue Englund and E.P. McKnight.

July’s Diabetes Late Nite the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic and his guests talk about the concept of ‘reversing diabetes.’ LISTEN NOW

Oreo’s New Flavor: Watermelon?!!!

July 23, 2014 by

watermelon-oreos-01We’re always looking for new ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet BUT this isn’t one of them! Introducing the Watermelon Oreo.

“We chose Watermelon because it is a fun, summer flavor that goes great with the Golden OREO cookie,” Oreo spokesperson Kimberly Fontes told TIME in an email. The cookies already hit the shelves of Target stores across the U.S. on June 10, and are available now while supplies last. And it seems supplies might not last too long, as the treats seem to be getting positive reviews across the web so far.

The snack blogger known as Junk Food Guy noted, “These DIDN’T overwhelm me with artificial (well, overly artificial) watermelon flavor.  Instead the immediate taste I got was a watermelon taste that tasted like, frankly, it had been blended with creme.” That sounds promising, as overtly artificial fruit flavors could potentially ruin the classic Oreo taste. The Junk Food Guy added that “the Golden Oreo added a nice buttery sweetness to the whole thing.”

Why not have the real thing? A 10-ounce (300-mL) wedge of watermelon packs in about one-third of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C. Watermelon also can help soothe sore muscles. According to a new study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, drinking watermelon juice before a hard workout helped reduce athletes’ heart rate and next-day muscle soreness. That’s because watermelon is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline, which the bodyconverts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation.

For inquiring minds: two watermelon Oreo cookies deliver 7 grams of fat, 150 calories, 12 grams of sugar and, of course, plenty of artificial coloring.

This month on Diabetes Late Nite the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic and his guests talk about the concept of ‘reversing diabetes.’ LISTEN NOW

Mr. Divabetic Show on Breast Cancer & Diabetes

July 22, 2014 by

MRDPINK.001Do you know that women with diabetes have higher risks of postmenopausal breast cancer and up to 50 percent increased mortality risks following a breast cancer diagnosis?

The happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic goes ‘PINK’ to help raise awareness for the link between Breast Cancer and Diabetes on this free monthly podcast. His guests include Dr. April Speed, Award-winning Songwriter and Author Mary Sue Englund, Actress and Writer, E.P. McKnight, TeamWILD Founder, Mari Michelle Ruddy and Poet Lorraine Brooks.

Dr. April Speed provides breast cancer services to women, men and adolescents. Dr. Speed is a member of the American Society of Breast Cancer Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO.) She was awarded the ASCO National Diversity in Oncology Award in 2009.

Mary Sue Englund has released five self-penned albums to date. A staple at the Grand Ole Opry, Englund has toured the world with country legend Pam Tillis as her pianist, guitarist, violinist and harmony vocalist.

Mary Sue Englund’s book and companion CD, ‘I AM A WOMAN’ captures the beautiful breadth of the female experience, with all its cluttered, clouded magic. Striking photographs and wise and sometimes surprising quotes of courageous women from all walks of life fill the pages of this lovely linen-bound coffee table book.

“After seeing the profound effect that the song, ‘I AM A WOMAN’ had on people in concert, I was inspired to write a complete album of what I consider to be “healing songs,” says Mary Sue Englund.  “For those needing encouragement; for those fighting illness or grief, or those craving a little joy. Frankly, I think that is everyone!

LISTEN NOW: Mr. Divabetic Show on Breast Cancer  & Diabetes with Poet Lorraine Brooks, Dr. April Speed, E.P. McKnight, Mary Sue Englund and Mari Michelle Ruddy.

Break Out or Burn Out by Dr. Beverly S. Adler

July 22, 2014 by
Dr. Beverly S. Adler

Dr. Beverly S. Adler

On June’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast, guest Dr. Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE  aka “Dr. Bev” shared advice with our listeners about coping with diabetes burn-out. Below, Dr. Bev follows up with more insight on this topic in this blog post:

I am a clinical psychologist in private practice specializing in treating the emotional issues of patients with diabetes. Sometimes I see patients who are in such denial about their diabetes that they don’t follow healthy lifestyle recommendations about medication, diet and exercise. Without any worry about their future health, they may eat unhealthy food choices and portion sizes with no concern about carbs or complications. Sadly, they may start to experience health problems after years of denial. Hopefully, they take the opportunity to make changes to their diabetes self-care, before their problems become worse.

Sometimes I see patients who are the exact opposite in their self-care; they are obsessive about their diabetes. Usually these people are newly diagnosed and want to be “perfect”. They worry constantly about their blood glucose and feel very frustrated if their blood sugar reading is out of their target range. They deny themselves foods they enjoy, believing that they must never again eat any high carb foods. They compulsively count carbs in every crumb they eat. They are very stressed, worrying about future complications.

An emotional consequence of obsessive worry about diabetes is “diabetes burnout.”  William Polonsky, PhD, CDE,Co-Founder and President of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute is author of the book “Diabetes Burnout: What to Do When you Can’t Take it Anymore.” The book examines how the stresses of diabetes can build, how diabetes burnout occurs, and how burnout can be overcome. When you manage your diabetes so strictly and worry obsessively about your future health, it can make you feel hopeless.  I advise my patients that if they feel like diabetes is a prison, then it’s time to “break out before you burnout!”

I would like to recommend a happy medium between these two extremes of diabetes management. Neither coping with diabetes using denial, nor obsessively worrying, are emotionally healthy strategies. Although being “perfect” in your diabetes control is a noble goal, it is unrealistic.  Nobody’s blood glucose is perfect all the time!! Rather than trying to be perfect, a more realistic goal is to do your best and accept the fluctuations in blood glucose as they occur. Don’t assume an occasional blood sugar reading out of range will cause future complications. If you can maintain your blood glucose within a target range most of the time, then you are likely to avoid future complications (or, at least, delay their onset).

Once my patients understand this simple advice they are less stressed about their diabetes management. They can start to enjoy eating their favorite foods again in portion-controlled sizes. They can break out of their self-made “diabetes prison” while being mindful of their self-care, without the constant worry about their future health, and avoid diabetes burnout.

TUNE IN: Mr. Divabetic Show on Breast Cancer & Diabetes on Tuesday, July 22, 6-7 PM, EST. Guests include Poet Lorraine Brooks, Dr. April Speed, Mari Michelle Ruddy, Mary Sue Englund and E.P. McKnight.

July’s Diabetes Late Nite the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic and his guests talk about the concept of ‘reversing diabetes.’ LISTEN NOW


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