Posts Tagged ‘insulin’

“How I Met my Meter” by Taryn Bentaous

July 21, 2014

DIVA44.001July’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast features a segment with the Digital Divas (Taryn and Jessica) titled, “How I Met My Meter.” If you have diabetes the relationship you have with your blood glucose meter is very important.

Checking your blood sugar is one of the best ways to know how well your diabetes treatment plan is working. The main goal of treatment is to keep blood sugar levels in the normal or near-normal range.

Here’s Taryn’s story on how she met her current blood glucose meter:

“Since I started using insulin six months ago, I have started testing my blood sugar on average 8 times a day. To me, checking my blood sugar is as banal as brushing my teeth, and although it can be annoying I won’t complain. I just do it as part of my self-care routine and I can’t imagine not being able to check my blood sugar at any moment.  I even have separation anxiety if I run out of test strips or need to charge my meter. I can’t stand not being able to check, because my imagination runs wild at these times.  Most of the time, my meter reassures me that everything is ok, and that I’m not doing as badly as I had suspected. Of course, there have been times when I wanted to throw it across the room, but that’s another story. Most people with Diabetes have a love-hate relationship with their meter, but we can’t live without it. We use it multiple times a day without blinking an eye. For me, this wasn’t always the case.

It was the fall of 2011 when I was diagnosed, the day before Halloween. Yes, that seemed like a cruel joke at the time. I remember my first meter very well. It came in a plain, black case that made me feel like an old, sick person. I remember sitting at the kitchen table crying because I just couldn’t do it. My hands were shaking, and I couldn’t bring myself to push the button to make the finger prick. Looking back, this seems almost silly, but at the time it was a real struggle. I didn’t think that I could get past it, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to test and therefore not take care of my Diabetes. Fortunately, after that first week, it became easier. It is now a habit that is like second nature for me. I test everywhere and anywhere. I am no longer afraid of needles, and thankful for that. It really is amazing what we can get used to doing when we don’t have a choice.

Since I bring my meter everywhere with me, I decided that the boring black case was just too depressing. It made me feel old and sick when I looked at it. Well, that just wouldn’t do. For the past two years, I’ve been carrying my meter in a brightly colored cosmetic case and that has made such a difference. It is no longer a reminder of my sickness, but rather a celebration of how I am taking care of myself and trying to enjoy the process.”

The results of blood sugar checking tell you if your diabetes treatments are on target. However, blood sugar results can be affected by activity levels, foods eaten, 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

Broadway Legend Elaine Stritch Died

July 17, 2014
Elaine Stritch

Elaine Stritch

The brash Broadway legend, Elaine Stritch died earlier today and what a ‘Divabetic’ she was!!!

She recently starred  in an amazing documentary that looks at her life as she ages with type 1 diabetes on and off the stage called, ‘Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me.’

“There’s no reason to stop living. You just have to treat it, keep your blood sugar as normal as possible,” said Elaine Stritch,

Elaine Stritch was diagnosed in her 40s, at the height of her Broadway career. “I showed all the symptoms,” Stritch recalled. “[I was] losing weight, which I loved. My figure was in great shape for a while—then I got too thin. I got all the good parts. But my husband was exhausted from my diabetes.” Stritch’s late husband, actor and playwright John Bay, helped her manage her health, she said. “When I had John, I had no worries about anything. Because he was the love of my life and he took care of me.” And once she got in the swing of treating her diabetes with insulin injections, she says, there was “no reason to stop living. You just have to treat it, keep your blood sugar as normal as possible.”

In recent years, Stritch’s care was state of the art—she used a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor, a useful tool for predicting lows, but sometimes the alarm didn’t wake her as her glucose falls. Like hair and makeup, regular blood glucose checks were part of her preshow preparation. In fact, she could only remember only one instance when she had a severe low on stage: She was performing her Tony-winning one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty. Her blood glucose was in the safe range before the curtain went up, but as she delivered her first line—”As the prostitute once said, ‘It’s not the work, it’s the stairs’ ”—she knew she had gone low.

“I walked down to the apron of the stage and said, ‘I don’t feel good. I thought you oughta be the first to know,’ ” she said. “They laughed again. I still had the humor. But I was fading away. I said, ‘I really have to get off stage and see if I can do something about this.’ “

Stritch was able to get backstage and drink some juice to bring her blood glucose level up. Shirley MacLaine was in the audience that night, she remembers, and helped keep the crowd from getting too restless before Stritch returned to the stage half an hour later. “I was so proud of that audience,” she said.

Elaine Stritch said diet, exercise, frequent testing, and insulin therapy (she uses pens)  helped her keep her diabetes in check. When the weather was nice, she would take walks with friends. She still had her signature great legs—”And I didn’t need 78-inch heels to get a look from a guy,” she quipped. She didn’t perform as often, but occasionally would still appear in her cabaret act, Elaine Stritch: At Home at the Carlyle.

Always, she said, diabetes care must be at the forefront. “It has to be a 24-hour job,” she says. “I don’t care if you broke both legs. It’s your whole life—behavior and results.”

LISTEN NOWDiabetes Late Nite podcast inspired by Lisa Stansfield


Tracy Morgan: Diabetes, Car Crashes and ICU

June 10, 2014

40825_proTracy Morgan remains in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital,” said Morgan’s publicist, Lewis Kay.

Tracy Morgan  was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1996 and received a kidney transplant in 2010.

Patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus are frequently admitted to a hospital, usually for treatment of conditions other than the diabetes.  The main goals in patients with diabetes needing hospitalization are to minimize disruption of the metabolic state, prevent an untoward result, and return the patient to a stable glycemic balance as quickly as possible. These goals are not always easy to achieve.

The stress of the acute illness tends to raise blood glucose concentrations but the anorexia that often accompanies illness or the need for fasting before a procedure tends to do the opposite. Because the net effect of these countervailing forces is not easily predictable in a given patient, the target blood glucose concentration is usually higher than when the patient is stable.

“He sustained these injuries (broken nose, broken ribs) in an accident as one of several passengers in a chauffeured SUV returning from a tour date in Delaware.

“His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care. We don’t anticipate much of a change in his condition today but will provide a further update once more information becomes available.”

Morgan said he experienced a wake-up call when his diabetes made him very sick during the taping of the first season of the NBC comedy. In a 2009 Time magazine article, Morgan said he almost had his foot amputated.

I feel fortunate to have the disease but not have it affect me, he said. My first season on ’30 Rock,’ I wasn’t taking the disease seriously. Then one day I got really sick. The doctor was like, ‘Hey, listen, we may have to take your foot.’ That was it for me. Now I take my insulin every day. My blood sugar doesn’t get over 120.”

Never one to shy away from telling a good story, Morgan appeared in character on 30 Rock, at the center of a satirical bit meant to highlight the disconnect in educating the country’s African American population about the disease.

Keep up on the latest in health, wellness and beauty right here with What’s Fresh! with Mr. Divabetic and share your thoughts at Divabetic on Facebook.

WATCH NOWEaster Parade in NYC with Mr. Divabetic 

LISTEN NOWDiabetes Late Nite Inspired by Doris Day 


Your Pancreas, Diabetes And Cancer

May 21, 2014

imagesMay’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast features HOT TOPICS  to keep you on top of the top trending stories in diabetes and diabetes self-care.

Pancreatic cancer is in the headlines because researchers are projecting that it will become the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States in 2030, overtaking deaths from breast and colon cancers.

Why were talking about this story? Because researchers from the University of Melbourne have shown that there is an association between pancreatic cancer and diabetes.

Did you know that your pancreas produces insulin and glucagon to control blood sugar levels in your body as well as digestive enzymes?

“The risk of pancreatic cancer was greatest after the diagnosis of diabetes but remained elevated long after the diagnosis. The presence of diabetes remains a modest risk factor for the development of a cancer later in life,” said Dr Mehrdad Nikfarjam, liver, pancreas and biliary specialist from the Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne.

Pancreatic cancer has a very low survival rate: 94 percent of patients diagnosed with the disease die within five years. That’s partly because the disease has few warning signs and is usually not diagnosed until the late stages. There is currently no screening test for pancreatic cancer.

Currently, the top three causes of cancer-related death in the United States are lung, colorectal and breast cancers. Pancreatic cancer is fourth, followed by prostate and liver cancers. In 2030, lung cancer will remain the top killer, but pancreatic cancer will move to second, followed by liver cancer and colorectal cancer, according to the report from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PCAN), a charity organization that advocates for pancreatic cancer research.

Keep up on the latest in health, wellness and beauty right here with What’s Fresh! with Mr. Divabetic and share your thoughts with me at Divabetic on Facebook.

WATCH NOWEaster Parade in NYC with Mr. Divabetic 

LISTEN NOWDiabetes Late Nite Inspired by Doris Day 

Does Your Glucose Sensor Get Under Your Skin?

May 14, 2014


What if you could have a minute-by-minute glucose sensor implanted under your skin? What if it could do its work without needing to be changed out for full year or more?

GlySens in San Diego, CA has been working for more than a decade on an implantable CGM dubbed ICGM.

The sensor will be implanted under the skin, the lower abdomen area, through a simple surgical procedure, and would last at least a year. Fingerstick calibrations would only be needed once or twice a month. The implanted sensor would communicate with a receiver a little thicker than an iPhone that you’d carry around with you.

GlySens is now getting ready for late-stage clinical studies with a larger human trial within the next year — and hopefully move toward FDA regulatory filing by 2017.

“Our goal is to deliver a CGM product that let’s person hopefully forget about the sensor itself and just have the information without the hassle you get from a traditional sensor,” said Joe Lucisano, CEO and co-founder of GlySens. “We’re trying to offer some new level of freedom, for people to take control in way they can’t now.”

Down the road, Lucisano says GlySens would ideally be able to be integrated with an insulin pump and other D-tech for easier use, but nothing is definite at this point.

Check out the top trending stories in diabetes, health and wellness, style and entertainment with What’s Fresh! with Mr. Divabetic.

LISTEN NOW: Diabetes Late Nite inspired by Doris Day featuring games, diabetes advice, hot topics and more!

Guide Dogs Can Smell Low Blood Sugars

May 12, 2014

nicollette+sheridan+raising+awareness+for+guide+dogs_2796_19937655_0_0_7024042_300Dogs prove to be much more than man’s best friend when they have the ability to warn owners with diabetes about the dangerous low blood sugars.

“I used to stay awake, or wake up every hour overnight, testing my blood sugars 20 times a day,” says Claire Moon, who has type 1 diabetes. She used to fear not waking up in the morning because her body has stopped giving warning signs – such as dizziness or blurred vision – when her blood sugar dips dangerously low.

She has hypoglycemic unawareness so she doesn’t know when she needs to eat something sugary to correct the situation – known as a “hypo”. It means she’s been constantly under threat of a loss of reasoning and maybe experiencing a seizure or a rapid fall into a diabetic coma. Her quality of life was very poor as a result, she says.

But then seven months ago, Moon received a medical detection dog. When Magic smells his owner’s breath, he knows when her glucose levels go below 4.5 on the scale, and he alerts his new owner by nudging, licking or bringing her diabetes testing kit.

Moon then tests her blood and, if he’s right, has to reward the dog before she takes the sugar she needs.

“He links the alerting behavior to a reward,” says Moon. “He gets a little special treat, a bacon and cheese thing, so he knows that smell and that action he’s just done is right, and he’ll remember it for next time.”

From the bandstand to the recording studio, the big screen to the small screen, Doris  Day’s career has spanned more than six decades but one of her greatest accomplishments has been advocating for animal rights. Doris has used her celebrity status for the past 40 years to advocate for the rights of animals.

May’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast explores the topic of ‘UNCONDITIONAL LOVE’  with inspiration of Doris Day on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 6 – 7 PM. EST.

Check out the latest headlines in diabetes, health and wellness and style on What’s Fresh! with Mr. Divabetic.

WATCH NOWEaster Parade in NYC with Mr. Divabetic 

LISTEN NOWDiabetes Late Nite inspired by Nina Simone


Are Kids with Diabetes Safe At School?

May 3, 2014


Your child is having a blood sugar low at school but the nurse isn’t working so no one can help them – what would you do?

Every day, 215,000 children with diabetes are put at serious risk if no one, including a school nurse, is present at school to help with daily and emergency diabetes care. This a common concern of millions of parents of school age children with diabetes except in Alabama because of the passage of Alabama Senate Bill 57.

The bill, signed in to law recently by Governor Robert Bentley, authorizes school personnel to be trained to administer insulin and glucagon to students with diabetes when a school nurse is not present.  The new law also ends the practice in some Alabama school districts of requiring children with diabetes to transfer to schools away from family and friends simply because they have diabetes.

The bill was sponsored State Senator Jabo Waggoner. A similar bill was introduced in the House by State Representative Ron Johnson. Senator Waggoner and Representative Johnson worked with the American Diabetes Association and stakeholders from the educational and medical communities to ensure passage of this legislation.

The passage of this legislation marks a major step forward in protecting the health and safety of all students with diabetes in Alabama,” said Chris Christie, Chair, American Diabetes Association, Alabama. “The new law means no child with diabetes will lack the support needed at school, and no parent will be left to worry if someone is available at school to assist their child.”

Mr. Divabetic recaps the week’s headlines in health and wellness, diabetes, food and beauty in the What’s Fresh! column on Sundays

WATCH NOWEaster Parade in NYC with Mr. Divabetic 

LISTEN NOWDiabetes Late Nite inspired by Nina Simone


The All-Important Membership in the 7.0 Club, Pt. 2 by Taryn McQuain Bentaous

April 26, 2014
Diagnosis to Diva!

Diagnosis to Diva!

Divabetic shares ‘Diagnosis to DIVA’ stories from members of our community in the hope of inspiring you to GLAM MORE, FEAR LESS. In her latest blog post,  Taryn shares more about her experience coping with the ‘numbers game’ associated with diabetes in the second part of her ‘The All-Important Membership in the 7.0 Club’ post:

Then it happened. I fell off the proverbial wagon, and my numbers started rising. It was awful. Even after, I was back on track my numbers were still high after a normal “approved” meal. I couldn’t understand it.  If I ate too much of the wrong thing, I could understand seeing a high number. However, seeing a high number after a “perfect” meal is beyond frustrating. I started to panic, but I still had a few weeks before I could get in to see my doctor. I had recently switched to insulin, and I had discovered how differently the insulin works with the body compared to my old medicines. I was learning that with insulin you really need to be at a good number before the meal or it will climb too high.

This adjustment hasn’t been easy. I recently saw my doctor who has explained that my weight gain from falling off the wagon and starting insulin has caused me to have more insulin resistance. What a vicious circle! You take insulin to help you control your Diabetes, and in turn gain weight that makes it harder to use insulin! I can’t blame it all on the insulin, as much as I would like to.

Why do we feel so much shame when our Diabetes management isn’t working? This is something that makes Diabetes unlike other diseases. If someone’s chemotherapy wasn’t working correctly, we wouldn’t blame the patient. But, if a Diabetic’s treatment plan is working well, we are very quick to point the finger at the person in question. This seems really unfair, and we need to learn how to rise above the judgment that we feel from ourselves and from others. We need to let go of the shame that we feel when we see a “bad” number or if we ate something that was “bad”. This shame isn’t helping anyone. If anything, it is the very thing that will lead us back to an unhealthy path.  I hope that the day will come when our A1C isn’t used as a tool to measure the “compliance” of a person with Diabetes. It’s a useful measurement, but it isn’t the only one.  If we can look inside ourselves and reconnect with our Diva Spirit, we will see remember that a simple medical test cannot define our self-worth. We are amazing people who are trying every single day to improve our health. We want to be healthy and we make good choices many times each day. Let’s focus on what we are doing right, and stop the shaming, even if it is in our own minds.

Share your ‘Diagnosis to DIVA/DUDE’ story – email:

WATCH NOWEaster Parade in NYC with Mr. Divabetic 

LISTEN NOWDiabetes Late Nite inspired by Nina Simone


45 Years with Diabetes And Still Counting! by Catherine P. Lawrence

April 24, 2014
Catherine Lawrence

Catherine Lawrence

On June’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast, the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic interviews Catherine Lawrence about living with diabetes for 45 years scheduled for Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 6 PM, EST.

Catherine shares her experiences and insights of living with diabetes for over four decades and the changes in self-care she has seen over the years:

Many things have changed since I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 9 in 1969. Most of the daily testing equipment and testing routines at that time are so archiac now that I will fast forward to the present.

I believe that the standard for me is the counting of carbohydrates, which I learned when I started to use an insulin pump over 12 years ago. It is truly a way of life that I have found to be easy and so effective. Counting carbs was a very good new approach because a majority of the information I need is on the food label. The transition fron counting calories to reading a label that lists so much, including carbs, is simple and more precise.

Another large factor in my diabetic routine is the testing of my blood sugar. When I compare using a test tube and dropper then going to a machine that was the size of a tape player early on in my diabetic life, testing my blood sugar today is a piece of cake (sugar free of course.) The fact that I can test at any time, any place has simplified my life. And, let me emphasize how very important it is to test. To be able to get that ever important number, at a moments notice, can be a life saver.

Add to all of this is the invention of the insulin pump. For me, it changed everything. I just could not believe that there were going to be no more daily injections; no more having to carry around a vial of insulin (and keep it cool) and finding a “private” place in which to take that injection. I also learned that diabetes DOES NOT have to be hidden and should NEVER be an embarassment. It was a big adjustment with a learning curve that was very attainable. Commitment and honesty were essential in getting on the pump. It is an accomplishment I am very proud of.

Last, but not least, I TALK WITH MY DOCTOR. I let him know what is going on in my life so adjustments can be made when necessary. He wants to help but sometimes I need to be my own advocate when sitting in his office.

Along with help from my doctor, Certified Diabetes Educator, a Registered Dietician and support from my spouse (my husband has a good understanding and gives me input) I can live very well with diabetes.

Share your ‘Diagnosis to DIVA’ story with Divabetic and help inspire others to take charge of their diabetes. E-mail:

WATCH NOW: Dazzling Diabetes Outreach at the Easter Parade

DON’T MISS: Diabetes Late Inspired by Doris Day on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 6 PM, EST. Call in: (347) 215-8551

FDA Looks At New Inhaled Diabetes Drug

April 4, 2014

images-1U.S. health advisers recommended approval of MannKind Corp’s inhaled diabetes drug, and said the experimental treatment could help some patients, especially those wary of needles typically used with traditional insulin therapy.

The Food and Drug Administration’s panel of outside advisers said that while the therapy, called Afrezza, did not appear as beneficial for adults with type 1 diabetes, it was clearly safe and effective for those with the more common type 2 form of the chronic disease.

The panel’s recommendation paves the way for final approval later this month of the whistle-sized device and sent shares of the company soaring in after-hours trading.

The FDA, which does not have to follow its panel’s advice, is expected to make its approval decision by April 15.

“There is a very important need for new treatment options,” said panel chairman Robert Smith, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine at Brown University, adding that the therapy would not be suitable for all patients.

Overall, the panel of outside advisers agreed with the drugmaker’s argument that the inhaler offered a crucial alternative for many diabetics whose current treatment involves painful and cumbersome injections.

Panelists said the device could be especially helpful for type 2 diabetes patients, many of whom are older and may have problems giving themselves shots because of poor eyesight or arthritis in their hands. It could also help those who have an extreme phobia of needles, they said.

TUNE IN: Diabetes Late Nite  podcast inspired by the Sapphires hosted by Mr. Divabetic


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