29 May 2010

Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs)

When I came across this topic I found that I needed to reread as I was completely taken by surprise. Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs) may well be part of the future, but I am not sure that I will see it, even though it is said that this is in use now.

This may be possible and it sounds like it is workable. However, I will leave that for those good in theory and theoretical interpretation. Both articles appear in the same issue. One article is about a study of how SMAs have worked effectively. The other article is a discussion of the advantages and shortcomings in SMA's.

The claim of WIN - WIN – WIN will have to be seen and the one statement I will agree is the last statement made under the summary - “SMAs are not for every physician or patient”.

28 May 2010

Diabetes and skin problems

I often question why WebMD follows the output of the various medical associations and organizations with no variation, but I will admit that sometimes they are the best source for learning information. I like the presentation for diabetes and skin problems.

If you have diabetes, potentially serious skin problems can be part of your life also. See your doctor as soon as you notice a problem and before it gets out of control. In most cases, these skin problems can be managed with early diagnosis and treatment.

WebMD lists the following: (1) Some Skin Problems Linked to Diabetes, (2) Skin Problems Linked to Diabetes and Insulin Resistance, (3) Skin Problems Associated With Reduced Blood Supply to the Skin, (4) Skin problems linked to atherosclerosis, (5) Rashes, Bumps, and Blisters, (6) Diabetes and Bacterial, Fungus Infections, and (7) Skin Problems With Multiple Causes.

Can These Diabetes Skin Problems Be Prevented?

Keeping your diabetes under control is the most important factor in preventing these skin problems. Follow your health care provider's advice regarding nutrition, exercise, and medication. Keep your blood sugar level within the range recommended by your doctor or lower if this will not be dangerous to you. Use proper skin care to help reduce your risk of skin problems with diabetes.

Find the article here dated Mar 8, 2010.

There may be other skin problems, but there are articles of many of the above with graphic pictures included on other sites.  So use the names in the article for search engine results.

27 May 2010

Lack of sleep may be added to risk for diabetes and higher mortality

As our knowledge of pre-diabetes continues to expand, lack of sleep may be added to the risk factors as a precursor to diabetes. This will be included with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle as danger signals for diabetes and higher mortality rates.

Three articles in the last year are very much in agreement with this. All three that I have found are in Diabetes Health dot com. The first is dated August 14, 2009 and is about a study at the University of Chicago. The second is an extremely small study from Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands, and involved only nine participants and is dated May 13, 2010. The third is dated May 26, 2010, and while it mentions the studies above, it covers a larger longer-term study conducted by the University of Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom and the University of Naples Medical School in Italy, tracked 16 studies done over a 25-year period, involving a total of 1.3 million people.

26 May 2010

CVS Reaches Out to Diabetes Patients

National drugstore chain CVS is offering free A1c tests to the approximately 24 million Americans with diabetes at select locations through June 12th. The pharmacy has also introduced the ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes program, which promises discounts on the purchase of diabetes supplies to those who sign up. In addition it offers advice from pharmacists on how to reduce your treatment-related costs. Is this a publicity stunt? Absolutely. Should we to look a gift horse in the mouth? This may be a cost savings for some people.

Since I am not aware of a CVS pharmacy in my immediate area, I am not availing myself of this offer. Also they have other activities that people should know about.

Add 5/27/10 - See this for more happenings at other pharmacies.  If you have diabetes, live near these pharmacies, and are on the meds covered, you may want to take advantage of these offers. 

25 May 2010

Eating out – make it an enjoyable time

Every now and then we must eat out, whether because we are traveling or just having a respite from the kitchen.  There are many articles about eating out on the internet and quite a few are for people with diabetes.

This is familiar to those of us that have traveled, but it is also good to review the guides that we need as people with diabetes when eating out. Too many people break the rules and overeat when they should not. The first article includes the basics that can be adapted to fit the needs of the individual. While it is from Nov 7, 2008, it still covers the basics and gives us what we need.

The second article is a general article for everyone that still has pointers that will help people with diabetes. It is dated May 21, 2010.

Enjoy eating out!

24 May 2010

Consequences of limited health literacy and diabetes

I have to wonder why this is so? But, not for too long. With all that misinformation in print and on the air waves by our news media, limited health literacy is as common place as illiteracy is in many subjects. This is the shame of our news media today and one more of the reasons that so many are ceasing publication – people just don't trust them anymore.

Unfortunately, many people still do not have access to the internet and thus are not health literate when it comes to diabetes and heart health.

That being said, researchers studied 14000 patients with diabetes in Northern California and defined limited health literacy being a result of patients having difficulties reading health-related materials. They also determined that these people are at a higher risk of significant hypoglycemia.

While the researchers did state that, if left untreated, hypoglycemia may lead to unconsciousness and have long-term consequences, but they failed to mention that uncontrolled hypoglycemia can also cause death.

Hopefully, between the doctors and articles about this, patients can learn the dangers of improper diabetes care. See the article in several sources, diabetes in control, examiner dot com Chicago, and pr news wire dot com on dates of May 19 to 22, 2010. For another site on health literacy read this site.

23 May 2010

New statin side-effects brought to light

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have determined that some doses and types of statins are linked to the following adverse side-effects, liver problems, kidney failure, muscle weakness, and cataracts.

While they still feel that for many patients with a high risk of heart disease, that the benefits far outweigh this risk, they are just wanting doctors to be more careful when doing the risk-benefit analysis for each patient.

The last word of warning to patients is if they are experiencing side effects from taking statins to please talk to their doctor. The article is from May 20, 2010 BBC News