The Costs of Diabetes Innovation #notjustagadget

Diabetes Innovation and TechnologyRecently on the New York Times website, reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal wrote an article titled “Even Small Medical Advances Can Mean Big Jumps in Bills”.  This article paints a well painted picture of the rising costs of diabetes innovation, and diabetes care.  If you haven’t read it, I suggest doing so.  Many in the diabetes online community have taken offense to the article though.  The only thing I take offense to is Dr. Joel Zonszein.  His comments are also where the majority of the diabetic online community has found offense in the article.  Below is a quote from the article where Dr. Zonszein is referring to people with diabetes and their insulin pumps, high tech meters, continuous glucose monitors, and other diabetes technology:

JP-PROCEDURES-5-superJumbo“They may be better in some abstract sense, but the clinical relevance is minor,” said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center.  ”People don’t need a meter that talks to them,” he added. “There’s an incredible waste of money.”

*sigh* . . . . . *shakes head*  There are no words . . . . . 

Dr. Zonszein is just an ABSOLUTE TOOL.  What an idiot.  I have a feeling that even a reader with an IQ of 2 would realize he’s an idiot and pay no attention to his statements.  I found the rest of Elisabeth’s article, as well as the replies to her article in the diabetes online community, educational and informative.  The costs of our technology for improving diabetes care, has no visible ceiling, which is frightening.  I feel lucky that I have decent insurance, and I can afford my healthcare costs, but many can’t.  I’ve been in those shoes before, where I had to ration my supplies to survive.  It’s not a nice place to be.  If the article has done nothing else, it’s opened the eyes of many, to the financial burden that we face as diabetics.  This is a good thing.

I’m A “Diabetic” And That’s Ok

I am a DIABETICSomething I’ve never understood in the diabetic online community (#doc), is the negativity surrounding the use of the word “diabetic”.  Many in the #doc have an extreme negative perception of that word.  My guest blogging is usually edited to remove this word, replaced with “person with diabetes” or PWD.  I don’t like that my work is edited in this way, but I understand why they do it.  Using the words “person with diabetes”, instead of the word “diabetic”, will not make your diabetes go away.  It won’t make it easier, it won’t make it better.  ”Diabetic” is simply an adjective.  It’s not intended to insult anyone, it’s not a 4 letter word, it’s simply an adjective used to describe a proper name.  No one other than the #doc is even aware that some diabetics find the word offensive.  I am a diabetic, and that’s ok.  I do not fear that word.  You didn’t have a choice when you got diabetes, but you have a CHOICE with how you respond to being referred to as a diabetic.

So many people fear their diabetes, and I can definitely understand that, especially if you’ve lived most of your life without diabetes.  But then some people become angry that diabetes robbed them of a normal life.  That’s where the problem begins, because: “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate . . . . . leads to S-U-F-F-E-R-I-N-G.”  I know that quote was made by a wrinkly green puppet, but those words have widsom none the less.  If you harbor these emotions towards your diabetes all your life, how will you ever enjoy life?  How will you ever be happy?  If you have so much fear of the word “diabetic”, or worse, so much hatred of the word, I would worry that you will never find happiness again as a diabetic.  That feeling will rob you of happiness.  It’s just a word, and you’re going to be diabetic for the rest of your life.  There are many diabetics like me that live a happy normal life as a diabetic.  Join us.  Negative emotions are such a waste of good energy, and they create so much drama.  Why not apply all that energy to something more positive?  I invite you to focus our minds on positive energy, instead of creating negative energy.  Let go of your hatred of your diabetes.  It’s a part of you now.  Embrace it, and be at peace.

JDRF Quad Cities Walk to Cure Diabetes 2014 – Niabi Zoo

Click to Donate!This will be my 4th year participating in the JDRF Quad Cities Walk to Cure Diabetes at Niabi Zoo.  The walk is on May 3rd, 2014 this year.  If you would like to walk with us at Niabi Zoo this year, please click this link to join our Positively Pumped Walk Team.  If you can’t walk with us, but you’d like to help us with our fundraising, you can become a virtual walker.

JDRF stands for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  Type 1 diabetes is often referred to as “juvenile diabetes”, but it’s not just children who have it.  Children that develop type 1 diabetes grow up to be adults, and sometimes adults are diagnosed with it too.  Much of the advertising for research and cure information about type 1 diabetes is focused on the children, but we adults want a cure as well.  We’ve had it longer!  I was diagnosed in 1970 when I was 2 years old, which means I’ve been living with type 1 diabetes for 44 long years.

All types of diabetes can be treated, and you can live with it a very long time, just like I have have, but a cure would set us free.  Everyone knows someone with diabetes in this day and age.  Who’s name will you dedicate your donation to?  Who will you set free?  Below is a video with clips from my life, and what I go through to manage my diabetes.  I hope it sheds some light on what it’s like to live with diabetes.  PLEASE DONATE NOW BY CLICKING HERE.

 

 

What are the warning signs of diabetes?

diabetes risk testI had an interesting day today.  I spent the day with an old high school buddy, hopping from hobby store to hobby store.  We started by getting a couple of sandwiches for lunch.  Then we started our hobby store visits.  We were reliving and remembering our youth.  I ordered some paints for miniature painting and he bought a model rocket kit for his 8 year old son.

After our 3rd hobby store though, he said he was suddenly feeling like shit.  I asked if he wanted me to pull over.  He said no, then a moment later he said yes.  He leaned out of the car, and lost his lunch.  He closed the door and we sat there for a few minutes.  We drove away to head for home.  I asked him if I should take him to the ER.  He said no.  On the way home it happened again, only this time it was worse.  He was sweating profusely (even the tops of his hands and fingers were sweating), having difficulty breathing, still nauseous, dizzy with tunnel vision, his hands were tingling, and he said he’s been lethargic for weeks.  He had to concentrate so he didn’t pass out.  I pulled over quickly and I think he emptied the entire contents of his stomach.  We both used to volunteer for the ambulance team, and we both know what these symptoms “might be”, and so I asked again if I should take him to the ER.  This time he agreed.

We arrived at the ER around 4PM.  They told us it would be a bit of a wait.  So we sat down, and I kept asking questions trying to diagnose, since he couldn’t think very well.  We thought it may be food poisoning from the chicken sandwich he ate earlier, but his symptoms also matched up with a severe anxiety attack, or severe dehydration, OR . . . diabetic ketoacidosis.  When I thought of that, I knew the ER wouldn’t even think of it, so I told him to ask to be tested for diabetes with a simple blood sugar check.  I’d have done it myself if I had a new lancet with me, but I didn’t.  When he went to the bathroom later I asked him to check the color of his urine, and he said it was clear, so I doubt it was diabetes,  but isn’t it sad that I have no confidence that the ER staff will even think of testing him for diabetes?

He didn’t get in to see a doctor until 3.5 hours later at around 7:30PM.  His wife arrived at about 8:30PM, and they urged me to go, but I stuck around for another hour before leaving.  It’s 11:30PM now, and I just got a text from his wife.  The doctor basically has no clue what was wrong after all the tests they ran.  I hate that about doctors.  We go to them for answers, get none, yet we have to pay the bill.  So that was 7.5 hours, for no answers.  I’ll bet when they come by tomorrow to pick up his truck, they’ll tell me the doctor didn’t check him for diabetes, so I will.

What are the warning signs of diabetes?  The following symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed.  Common symptoms of diabetes:

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Diabetes Alert Day is Tuesday March 25th, 2014.  This is the day each year where we encourage EVERYONE to take the risk test for diabetes.  Send the test to all your family and friends and ask them to take it.  Lets save as many lives as we can.

TAKE THE RISK TEST to discover your risk for having type 2 diabetes.

TAKE THIS QUIZ to find out what you know about diabetes.

 

Australia’s JDRF JUMP to Cure Diabetes?!!

CLICK to Donate!I write this blog in support of my favorite little type 1 superhero Tristan, who lives on the other side of the world in Melbourne, Australia.  Tristan is now 5 years old, and he got type 1 diabetes at the age of 2, just like I did 43 years ago.  I met his mom in a Facebook group over a year ago.  Tristan has struggled through some scary hospital visits in that time, and his mom stays strong to be there for her son, like so many parents do.  She does SO VERY MUCH in fundraising for type 1 diabetes research.  She never stops.  She’s like Joan of Arc in the battle to find a cure for juvenille diabetes.  Now her daughter Annaliesse is joining in the fundraising efforts in a unique way.  It’s the Australia JDRF JUMP to Cure Diabetes.  Annaliesse will be jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, with a tandem instructor, to support her little brother Tristan.

The reason this family is so special to me, is that once, when Suzette showed Tristan my picture and told him that I was type 1 diabetic like him, and that I got diabetes when I was 2, just like he did, Tristan told his mom that he wants to grow up to be strong like me.  I still get a lump in my throat as I tell this story.  Whenever I’m having a bad day with my diabetes, I remember this, and I stay strong, for kids like Tristan.  For parents like Suzette.  For brothers and sisters like Annaliesse.

Won’t you join me in supporting my friends in Melbourne?  (Yes, we can donate here in the US, to the Australia JDRF.)  In the comment of your donation, let them know you’re a friend of Rich the Diabetic.  CLICK HERE TO DONATE and then click the orange ‘Donate to Participant” button on the right side of the page.

Kia Kaha Tristan, Suzette, and Annaliesse!!!

What is Personal Medicine Plus?

personal-medicine-plusWhat is Personal Medicine Plus?  Well, they’re a start-up company that’s developing a smartphone app, designed to help those who struggle with managing a number of different health conditions, including diabetes, smoking, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and maybe some others too, but I’m not exactly sure yet.  My day job involves helping customers understand how to use their smartphones, and educating them on what their smartphones are capable of, so I know a bit about smartphones, and I like to share neat apps that I discover, and so far what I’m seeing in how this app works, impresses me.  I like the simple homescreen, with large icon based information that’s easy to see and understand.  I like that it will integrate with numerous health devices that are already on the market, and import their data.  What I like most though, is that it’s goal is to DEVELOP HEALTHIER HABITS.  I especially like that it is capable of developing healthy habits for numerous conditions.  When you don’t report into the app that you’ve drank your 8 oz of water at the scheduled time, it reminds you.  When you haven’t had enough fruits and vegetables, it reminds you.  All of this leads to getting a health score.  You can set a health score goal, and do your best to reach it by a specific date.  This will develop healthier habits, all right there in your smartphone.  It’s attached to your body anyway, why not let it work for you, instead of against you.  Instead of wasting money playing Candy Crush on the couch, get up and go for a walk.  You can still play Candy Crush, but do it while you’re walking and raise that health score.  Right?  Here’s some info on their Medstartr group funding campaign.  If you like what you see, please consider donating to their start-up.

 


 
For more information about Personal Medicine Plus
Please visit their website at:
 http://www.personalmedicineplus.com/

Is 21 Day Fix Better Than Weight Watchers Simple Start?

CLICK TO ORDER TODAY!Beachbody has released the much anticipated 21 Day Fix from IFBB bikini competitor Autumn Calabrese, but is it better than Weight Watchers Simple Start?  I think so, and here’s why.  The 21 Day Fix is a food and nutrition program, combined with an awesome workout, that’s focused on portion control, without calorie counting or food lists.  If the food fits in the container, you can eat it.  It’s super simple, and you don’t deprive yourself.  The workout is designed to burn massive calories so you get the results you need, . . . FAST.  It includes a little strength training, some cardio, some yoga, and some pilates.  A little bit of everything, to give you a well rounded, yet challenging 30 minute workout each day of the week.  Would you rather just have a container, than have to memorize or carry food lists?  Would you rather have a complete and comprehensive program that includes both nutrition and exercise?  Would you rather have a FREE Beachbody coach to support you and connect you with an extensive support network?  Would you rather start a weight loss program that’s guaranteed?  Of course you would!

CLICK TO ORDER NOW!

Autumn Calabrese is a celebrity fitness trainer, and IFBB bikini competitor.  A rising star in the fitness community, she’s made a name for herself by helping people get fit and lose weight through simple portion control and consistent exercise.  She’s a busy mom, personal trainer, and entrepreneur.  Creator of Might Mommies Fitness and Change My Plate, Autumn Calabrese is the latest in celebrity trainers to the join the Beachbody family.

The 21 Day Fix can be used once to get ready for that special event such as weddings, vacations, family photos, etc.  It can also be used repeatedly, as a continuous workout program, to get amazing weight loss results.  If you combine what you already get in the 21 Day Fix with Shakeology, your results will be even more impressive.

I know we’ve had a brutal winter across the U.S., but summer is coming.  Lots of weddings and vacations coming up quick.  Plus, right now the 21 Day Fix is on sale.  Order today, and I’ll become your FREE Team Beachbody coach, and I’ll get you connected with a 21 Day Fix support group.  What are you waiting for?

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR 21 DAY FIX TODAY!!!

No Excuses!

no-excusesDo you have a gym membership?  Did you start a new years resolution to get fit and lose weight?  Have you been going to the gym every day like you know you should?  Do you know what kind of exercises work best?  Do you know how much cardio and how much weight training you need?  Do you have a personal trainer that guarantees results?

Right now there’s a winter storm warning for my area.  Nearly every day this winter there’s been some sort of weather advisory here in Iowa.  I don’t know about you, but when there’s -40 wind chills and a blizzard outside, I don’t want to leave my house.  Most people aren’t getting their workouts in, but I am.  That’s because I do Beachbody workouts at home.

I used to be a gym guy.  I loved working out at the gym, but those workouts took over an hour, with eliptical time plus weight training, plus changing clothes, plus shower time.  It was at least an hour and a half every workout.  PLUS, if I was out of town on business, or the weather prevented me from getting to the gym, or the gym was closed, or I just wasn’t in the mood to work around all the pretty boys trying to pick up women at the gym, I didn’t get the workout in.  With Beachbody programs, I take 5 steps into my spare room, and I do my 30 minute workout.  Even when there’s a blizzard outside.  Even when it’s 1AM.  Even when I’m traveling out of town. Plus, no one gets in my way, and I don’t have to wait for machines.  With Beachbody workouts, there are no excuses.  It’s quick, it’s fun because the trainers crack you up, you workout in the privacy of your own home, and you get a personal trainer telling you exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, with guaranteed results.  Plus they offer great nutritional info and products, and a proven support arm called Team Beachbody.  This formula simply produces results.  It just does.

How many years have you been paying that gym membership without seeing results?  Stop throwing your money away.  Beachbody’s track record stands on it’s own.  You’ve seen the commercials, you’ve seen the before and after pictures.  I know you’d like to get the results you see on TV.  You can.  All you have to do is DECIDE, and then take action and buy your workout.  Buy it from me, and I become your FREE COACH.  What are your goals?  I am a type 1 diabetic Team Beachbody Coach, and I will help you get the results you desire .  I will provide accountability for you, I will connect you with support teams, I will get you to that picture you see of yourself when you close your eyes.  So what are you waiting for?  No excuses!  Get your Beachbody workout program today!

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 CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Join Team Beachbody for FREE

Avocados – A Superfood For Diabetes

avocadosAs a diabetic, I love AVOCADOS!  So why do I love avocados, and why are they so good for those with diabetes?  Well first, it’s all fat, and it’s all good for you.  It’s yummy like butter, except instead of killing you, it’s saving you.  I know, I know.  Big claims, but why?

First, let me just say that Weight Watchers is STUPID for putting avocados on their avoid list with their new Simple Start plan.  Anyway, here are the basic nutrient wonders of an avocado.  An average medium California avocado has about 320 cal, 17g carbs, 13g fiber, 30g fat, 4g saturated fat, 20g monounsaturated fat, 4g polyunsaturated fat,  and numerous vitamins and minerals, including the ever so important electrolytes potassium and magnesium.  In fact, an avocado usually has 3 times more potassium than a banana does.

Now lets break that down.  320 calories.  That’s pretty high, right?  So what!  With everything you get in this wonder fruit, it’s worth it.  Yes, it’s a fruit, not a vegetable.  It’s sometimes called an “alligator pear”.  17c carbs and 13g fiber.  As T1D’s, you know that’s a really odd ratio, and it seems that you may not even need to take any insulin when you eat one of these things, because we always substract the fiber from the carbs to calculate our insulin needs.  I know I don’t take any when I eat one.  That’s part of why I love them.  30g fat.  That’s high too, right?  So what!  Fat doesn’t make you fat, carbs do, and with no insulin, you can’t store fat anyway.  You get 20g of monounsaturated fat with these little green wonders, which is a roto rooter for your arteries.  That’s a massive dose!  Monounsaturated fat raises HDL cholesterol (the good kind), which collects bad fats from all over the body and takes them to the liver.  When your HDL reaches a certain level, compared to your overall cholesterol number, you’re considered “protected” from heart disease.  We as diabetics must worry about our cholesterol because diabetes can lead to heart disease.  As a diabetic who’s already died of heart disease once (for about 60 seconds, and was then rushed into emergency quad bypass), I can say that my last cholesterol test was near this heart protective range with no medication.  That range is below 3.5:1.  Doctors get worried when you go above 5:1.  Now lets finish up, and talk about those electrolytes.  You ever get a headache, get cranky, have muscle pain, and then realize your blood sugar’s off the roof?  You’re getting those symptoms because of electrolyte imbalance, caused by your high blood sugar.  If you’ve ever been treated for DKA, you already know about this.  Blood sugar goes up, body tries to level it out by evacuating water from kidneys, which reduces electrolyte levels.  The body cannot function without electrolytes.  So avocados help us diabetics keep electrolytes levels up.

So the benefits of avocados for diabetics are:  Low insulin needs, increases good cholesterol, and keeps electrolyte levels up.  Oh, and with that much fiber, it’ll make ya poop the way you’re suppose to.  ;P

So how do you eat an avocado?  Well, I’m to lazy to do anything fancy with an avocado.  I just cut the thing in half with a big sharp knife (Carefully, click here to learn how:  http://youtu.be/eI-IVnwnbyg ), take out the huge seed, and scoop it out with a spoon.  So yummy in my tummy.  The first time I bought an avocado, I had no one to teach me how to know if they were ripe.  Mine was not, and I could not eat it.  A ripe avocado will be a very dark green, almost black.  It’s not ripe if it’s bright green, and it’s over ripe if it’s black or brown.  Ripe will be barely soft if you gently press your thumb into the skin when you pick it up.  If it’s ripe like this when you take it home, you can’t let it sit there for a few days.  You have eat it quickly, or it’ll go bad.  To make them last longer, I buy a whole bag when they’re not yet ripe, then stick them in the fridge until I need one.  Set it out a couple days, and it ripens.  I enjoy avocados on sushi, salads, sandwiches, or wherever I want.  I just let other people prepare it that way for me.

Now I’d like to provide you with some helpful links to more information about what I’ve talked about today.  As someone taking control of your own health, you have the responsibility to do your own research, and not take what I’ve said for granted.  Google things, click these links, have fun with the research, and then go eat an avocado.

Avocados:  http://www.avocado.org/about-california-avocados/

Dietary Fats:  http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-full-story/

Electrolytes:  http://www.dlife.com/diabetes/lifestyle/weather/stoppler_07_19_06

 

Shakeology Recipes

shakeology-recipesI’m a type 1 diabetic Beachbody coach, who drinks and recommends Shakeology, both to diabetics and non-diabetics.  When used properly, Shakeology and diabetes can make a great partnership.  It can help with your blood sugar profile, as well as all the other health and nutrition benefits it can provide.  However, many people who drink Shakeology, enjoy creating Shakeology recipes.  You have to be careful creating these recipes, or you turn the healthiest meal of the day, into something worse than a Snickers bar.  The recipe you see in this post is exactly such a recipe.

I am an admitted nutrition nazi.  I don’t believe in any nutritional product advertising, until I see the label (case and point: Advocare Spark says it’s sugar free, yet is has 11 carbs and 45 calories).  So the fact that I use, recommend, and believe in Shakeology, is a pretty big deal.  The benefit of drinking Shakeology, is that it’s a dense daily dose of nutrition, in a single glass.  The majority of the American people don’t get much nutrition in their diet, so drinking Shakeology in it’s pure form, mixing it only with unsweetened almond milk, or similar, can provide you with the dense daily dose of nutrition that it promises.  For a diabetic, most of the flavors provide a nice slow rise in blood sugar due to low carbs and high fiber.

Now, lets get to that recipe above.  Ok, so it’s a fan favorite.  Gee, I wonder why?  Could it be that it has as many carbs and sugars as 2 Snickers bars?!  Lets do the math.

Vanilla Shakeology                                       14g carbs          7 sugars
1/2c Unsweetened Almond Milk                     0g carbs          0 sugars
1/2c Yoplait Greek Vanilla Yogurt                  33g carbs        26 sugars
1/2 Banana                                                    13g carbs          7 sugars
1tbsp Peanut Butter                                        4g carbs          2 sugars
1tbsp Raw Honey                                          17g carbs         17 sugars

Totals                                                             81g carbs         59 sugars

Snickers                                                         35g carbs         30 sugars

We started with a healthy shake with only 14 carbs and 7 sugars, but due to this particualar Shakeology recipe, we ended up with 81 carbs and 59 sugars.  No wonder it’s a fan favorite!!!  Although this Shakeology recipe tastes great, it’s turned that nutritionally dense shake into a fat storing monster because of all of those carbs and sugars.  59 sugars?  No one needs 59 sugars in a single meal.  Diabetic or not.  You shouldn’t even be eating that many sugars in a whole day!  Those 59 sugars and 81 carbs are going to produce an insulin spike that will put most of those carbs and sugars straight into your thighs, hips, or belly.  Now each of those ingredients in that recipe have their health benefits (well, except 1), but Shakeology doesn’t need them.  It’s nutritionally dense all by itself. Yes, honey is full of anti-oxidants, yes peanut butter has healthy fats, yes a banana is a great source of potassium, as far as the yogurt, well, I’ll just bite my tongue.

There is only 1 time of any day, where you should add things to your Shakeology, to get the maximum benefit.  That’s after your workout.  If you drink your Shakeology after every workout, then you SHOULD add some fruit carbs to it.  I still would never create a recipe like the one above though.  After you workout, you want fast carbs in your shake to produce an insulin response, but a small one, because the insulin is what makes your muscles grow.  You want it to happen fast after a workout, within 45 minutes.  Any other time of day though, and those extra carbs will most likely be stored as fat.  Using Shakeology as a recovery shake, adding some carbs and sugars is a good thing, as long as you don’t go freakin overboard.  59 sugars?  Geez.

So the moral of the story, is please don’t ruin your Shakeology.  Let it do it’s job, the way it was intended.  If you want to create Shakeology recipes, which admittedly are fun, then just make sure you’re drinking your Shakeology as a recovery shake after your workout.

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