Don’t Restrict Access To Blood Glucose Test Strips!

SIGN THE PETITION NOWThe following is a guest post regarding Oregon’s Health Evidence Review Commission making a recommendation to restrict access to blood glucose test strips for people with type 2 diabetes on the Medicaid-funded Oregon Health Plan (OHP)  This post is from Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and Registered Nurse, Tavia Vital.  

I (Tavia Vital) am a Certified Diabetes Educator and a Registered Nurse. I have survived with Type 1 Diabetes for 33 years with no major long term complications largely due to access to test strips and appropriate insulin therapy.

There simply is no substitution for having access to appropriate therapy including adequate test strips in order to decrease glucose variability, A1C, the risks for acute (hypo or hyperglycemia, especially severe episodes which require Emergency Medical Assistance and/or hospitalization) and long term complications (micro and macrovascular diseases and neuropathy leading to blindness, amputation, kidney failure requiring dialysis, stroke, and/or heart attack, for example) of diabetes.

I recommend you review the DCCT, UKPDS (including the 10 year review of both studies), STeP-2 studies/trials. Then review annual costs of medical costs on the healthcare system of diabetes. Then review annual costs per case of poorly controlled versus well controlled diabetes. You can Google search to find all of this info easily. To help you get started:


There is no way for healthcare professionals to make meaningful, appropriate, and safe medication adjustments without adequate blood sugar testing. There is no better way for people with Type 2 Diabetes to evaluate and modify the lifestyle changes they are making (which is the foundation of diabetes management (or the effectiveness of medication changes) than frequent blood sugar testing.

I implore you to think about what coverage you would want for yourself, your parents, or your children (of whom 1 in 3 is predicted to have Type 2 diabetes if they were born after about the year 2000). Thank you for considering the value of the lives, and quality of life, for your clients with Type 2 Diabetes.



I’d like to thank Tavia Vital for sharing her article on

Samsung Galaxy S4 Blood Glucose Software?!

S HealthYes, the new Samsung Galaxy S4 will have an app called “S Health” that includes blood glucose software for monitoring your blood sugars, and get this, it will import those readings from select blood glucose meters!  I can’t even convey how excited I am about this!!!  I never really talk about what I do for a living on my blog, but I’m going to tell you now.  I work in an android call center for a major cell phone company.  When you’re android phone doesn’t work and you call your cell phone provider for help, you could end up talking to me.  I’ve actually talked to a few diabetic cell phone customers, about our diabetes, while troubleshooting their bill or their phone.  So I’m surrounded by cell phone news and information all the time.  I already have the Galaxy S3, and this S Health app is suppose to already be released “internationally”.  Bad for me, good for you! That is if you’re one of my international readers.  Once the Galaxy S4 drops, I’m sure they’ll release it for the Galaxy S3 here in the United States.  

So that’s not the only thing this S Health app will do.  It also includes a food tracker, a fitness tracker, a built in pedometer, can sync to a special weight scale, blood pressure monitor, and heart rate monitor that Samsung makes, and it even measures the temperature and humidity of the room you’re in to rate the “comfort level” for you.  Oh!  It also somehow has some sort of sleep monitor.

Now, take a moment . . . . . think about how freaking cool it would be, to have your food diary, your fitness diary, your blood sugar diary, a pedometer, your blood pressure, your heart rate, all in a single device.  A device that you always have with you.  How freakin’ cool is that going to be?!  Are you as stoked as I am?!!!  Below you’ll find a CNET video describing the Galaxy S4, as well as the Samsung press release for it to get you started with your research.—-A-Life-Companion-for-a-richer,-simpler-and-fuller-life


Hypoglycemia Symptoms With Normal Blood Sugars

photoCANM2EOXHave you ever had hypoglycemia symptoms, but when you check your blood sugar, you’re completely normal?  So then you wait 20 minutes, check again, and you’re blood sugar hasn’t changed.  Yet you still feel hypoglycemic?  It’s kind of a phantom hypo.  Yeah, I have too.  Annoying right?

Recently I’ve seen a lot of tweets that people were experiencing this syndrome, and could not explain it.  Then suddenly it happened to me a few times in a few days.  It’s happened to me before, if only rarely, but all of this chatter about it made me want to know what the heck is going on.  When we ARE hypoglycemic, we know what to do to correct it, but what are we suppose to do when we have symptoms, and we ARE NOT hypoglycemic?  I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather deal with high blood sugar than low blood sugar.  High blood sugar affects my body, which I can deal with, but low blood sugar affects my mind, and I can’t handle losing my mind.  So I needed to know how to fix this.

Well, I think I’ve found the answer.  Everybody’s symptoms of a hypo are different, and mine even change every so often.  So I went looking for my symptoms on the web, and kept finding the same thing over and over.  A combination of dehydration, and low electrolytes.  My last post was specifically about the spiraling hole that dehydration can cause for a diabetic, and the importance of correcting it.  What are the symptoms of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance?  They’re almost the same, and include but are not limited to:

  • Irritability
  • Light Headedness
  • Mental Confusion
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Weakness or Fatigue
  • Irregular Heartbeat

Do those symptoms look familiar?  Looks like hypo symptoms for most people right?  So what if our phantom hypo is really dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance?  Well, I tested this theory.  Last week, when I had my last phantom hypo, and I started researching all this stuff, I reached for my carb free protein powder, which has a good dose of electrolytes in it.  I mixed up a shake, gulped it down, and 15 minutes later my symptoms were gone!  Now, I’m not saying this is definitive by any means, but I’d recommend you go ask your educator or endocrynologist about this.

Some of my favorite foods that are high in electrolytes are bananas, avocados, leafy greens,  some fish, some seeds, and more.   There are many sports electrolyte drinks out there, but I don’t recommend them because they are have carbs.  There are also things like Emergen C Electrolytes, and Pedialyte, but I think they have carbs too?

So the next time you have phantom hypo symptoms with a normal blood sugar, you might be low on electrolytes?  Again, please ask your endocrinologist or diabetes educator about this before taking action.


********** Now ya know, and knowing is half the battle.  Go Joe!!! **********

If you found this article helpful, please give it a LIKE and share it with others who might benefit from it.  Thanks for paying it forward!  If you’d like to connect with me, you’ll find my social networking profiles to the right:  ————————>


Blood Sugars Below 250

I think I got my first glucometer in my early teen years.  Before that, I peed on a paper test strip that measured sugar in my urine.  I don’t really remember how often I checked my blood sugar back then.  I know it wasn’t very often though.  Didn’t check it very often in my early adult life either.  Just kinda checked it maybe once or twice a day, took my Lantus and Regular insulin shots, and lived a rather normal life, without concern for my diabetes.  Never got A1C tests, never had an endo, just family doctors.  In my early 20’s one of those family doctors told me that the life expectancy of a type 1 diabetic was only 26 years.  I believed that for some stupid reason, and didn’t expect to have a 30th birthday.  When I reached my 30th birthday, I didn’t know what do with my life?!  Then I suffered cardiac arrest, at age 34, from undiagnosed heart disease cause by my uncontrolled diabetes.  Emergency quad bypass.  Healed quickly, recovered quickly.  After that, I started testing frequently.  Started living a different lifestyle.  Started exercising . . . . . . a lot.  Hung out with bodybuilders.  Started realizing just how out of control I was.  Started working my ass off trying to get healthy.

2 years ago I started trying to help others as a sort of health coach, which motivated me to try even harder at becoming healthier myself, and about 9 months ago I discovered the Paleo lifestyle, which has brought my A1C down by 2.5 points in just 6 months time.  I also discovered the Diabetic Online Community (#doc) about 9 months ago.  Having all of you from the #doc to talk to has really motivated me too.  Recently, I realized that I used to be satisfied with a blood sugar below 250, then it was 200.  Now I want it below 100 or I get annoyed.  I’m shooting for an A1C of 7.0 before the end of the year.  I wanna do what they say can’t be done.  There’s a long way to go, and a short time to get there.  (Anybody catch that?)

So do you remember when you were satisfied with blood sugars below 250 or 200?  If you’re sugars are still there regulary, I urge you to somehow find the motivation to fix that.  Connect with me, and I’ll connect you to the people of the #doc.  I’ll recommend good books for you to read, recommend supportive peeps and friends to connect with.  We can all help each other.  I don’t want what happened to me, to happen to you.  Dying sucks!  I speak from experience.  Please leave a comment if you can relate.



********** Now ya know, and knowing is half the battle.  Go Joe!!! **********

If you found this article helpful, please give it a LIKE and share it with others who might benefit from it.  Thanks for paying it forward!  If you’d like to connect with me, you’ll find my social networking profiles to the right:  ————————>

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