Act Locally! Raising Diabetes Awareness

Canadian Flag

Today, I want to share a story about Guy Poole. Guy is 69 years old and lost his wife to type 2 diabetes complications in 2004. Sometimes, we forget that there are little things we can do help raise money for a cure and diabetes awareness.

When Guy lost his wife, he decided to do something about helping the diabetes cause. He started walking. Not in big events or in mammoth walks across a continent.

Instead, Guy, who lives in the Canadian province of Labrador, takes his vacation time from work and just walks from one part of the province to the other. He raises money from people and organizations that he knows locally.

Guy has been doing this for approximately 8 years and has raised over $30,000 at the time of this writing for the Canadian Diabetes Association. What is interesting about Guy is that he now gets letters from children and adults with diabetes that offer him encouragement. It’s what keeps him going.

So, if you ever wondered how to get started in raising diabetes awareness, just think about walking out your front door! If everyone took a page out of Guy’s book, this would be a lot of money and a lot of awareness generated!

By the way, Guy starts his next walk on September 21. He’s looking for company if anyone wants to join him! Apparently, it can get a bit lonely on the road.

Check out the full story here.

Diabetes Crystal Ball

woman looking into a crystal ball

woman looking into a crystal ballWouldn’t it be nice to have a crystal ball to be able to tell the future? How about getting an accurate idea of whether you would get type 2 diabetes over a decade before it happened.

Well, researches think they have a simple blood test can determine if you are an increased risk as much as 12 years before getting the condition. Studies show that people with a high level of metabolite 2-aminoadipic acid (2-AAA) are FOUR times more likely to get diabetes than those with low levels of the substance in their blood.

This is a huge discovery for diabetes prevention. The earlier a person can determine their risk for developing diabetes, the better they can implement a treatment plan to avoid getting the disease.

While there has always been blood test for determining pre-diabetes, this test allows your doctor to determine one’s diabetes risk far, far in advance to when a normal pre-diabetes test would flag your risk.

If you know someone who does not yet have diabetes, you may want to forward this story along. However, your insurance company may beat you to it. The ability to begin a diabetes preventive plan well before developing diabetes will be very enticing to insurance companies.

With diabetes care costing so much, insurance companies are scrambling to find ways to start the disease before it starts!

To read more about this new discovery, check out the Examiner.com.

Text Messaging Reduces Diabetes by 36 Percent!

texting keyboard

texting keyboardNow I’ve heard everything. Apparently, a three year study recently concluded which found that men who received 2 to 3 health related text messages a week reduced the likelihood of them developing diabetes by 36 percent!

Over 500 men in Southeast India with a high BMI and a family history of diabetes were chosen to participate. The men received the texts either during the breakfast or dinner time period over a three-year period.

The content of the messages were just simple tips on living a healthier life, such as “take the stairs instead of the elevator” or “limit your snacking while watching TV.”

Just these little tips and reminders seem to make a big difference in shaping the lifestyle behavior of the study participants. More than 95 percent of the men reported that they liked getting the messages.

What was fascinating about the study though is that little else seemed to change. For example, weight, BMI and exercise habits appeared to remain the same over the 3 year period. However, HDL (good) cholesterol levels did increase significantly.

Maybe there is something akin to the law of attraction working here. On some level the healthier messages make you healthier, even if you do not change your lifestyle! Your subconscious just thinks it makes you healthier, so you are!

Regardless, the women of Southeast India are up next. We’ll see if they respond as positively to the healthy messages. To read the full scope of the story, check out Medscape.com.

CNOGA: World’s First No Prick Glucose Meter

cnoga glucose meter

cnoga glucose meterReports about companies developing a “no prick” blood glucose meter have been around for a while. Well, it appears an Israeli company called, CNOGA, has finally cracked the code. The device has been approved in Europe and CNOGA will begin shipping the device in Europe, South America and countries throughout Asia.

This is really exciting stuff! The device uses LED lights and a small sophisticated camera to measure the color of your blood. The on board computer runs the results through an algorithm that sifts through over 68 billion possible result combinations to formulate your blood glucose levels.

All you have to do is stick your finger in the device and it simply beams light at your finger tips. A few moments later, the results are in. No test strips, no control solution, co coding, no lancet device, no pain! You can watch a video of the process below.

If this seems like science fiction, you’re not alone. When the company first looked for partners to develop the product they met with Texas Instruments (TI). The chief scientist at TI called CNOGA liars! Well, TI eventually came on board the project to supply some needed components and no one is calling them liars now!

All-in-all, the total development took 9 years and $8 million dollars. Initial pricing in Europe is approximately 1,500 euros. At today’s exchange rate, this is about $1,995. Pricey! However, if you spend $75 a month on testing supplies, then this device will be paid for in approximately 2 years. Like all medical devices, I would think pricing will come down over time. Nonetheless, right out of the gate the pricing is far less than other medical devices, such as an insulin pump, and there does not appear to be any ongoing supplies to purchase.

So, what about the availability in the United States? Encouragingly, the technology has already been approved by the FDA. HOWEVER, it has only been approved for other medical uses, not blood glucose testing. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, check out this great video about how the process works! You can also check out CNOGA.com.

Dr. Dean Ornish: Healing Yourself Through Diet

Daily Diabetes Video

Here is another great Tedx Talk from New York Times Best Selling Author Dr. Dean Ornish. Folks, if you don’t know about the power of eating the right foods, your missing your most powerful opportunity to heal yourself. If you are in pain, if you are suffering, if you just want to feel better, then take a look at the video and begin learning how you can help yourself feel better.

Harsh Criticism For the ADA

feedback icon

feedback iconNo one ever said running a large non-profit organization was easy. Well, a recent article on one of the most popular websites on the Internet has some harsh criticism for the American Diabetes Association.

The premise of the article is to compare the performance of the ADA against the American Cancer Association and the American Heart Association, both of which are larger charities. How did the ADA do? Not so good.

Some sample criticisms are:

Lack of Transparency. In other words, where does the money go? There are general categories of expenditures, but overall, detail was considered to be lacking. This is a similar criticism leveled against the ADA by CharityNavigator.org, as we detailed last week.

Zero Measurable Focus on Prevention or Cure. Interestingly, there is little or no measurable goal of preventing diabetes or finding a cure. Compare the other two organizations and they can show over the last 10 years a measurable drop in deaths due to cancer and heart disease, amongst other attained measurable goals. Apparently, measuring success (or failure) at the ADA doesn’t exist.

No Free Diet and Exercise Programs. The article points out that there is no free exercise or diet program from the ADA. You get a teaser, but then have to pay for the details. As the author points out:

It’s a bit cheesy, by the way, to withhold key pieces of information and then offer them in fee-based products.

The ADA spent over a $145 million on programs in 2012. Yet, you get no free diet or exercise program.

In contrast, I spent $1,000 on hiring a CDE to do a sample one week diabetes friendly meal plan for people who sign up for our newsletter. Trust me, somewhere in that $145 million the ADA spends on programs they could probably find a little “scratch” to pull together some good free meal planning resources.

There is a treasure trove of information in the article that is well worth your time to read if you want more from your ADA. I highly recommend you check out the BlogCritics.org article.

Diabetes Drugs: 10 More Years of Little Progress

diabetes drug market share

diabetes drug market shareWe all know diabetes is growing. What this translates to is that the pharmaceutical industry is scrambling to fill the ever-growing demand for diabetes drugs. What exactly does this mean for you?

As reported by Bloomberg News, it means that over the next 10 years you will most likely see almost no advancement in the type or quality of the type 2 diabetes drugs currently on the market today.

To be sure, there are many new drugs in the pipeline. Unfortunately, they are termed “me too” drugs. This means these new drugs do essentially the same thing that existing drugs on the market do.

What you will see though is a huge increase in the competition amongst drug companies for your prescription dollar. Many of the leading drug companies are starting to ramp up marketing campaigns directly to consumers and doctors to try and expand market share.

For example, Novo Nordisk expanded its sales force by 25 percent, just last year. In response to losing market share to Novo, Merck allocated more of its sales force to marketing its diabetes line of products.

The good news? Some companies, such as Eli Lilly, are looking at creating combination drugs that take the advantages of different types of type 2 medications and combining them into a superior prescription medication.

I don’t know about you, but it would be nice if some of this marketing and drug development capital was allocated to finding a cure!

To get a clear view on where the type 2 diabetes drug market is going, check out Bloomberg.com.

New Cinnamon Study and Diabetes Health

cinnamon sticks

cinnamon sticksWe wrote about the health benefits of taking cinnamon to help people with diabetes control their blood sugars years ago. Well, new research really drives home the power of cinnamon on diabetes health.

The new study, published in the Annals of Family Medicine, doesn’t actually conduct new research. Instead, it tries to make sense of all the previous cinnamon studies to determine the consistency of the research.

Looking at 10 different studies with over 540 people with type 2 diabetes, researchers concluded that there appears to be a definite benefit of taking cinnamon supplements around meal times.

Timing of the dosages in the studies varied from just before, during or just after the meal. The total daily amount of the dosages also ranged from 120mg to 3g of cinnamon.

Obviously, these studies had some clear variances in how much and when he participants took the cinnamon. Nonetheless, what is clear is that there is strong evidence that supplementing with cinnamon helps lower blood glucose levels. Additionally, another nice offshoot of this review is that cinnamon also helped lower cholesterol levels. This is a nice one-two punch for type 2 diabetics, or anyone for that matter.

There are several caveats to this review:

First, cinnamon was not found to be a replacement to type 2 medications, but rather a complement.

Second, check with your doctor to make sure you are properly monitoring your glucose levels if you begin supplementing. The last thing you want is to be unprepared for your glucose to fall too much. You may need to lower your over the counter medications.

Third, more studies are needed. This study is very positive, but the researchers advocate larger clinical studies.

Finally, there are many different types of cinnamon. The most widely used in the studies was cinnamomum cassia.

To read my previous article on cinnamon follow the link. To read further on this latest study, check out the Huffington Post.

1984 and Diabetes: Big Brother’s Coming!

us capitol building

us capitol buildingHere is an interesting piece on the possible use of legislation to help stem the diabetes impact. What’s interesting to me about the article is that it mainly discusses how you and me need to be controlled and really places no emphasis on industry.

Certainly, I believe in personal responsibility and people making the right health choices. Nonetheless, I also believe that much of the poor nutrition in this country stems from both large corporations and the government promoting unhealthy lifestyles.

The article also cites to a person who holds the title:

Laboratory Science, Policy and Practice Program Office, Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. [emphasis added]

Wow. Did you know there was an “office of Surveillance” at the CDC? I’ll let you read the article from Medical Express if you want to see what could be coming down the pike to control you and how you live.

However, if you want to learn more about how big business and the government have colluded to create a very unhealthy nutritional environment, take a look at the following resources.

  • The China Study, Dr. Colin Campbell (last 100 pages or so)
  • Food Inc., Karl Weber (editor)
  • No Happy Cows, John Robbins

There are many more, but if you read further, you will probably be surprised by how much of what you knew about nutrition is just slick marketing and food engineering to get you to buy certain unhealthy food products. Ok, my rant is over!