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Know Your Diabetes Meal Planning Options

Meal planning with type 1 doesn't have to be difficult. Armed with some basic ideas and a little planning you can discover the right approach for you and your family's needs. Find out what your options are and how you can get started.

Type 1 Diabetes Spotlight10

Type 1 Diabetes

New Articles for January 2012 - Type 1 Diabetes@about.com

Sunday January 29, 2012

With a new year comes a new batch of articles to help you better manage your diabetes.

I've been trying to add more content of late about family dynamics and diabetes. To that end I've developed two articles specifically for parents with children with type 1. The first addresses the often difficult topic of How to Talk with Your Child About Diabetes. I offer a number of tips on how to manage your child's diabetes without turning it into a nag fest.

The second article for parents concerns the issue of how to help siblings adjust to the diagnosis of diabetes by a brother or sister. With practice, these suggestions can quickly smooth out problems that may start to arise in the first year or so of a type 1 diagnosis.

Anyone old enough to manage their own blood sugar can learn a thing or two from the article entitled, Learning to Handle Diabetes Mistakes. Regardless of how long you've had diabetes, mistakes in management are inevitable. Learn how you can go easy on yourself and still learn from the error.

Want to get a better handle on your food intake? How about losing weight? If so, check out the new article called The Benefits of Keeping a Diabetes Food Journal for ways you can better manage your glucose and your overall health without much effort. There are a couple of great phone apps to check out here as well.

Continuing in my series of articles on health conditions common with diabetes, I've included three more this month. These include: Thyroid disease, Erectile dysfunction, and a lesser known but very serious condition called Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome.

Finally, it is a fact that people with diabetes have more hospital stays over their lifetime than those without diabetes. But as you probably know, hospitals are not always as safe and healthy as they should be. This article on Ways to Stay Safe in the Hospital with Diabetes, will provide some practical tips on making sure your stay is safe and as short as it can be.

I'd love to hear any of your comments about these articles or others that you might like to see developed for this site. Post your comments below.

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Pig islet cells could eventually provide a REAL cure for diabetes

Thursday January 26, 2012

Pigs being raised in germ-free pens in Western Wisconsin may be one of our greatest hopes for an actual cure for diabetes. The University of Minnesota has teamed up with Mayo Clinic to find a cure for diabetes during this decade. They believe that these pigs may hold great promise.

Except for the last 20 years or so, insulin from pigs was routinely used in humans to help control blood glucose. Synthetic, lab-produced insulin has now replaced porcine insulin. But one of the reasons pig insulin was used is because there are remarkable genetic similarities between humans and pigs.

The goal of the project, called Spring Point Project, is to raise pigs that are housed in special pens, which are isolated from human germs. These pigs would then provide an unlimited supply of pancreatic islet cells that could be transplanted into humans. One of the biggest obstacles to islet transplants is the short supply of available human islet cells.

Transplanted porcine islet cells have already been shown to cure diabetes in animals for well over a year. They believe the same results, but enhanced, could be reproduced in humans. The germ-free environment of the pigs housing would minimize the risk of transmitting any detrimental agents to humans who might receive the islet cells.

The researchers say that injection of the pig islet cells in humans could begin within a year but it would probably takes several more years of substantive results before the FDA would grant approval of the porcine islets as an actual treatment for diabetes.

If this research eventually proved safe and effective as a cure for diabetes, but would require retransplantation of new islet cells every five years or so, would you agree to the procedure? Post your comments below.

Learn more about islet cell transplants

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Medtronic’s Remote Diabetes Monitor Approved by FDA

Thursday January 12, 2012

People with type 1 and especially parents of children with type 1 fear nighttime hypoglycemic episodes. To address this concern, Medtronic has developed a remote glucose sensor called mySentry.

The device allows parents and other caregivers to remotely monitor glucose levels and insulin pump status from another room in the house. If any of the built-in indicators in the device, such as low glucose levels, low insulin in pump or weak battery strength, fall to a cautionary level, an alert will be generated to the remote monitor. The mySentry system consists of a monitor with a color screen, a power supply, and an outpost that transmits information. The outpost enables you to receive the signals from up to 50 feet away.

The bedside monitor isn't cheap though. It currently costs around $3000 and only works with Medtronic's MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time RevelTM System, a combined insulin pump/continuous glucose monitor unit. But, for some it may be worth the cost; especially those already using the REAL-Time RevelTM System.

If this device were covered under your insurance plan, would you try to obtain one? Post your comments below.

Learn more about continuous glucose monitoring

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December Wrap-Up for Type 1 Diabetes – New Articles

Thursday December 29, 2011

As 2011 comes to a close I highlight the articles I've created this month to help you better manage your diabetes.

I continue to be convinced that having knowledge about the potential health problems that could occur with type 1 is not bad news. I view it as motivation to practice what we know we can prevent or at least delay the onset of these complications. To that end I've created several articles that address some of these complications.

Over half of adults are currently living with high blood pressure. Having diabetes increases the risk of hypertension. But you can do something about it. This article on diabetes and high blood pressure will tell you what you need to know to keep your blood pressure in check.

Related to high blood pressure is peripheral arterial disease which can affect the blood flow to the legs and feet. Again, there is much you can to do prevent this from becoming a debilitating condition but you must be proactive.

What many people with type 1 don't realize is that high blood sugar can also cause common skin conditions. Virtually all of these conditions erupt due to consistently high blood glucose levels. The key is to manage your glucose to prevent these conditions.

For those up to the challenge, one of the best ways to keep glucose in a healthy range is to practice tight glucose control. This means you go to greater lengths to monitor your blood glucose and manage your insulin therapy in order to keep blood sugar levels in a tighter range.

Two lesser known conditions, Celiac disease and hemochromatosis are also linked to type 1 diabetes. Though they are not household words it is important to know what each of these conditions is about and the symptoms that accompany each.

If you haven't yet heard, the glycemic index is gaining a lot of attention in the diabetes community. My piece, called low glycemic superfoods, tells you what the glycemic index is, how you can use it and gets you started with some superfoods that are low in sugar and high in nutrition.

Finally, an article on what you can learn from reading food labels. Every person who is serious about managing their glucose needs a primer on reading labels with your glucose in mind. This is a quick start guide to that end.

I'd love to hear any of your comments about these articles or others that you might like to see developed for this site. Post your comments below.

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