Category Archives: Diabetes Management Tips

Tips for Dealing with the 2012 Allergy Season

388104_257601964296941_254597271264077_771632_1363302013_n

I see a beautiful forest AND a full on immune system attack…

 

I have major allergies.  By major I mean severe and numerous.  I have been on allergy shots for 11 years where most people are on them for 3 years because I’m allergic to so many things.

Anyway, because I have all these allergies, have been seeing an allergist for over a decade, and because I have a deviated septum and diabetes, further predisposing me to sinus infections, I want to share a few great tips I’ve learned along the way.

Nasal Irrigation is your best friend.

I used to have what I call “eternal sinus infections” meaning I never got rid of them.  I spent years with a constant sinus infection that increased and decreased in severity but never went away.  Eventually, when I was desperate, I saw an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) doctor.  She said, “Ohhh you’ve got a deviated septum, that doesn’t help matters!”  So basically that means my nose is a little crooked and it prevents drainage from one side-helping me get infections really quickly.  She gave me a Neil Med sinus irrigation bottle and it’s been a miraculous cure to sinus infections for me.  I don’t know what I’d do without it.  Neti pots work similarly and are well loved by people out there, too.

If You Take Zyrtec, Save Money!

A few years ago my doctor told me how to save money on Zyrtec (which is pretty pricey). He told me to go to Sam’s Club (or go with someone with a membership) and look for the generic of Zyrtec which is Certirizine. A year’s worth of that costs about a month’s worth of Zyrtec from CVS. HUGE savings and he says it works the same!

Also, if you take Zyrtec, take it consistently before you need it. It needs time to work properly and to work well you need to take it each day-not just when you think you need it.

By the way, be careful with Benadryl, it causes your heart to race and can cause problems.

Managed blood sugars are crucial.

When I got a grip on my diabetes management, I got a lot less sinus infections starting in the first place-which was awesome.  Also, it’s faster to heal from an infection when there is no extra sugar in your body for bacteria to ruthlessly feed on.  People without diabetes can get in on this one as well.  Eat less sugar and you’ll prevent and heal from infections faster!  Also, infections make blood sugars hard to manage so prevention really is key.

Ear Drops

This is a weird one, I know.  I buy these ear drops at the local food store that are made for kids.  They contain olive oil and garlic extract.  You put a few drops in each ear at night and cover with a cotton ball.  This keeps the area inside the ear moisturized so that there is no dryness and less irritation present.  I use it on my kids to help them avoid getting sick, as well.  Apparently, dryness doesn’t allow our mucous membranes to kick out viruses and bacteria and allergens.

Eat Seasonally

How ironic is it that nature provides Spring greens and berries?  These foods are known for being cleansing and detoxing.  These foods help clear up mucous!  It’s like nature knows we’re going to need some help clearing all the pollen that’s out there and wants to help us out!  So buy all the fresh locally grown greens in your area.  Make a lot of salads.  Add a little olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and fresh squeezed lemon.  (Apple cider vinegar and lemon are alkalizing) (lemon is a natural expectorant to help you get rid of mucous).  Enjoy those salads and feel your body letting go of the Winter time heavy feeling that you accumulated with all the stews and nuts and meats you ate to keep warm.

Wash your hair each night.

Pollen gets blown into your hair and if you sleep on it, (and if you happen to be allergic to pollen) you’ll wake up feeling congested and groggy.  Take a bath each night during allergy season.  Get all those allergens off before you go to sleep and you’ll wake up feeling much better, I promise.

Avoid processed foods.

I’ve found that avoiding processed foods does more than just help me with my blood sugars and weight.  It helps me with my allergies.  I find that if I steer clear of alcohol and sugar and foods with chemicals, I cut down on my reactions and sneezing fits, big time.  Perhaps this is because our systems are overwhelmed when we have allergies.  And by keeping our bodies clear of other irritants and aggravators, we keep the body feeling more calm and less on the attack.  Also, less sugar means less inflammation.  Allergies cause quite a bit of inflammation and discomfort in our sinus cavities.

Consider allergy shots.

Allergy shots kind of work like vaccines only they don’t have any adjuvants you worry about.  Allergy shots give you a tiny amount of what you’re allergic to (mine is a cocktail of trees, grasses, weeds, dust mites, molds, and so on).  The hope is that over time, by receiving small amounts of what your body is confused about will help your body stop reacting so wildly to.  Basically the shots sneak up on your immune system and try to tell it “Yo! There is nothing wrong with a little grass, see?!”  Over time, you can either eliminate or lessen your allergy to something.  I used to be severely allergic to dogs and cats.  Now I’m just moderately allergic.  That’s a big deal for me because I used to have asthma attacks and so much congestion I couldn’t breathe near dogs and cats and now I don’t have those issues.  I’m no longer allergic to certain trees and molds and I’m less allergic to other things.  It really works.  The problem is it’s very expensive and stupid insurance companies are still not on board with covering allergy shots.  They don’t think they are a “medical issue”.  Really?  That excuse won’t last much longer.  So hang in there.  More and more should be covering these shots, soon.

Last but not least, drink lots of water

Water helps keep you hydrated, less inflamed, and it helps flush toxins out of your body.  If you have allergies, you really need plenty of water each day.  Surprisingly, this is the hardest thing for me.  I really need to work on this one.  How bout we work on it together?

En Fin…

Allergies make a person miserable, I know.  And those who don’t have allergies often think we’re all wussies.  I know what you’re going through and honestly, these tips have helped me get back to normal, cut down on migraines, and function during this time of year.  I do get more drowsy, so I try to just go to bed earlier and go with the flow.  But overall I feel WAY better than I used to.  And you can, too.

If you have any tips, please add in the comments!

How I Use MDI

544584_328755177181619_254597271264077_965186_576102910_n

 

A lot of people have asked me questions about how I manage my type 1 diabetes via multiple daily injections so that’s what this post is about.

Firstly, I want to say that this is what I do and what works for me and before you try to change anything to your diabetes management, you want to talk to your doctor.  Insulin dosages vary person to person depending on their weight, activity level, stress level, diet, insulin resistance, medications, etc.

I use Lantus insulin as my long acting “basal” insulin and Humalog insulin as my fast acting “bolus” insulin.

My Lantus routine

Every night around 10pm I give an injection of Lantus.  Based on my weight which hovers between 130-140 pounds, I am to give about 20 units per day.  This does work for me.  However, I try to exercise each day and eat a diet that is void of processed foods and low in glycemic load.  These two factors cause my insulin needs to decrease.  If I’m exercising and eating the way I try to, I use about 12 units of Lantus.  If I don’t do one of these, I will need about 15-16 units of Lantus.

I just want to note that when I removed wheat out of my diet, I lowered my Lantus by about 5 units, daily.  Kind of amazing.

Anyway, Lantus is advertised as a 24 hour insulin you take once a day.  If you open up the folded pamphlet that comes with Lantus and read it, you’ll discover Lantus lasts closer to around 20-21 hours.  So being aware of this, each day around dinner time, I give a extra unit or two of insulin in order to combat the dying out of Lantus in my system.  Or I do a really short workout and that takes care of things, too.

How do I deal with dawn phenomenon?

Well, I had a hard time with it when I gave my Lantus in the mornings because it would run out just before I woke up and cause me to wake up pretty high unless I slept around 75-80 (in that case dawn phenomenon didn’t do anything to me).  So that’s why I give Lantus at night.  Each morning, I notice that if I wake up at 7:30am or before 7:30am, I don’t deal with the dawn phenomenon.  If I sleep past that time, I will start to go up pretty quickly.  I don’t know why my dawn phenomenon seems to kick in so late, but it does.  By experimenting with testing at different times in the morning before you give insulin or eat, you can pinpoint the general time your body starts pushing your blood sugars up each morning.  I do find that if I sleep under 100, dawn phenomenon doesn’t do anything.  But sometimes I don’t feel safe sleeping at that blood sugar level, because perhaps I did more exercise than usual or something and in those cases I’ll try to sleep between 110-140.  Being in that range in the early morning typically causes a dawn phenomenon spike for me so I try to get up at the same time each day and give insulin and eat first thing.

My Humalog routine

I use Humalog as needed and before meals.  I just count carbs and take note of my insulin/carb ratio which is about 1:15.  Most of my meals let me give below 2-3 units of insulin so I don’t usually have to worry about really high or low post meal blood sugar swings.  I do notice that sometimes I’m really stressed and sometimes forget to drink water.  As a result my blood sugar climbs considerably.  I give an extra amount of insulin with meals to combat this.  If the stress is a bit chronic (long term) I’ll up my Lantus instead of my Humalog-which I reserve for very temporary situations.

About injecting

I inject in public as needed.  I inject in my abdomen, hips, arms, and above my breasts (click here for a video of that).  I reserve my hips and arms for times my blood sugar is kind of low (around 75) and my abdomen and the fatty tissue above my breasts for the times I’m ready to eat or over 120 because those areas tend to yield faster results with the insulin.  I rotate a lot more than I used to because it helps avoid the buildup of scar tissue-which absolutely affects insulin absorption and makes it more random.  After giving an insulin shot, I put my fingers over the area and press gently for a few seconds.  This is supposed to help the insulin get absorbed.  I don’t use insulin pens because sometimes I am not sure how much insulin I got or sometimes insulin leaks from the site.  I like the small child-sized syringes by BD that hold up to 30 units of insulin and have a very short and fine needle.  If you are not thin or average weight, you’ll want a longer needle in order to ensure the insulin gets properly absorbed.

Carrying and caring for insulin

I carry a case with my meter and Humalog insulin at all times.  I keep Lantus in the fridge in the butter compartment.  I don’t keep Humalog anywhere near my Lantus because I don’t want to risk giving a huge amount Humalog when I intended to give Lantus.  I’ve done that twice and it resulted in me seeing the paramedics on both occasions.  After 30 days I dispose of Lantus and Humalog (even though I have plenty left).  I never refrigerate my Humalog because it lasts 30 days without refrigeration and it is supposed to be disposed of after 30 days anyway.

Does it work for me?

So that’s how I do it.  I have managed to use the method described above for 5 years now and keep my A1c below 6% the entire time.  Shots work if you understand some insider info and consider appropriate timing and carb counting.  I had to learn a lot of this the hard way or through my doctors.  If any of this info is news to you, talk to your doctor about it.  Make sure you understand the ins and outs of the insulin you use.  It totally affects diabetes management.

Please read this part again:

Please remember that changes to your diabetes management should be done carefully and *technically* with the approval and guidance of a physician.  Don’t get hurt and then blame me Winking smile

XOXO

Don’t Settle When It Comes to Health

380498_257601800963624_254597271264077_771624_1837414961_n

I know it’s comforting to settle for the current level of health we have, especially when faced with the prospect of making seemingly impossible lifestyle changes.  Yet, I find that at the end of the day, much of our frustrations and grief, directly or indirectly, come from our less than stellar health.

Most days I feel like I can say I’m “pretty healthy”.  There are days though, when I’m more honest with myself, and picky, too.  On these days I realize I have a long way to go to reach the level of health I long for.  When almost everyone we know struggles with some fatigue, extra weight, acne or other skin issues, mental illness, and other nagging health problems, it’s no wonder so many of us tend to feel that it’s just all an unavoidable part of being human.

Many of us have forgotten that it’s possible to feel and look much better than we do.  I used to think that all teenagers got acne.  Then I learned my parents never got acne and their peers rarely did, either.  I didn’t until I was 23 and my horrible diet finally caught up with me.  I used to think that everyone got indigestion after many meals.  Nope.  Some people rarely get indigestion.  Or headaches, stiff joints, mood swings, irritability, hot flashes during menopause.  Some people don’t even have to brush their teeth to avoid cavities, bad breathe, and gum disease.  Can you imagine?  But these select people eat very differently from us.  And in most cases, they do it because they have no other choice.

While these people have to work hard to find and prepare the food they eat, we have to work hard not to eat.  If the only choices we had were vegetables and fish for dinner, we’d just eat it and reap the health benefits.  You and I have a unique situation that is becoming the norm across the globe.  We have thousands of foods and “foods” to select from and then hundreds of dietary theories from which we can subscribe and it’s all very daunting.

Why is there a type 2 diabetes epidemic? I hear a lot of talk that it’s our genes that are somehow making us more and more susceptible coupled with our changing lifestyle habits and environment. And that’s technically true, but do we ever think about what changes our genes in the first place? According to what I’ve learned, a big part of the reason is the food we eat and the food we don’t eat or rather the food our ancestors ate and didn’t eat. With each new generation, eating habits in recent years have included more genetically modified foods and chemicals and when we have children, we aren’t building a person as well as we could because our diet doesn’t provide us the tools with which to properly do this. Teeth aren’t as straight, facial features aren’t as symmetrical, brain cavities aren’t as roomy (affecting hormone production), and so on.  Nutrients are needed to make a human being and bring them healthy into this world. In a nutrient starved world, we’re consistently churning out more and more children who are challenged with early health issues like the predisposition to allergies, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases.

The good news is that even if we suffered the effects of malnourished ancestors, (remember you can be overweight and malnourished) we can still turn things around for future generations. We can change our eating habits and create healthier children, who will in turn be poised to create healthier children themselves.

We can also change our habits and gain from doing so right now.  Genes get activated much like an on/off switch with what we eat and how we live.  If we carry a predisposition to type 2 diabetes, a certain lifestyle has the potential to keep the switch on off and help us avoid developing type 2 diabetes.  This is not an easy task in this modern world of ours but I think it’s empowering to know what’s possible and to strive towards the best outcome for all of us.  I understand we can’t do this overnight.  Personally, I’ve dedicated a lot of time and energy to trying to begin to change my lifestyle habits.  I can attest to the fact that it takes time and a lot of effort.  But, I do think it’s worth it and doable.

Health isn’t just about comfort and looks.  It’s about humanity, economic stability, peace, creativity, and growth in a society.

There is no blame game here.  None of us is perfect.  We are all allowed our weaknesses.  It’s about taking responsibility for our bodies and choosing to pay attention and learn about what to do to stay well and improve health.  Those of us with extra time or ability to do so can advocate for those who can’t get access to healthy foods and information.  Policies from government need to reinforce healthy lifestyle habits because even the most determined and self willed individual is up against huge obstacles when it comes to a healthy diet and lifestyle and where does that leave the rest of us?

I don’t want to settle for so-so health, when I could have awesome health.  I’m worth awesome health.  And definitely, so are you…and your children, and grandchildren, too.

The Hard Truth About Blood Sugar Management

388887_254602137930257_254597271264077_762890_852154847_n

Blood sugar success belongs to those who are good at managing their blood sugars, not necessarily those who have good intentions about doing so.

Unfortunate, right?  It doesn’t matter how much you want it or how hard you try.  If you try in the wrong way, you’ll never get the results you’re looking for.  It doesn’t matter if you think about it more than someone else or that you need healthy blood sugars more than someone else.  All that matters is that what you do be effective.

So while this is initially harsh, really it’s quite liberating.  I take it this way:  If we emotionally separate from our diabetes management and rely on our logic and reasoning and focus on results, we are much more likely to reach our goals.  Emotions and diabetes…well, as normal as this duo is, it’s not very conducive to healthy blood sugar management.  Unless those emotions are positive.  But, they’re often not and they just get in the way of what we need to do.

It’s like this with everything in life.  The CEO of a successful company doesn’t have to have the best intentions, he or she just has to be effective.  That’s the kind of CEO we need to be to our diabetes.  One that functions logically, calmly, and effectively.

When I thought of my management more along these terms, I began to realize that discipline was dutiful and that my emotions needed to take a back seat to logic.  Funny thing happened though, my blood sugars behaved much better and that in turn uplifted my mood and provided me more positive emotions.  It was and still is a win-win.

You’re the fabulous ruler of your body and your diabetes.  Don’t you forget it.

DSMA February, Depression in the Winter

dsma-button

DSMA asked us last month (I know, I’m late!): 

What can we do to help stop depression from hitting our community during the winter months?

Well, this is a good question indeed.

I think first we need to make sure we are getting sufficient Vitamin D.  Next time you get blood work done, have your doctor test your levels.  If they are not in optimum range, get a supplement (or sunlight if that’s possible where you live).  Do not take Vitamin D2.  Take Vitamin D3.  This is really important.  Don’t count on the Vitamin D in your soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk-it’s all D2 and this form does not raise your levels.  So be sure to get D3.  Have your levels checked again in a few months to make sure you’re not under or over supplementing.

Secondly, I find that if I am dealing with a little depression before or during the Holidays, by the time January rolls around, I kind of fall apart.  So I think being proactive is important.  Getting Vitamin D levels at optimal levels by September, exercising a little each day or at least each week through the Holiday season, and making plenty of time to slow down and rest.

For people with diabetes, we tend to go, go, go during December and eat the goodies we want, resulting in higher blood sugars.  Higher blood sugars for a few weeks predisposes us to depression because it really alters our moods.  If you feel sick for a few weeks, it’s naturally going to take a toll and this isn’t limited to your body as your mind also gets affected.  So I think that trying to sustain blood sugar management during this time of year is crucial.

By January, I am tired of working out when it’s cold and then I run into problems with my blood sugars.  I think that finding creative ways to work out indoors is also important because the reality is that I’m not the only one who doesn’t make it out due to the weather.

Being focused on gratitude and possibilities is helpful, too.  Keeping perspective.

Lastly, putting off feelings of depression often makes them worse.  Get help.  See a therapist or counselor, tackle the issues mostly fueling depression, and if needed take something to help you get out of the cycle of lowly feelings.

I’ve struggled with depression in the Winter since I can remember.  This year is the first year I’ve taken Vitamin D year round and I feel much better.  I’m also taking something for anxiety and depression and that has helped immensely as well.  If you’re struggling, tackle the problem and work on healthy lifestyle habits.  You can feel better.

######

To read other entries, click here!

10 Things I’m Doing this Winter to Avoid Diabetes Burnout

383727_257602137630257_254597271264077_771645_1064041243_n

This applies to this Winter 2011-2012 because last year, boy did I have burnout.  I just wanted to clarify that.  Also, I have had days where I deal with burnout.  However, these don’t melt into weeks and really affect my blood sugars too much.  I always have higher blood sugars in the Winter because of how I despise cold weather and the way it dries me out.  Somehow that really impacts my mood.  Being outside with fresh air and Vitamin D from the sun are all so important to me.  I also don’t stay as active since I am so paralyzed from the cold.  I’m not sure when I’ll get over that…

Anyway, here are 10 Things I’m Doing this Winter to Avoid Diabetes Burnout:

10.  Look ahead into the future.

I’ve tried to focus on enjoying the present but also spent plenty of time day dreaming about what is to come and then taking steps to prepare for those things.  Getting one step closer to the things I’m excited about gives me energy and hope.

9.  Exfoliate.

Two to three times a week, I take olive oil and sugar and a little lemon juice and make a quick sugar scrub.  I use it all over in the shower including my face and lips (be gentle there) and it really helped me avoid the eczema patches that I tend to get each Winter.  Skin also feels silky smooth afterwards and it gives me a refreshing sense of wellness.

8.  Cuddle up in bed and read something inspiring.

It’s ideal that when it’s cold and dark, we slow down a little, eat warm foods, and recharge after the crazy holidays.  I also find that too much social media can sometimes overwhelm us a bit and disconnecting from all the stimulation can do some good.  So lose yourself in a book, make yourself some tea, put on warm socks, and repeat as necessary.

7.  Spring cleaning a little early.

We all get a sense of elation newness when Spring arrives and we clean our entire home.  But this year I did it right before Spring.  It gave me an indoor project, which is where I want to be when it’s cold, and I look forward to welcoming Spring with a clean house.  So that’s what I’ve been working on lately.  Getting old stuff thrown out, going through clothes and getting rid of what I don’t really use.  You get my drift.  The great part is that when it’s nice out, I am all done with my indoor projects.  All I have left is my kitchen pantry.  Need to stop putting it off…

6.  Seek help.

This means many different things to different people.  For me, it meant to get help with my anxiety and even depression issues that started creeping late last year.  I feel and function much better now and am reminded how important it is to deal with issues like these head on.  Ignoring stuff like this only fuels diabetes burnout.

5.  Update your look.

Women often cut and color their hair a lot because it gives us a feeling of fresh and new and exciting.  I hate to admit it but it’s true.  I got a few new additions to my wardrobe via Ebay and then got some lip stain and Elnet Hairspray and frankly, I feel better.  Don’t judge.  (By the way, Elnet is magic.)

4.  I worked a little on the outside, now let’s nourish the inside.

I have been meditating for the past few months.  I do a 5 minute meditation several times a day (so easy).  And I do an hour meditation a few times a week.  It’s amazing.  I can’t say I’ve reached “enlightenment” but I have gained an awareness and focus for my goals this year that I had no idea was possible.  I really recommend spending some quiet alone time to just experience nothingness.  It’s so much more than nothing.  hehe.

3.  See people more.

I’ve written about how I’ve been pretty much isolated the past 3 years since getting pregnant with my twins.  As a result, I got lonely and anxious about spending time with others.  So I’ve been making an effort to see more people, invite them over, and so on.  It’s been so helpful.  So much joy comes into one’s life this way.

2.  Lower carbs.

I’ve been heading in this direction for so many years.  Only now do I accept for myself that because I have type 1 diabetes and cannot metabolize carbs, limiting them is what I must do to avoid wild blood sugar swings.  I know that “I can eat that” and grains are a part of a “balanced diet” but I no longer believe any of this for myself.  I don’t want to wait on a piece of technology to come along before I get near normal blood sugars.  I want to strive for those blood sugars now.  I know that just 10 years with type 1 can cause some pretty mean complications and I plan on living many decades with it and in good health.  So from now on I am a low carb advocate when it comes to treating diabetes.  However, that doesn’t mean I think any less of anyone else’s diet.  You do what works for you and I’ll do what works for me. But if what you’re doing doesn’t work…

1.  Remember you’re one of billions.

You know how when you were growing up you would complain about the food on your plate and your mom would say something like, “You should be grateful, there are starving children out there!”  Well, it doesn’t help children much…but I think it helps adults to think that way.  Yes, our pain and suffering matters just as much as someone else’s and yes, it is very real.  However, I noticed that thinking often about those who don’t have enough food, water, clothes, medicine, love, respect, etc. really made me appreciate what I have.  And when talking about diabetes, I am a type 1 diabetic who has always had all the supplies necessary to manage my condition.  I’ve always had family and friends who cared and treated me well.  I’ve never gone hungry or thirsty or without clothing or shelter.  And billions of people (that’s a lot!) do not have what I have.  Or what you have.  And that’s something for us to think about when we are in need of comfort.

As always thanks for reading!

Take care of yourselves!

How do you avoid or manage your diabetes burnout? Share!

Glucose Quick Sticks Review

51d2SRvjUAL._SS400_

 

By now you all may be inclined to think that “Sysy doesn’t do negative product reviews”.  But sadly, here’s one for ya.

I got some On the Go Glucose Quick Sticks recently which I tested out the other morning for a low I experienced.  This product boasts a 100% daily serving of Vitamin C and an “on the go” delivery method that needs no water.  There are 10 grams of glucose per serving (meaning you’d probably more than one to treat a low).  It comes in flavors such as watermelon and sour apple.

So the other day, I confirmed my low blood sugar and tore one of the sour apple sticks open.  They just so happen to resemble jumbo pixie sticks with a powdery fine filling.  I poured half of a stick in my mouth and gagged.  Something out there actually tastes  worse than glucose tablets.  Then, because I was low and shaky and my tongue was numb, I started to choke on the powdery glucose.  You sort of chuck it from the packet down your throat and it’s all too easy to choke on, in my opinion.  Maybe not the best for young children.  Or maybe just me.

The fun didn’t stop there.  Since I was shaky and flustered, I fumbled the darn thing (which is as light as a feather) and dropped it.  Powder filled the air and settled all over my desk, keyboard, and carpet.  The only thing it did right, once I opened a second packet and downed it, was get my sugar up quickly.  But the main ingredient is glucose and that’s it’s only job.

I feel like a glucose delivery product should taste decent and function well in a diabetic’s sweaty, trembling hands-because that’s our reality.

So if you see this at the store next to your glucose tablets, look away and grab your bottle of tabs.  Better yet, I recommend Glucolift glucose tablets.  Now there’s a well thought out product for a diabetic.

Sugar Bag Review and Giveaway!

file_15

Carolyn Jager has type 1 diabetes since childhood and was diagnosed just after her younger sister was also diagnosed.  (That story sounds familiar, doesn’t it Ana?)  Carolyn’s mother made her and her sister homemade cases that were fashionable and much less serious than what was available at the time and eventually, Carolyn decided all people with diabetes should have an option for a much more stylish and fun diabetes bag.  Luckily for us Sugar Medical Supply was born.  Ana and I received complementary diabetes cases (which do not dictate or sway the contents of these reviews).

These bags offer different fashionable designs, an easy to wipe interior and exterior, and fits the overwhelming majority of meters out there.  They have all the necessary compartments inside the case, but also an external pocket where you could put your cell or a cold pack or glucose tablets.

You can view all the designs and products here.

Ana’s Review:

After seeing the products that Sugar Medical Supply offers on their website, I was so excited to receive my very own “sugar bag” :]. First of all, the pattern is very cute and I love the colors. The size is convenient as well, not too small, not too large–I knew it would fit all of my supplies perfectly.

I have the tiny one touch meter, so I was worried that the featured universal strap wouldn’t be small enough to fit my meter, but it is! You just have to mess around with it for a bit. As you can see in the photos, I also fit my two insulin pens, a bottle of strips, a lancet, a spare battery, lancet and pen needles, and a small notepad.

I love it! I definitely recommend investing in a sugar bag. It has to be cute with that name!

 

DSC09018

 

DSC09024

Sysy’s Review:

The Sugar Bag reminds me of those really cute and colorful make up bags, only on the inside there are places for all your diabetes supplies. I appreciate the size of these bags-not too big nor small. (Funny, Ana and I agree on that and we wrote this separately without talking to each other about it.)

For women who want a discrete and non medical looking diabetes case that is also affordable, these would be a great purchase.  These bags make a really cool gift idea for anyone with diabetes.

Of all the bags I’ve been sent, these are probably the most practical ones.  The quality of the zippers and compartments are great and the patent pending, see through, stretch-to-fit-any-meter band is genius.  I can see myself using this bag anytime I go somewhere with my kids (which is a lot of places) because it’s tough, cute, casual, and holds everything.  These are not your typical boring case and are a great fit for everyday use.

And now for the giveaway!  If you’re interested in having one of these, please state in the comments that you want to be entered in the drawing, which will close in one week from today.

When you win, you can choose from this design:

file_16

or this one:

 

file_13

It’s your call :)

Good luck!

Natural Supplement for Nerve Pain Relief

DRENRICO_products

I was sent a free sample of Neuropasil, Nerve Pain Formula recently.  It was developed by a renowned podiatrist who specializes in Medicine and Surgery of the foot and ankle, Dr. Enrico.  I’m all for natural products so I was eager to see what was in this formulation.

You take one tablet twice a day and get a cocktail of vitamins and minerals, including alpha lipoic acid and inositol.  These ingredients all promote optimal nerve health and supposedly you start to experience results in 2 weeks with maximum relief in 4-6 weeks.  I’m not sure I have enough nerve pain in order to experience “relief” since all I ever get once in a while (if I wear high heels) is a twinge of nerve pain under my right toe.  But I can say that after 3 weeks of taking this I haven’t felt any twinges of pain.  So that’s cool :)

I asked Dr. Enrico a few questions about this product:

Who is Neuropasil for?

Neuropasil is a nutritional supplement that people can use to manage nerve pain and support nerve health. Anyone who suffers from nerve pain, or neuropathy, may benefit from this supplement, including people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, chronic neck and back pain, neuropathy associated with chemotherapy, among others.

Can people get the ingredients for Neuropasil in their diet?

Theoretically yes, but realistically no.  Neuropasil contains a proprietary blend of B vitamins, minerals like Alpha Lipoic Acid and supplements. While these ingredients are naturally occurring in certain green vegetables, in order benefit from these you would have to consume a very large amount of these foods. Its best to incorporate a nutritional supplement with these ingredients into your daily diet to get the nutrients that you need.

Aside from taking this supplement, what else can people with nerve pain do to help their symptoms?

In relation to diabetic neuropathy, the best thing to do is keep your blood sugar under control and to exercise, which keeps you healthy and releases endorphins which can help ease pain.

Thanks, Doc, for answering those questions.

Here is more info:

Website: http://drenriconutritionals.com/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NeuropasilDr-Enricos-Nutritionals/220351811345879

Have any of you tried this product?  What did you think?  I know our feet are really important to us :)

381971_257603470963457_254597271264077_771683_47014134_n

The 5 Stages of Grief Apply to Diabetes

390645_257602037630267_254597271264077_771637_385665851_n

You know how when someone dies, a loved one often goes through stages of grief which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance?

I think that when someone gets a diabetes diagnosis, they go through those same phases.  No one has died in this case but something has-life as we know it.  Our lives matter a lot to us, there is no denying that.  So when a doctor informs us that we have a disease that will last the rest of our lifetime, requires constant monitoring and care, changes to habits and routines we may have in place, and causes all sorts potential health problems that bring about inconvenience and pain…well, it’s not unlike experiencing the death of a loved one.

I’m not saying it’s as painful as experiencing the death of a loved one.  I’m just saying the stages of grief are the same.  For example, when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11, my first inclination was to be like…”noo……really?”  I quickly got angry and though I didn’t show it, I know it because my diary at the time has a page on it where I wrote, “Damn diabetes, I hate you!”  The letters are made out in straight lines and you can tell I pressed down really hard, accentuating each stroke with multiple slashes from my ball point pen.  Next came bargaining.  I grew up in a place where almost everyone is religious and so friends would take me to their churches in hopes that their pastor could “cure me”.  I went along because deep down I wished someone could.  I also didn’t even think a single cuss word between the ages of 12 and 14 in an effort to be “good” enough for God to cure.

Then came depression.  This stage lasted a long, long time.  Many years in fact.  There are catalysts that move us out from the first few stages of grief.  We can’t physically handle staying in shock and in denial for too long.  We only have so much adrenaline and reality is a very persistent nag.  Anger usually leads to self-destruction and it wears us out until we realize it doesn’t improve anything.  It doesn’t take long to figure out that bargaining isn’t going to cure us.  But depression is a disease.  It eats at our brains and takes away our strength every day.  Depression literally changes the chemicals in our brains.  So people often hang out at this stage for a long time.  I was no different.

Acceptance.  It’s so empowering, so forgiving.  When we reach this stage a sense of peace comes over us.  The thick cloud of our diagnosis lifts and we are able to hope, be inspired, and dream about our future.  Life isn’t a drag anymore and our diagnosis might actually do the unexpected-bear gifts.  We can move forward.  We see potential and possibilities.  We know we are going to be ok.

If you’re a diabetic and haven’t reached the final stage of acceptance, please know that you can.  You just have to give yourself time to heal and time to learn about what your diabetes management requires.  Nothing is wrong with you for grieving the loss of the life you once knew.  And you have permission to move ahead when you’re ready.  Get help for the tough days and look forward to the better ones.

They are coming.