2. December 2011 04:44
Have you or a loved one ever found yourself in this scenario?
You were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes recently and now you have lost interest in things. The holidays are the happiest time of the year but you are sad. You don’t understand what is going on. You may also be struggling with managing blood sugar levels and you have stopped testing altogether.
You talk with your doctor about your feelings and she performs a mental health screening. She tells you that there is a link between diabetes and depression. A 10 year study at the Harvard School of Public Health found a relationship between diabetes and depression, called a “two-way street”. This means that diabetes puts people at risk for depression, and people with depression are at risk for type 2 diabetes. The doctor says she will pay close attention to your mental health and the psycho-social aspect of diabetes care. It is comforting to know that you are not alone and there is help for this problem.
Help yourself, if you have experienced any symptoms of depression, ask your doctor for a screening. Remember, treating depression in people with diabetes can improve diabetes care. Also, people with depression can decrease their risk for type 2 diabetes. Both of these conditions can be treated and managed.
11. November 2011 06:54
Everybody is talking about the economy today. The question on most people’s mind is how can I save money and how does my spending affect the bottom line? If you have Medicare and are getting your glucose strips from CCS Medical, you are already helping save Medicare money. Mail order glucose strips are paid by Medicare at $31 per box, while glucose strips you get from your local pharmacy (i.e. Walgreens, Rite Aid, or Sav-On) are paid at $38 per box. This is a difference of $7 per box. This means that pharmacies are making on average $84 more each year on a patient that fills a prescription for 1 box a month.
Now I know $84 a year doesn’t sound like a lot of money but let’s put this into perspective:
- 66% of all patients with diabetes are covered by Medicare at about 14 to 16 million.
- If you take out just 1 million people with diabetes that are getting their glucose strips from the local pharmacy, that is $84,000,000 going out of the Medicare coffers each year.
Don’t you think that with this type of savings would take Medicare dollars farther?
Do you know people with diabetes that are not using mail order for their prescription needs?
Let them know how they can have a more positive effect on Medicare’s bottom line by getting their strips through mail order.
How will you pay for your prescriptions in the future if Medicare disappears? You decide.
20. October 2011 04:35
I talk with patients daily about blood sugar testing. When questioned why they are testing less than their doctor has ordered, their excuses are too many to list.
When I hear this, I look back on my own life with diabetes over the past 51 years. When diagnosed with diabetes that many years ago, I had urine test tape. When placed in the urine the tape would turn colors. I would compare it to the color chart and the chart would tell me the range the sugar was in. I then progressed to the Clinitest which measured the amount of glucose in the urine, this was the only way for diabetics to keep a check on their glucose levels at the time. These tests were unreliable and you can imagine how happy I was when the blood glucose meters became available. Now, I could actually see a specific number associated with my test. It improved the ability to control my diabetes and my medications could be adjusted properly. This is why I encourage people to test their blood sugars as prescribed by their doctor.
We have come a long way in diabetes testing management. There are so many types of diabetes blood glucose meters on the market that you are bound to find one that fits your needs. Blood sugar testing is the most important thing you can do to manage your health and prevent complications.
If you have been managing diabetes for quite a few years - what is your favorite benefit of the new blood glucose meters?
3. October 2011 05:12
Every day one of my diabetes patients state that they saw a diabetes meter on TV that does not “prick the finger”. I then explain that this is true, but blood is still needed to check blood sugars. This commercial is advertising a meter that you can test with alternate sites. You can now use your palms, forearms, upper arms, thighs or calves.
Follow these simple steps to make alternate site testing (AST) successful:
- Only use the clear cap on your lancing device.
- Rub the site until it is warm to increase blood flow
- Press the lancing device firmly against the skin
- Hold the lancing device down on the skin and press button to lance
- Push up and down on the skin with the lancing device (do not remove from the skin)
- Once you see the proper amount of blood, touch the test strip to the blood drop
- Wait for result
Is AST for Everyone?
If you have frequent low blood sugars, the finger is your best choice because it gives the most accurate blood sugar readings. Always check with your health care team to see if alternate site testing (AST) is right for you.