Welcome to the first Healthy Living with Diabetes Newsletter of 2014. We hope you find new ways to help manage your health and diabetes with our useful information and tips to living a healthy lifestyle.
With monthly information from our physicians, certified diabetes educators, registered dietitians and even some great feedback from our patients right here at Palm Beach Diabetes and Endocrine Specialists, I hope you enjoy January’s issue. And we hope you have a happy and healthy new year!
Health Care Reform
By: Anna Frisch M.D., PH.D
Health Care reform is a reality now. Each day PBDES patients are asking questions about how it is going to affect them and if their relationship with the doctors will change. People are scared that their visits or medications will not be covered and they cannot afford out of pocket costs. Transformation of health care is a very scary process and it is natural to be afraid of things we don’t know. Personally, I went though many healthcare reforms in Europe where I grew up and was practicing medicine. It always brings vivid discussion and typically negative feedbacks are the norm.
Recently I read Dr. Irl Hirsh’s editorial “Diabetes Care Entering 2014: More Ranting” published in Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics (January 2014), which emphasizes difficulties with approving medical treatments through insurance companies and increasing cost of diabetic medications (for example an insulin vial is now $80 more expensive than 1-2 yrs prior.) Diabetes care is compromised, which is causing frustration of both patients and their doctors. We all have to be our own health advocates and be prepared to take care of ourselves.
Since healthy lifestyle prevents majority of illnesses known to humans we should all start with that. In my practice I cannot emphasize enough how important diabetic education is to improve blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. I see that those who attended diabetic education meetings in our facility have much higher chance to come off majority of expensive medications. They feel better, they do not need frequent doctor visits and the cost of their health care was minimized. Therefore, instead of focusing on medication cost, doctor visits and insurance policies, start with the basics including healthy eating, exercise and education for a brighter future in diabetes care.
2014 Has Arrived!
By: Rosemarie Steinsapir MS, RD, LD, CDE
Did you wake up January 1st, 2014 and feel like “new year, same old diabetes?” January brings a new year, but not the same old disease. Just one hundred years ago, there was no Type 2 diabetes (that we could identify, much less manage), and only 30 years ago there was no category of MODY (mature onset diabetes in the young), or LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes in the adult). Diabetes seems to reinvent itself with each new generation. It does evolve as a human disease.
I’ve notiticed that there are people who succeed in healthy living from two seemingly opposite perspectives: those who stay put, and those who don’t. If you can find the niche of a “healthy rut” and keep at it, you may by-pass pitfalls that cause early decline. Why else do people following the Mediterranean diet or high in the Urals live so long? Conversely, if you leap out in front to keep up in life, learning new ways, having new adventures, and following the latest professional advice, well, you can do all right there too.
Maybe….I can do both? Establish my healthy rut first, then look back and decide what the people in the past got right and make those my habits too. Such as:
- Use methods to your advantage. Do activities in steps and apply mental technique to solve problems. This was a popular perspective in the 19th century and early 20thSherlock Holmes made observation and deduction standbys for everyday living. Applied to diabetes and health: it means monitoring your health, noticing changes, and comparing those changes to your goals in health. Keeping accurate logbooks and finger sticks daily, along with carb counting and exercise, can take you into very old age.
- Use faith, family and friends (including feline and canine) to maintain tranquility. Sharing problems and success with like-minded people has always worked to get people through triumph and tragedy. Stoically going-it-alone will not work, especially as you get older and when your health makes daily demands. You will always need those other people/pet perspectives to adjust your world-view to keep that tricky balance between too much anxiety and simply not caring at all. I’ve always liked Churchhill’s motto “Keep Calm and Carry On.” I think it may have served Britain well because they thought of themselves as connected to each other and all in the same boat.
- Use the mottos of your childhood. An apple a day…, Everything in moderation…, If at first you don’t succeed…, Keep the horse before the cart (just to remind you there are important details to get right), a stitch in time saves nine, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. (Ok, so I grew up with Benjamin Franklin.)
If the above approach seems comfortable to you too, well, good. It’s worked for hundreds of years and with many different societies and the educated/wise people of both your family and mine. Tried and True. No need to reinvent the wheel.
But, my heart yearns to know the latest and what the young Churchill or Franklin is learning today that will produce the sweeping changes of the future. I just want to taste the future, not conquer it. So, I scouted out some apps for the iPhone. There are 508 available apps when you type in “diabetes free apps” in the app store search box. Here are a few I found that may help you in your journey for better health:
2012 Winner of “Best App Ever Award” as “World’s best Health App!” Optimized for iphone 5. Tracking in exercise, labs, glucose reading and carbs. Syncs with iPad and iPod.
Diabetes Animated Pocket Dictionary
Text definitions of 70+ definitions and descriptive 3D animations. It doesn’t get any better than learning by pictures. (Now what was that old saying about a picture?).
Diabetes in Check
It’s easy and requires only your finger touch to log it all.
Pacer – Pedometer plus Weight Manager
This one is your pedometer and the 10,000 steps a day matched with your calories consumed.
You set the goal, share it with your friend(s), and Everest helps to get you there. Even when your goal is not diabetes related.
You tap in the ingredients you have on hand for supper, and this app pulls up the recipes. I put in vinegar, chicken and mushrooms and got Shanghai Asian Noodles. Nutrition Information is also available.
If you’re an app-type person, you can go through all 508 apps…for free!
Some days I’m really proud of Steve Jobs. Other days, I remember that Henry David Thoreau (1817-1865, “…simplify, simplify…”) was hitting the mark in his day and ours. Maybe I can simplify my life and download the latest information.
Attention all patients with Medicare!
Medicare will cover for their patients to see a registered dietitian twice per year. Medicare also covers two hours of diabetes self-management classes, which can be used as two individual sessions with the certified diabetes educator or by attending our 2-hour refresher course that is offered twice per month. These extra diabetes education services can help you stay on track to help manage your health, medications, blood sugar numbers, diet, and weight.
If you have Medicare and haven’t scheduled your allotted diabetes education now is the time to prepare for the New Year! Call our scheduling department today to make an appointment at (561) 513-5100.
At Healthy Living with Diabetes we want to ensure that you are satisfied with all services received. We also would like your input on educational workshops that you would like us to offer, information you would like to read about in Healthy Living with Diabetes Monthly or feedback on any workshop that you may have attended.
You can contact the director of education personally by email jcook@PBDES.COM or leave a message at (561) 513-5100. We would love to hear from you!
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