Thursday, November 29, 2012

In the News--Highly Caffeinated Drinks

Have you been following all the news about energy, high caffeinated drinks?  Recent news articles cite 13 deaths over a four year period believed to be due to high caffeinated drinks.  Lawmakers are calling on the FDA to set up maximum caffeine limits for these “energy drinks”.   Soft drinks (sodas) contain no more than 70 milligrams (mg) per 12 oz soda.  Because the FDA does not regulate the energy drink market,  the caffeine level on energy drinks isn’t required.  People who drink the energy drink may have no idea how much caffeine is in their drink. 

Now you may say 13 deaths over a four year period isn’t very many---unless it’s your beloved son or daughter who was drinking several of these drinks while studying for finals –only to become dehydrated, suffer from heart rhythm issues, and end up in an emergency room. 

Speaking of an emergency room, check out these statistics:  In 2005 the emergency room visits linked to energy drinks was 1,128.  In 2009, the number of emergency room visits associated with energy drinks was 13, 114 (a huge increase).  Another interesting fact about these ER visits: half of them involved young adults 18 to 25.  Many of these ER trips involved mixing alcohol or drugs with the energy drinks.

The FOX  News article quoted the American Academy of Pediatrics:  “That energy drinks should never be consumed by children or adolescents.” 
Why would I talk about this situation?  I think knowledge is power.  When we understand the dangers of the high caffeinated drinks, we can educate our loved ones to be smart and safe in regards to these drinks. FoxNews, “Lawmakers urge FDA to regulate energy drinks,”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How controlled is your blood sugar?

I am proud of my sister for keeping her blood sugar under control.  She was diagnosed a year ago with type 2 diabetes (approximately).  She attended diabetic education classes and learned how to care for her blood sugar.  Her recent A1C blood level was 6.1.  What does that mean?  A1C is a blood test which tells a person’s blood sugar level for the last 2-3 months.  (There is no ‘being sneaky and trying to fool the lab’.  A1C takes the sneaky out of blood sugar reports.) An A1C level of 6.1 means my sister has been doing an excellent job keeping her blood sugar level under control.  According to the American Diabetes Association website, a 6.0 A1C equals a blood sugar of 126. 
A new way to compare blood sugar levels is called Estimated Average Glucose or eAG.  A1C results give a percentage (like 6.1%).  The new eAG gives the same measurement as a person’s glucose meter (126 mg/dL).  So if you hear your doctor talking about your A1C or estimated average glucose, both are measuring how well you are controlling your blood sugar.  For more information about diabetes and controlling your blood sugar, see

Now, to comment on my sister’s good report.  Yeah, sis.  I am proud of you.   

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gestational Diabetes

During 18% of pregnancies, the pregnant mom develops high blood sugar.  Often she has no history of high blood sugar before pregnancy.  What should the pregnant mom do to protect herself and her unborn baby?  Work with her doctors to control her blood sugar. Often once her pregnancy is finished, the new mom will find the diabetes symptoms go away.  However, once a woman has had gestational diabetes, she faces a higher risk for having gestational diabetes with future pregnancies.  She also faces an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.  For more information about gestational diabetes, go to the Diabetes Association website, and

Friday, November 23, 2012

Living with type 2 Diabetes

People who deal with any chronic illness get tired of it after a while.  It’s easy to say, ‘forget it; I’m going to eat what I want.  Why should I deprive myself?  What’s the point anyway?’

Meet Suzy Sick and Tired of Being Good.  Suzy doesn’t see the point.   So the first day Suzy Sick & Tired goes off her diet, she may not see any changes.  In fact, if Suzy Sick & Tired has type 2 diabetes, she may not notice any changes or problems for weeks or months.  Just because Suzy doesn’t see problems, doesn’t mean all is well with her body.  Diabetes does its damage quietly.  The high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels throughout the body, from the vessels that feed the heart itself (coronary arteries) to the tiny vessels feeding the toes.  So while I sympathize with Suzy Sick & Tired of Being Good, she will do herself a favor of considering her future health and make a healthy lifestyle which keeps her blood sugar within normal levels.  Her toes will thank her for it. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends.  I am sending wishes for a happy, restful, safe holiday to all my family and friends. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Can we prevent diabetes?

Prediabetes might be called border-line diabetic.  This person’s blood glucose (sugar) levels are high but not high enough to be called diabetes.  This person is at risk for developing diabetes and its complications.  But wait—there are some things this person can do to prevent diabetes from developing.  According to the American Diabetes Association website, “Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) and exercising moderately (such as brisk walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week.”  For more information about preventing diabetes, see the website

What about after you have been diagnosed with diabetes?  At that point, there are lifestyle changes you can add to your life to help control your blood sugar levels and prevent the complications. Talk with your doctor, attend diabetes education classes and learn how to protect your health from this serious illness.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Diagnosis of diabetes

Diagnosis of diabetes involves one of three diabetes tests:  a fasting plasma glucose test (FPG), oral glucose tolerance (OGTT) or an A1C test.
Fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) involves the person going without food overnight and having blood drawn the first thing in the morning.  A normal FPG test is 100 mg/dL.  A FPG result of 100 to 125 mg/dL is considered prediabetes.  A FPG result above 126 mg/dL points to diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) involves the person fasting overnight.  The person’s blood sugar is drawn the first thing in the morning.  This person drinks a glucose-rich drink and a second blood sugar specimen is drawn 2 hours after drinking the drink.  Normal blood glucose for a OGTT is below 140 mg/dL.  If the result of this test is between 140 and 199, the person has prediabetes.  A blood sugar result above 200 mg/dL diagnoses diabetes. 

A1C measures the amount of blood sugar present in the blood for the past 3-4 months.  An A1C of 5.6  or below is considered normal.  A level of 5.7 to 6.4% is prediabetic.  An A1C level of 6.5% or above diagnoses diabetes.  Information about diagnosing diabetes can be found at