carb counting

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Best of the Diabetes Apps of 2016 – How to pick what is right for you

By | 2016-12-08T23:26:32+00:00 November 28th, 2016|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

The National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 95 percent of them have Type 2, the form most associated with obesity. And interestingly the number of people age 20 or older with diabetes topped 1.7 million. It is also estimated that 86 million Americans 20 years and older may have prediabetes which increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The increase in incidence of diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) provides a lot of incentive for developers of Apps to create products to aid with management of chronic health conditions like diabetes.  A study published in the journal Clinical Diabetes showed that “the use of mobile phones leads to improved A1C and self-management in diabetes care.”, assuming this is due to apps that aid with improved tracking and awareness of glucose patterns. In a basic count recently, I found 1000+ apps specific to diabetes management – WOW! Great that so much is available, but how can a person with diabetes figure out which app is right for them? Depending on the needs of the individual, health apps can be very beneficial, especially from the standpoint of possible support. However, the person choosing the App needs to consider what they want or need to track as well as how tech-savvy they are, which can improve how they manage. Step one in this process of choice should be to narrow down the apps based on your individual goals. For some people that might be a focus on weight control, while others need help tracking blood glucose and learning about their patterns. Some apps also help you to remember to take medication, change [...]

Artificial Pancreas Systems – What’s in the Future?

By | 2016-12-08T23:26:42+00:00 July 19th, 2016|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

There are a multitude of different groups working on hybrid closed loop projects, and each one runs on its own unique proportion of automation and brain-power. Here are a few of the projects that were presented and discussed at the ADA Scientific Sessions in New Orleans this past June.

Diabetes Friendly Foods

By | 2016-12-08T23:26:45+00:00 February 18th, 2016|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

What do I eat? Diabetes & Diet If you are new to living with diabetes (or you've lived with diabetes for years and you are looking for information), you've likely heard a lot about food and how it can affect your blood sugar. Your favorite Aunt might have lovingly told you to stay away from “white” food, and your oh-so-helpful co-worker may have said to avoid “Carbohydrates” – it can lead to a lot of confusion. Food is a basic necessity of life – we need to eat – yes, WE ALL NEED TO EAT!! With the right information as well as some self-evaluation you’ll start to learn how food affects your blood sugar. However, it helps to have a place to start. There are plenty of diabetes friendly foods you should continue to eat and some that you might need to add to help keep your blood sugar levels under control. A good list to get you started will help with making a grocery trip a bit easier and give you some results that please you as well. The foods you eat have a direct effect on your blood sugar levels so eating food to help keep glucose levels in target is key when we talk about preventing complications down the road. It also helps to understand a bit about how the body works to move the food we eat into our body for energy. After eating our digestive system breaks food down into smaller pieces - the one that affects blood sugar most is carbohydrate. This is broken down into a simple form of sugar called glucose. When our body gets the signal that it has been fed, insulin is released by an [...]

Blood Sugar Checks – What Have They Done for You Lately?

By | 2016-12-08T23:26:46+00:00 October 13th, 2015|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

By Diane Herbert MSW, LSW, CDE (pending) If you’re living with diabetes, you have been told many times and in many ways – Check your sugar, test, monitor your glucose, do your finger sticks….. You have also likely been told that this is how you learn your current glucose (sugar) level. I’m wondering how much information you’ve been given about why checking your blood sugar is helpful to you and what it means at different points in your day? Your Body at Work The pancreas and the body are truly amazing when it comes to keeping checks and balances within our systems. As far as your blood sugar goes – the pancreas and the liver perform a seamless dance to metabolize food/energy/sugar to make sure that all the other systems get just the right amount they need at just the right time when they need it. When you live with diabetes, your body’s ability to do that dance breaks down and requires that a third partner be entered into the mix – that partner is you! Your non-diabetes pancreas and liver had blood sugar management skills literally hardwired into their DNA. These are skills that we from the outside continue to only dream about matching. Effortlessly these amazing organs knew how much to adjust for exercise, when to release insulin quickly, when to dole it out slowly over hours, and how to auto-correct with a perfect shot of glucose if we added a late variable to the mix (say going on a roller coaster after eating pizza). Now living with diabetes – that balancing act largely rests on you to perform manually. How can you hope to be able to return to the smooth, graceful [...]

A New Sweetener on the Shelf

By | 2016-12-08T23:26:52+00:00 January 23rd, 2015|Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes|

I recently read about FDA Approval for a “NEW” sugar substitute…Advantame. Interesting name – it would appear the creators believe there is an “advantage” to using it. The positive for people with diabetes of course, is that it doesn’t cause a glycemic response. Similar to the other sugar substitutes already on the market in a plethora of foods and beverages, Advantame is an artificial sweetener developed by the Japanese food and chemical corporation, Ajinomoto. Advantame is about 20,000 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). The FDA has approved it for general use in foods and beverages. This new artificial sweetener is also FEMA GRAS approved in Dairy, Frozen Desserts, Beverages, and Chewing Gum, but isn’t approved for use in products with meat or poultry. This is the 6th sweetener to be approved by the FDA and is a white powder derived from aspartame and vanillin that dissolves in water, and continues to remain stable in high temperatures (unlike pure aspartame which breaks down and doesn’t provide the taste appeal in baked products). Advantame's structure is chemically similar to aspartame, and it was assumed a warning label notifying people with phenylketonuria (PKU) to the presence of phenylalanine was required, but after further evaluation the agency determined that, since advantame is approximately 100 times sweeter than aspartame and requires only a fraction of the amount to achieve the same degree of sweetness, no warning label is necessary. This fact alone should make one consider the nature of the word artificial. We tend to rely heavily on products with no sugar when living with diabetes – but how much is too much and should we be considering these alternatives as good, bad or ugly? Looking at each artificial [...]

Healthy Holiday Habits

By | 2016-12-08T23:26:53+00:00 November 19th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Sometimes eating at parties feels defeating when so much goes into choosing and counting when you live with diabetes. Most parties that we attend have so much food, everything looks great – but when we live with diabetes it gives us more to chew on so to speak!

Kings and Queens of Carb Counting Share their Secrets

By | 2016-12-08T23:26:56+00:00 July 21st, 2014|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|

The results are in. Apparently, there is universal interest in the topic, because we received hundreds of entries in our carb counting contest from people as far away as Eastern Europe and Australia. We all think we’re “experts” after years of label reading and WAG counting, but our three winners really showed their expertise and scored high in all three sections of our Integrated Diabetes Carb quiz.

These Are A Few of My Favorite… APPS

By | 2016-12-08T23:26:59+00:00 April 16th, 2014|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog, Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes|

In the world of diabetes management, anything that makes living with diabetes better and easier is worth putting on my favorite things list. Here are a few of my favorite Apps!