For Better Health, Make Small Changes One Step at a Time
(NAPSI)--When it comes to health, making positive lifestyle changes that
include losing weight and being more active is a goal for many people. But
often times, no matter how good the intentions, these changes only last a few
weeks. Even if you know what to do to improve your health, figuring out how
to do it and fitting it into your daily routine can present the biggest
Making small changes—step by step—can go a long way to help
you manage or even prevent many serious health problems and diseases, such as
diabetes. For example, if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, losing a small
amount of weight (that's 10 to 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) can
help lower your chances of getting the disease. Try making small but gradual
steps to be more active and follow a healthy meal plan. You can start by
walking 10 minutes a day and gradually work up to 30 minutes a day, five days
a week, and drink water instead of soda at each meal. If you have diabetes,
making similar types of changes in your lifestyle can help you reach your
blood sugar (glucose), blood pressure and cholesterol goals to prevent
serious diabetes-related health problems such as heart attack and stroke.
So how do you get started making changes in how you care for your health?
It's all a matter of trying and learning. It's about choosing a
goal and working toward reaching your goal. Making a plan and taking the
first step will help you reach your goal.
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) provides a number of tools
to help you better understand HOW to make changes in your day-to-day life to
help you stay healthy. If you are ready to take the first step toward better
health, the NDEP's Just One Step resource is a great place to start. This tool helps
you identify one small step to take for a short period of time (such as one
month) to begin to implement healthy changes. Once you have taken a few
steps, you may need help making these changes stick
as part of a daily routine. This becomes much easier if you 'Make A
Plan.' NDEP's Make A Plan tool can help you think about what is important to
your health and how to make a plan to help you reach your goal.
The NDEP's Diabetes HealthSense website, provides easy access to resources that can support people with diabetes and
those at risk for the disease in making lifestyle changes and coping with the
demands of diabetes.
To find links to resources from the NDEP such as Diabetes HealthSense, Just One Step, and Make A Plan, visit YourDiabetes Info.org/HealthSense.
The U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services' National Diabetes Education Program is jointly
sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200
Note to Editors:
While this article is useful at any
time, it may be particularly appropriate to run during November, which is
National Diabetes Month or at year end for New Year's Resolutions.
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New Medicines To Fight Diabetes
(NAPSI)—There could be good news for the nearly 26 million people in
biopharmaceutical research companies are currently developing 221 innovative
new medicines to help treat diabetes.
Diabetes Facts And Figures
one in 10 adults have diabetes and, if current trends continue, as many as
one in three could develop the disease by 2050, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes rates are expected to rise sharply
for a variety of reasons, including an aging population that is more likely
to develop type 2 diabetes, as well as increases in minority groups at high
risk for the disease and longer life spans among diabetes patients. If left
untreated, diabetes can lead to severe health problems and complications,
such as heart disease, stroke, vision loss and amputation.
The innovative medicines now being developed—all either in clinical
trials or being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—include
32 for type 1 diabetes, 130 for type 2 and 64 for diabetes-related
conditions, according to a new report released by the Pharmaceutical Research
and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
In recent years, the FDA approved six new classes of type 2 diabetes
medicines, giving patients and their doctors powerful new tools to treat the
disease. Working with private-sector, university and government researchers,
biopharmaceutical research companies continue to explore many different
approaches to battle diabetes.
What May Lie Ahead
•A once-daily medicine that selectively inhibits the protein
associated with glucose metabolism.
•A medicine designed to inhibit an enzyme linked to diabetic
•A medicine to treat type 2 diabetes that may allow for once- weekly
"Diabetes is a serious chronic disease with far-reaching
implications for American patients, families, our health care system and our
economy," said PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani. "However,
diabetes can be controlled through lifestyle interventions, and treatment
with medications can also manage and slow the disease. The medicines in the
pipeline represent an exciting new chapter in the ongoing quest to better
treat this debilitating disease."
You can see the report at http://phrma.org/sites/default/files
/1869/diabetes2012.pdf and get further facts from the National Institute
of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at www2.niddk.nih.gov/.
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Diabetes And Eye Health: A Closer Look
(NAPSI)—Those with diabetes should take a good look at their eye
That's the word from the American Diabetes Association. It reports
that nearly 26 million people in the
have diabetes and
12,000-24,000 people lose their sight because of the disease each year.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) encourages Americans with
diabetes to schedule annual, dilated eye examinations to help detect and
prevent eye and vision disorders that could lead to blindness.
Diabetic Eye Disorders
People with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk for developing eye
diseases including glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy, one of the
most serious sight-threatening complications of diabetes. Consider the
• Those with diabetes are 40 percent more likely to suffer from
glaucoma than people without diabetes.
• Those with diabetes are 60 percent more likely to develop
cataracts. People with diabetes also tend to get them at a younger age and
have them progress faster. With cataracts, the eye's clear lens clouds,
blocking light and interfering with normal vision.
• Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that causes progressive damage
to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye. Damage to
the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina causes swelling of retinal
tissue and clouding of vision. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can
Since early warning signs of diabetic eye and vision disorders are often
subtle or undetected, the AOA recommends that people—especially African
Americans and Hispanics, who have a higher risk of developing diabetes—look
for initial signs and contact a doctor of optometry if any of the following
symptoms are present: sudden blurred or double vision, trouble reading or
focusing on near-work, eye pain or pressure, a noticeable aura or dark ring
around lights or illuminated objects, visible dark spots in vision or images
of flashing lights.
Eye Health Tips
In addition to having yearly, comprehensive eye exams, the AOA offers the
following tips to help prevent or slow the development of diabetic eye
• Take prescribed medication as directed.
• Keep glycohemoglobin test results ("A1c," or average
blood sugar level) consistently under 7 percent.
• Stick to a healthy diet that includes omega-3s, fresh fruits and
• Exercise regularly.
• Control high blood pressure.
• Avoid alcohol and smoking.
For more information on eye health, visit www.aoa.org.
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Cost-Effective Tips For Managing Diabetes
(NAPSI)—If you or anyone you care for is ever among the one in 10
Americans living with diabetes, it's important to recognize that
managing this disease can seem both overwhelming and expensive—but it
doesn't have to be.
People with diabetes spend two and a half times on health care than the
average consumer does and approximately $350 annually on over-the-counter
Whether you're newly diagnosed or have been managing diabetes for
years, there are a number of cost-effective steps that can help you manage
treatment while living a healthy life:
• Buy generic and in bulk. Generic medications are just as safe and effective as brand-name medications
but generally lower in price. Pharmacists can recommend generic alternatives
that will help maintain the effectiveness of an individual's regimen
while saving them money, as well as more cost-effective prescription programs
such as a 90-day supply prescription plan.
• Enroll in savings programs. Savings programs, such as the CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes program, offer great opportunities for people living
with diabetes. Free to ExtraCare cardholders, it
provides an additional layer of savings and benefits. Members who sign up for
the program get a $5 offer on diabetes-related products and Double ExtraBucks Rewards on more than 100 products throughout
the year. Shoppers can have more than $130 in savings on CVS.com/diabetes, as well as exclusive,
members-only tips, recipes and savings every month in an e-newsletter.
• Be proactive. People
living with diabetes should be active participants in their own health care,
and shouldn't be afraid to ask questions. Health experts, such as
pharmacists, can offer advice for effectively managing this chronic
condition. Pharmacists can also be a great resource in recommending
less-expensive alternatives for medications and medical equipment, in
addition to offering assistance with finding healthy diet alternatives. Be
proactive and ask your pharmacist any questions you have about managing
diabetes and saving money. Also, take advantage of free diabetes screening
programs, such as CVS/pharmacy's Project Health program.
• Learn more. You can
find further facts and tips at www.cvs.com/diabetes.
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Myths About Diabetes: Injecting Is Complicated
(NAPSI)—According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes
affects 25.8 million Americans. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age but is
most often diagnosed in children, teens or young adults. Type 2 most often
occurs in adulthood. Treatment options can include diet, exercise and
medication that may require multiple injections a day, such as insulin and
GLP-1 incretins. For many people with diabetes, the
idea of injecting insulin may seem complicated—but it doesn't
have to be. New injection options and recommendations are helping to simplify
the injection process.
Shorter pen needles are one innovation that is making injection therapy
easier—and more comfortable. Available with thinner gauges and modified
needle tips, 4mm needles make it easier for patients to inject insulin, as
most patients don't need to "pinch up" the skin when
injecting—a technique that is needed when using longer needles to avoid
hitting the muscle with the needle. Needles as short as 4mm are effective for
children as well as adult patients, including those with a high body mass
index (BMI). Longer needles could go too deep into the patient's body
and actually deliver insulin into the muscle, where absorption could be
unpredictable and potentially create unanticipated hypoglycemic (low blood
Not having to "pinch up" also enables patients to use just one
hand when administering their injection treatments, which allows for more
discreet injections. A one-handed injection technique also makes it possible
to rotate to additional injection sites such as the upper arms and buttocks.
Proper site rotation helps prevent lumps—often called "lipos"—from developing under the skin, which
can occur when frequently injecting into the same site.
Recommendations from the American Association of Diabetes Educators
emphasize the importance of selecting the shortest needle possible for
insulin injections. To find out more about your options, ask your doctor about
shorter needles. Visit www.bd.com/nano to see new needle innovations that improve the ease and comfort of
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Innovative Treatment Can Help Heal Serious Diabetes Complication
(NAPSI)—Whether you have diabetes, or know someone who does, you're most
likely familiar with the importance of controlling the disease through diet and
exercise, an insulin regimen or both. However, even for those who strive to
effectively manage their condition, serious and debilitating complications
such as diabetic foot ulcers can occur. Fortunately, an innovative treatment
option is available in a wound care center near you.
"Diabetic foot ulcers are common, often painless, complications that are
caused by nerve damage and/or poor circulation. Because patients may not
experience pain or discomfort with the ulcers, the wounds can go untreated
for long periods of time, which can lead to severe consequences," said Dr.
Desmond Bell, Board Certified Wound Specialist and founder of the Save A Leg,
Save A Life Foundation. "The key to preventing additional complications with
ongoing diabetic foot ulcers is to seek treatment at a wound care center
where professionals can appropriately address the medical needs of the
Wound care centers provide advanced wound healing techniques and
state-of-the-art wound assessment, testing and treatment for people suffering
from acute and chronic (hard to heal) wounds. Although wound healing can take
time, if you have a foot wound that has not healed in four weeks with
conventional therapies, consult with a doctor at a local wound care center
about trying Apligraf®. Apligraf is a unique living cell-based treatment that
plays a more active role in wound healing by delivering living cells,
proteins produced by the cells, and collagen, which each play an important
role in healing. Apligraf is the only product with FDA approval for healing
both venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers. To find a wound care center
near you, visit www.apligraf.com.
In addition to medical treatment, Dr. Bell recommends that people with
diabetes take preventative action and check for signs of diabetic foot ulcers
by following these tips to stay foot healthy:
• Reduce your risk factors—Work
with your endocrinologist to control blood glucose and high cholesterol, and
avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
• Appropriately protect your feet—Visit
with your podiatrist to discuss appropriate prevention techniques, such as
recommended footwear and toenail maintenance.
• Look at your feet daily—Check
your feet daily for cuts, blisters, red spots, or swelling. Inform your
doctor immediately if you see any changes or injuries.
Important Safety Information: Apligraf
is FDA-approved for the treatment of venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot
ulcers lasting longer than one month that have not adequately responded to
conventional therapy. It contains living cells, proteins produced by the
cells, and collagen. Complications may include suspected wound or non-wound
infection, skin inflammation, wound drainage, swelling, a skin tear or cut,
pain, a new ulcer, red, flaky skin, bone infection, rash, low or high blood
sugar, bruising, swelling, worsening ulcer and dry skin. Apligraf should not
be used if your wound is infected or if you are allergic to cow collagen or the
agarose shipping medium. For more information, please read the complete
prescribing information available at Apligraf.com.