Tuesday, September 29, 2009

H1N1 "Swine" Flu Vaccine to be Available Shortly

On September 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its approval of four vaccines against the H1N1, or “swine” flu, virus. According to federal officials, 6-7 million doses of vaccine will be available starting the first week in October, with millions more doses to be shipped in the following weeks.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the rate of doctor visits for flu-like symptoms is higher than typically expected at this time of year. However, the vaccines currently available for seasonal flu do not protect against the H1N1 virus.

Although there will eventually be enough H1N1 vaccines for everyone in the United States, healthy adults are encouraged to hold off on being vaccinated so that people who are most at-risk from the flu can receive the vaccine first. Those identified as at-risk include pregnant women, people who live with or care for children under 6 months old, health-care and emergency service workers, people from 6 months to 24 years old, and those from 25 to 64 years old who have a chronic health disorder, such as diabetes or a compromised immune system.

Since the flu is spread primarily by the coughing and sneezing of infected people, those who have the H1N1 flu are advised to stay home and limit their contact with other people to prevent the spread of infection. It is also important to wash your hands with soap and water or to use hand sanitizer to avoid spreading the virus through contact.

For more information visit the CDC's H1N1 "Swine" Flu page.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Managing Gestational Diabetes with a Diabetic Diet

3-5% of pregnant women will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. While this condition is rare, it is important to know how to manage the disease during your pregnancy. One of the easiest ways of managing your gestational diabetes is by following a healthy, diabetes-friendly diet. The diabetic diet you follow during pregnancy will help regulate your blood sugar and ensure the health of your baby.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning a Gestational Diabetes Diet:
  1. Meet with your doctor to discuss your personalized meal plan that will be focused on helping you maintain normal blood glucose levels. Ask any questions you may have, and be sure you are clear on what foods are appropriate for you to eat as well as how much you should eat.
  2. Avoid sugar and all foods high in sugar. These will create unnecessary and harmful spikes in your blood sugar.
  3. Choose complex carbohydrates, including vegetables, grains, cereals, beans, peas and other starchy foods. These take longer to break down in your body and help regulate your blood sugar.
  4. Place emphasis on foods that are high in fiber in your diet, and choose foods that are low in fat.
  5. Eat bedtime snacks that contain both protein and complex carbohydrates to encourage your body to maintain a constant level of blood sugar.
  6. Be sure to eat 3 consistent meals a day with several snacks at similar times each day in order to provide adequate nutrition to you and your baby as well as regulate your blood sugar naturally.
For more information about Blood Sugar Levels and Pregnancy, please visit American Diabetes Services.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Disney to Air Hannah Montana Diabetes Episode

Disney Channel will air a special juvenile diabetes episode of Hannah Montana September 20th at 7:30 PM.

The episode depicts Miley Cyrus and Lilly (Emily Osment) reacting to the knowledge that Oliver (Mitchel Musso) has been diagnosed with Type I diabetes. The two girls then play "food police" at a sweet 16 party to keep Oliver away from certain foods.

Disney has also enlisted their own popular Type 1 Diabetes spokeperson, Nick Jonas, to star in a public service announcement to air during the show.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Diabetic Jet-Setter's Survival Guide

Air travel for diabetics has gotten progressively easier over the last 10 years, coming a long way from when diabetics were constrained to bus and train travel due to security concerns about diabetic supplies. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have teamed up to offer time-saving tips for jet-setting diabetics.
  • Pack Extra Medicine and Supplies - Pack twice as much medicine and supplies as you will need. Put half of it in your carry-on and half in your checked baggage, just in case you lose your luggage or have an emergency situation.
  • Stock Up on 3 oz. Containers - Make sure your containers are less than 3 oz. and that they are stored in a clear, one-quart plastic bag.
  • Label Your Prescriptions - Make sure your name, pharmacy, doctor and dosage are identified on your prescription labels.
  • Box Up Syringes - There is no limit on the amount of syringes you can bring on board, but they should be placed in a hard shelled box for protection.
  • Identify Yourself as a Diabetic - As you approach the security check-point, make sure to tell security that you have diabetes. It is also a good idea to have proof of diagnosis of the disease, although this is not required.