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How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet?

How can diabetes affect my feet?

How can diabetes affect my feet?

Chronically high blood sugar (glucose) levels can be associated with serious complications in people who have diabetes. The feet are especially at risk. Two conditions called diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease can damage the feet (and other areas of the body) in people who have diabetes.
What is diabetic neuropathy?
Chronically high sugar levels associated with uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage that interferes with the ability to sense pain and temperature. This so-called "sensory diabetic neuropathy" increases the risk a person with diabetes will not notice problems with his or her feet. Nearly 10% of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers due to peripheral vascular disease and nerve damage. People with diabetes may not notice sores or cuts on the feet, which in turn can lead to an infection. Nerve damage can also affect the function of foot muscles, leading to improper alignment and injury.
What is peripheral vascular disease?
Diabetes is associated with poor circulation (blood flow). Inadequate blood flow increases the healing time for cuts and sores. Peripheral vascular disease refers to compromised blood flow in the arms and legs. Poor blood flow increases the risk that infections will not heal. This, in turn, increases the risk of ulcers and gangrene, which is tissue death that occurs in a localized area when there is an inadequate blood supply.
What are common foot problems of people with diabetes?
The following images show common foot problems that anyone can get; however, those with diabetes are at increased risk for serious complicati Continue reading

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Daylight On Diabetes Drugs: Nevada Bill Would Track Insulin Makers’ Profits

Daylight On Diabetes Drugs: Nevada Bill Would Track Insulin Makers’ Profits

Patients notched a rare win over the pharmaceutical industry Monday when the Nevada Legislature revived a bill requiring insulin makers to disclose the profits they make on the life-sustaining drug. In a handful of other states, bills addressing drug prices have stalled.
Many of the 1.25 million Americans who live with Type 1 diabetes cheered the legislative effort in Nevada as an important first step in their fight against skyrocketing costs of a drug on which their lives depend. The cost of insulin medications has steadily risen over the past decade by nearly 300 percent.
Prominent patient advocacy groups, like the American Diabetes Association, have maintained stony silence while diabetes patients championed the bill and lobbied the legislature during this debate — a silence that patients and experts say stems from financial ties.
“Normally all of the patient advocacy groups rally around causes and piggyback on each other in a productive way — that’s what advocacy groups are good at — but that hasn’t been the case here,” said Thom Scher, chief operating officer of Beyond Type 1, which does not accept donations from the pharmaceutical industry. Beyond Type 1 has not issued a formal opinion on the Nevada bill.
Many of the dozens of U.S. diabetes advocacy organizations, large and small, garner significant portions of their funding from insulin manufacturers. The Nevada bill also requires such organizations operating in-state to disclose all contributions they receive from the pharmaceutical industry to discourage that sort of conflict.
In 2016, two of the “b Continue reading

Diabetes patients sue insulin makers for ‘pricing fraud’

Diabetes patients sue insulin makers for ‘pricing fraud’

A group of diabetes patients filed a lawsuit Monday against three drug companies for systematically increasing the list prices of insulin for years in an alleged fraudulent-pricing scheme that saddled patients with “crushing out-of-pocket expenses,” according to the filing.
The insulin market is dominated by an oligopoly of companies that sell many billions of dollars worth of insulin each year — and have steadily raised the list prices of their drugs. A version of insulin called Humalog launched two decades ago with a sticker price of $21 a vial and has increased to $255 a vial.
Meanwhile, competition has appeared to work in a perverse way, with list prices of competing insulins often rising in concert. Last year, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) asked for a federal investigation into “possible collusion” on insulin prices.
The lawsuit, filed by 11 patients in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, focuses on a common practice in the pharmaceutical industry: Drug companies compete for insurers' business by offering secret rebates on their drugs. Companies that negotiate drug prices for insurers, called pharmacy benefit managers, can place drugs on tiers that determine how much consumers pay for them — decisions that may be influenced by the size of the discount granted by the drug companies.
The lawsuit claims that drug companies have been increasing the list price of insulin in order to expand their discounts without lowering the overall price tag. The people stuck paying the balance: patients, particularly those without insurance Continue reading

Venezuela without insulin

Venezuela without insulin

This is for those of you who do not live in Venezuela, but need to know what’s happening in our country. I usually write in Spanish since I live in Venezuela, but this time I’m writing in English in an effort to draw the attention of international organizations and media to the life and death situation faced by Venezuelans living with Type 1 diabetes.
My daughter was diagnosed when she was eight years old, her life depends on getting her daily doses of insulin. For many years I never had to worry about getting her insulin and diabetes supplies since all I had to do was to go to the pharmacy and purchase whatever I needed. Roughly about three years ago, insulin and diabetes supplies needed to control type 1 diabetes began to become scarce. At that moment we started a campaign on social media with the hashtag #LaDiabetesNoEspera (Diabetes does not wait) #SinInsumosNosMorimos (Without supplies we will die).
Fast forward three years and the situation, instead of getting better, has worsened.
Last week I visited five pharmacies and in each one, the answer was the same: no insulin, of any type, nor glucose testing strips.
This situation is repeated all over the country, in big or small towns, and public or private health facilities. Anyone who lives with type 1 diabetes or has a relative or friend living with this chronic condition, knows how serious this can be, and they also know what may happen if someone needing insulin does not get their daily doses of it. Many, many people, young or old, are presenting complications due to using less insulin than needed to make it last Continue reading

How to explain diabetes to someone who doesn’t have it

How to explain diabetes to someone who doesn’t have it

Diabetes is one of those things that many people think they know everything about, yet they actually know so little…it is probably similar in some other situations, but I am not so sure. For example, I would never presume to know all about Cancer, or Epilepsy or Lupus. I would never speak to someone who told me they had one of these conditions, in a condescending way, or say that just looking at a donut had given me the condition, in a meme on Facebook. I would never tell them it was their own fault….Yet in diabetes all of these things and more, happen on a regular basis. Case in point, I was recently at a blogging mastermind and one of the “experts” was at our table, working through our ideas for our communities and businesses. When I told my story about diabetes work and blogging, he was interested and seemed to know a little about health based businesses and blogs. However at the end of his chat to me, he turned to point at a soft drink can on the table (the OTHER side of the table in front of another person who was drinking it) and said “is that drink diabetic approved?!” in a funny way, as if it was a joke…somehow related to the fact I have type 1 diabetes. Now that morning I had been having a terrible time with my blood glucose, leaving our apartment where we were staying with a level of 15 mmol and arriving with it going up, not down, to 18 mmol. I was supposed to facilitate at our table but had to change my insulin pump site and then manage my levels to try and get them down, all while working on a mastermind…I was like the classic duck paddling like Continue reading

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