What is in your Gut?

June 13, 2017

by Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL

Your gut carries about six pounds of a diverse group of bacterias, known as “gut microbiobes” which are responsible for many things. These six pounds of gut microbiobes form our gut microbiome which helps to protect us against outside bacteria, support our immune systems, and help us to use different vitamins and regulate hormones. Now, recent studies are finding that some microbes may play a role in insulin sensitivity and metabolism.

New research is suggesting that in addition to genetics and lifestyle (physical inactivity and poor diet), certain gut microbes may cause an inflammation in the body that affect liver and fat cells resulting in altered insulin sensitivity and metabolism. Although nothing has been proven, there is enough evidence to warrant more research.

Diet is probably the single most important factor influencing the gut microbiome. Studies have shown that changes in diet result in changes in the gut microbiome. A healthy diet with low-fat, high fiber has been linked to a more diverse and better gut microbiome compared to a diet high in fat and low in fiber. The gut microbiome also adapt and shift quickly to plant-based diets compared to animal-based diets.

There is still a lot to learn and we will be able to use this knowledge to find new ways to treat many different diseases including diabetes. Until then, eating healthy and staying active can help maintain and develop a healthy gut microbiome.



Source: health.clevelandclinic.org; Forecast Diabetes Magazine

Protect Yourself from Influenza (The Flu)

October 15, 2014

by Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL Diabetes Educator

If you have diabetes, you are three times more likely to be hospitalized from the flu and its complications such as pneumonia, than other people. The flu may also interfere with your blood glucose levels.

But there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

  • Get a flu shot! It’s the single best way to protect yourself against the flu.            
  • Take prescription flu medicine when your health care provider prescribes it.
  • Follow sick day rules for people with diabetes.
  • Take everyday steps to protect your health.

People with diabetes should talk with their health care provider now to discuss preventing and treating the flu. People infected with the flu can pass it on to others a day or two before any symptoms appear. That’s why it is important to make sure the people around you get a flu shot as well.

A flu shot is the single best way to protect yourself against the flu.

The vaccine is safe and effective. It has been given safely to hundreds of millions of people.  Everyone ages 6 months and older should get the flu shot unless told otherwise by a health care provider, especially people with diabetes. The flu shot is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The vaccine used in the shot is made from killed virus. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. A few people may be sore or notice some redness or swelling where the shot was given or have a mild fever.

Pneumococcal vaccine is also recommended for people with diabetes. One possible complication of flu can be pneumonia. A pneumonia (pneumococcal) vaccine should also be part of a diabetes management plan. Talk to your health care provider for more information on getting both vaccines.

St. Anthony’s offers the flu vaccine without an appointment from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at each of its four urgent care centers. For more information on St. Anthony’s flu shots, call our flu shot hotline at 314-525-4999 or 314-ANTHONY (268-4669).


CDC: Diabetes Public Health Resource

Save Money by Controlling Your Diabetes

August 22, 2014

Not only is eating better and exercising healthy for people with diabetes, it can save them hundreds of health-care dollars a year, a new study finds.

The study, led by Mark Espeland, a professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., included more than 5,100 overweight and obese type 2 diabetes patients.

Participants ranged in age from 45 to 76, and were randomly assigned to either an intensive “lifestyle change program” focused on diet and exercise, or to a standard diabetes support and education program.

The patients in the lifestyle group had higher levels of physical activity and maintained a lower body weight, resulting in better diabetes control, blood pressure, sleep, physical function and fewer symptoms of depression, the team reported.

There were financial savings, too. Over 10 years of follow-up, the patients in the lifestyle intervention group had 11 percent fewer hospitalizations and 15 percent shorter hospital stays. They also used fewer prescription medications than those in the diabetes support and education programs.

Those benefits led to an average savings of $5,280 in health-care costs per person over 10 years, or about $528 a year, according to the study published online Aug. 21 in the journal Diabetes Care.

The cost savings for people in the lifestyle intervention group were similar regardless of age, initial weight, gender or race, Espeland said.

“Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that is affecting more and more adults, increasing their health-care needs and costs,” he added in a Wake Forest news release. “This study shows that by losing weight and being physically active, individuals can reduce these costs.”

Two experts weren’t surprised by the cost savings.

“It makes perfect sense that an intensive lifestyle intervention, focusing on weight loss and physical activity, would help control diabetes and reduce the cost of medications and complications related to type 2 diabetes,” said Nina Eng, chief clinical dietitian at Plainview Hospital in Plainview, NY.

Dr. Gerald Bernstein is director of the diabetes management program at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. He said that once diabetes develops, costs soar. Patients must obtain medications plus blood sugar testing equipment and strips, and they often have diabetes-linked complications that involve hospitalizations and/or surgery.

Therefore, “it is not surprising that reducing weight will lower the cost of medical care for an individual if they have diabetes,” Bernstein said.

St. Anthony’s Medical Center offers a variety of fitness classes.  Log on to http://www.stanthonysmedcenter.com/classes/index. to see a full description of the classes offered!





Gerald Bernstein, M.D, director, diabetes management program, Friedman Diabetes Institute, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York City; Nina Eng, R.D, chief clinical dietitian, Plainview Hospital, Plainview, N.Y.; Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US);Health Day: Getting Healthier a Big Money-Saver for People With Diabetes (Robert Preidt August 21, 2014)   Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_147988.html

This Information is not meant to replace your healthcare provider’s advice.  It is not an endorsement of any product.

St. Anthony’s Diabetes & Nutrition Education Office moves to new location

July 30, 2014

St. Anthony’s Diabetes Education & Nutrition Services Office has moved from the Medical Plaza building to a new location across Tesson Ferry; it is across the street from St. Anthony’s Medical Center, in the former Blockbuster building. The new address is: 9964-D Kennerly Road, St. Louis, MO, 63128; at the southern end of the Kennerly Center strip mall; 314-525-4508,option 2.

DIABETES EDUCATION SERVICES: the St. Anthony’s Diabetes Education Program provides Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) for a variety of topics, including diabetes lifestyle changes, meal planning and weight loss strategies, monitoring blood glucose, medication management, and problem-solving skills. Individual and group class sessions are available. Instructors include Certified Diabetes Nurse Educators and Certified Diabetes Dietitian Educators (CDE’s). Many insurance companies will cover Diabetes Self-Management Training or Medical Nutrition Therapy with a physician’s referral. A Physician’s referral is required for an appointment. The education Staff also hosts a quarterly support Group meeting. For more information about our services, call 314-525-4508, option number 2. Also, visit talk-diabetes.org for updates, diabetes news, and archived recipes.

NUTRITION COUNSELING: Appointments are available for Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT). Registered, Licensed Dietitians provide: education, coaching, counseling, and intervention for nutrition-related medical diagnoses including: gastrointestinal conditions, renal disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Many insurance companies will cover Medical Nutrition Therapy with a Physician’s referral; a physician’s referral is required for an appointment. For more information about our services, call 314-525-4508, option number 2.



New insulin pen delivery device

July 4, 2014

NovoNordisk has a new re-usable insulin pen injector device, NovoPen Echo, that was recently approved for use. It uses NovoNordisk Penfill insulin cartridges (prefilled, 3ml=300 units).  The Echo allows delivery of insulin doses in 1/2 unit increments, with a max dose of 30 units per use. It has a “dose memory” that displays the amount of insulin most recently injected and the time that has elapsed since that dose (in full hour increments). The pen device comes in red and blue, which could be helpful if using 2 types of insulin. It uses a non-replaceable battery that lasts about 4 to 5 years.

This information is not meant to replace your healthcare Provider’s advice. It is not an endorsement of this product or of the NovoNordisk company.

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Awareness

June 11, 2014

TheMissouri General Assembly has designated the 3rd week in June as Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) Awareness Week.  This year it is June 16th through June 21st. The State resolution cited statistics that in 2009, 346 thousand Missourians were diagnosed with diabetes. DPN is a serious condition that can occur, as a result of damage to the lining of the nerves, from prolonged exposure to poorly controlled blood glucose. The areas of the body most affected by DPN are the legs and feet. Nerve damage to the feet can cause numbness, pain, tingling, a burning sensation, or loss of sensation. Loss of sensation can result in injury and/or an open wound. Due to diminished circulation, elevated blood glucose can interfere with healing and may cause infections or gangrene. As many as 40 to 60% of lower extremity amputations are due to severe forms of DPN. If you already have DPN, discuss treatment options with your Health Care Provider; there are several medications available to help with nerve pain. The goal is to prevent it from getting worse by improving blood glucose control. The Legislature is encouraging all Missouri residents to observe this week by raising public awareness regarding the symptoms and treatment of DPN.

St Anthony’s Diabetes Education Program provides diabetes self-management training (DSMT) for a variety of topics including diabetes life-style changes, meal planning & weight loss strategies, monitoring blood glucose, medication information, and problem-solving skills. Instructors include Certified Diabetes Nurse Educators and Certified Diabetes Dietitian Educators (CDE’s). Many insurance companies will cover DSMT or Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT). For more information about our services, call 314-525-4508, option 2.

There is still time to “alert” your family & friends about diabetes!

March 25, 2014

Today, the 4th Tuesday of March, is designated as the 26th Annual American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day®.  Alert Day is a “wake-up call”, asking Americans to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. An estimated 79 million Americans (1 in 3 adults) have prediabetes.  More than 25% of Americans with type 2 diabetes, don’t yet know they have it! Are your family members or friends part of this group? The Diabetes Risk Test can be found on the ADA’s Facebook page or via http://www.diabetes.org/risktest.   For every Diabetes Risk Test taken, Boar’s Head, a leading provider of premium delicatessen products , will donate $5.00 to the American Diabetes Association, starting March 25 through April 25, 2014, up to $50,000.

This year’s ADA Alert Day is sponsored by Boar’s Head and Walgreens. I took the test; it was very easy and very quick to do–less than one minute! Although my risk score is low, I do have 2 risk factors, so that is why I try to eat healthier, manage stress better, and remain active to improve my health. And if you or someone you care about develops diabetes, St. Anthony’s Diabetes and Nutrition Education Services Department is ready to assist you with a Staff of Certified Diabetes Educators and other qualified healthcare Educator Professionals; call 314-525-4508, option 2 for more information.


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