Diabetes, Websites, Apps Oh My!

February 28, 2017

If you missed our February 16th Support Group, don’t worry!  Here is a list of our recommended applications for your mobile devices and websites to help track your diabetes:

BG Monitor Diabetes: Allows you to track everything, calculate how much insulin you need, set reminders, create spreadsheets and graph your data. Organize your entries with tags.  Create a photo log of meals.

My Fitness Pal: Track food intake, exercise and weight. At the end of each day you are given an overall nutritional snapshot of your eating and an estimate of how long it will take to reach your weight loss goal based on current eating habits.  You can also log activity from an extensive list of exercises and the app will calculate calories burned.  You can also input numbers from a heart rate monitor from your treadmill for example of some other fitness tracker.

Calorie Counter PRO: This is a weight loss app that can help track your daily eating and can be useful when managing your diabetes. It allows you to chart your progress and take daily notes without being overwhelming.  It also tracks body measurements.

Glucose Buddy: Tracks food, insulin, blood sugar results and will show a graph of your glucose results. You can set an alert to remind you to check your blood glucose throughout the day.

Lose it: Used for weight management. Create a profile and use the apps recommended amount of calories for weight loss or input your own.  It has a large food database.  Input custom foods, scan bar codes or it will suggest foods based on a photo of your meal or snack.

MySugr: Track everything in one place, meals to mood. Create monthly reports.  This app does offer advanced services for a fee.

Fooducate: Offers good community support, has a scanner that gives groceries a grade. Good choice if feeling overwhelmed at the grocery store.

Diabetes Goal Tracker: This app was developed by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Set goals to manage diabetes based on the 7 self-care behaviors we use when tracking our program participants.  Set goals for yourself and the app will send you reminders to help keep you on track and give inspiration.  The My Nutrition section allows you to scan bar codes of foods or enter foods and track calories, carbs, fat and sodium.

Diabetes.org: This is the main website for the American Diabetes Association. Under the Food and Fitness tab you will find tips for eating out, planning meals, and carbohydrate information.  Under this tab is also a link to My Food Advisor where you can find nutrition information about various foods and even create a database of your own recipes.  You will need to create an account, but it is free.

Diabetesselfmanagement.com: This site was created by the providers of Diabetes Self -Management magazine. Good resource for recipes and general information about caring for diabetes.

Nutritiondata.com: Create your own food database; use the website to analyze nutrition content of your favorite recipes



Diabetes Support Program Presents:

February 7, 2017

Diabetes, Apps, and Websites – Oh My!

10:00 a.m.  Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hyland Education Great Room

10020 Kennerly Road

St. Louis, MO 63128


Presented by:

Alison Brinker, RD, LD, CDE

Susan Klick, MSN, RN CNL

Meetings are FREE to the public.

All are welcome!

 To register, call 314-ANTHONY (268-4669)

or visit stanthonysmedcenter.com/diabetes.

Come and join us for a fun and learn about the latest mobile phone apps and websites designed to help manage your diabetes better.


Memorial Day History

May 27, 2014

I sincerely apologize for the technical difficulties that delayed the posting of this blog article; it was originally scheduled for this past Saturday morning;                                             Nancy Trebilcock, BSN, RN, CDE 

For many, Memorial Day weekend signals the beginning of summer activities and the opening of swimming pools. For some of us, though, Memorial Day is not a recreational activity; it is a time of reflection, sadness, pride, prayer and honor. Do you know the origins of this U.S. Federal holiday?

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Memorial Day is a holiday wherein the men and women, who died while serving in the Unites States Armed Forces, are honored and remembered. This holiday, celebrated annually on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated during the Civil War. In Columbus, Miss., on April 25, 1866, a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. The graves of Union soldiers nearby were barren and neglected because they were considered “the enemy”. Disturbed at the site of bare graves, these women placed some of their flowers on those graves as well. Small local ceremonies took place in various places. For “our” local connection, a cemetery stone in Carbondale, Ill, carries the statement that their first Decoration Day ceremony took place on April 29, 1866. After the Civil war ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union Veterans, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), established Decoration Day as a time for the entire nation to decorate the graves of war dead with flowers. Carbondale was the wartime home of Major General John A. Logan, who declared that the holiday should be observed on May30th, because of the belief that flowers would be in plentiful bloom all over the country: “use the choicest flowers of springtime; we should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. Let no neglect or ravages of time testify, to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic”. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery and by the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies, honoring the Civil War veterans, were held on May 30th, throughout the nation. It was not until after World War I that the day was expanded to include honoring those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an Act of Congress and placed on the last Monday in May. In December 2000, Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance Act which encourages all Americans to pause, wherever they are, at 3pm local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to our Nation.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the 50th anniversary of Vietnam. Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day. Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the military; Veterans Day honors the service of all U.S. military veterans. No matter what your political or religious preferences, please remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, overseas or on the home front, who earned the freedoms in this great Country that many of us take for granted.

For Veterans reference: Benefits = 1-800-827-1000; Health Care = 1-877-222-8387;
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1.

Sources: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; http://www.va.org; http://www.wikipedia.org


Is it allergies or a cold?

May 12, 2014

This time of year is often known for unpredictable weather and for variable pollen/mold counts in the air. We often attribute allergy symptoms to a cold or vise-versa. “Many people misdiagnose allergies as a cold or the flu, so they never receive appropriate care,” says Stanley Naides, M.D., Medical Director for immunology, at Quest Diagnostics.  He notes that untreated allergies can cause problems, such as sinusitis (a sinus infection due to fluid build-up); middle ear infections (inflammation or fluid build-up in your ear) or can cause asthma.

Allergies are the body’s reaction to outside substances called allergens. When allergens are encountered, the body tries to protect itself by making chemicals, called histamines, which can cause allergy symptoms. Common allergens include airborne particles like pollen, dust, animal dander and mold. Certain foods, insect bites, medications and latex can also cause allergic reactions. Allergy symptoms will vary according to the parts of the body that an allergen touches. Symptoms can include: breathing problems, coughing, sneezing or runny nose; burning, watering, itchy or swollen eyes; itchy skin, hives and/or rashes.

Do you know the difference between a cold and an allergy?  The information in this chart and in this article provides only general guidelines and does not take the place of your health care Provider’s advice, but it may help to prevent delay of treatment.

Symptoms Cold Airborne Allergens
Cough Common Sometimes
General aches/pains Slight Never
Fatigue/weakness Sometimes Sometimes
Itchy eyes Rare or never Common
Sneezing Usual Usual
Sore throat Common Sometimes
Runny nose Common Common
Stuffy nose Common Common
Fever Rare Never
Usual duration 3-14 days weeks

For problems with indoor allergens, there are a few tips to help minimize your problems: dust, vacuum, and wash bedding often; use clean filters in your vacuum cleaner, as well as in your heating/air conditioning units; minimize moisture in the kitchen & bathroom; close windows & doors when pollen counts are high; some house plants can contribute to indoor pollen & mold, so you may need to limit the amount you have. Talk to your Doctor to determine if your symptoms are from an allergy. Allergy testing can help you both choose the appropriate treatment.

Talk to your Doctor and/or Pharmacist before using any over the counter remedies, as many can cause interactions with your prescription medications, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney problems. Be aware that antihistamines can cause drowsiness and dry mouth. Decongestants might cause a jittery or nervous feeling, a rapid heartbeat or interfere with sleeping.

Sources: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, http://www.aaaai.org; National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, http://www.niaid.nih.govhttp://www.fda.gov; Asthma, and allergy Foundation of America, http://www.aafa.org; US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health, http://www.nlm.nih.gov.

Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici

Saturday, April 26th–8th National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day

April 25, 2014

In 2007, there were 255,732 cases of improper medicine use reported to Poison Control Centers in the United States. Approximately 9% of these cases (23,783) involved accidental exposure to another person’s medicine. Approximately 5 thousand of these accidental exposure cases involved children 6 years and younger. In a study that looked at cases of accidental child exposure to a grandparent’s medicine, 45% of cases involved medicines stored in child-resistant containers. Cases of inadvertent exposure to some of these medicines were recently published in the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ 2007 annual report.  On Saturday,  April 26, National Prescription Drug “Take Back” Day,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., several local Police and Fire Department facilities and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its eighth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards. Don’t forget those medicinal products also used for your pets. And check the expiration dates on the canisters of inhaler medications. Depending on the type of product and where you live, some inhalers and aerosol products may be thrown into household trash or recyclables, or may be considered hazardous waste and require special handling. Read the handling instructions on the label, as some inhalers should not be punctured or thrown into a fire or incinerator. Last October, Americans turned in 324 tons (over 647,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 4,114 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. The National “Take Back” Initiative Collection site List can be found at http://www.takebackyourmeds.org or by calling 1-888-869-4233. I found 57 locations listed in the Bi-State Metro area when I typed in the 63128 zip code!

Resources for lab test information

April 15, 2014

On March 19th, I posted an article regarding information about kidney tests/kidney health from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) (http://www.diabetes.org). I am glad that some of you submitted comments indicating the information was helpful. Others have inquired about information regarding several other lab tests.  In addition to the ADA website, additional resources regarding lab test information are: http://www.webmd.com; http://www.mayoclinic.org; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, http://www.nkdep.nih.gov; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov; US National Library Of Medicine/National Institute of Health, http://www.nlm.nih.gov..  While I applaud your commitment to be an active, informed participant in your health care management, remember the information presented via any website is often times very general and may not be specific for your particular health situation.  Please note that your Health Care Provider is your best source for interpreting test results, in conjunction with your specific medical conditions, medications, and other factors. The  goal is for you to be a collaborative partner in your health management!

Step Out Walks to Stop Diabetes

March 30, 2014

Remember that goal to increase activity that many of us made for a New Year’s resolution? You’re in luck! There are several American Diabetes Association (ADA; http://www.diabetes.org;) fundraising events in the bi-state area planned for 2014.

A Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes event is next weekend, April 5th, , at Livestock Pavilion, Lions Lake, in Washington, MO/Franklin County; registration time is 9am & the Walk starts at 10am. Their website posts the following information: “the power of one makes a world of difference! Lace up your walking shoes, bring your friends, family, and co-workers and join us for the 11th Annual Franklin County Step Out Walk. Enjoy a light breakfast, health and wellness fair, live music, raffles and then walk around beautiful Lions Lake! All registered Franklin County Step Out Walk participants raising $100 will receive a commemorative Step Out event t-shirt on the day of the event. Celebrate those who live with diabetes everyday and help us find a cure! For more information, contact: Michael Marek at mmarek@diabetes.org | 314-822-5490 x 6826.

Future events include: May 31, 2014; the St Louis Tour de Cure bike ride is at the Alton Riverfront Amphitheater, 1 Riverfront Dr; Alton, Il. Registration Fee: $25.00; Fundraising Minimum: 200 Route Distances: 10, 30, 50, 100; there are staggered check-in & start times for the various route lengths. Routes will take you on the scenic Great River Road along the Mississippi River. A great variety of easy to challenging courses to test your endurance and push you to new heights! After you ride stay for the amazing finish line party with lunch, live music and FREE admission to Raging Rivers WaterPark! Contact Shawn Martin, at smartin@diabetes.org or 314-822-5490 x 6824

A Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes is October 4, 2014; SIU-E, Edwardsville, Il; 62026. For more information contact Rawnie Berry at 314-822-5490 x 6829 or rberry@diabetes.org.  Another Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes is October 11, 2014; at Creve Coeur Park; contact Michael Marek at mmarek@diabetes.org or 314-822-5490 x 6826.

So with the Mother Nature teasing us with warmer weather, start preparing for a more active lifestyle!



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