What’s in the Exhibition Hall at the AADE conference

Major buzzing in the hall

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EatSmart, this scale does it all

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Pelikan Sun lancing device, it’s gold

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A pocket glucose spray

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A dream pasta, Dreamfields

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Dr. Francine Kaufman closing the conference

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You can make a difference in a child’s life

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Now, to  conclude my last post, remarking on the annual American Association of Diabetes Educators Conference in Washington D.C. Let’s be honest, the most fun at one of these events is looking at all the stuff in the exhibition hall, and of course eating your way through it. I managed to do both: nibbling almost every few feet on low-fat blueberry yogurt, Activia, walnuts, cereal bars, Lean Cuisine, soft serve ice cream and lots of tidbits that resembled food but I’m not really sure they were. Gadget-wise, in truth I’ve been to a lot of exhibition halls and I didn’t find all that much new, but these things are worth mentioning:

  1. Eat smart. A small, great looking scale that measures everything and tells you how much it weighs, its calories, carb content and 7 or so vitamins and minerals. To be honest, my husband was immediately attracted to the gadgetry while I thought oh another thing to be bothered by. But, having it in our kitchen now and knowing that the plum in my fruit bowl I’m about to eat has 27.6 carbs is an incredibly useful addition to my management.
  2. Meters, meters, meters everywhere. Glucose meters have become a parody product, but I did see one that caught my eye by Intuity. You put your finger over a hole at the bottom, it pricks it and in seconds gives you your blood sugar reading. Notice, no test strip. Due out next January, now let‘s just hope they make it a little less masculine looking.
  3. On site A1c testing. I only learned recently many doctor’s offices offer A1c testing right in their office, while I’m always trekking off to the lab. Well, here at the show I could avail myself of five booths that would give me my A1c result within minutes, so of course I had to test this. I tried three different booths and came up with a 5.0, 5.4 and 5.5. Given that I’d just had my A1c done at the lab two weeks ago and it was 5.8, I’m inclined to say two of my three tests at the exhibition hall were in the ball park.Reli-On makes a kit where you smear some blood on a pad, mail it in and get your A1C results in a week.
  4. My lancing device ratings. Since we all know lancing devices cause more pain than injections I have a personal investment in keeping up with improvements in this area.
    1. First place winner– Pelikan Sun. It’s battery operated and has a feather touch. Downside: expensive, about $200 for the instrument and a little larger than a pack of cards. I’m told lancets should be covered by insurance Upside: you won’t mind testing 10x a day.
    2. Accucheck Multi-clix. The best, least painful cheap lancing device. It runs on a track so the lancet doesn’t shred your skin when piercing. My favorite run of the mill device.
    3. Renew from Can-Am Care. Operates on the same track technology as Multi-clix. Cool packaging and the only other stand-out in the pack. You can request a free trial sample online.
  5. Pumps are getting smaller and more are getting tubeless. Omnipod, the only tubeless pump right now promises a pump half the size within two to three years, I’m staying tuned, and Medtronics is working toward the same. I’ve always said when the pump is the size of a credit card, count me in.
  6. Omron, a company that makes blood pressure machines and pedometers is coming out with a new pedometer next year that’s slim, you can slip it in your pocket rather than clip it on your belt and it will work at any angle. I like the ease of putting it in a pocket. The husband loves the techie gadgetry.
  7. Glucose Rapid SprayA tiny atomizer mist spray. 5 to 10 sprays onto your cheek will help bring your blood sugar up a bit when you’re going low. Handy to carry when away from home or exercising, but I’m told not a resue item. I’m waiting for my first potential low blood sugar to give it a try.
  8. Dreamfields. A dream of a pasta. I gave up pasta for a dozen years due to how high and how quickly it raised my blood sugar. Now Dreamfields has created a pasta that nets only 5 grams of carbs per serving and I know it works. They’ve reconfigured the pasta’s molecular structure and much of it is highly non-digestible when traveling through your stomach. It still tastes delicious but doesn’t break down into carb. I swear give it a shot. I find it at my local supermarket chain, Key Food, but they’re distributing many places.

Helping Third World Children with Diabetes

The conference was closed by Dr. Francine Kaufman, pediatric endocrinologist at the Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. Kaufman is a tireless advocate against childhood diabetes. She shared clips from a documentary she made for the Discovery Health channel, Diabetes: A Global Epidemic, where she traveled through Africa and India bringing medicine, training and treatment to poor children, families and caretakers. Countless children are dying of diabetes because there is no medicine, no meters, no test strips, no doctors. In places where insulin is obtained on an irregular basis children are given whatever is available. Can you imagine using only Humalog one month, then only Lantus another, then NPH yet another? How would you ever figure out your protocol? I get chills just thinking about it.

If you would like to donate unused, unexpired medical supplies they are taking them atwww.Lifeforachild.org. You can also contribute $1/day and a child will receive medicine and testing supplies.

Having this podium I leave you with my own closing remark which is an observation: I found it profound that here in America we are literally dying of abundance: too much food and too many luxuries that make us lazy, while around the planet people are dying of scarcity: too little food, too little medicine and too few health care professionals.

It’s something to ponder, I think.

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