Diabetes Alert Day: Might you have diabetes?

You have the opportunity to, in a few minutes and with a few answers, change your life. You’re invited to take the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) “Diabetes Risk Test” – right now.

Each year the ADA sends out the call to help people become aware of whether they may have, or are at risk for, type 2 diabetes. One in three American adults are at risk for diabetes. One in four doesn’t know he has it.

You’d think you’d know if you had diabetes. But at least one-quarter to one-third, of the 26 million Americans with diabetes – get this – don’t! Do you want to take the chance of having diabetes and not knowing when early detection can save your life and the quality of your life?

Here are common risk factors for type 2 diabetes: a family history, being overweight, being sedentary, high blood pressure and high cholesterol,, belonging to a minority risk group like African American, Hispanic and Native American Indian, for women having delivered a big baby. This used to include being over 50 years of age but with the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes in children, I don’t think age is as much a factor.

Here are common symptoms: Thirst, peeing all the time, fatigue, hunger, losing weight, blurry vision, frequent infections, slow healing, tingling or numbness in feet, waking in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. But most people with diabetes have already had it several years before they’re diagnosed, so you may have it and not yet have or recognize the symptoms.

Here’s the way you find out if you have diabetes. Take the ADA’s risk test. Invite family members to take the test. If you or any of your loved ones are at risk, make an appointment with your doctor to get a test for diabetes. 

If you have it, the sooner you know, the greater your chance to avoid and  or delay diabetes complications. If you don’t have it, but suspect someone you know may, be a friend and pass along this information. 

I just heard on the morning news that diabetes is a tsunami. Sounds like they’ve elevated its “epidemic” status one degree higher. Don’t kid yourself: if you’ve got it, you want to know so you can do something about it.

The healing power of friends



Spring has sprung. I’m looking at the tree outside my window full with pink and white flowers while I’m sitting at this computer writing my next book. It’s going to be a small handbook of the key things to do to stay healthy with diabetes and lots of suggestions how to do ’em. So as I’m writing I thought I’d like to share one step with you for taking care of your diabetes. 

Collect Good Friends, Even If You’re Not A Collector 

If you’re planning on starting a collection, skip rare stamps, miniature toys, and vintage handbags, and head straight for the collection that pays dividends whether the market is up or down – good friends. Good friends don’t take up much space in your home and they’ll be there to cheer you when you’ve lost your cheer. Good friends say nice things about you even when you don’t, and they provide a shoulder to cry on when it’s all too much. 

Diabetes may from time to time make you feel alone; I know. But collect good friends and I guarantee you’ll find diabetes easier to live with. Plus, studies show that having friends, and strong social networks, can improve your blood pressure, memory and decrease physical ailments, cognitive decline, depression and Alzheimer’s. And don’t forget the biggest benefit of all – you’ll hardly ever have to dust them! 

• Let your friends know that you value them and schedule a get-together

• If you’ve been shouldering a lot of pain and stress, see if a friend would be willing to listen or help. Most people want to help others. 

• Do something new that you think you’ll enjoy where you’ll also meet new people – take a class, volunteer at your church. You’re very likely to make a new friend or acquaintance there. 

• Having friends who have diabetes is especially gratifying. Consider volunteering at your local American Diabetes Association or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation office. 

I don’t know where I’d be without my friends, and I hope I never find out.

Bridging the gap between patient and provider

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I’m part of a new service being offered by QuantiaMD called “Ask the Patient.” I’ll be answering health care provider’s (HCP) questions about what it’s like to live with diabetes, and how they can help their patients achieve better control and make healthy behavior changes. Given the strong emphasis on cut and cure in medical training and bare mention of behavior change, here’s an opportunity for providers to understand how to turn on a patient’s desire, skills, hope, and enthusiasm to take care of their diabetes. 

Here’s my page which consists of a 3 minute introduction of myself, explanation of the service and a call for questions. After questions are submitted I’ll my answers will be presented in a follow-up video.  

The service is available only to HCPs so patients will not know what you are asking. All you have to do is sign up.Members can access QuantiaMD for free through any smartphone, tablet or computer.  

If you are a health care provider, or know of someone you think this would benefit please pass this along. Having patient-experts as resources to help HCPs better understand what we deal with is to me a fantastic idea, and a brilliant way to help both patients and health care providers achieve better outcomes. 

Ask the Patient

A new doctor-patient relationship feature coordinating an active conversation between health care providers, and selected patient experts, exclusively on QuantiaMD. Through Ask the Patient, QuantiaMD is bringing the patient’s perspective on engagement, chronic disease, medical errors and many more topics to their community of clinicians. QuantiaMD is a medical learning network where HCPs connect with and learn from knowledgeable patients eager to share their experiential wisdom. On QuantiaMD, physicians learn about clinical advances from expert faculty and connect professionally to better manage their practices, support their patients, and take care of themselves. 

A1C Champions is looking for you


Are you successfully managing your diabetes? Are you interested in helping others do the same? Then you may be interested in being a peer-mentor as part of the A1C Champions group

There are 70 of us A1C Champions who live across the country and go across the country – or stay mainly in our local area – giving various presentations to help our fellow patients take better care of themselves, and their diabetes. That’s me above giving an A1C program. I’ve been doing it for 5 years and I find it enormously fulfilling work. 

VPR Communications, the group that trains us to do this work, is actively looking for more Champions. Here are the criteria: 

1) You must use insulin

2) Have an A1C less than 7%

3) Be at least 21 years old

4) Have a strong desire to help others

If interested, you can see more about the program on the A1C Champions web site. If you’re ready, or have any questions, please contact Becky Lodes at becky@vprpop.com or call 855-A1CHAMP (855-212-4267).

The power of the A1C Champion programs is that patients hear how to better manage their diabetes from a patient. Often they will have heard similar information from their health care providers, but when they hear it from you – and they know you live it – they hear it in a completely different way. 

The programs also allow you to share your story, your experiences, what it’s been like for you to live with diabetes and what makes you successful. 

You often become just the missing piece that moves someone to do something for their health that they’ve been putting off for years. 

I’ve given more than 50 programs, sometimes to ten people, sometimes to 200, and somehow I never tire of it.