Take the ADA’s Diabetes Risk Test

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Today, March 26, is the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) annual Diabetes Alert Day. Right now take their online risk test to see if you may be at risk for diabetes or pre-diabetes. It only takes a few minutes.

Frankly, I think EVERYONE should take the risk test, AND have your doctor test you for diabetes annually. Much to people’s chagrin, 1 in 5 people with type 2 diabetes are not overweight.

A medical test for diabetes is just a simple blood test performed either in your doctor’s office or at a lab. A blood sugar value between 100 and 125 mg/dl, taken before you eat in the morning (fasting plasma glucose test), indicates pre-diabetes. Your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes.

80 million people in the US have pre-diabetes, yet few know it. If you have pre-diabetes and do nothing, within five to ten years your chances are very good you’ll have diabetes. If, on the other hand, you lose a small amount of weight if you are overweight, on average 15 pounds, and work up to 30 minutes of activity five days a week, you will likely prevent, or delay getting type 2 diabetes for years. Trust me, if you can, you want that option. Type 2 diabetes, for most people, damages the large and small blood vessels in the body leading to what’s caused diabetes complications.

A fasting blood sugar test value above 126 mg/dl indicates diabetes. There are 26 million people with diabetes in the US and yet one quarter don’t even know they have it. RED ALERT: TAKE THE RISK TEST. Because by time most people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, having actually had it for on average five to seven years, many already have diabetes complications as mentioned above, like heart disease, vision and circulatory problems.

Risk Factors for Pre-Diabetes & Type 2 Diabetes

• Overweight

• Under active

• Over 45 years of age

• Family history of diabetes

• Woman who gave birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds

• Belonging to a high risk group: African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders

Pass this on if you know someone else who may be at risk for diabetes. You can potentially save a life today — and it might be yours or someone you love.

Create a personalized pill card

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My husband was just cleaning out his piles of papers, and amazingly found an interesting sheet titled, “Patients Don’t Remember Doctors’ Instructions.”

Shocking as it sounds between 40 and 80 percent of what doctors tell patients they forget – immediately! Only half the information they tell us do we remember correctly, and the more information they give us, the less we remember correctly. Well, frankly, that doesn’t surprise me.

There is, however, a useful tip offered on the sheet if you need a little reminding what pills you take, when and what they’re for. It’s a tool called a “Pill Card.” And the best thing to do is create one for yourself based on what you’re taking. 

The card includes the name of each medicine you take, how much, what it does and then uses pictures to remind you of these things. You can find instructions, graphics and templates at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Have fun. Turns out 94% of people who were given a pill card said it helped them remember the information their doctor gave them correctly.

“Diabetes Do’s & How-To’s” the essential action-book on Kindle!

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As I travel around the country one of the outstanding things I see, and hear, is confusion about managing diabetes. So many of us, whether you’ve just been diagnosed or had diabetes for decades, whether you have type 1 or type 2, truly don’t know how to really take care of it, and ourselves. 

It’s not surprising. We get at most a few hours a year with our doctors and then have to make our own decisions what actions to take during those other 8,700 plus hours. And no one ever gave us an instruction booklet. Think about it – you don’t get to drive a car without first taking driving lessons, yet we’re all walking around with a complicated, life-threatening illness without  instructions.

That’s why I wrote this, my third book. It is the “instruction-manual” for diabetes. The small, yet powerful, doable, “real-life” actions to take – what to do and how to do it – regarding food, medicine, fitness and staying positive so you can live your healthiest life with diabetes. 

For example, you’ll discover how you, or a loved one, can eat healthy, bring your weight down if necessary, without dieting, how you can easily get a little more physical activity, manage your blood sugar much better to avoid highs and lows, keep your medicines stocked, know what you lab test results mean and what to do about them, prevent and delay complications – all that you need to know to live longer and better. Not to mention the incredibly funny cartoons from magnificent cartoonist and fellow PWD Haidee Merritt. Well, I figure there have to be rest-stops and rewards while you’re working.

For health care professionals the book is a tool to help you more easily, and more collaboratively, guide your patients, through steps and worksheets, to healthier behaviors. 

And while a team of top-notch certified diabetes educators consulted with me, and a slew of outstanding medical professionals and patient advocates endorsed it, this is not a “medical” book. It’s me talking to you from my real-life and sharing what keeps me healthy. It’s all the latest national standards and recommendations you need to know, and some pioneer-thinking I embrace. Most of all, it’s the practical actions to guide your steps, at your pace, to improve your health: to get the most reward for your efforts.

But don’t take my word for it, really. My passionate portrayal of the book is only because I want you to benefit. Go on Amazon, Search Inside the book, where you can see quite a lot. 

Also, check out my four upcoming posts about the book on Diabetes Dailythis month beginning next Tuesday. You’ll also get a $4.00 savings off the book (there’s a discount coupon on my posts at Diabetes Daily), so you can give yourself the gift of better health however you like it – in print or Kindle.

If you find the book helps you, share it with a friend. I want nothing less than for all of us to enjoy our best health, and the life we deserve.

Is the cure for type 1 diabetes in sight? The DRI thinks so and it’s called BioHub.



When I was first contacted by the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) that they had news, I was curious. When I read the press release, I could feel the little hairs on my neck stand up. 

When I talked to Dr. Camillo Ricordi, DRI’s Scientific Director and Chief Academic Officer, about how close they feel they are to creating a biological cure for type 1 diabetes, as opposed to a mechanical cure like the artificial pancreas, I could feel both his doggedness and determination; he’s been working toward a cure for decades, and feels they’ve turned a corner. In his words, now all the needed technologies are coming together.

Anyone with type 1 diabetes, heard upon their diagnosis, that there’d be a cure within five to ten years. For me that was 41 years ago. And we’ve all heard lots of studies that report cures in mice. But this isn’t about mice, and whether the BioHub, what DRI is hoping will house islet (insulin-producing) cells that can be fully functioning in the body without anti rejection drugs becomes the cure, we will have to see – you got it, five to ten years. 

But I for one, do sense we’ve taken a quantum leap forward no matter what happens. And so does DRI. 


See my complete story on The Huffington Post