Pharmacy Software Integration

pharm_softHealthcare Providers Demanding Greater Integration from Pharmacy Software Vendors.
New KLAS pharmacy report explores the link between provider satisfaction and integration within the closed-loop medication process.

OREM, UT, May 26, 2009 /Medical News Articles/ — As healthcare providers move to adopt ePrescribing and drive greater patient safety, the need for better integration between core clinical systems and pharmacy automation software continues to grow. How well pharmacy software vendors deliver on that integration is having a significant impact on provider adoption and satisfaction, according to a new report from market research firm KLAS.

The KLAS report, Pharmacy Information Systems: In the Age of Integration, profiles the performance of eight pharmacy automation vendors, as reported by more than 350 healthcare professionals. In particular, the report looks at the level of integration each product enables with other components of the closed-loop medication administration process.

Healthcare providers noted that software vendor Epic offers a product suite that delivers full integration among a number of components, including computerized physician order entry (CPOE), pharmacy and bar-coding at the point-of-care (BPOC). That integration, along with strong customer service and support, earned Epic EpicRx Inpatient the highest overall performance score in the study. In similar fashion, though pharmacy software has traditionally been a notable hole in the Eclipsys product suite, the recently released Eclipsys Sunrise Pharmacy has been deployed at several organizations, and many Eclipsys customers are excited by the prospect of a pharmacy system that is integrated with Sunrise Clinical Manager.

One of the most striking examples of the impact of integration within the closed loop is Siemens. On the one hand, providers who rated the Siemens Pharmacy product alone gave it a relatively low overall score of 70.8 out of 100. However, those providers who rated both Siemens Pharmacy and the Siemens BPOC product, Medication Administration Check (MAK), scored the pharmacy product much higher, giving it an overall satisfaction rating of 83.9. That solid BPOC/pharmacy integration is one of the key reasons that Siemens Pharmacy earned the second-highest satisfaction score in the study.

However, despite the positive reaction from providers to some of the recent improvements made by vendors, the pharmacy software market continues to earn some of the lowest satisfaction scores of any area KLAS tracks. In the December 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards report, only acute care electronic medical record (EMR) products had an average performance score lower than pharmacy systems.

“A pharmacy system’s role in a hospital is key, but hospitals report that they cannot always trust this vital link to perform to its full capacity,” said Jason Hess, general manager of clinical research for KLAS and the author of the pharmacy study. “Many customers are demanding more safety, more integration, more efficiency and the next generation of functionality. With these ever-increasing demands, vendors that are best able to integrate the pharmacy with their other offerings will be able to present a much stronger and more appealing portfolio to the market.”

Of the vendors highlighted in the KLAS pharmacy report, Epic EpicRx Inpatient was the highest rated product by a wide margin, earning a performance score of 85.9 out of 100. Siemens Pharmacy (79.0) and GE Centricity Pharmacy (77.2) were the second and third ranked products, respectively. Other pharmacy vendors profiled in the report were Cerner, Eclipsys, McKesson, Meditech and Mediware.

To learn more about the pharmacy automation software market, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of participating vendors, the report Pharmacy Information Systems: In the Age of Integration is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase the full report, healthcare providers and vendors can visit www.KLASresearch.com

Shawn Dickerson
KLAS
Communications Manager
630 Technology Ave
Orem, UT
USA 84097

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Sleep Apnea Awareness

sleep_apnFlorida: Congressman Gus Bilirakis Introduces Sleep Apnea Awareness Bill to Congress
Sleep apnea is a dangerous disorder that is often undiagnosed and untreated. Florida dentists in the I HATE CPAP! network applaud the Congressman and have been working with http://wwwihatecpap.com founder to promote diagnosis

GURNEE, IL, May 25, 2009 /Medical News Articles/ — Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) introduced House Resolution 384, “Sleep Apnea Awareness,” which resolves that the House will support raising public awareness of sleep apnea and encourage all Americans to educate themselves and others about the consequences of sleep apnea and its potential treatments. Dr Ira L Shapira a Diplomat of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine applauds the Congressman and urges everyone to contact their representatives and senators to support passage of important legislation that will make the nations roads safer and lower health care costs. Dr Shapira is the founder of http://www.ihatecpap.com that promotes diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. CPAP is the gold standard of treatment for sleep apnea but the majority of patients do not tolerate the treatment. Dr Shapira does not hate CPAP but offers information on oral appliances that treat sleep apnea and that have been shown to be better tolerated than CPAP. Information on oral appliance treatment of sleep apnea can be found at http://www.ihatecpap.com/oral_appliance.html

Below is text of the full resolution:
HRES 384 Recognizing the importance of increased awareness of sleep apnea, and for other purposes.
Whereas sleep apnea is a common condition that affects more than 12,000,000 Americans, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health;
Whereas there are several types of sleep apnea that cause people with this condition to repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night, often many times;
Whereas sleep apnea is a chronic condition that disrupts sleep three or more nights each week, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness;
Whereas sleep apnea becomes more common with age, and 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 suffers from it;
Whereas sleep apnea is more common in men than women, and more than half of the people with sleep apnea are overweight;
Whereas sleep apnea can strike anyone, at any age, at any time, including children;
Whereas untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes;
Whereas untreated sleep apnea can also increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents and adversely impact the quality of life of those suffering from this condition in other ways;
Whereas lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and/or breathing devices can successfully treat sleep apnea in many people; and
Whereas the lack of public awareness of this serious condition leads to many undiagnosed and untreated cases: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) supports raising public awareness of sleep apnea; and
(2) encourages all Americans to educate themselves and others about the consequences of sleep apnea and its potential treatments.

I HATE CPAP LLC is a major organization that has worked diligently to increase public awareness of the dangers of sleep apnea. http://www.ihatecpap.com/sleep_apnea_dangers.html

Several Florida dentists have joined this effort in promoting diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. These dentists recognize that awareness of sleep apnea without treatment is insufficient. The Gold Standard of treatment for Sleep Apnea is CPAP but unfortunately only 23-45% of patients tolerate CPAP. Most patients prefer Comfortable Oral Appliances offered by Dental Sleep Medicine to CPAP. Unfortunately many patients are never offered oral appliances. Oral appliances are considered a first line of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They are also considered an alternative treatment for severe apnea when patients do not tolerate CPAP. Most patients do not tolerate CPAP treatment and many who do tolerate use it for only 4-5 hours a night.

The following Florida dentists applaud Congressman Bilirakis bill. Contact them as your first step to better sleep.

Dr Joseph M Barton DMD Jacksonville, Florida http://www.jacksonville.ihatecpap.com/

Dr Jill Morris Sarasota, Florida http://www.jacksonville.ihatecpap.com/

Dr Farokh Jiveh West Palm Beach, Florida http://www.palmbeach.ihatecpap.com/

These dentists are helping to bring better sleep and better lives to the citizens of Florida. If you have questions about sleep apnea or are interested in an alternative to CPAP contact them today. Le Congressman Gus Bilirakis know that you appreciate his excellent work.

To learn more about the dangers of sleep apnea go to http://www.ihatecpap.com/sleep_apnea_dangers.html

A recent study showed that snoring even when apnea is not present greatly increases the risks of carotid atherosclerosis and stroke.

Ira Shapira
Sleep and Health Journal
Section editor/author
1810 Delany Road
Gurnee, Illinois
USA 60035

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Used Medical Equipment

used_medNew website provides global platform for buying or selling used medical equipment

MedWOW.com is an innovative online marketplace specifically designed for used medical equipment professionals. The site connects buyers, sellers and service providers from around the world through unique online tools and features.

NICOSIA, CYPRUS, May 22, 2009 /Medical News Articles/ — MedWOW.com is an innovative online marketplace specifically designed for used medical equipment professionals. The site connects buyers, sellers and service providers from around the world through unique online tools and features.

Key players in the pre-owned medical equipment industry now have a new source to turn to for conducting business thanks to MedWOW’s recently launched marketplace, which provides an ideal online platform for buying and selling used medical equipment on a global scale.

The site has been designed to fully integrate tools and services which overcome factors that have been significantly holding back the online trade in the global pre-owned medical equipment industry thus far.

Features such as the site’s sophisticated medical equipment catalog and search engine, a pre-purchase inspection service, and the multilingual interface are just some of MedWOW’s many features that help it attain its ultimate goal of providing its users with a secure, quick, and user-friendly platform to turn to for their used medical equipment needs.

MedWOW facilitates the communication between international users through the multilingual Questions and Answers mechanism, where buyers and sellers communicate through a list of professionally written questions and answers that are unique for each specific device; the questions and answers are automatically translated into the user’s preferred language.

The site’s members are encouraged to make educated transactions by having access to the right tools to conduct research prior to closing a deal. Buyers have access to professionally written Buying Tips for each specific device, and the Original Manufacturer Specifications for each specific model. Sellers have access to buyer’s Wanted Item requests and to a variety of traffic and market reports that assess their performance on the site, provide valuable market insight, trends and activities.

With health institutions turning to the pre-owned medical equipment market more so now than ever, due to the current global economic recession, MedWOW offers the perfect solution – a reliable and safe platform to buy, sell or auction used medical equipment online.

Press Release Contact Information:

Eric Be
MedWOW
Marketing
Nicosia
Nicosia, Nicosia
Cyprus 2460

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Vegetarian omega-3

flaxNew vegetarian omega-3 from Echium seed oil offers fish oil benefits. In the wake of National Vegetarian week, nutrition scientist Dr Nina Bailey discusses a new vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids from echium seed oil, which converts to long-chain fatty acids up to 5 times more effectively than flaxseed.

CAMBRIDGE, UK, May 22, 2009 /Medical News Articles/ — In support of National Vegetarian Week 2009, nutrition scientist Dr. Nina Bailey seeks to raise the importance of incorporating omega-3s into the vegetarian diet, and proposes ways to do so without compromising on ethics.

At over 7% of the UK population, a significant 4 million and growing steadily, [1] vegetarianism is an ever-increasing preference for many people, especially among the younger generation, up to 12% of whom opt to cut meat and fish out of their diet. Whether because of the increasing availability of vegetarian options in supermarkets and restaurants, growing concern over the environmental impact of animal farming, animal welfare, or attractive appeal as a healthy lifestyle option, the vegetarian demographic has shed its sandal-wearing, lentil-eating image and now boasts a diverse population, young and old, of various ethnicities and backgrounds.

Whilst scientific evidence does indicate that a plant-based diet offers significant health benefits in terms of heart disease, strokes, lower incidence of certain cancers, a healthy body weight and longer life expectancy, [2],[3],[4] vegetarians, like meat-eaters, still need to eat a well-balanced diet and ensure they get enough fiber from whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, enough of the right types of protein and amino acids (which certain types of vegetable provide in plentiful quantity), as well as another type of essential nutrient – omega fatty acids. Necessary for the formation of healthy cell membranes, humans rely on these good fats not only for brain function, but also for the production of hormone-like substances called eicosanoids, which regulate several important functions including blood pressure and clotting, inflammation, the immune system and fluid balance.

Moreover, according to Dr Nina Bailey, “Low levels of omega fatty acids in the diet have been linked with increases in learning problems, mood disorders, circulatory problems, and skin conditions among the general population. By addressing these deficiencies and including the right types of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, it is possible to address some of the symptoms associated with these problems.

“For vegetarians, this can be difficult, since the important omega-3s EPA and DHA derive mainly from oily fish. Whilst many vegetarians do consume flaxseed, the short-chain omega-3 ALA is a distant relative from the long-chain fatty acids, and the conversion rate tends to be very poor. Algal sources can offer an alternative but these tend to be high in DHA, with low quantities of EPA. EPA is important for neurological function as well as the production of eicosanoids, whose role in inflammation is critical.”

Whilst the vegetarian diet tends to be very healthy – with lower total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol intake than their meat-eating counterparts – their consumption of important long-chain omega-3s (found mainly in oily fish, with some levels in enriched eggs) is significantly lower, which is also reflected in tests of plasma levels. [4] The government recommendation for two portions of fish weekly to achieve a daily intake of 0.45 g omega-3, is plainly not an option for vegetarians, and so vegetarians have, until recently, been reliant upon flaxseed oil to provide the short-chain omega-3 ALA, with the idea that the body will convert this to the important long-chain omega-3s such as EPA and DHA.

The problem is that the conversion of ALA in flaxseed oil to EPA and DHA in the body is reliant upon the presence of certain enzymes, making it a slow and inefficient process – particularly so when enzyme activity is impaired for any reason. Factors limiting this process in the body include stress, ageing, alcohol, caffeine, low levels of vitamins and minerals, as well as viral infections and diabetes.

The good news is that another, more efficient precursor, has recently been launched in the UK, in the form of SDA from echium seed oil. Indeed SDA is a closer relative to the important long-chain omega-3 fatty acid EPA than ALA, and is converted to EPA in amounts up to 5 times greater than other vegetarian omega-3 oils containing just ALA.[5] Contained in supplement form in the product Echiomega, SDA bypasses the enzyme ‘blocks’ which easily interrupt the conversion to the important long-chain omega-3 fatty acid EPA, known for its potent anti-inflammatory by-products and mood-regulating effects.

Echium seed oil also contains other beneficial fatty acids, including the powerful anti-inflammatory fatty acid GLA, as well as the omega-9 oleic acid found typically in olive oil and synonymous with the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Research also indicates a synergistic effect within echium seed oil, owing to the combination of SDA with GLA, which reportedly elevates EPA levels more efficiently than SDA alone. [6] Echiomega, available from good health food shops or mail order from manufacturer Igennus (see http://www.igennus.com/) is the ideal nutritional supplement for those who are vegan or vegetarian, to boost the levels of the important omega fats in the diet.

References

[1] The Vegetarian Society, Available: http://www.vegsoc.org/news/2000/21cv/introduction.html [Accessed 13th May 2009]

[2] Key, T.J. E Fraser, G.E. et al (1999) Mortality in vegetarians and nonvegetarians: detailed findings from a collaborative analysis of 5 prospective studies, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999 70: 516S-24S.
[3] Fraser G.E. (2009) Vegetarian diets: what do we know of their effects on common chronic diseases? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 89: 1607S-1612S.

[4] Key, T.J. Appleby, P.N. & Rosell, M.S. (2006) Health effects of vegetarian and vegan diets, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 65: 35-41 Cambridge University Press. See also: Rosell M.S., Lloyd-Wright Z. et al (2005) Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in plasma in British meat-eating, vegetarian, and vegan men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 82: 327-34.

[5] James MJ, Ursin VM, Cleland LG. (2003) Metabolism of stearidonic acid in human subjects: comparison with the metabolism of other n-3 fatty acids. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 77: 1140-5.

[6] Miles, E.A., Banerjee, T., et al (2004) The influence of different combinations of g-linolenic acid, stearidonic acid and EPA on immune function in healthy young male subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 91, pp.893-903.

Press Release Contact Information:

Mina Nazemi
Igennus
Marketing Manager
9 Chesterton Mill, French’s Road
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
UK CB4 3NP

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Anger Management

angerWhy Anger Management Skills are Important to your Health

Everybody experiences anger at some point of time or the other. A certain degree of anger is normal and healthy. However, if it gets out of control you can harm not only yourself but also those you come into contact with. Anger is probably the most real of all human emotions. It can increase your determination and will-power to reach the heights of success or it can catapult you into the valleys of fury and rage. By itself, anger is not really dangerous to your well-being. Everything depends on how you deal with it.

We lead a different life as compared to our fore-fathers. Technology has perhaps improved life in many ways but it has also made it difficult and stressful. We have no time to smell the roses. We always have to do something yesterday, right now, today or tomorrow. This leads to overwhelming pressure and stress. Let’s take an example of the average married man. He wakes up in the morning to rush to work sometimes without breakfast. He travels miles to his workplace only to be reprimanded by his boss for late-coming. During the day he has projects to complete and deadlines to meet, all under his immediate supervisor’s watchful eye. If something goes wrong he is held responsible. He returns in the evening to a mischievous child and a wife who grumbles about his never having the time for her. A squabble follows making him feel stressed out, angry and depressed. And this is an average day in the life of a married man. The bad days are a different story altogether.

Anger Management: In this age of unusual stress and pressure, anger management is of paramount importance. It teaches you to accept what you can’t change and channel your energy to feel positive and calm. It is important for people from all walks of life to control and manage their anger. Employees must learn to deal with work pressure and demanding supervisors. Bosses should control their feelings of hostility towards perceived inefficient workers. Couples must stop venting their frustrations on each other. Anger management teaches you all this and much more. Organizations must recognize the need to incorporate anger management into their training programs. Expressing feelings must be encouraged and honest feedback should be provided. This will bring about a sense of harmony and increase productivity at the work-place.

Stress Management and Anger: Stress and anger are two sides of the same coin. Often, we are angry because we are stressed and vice versa. The causes of stress are many. Demands at the workplace, uncompromising supervisors, inefficient employees, strained relationships, health issues and financial worries are some of these causes. If you can learn to beat the heat and manage stress half the battle is won. There are various techniques that can be used to manage stress. Try deep breathing when faced with a tense situation. Yoga and meditation can also work as stress busters. Therapists endorse exercising as a means to release feel good hormones and do away with stress and tension.

All said and done, anger and stress to a certain degree is desirable and healthy. Excessive stress can lead to fits of anger and affect all aspects of life. Managing stress and anger is important for your emotional as well as physical well being.

The most effective way in managing your stress and anger is to learn anger and fear control skills by taking an anger management class. It would be most helpful if the classes focused on anger management, stress management, assertive communication, and emotional intelligence.

By Gregory Kyles, LPC, CEAP, CAMF http://www.ami-tx.com
www.angermanagementinstituteoftexas.com

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Children and Divorce

By Mayo Clinic staff

Divorce is stressful for the entire family. Your child may feel as if his or her world has turned upside down. But there’s good news. You can make your child’s adjustment to the divorce much easier simply by choosing to interact responsibly with your spouse. Consider these practical tips for children and divorce.

How to break the news

It’s best if you and your spouse can tell your child about the divorce together. Speak honestly and simply, and skip the ugly details. You might say, “Your mom (or dad) and I have been having trouble getting along, so we think it’s best for us to live apart.”

Make sure your child understands that divorce is only between adults. Remind your child — repeatedly if necessary — that he or she did nothing to cause the divorce and that both of you love your child as much as ever.

Expect a mix of reactions

Initially, your child may be most interested in concrete things. Where will I live? Do I need to change schools? Who will take me to swimming lessons? As you work out the terms of the divorce, try to maintain your child’s routine as much as possible — or be quick to establish a new routine. Knowing what to expect will help your child feel more secure.

But soon, the reality of divorce will settle in. A younger child might respond to the stress by regressing to behavior he or she had previously outgrown, such as sucking on a pacifier or wetting the bed. A resurgence of separation anxiety may strike as well. Help your child put his or her feelings into words.

An older child might respond to the stress with a mix of emotions — anger, anxiety, grief or even relief. If your child’s anger turns inward, he or she may become depressed or withdrawn. Anger can have the opposite effect, too, causing a child to act out or develop behavior issues. Encourage your child to share his or her feelings as openly as possible.

Keep your child out of the fight

How your child adapts to the divorce is largely dependent on how you and your spouse act, especially toward each other. To respect your child’s relationship with the other parent, keep these general “don’ts” in mind:

  • Don’t speak badly about your spouse in front of your child.
  • Don’t make accusations against your spouse in front of your child.
  • Don’t force your child to choose sides.
  • Don’t use your child as a messenger or go-between.
  • Don’t argue or discuss child support issues in front of your child.
  • Don’t pump your child for information about the other parent.
  • Don’t use your child as a pawn to hurt the other parent.

Don’t bend the rules

It may be tempting to relax your parental rules while your child grieves over the divorce. But this will only make your child feel more insecure. Children thrive on consistency, structure and routine — even if they insist on testing the boundaries and limits. If your child shares time between two households, it’s important for the rules to be similar in both homes.

Counseling can help

You might feel so hurt or overwhelmed by your divorce that you turn to your child for comfort and direction — but that’s not your child’s role. For help sorting through your feelings, you might join a divorce support group or seek counseling through a social service agency or mental health center. If you need help reaching decisions about your child during or after the divorce, consider using the services of a family or divorce mediator.

Your child may also benefit from counseling, especially if he or she:

  • Feels sad or angry
  • Has trouble sleeping or eating
  • Has problems at school or with friends
  • Experiences personality changes
  • Develops irrational fears

Put your child first

During a divorce, interacting with your spouse might be the last thing you want to do — but it’s important. Your child needs both of you. Work out custody arrangements and other details with your child’s best interests in mind. Remember that a bitter or prolonged custody battle may take a serious, long-term toll on your child’s mental health. Instead, help your child maintain a strong, loving relationship with the other parent as you work toward meeting common parenting goals. For your child, support from both parents may be the best tool for weathering the challenges of divorce.

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Texans Cheerleaders

2009 Houston Texans Cheerleaders Tryouts Coverage

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FINAL SQUAD!

The 2009 Houston Texans Cheerleaders Tryouts have concluded. The 29 members were announced on Thursday, April 30.
Video | Story | Slideshow

Hundreds of women participated in the first round of tryouts on April 18.
Cheerleader tryouts draw talent | Photos from tryouts

Be sure to check out all of the highlights from this year’s tryouts on Texans TV:
Cheerleaders at Draft Party | Cheer finalists a select group | Mic’d up: Megan at tryouts |
2009 Texans Cheerleaders Tryouts recap | Texans players judge tryouts

To sign up for information regarding the 2010 Texans Cheerleaders tryouts, please click here.

For coverage from the 2008 Houston Texans Cheerleaders Tryouts, click here.

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Treatments for Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a syndrome characterized by high blood sugar resulting from an impaired response to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in patients over the age of thirty, but it also occurs in children and teens. It is commonly associated with being overweight, especially around the abdomen area. Many times, it is diagnosed after a period of significant weight gain.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is frequently diagnosed in aymptomatic patients during a routine medical examination. Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Fungal and bacterial infection
  • Itching due to vaginal yeast infection

Late complications of diabetes include: heart disease, infections, skin ulcers, kidney disease, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, impotence, constipation, pain and poor circulation in the legs, vision loss.

Diagnosis

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the criteria for fasting high blood sugar are met. Blood sugar level is greater than or equal to 140 mg/dL (7.77 mmol/L) after an overnight fast on two occasions, or the American Diabetes Association criteria of fasting blood sugar greater than 126 mg/L (6.99 mmol/L) can considered to be diagnostic.

A test called the oral glucose tolerance test is often conducted if fasting blood sugar is between 115 and 140 mg/dL (6.38 and 7.77 mmol/L) and in those with a clinical condition that might be related to undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

For monitoring diabetes, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is tested to estimate blood sugar control over the prior three months.

Natural Treatments for Diabetes

Most people with this type of diabetes are treated with diet, exercise and oral prescription drugs. Some people require the use of insulin to control blood sugar. Several alternative methods may help when used under medical supervision in conjunction with standard treatments. Once herbs and other measures for controlling blood sugar work, medication needs to be adjusted by your doctor.

Diet
A balanced diet is recommended. Foods that emphasize vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fiber can influence the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Foods that should be avoided are refined sugar, processed food, junk food, pastries, and cookies. When checking labels, watch out for hidden forms of sugar, such as dextrose, glucose, sucrose, corn sweeteners, fructose, dextrin, high-fructose corn syrup, lactose, modified cornstarch, maltose, malt, fruit juice concentrates, mannitol, sorghum, xylitol, and sorbitol. Protein snacks should be eaten in between meals. Alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine should be avoided.

All foods cause a varying insulin response in our bodies. Foods that have a higher rating on the “glycemic index”, a scale developed by nutrition researchers at the University of Toronto, cause a higher insulin spike than those with a lower rating.

Higher glycemic index foods are white bread, bagels, English muffins, packaged flaked cereal, instant hot cereals, frozen desserts, dried fruit, whole milk, hot dogs, and luncheon meat.

Lower glycemic index foods are most fresh vegetables, leafy greens, 100% whole grain bread, sweet potato, skim milk, buttermilk, chicken, lean cuts of beef, pork, and veal, white-fleshed fish, and many nuts. There are many factors that can influence glycemic index, such as cooking and preparation method.

Herbs, Nutritional Supplements and Vitamins
Chromium – Chromium is an essential trace mineral. It plays a major role in sugar metabolism. There is a growing body of evidence that shows that chromium may help bring blood sugar levels under control in type 2 diabetes. A typical dose of chromium for diabetes is 200 to 400 mcg per day.

Fenugreek – Fenugreek is a spice commonly used in India and the Middle East in cooking. Numerous studies suggest that fenugreek can reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. Fenugreek seeds can have a bitter taste, so people sometimes prefer to take it in capsule form. A typical dose range is 5 to 30 g three times per day with meals. Known side effects of high doses include mild digestive distress. Fenugreek should not be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Gymnema – Gymnema is an Ayurvedic herb that is believed to have a marked effect on blood sugar control. Doctors often prescribe gymnema for mild cases of type 2 diabetes, in conjunction with standard treatments. A typical dose range is 400 to 600 mg per day of an extract standardized to contain 24% gymnemic acids.

Vanadium – Vanadium is an essential trace mineral that may mimic insulin to help regulate blood sugar. It is found in black pepper, dill seed, and unsaturated vegetable oil, as well as in vitamin supplements.

Zinc – Zinc is necessary for the normal production of insulin. Food sources of zinc include fresh oysters, ginger root, lamb, pecans, split peas, egg yolk, rye, beef liver, lima beans, almonds, walnuts, sardines, chicken, and buckwheat.

Other herbs and supplements – The function if the digestive organs should be optimized, particularly the liver and pancreas. Dandelion and other bitter herbs, tumeric, and bupleurum are just a few of the herbs that can help with this. Another goal should be to tonify the endocrine system and promote hormonal balance. Ginseng, licorice, oatstraw, and hawthorn are some of the herbs that can tonify the endocrine system.

Other herbs that can affect blood sugar are bitter melon, neem, and goat’s rue. Helpful supplements for diabetes are vanadium, B vitamins (especially vitamin B6), vitamins C and E, and coenzyme Q10.

Treating Complications of Diabetes

Lipoic acid – In Germany, the antioxidant lipoic acid is used widely for the prevention and treatment of peripheral neuropathy in diabetes. This complication usually develops after many years, and is a painful condition affecting the nerves. Lipoic acid occurs naturally in the body, and it is often reduced in people with diabetes. It is involved in the energy metabolism in the body. There is some evidence that lipoic acid may be more effective if it is combined with GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). A typical dose for diabetes is 300 to 600 mg per day, divided into two or three doses.

GLA (Gamma-Linolenic Acid) – An excellent source of the essential fatty acid is evening primrose oil. It is also found in black currant and borage oil. There is some research suggesting that evening primrose oil can protect nerves, and help with symptoms such as pain and numbness. A typical dosage is 4 to 6 g daily, taken with food. Evening primrose oil requires about six months to have noticeable effect. One caution, it is possible that GLA may worsen temporal lobe epilepsy.

Omega-6 oils should be taken in balance with omega-3 oils, found in flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and fish oil. Omega-3 fats can help protect blood vessels and decrease insulin resistance.

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Food Additives

Food Additives that are Good for You

Here are some nutritional ingredients that are good for you:

Calcium:

Calcium is deficient in many of our diets, especially in the diets of teenagers. Calcium is important for healthy bones, teeth, blood clotting, and muscle and nerve function. The most absorbable form of calcium is found in dairy products, but what what if you don’t like dairy products, or can’t tolerate dairy products? One great option is to choose calcium fortified foods. The best known calcium fortified food is orange juice, but look for calcium added to bread and other foods as well. Prebiotics and Probiotics: Probiotics are healthy bacteria that grow in our gut and help keep our digestive system healthy. Prebiotics are the fibers that help support the growth of the probiotics in our gut. Probiotics are naturally found in yogurt and fermented products. Adding the prebiotics like fructooligosaccarhides to foods will help these healthy bacteria flourish and improve our health. Prebiotics can be added to most any type of food, but is commonly found added to yogurt products and in supplement form

Fiber:

Fiber is the undigestible part of plant foods. People on low cab diets often do not get enough fiber in their diets. Fiber is needed for a healthy digestive system, and some fibers will help reduce cholesterol and help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oat bran fiber is one example of a healthy fiber that will reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Oat bran fiber is often added to foods like breads, pasta, and snack foods to increase the fiber content.

Anti-Oxidants:

Anti-oxidants are the chemicals found in colorful fruits and vegetables that have special properties to prevent or even treat certain diseases. One example is lycopene, normally found in tomatoes. Lycopene, as well as other anti-oxidants can be added to regular foods, turning them into super-healthy functional foods.

Essential Fatty Acids:

Essential fatty acids and healthy omega 3 oils are needed for healthy nervous system function, healthy brain function, and will work as anti-inflammatories. Adding essential fatty acids to foods will make them even healthier. One example is the addition of an essential fatty acid called DHA to infant formula. Studies show that infants who get adequant amounts of DHA have better brain and eye development.

Proteins and Amino Acids:

Proteins and their individual components called amino acids serve several different functions in our body, most of them related to the structures of our body and for our immune system. Soy protein is an example of a nutritional ingredient that may be added to foods because soy consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

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Budgeted Exercise

Finding cheap exercise equipment

Exercise may be tough to fit into a busy day, but outfitting your home gym is easier than you think. Your home gym can be as lavish (mega-machines and expensive cardio equipment) or as simple (a good pair of athletic shoes) as you like and, for the budget-minded, it doesn’t have to cost a thing.

When I first started working out, I didn’t have much of a budget. I was in college and what little money I had went towards food (Ramen noodles) and drink (beer, of course). What I didn’t know was that I could’ve made my own set of weights without spending an extra dime. The nice thing about weight training is that anything with weight will work–a dumbbell, a full water bottle or a sock full of sand…your body doesn’t know the difference.

There are plenty of things you probably have in your house right now that could serve as weights–you just need to be a little creative to get started:

Making Your Own Weights

Whether you’re outfitting a home gym or traveling, there are a variety of things you can use as dumbbells such as:

Full Soup Cans. These are great for lighter weights. Some larger cans weigh up to a pound (or more) and could be used for upper body exercises.
Full Water Bottles. A large water bottle (say around 33.8 fluid ounces) can give you a little more than 2 pounds when full of water. Fill it with sand, rocks or change and you get even more weight.
Computer Bags or Small duffel bags. My husband carries around a small computer bag so stuffed with crap, it weighs about 10 pounds. Because computer bags usually have handles, these can be great for exercises like bicep curls, lateral raises or one-armed rows. Small duffel bags with handles can be filled with books and used for lower body exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts.
Milk or Orange Juice Jugs. Save your old milk jugs and fill them with sand, change or water for weights with ready-made handles
PVC Pipes. I had one client who filled PVC pipes with sand, capping them off with duct tape to avoid spillage. This is a great idea since PVC pipes come in all shapes and sizes, many of which fit perfectly in your hand.
Tennis balls and cans. Shawn Keith, certified personal trainer, recommends filling tennis balls and tennis cans with sand or change for some great handheld weights.
Most of these materials can be found around your house or at your local hardware store. If you’re not into making weights yourself, there are some other alternatives for finding cheap equipment.

Cheap Exercise Equipment

If you don’t mind a little bargain-hunting, you can find cheap exercise equipment in a variety of places such as:

  • Garage Sales . I almost always see exercise gear at garage sales and some of it’s even worth buying. Pick up the newspaper to find weekend garage sales in your area–I guarantee you’ll find something .
  • Play it Again Sports . This store buys and sells used (and new) exercise equipment. If you have one in your area, it’s worth checking out especially for their dumbbell selection, which is usually pretty good.
  • Walmart . Nobody out-cheaps Walmart, especially when it comes to exercise equipment. While I wouldn’t buy a treamdill there, they have a great selection of hex weights that are reasonably priced. They also carry resistance bands–another cheap alternative to buying weights.
  • Classified Ads . Americans love to buy things…especially exercise equipment. They also love to sell things…especially exercise equipment they never used. Check your newspaper for cheap gear–you can often find some great deals.

What Not to Skimp On

While it’s a fine idea to bargain-hunt, there are a few crucial items you shouldn’t skimp on. Learn from my mistakes and make sure you spend good money on:

  • Portable CD players or MP3 players . If you’re using your walkman for exercise, you’ll want something sturdy and waterproof. My preference for CD players is the Sony Sport CD Player . Make sure you get decent headphones too.
  • Heart Rate Monitors . I bought a HRM from Target for about $20. Guess where it is now? In the trash, my friends. I’m not saying they’re completely useless but cheaper versions can be bulky, uncomfortable and not terribly accurate. Stick with companies known for quality HRMs like Polar .
  • Treadmills, Elliptical Trainers or other cardio equipment . This is definitely one area where you get what you pay for.
  • Athletic shoes . Your shoes may be the most important piece of equipment you own–if you don’t have supportive shoes that fit right and match your sport, you could have problems with injury or discomfort. Think quality–if your feet don’t work right, nothing else will either.

Creating a home gym with little or no money is easy if you’re on a budget. Anything with weight can be used for strength training exercises, so don’t be afraid to get creative and break the rules a little!

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