Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Insulin Shots As Effective as Pumps

pump

 

Insulin Shots as Effective as Pumps

 

Adults with type 1 diabetes may be able to manage their blood sugar levels just as well with multiple daily insulin injections as they can with continuous insulin pumps, a recent study suggests.

In type 1 diabetes, a lifelong condition, the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow blood sugar to enter cells and produce energy. People with the condition usually have to test their own blood sugar level throughout the day and inject insulin to manage it; otherwise they risk complications like heart disease and kidney damage.

 

Some previous research has suggested pumps may help patients get better blood sugar control than they can achieve by giving themselves multiple daily insulin injections. But patients tend to get more intensive training on managing their blood sugar with pumps than they do with injections, so some doctors have questioned whether better patient education might be the reason pumps get better results.

 

For the current study, researchers set out to answer this question. They offered 260 adults with type 1 diabetes the same education on how to manage their blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, and then randomly assigned participants to use pumps or daily injections.

 

“What the trial shows fairly unequivocally is that education/training can produce considerable benefit, although it leaves many patients still a long way from current glucose targets,” said lead study investigator Dr. Simon Heller, a diabetes researcher at the University of Sheffield in the UK.

 

To compare pumps to injections, researchers examined average blood sugar levels over the course of several months by measuring changes to the hemoglobin molecule in red blood cells. The hemoglobin A1c test measures the percentage of hemoglobin that is coated with sugar, with readings of 6.5 percent or above signaling diabetes.

 

 

At the start of the study, participants had average A1c readings of 9.1 percent, indicating poorly controlled blood sugar with an increased risk of serious complications.

 

After two years of follow-up, most patients still had poorly controlled blood sugar. People using the pumps achieved average A1c reductions of 0.85 percentage points, compared with 0.42 percentage points with multiple daily injections, researchers report in the BMJ.

 

Once researchers accounted for other factors that can influence blood sugar such as age, sex and treatment center, the difference in A1c for pump versus injection patients was too small to rule out the possibility that it was due to chance.

 

There are many different types of pumps and injection devices on the market, and one limitation of the study is that researchers didn’t examine how specific design features might influence how well patients succeeded in managing their blood sugar, the authors note.

 

It’s also possible that the effort to give pump and injection patients the same level of education may have skewed the results because in real life, patients might get more education when they start using pumps than they would for injections, said Dr. Roman Hovorka, director of research at the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories in the UK.

 

Pumps also have a technological advantage that wasn’t addressed in the study, Hovorka, who wasn’t involved in the research, said by email. These devices can collect data on insulin delivery and blood sugar levels and transmit that information to clinicians, enabling doctors to adjust treatment based on the results.

 

But because pumps are much more expensive than injections, it doesn’t make sense to use them unless they have a proven advantage for blood sugar control, said Dr. Edwin Gale, emeritus professor of diabetes at the University of Bristol in the UK.

 

In the UK, pumps cost about 2,500 pounds ($3,116.25) a year plus an additional 1,500 pounds ($1,869.75) for batteries and other supplies, researchers note.

 

“I think the take-home message for patients is that pumps won’t do the job for you,” Gale said by email. “They are not for everyone, and many people can do just as well on multiple injections.”

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Mexican Garden Scramble

mexican

 

Mexican Garden Scramble

 

Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake is one of the best ways to control your blood pressure. Fruit and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, but especially valuable are the potassium, magnesium, and even calcium that they provide. One way to ensure you are getting enough vegetables is to start your day with a serving!

 

This Mexican garden scramble includes flavorful peppers and onions, cilantro, and tomatoes folded into fluffy, protein-rich scrambled eggs. Topped with a bit of shredded cheese and creamy, potassium-rich avocado, this breakfast is a delicious and satisfying way to start your day.

 

Ingredients

3 large eggs + 1 egg white

1/4 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup bell pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh jalapeno, diced

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup tomato, diced

1/2 small avocado, sliced

2 tablespoons shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese

salsa or hot sauce

Preparation

In a small bowl, whisk eggs and white until combined and fluffy. Set aside.

Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with oil and add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

 

Turn heat to low, spray again, and add eggs. Cook over low heat, pushing eggs from outside of pan to the center with a rubber spatula, until almost done. Add cooked veggies and 2 tablespoons cilantro to the eggs and continue cooking until eggs are set.

 

 

To assemble, divide eggs between two bowls. Add tomato, avocado, cheese, and remaining cilantro. Top with your favorite salsa or hot sauce. Enjoy!

 

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

If you have other veggies on hand that need to be used up, feel free to throw them into the pan with the peppers and onions. Breakfast scrambles are a great way to use up vegetables that are about to go bad. Mushrooms, corn, and spinach would all be great additions.

 

To keep the calories, fat and sodium under control, be sure to stick to the small portion of cheese and avocado listed in the recipe. While nutritious, these foods are also calorie-dense.

 

If you need to watch your cholesterol, you can use all egg whites in place of whole eggs.

 

Cooking and Serving Tips

When making scrambled eggs, keep the heat on low and slowly stir from the outside edges inward for the best results.

 

Serve with a warmed whole grain corn or whole wheat tortilla and a serving of fresh fruit to round out the meal.

 

If you are having concerns about your food intake, please make an appointment with us and we can work on a personal health care plan.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Skillet Peanut Butter Cinnamon Cookie, Low Carb

skillett

Skillet Peanut Butter Cinnamon Spice Cookie

 

Total Time 20 min

Prep 10 min, Cook 10 min

Yield 16 servings (129 calories each)

This decadent yet low-carb skillet peanut butter cinnamon spice cookie is the perfect treat for someone with diabetes. It takes less than ten minutes of prep time, has only five grams of sugar per serving, and is made with blood sugar lowering cinnamon. Most importantly, it’s delicious!

 

Ingredients

1 large egg

1 cup natural peanut butter

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup almond meal

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon salt

Non-stick spray

2 tablespoons peanuts, optional, for garnish

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, beat egg until slightly frothy. Whisk in the peanut butter, brown sugar, almond meal, vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until well combined.

Spray an ovenproof skillet lightly with nonstick spray. Pour batter into the skillet and spread evenly with a spatula. If desired, sprinkle the top with a few peanuts and press down slightly.

Place cookie on a rack set in the center of the oven and bake 10-12 minutes until puffed and golden around the edges. Let cook 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

 

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

This is one of my favorite treats to make because I always have the ingredients on hand! Whenever I’m craving something warm, gooey and sweet, I know this skillet cookie is only 20 minutes away.

 

Nut Butters

 

Even in your pantry is looking bare, this recipe is easy to adapt based on what you have on hand. You can use any type of nut butter—cashew butter and almond butter both work well. And if you’re in the unfortunate situation of running out of nut butter, you can make your own by blending a rounded cup of nuts with a tablespoon of oil in the food processor until if forms a creamy spread.

 

Sweeteners

 

I made these with brown sugar, which has a richer flavor than white sugar, although you could certainly substitute it in a pinch. You could also use pure maple syrup or honey, but be sure to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees and cook it a couple minutes longer to prevent burning.

 

Nut-Free Variation

 

If anyone in your household is nut free, you can still make this cookie—just swap in sesame butter and leave out the almond meal. Made with sunflower seeds, it’s perfect for those with tree nut allergies.

 

Vegan Variation

 

For a vegan version, use a chia seed egg. Mix 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water and let it sit to gel for about 10 minutes before mixing in the other ingredients.

 

 

This trick is a perfect one to remember next time you run out of eggs.

 

More Add-Ins

 

If you’re feeling extra decadent, load this cookie up with lots of healthy add-ins. In the mood for something chocolatey? Swap the almond flour for ¼ cup cocoa powder, or stir in ½ cup chopped dark chocolate, which is rich in antioxidant polyphenols and flavanols. Want something fruity? Stir in a handful of frozen berries. This recipe is especially delicious with frozen wild blueberries.

 

Make an extra nutty cookie with different kinds of nuts and seeds, like walnuts, sunflower seeds, and almonds. Add a handful or two of dried fruit along with those nuts to make a granola inspired cookie. My favorite way to enjoy this cookie is with a handful of shredded dried coconut and dark chocolate chips.

 

Cooking and Serving Tips

This cookie is best when it’s slightly undercooked. The center might not look fully done when you take it out, but it will continue cooking as it cools.

 

Be sure to use a nonstick or well seasoned cast iron skillet to prevent sticking.

 

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