Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Diabetes and CPAP

Its no big secret that many of the things that lead us to developing diabetes also play a significant role in other health related issues as well. And one of those correlations is shown in how many diabetics are also affected by sleep apnea. In my own case, I was aware that I had, un-diagnosed and untreated, sleep apnea for many years prior to the onset of my type 2 diabetes. But escalating risks, with my diabetes, and cardiac issues, forced me to finally seek help for my sleep apnea, which resulted in my doctor putting me on a CPAP machine.

About a week into my CPAP usage, there was a problem. It wasn't a problem with the use of the machine, or nasal mask, or even dealing with nightly bathroom visits. In fact, I don't believe I have ever had a better night's sleep than these first nights, and I awoke more refreshed and more energized that ever before, with only minimal adjustment issues. So what was the problem you might ask?

The problem, was a software problem. It seems that the SleepMapper software for my Philips Respironics® CPAP machine is only supported for Windows or Mac computers. Which is fine, as long as you are a Philips customer, and own one of those types of computers. But in my case, my computer runs a LINUX operating system, and Philips wasted no time in letting me know that I was 'out of luck' as far as software support goes. (You can see more about this, and my rant about how corporate America treats LINUX users as if they are not important in this blog entry)

Because I do have a fundamental knowledge of computers, and enjoy a good challenge, I set out to attempt to find a solution to using the Philips SleepMapper software with LINUX. And along the way, not only did I discover a solution, I also discovered a much more comprehensive software solution for use with my Philips Respironics® CPAP machine called Sleepyhead. The solution that allows the Windows version of SleepMapper to run in LINUX also allows the Windows version of Sleepyhead to run in LINUX as well. If you are the owner of a Philips Respironics® CPAP machine, and are also the owner of a LINUX computer, feel free to check out my solution on this blog entry.

And if you are a diabetic, you probably already know how important it is to get an adequate amount of high quality of sleep each night. Are you taking the steps to insure that you are getting 8-9 hours of sleep every day? As a diabetic your body needs it's rest to help combat your diabetes. And if you have not been screened for sleep apnea, and have any of these symptoms, you owe it to yourself to seek the appropriate medical advice.


David Jarrett © 4/08/2015
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Friday, March 6, 2015

Premier Diabetes Site thinks we all should use iPhones?

Well over a year ago I contacted dLife and asked about the availability of an Android version of the dLife app, which was only available for the iPhone at that time. 

I received an email reply and was told by dLife that it was being worked on. 

Over a year later, there is still no Android version of the dLife app, and a current article on dLife about mobile apps for diabetes mentions ONLY iOS apps, NOTHING for Android.

So what's up dLife, are diabetics only supposed to be iPhone users?


BTW, for those Android using diabetics out there, there IS an excellent diabetes tracking app available from Medivo called OnTrack Diabetes.



It can be downloaded here on Google Play





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Sunday, February 22, 2015

No Sugar Added Chunky Pasta Sauce

Easy No Sugar Added Chunky Pasta Sauce
-Ingredients-
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 Medium Onion Coarsely chopped
1 can (or fresh) mushrooms (optional)
1 to 1-1/2 lbs meat of your choosing
2 28oz cans diced Tomatoes
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
3 Tbsp Cream/Neufchatel Cheese (optional)

Into a 6 quart saucepan add the olive oil,
italian seasoning, minced garlic, chopped onion,
and meat. (In our house we like diced chicken the best!)
Saute until the meat is done through and through.
Add the diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes, cover and
simmer on low heat until cooked through. If you prefer
more of a Vodka style saucee, add the Cream/Neufchatel
Cheese and blend in evenly.

Serve over your pasta of choice. For an extra low carb meal,
serve over spaghetti squash or a vegetti style pasta.

This recipe is approximately 1 carb serving per 3/4 cup of sauce.



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Sunday, November 9, 2014

OTC Cold Remedies - Diabetics Beware!

For Crying Out Loud!



I've been Fighting a Cold for the last 7-10 days, and so, of course, have been taking OTC Cold medicines. Daytime & Night Time Cold Caplets, and a 'Sugar Free' Vitamin C & Zinc drink additive.

For the past week, my blood sugar has been spiking like mad, even with the low carb diet and careful glucose monitoring that I've pretty gotten down stone cold solid ever since I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

It's been driving me crazy all week trying figure out why my blood sugar was going crazy, when I have had it completely under control for quite some time.

On a hunch, I checked the ingredients list on some of the stuff I've been taking, and discovered they ALL contain maltodextrin. For those that slept through chemistry class, maltodextrin is a complex sugar that the human digestive system breaks down into simple sugars very quickly. And BTW, how do you get away with listing something as 'Sugar Free' that contains maltodextrin?

Apparently the pharmaceutical & nutritional supplements industries doesn't consider this worth a specific notation on their labels pointing out that taking these types of products will have adverse side effects on your blood glucose levels if you are diabetic!

I might as well have been swallowing sugar cubes... Give me a BREAK!



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Friday, November 7, 2014

Diet and Nutrition - Be careful who you get your advice from!

One of my biggest rants is the staggering amount of 'dietary disinformation' that is dispensed to diabetics by professional dietitians on a regular, consistent basis.

On a recent hospital stay, I was advised by a hospital nutritionist that I *needed* more carbs in my meal choices, even as a type II diabetic. After enduring the same argument over and over for multiple meals, I did finally cave in (against my better judgement!) and followed the advice given, and increased my carb intake for one of my meals. Needless to say, my after meal blood glucose level shot up to almost 300, instead of the typical 120-140 ranges I was accustomed to seeing, and required a substantial shot of insulin to correct.

The sad fact of the matter is that all too many certified dietitians and nutritionists are dispensing advice to diabetics that can/will undermine any chance of establishing effective dietary management of their diabetes.

For an excellent source of 'real' dietary advice for diabetes management, check out Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution. Not only informative, it's also an entertaining look at the dietary lifestyle changes involved in effectively managing your diabetes. Here's an example-

"The fallacy that eating fat will make you fat is about as scientifically logical as saying that eating tomatoes will turn you red."


http://www.diabetes-book.com/



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Monday, October 20, 2014

Better Choices, Better Health for Diabetes

For the next six weeks I will be participating in a workshop from Stanford University on managing chronic health conditions. The free Better Choices, Better Health Diabetes workshop is designed to help diabetics take control of their diabetes. Check out how to sign up here! 


From time to time, I will add updates here on my experiences with this program


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Salad - It's what's for dinner!

A recent dLife poll reports that roughly 74% of respondents use either low carb or carbohydrate counting as their dietary control method. Like these respondents, I learned very early on in the evolution of my diabetes lifestyle that sticking with a low carb menu plan gives me the optimal results that help keep me motivated and on track with maintaining my targeted glucose levels. 

One of the key elements in my dietary arsenal is the inclusion of a low carb dinner salad 2 or 3 times each week. Long regarded as a dieter's staple, the lowly salad can be transformed from the ill regarded 'rabbit food' to a gourmet feast with ease. And the possibilities are virtually limitless!

(my current favorite base of greens)

The key to salad nirvana is to start with a fresh, crisp base of greens. My current favorite mix is a combination of iceberg lettuce, spinach leaves, thinly sliced napa cabbage, shredded carrots, shredded red radishes, and shredded celery. Feel free to mix in whatever strikes your fancy, or whatever is in season. Other options include romaine or other varieties of lettuce, sprouts, different greens, virtually anything from the garden can be incorporated into your base mix.

The next step in your quest for a satisfying salad meal is what I refer to as embellishments. Some of my favorite embellishments are diced tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, and slices of yellow, white, or red onion. As in the base mix, feel free to add in whatever strikes your fancy here, but keep in mind that the ultimate goal is a low carbohydrate count. Add in whatever you like, but keep amounts in line with their effect on the total amount of carbs. 

The next phase of your salad extravaganza is the dressing. And this is where many folks tend to stumble, if not completely fall down. The key here is to select an enjoyable dressing that has a low carb profile. If you are watching your sodium levels (and you should be!) this is also something that should be taken into consideration. For the most part, I opt for dressings of the olive oil/vinegar or balsamic vinegar varieties. Here again, portion control is important. On a large dinner salad, my preferred dressing is less than 5 carbs for 3 tablespoons. Always measure your salad dressing!  Despite your conviction that you can 'eyeball' it accurately, chances are you really can't, and even if you can, over time you will slowly start adding more than the desired amount. You can't keep your human nature from asserting itself, so always measure the dressing. I personally like to sprinkle my salad with a variety of salt free seasoning mixes before I add the dressing, to really pump up the flavor profile.

Last, and by far not the least, is the topping phase. As with every other step, here you are limited only by your own creativity. Obvious choices are a seasoned grilled chicken breast, seasoned grilled salmon, seasoned grilled tuna ( a George Foreman grill makes these options very easy!), some tuna salad, egg salad, or tuna and egg salad (substitute tangy plain greek yogurt and green olives in the recipe for an added flavor punch!), a chefs salad with sliced meats and hard boiled eggs, or even a taco salad with a topping made from spiced ground meat, tomatoes, and fiber rich red beans (skip the dressing here and garnish with salsa and sour cream. Sliced jalapenos are even an option!)  

 (a completed grilled chicken salad)

Dinner salads, served 2-3 times a week, provide an abundant source of fresh vegetables, essential nutrients, healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber, plus an endless variety of taste sensation in a low carb package that is satisfyingly delicious. And they will also help keep your glucose meter showing you those numbers you really want to see!



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