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A Moment of Clarity Through the Tears

I have been working on the complications section of this site for the past few days. Its been very difficult for me to read books all day long about all the ways my life could be altered from diabetes. As if it hasn't changed enough. It's been extremely hard for me these past couple days to remain positive about things. But somehow I find a way... maybe working out?

I took a break a few hours ago from the complications and started reading some other blogs. I was reading about how others are coping and how sometimes you just get down about things. It was like everyone was talking about the same things that were running through my mind. Reading about how others have it the same as I do just made me even more upset.

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Participating in a Clinical Trial

Want to participate in a clinical trial? Our newest addition to the blogroll is a site that lists diabetes-related clinical trials by state. It's a lot easier to use but slightly less complete than the Government one. You can always find the link in the Resources section on the far right side of the page. It's under Clinical Trials.

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Clinical Trial: Oral Insulin Study For Asthmatics

From HealthDay News: "The National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Col. is conducting two clinical research studies to evaluate an investigational inhaled insulin as an alternative to insulin injections in people with diabetes and breathing problems. You may qualify for one of these clinical studies if you are between the ages of 18-75, have type 1 or 2 diabetes for more than one year, received 2 or more insulin injections per day and have breathing problems such as asthma or COPD (including emphysema or chronic bronchitis). The research site is in Denver."

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Double Diabetes

Doctors are warning of an increase of "double" diabetes cases. Double diabetes usually happens when a person, typically overweight, goes to the doctor showing symptoms of type 2. When blood work is done, anitbodies to beta cells in the pancreas are discovered, showing type 1.

Many times, people have had type 1 diabetes and then become obese, and begin showing signs of type 2. Doctors are also linking late-onset type 1 with obesity.

A lot of the complications that stem from diabetes are from poor nutrition and not checking blood glucose levels. This is yet another very important reason to make sure that you take care of yourself.

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More Evidence of Link Between Alzheimer's & Diabetes

Today, Glaxo announced that Avandia, a pill for treating diabetes, also slows the progression of Alzheimer's in some patients. This discovery reinforces last week's announcement that Alzheimer's patients suffer from lower insulin production. If a connection like this is borne out, we'll see far more studies that try to connect our knowledge of diabetes with that of Alzheimer's.

This study also has broader implications. Glaxo noted that Avandia is only effective in Alzheimer's patients with a particular gene. This marks the first time that a study has indicated a drug "works for some people and not others based on a test of their genetics." If doctor's can identify what drugs will work before they're administered based on a genetic test, we will be in a whole new era of targeted medicine. Millions of people will avoid unnecessary medication, unwanted side-effects and delayed healing.

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Of Tango, Drums and Cold

Monday evenings are crazy for David and I. This is because until yesterday, David has drum lessons from 7-8:00 and then we run downtown for our tango lesson from 8:30-9:30. Well, we finished tango for a few weeks so all that's going on is the drum lessons.

Anyway... since I'm a relatively new pump user, I have been trying to figure out how I should work my pump during tango class. A few weeks ago, I left it on and then went low. Last week, I suspended it and was fine. Yesterday, I suspended it and went high. Really high... 340!

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The Diabetes OC Blog Choice Awards

This recently came to my attention via my brother, Dylan:

The Diabetes O.C. is having an awards nomination for diabetes blogs, like ours. They are giving out awards for the best of in many categories. The website, with the rules, is here. Good luck to all participants and don't forget to vote for Diabetes Daily!

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It Just Keeps Getting Better and Better

We had a great weekend here in Cleveland. It was very snowy out and so we decided to keep it low key on Friday night. David brought home pizza and we sat around and watched movies and relaxed. I tested my blood sugar and dosed for my pizza. I took the recommended dose that my pump suggested and enjoyed my dinner. A couple hours later I tested my blood sugar again... over 250... again. I know that pizza is so bad for me, yet I still eat it.

No big deal. I take a correction bolus and make David watch the first part of Gone With the Wind. Almost instantly I feel better.

The next morning I wake up. My blood sugar is at 150. Not great, but could be worse. We go out for breakfast as usual. The day before, my mom and I cleaned out the diabetes section at Barnes and Noble. She really wants to learn more about what I am going through. I know its been hard on her, too. David and I took some books with us to breakfast. I'm sitting there reading and I turn to look behind me for some reason. There is a lady there with a little girl, ordering their food. I then glanced down and saw that the lady was wearing a pump! This was the first time I saw someone outside of my pump class wearing one. I immediately told David. I never spoke with her, but it was strangely comforting to see someone else doing what I do.

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You Are Stronger Than Your Diabetes

Essie Smith has lived with diabetes for 60 years. Her diagnosis predates home testing units, glass syringes, even the availability of insulin! When she was diagnosed, type 1 diabetics were expected to live less than 6 weeks. I see how frustrated Elizabeth has been lately. I hope that you, Elizabeth, and everyone else who has their hope tested daily, is comforted by a woman like Essie. With today's home glucose testing, tailored types of insulin, and technological marvels like the pump, there is so much potential for a complete and fulfilling life as a diabetic. My best wishes and a big cyber hug go out to each of you on this snowy (at least here in Cleveland) Friday.

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Beauty and the Betes

Has anyone noticed a change in the texture of their hair since taking insulin? My hair is curly naturally, but I straighten it. Since taking insulin, I have noticed my hair has gotten more curly. Just at the top. So weird. I know that the texture and thickness of your hair will change depending on what your health is. Is this happening to anyone else?

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People with Diabetes Deserve World Class Care!

Yesterday, Elizabeth visited the Diabetes Center of Greater Cleveland for the first time. This got us thinking about all of the wonderful resources that might be right around the corner - and you'd never know it. Melissa Westendorf, author of How's the DB?, sent an email that really drives the point home:

I was diagnosed my senior year of college at age 21 with a Blood Sugar of over 500 but was simply sent home with a bottle of 70/30 and no glucometer. That should be illegal. After almost 2 years I have finally started to get some decent treatment at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center in NYC at Columbia University. The site is Please add it to your list because it is an amazing center with 8000 patients, 3000 type 1's, and 1800 on the pump. I have lived in NYC for 2 years and never knew they were nearby.

Are there any places that have given you world class care? Either email us at or let us know in the comments. Your recommendations may help someone improve the quality of her life.

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Tough Times Ahead

Over the next few weeks, the reality of having diabetes started to sink in. I am not sure why, maybe the shock was waring off. Whatever the reason was, I was starting to become kind of depressed. I started to not be so optimistic about a cure. I was talking like I was not going to live very long. I was scared.

I really think that developing diabetes as an adult can be extremely difficult. My parents really left everything up to me. Which is a good lesson to learn, but a hard one to tackle all by yourself. Even now, my mom gets confused by what insulin actually does. I think that the lack of understanding my condition on their side is what has been the most difficult for me to handle. Aside from David's help with this, I have pretty much been on my own.

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Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland

Today my brother, Dylan, and I decided to visit the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland. I don't know why it took me so long to go in the first place. They have a great staff who are happy to help you with any questions or problems you are having with your diabetes.

We just walked in this afternoon and immediately were speaking with a member of their staff. They gave me a ton of information on eating habits for the holidays (a little too late, but good to know!), a list of endocrinologists in the area, and some helpful papers on diabetes.

I was very happy to know that they are here to help. After leaving Denver and my great team of doctors, its been hard trying to find another team just as good. Hopefully they can point me in the right direction. If you live in the Cleveland area, I highly recommend going and speaking with someone.

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Is Alzheimer's a Form of Diabetes?

Researchers at my alma mater, Brown University, were the brain of newly diagnosed alzheimer's patients when they noticed that the insulin levels had dropped sharply. They found something that looked eerily like diabetes. According to the leader researcher, "many of the unexplained features of Alzheimer's, such as cell death and tangles in the brain, appear to be linked to abnormalities in insulin signaling. This demonstrates that the disease is most likely a neuroendocrine disorder, or another type of diabetes." As the disease progressed, they noticed less and less insulin production. In advanced stages, there was only 20% as much insulin as in a healthy brain. If true, this could open the door for dramatically improved treatment and, for the researchers, a paragraph in the history of medicine.

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Recognizing the Many Kinds of Diabetes

Yesterday we reported on the many different kinds of diabetes beyond type 1, type 2 and gestational. I wrote a researcher at Exeter, Maggie Shepherd, to get more information. She recommends visiting for an overview of the different types of monogenic diabetes, the genetic tests which are possible and details of the research that they are doing in Exeter. They have an overview of who should be tested for monogenic diabetes. Here's a short synopsis:

It is estimated that MODY accounts for 1% of UK diabetes (approx. 20000 people). It is characterised by 3 main features:- a young onset (<25yrs in at least one family member); non-insulin dependent diabetes and autosomal dominant inheritance.

Most doctors and nurses are unfamiliar with these findings. In younger people, MODY is often misdiagnosed as type 1. If you have MODY, you may be able to switch from insulin to medication to control your hyperglycemia. The odds are not great, but it's worth investigating if you fit the profile.

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Recent Comments

Of Tango, Drums and Cold (1)

Allison Blass wrote: Hey Elizabeth, For exercise, it's probably b... more

It Just Keeps Getting Better and Better (1)

Sandra Miller wrote: Yes, Elizabeth, consistency is definitely not... more

People with Diabetes Deserve World Class Care! (1)

Kerri. wrote: I've been a patient at the Joslin Diabetes Ce... more

There Is a Third Type of Diabetes - and It's Treatable! (1)

David wrote: We posted an update and more links to resourc... more

Tough Times Ahead (1)

Lindsay Gramlich wrote: Liz, I just wanted to say that I admire you f... more

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