Study: Self-monitoring blood glucose schedule benefits diabetics
NEW ORLEANS — Data recently presented at the American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting & Exhibition suggests that people with type 2 diabetes can lower their blood sugar and benefit from following a structured, personalized self-monitoring blood glucose schedule even if they don’t require insulin.
The new research suggests working with a diabetes educator to create an individualized, structured schedule for blood glucose testing helps motivate people with type 2 diabetes who don’t require insulin to eat healthier, be active and take their medications – and as a result, lower their blood sugar levels.
“Participants in this study said that sticking to a regular SMBG schedule really helped them to know where their blood levels were and take appropriate action, such as adding physical activity or choosing a healthy snack,” said diabetes educator Dana Brackney, assistant professor of nursing at Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C. “They said it helped them accept that they had diabetes, but also feel confident that they could control it rather than letting it control them.”
Brackney and her colleagues worked with the 11 participants in the study to design personalized, structured SMBG schedules that would provide the most helpful information to patients and their medical teams. The majority found self-monitoring twice a day to be most helpful in providing meaningful information regarding their blood sugar levels relevant to meals and activity; but there was room for individualization based on the individual’s lifestyle and needs. For example, a patient might check twice a day three days a week instead of checking once a day seven days a week.
“Diabetes educators can help patients work around barriers to find a personalized testing plan that makes sense for them,” Brackney said. “They help patients learn when and why blood glucose levels were most problematic and to confront those situations head on by developing a plan to be healthier.”
Although it was not the focus of the study, the 11 participants lowered their A1C (blood glucose) levels from an average of 7.3% to an average of 6.2%. In patients with diabetes, the goal is to keep A1C levels below 7%.
Researchers found that patients in the study would react to their SMBG readings by eating a little less, or going for a walk. The study confirmed that patients do react to their test results and make positive changes, which many health care providers didn’t think would happen, Brackney said. Testing helped patients see that they were benefitting by taking charge of their diabetes, including by taking their medication, eating right and being active, she noted.\
“Most of the participants in the study were self-described ‘country folk’ who found that they were able to control their diabetes,” Brackney said. “This study helps doctors and nurses to understand how people with type 2 diabetes can benefit from SMBG.”
Viactiv targets teens to boost calcium supplementation
GREENWICH, Conn. – Viactiv last week announced its calcium supplement chew will partner with Varsity Spirit, a leader in cheerleading and dance team education, on educating young women around why calcium intake today is so important for bones later in life, including easy ways to get their daily requirement.
“Varsity Spirit’s partnership with Viactiv is the optimal platform for the brand to speak to a large segment of active, young women who care about health and fitness, yet may not be aware that their diets are lacking in critical nutrients and supplements,” stated Marlene Cota, VP corporate alliances for Varsity Brands, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn.
“With this unique partnership, Viactiv is bucking the trend in the calcium category by shifting the focus from only talking to pre-menopausal/menopausal women, and instead, speaking directly to the next generation of calcium users,” added David Claroni, VP sales and operations for Viactiv. “At the same time, we also will be connecting with their mothers, who are approaching the second most important age group for calcium supplementation. It’s something that teen girls and their moms can focus on together and Viactiv is here to help supplement when daily diet falls short.”
As part of the Viactiv/Varsity Spirit partnership which launched in July nationwide at their summer camp programs, more than 320,000 women, from cheer/dance campers to peer counselors/coaches, will learn about the important role of calcium, and receive Viactiv samples including coupons.
In addition, Viactiv will appear in full-page ads and editorial features throughout American Cheerleader magazine, which is read by more than 300,000 active cheerleaders and dance team members, coaches, parents and fans nationwide. Features will promote the #TeamBeActiv photo sweeps on Instagram to launch Viactiv’s new Instagram channel. Five winners will have their team photos featured in American Cheerleader magazine and receive $500 in team fundraising grants from Viactiv.
Teen calcium deficiency comes at a critical time when their bone mass is developing, reaching peak bone mass by age 20. Because many teens are starting at too low of a place due to lack of calcium in their diets, they’re already at a disadvantage for not banking enough for the long term.
“At Varsity Spirit we’re always promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, so it was a natural fit,” Cota said. “Varsity Spirit’s commitment to Viactiv through 2015 will allow for young girls to be educated through their coaches and camp instructors, so the messaging resonates and leaves a lasting impact throughout bone building years.”
Lansinoh identifies the key challenges facing breastfeeding moms
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – As many as 96% of women agree that breastfeeding is the best way to feed their children, according to the 2015 Lansinoh Breastfeeding Survey released Monday, but many still struggle to breastfeed for what they believe to be the ideal amount of time.
"These results are encouraging. They show that we are making progress and attitudes about breastfeeding are changing around the world," stated Kevin Vyse-Peacock, Lansinoh CEO. "But we still have work to do. As countries debate policy and workplace benefits to support women, they must remember that these issues are not just topics for debate – they have a very real impact on the health of mothers and babies around the world."
Nearly 75% of women surveyed felt that the ideal length of time to breastfeed was longer than six months. In reality, only 62% of women were able to breastfeed for that length of time. The gap was wider in the U.S., where 74% of women feel the ideal length of time to breastfeed is more than six months and only 49% actually reached that goal.
Part of that struggle may be due to the universal challenges women experience with breastfeeding. "The pain associated with breastfeeding" was the No. 1 challenge of women in all countries surveyed with the exception on China where "waking up in the middle of the night" earned the top spot. Other common challenges include "how often I need to breastfeed my baby" and "learning how to breastfeed in the beginning."
Despite many similarities around the world, when it comes to breastfeeding in public, the reaction moms receive may be dependent on where they live. Overall, 38% of women surveyed said breastfeeding in public is "perfectly natural" and 32% said it was "embarrassing." In the U.S., 67% of moms said breastfeeding in public is "perfectly natural," a 10 percentage point climb from 2014. Despite the higher acceptance rate, 25% of women in the U.S. said they had experienced criticism or prejudice for breastfeeding in public. This was higher than the average for prejudice overall (18%).
Loading Post Please Wait...