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ADA Los Angeles Blog

LifeKraze: social media platform that encourages active, healthy lifestyles

Mary Hewitt - Monday, July 09, 2012

We want to alert you to the site LifeKraze which is a social media platform. LifeKraze encourages people to be active, to "live like it counts." Users of the site post accomplishments (whether it's running a mile, climbing a mountain or volunteering for Habitat for Humanity), and their peers award them points, which are redeemable for discounts on active-lifestyle products (like The North Face) or convertible into donations to charities (like DonorsChoose). 

Go to www.lifekraze.com and start making a difference now!

The Father of the Year Awards Dinner

Mary Hewitt - Tuesday, June 19, 2012


By Emma Reagan

With father's day just passed, what a better time of year to honor our committed dads? The American Diabetes Association partnered with the Father’s Day Council hosted the annual Father of the Year Awards dinner here in Los Angeles. The event was a great success. Attendance count was 402 and almost $300,000 was raised on behalf of the ADA. This money is raised by fathers and committee members and all proceeds goes to supporting diabetes research, education, and advocacy programs. There was high positive energy in the air as attendees came together to support friends, family, and the ADA cause. The program ranged from musical performances by Nikki Lang a new rising artist, a tasty three course meal, speeches by benefactors, an awards ceremony, witty quips from the MC, and a moving performance from Kevin Jonas Sr. who sang a titled "Lighthouse" to conclude the evening events. Attendees were brought to tears over heartfelt documentaries of our honorary father's and the touching speeches by their loved ones. Teenage girls stole glances at the Jonas brother’s, asking for pictures, and whispering excitedly to each other (they seemed to take the attention very well). I was moved by the number of people who came together to support diabetes research. To me, events such as this one expose what the ADA cause is all about: bringing families, communities, and dedicated individuals from all walks of life together in order to stop diabetes once and for all.

For more photos visit our facebook site: http://www.facebook.com/#!/ADALosAngeles 

Living with Type 1

Mary Hewitt - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

by Brett Griswold

Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and it has played a large part in each of the nearly 7,300 days since it came into my life. At the time of my diagnosis I was nine years old and a stereotypical kid. My life involved sports, video games, friends, family, and unfortunately (at that time) school. I had not heard of diabetes, but after watching how frantically everyone around me was reacting and after dissecting the word (die-abetes) I thought I was going to die. Fortunately, that was not the case.

After a week’s stay in the hospital, I returned home to begin this new life with diabetes. At first I did not know what to expect with my new life or how others would react to finding out that I had diabetes. But, my doctors told me that it was important for others around me know in case I need help. At first it was easy and somewhat fun to tell others that I had diabetes because I could tell my teachers that I was having a low blood sugar and they would allow me to eat candy in class. But, as I got older and went into high school I became a little more concerned about what others thought of me. I began to hide my diabetes from my friends so they did not think I was weird or contagious. Unfortunately, my blood sugars and I suffered from this decision to hide my diabetes because it is hard to manage something that you pretend is not there.

It was not until college that I became frustrated with my erratic blood sugars and decided to make a change in my attitude. I decided I no longer was going to view diabetes as a “crutch” that I should be embarrassed of. Instead, I should accept and be proud of the day-to-day challenges that diabetes presents me with. I should use my daily successes of fighting through my challenges of living with diabetes while also pursuing a normal life with friends, family, exercise, and work, to my advantage.

My first and most important step to improving my mental and physical well-being was to get involved with the American Diabetes Association and meet others who were experiencing the same things I was. In talking to others I decided I wanted to get more involved in the diabetes community and I am now living a life, both personally and professionally, that is deeply intertwined in that community. Since my decision to utilize my diabetes as a resource instead of a hindrance, I am much more happy, healthy, and successful.

One of the events that I truly enjoy each year is the American Diabetes Association’s Expo. The Expo provides me with an opportunity to become more knowledgeable about diabetes therapies and management tactics, while also enabling me to network with others who are living with diabetes. Having diabetes does not prevent me from doing anything I enjoy. It simply adds a few more daily challenges which makes me further appreciate how enjoyable life can be. As a new husband and father I do not take a single day for granted as I now have a wife and baby who count on me to lead a healthy and productive life. Leading a healthy life starts with my positive attitude about diabetes, and in my experience connecting with others and becoming more knowledgeable about diabetes is the best way to make a change. 

Preparing for the Run

Mary Hewitt - Monday, December 19, 2011

 By Doug Masiuk

To get from here to there using my feet takes time, hours.  Recently I watched as the clouds began to pass over head.  It looked like it was going to rain and soon.  Who is faster?  I decided to race them.    There way up there over Ohio or someplace.  I just need to make it from the next town over.  Besides I'm out here every day and most of the time the clouds just stay away.  I have experience on my side.

Before I run any faster I have to go over things.  It's kind of like a check list.  If your a diabetic do you go over these sort of things like when was the last time you tested, how much insulin is in your system, what you ate and when you ate it?  It helps me.

Ok so it's 8 miles to my front door.  If I run at 8 min miles for 8 miles I'll go through 800 calories.  Today I didn't eat a lot of complex carbohydrates.  I wasn't that hungry was my excuse.  So if I run at 6 and a half minute miles for 8 miles I will go through about a 1000 calories.  For every unit of short acting insulin this equals to about 100 calories and it also represents about 50 mg/dL's for my bodies sugar level.  I took too much short acting insulin.  An extra unit because I was not planning on exerting myself or running as fast as I now found myself wanting to.  There are other ways to make up for this.

No matter what I always bring snacks with me when I run.  Today I brought with me two gels, a packet of Cliff Blocks and taped inside my shoe, the ever present 5 dollar bill.  At the 15 mile mark or my half way point, I stopped and ate the first gel (100 calories.  This was followed with me eating my Cliff Blocks.  30 minutes later I started to eat the second gel.  Now here I am with half a gel, half a pack of "blocks" and a choice to go faster or get rained on with the too much insulin in me. 

Since I didn't eat what I should of this morning it looks like I will get rained on.  I resign myself and trudge forward starring off at the front lines of the moving clouds.  I frown between breaths.  My body goes a little faster.  I pull it back in.  It could be worse and besides one of your favorite runs this past year was during Hurricane Irene.  Embrace it.  Another mile down.

A little faster again.  A little more faster.  Then faster.  There's the gas station two miles from the house.  They have orange juice or whatever I might need.  It wouldn't be the first time i stopped in.  Then the sky opens up with 5 miles to go and Im not wearing my ran jacket.  Can't always be prepared for everything but diabetes is something that we always have to be ready for. 

Running Across the United States with Diabetes

Mary Hewitt - Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My name is Doug Masiuk. For over 34 years I have had diabetes. I am one of 23 million people in this country with this disease.  In 2012 I’m going to run across the United States – and I’ll be the first Type-1 diabetic to do this. When people ask me why, it has always been for one simple reason: because things need to change. I’m running to tell those of us who are overweight, who are borderline diabetics, or have a history of diabetes in our families that it is never too late to change.  In this country and around the world we are entering an era in which diabetes is an epidemic; a period in history when the number of people with diabetes is projected to double in the next 20 years. Yes, it has gotten this bad. So I’m speaking with my feet – my one shot to tell the world now is the time to change the way we eat, exercise, and think. This is my 1RunRead more about Doug and 1RUN.org

Maybe I should feel different but the closer I get to starting my run the less the details feel like a concern.  My team keeps reminding me we should be doing this, have we asked them about fundraising, where will you stay on day 48? I have learned that for me to call, plan, and coordinate is a real job. It's easier to run 30 miles in the rain and cold than to plan everything but it is what needs to be done.  My choice. 

A choice to make this more than just me and a van cutting over mountains then over to an ocean unnoticed, in silence.  Not sure what the count is up to now but a couple of months ago only 224 people had ever run across the US.  Being a diabetic creates it’s own set of challenges.  Being a person who wants to meet as many people as possible,  to share what this is about and why it is important turns, this more into a political campaign than a run.  For me, other diabetics and everyone else, the importance of exercise.  The significant impact that diet has on over lives. 

We know of deadline in our lives.  Take what bosses tell us seriously. Know what to do at a red light and the date April 15th has a special feeling attached to it.  Yet when it comes to our choices for our health sometimes it becomes less clear.  Our bodies give us a lot of leniency.  It can have an almost unconditional love for us.  Letting us get away with a lot of lifetimes of little bad choices then the burden is too much to bear.  There are irreparable consequences.  No clock can be turned back.  So is a carrot a punishment or a reward?  Is the gym truly that unbearable?  I have a friend who is 55.  He is in hospice.  His opinion on it is very convincing. 

This past week a lot of good things have happened.  New doors opening.  Meeting with people who I share a common goal with.  Collectively we can create an enormous splash, reaching far and making new paths to more people.  I want to thank the ADA in Los Angeles for taking the time to speak with me.  I am rather excited with the ideas and thoughts of how I can lend my voice to the City of Los Angeles in their fight against Diabetes, the first city in my run to raise awareness and get people in the US to outrun diabetes.  

Costs of Controlling Diabetes

Mary Hewitt - Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tips for Controlling the Costs of Living With Type 2 Diabetes

By Casey Dowd

“The Boomer” is a column written for adults nearing retirement age and those already in their “golden years.” It will also promote reader interaction by posting e-mail responses and answering reader questions. E-mail your questions or topic ideas to thefoxboomer@gmail.com.

A diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes brings not only substantial lifestyle changes, but also added costs in treating and managing the disease. The doctor visits, medications and supplies that accompany treating diabetes quickly add up, not to mention the change in eating habits and diet. For many, the diagnosis comes later in life, when they are in retirement and on a fixed income.

Click here to read about my diagnosis and management of Type 2 diabetes

 To discuss some of the costs incurred after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes,  I spoke with Hope Warshaw, RD, CDE, author of Real Life Guide to Diabetes and Diabetes Meal Planning Made.

Boomer: Are there programs available to show recently-diagnosed diabetics how to control the costs related to diabetes?

Warshaw: I do not know of programs specifically designed to teach people with diabetes how to control the costs of managing diabetes, however attending a diabetes education program will likely include information on this topic, especially if people ask the pertinent questions.

People with diabetes should seek out diabetes educators and/or a diabetes education program in their area. Diabetes educators most often work in diabetes education programs. They’re typically found within the campus of a hospital/medical center out-patient clinic. You’ll often find a few diabetes educators working together in a program - most commonly a nurse and dietitian. These programs are often referred to as diabetes self-management education (or training) programs, abbreviated DSMT or DSME. To find a "recognized" DSME program approved by American Diabetes Association in your area go here. You’ll come to a screen to search for programs in your area. 

To find a "recognized" AADE program in your area, go here. From here go to your state.

Boomer: How does Medicare cover the cost of diabetic supplies, monitors, prescriptions, etc?

Warshaw: For people who have been diagnosed with diabetes (not prediabetes at this point), Medicare covers the cost of a glucose monitor, some strips and the related supplies. Medicare also covers initial (during the first year of diagnosis) and ongoing (annually) diabetes education provided by programs that have been recognized by either American Diabetes Association (ADA) or American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

Click here for a detailed explanation of which diabetes services and supplies are covered by Medicare.

Many private health plans also cover diabetes supplies and education. People should contact their health-plan provider and ask questions. Don’t take no for an answer, these should be services they cover. As for prescriptions for diabetes medications, your coverage will depend on whether you have a prescription plan and your coverage. Medicare Part D is the prescription plan people on Medicare can purchase at an additional cost.

Boomer: How many doctors do I really need to see once I am diagnosed? Would my primary care physician be able to treat me for this chronic illness?

Warshaw: Most people with Type 2 diabetes use their primary-care providers (general doc, nurse practitioner, etc.) for their diabetes care. Make sure that your primary-care provider is up to date on diabetes care. A lot has changed over the last decade with regard to treatment goals and strategies.

Become knowledgeable about current diabetes treatments, the tests and checks your provider should be doing to keep you healthy year after year, etc. Read, read, read and talk to other people with diabetes who you feel are up on the latest treatments. In other words, make sure you give your provider a check-up on how they are caring for you. If you don’t feel that they are being proactive with your diabetes care, consider finding a new doctor (if you are able) or asking for a referral to an endocrinologist specialized in diabetes care.

Boomer: Which diets really work to avoid complications with diabetes?

Warshaw: There is not a "diet" per se that helps people avoid complications. What prevents/delays complications is getting your glucose, lipids and blood pressure under control and keeping them in the target ranges throughout the  years.

The best eating plan for people with diabetes is the same healthy eating plan recommended for everyone. Most people with Type 2 diabetes need to lose some weight, so strive to lose 10 to 20 pounds and work to keep these pounds off. Shedding these pounds can do you and your glucose, lipids and blood pressure a world of good.

Boomer: What are the best ways to control the medications I take?

Warshaw: The best way to take the fewest medications for diabetes and diabetes-related problems are to start to take care and control of your diabetes the day of diagnosis. Be aggressive and assertive about your management. Remember the key to preventing/delaying complications and to staying healthy is controlling glucose, lipids and blood pressure. Don’t avoid medications if you need them to achieve your diabetes target goals.

E-mail your questions to thefoxboomer@gmail.com.


This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. © 2011 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/11/03/tips-for-controlling-costs-living-with-type-2-diabetes/print#ixzz1d9cWEnzx

Diabetes Education

admin2 admin2 - Monday, September 26, 2011

The Power of Blood Sugar Stabilization

By Mark Macdonald

CBS Los Angeles:  Build ‘Body Confidence’ With Mark Macdonald’s Diet Tips

Mark Macdonald has been a pioneer in the nutrition and fitness industry for over 20 years.  He is the creator and CEO of Venice Nutrition, and author of the NY Times Best Selling Book, Body Confidence. 

I have always found it interesting that we only start really talking about blood sugar when someone is diagnosed with diabetes.  Diabetes is a medical challenge when your body can no longer stabilize its blood sugar levels.  But what we’ve somehow forgotten is that everyone, diabetic or not, needs to stabilize his or her blood sugar to fuel the body with the necessary energy to survive.  The only difference is that diabetics may need the assistance of medication combined with solid nutrition to keep their blood sugar in balance.  My purpose with this article is to educate on how best to manage your blood sugar levels and provide you with the tools to turn your body into a fat-burning machine! 

Lets first start with understanding blood sugar’s role in your body.  You see, glucose (or sugar) in your bloodstream is responsible for fueling your nervous system and creates the bulk of your body’s energy source: Adenosine Triphosphate, ATP, the same energy required for every movement you make.

By stabilizing blood sugar levels with the right nutrition, you create balance (homeostasis) within your body.  Your body then releases what it doesn’t need like stored body fat, toxins and excess sodium and protects your lean muscle mass to ignite your metabolism.

Here’s how it works. Whenever you over-eat or indulge in a carbohydrate-heavy meal, your blood sugar spikes (above 120 mg/ dl) and your body stores fat.    

Just the opposite happens whenever you skip a meal, eliminating the carbohydrates and calories that your body needs to thrive or workout on an empty stomach.  Blood sugar levels drop too low (below 80 mg / dl) and your body is forced to burn lean muscle mass for fuel in place of body fat.  This loss of lean muscle slows your metabolism and makes it nearly impossible to reach your goals.

The fact is that though many people eat “healthily,” they fail to eat “correctly” and inadvertently spike and crash their blood sugar levels all day long!

Stabilizing your blood sugar (keeping levels between 80 and 120 mg/ dl throughout the day) will naturally help you look and feel your best.  You’ll optimize your workouts by giving your body the fuel it needs.   You’ll burn body fat, protect and increase lean muscle mass, eliminate sugar (carbohydrate) cravings, boost your energy and continually break through stubborn plateaus.   In short, stabilizing your blood sugar will help you to achieve your goals permanently!

The 3 Factors to Stabilize Your Blood Sugar:

  1. Meal Intervals – Your body is a “refuel as it goes” machine and needs to be fed consistently!  Eat one hour within waking (before exercise) to kick start your metabolism and then every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day until bedtime. Your last meal should fall within one hour of going to bed to help prepare your body for fasting.

Frequent meals will keep blood sugar levels steady and help to prevent you from overeating and spiking blood sugar or skipping a meal and causing blood sugar to drop too low.

2.  Nutrient Ratios - Each meal should have a balance of complete protein (animal or soy protein), with a small amount of healthy fat and a small amount of carbohydrates to keep blood sugar levels stable.  It is critical to get the correct nutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) in every meal. 

3.  Meal Size - Your body can only process a certain amount of food at once and eating smaller meals every few hours will keep blood sugar levels steady. Each meal should be roughly the same size (same amount of calories). 

Remember, every balanced meal you eat will stabilize your blood sugar to boost your metabolism, burn body fat, fuel your lean muscle, and increase your energy levels!  This is how you will take your body to the next level and achieve true Body Confidence (looking and feeling your very best)!



Singer/Songwriter Nikki Lang

Mick Bird - Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Singer/Songwriter Nikki Lang photo shoot and interview.  Photos by a famous photog, Alan Mercer.

Nikki Lang started her musical career, as a singer/songwriter at the age of 12. By 15, she had appeared in clubs throughout Los Angeles both as a solo artist and with her band where she plays guitar. Now as Nikki approaches her 20’s, she has toured both nationally and internationally, been a featured artist on radio, TV, print and has caught the eye of music industry moguls as well as developed a loyal fan base.  Read the interview and see the photos!