Featured Interview

My guest is Chrystal from L.A.. She is just one of many positive diabetics making a huge difference in the diabetes community. She is a chemist, and diabetic activist. After Chrystal's diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in November 2007, she created SexyDiabetic.com; and donates a good portion of her time connecting and sharing experiences, both inside and outside the online diabetic communities.

Chrystal has shared with us her personal experiences living with diabetes; her role in the diabetic community; some of her current diabetic project she's working on during black history month.

We talked about some of the struggles we we face, getting the African American communities and all other people of color educated on the dangers of diabetes; as well as the fears and discrimination that still exist for diabetics today.

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Richard A. Vaugn

For 2012 I thought it would be wonderful to start the year off with a positive interview!

My guest is Richard A Vaughn. He has written an awesome book called "Beating The Odds - 64 years of Diabetes Health". In this book, he takes us on a journey through his diabetic life.

From the moment he was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 6, all the way up through completing his masters degree, @ a time when people thought diabetics shouldn't go to college (because diabetes was considered a disability then).

Richard also talks about his wonderful family and grand children, in addition to participating in the Joslin Medalist Study, funded by the JDRF & National Institute of health..

Richard is definitely an inspiration to us all. He has showed us insulin dependent people, how to live healthy emotionally & physically by example, with either no, or the least amount of complications possible; coming from a time when life expectancy for a diabetic was no later than 40 years old.


Click here to listen with your default audio player!


You can purchase Richard's book by clicking on the graphic of his book below.

February 2019
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Diabetic PlayList


What's in your headphones? We all know how important exercise is to any diabetic, however, the music you exercise to is also just as important too! Music can make the difference between a 3 minute workout, and a 30 minute workout. Personally, I am an oldies guy, and my musical tastes are pretty eclectic and diverse. The above playlist consist of music I am listening to on my Anddroid when I exercise or power-walk. As my mood changes, so shall the playlist.


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I absolutely can’t believe how unbelievably difficult it is to find news, on African Americans effected by Type 1 diabetes. It is fruitless for us to stay so secretive about our disease!! There is absolutely nothing wrong with us!! There’s nothing wrong with ANY type of diabetes for that matter.

I think unfortunately, this adds so much to the constant stigma that only very old, and extremely overweight people of color get type 2’s, and that type 1 is exclusively a Caucasian child’s disease. Diabetes was not the same 50 years ago, we know so much more now about this disease. I challenge health care professional to come out of the dark ages, and read current (accredited) books on diabetes. I challenge you to listen to your patients, there’s lots to be learned from a patients experiences with the drugs YOU give them. Because we diabetics need you to be up to date, we need you to listen.

A perfect example, is this very young woman (pictured above), who happens to be black, happens to have a little weight, and who happens to HAVE type 1 diabetes. She is trying a new experimental drug called DIAMYD. The drug works to preserve the any remaining islet cells left, that hasn’t been destroyed by her own antibodies. This looks exciting and promising. Check out the video here. Although this drug looks promising, The video left me with some unanswered questions:

  • What are the long term effects of taking this drug?
  • Are there any age limits or minimums?
  • If this drug is used to prevent type 1, does this mean it needs to be taken for life?
  • Can this drug possibly inhibit important antibodies from doing their jobs?
  • What’s the likelihood of other drug interactions?
  • Socially speaking, with the vast majority of diabetics that are stigmatized, How long will it take for the rest of the medical community @ large to learn about this new potential drug?
  • Is there a gauge that doctors can use, to determine if the patient still may, or may not need insulin?

I’m not really a fan of taking pills any kind, other than vitamins and herbs. However, if this drug proves to be safe, I’m all for it! If this drug is successful, it will hopefully, and probably cause the cost of insulin to plummet; which in tern will benefit those diabetics who still need to take insulin.


Diamyd, Pop City, Medical News Today

© 2011 DiabeticRadio.com

There are many different types of needles on the market. I am surprised to find out that many diabetics, are not aware of the variety of needles we have today. Unfortunately, this is one of those things we as diabetics have to do our own research, because not even doctors can keep up sometimes. Searching for the best needles to use can make a huge difference. Today, needles are being made so small, they are almost painless. There’s a wealth of manufactures that make all kinds of needles, for both syringe and insulin pens. Needles exist for every kind of body type; from the very thin, to the very heavyset. Newer needles also come with special lubricants that make injections much smoother and easier.  The way a needle’s tips are cut has also changed slightly over the years,  as well as the various gauges (girth) have become thinner than ever, making delivering insulin a piece of cake. Lengths for syringes are generally from 8mm to 12mm, gauges usually range from 29 to 31. Insulin pen needles/for both disposable and refills, now starts from 4mm to 12mm, and gauges from 29 to 32. The lower the gauge number, the thicker/fatter the needle becomes; the higher the gauge number, the thinner the needle becomes.

For those diabetics who are really squeamish about even the mere sight of a needle; there exist devices that can be used with syringes, and or pens, that actually assists the patient/diabetic in injecting their medication. A good example is called “Needle Aid” sold on a website called “The Insulin Case Shop”. They are a pretty decent website. The don’t have a huge selection of products, but I have purchased from them before.

If your insurance will not pay for an insulin pump, and your on MDI (Multiple Daily Injections), another possible option to look into is something called “I-port” from  Patton Medical Devices. It is an attachment warn under the skin for about 3 days, and you can inject multiple times a day, up to 3 days with one insertion. Most insurances will cover it.

BD Pen NeedlesI’ve recently switched to the brand new “Nano Pen Needles” made by BD.They are only 4mm in length, and 32 gauge in circumference. For now, these are the smallest pen needles in the world. I like them very much. In my opinion, the smaller the needle the better. With the Nano Pen Needles, pinching the skin is not required, although some areas such as my front legs still needs to be pinched, just because I find that it hurts less, or sometimes not at all. Its probably due to the fact that there is a lot of muscle tissue in that area. Nano’s are great for injecting in back of the arms, and or the sides of your legs when wanting to be discreet.

The only down side to the Nano needles (actually any extremely thin needle), is that they can easily bend. This can turn in to a safety issue for some people. I really don’t recommend diabetics or patients who are heavy handed to use these types of needles. It is possible to bend these needles while in the skin. You must be careful and handle these types of needles with care. The other downside is that, it’s not a good idea to try to inject through thick and heavy corduroys or jeans (such as ruff denim, or equivalent). The reason is because, the needles are already small, and you run the risk of not having the needle go into the subcutaneous tissue far enough. Another reason is that because these particular needles are so thin, you don’t want to risk damaging the tip; this can in tern cause possible injury when injecting.

It is a wonderful thing to have choices, especially in terms of diabetes. Some diabetics that are experiencing pain issues when injecting, don’t even know they have other options, neither are their doctors offering this information to them. Knowledge is power, don’t sit around waiting for your doctor to tell you, because he/she may or may not know either.

© 2010 DiabeticRadio.com

Vitamin A is great for healthy skin; vitamin E is good for healthy eyes; Co q10 is good to promote healthy heart; and Chromium Picolinate is wonderful in helping your cells to become more insulin sensitive. However, have you ever purchased a particular product (herbal or mineral/vitamin based) to help with a specific condition? Have you also noticed that a lot of those products don’t seem to work well, or not at all? There are three main reasons for this.

Unfortunately vitamins, herbs, mineral, and homeopathic based products are not being regulated by the FDA, or any other governing body (at least that I’m aware of). What does this mean? There are no clear set of standards or quality controls forced upon any company or manufacture who produces “healthy supplements”. In other words, you can purchase a bottle of vitamin C, and not know whether or not it truly came from natural sources, or created in a laboratory; neither will you know how potent your new bottle of vitamin C is. There is also the issue of whether or not the particular product has been diluted with extraneous ingredients, or even ingredients that could actually further inhibit the said vitamin’s effectiveness.

As far as I can see, knowing which supplement brands to buy can be nerve racking; you’ll need a college degree just to figure it out!! Some companies I’ve personally used are Solar, and Nature’s Way. These two companies products seem to give me good results when I’ve use them. Sadly, the only real way of knowing a good vitamin product appears to be through word of mouth. This may be due to the fact that they are not regulated.

The Second main reason that should be considered is that, your body knows what it needs better than you do. What do I mean by that??  Remember when I said in the beginning that Vitamin A is good for healthy skin? Well, the same vitamin is also good for several other things, including helping to strengthen skeletal bones. In other words, what I’m trying to say is your body will never use a particular vitamin solely for one thing! If your body is aware of the fact that your bones are brittle, it will use what ever resource at it’s disposal to help repair your brittle bones. Get it??  So in essence, its not that the vitamin is not working, it’s just that the vitamin maybe being used for something more urgent in the body.

Third and last main reasons are vitamins/herbs that are contained in skin cremes. It is my opinion that if you by a skin product to help with “dry skin” for instance, your better off saving your money and just eat more fruits and vegetables. The process for creating such a product is kinda like when you boil raw vegetables (most of the nutrients a boiled away), now your left with putting 80% of perfume on your body, instead of vitamins that are said to help with XY&Z.

© 2010 DiabeticRadio.com

There is much debate amongst the various diabetic online communities, as to whether or not it’s ok to reuse your syringes and lancets. I truly sympathize with diabetics that are seriously struggling financially, and can’t afford their supplies, however, it is not medically safe to reuse syringes. Our blood naturally has pathogens (disease causing bacteria); once a needle has been inserted in to the skin (for longer than a second or two) the needle is now considered a bio-hazard, and or contaminant.  When ever possible, its important to use a brand new needle at all times. Reusing a needle is like using the bathroom without washing your hands.

Once the used needle is out of the skin & exposed to air, the contaminants grows and gets stronger. There are no white blood cells present to fight off those pathogens, therefore, if you reuse your needles, your potentially reinfecting yourself with stronger pathogens/bacteria, and the body has to work harder to fight them off.

Both syringes and pen needles have special anti-bacterial lubricants, that allows for a smoother and less painful entry. Reusing needles will eventually loose this special coding. Both needles will also eventually become dull and jagged at the tips. Once the tips are bent because of over use, you will potentially cause bruising, in addition to the infection that may be caused by the now overly contaminated needle.

In NYC, unfortunately, there are no official known procedures, as to how to dispose of your used diabetic supplies. If your @ work, it is my opinion (as a courtesy to others) that you store all your used test strips, lancets, and syringes in a coffee can, or one of these 99 cent hard plastic containers. Once container is full, tape up top securely and dispose by regular means, or you can give to your doctor and have him/her dispose of your medical waste. If your hanging out with some friends, another alternative, is to rap your used supplies in a napkin securely, and dispose of waste. Be respectful and mindful of non-diabetics; make sure all needles are covered bare minimum!!  No one wants to worry about being stuck with with somebody Else’s needle.

Lancets are a little different. To my understanding, lancets are generally ok to reuse, because today’s lancet devices are so fast, that the needle has no contact with blood. However, keep in mind that like syringes, lancets do become dull, and can cause bruising. Try to change your lancets at least once a week. Also make sure that you are rotating ALL sites..

© 2010 DiabeticRadio.com

Clinical trials showed a connection between Avandia and heart problems

A county in the U.S. state of California is suing GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Avandia, a controversial diabetes drug. The lawsuit was spurred by a report on the drug released by the U.S. Senate last week (March 22). That report accused the drug company of withholding information about side effects of serious heart problems, including death. At issue now is whether Avandia should be taken off the market. A U.S. Senate report on the diabetes drug Avandia says both the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should have warned patients about the dangers of the drug years before they did. The report recommends taking Avandia off the market. In 2007, Dr. Steven Nissen published a study showing that those taking Avandia had a 43 percent higher risk of having a heart attack and a 64 percent greater chance of dying from a heart attack than those not taking the drug. “We’ve been warning about this for two and a half years,” he said. “There really isn’t a good reason for physicians to continue to prescribe the drug. It’s time to get it off the market.” But doctors still prescribe Avandia to hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide.

Dr. Yasser Ousman at Washington Hospital Center prescribes it for some pre-diabetic patients or those in the early stages of diabetes. “There are a number of drugs that have been tested in these individuals and Avandia is one of them, and actually, it is quite effective in improving the blood sugar, in normalizing the blood sugar or delaying the occurrence of diabetes in these individuals,” Dr. Ousman said. “What bothers me the most is that every month that goes by, more people are harmed by a drug that people simply don’t need,” Dr. Nissen said. Dr. Nissen’s report was based on 42 clinical trials that showed a connection between Avandia and heart problems.

“I think when you look at the information and the statistics from the initial study, the initial paper by Dr. Nissen in 2007, the increase in the risks of heart attacks is actually small,” Dr. Ousman points out. He says that many over the counter drugs – aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or paracetamol – can be toxic if used improperly. “If you look at the large studies, that were published over the last several years, including a large number of patients comparing Avandia to a placebo or other drugs, there was actually no increase in that risk. That risk was based on smaller studies,” Dr. Ousman said.

A study on Avandia funded by GlaxoSmithKline published last year, found no increase in heart attacks. But it found a significant increase in the risk of heart failure where the heart cannot pump enough blood to the organs or muscles. A number of cases resulted in hospitalization or death. The Food and Drug Administration says it will review Avandia for heart risks and has scheduled a meeting of its advisory panel in July. The agency warns those taking Avandia not to discontinue use without consulting with a doctor.

Copyright© 2010 VOA