Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Diabetes On-The-Go PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:48

A whole industry has grown up around freeing diabetics to lead less restricted lives. Tubeless insulin pumps, a needleless blood-glucose monitoring system, and diabetic-friendly frozen foods are among the innovations helping people with the metabolic disorder to live lives on the go.

With the number of diabetics growing worldwide – 246 million at last count, according to the World Health Organization – businesses are motivated. In 2011, diabetes therapeutic products were a $23.7 billion dollar industry feeding a growing population that’s starving for a better quality of life, says Chef Robert Lewis, “The Happy Diabetic,” author of two cookbooks for people with the metabolic disorder.

“It wasn’t long ago that Type 1 diabetics had to be sure they packed ample sterile syringes and insulin, whether they were going to work for the day or on a road trip,” he says. “Monitoring blood sugar levels, which is crucial to keeping vital organs healthy, was painful, primitive and hit-or-miss.

“And food? That’s been the hardest. A diabetes diagnosis can feel like a life sentence of bland eating.”

Among the “firsts” Lewis says diabetics can look forward to:

• The first tubeless insulin pump. Thirty years ago, people with insulin-dependent diabetes had to give themselves shots around the clock to control their blood sugar levels. In some cases, diabetics were hospitalized to ensure they got the insulin necessary to prevent ketoacidosis, a condition that can lead to coma and death. In 1983, the insulin pump was introduced. It attaches to the body and provides continuous insulin injections. But while it was a major breakthrough, it can be bulky and awkward, with a dangling catheter. The most recent innovation is a streamlined version called the OmniPod. It has no tubes, it’s smaller and it attaches anywhere on the body with adhesive. It also has a built-in glucose-monitoring system.

• The first needleless glucometer. The Symphony tCGM System uses ultrasound to monitor blood-sugar levels, which will free people from the painful pricks needed to get a small blood sample for testing multiple times a day. The device, which attaches with adhesive to the body, continuously tracks glucose levels day and night and can send the readings to your smart phone. Under development for more than a decade, Symphony is undergoing the studies necessary to win regulatory approval.

• The first diabetic-friendly frozen meals. Meals-in-a-Bun (www.lifestylechefs.net) will arrive in Northeast U.S. grocery stores beginning in July and roll out across the country through the end of the year. They’re low on the glycemic index, low in sugar and carbs, high in soluble fiber, low in trans fat, high in lean protein and low in sodium, Lewis says. “And the best thing is, they are delicious.”  The five varieties – two vegan and three vegetarian – include selections like Thai Satay, mushrooms, broccoli and tofu in whole-wheat flax bun. “This is particularly exciting because, while there have been advances in equipment that makes life easier for diabetics, there haven’t been for convenient, packaged foods.”

Diabetics who do not watch what they eat may wind up suffering kidney damage, stomach problems, heart disease, pneumonia, gum disease, blindness, stroke, nerve damage, complications during pregnancy, loss of limb and other health problems, according to the CDC.

But many Americans are trending toward healthier diets, eating less meat, gluten, salt and sugar, Lewis says. Tasty foods developed for diabetics will be excellent choices for them, too.

“What’s good for diabetics is good for everyone,” he says. “And you don’t have to give up one teaspoon of flavor.

“There’s a reason why I am called ‘The Happy Diabetic’; I have discovered the joy of nutrition-rich food.”

About Lifestyle Chefs

Lifestyle Chefs is a Santa Clara, Calif., company specializing in creating meals inspired by world cuisines and using only natural, healthy and nutritious ingredients. Lifestyle Chefs’ products are all vegetarian and diabetic-friendly, perfect for families who want fast, convenient meals that are low in calories, high in nutrition and robust in flavor. Chef  Robert Lewis, “The Happy Diabetic,” was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1998. He specializes in flavorful recipes that won’t spike a diabetic’s blood sugar.

 
Grassley’s Synthetic Drugs Ban Gets Final Approval, on the Way to the President PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:44
WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa tonight received final legislative approval of his legislation to ban the chemicals used to make a dangerous synthetic drug called K2 or spice.  The Senate gave final approval to the measure as part of a Food and Drug Administration bill, sending the measure to the President for his consideration and expected signature into law.  Grassley’s measure is named for David Rozga, an 18-year-old Iowan who committed suicide shortly after trying the product, bought from a local store.

 

“This ban can’t come quickly enough,” Grassley said.  “Just about every day, there’s a new tragedy related to K2 or bath salts.  The sooner this poison is off the store shelves, the better.  I hope the President will sign this measure into law very quickly.”

 

Grassley delivered a floor statement on his legislation this week.  Click here for the video.  The text follows.

 

Floor Statement of Sen. Chuck Grassley

On Synthetic Drugs

Delivered Monday, June 25, 2012

 

Two years ago a constituent of mine named David Rozga committed suicide shortly after smoking a product called K2 — a synthetic form of marijuana.  A week before he passed away, David graduated from Indianola High School.  He was looking forward to attending my alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa, that fall.  David and his friends spent the week after graduation going to parties and celebrating their achievements. Some of David’s friends heard about K2 from some other friends who were home from college.  They were told that if you smoked this product like marijuana you could get a high.  David and his friends were about to go to a concert and thought smoking K2 before would be nothing but harmless fun. However, shortly after smoking K2, David became highly agitated and terrified.  His friends tried to calm him down and once he appeared calmer, he decided to go home instead of going out with them. Tragically, David took his own life shortly after returning home — only about 90 minutes after smoking K2 for the first time. The only chemicals in his system at the time of his death were those that constituted K2.

 

David’s tragic death is one of the first in what has been a rapidly growing drug abuse trend. In the past two years, the availability and popularity of synthetic drugs like K2, spice, bath salts, and 2C-E have exploded. These drugs are labeled and disguised as legitimate products to circumvent the law. They are easily purchased online, at gas stations, in shopping malls and in other novelty stores. Poison control centers and emergency rooms around the country are reporting skyrocketing cases of calls and visits resulting from synthetic drug use. The physical effects associated with this use include increased agitation, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizures.  A number of people across the country have acted violently while under the influence of the drug, dying or injuring themselves and others.  Just a few weeks ago a man in Miami, Florida, attacked a homeless man and ate nearly half his face before police had to shoot him to stop him.   Bath salts are suspected in that attack.  Two weeks ago, police in upstate New York tasered a woman who was choking her three-year-old son after smoking bath salts.

 

These ongoing and mounting tragedies underscore the fact that Congress must take action to stop these drugs from causing further damage to our society.  I introduced the David Mitchell Rozga Act a year ago last March to ban the drugs that constitute K2. My colleagues Sens. Schumer, Klobuchar, and Portman have also joined me to ban synthetic drugs including bath salts and 2-CE compounds. Today our separate bills are included as part of the House and Senate agreement on the Food and Drug Administration user fee bill we’ll be voting on shortly.  I want to thank all who have worked very hard to get my bill, as well as the other bills banning synthetic drugs, through Congress. I especially want to thank Mike and Jan Rozga and their family for their tireless efforts to prevent more tragedy from befalling other families.  This legislation will drastically help to remove these poisons from the store shelves and protect our children from becoming more victims.  I urge my colleagues to support cloture on this bill and I yield the floor.

 
Is Facebook Addiction Similar to Alcohol & Drug Addiction? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 13:00
Addiction Specialist/Mental Health Counselor Opens Up

Social media sites like Facebook connect users with old friends, new acquaintances and everyone in between. However, studies are revealing an inverse link with online connections and deeper, face-to-face relationships.

Norwegian researchers recently developed a test for networking sites, called the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale, which likens inordinate amounts of time spent on the networking site to drug and alcohol abuse. The test measures how often people use the site, if they do so to forget their problems and how using the site negatively affects their personal and working lives.

Researchers found the following groups of people most at risk for Facebook addiction:

Women, who are more social than men,
Young people, who are more tech savvy than older people
Anxious or socially insecure people

“Social media, and the new emphasis on the importance of ‘multitasking,’ have helped drive a wedge between family members,” says psychologist Gregory L. Jantz, author of #Hooked: The Pitfalls of Media, Technology and Social Networking (www.drgregoryjantz.com).

Ironically, people become less social the more time they spend on social sites, and they tend to get less done while multitasking because they do not focus on completing one task at a time, he says.

“When people abuse drugs and alcohol, they are trying to feel better, yet they are worsening their situation. We’re finding this is also true for those who spend excessive amounts of time on social networking sites,” he says. “Perhaps the hardest hit from social media addiction is the family unit.”

Parents should monitor their own time online to ensure it’s not further limiting the already shrinking amount of time available with their children, Jantz says. And they need to safeguard their children by monitoring their time, as well. Jantz suggests these questions for parents to ask themselves in gauging their kids’ media usage:

• How much time do your kids spend with various forms of media? There are plenty of distractions from homework. Estimate how much time your child spends with the television, internet, social networking sites, cell phone, Blu-rays and game systems. The more time spent with media, the lower a child’s academic performance, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study.

• How much time do your kids spend with you versus online media? Remember, simply being in the same room isn’t necessarily interacting. The less the scales tip in favor of human-to-human interaction, the more likely there may be a problem.

• Do you know how each device works and how it can be used? Familiarity with your children’s gadgets gives you a better perspective of what their habits may be like.

• What are the consequences of their tech habits, and what should be changed? Make a list of the good and the bad consequences of your family’s technology use. After comparing the two lists, consider changes that can turn negatives into positives.

“Technology continues at its accelerating pace, and we are in unchartered territory,” Jantz says. “Increasingly, social networking infiltrates our personal lives, but we need to remember that it is created to serve us, and not the other way around.”

About Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D

Gregory Jantz has more than 25 years experience in mental health counseling and is the founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, near Seattle, Wash. The Center, “a place for hope,” provides comprehensive, coordinated care from a treatment team that addresses medical, physical, psychological, emotional, nutritional, fitness and spiritual factors involved in recovery. He is the best-selling author of more than 20 books on topics from depression to eating disorders.

 
Synthetic drug ban nears enactment PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Sen. Chuck Grassley   
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 12:39

Floor Statement of Sen. Chuck Grassley

On Synthetic Drugs

Delivered Monday, June 25, 2012

 

Two years ago a constituent of mine named David Rozga committed suicide shortly after smoking a product called K2 — a synthetic form of marijuana.  A week before he passed away, David graduated from Indianola High School.  He was looking forward to attending my alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa, that fall.  David and his friends spent the week after graduation going to parties and celebrating their achievements. Some of David’s friends heard about K2 from some other friends who were home from college.  They were told that if you smoked this product like marijuana you could get a high.  David and his friends were about to go to a concert and thought smoking K2 before would be nothing but harmless fun. However, shortly after smoking K2, David became highly agitated and terrified.  His friends tried to calm him down and once he appeared calmer, he decided to go home instead of going out with them. Tragically, David took his own life shortly after returning home — only about 90 minutes after smoking K2 for the first time. The only chemicals in his system at the time of his death were those that constituted K2.

David’s tragic death is one of the first in what has been a rapidly growing drug abuse trend. In the past two years, the availability and popularity of synthetic drugs like K2, spice, bath salts, and 2C-E have exploded. These drugs are labeled and disguised as legitimate products to circumvent the law. They are easily purchased online, at gas stations, in shopping malls and in other novelty stores. Poison control centers and emergency rooms around the country are reporting skyrocketing cases of calls and visits resulting from synthetic drug use. The physical effects associated with this use include increased agitation, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizures.  A number of people across the country have acted violently while under the influence of the drug, dying or injuring themselves and others.  Just a few weeks ago a man in Miami, Florida, attacked a homeless man and ate nearly half his face before police had to shoot him to stop him.   Bath salts are suspected in that attack.  Two weeks ago, police in upstate New York tasered a woman who was choking her three-year-old son after smoking bath salts.

These ongoing and mounting tragedies underscore the fact that Congress must take action to stop these drugs from causing further damage to our society.  I introduced the David Mitchell Rozga Act a year ago last March to ban the drugs that constitute K2. My colleagues Sens. Schumer, Klobuchar, and Portman have also joined me to ban synthetic drugs including bath salts and 2-CE compounds. Today our separate bills are included as part of the House and Senate agreement on the Food and Drug Administration user fee bill we’ll be voting on shortly.  I want to thank all who have worked very hard to get my bill, as well as the other bills banning synthetic drugs, through Congress. I especially want to thank Mike and Jan Rozga and their family for their tireless efforts to prevent more tragedy from befalling other families.  This legislation will drastically help to remove these poisons from the store shelves and protect our children from becoming more victims.  I urge my colleagues to support cloture on this bill and I yield the floor.

 
Schilling’s Plan for Quality, Convenient, Patient-Centered, and Affordable Health Care PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 12:00

Moline, Illinois - With the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care reform law - the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - expected soon, Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) released the following statement on his plan for health care reform moving forward:

"Before Independence Day, the Supreme Court is expected to announce its ruling on the President’s health care reform law.  The court could decide to uphold the entire law, strike it down entirely, or strike parts of it – parts like Medicaid expansion or the individual mandate, which requires nearly every American to buy health insurance.

"Regardless of the court’s decision on the law, I want to work in a bipartisan and transparent way to replace it with common-sense, step-by-step policies that actually lower the cost of health care, preserve Medicare for our children and grandchildren, and put patients and their doctors back in charge of health care decisions.  There’s significant support for the law’s repeal, and there’s also widespread agreement that the American health care system is broken and in need of reform.  

"Simply put, our work doesn’t stop if this law is taken off the books.

"We should take up-or-down votes on individual improvements to our health care system – particularly those that seek to lower costs and ultimately make care more affordable and more convenient. It’s important that folks with preexisting conditions be able to find coverage, for example.  And in a tough economy like this, I agree that young adults should be able to find affordable coverage.  Individuals should be able to buy health insurance plans across state lines, with the goal of increasing competition and driving down costs.  We should vote to advance common-sense liability protections, stemming defensive medicine and lowering the cost of care.  We should also vote on a plan to ensure Medicare physicians won’t see their reimbursement rates cut.  This issue must be resolved to ensure physicians aren’t pushed out of Medicare, creating serious access problems for seniors across the country.  

"We can also vote on bills that I introduced – like the Charity Care Tax Deduction Act, for example, that would provide a tax deduction to physicians who administer charity care for those can’t afford health insurance, or the Enhanced Veteran Health Care Experience Act that would allow veterans to access the health care they need in their hometowns with their home doctors.

"Another solution to lower health care costs is the bipartisan Health Flexible Spending Arrangements Improvement Act, which passed the House and would allow 35 million Americans to save unused money in their flexible spending accounts for future use on unexpected medical costs.  The current “use it or lose it” policy is hurting American families.

"Unless the court throws out the entire law, I will continue working to repeal whatever’s left and apply any savings to a deficit reduction plan.  We can’t tax, spend, or regulate our way into a stronger economy and better health care, nor can we prepare ourselves for future threats to our national security while taking a meat cleaver to the Department of Defense’s budget.  

"Over the last year and a half, the House has voted 30 times on different bills to repeal, defund, or dismantle the health care reform law.  Most recently we voted to repeal its tax on medical devices.  This is a tax that would be harmful to companies like Cook Medical, which has been hoping to expand its operations in Canton.  The medical device tax would destroy jobs in an industry that employs more than 400,000 Americans throughout the country – 70 in Canton alone.  We have also voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB); a board of unelected bureaucrats tasked with saving money by restricting access to health care for Medicare beneficiaries.  I voted to repeal this board to keep health care decisions between patients and their doctor.  

"The bottom line is that I want to make quality health care more convenient and more affordable.  I want you to be able to visit the doctor of your choosing and be given the care that your doctor thinks is best.  

"Every American is impacted by the health care reform law, and will be affected by the Supreme Court’s decision.  We need to continue to work to ensure folks in Illinois and across the country have access to health care that’s high quality, patient-centered, convenient, and affordable, but the best ideas often don’t come from Washington DC, they come from the folks I represent.  Please contact my office at schilling.house.gov or (202) 225-5905 with your ideas to improve care."

# # #


To send Congressman Schilling an e-mail, click hereTo send Congressman Schilling an e-mail, click here

 
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