Sunday, September 30, 2012

Diabetes Research in Evanston, IL

We all know that there is research going on all the time.  We hear about research studies results in the news and touted in ads.

I have discovered that there are research studies going on right in my town.  I met with Jeff Geohas, M.D. to talk about the research he is currently doing.  Dr. Geohas is the the Medical Director and Principal Investigator with Evanston Premier Healthcare & Research, LLC.

Dr. Geohas started being involved with research studies when he finished his residency and was starting his private internal medicine practice.  While he had always been interested in research, he found that doing research studies worked well with his medical practice.

Dr. Geohas has witnessed the exponential growth of patients with the diagnosis of diabetes.  He is concerned by the effects that the diagnosis has on his patient's life expectancy.  People with diabetes are at high risk for heart complications.  In fact, people with diabetes have the same risk for a heart attack as someone who has already had a heart attack.

Current research studies that are being done by Evanston Premier Healthcare & Research involve medicines for Type 2 Diabetes.  In one study, they are testing a new oral agent and in another they are studying new medicines that are added to insulin therapies.  Other studies currently being done involve a treatment for urinary tract infections and a study by a psychiatrist on depression.  All studies hold great hope for new treatments that can help people.

If you think that you would be interested in participating in research studies, you can contact Evanston Premier Healthcare & Research.  They will be happy to talk to you, take down some medical history and then you can be part of their database and they will call you if you fit into one of their studies.  If you are chosen for a study, your study medications, laboratory tests (including but not limited to EKG and blood work), and medical examinations are all paid for by the study.  Depending on the study, you may be compensated for your time and travel.

Please call (847) 869-1191 to discuss participation in a research study.

I don't know if we ever consider that research is being done right in our own backyard.  It is nice to know that researchers are everywhere and that they can be as nice as Dr. Geohas.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Diabetes Art Day

A new day starts at the lancet farm.

Okay, I really never claimed to be an artist.  But I could not let Diabetes Art Day go by without trying.  

Have a great day.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Walking for and with Hope

Listen to the mustn'ts, child
Listen to the don'ts
Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts 
Listen to the never haves
Then listen close to me
Anything can happen, child
Anything can be
Shel Silverstein

What is hope?  

According to Wikipedia, it is an emotional state which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life.  To cherish a desire with anticipation.  

It is said that the concept of hope can be found as early as in Greek Mythology.  Prometheus stole fire from Zeus.  Zeus, being the BMOC (Big Man on Campus), was very upset.  To retaliate, he sent down a jar filled with all manner of evil.  Then Pandora, despite being told not to open the jar, opened it.  All of the evil escaped into this world.  Hope was caught on the lip of the jar and Pandora closed the lid before it could come out.  

So, you may think of Pandora as being an internet radio station but in reality Pandora started out in mythology as a curious person who let evil loose in the world.  

To me, one example of hope is the over 1,000 people who have signed up to walk for the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes on October 20th in Chicago.  

You see, those walking live in hope for a cure for this disease.  They live in hope that the funds raised will make lives better.  

We will be walking along the lakefront in Chicago enjoying the fresh air and sunshine (another hope).  Just imagine the spirit of a crowd all believing in one goal and being willing to work toward that goal by raising funds for research. I have confidence that the atmosphere will be happy and enthusiastic.  It will be a fun place to be.   

If you would like to join us, please do.  We welcome you.  If you are not in the Chicago area but would like to walk, please check out when the walk will be in your area and sign up.  You can check for a local walk at 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Alcohol and Diabetes

Wow!  I have been gone for awhile, huh?  Sorry!  There has been a lot going on around here and I have slipped up.  Well, I am re-invigorated and will be back strong now.  I appreciate your support in reading this blog.

We have been discussing the effect of alcohol use on blood sugar levels.  Silent Sam was under the impression that he needed to be careful because drinking could raise his blood sugar level.  I was under the opposite impression from my reading.  So, it seems that some research was in order.

After all, this is an Irish German household and there certainly seems to be a place for a beer or two.  SS and my son are, what might be considered, beer snobs.  They do not drink any of the light beers.  I think it can be termed that they like to "chew" their beer.  Yes, Guiness is a favorite.  (Irish mother's milk)

As can be said of the general population, drinking is viewed with positives and negatives.  With diabetics, the issue is a bit more clouded.  While diabetics can use the cardio benefits from moderate drinking (generally, for women 1 drink a day and men 2 drinks a day) due to the disease they also have more to consider.

The first consideration is whether your blood sugar levels are under control.  If you are experiencing frequent highs and lows, you might want to get it more under control before you have a drink.  Alcohol will lower your blood sugar.  Why? Alcohol moves quickly into your blood stream and from there to your liver.  If your liver is busy cleaning the alcohol from your system then it cannot work on regulating your blood sugar.  You can slip into dangerously low blood sugar levels.

Alcohol also is not a good mix with some of the medicines prescribed for diabetics.  If you are taking a medicine to lower your blood sugar level then adding alcohol to the mix can be a recipe for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

If you want to have a drink, here is a checklist of things you might want to consider

1.  Check with your diabetes care team about the interaction between your medicine and alcohol.

2.  Check your blood sugar level before you have a drink.  If it is low, eat something first.

3.  ALWAYS eat while you drink.  But don't let the alcohol influence your choice.  Remember to eat foods that are more in the healthy range (salsa and chips) than the unhealthy range (chicken wings soaked in blue cheese dressing).

4.  Avoid sugary drinks - use diet sodas or tonics as mixers. The American Diabetes Association reports that light beer and dry wines tend to have less alcohol, carbohydrates and calories.

5.  Wear your diabetes alert bracelet.  If you have low blood sugar, it can look like you are drunk and you may not get the treatment you need.


There are more complications but we can save those for another day.  I am happy to be back writing to you all and I will promise to be more consistent.

Thanks for reading!