Last year I participated in the Saratoga Springs Tour de Cure, an annual bike ride that is held nationwide to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. One of the most inspiring things about the Tour are the Red Riders, individuals who live and ride with diabetes. To better explain what the Red Rider program is and about her own aspirations, I had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of the Red Rider program, Mari Ruddy!
She runs the daily business and management of TeamWILD, a program that teaches adults how to live with diabetes through exercise. She also coaches and speaks at ADA Tour de Cure rides. Mari’s working on a book that will no doubt highlight the success of the Red Riders, the health battles she’s personally fought and won, and offer guidance and insight for diabetics to truly live.
Tell me about the Red Rider program.
I’m the founder of the Red Riders, who are cyclists with diabetes. I also started the first Team Red. Now all 90 Tour de Cure rides have Red Riders and a Team Red. The first year there were 111 Red Riders. This summer, 2013, there will be [more than] 7,000 Red Riders in the US. In 2012, all the Red Riders together raised $3.9 million. The goal in 2013 is [for] the Red Riders [to] collectively raise $4.5 million. The Tour itself raised more than $26 million in 2012. These numbers are very exciting.
How much money does “your” Tour raise?
My “home” Tour for the past seven years was the one in Colorado. Now that I’ve moved back to my home state, I consider the Tour de Cure Twin Cities in Minnesota my home ride! We intend to raise $1 million this year at the Minnesota Tour. (more…)
As the American Diabetes Association encourages us to focus on diabetes this month, it’s important to understand just how prevalent it is in our country and get an idea of what a diabetic lives with on a daily basis. Furthermore, it’s also important to look at the cost of this growing disease and try to understand what can be done to change the upward trend of diagnosis.
The most recent assessment was released in 2011. The American Diabetes Association, The National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control completed a comprehensive report describing the impact of diabetes in the United States during 2007. Since the report, the numbers have continued to climb.
The data found that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes; or 8.3 percent of the population. These stats do not breakout the difference between the two kinds of diabetes, type I and type II.
More than 230,000 death certificates in 2007 had diabetes listed as the contributing factor for the death. Those who have diabetes are most susceptible to conditions like heart disease, stroke, hypertension, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.
Nearly $175 billion was spent in 2007 to cover all the costs of diabetes. These expenses included direct medical costs, indirect medical costs, disability, work loss, and premature death. These factors only include the diagnosed cases of the disease. There are millions more people living with the condition yet haven’t been diagnosed, while others are treating the symptoms of pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes. The costs of treating these groups came to about $218 billion in 2007.
So, if we see the staggering costs of this disease, what can be done? First, it’s important to note the major differences between the two types of diabetes. Dr. Josh Umbehr of Altas.MD broke down the differences to the very basic level. (more…)
by Arleigh Aldrich
New studies conducted by Canadian researchers have found that those with type 1 diabetes may have an easier time managing their blood sugar levels if they lift weights before doing cardiovascular exercise.
Type 1 diabetes patients suffer from deficiencies in insulin, which the body needs to turn food into fuel. Without insulin, glucose from food remains in the blood and can cause harm to other organs in the body. Insulin can be regulated in type 1 diabetes patients through insulin injections or pumps. Only about 5% (1.3 million) of American diabetes patients suffer from type 1. Patients with type 2 diabetes account for the majority of diabetes patients in America. Those with type 2 produce insulin, however the body does not respond to it. Insulin must be injected directly into fat under the skin for the blood to absorb it.
Muscles utilize sugar fast in highly aerobic exercise, depleting blood sugar levels quicker than non-cardio workouts. What the experiment found was by lifting weights first, blood sugar levels remained above the minimum threshold for someone with type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, levels remained above the threshold for longer periods of time after the workout was completed.
Dr. Ronald Sigal is a lead author on the study and endocronologist at the University of Calgary in Canada. Sigal told Reuters Health, “It’s important to define the best way for people with type 1 diabetes to exercise so that blood sugar doesn’t drop too low, yet they can still reap all the benefits of aerobic exercise.”
When Screen Actors Guild (SAG) president Ken Howard called Mary Tyler Moore to inform her of being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, she said that she thought he was calling her to ask her to present something to someone. Moore, who helped to create two of television’s most memorable and groundbreaking roles, The Dick Van Dyke Show’s Laura Petrie and The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s Mary Richards, feels honored at all the attention. She says that she looks at the SAG award as a reward for doing something good.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show featured Moore playing the role of the main character, Mary Richards, and ran on CBS for seven years. Mary Richards was a single, career woman in her thirties who had just broken up with her med student boyfriend, whom she had supported for the past two years. Now here she was starting over, making it on her own without having been married and she wasn’t seeking a man to support her.
Mary Richards was the first “real ‘grownup’ career woman on TV.” She was a real person who displayed real insecurities and fears. You couldn’t help but to like her and by the end of each episode you just knew that she would “make it after all.”
Although Moore is appreciative of the SAG award and other honors that she has received, she is most proud of the work she has performed for juvenile diabetes and animal rights.
Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.
If you are an American adult, there’s a one in three chance that you have pre-diabetes, and in five to ten years, pre-diabetes will progress to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a serious metabolic condition that ravages the circulatory system over time, but the long-term damage may begin during the early stages. The good news is that you can reverse pre-diabetes by natural means.
The difference between pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes is a matter of degree. When the Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) is 100 – 125 mg, it is called pre-diabetes; when the FBG crosses over 126 mg, the name changes to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes has to do with the way glucose travels from the bloodstream into the cells where it is burned for fuel. In pre-diabetes and most type 2, the pancreas still makes insulin, but that insulin cannot help the cells to uptake glucose. Glucose, called ‘sugar’, builds up in the blood and ruins the little capillaries in every part of the body. One quarter of all new type 2 diabetics already have eye damage at the time of diagnosis.