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Inclusion of materials in this publication is for information only; it does not imply endorsement of any product by the Diabetes Action Network of the NFB.

New Test For Diabetes

The principal component of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance, in which the body does not effectively use its own insulin. As type 2 almost always features a slow, gradual onset, it can be difficult to diagnose until the patient has had it some time -- and by then, its high blood sugars will have done some damage. It is important to detect diabetes as soon as possible, and promptly begin the necessary lifestyle changes to control it.

Isodiagnostika, a Canadian corporation, announces Diatest, a non-radioactive, breath-based test for insulin resistance. The test, which is not a substitute for blood glucose monitoring but a means to detect insulin resistance before blood sugars climb above the euglycemic "normal" range, simply requires the patient to breathe into a sample tube, which is then analyzed. The patient is never exposed to radioactive materials.

For information, contact: Isodiagnostika, Inc., 5120 75th Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6E 6W2; telephone: 1-888-487-9944; Web site:

Important New Web site

PhRMA is the U.S. pharmaceutical industry's trade association. For a number of years, PhRMA and its 48 member companies have sponsored programs providing free prescription medications to low- income patients of all ages. Their publication, the Directory of Prescription Drug Patient Assistance Programs, is available from: PhRMA, 1100 Fifteenth Street NW, Washington DC 20005; telephone: (202) 835-3400. Alternatively, the directory may be downloaded from their main Web site:

PhRMA's new interactive Web site is designed to be faster, more convenient, and more user-friendly, for doctors and low-income patients looking for specific medications. Go to:

New Insulin

Apidra, Aventis' new rapid-acting insulin analog, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for distribution in the United States. Joining the company's successful Lantus (long-acting insulin analog), Apidra, with an action profile (time of onset, peak, and finish) similar to that of Lilly's Humalog and Novo Nordisk's Novolog, will bring some competition to the field. It should be on pharmacy shelves shortly.

Diabetes Supplies

American Diabetic Supply, Inc., will ship your diabetes supplies to your door. They handle all insurance claims and provide free delivery. Folks with Medicare and/or private insurance (no HMOs) may receive supplies at no further cost. For information, contact: American Diabetic Supply, Inc., 400 S. Atlantic Ave., Suite 108, Ormond Beach, FL 32176; telephone: 1-800-453-9033, ext. 200; Web site:

High Tech Medical ID

We have been asked to announce: MyVoice ID is more than just a medallion. Other "medical IDs" identify you, or cue the authorities to visit a database, but MyVoice ID speaks. Pager-sized, it allows the user to record vital information, like name, address, contact numbers, blood type, allergies, required medications, and pre-existing medical conditions. The device sells for less than $40. Contact: Support Systems Product Development Corporation; telephone: 1-866-667-5768; Web site:

Healthy Cookbooks

JoAnna Lund writes healthy cookbooks. They are simple, “common folks” recipes, and all contain both complete nutrient counts and diabetic exchanges. There are three titles: Fast, Cheap, and Easy; Grandma Jo’s Soup Kettle; and Fresh From the Hearth. Price is $10 each, or $25 for all three. There is no shipping charge. Contact: Healthy Exchanges, PO Box 80, DeWitt, IA 52742; telephone: 1-800-766-8961; Web site:

Full Service Diabetes Supplier

DS Medical Supply is a full-service supplier with a catalog of more than 55,000 items, dealing with diabetes, its complications, and many other medical supplies, delivered to your home. Diabetes products range from glucose monitors by Bayer and LifeScan, and the Accu-Chek Voicemate talking glucose monitor, strips, lancets and other supplies, to a broad selection of diabetic orthotics/foot care items, and much more. They accept Medicare, private insurance, some HMOs, and, in most states, direct or cross-over Medicaid. Contact: DS Medical, 2105 Newport Place, Suite 600, Lawrenceville, GA 30043-5561; telephone: 1-888-724-4357, Web site:

New Diabetes Resource List

The Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind now offers the 2004-2005 edition of Diabetes Resources: Equipment, Services and Information, our comprehensive list of resources for diabetics. Diabetes Resources is our compilation of companies and individuals offering products and/or information to help diabetics, especially those who are blind or are losing vision, self-manage their diabetes. The list contains many subject categories, including: Insulin Measurement Devices, Insulin Syringe Magnifiers, Insulin Injection Systems, Diabetic Foot Care, Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems, Insulin Pumps, Products for the Blind, Food and Diet, Literature and Information, Distributors of Diabetes Equipment and Supplies, and Medication Assistance.

Blind diabetics can and do accurately draw up insulin, monitor blood glucose, and perform the other tasks of independent self-management. By using alternative techniques and products, they can continue being independent, and control their diabetes as efficiently as do their sighted peers. Limitations are usually self-imposed--often all that is needed to overcome negative thinking is simply to know where to go for information.

DIABETES RESOURCES: EQUIPMENT, SERVICES, AND INFORMATION (2004-2005 Edition) costs $5 per copy, and is available in Braille, large print, and 4-track audiocassette, or you can access it on the NFB Web site:

Please order from: National Federation of the Blind, Materials Center, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230; telephone: (410) 659-9314. Note: the NFB Materials Center is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.

New Canine Insulin

It is truly the height of irony. Dogs gave us the very first insulin (Banting and Best, 1921), but it has taken more than 80 years for us to formulate an insulin for diabetic dogs. As animal-source insulin gave way to human analogs, veterinarians had to use insulins less than fully compatible with their animal patients. As there are millions of dogs out there, and 1 in 200 American dogs may develop diabetes, there is a market indeed.

Enter Vetsulin, from Intervet, of Millsboro, Delaware. Derived from porcine sources, used in 20 countries, it will be available via veterinary prescription shortly. Note: It is insulin, and pet owners who accidentally inject themselves would face the real danger of hypoglycemia.

Adaptive Computing Equipment

Freedom Scientific is a powerhouse adaptive equipment maker for the blind and visually impaired computer user. A union of Arkenstone, Blazie Engineering, and Henter-Joyce, Freedom Scientific offers screen magnifiers (including MAGic 9 software, which both magnifies up to 16x and speaks the words on the screen), talking attachments (voice synthesizers) for your computer, Braille printers, and much more. Whether you need adaptive software or hardware, check them out: Freedom Scientific; telephone: 1-800-444-4443; Web site:

Full Service Diabetes Supplier

Access Diabetic Supply promises free delivery, no paperwork, and free in-home training in the use of blood glucose testing devices. Your private insurance is welcome, and they accept Medicare, too. They offer free blood glucose monitors to folks who sign up. Check them out on line: or call: 1-800-713-7062.


Many diabetics suffer from dry feet. It "goes with the territory." They hurt, they itch, they dry out and crack, and you need to do something about it. Sometimes neuropathy, nerve inflammation, in your feet can really drive you 'round the bend. But Steuart Laboratories offers help. Steuart's Foot Cream, with Melalenca Oil, is excellent for dry diabetic feet. Steuart's CNS Liposomes offers relief from neuropathy; also good for back, muscle, and joint pain. Prices (2-oz. jar): $9.25 plus shipping for the Foot Cream; $19.80 for the CNS Liposomes. Contact: Steuart Laboratories, PO Box 297, Harmony, MN 55939; telephone: 1-800-210-9665; Web site:

Diabetic Products

Health Care Products makes many over-the-counter medications and supplements for diabetics, including DiabetiSweet sugar substitute and DiabetiDerm skin cream (with L-Arginine) for the feet. Find these products in the diabetic section of Eckerd, Osco, Sav-on, Target, GNC, and other retailers. For information, contact: Health Care Products, 369 Bayview Avenue, Amityville, NY 11701; telephone: 1-866-263-9003; Web site:


We have been asked to announce: Jackie Mahone-Tyson, from Sacramento, California, has a catalog sales business. Her wares include garden and yard ornaments, furniture for house and patio, patriotic items and Africana. Portions of any profits will be donated to the Diabetes Action Network. Contact: Jackie or Karen, 4433 7th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95820; telephone: (916) 731-7114.

New Hypoglycemia Alarm

Diabetes brings with it the risk of hypoglycemia, low blood sugar. Some of us need some help. What many of us need is an alarm, a device to warn us we're going low, when we cannot tell for ourselves. There is now such a device -- FDA approved. Diabetes Sentry Products, from Bellingham, Washington, offers the Sleep Sentry, a wrist watch-sized device that sounds an audible warning whenever the wearer’s blood sugar drops too low. Not a blood glucose monitor, this noninvasive device meters changes in body temperature and sweat consistent with hypoglycemia, and sounds a warning in time for you to take action. Completely noninvasive and continuous, the Sleep Sentry costs $399, shipping included, and may be ordered from: Diabetes Sentry Products, Inc., 1200 Dupont St., Suite #1D, Bellingham, WA 98225; telephone: 1-866-270-5675; Web site:

Diabetes Supplies

Do you get tired of having to "shop around" for your various diabetes items? "Go to this place for these; to that place for those ..." Do something about it. Check out, the leading online source for discount diabetes products. Contact them by telephone: 1-800-891-9399; or Web site:

Easy Diabetic Cookbook

If you want to prepare healthy diabetic meals, but find most cookbooks just too complicated, you need Linda Coffee and Emily Cale's new and improved DIABETIC 4 INGREDIENT COOKBOOK. There are almost twice as many recipes as before, 350, in all food categories, with complete nutritional and exchange information, each one using four ingredients. The book costs $19.95 (+$3.50 shipping), from: Coffee and Cale, PO Box 2121, Kerrville, TX 78029; telephone: 1-800-757-0838;Web site:

I'd Like To See Them Make:

A talking insulin pump. This would be simple. We know that if you can display it on a screen, it can go to a speech box. They're cheap. What're you folks waiting for?

Lantus insulin in a pen cartridge. Self-explanatory.

More good diabetes instruction materials on cassette. We receive piles of new diabetes texts, many of excellent quality. Publishers, blind people need this information, too!

Glucose monitors, talking and otherwise, that let you know when enough blood is on the strip -- not just when you just wasted one. This can be done.

More next time. Got some ideas? Send them to VOICE OF THE DIABETIC.

Medical Equipment and Supplies

Specialty Shoes and Diabetic Supplies, Inc., from Beaumont, Texas, is a one-stop supplier for your diabetes needs. They stock blood glucose meters, strips, lancets, vacuum erection devices (for diabetic impotence), other diabetes care items, and, of course, specialty pedorthic footwear. They accept Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and private insurance. Contact them at: SSDS, 229 Dowlen Road, Suite 15A, Beaumont, TX 77706; telephone: 1-877-817-7737; email: [email protected]

Diabetic Foot Products

The following products were specifically designed by Dr. Kenneth B. Rehm, DPM, to help treat diabetic conditions of the human foot.

* DiabetiCream: $30 (plus S&H) for a 4-oz. tube. Apply to clean, dry feet, to help alleviate dryness and cracking. Use with massage will help circulation.

* ToeSoak: $20 each (plus S&H). Foot shampoo.

* ToesEase: (foot and toenail cleaner) $20 (plus S&H) for an 8-oz. supply

All these products are available from: The Diabetic Foot and Wound Treatment Center, 1529 Grand Avenue, Suite C, San Marcos, CA 92069; telephone: (760) 471-8637; Web site:

NFB-NEWSLINE® for the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind’s NEWSLINE® is an electronic publication of major daily newspapers, specifically tailored for blind and visually-impaired readers. NFB-NEWSLINE electronically "reads" all of each day's edition, which is immediately made available via modem to the local distribution centers. Users listen to the articles they choose, read to them in a synthesized voice. The reader is free to jump between articles, sections, and publications, and to pick the speed of reading to suit their needs. There is no subscription fee, and NFB-NEWSLINE is not the Internet, so no computer is necessary to use it, just a touch-tone telephone. Service is available to any person at least legally blind. There is no charge.

For further information, contact: NFB-NEWSLINE®, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230; telephone: 1-888-882-1629.

Diabetes Literature from NFB National Center

The National Federation of the Blind maintains an extensive literature collection, with free materials on many subjects, including diabetes, available in a variety of formats. The diabetes articles are available, in large print or on 4-track audiocassette, in a single volume titled: Diabetes Action Network Articles, or singly, in large print. These are free of charge.

The Materials Center also has a supply, in Braille and on 4-track audiocassette, of the new ADA Exchange List for Meal Planning, 2003 Edition. In Braille, price is $10; on tape, $2.

The Materials Center also offers “Diabetes, Neuropathy, and the Feet,” an audiotape by Dr. Kenneth B. Rehm, DPM. Recorded on normal (music speed), this tape costs $2 per copy.

To order, or to request a complete NFB literature catalog, contact: NFB Materials Center, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230; telephone: (410) 659-9314. You may also order by email: [email protected] The Materials Center is open 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST, weekdays.

New Email Diabetes List

Our Diabetes Action Network now offers its own ‘listserv,’ [email protected] Although its primary focus is on blindness and diabetes, any and all discussions concerning diabetes are welcome. We welcome topics like: diet, devices, healthcare, diabetes control, and how to improve the Voice of the Diabetic. Remember, please do not give any direct medical advice, unless you are a medical professional. Membership is free, and open to all.

There are two ways to sign up. You can go to the following Web site: or you can sign up by email, by sending a message to: [email protected] and putting “subscribe” in the subject line.