Respected Task Force Updates Guidelines for Diabetes Screening

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH You’re stuck in a bad storm and probably can’t get medical help for several days. You begin feeling really weak—maybe a bit nauseated. The weakness is not going away. Actually, when you think about it, through your currently fuzzy brain, you realize you’ve been feeling dehydrated and constantly thirsty for weeks now, but you’ve been urinating more than ever—even several times a night. Something’s up. […]

By | November 2nd, 2015|General|3 Comments

Thick Toenails: 5 Causes and a Bunch of Treatments

Sometimes you just have to live with thick toenails—and get some strong clippers.* by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Several of my Facebook fans have asked what to do for their thick toenails. And to tell the truth, it’s not a trivial question. Thick toenails can be the starting point for bad bruises, infections, even gangrene. In a disaster situation, these problems could become more likely if you have to do a lot of walking or even just standing. If your shoes press on the toenail, the toe can become quite bruised. Then, if your toes swell from the bruising, the shoes will be tighter on them, causing a dangerous cycle, even to the point of killing some of the tissue under the nail. So it’s best to treat thick toenails before a disaster rather than during. […]

By | March 3rd, 2014|Skin|42 Comments

Tom Hanks Has Diabetes: Could His “Cast Away” Character Have Survived?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Reading that Tom Hanks now has type 2 diabetes made me think: What if his character in Cast Away had the same disease? You know, the movie where his plane goes down and he spends four years stranded alone on an island? In such a scenario, could he survive type 2 diabetes? What do you think? […]

By | October 16th, 2013|General|13 Comments

Can I Prevent Diabetes? (Or, If I Have It, Make It Better?)

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Chances are very good that you, a family member, or a friend will be affected by the ravages of diabetes. About 7 million in the U.S. alone don’t even know they have it. And yet, it is slowly and silently doing permanent damage to their sight, kidneys, heart, and circulation right now. Another 79 million (yes, you read that right—about a third of us) will get the disease unless we take action now. That’s because about 79 million of us are thought to have prediabetes (the early stage which will develop into the full-blown disease in most people). Many people want to know how to handle diabetes if they run out of medicine and can’t get any more. I’ve tried to answer that the best I can in past posts, but in truth, there are no perfect alternatives to your prescription meds. So what about this? What if you could need less or no prescriptions meds? And for those of you at risk for diabetes, what if you found a way to never get it? In other words, the questions to ask are: How can I prevent diabetes? How can I make it better if I already have it? […]

By | March 26th, 2013|General|21 Comments

Diabetes During a Disaster: What to Do When You’re Out of Medication

American ginseng may help lower blood pressure during a disaster if you have to go without your medication. by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Okay, it’s disaster time, you’re a type 2 diabetic, and you’ve run out of or lost your oral medication. What do you do? Here are some ideas to lower your blood sugar. First, continue your diet and exercise. If you’re on oral medications that means you still produce insulin. Insulin works most efficiently when you (1) eat small meals not loaded with simple sugars, (2) stay hydrated with water, (3) do a little exercise. […]

By | June 21st, 2012|General|84 Comments

How to Make a Refrigerator and Survive Diabetes in a Disaster

House and refrigerator in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH So many of my readers with diabetes worry how they can ever survive a long-term disaster, especially if they require insulin to live. As they know, there’s no substitute for it, and insulin doesn’t store forever. With a good expiration date, though, insulin can keep a good year or two. The key is proper storage. To last more than a month, it must be refrigerated. Fortunately, this is possible even without electricity. […]

By | June 19th, 2012|General|30 Comments