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How Clean Hands Help Manage Diabetes

Content provided by: Better Medicine from Healthgrades

You’ve been told since childhood that washing your hands keeps germs away. This healthy habit may also help you manage your diabetes.

Clean hands get you the most accurate readings from your glucose meter, according to two new studies. Here’s the lowdown on scrubbing up.

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Indications and Usage for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Prescription Lantus® is a long-acting insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. It should be taken once a day at the same time each day to lower blood glucose.

Do not use Lantus® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.

Important Safety Information for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Do not take Lantus® if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus®.

You must test your blood sugar levels while using insulin, such as Lantus®. Do not make any changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your healthcare provider. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.

Do NOT dilute or mix Lantus® with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Lantus® must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible. Do not share needles, insulin pens or syringes with others.

The most common side effect of insulin, including Lantus®, is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may be serious. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision. Severe hypoglycemia may be serious and life threatening. It may cause harm to your heart or brain. Other possible side effects may include injection site reactions, including changes in fat tissue at the injection site, and allergic reactions, including itching and rash. In rare cases, some allergic reactions may be life threatening.

Tell your doctor about other medicines and supplements you are taking because they can change the way insulin works. Before starting Lantus®, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including if you have liver or kidney problems, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.

Lantus® SoloSTAR® is a disposable prefilled insulin pen. Please talk to your healthcare provider about proper injection technique and follow instructions in the Instruction Leaflet that accompanies the pen.

Please click here or the link below for the full prescribing information for Lantus®

US.GLA.13.12.053 © 2014 sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC, A SANOFI COMPANY

A Fruity Dilemma

You’re probably used to hitting the sink to wash up before meals. But it might be just as important to wash your hands after you dine, especially if fruit is on the menu.

Peeling oranges, grapes, or kiwis can result in too-high blood glucose readings, researchers report in Diabetes Care. And eating fruit held in your hand likely has the same effect. The produce leaves a residue of glucose on your hands. Washing it away with soap and tap water helps make sure it doesn’t interfere with your test results.

Take Two

In a second study published in the same journal, researchers found that unwashed hands changed glucose meter readings by up to 10 percent.

What if you aren’t able to wash your hands before checking your glucose level? After pricking your finger with the lancet, wipe away the first drop of blood. Then, use the second one for a more accurate reading. However, this method won’t work if your hands are visibly dirty or if you’ve handled fruit.

Why Results Matter

Your good health depends in part on how well you monitor your blood glucose. Your health care team can teach you how to use your results to decide when and how much to eat, exercise, or take insulin or other medicines.

In general, your blood glucose should be 70 to 130 mg/dl before meals and less than 180 mg/dl after meals. If dirty hands cause falsely elevated readings, you may take too much insulin. This can cause shakiness, weakness, headache, and other symptoms of low blood glucose.

Medical Reviewer: Richard Siege Last Annual Review Date: Aug. 16, 2012 Copyright: © 2000-2013 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Reference: Diabetes section on Better Medicine

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