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How to Keep Injection Sites Healthy

How to Keep Injection Sites Healthy

How to Keep Injection Sites Healthy

Lipohypertrophy is a thickened, rubbery swelling under the skin that can happen to people where they inject insulin. These lumps may be firm or soft. You may not always be able to see these since they are under the skin. At times you will need to press on your skin to be able to feel them. This condition is very common. Studies found that almost 2/3 of all people who inject insulin have some degree of lipo.

Who is at risk for developing lipo?

  • Patients that use insulin for a long time
  • Patients who do not rotate injection sites properly
  • Patients who reuse needles

How can lipo affect diabetes management?

  • According to scientific data, 22% of the insulin injected into lipo was not absorbed by the body.
  • 39% of people with lipo experienced unexplained hypoglycemia.

How to reduce your risk of developing lipo:

  • Replace your needle every time that you inject. The more times the same needle has been used, the higher the risk of developing lipo.
  • Always rotate injection sites.

How to properly rotate injection sites:

  1. Choose an area.
  2. Divide that area into 4 sections.
  3. Select an injection site in the section that you will start injecting. Use one section per week.
  4. Inject one finger width away from your last injection site.

Lipohypertrophy areas should not:

  • Be hot or warm to the touch
  • Have redness or unusual bruising
  • Be noticeably painful

These are all symptoms of a potential infection or injury. See a doctor as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms.

Plan Your Diabetic-Friendly Exercise Routine

Plan Your Diabetic-Friendly Exercise Routine

Plan Your Diabetic-Friendly Exercise Routine

It’s All in the Mind

We often make promises to ourselves that begin with the purest of intentions to see through to completion, but for one reason or another we often end up not exactly fulfilling or maintain consistency in our plan of action.  A New Year’s resolution would be a prime example of this, usually entailing something along the lines of weight-loss, diet, or increased physical activity.    So why is it that we constantly need to re-affirm these goals so adamantly only to find ourselves coming up short on our intended results?

Well it may sound a bit cliché, but it’s actually all in the mind as it were, specifically perception, the way we look at any given thing can make or break our most ambitious of plans.  The mind is an infinitely complex labyrinth still holding many mysteries, but it can also be your most powerful asset, simply by learning how to shape the way you think about things.  Even the suggestive power of language can help shape our thoughts and merely changing a few words and the images they conjure up can be a great way to begin in your journey into a healthy lifestyle and fitness discipline.

Diabetes-Friendly Exercise

Mix it Up!

There has always been a debate about what is more beneficial, cardio or weight training?  I tend to believe that they both possess great benefits in different aspects for your health, strength, and endurance so a varied approach is optimal.   Studies have shown that normally sedentary people with type 2 diabetes who engaged in a mixture of aerobic (cardio) and resistance training (weight lifting) tended to have lower blood sugar levels after 9 months than those that only focused on one type of training in the same amount of time.

 Resistance Training (Weight Lifting)

Weight Training

While cardio workouts strengthen the heart muscle and all it’s supportive tissues and organs, strength training or weight lifting builds the muscles you utilize during the act of lifting.  These muscles include but are not limited to abdominals, legs, arms, and chest and tend to utilize sugar in the form of glucose more efficiently, which can lead to improved blood sugar control and lowered insulin resistance.  Also, resistance training has been known to control high blood sugars by increasing your metabolic rate (your metabolism) for days after the workout, even while you sleep (which is  just as important for recovery).

So while you don’t need to reach fitness model levels of fitness, consistency and moderation can improve strength and blood sugar over time.  Be mindful of your form while lifting weights as improper techniques can lead to sometimes serious injuries.  If you are just starting out always start slow with low weights to develop proper posture while executing your lifts.  Visit your local gym for classes or even a personal trainer to teach you how to perform some basic moves and work out efficiently with weights.

Cardio Training

Aerobic Training (Cardio)

It is not necessary to utilize a treadmill to get a great cardio workout, so long as you can get your heart-rate up to 60-80% your maximum heart-rate you will usually “work-up a sweat” and reap the benefits of a stronger cardiovascular system.  Remember to always consult your healthcare service provider to determine a safe heart-rate zone to get up to, since endurance levels can vary greatly from person to person based on their medical history.  A general rule of thumb I’ve always used though is to estimate your target heart rate at 220 minus your current age for a basic approximation.  Don’t feel the need to join a gym either, many activities can get your heart-rate going either at home or nearby.  Things like walking the dog, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking at the far end of the lot can help promote physical activity throughout the day.


While maintaining your custom fitness regimen, don’t forget to frequently keep your eye on your blood glucose levels as beginning an exercise routine can cause hypoglycemia.  Sometimes adjusting with more frequent snacking and dosage in medication is necessary to compensate for the added energy consumption throughout your day.  Always play it safe, stay healthy!

For more information on this subject read more here.


The Back to School Backpack Program was a Success!

The Back to School Backpack Program was a Success!

The Back to School Backpack Program was a Success!

US MED’s Employee Care Program has participated in The Back to School Backpack Program and reached it’s goal of 72 backpacks with school supplies for children in our community. These children range from kindergarten to 12th grade and do not have the means to purchase supplies for school. US Med Employees donated a minimum of $10 to fill a backpack with school supplies for a child in need.

Supplies included:

  • 1 – 17″ Backpack, assorted colors
  • 4 – Double Pocket Folders
  • 2 – One Subject Spiral Notebooks
  • 1 – Compostition Notebook
  • 1 – Pencil Pouch
  • 1 – 12-inch Ruler
  • 1 – Pack of 4 Pens
  • 1 – Pack of 4 Colored Pencils
  • 1 – Blunt Tip Scissors
  • 4 – Erasers
  • 2 – Glue Sticks
  • 1 – Pack of 5 Crayons
  • 1 – Dome Sharpener
  • 3 – Highlighters

Employees who donate, placed their names on a backpack tag for our donation display wall. This program started on June 26, 2018 and ended July 25th, 2018.  Our goal of 72 backpacks was reached and wish to give many thanks to the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network, US Med’s Employee Care Program and all those who donated to help us make these school supplies possible.

Backpack Program Goal Reached


C.G.M. (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) A Beginner’s Guide.

C.G.M. (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) A Beginner’s Guide.

C.G.M. (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) A Beginner’s Guide.

When you live with diabetes a common term you might hear is Continuous Glucose Monitoring, also known as C.G.M.  For the uninitiated to the world of diabetes management, C.G.M. might seem an overwhelmingly daunting task.  All types of questions can present you with a challenge but with a little information such as the kind laid out here can help clear up any concerns.

What is C.G.M.?

C.G.M. or Continuous Glucose Monitoring consists of a transceiver device with an attached small sensor that fits underneath the epidermal layer your skin.  C.G.M. models may vary so it will usually be placed in an area on your arm or your stomach.  This sensor measures glucose levels found in your interstitial fluid, the fluid found between your cells and is a good method of measuring sugar levels of the body.CGM Graphic

These devices persistently analyze glucose levels and sends that data to a wireless monitor nearby.  Depending on the type of device you are using and programmed settings the sensor can collect readings every 1-15 minutes.  If glucose falls too low, it will trigger an alarm on the monitoring device, usually worn on a belt clip nearby.  Some newer models are able to send collected data to a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Who Should Use C.G.M.?

If you suffer from a lot of blood sugar highs and lows, hypoglycemia/hyperglycemia, gestational diabetes, or use an insulin pump, speak to your doctor about using a C.G.M. system.

Pros of Using C.G.M.

  • Reduces the need for traditional glucose checks by pricking of the finger, although most will need to do so on a regular basis.
  • Helps keep blood sugar levels stable.
  • Understanding exactly when your blood sugar spikes can help tremendously on keeping the condition under control.

Cons of Using C.G.M.

  • These C.G.M. systems can be costly and possibly are not covered by certain health insurance plans.
  • Accuracy may be off with these systems at the time of this writing, so traditional glucose monitoring methods are still necessary.

What’s Included in a C.G.M. System?

All available systems now are somewhat different, but will usually include a sensor and a monitoring device.  Some systems are now smartphone, tablet, and computer compatible with special software to interface with the sensor.  Some research would be necessary to learn about the numerous apps and add-ons included with their corresponding systems.  Here at US MED we offer systems from trusted brand names like Dexcom, FreeStyle, Animas, Tandem, and Eversense.

In Conclusion.

Should your health care provider suggest a Continuous Glucose Management system to help manage your diabetes or blood sugar condition, there are quite a number of options available.  Make sure to do some additional research to make sure you get a system that best fits your lifestyle. US MED has more information on C.G.M. systems below, as well as a number to call should you need additional guidance in choosing the right C.G.M. system for you.



10 Tips for Living with a Catheter

10 Tips for Living with a Catheter

10 Tips for Living with a Catheter


Catheter blockages can be a serious issue for catheter users if the tubing bends or folds restricting the flow of fluids.  Adjust the tubing and gently pinch it to allow for the passage of the blocked materials such as blood in the urnine.

Size counts when pertaining to catheters, so larger and wider catheters may actually reduce flow since they promote bladder spasms, constricting the flow of urine. Try using the smallest size of catheter possible unless specifically instructed otherwise (if blood in the urine is present or if you contract an infection for example).


Urine may leak around the area of catheter insertion, this can typically be due to some form of blockage.

Watch for faulty urine drainage bags and always carry a spare for just such occasions.  Leakage can happen if there are loose connections between catheter and drainage bag, so make sure to check integrity of all connections.

Be careful not to overfill urine bags causing them to burst.  These urine bags can carry up to a liter so emptying the bag often can help avoid such a leak.



It has been proven that long-term catheter users are 7 times more likely to contract a urinary tract infection.  Symptoms may include fever, foul smelling and cloudy urine (sometimes bloody), as well as pain at the catheter insertion site.

Otherwise instructed not to do so by your doctor, drinking plenty of water helps reduce infections by quickly flushing bacteria out of the body.


The Effects of Smoking & Diabetes

The Effects of Smoking & Diabetes

How Smoking Impacts Diabetics

Cardiovascular Disease

Smokers have a 30-40% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes over non-smokers.  Smoking also makes it difficult to control the disease and determine proper insulin dosage since it makes your body more resistant to insulin leading to higher glucose levels.  The more prevalent the smoking habit is, the higher the risk of type 2 diabetes becomes.  Smoking has a negative effect on every organ in your body and leads to serious complications for diabetics which include:

  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Poor blood flow to legs and feet which can lead to infections, ulcers, and possible amputations.
  • Peripheral neuropathy (damaged nerves that cause numbness, pain, & poor coordination).
  • Many forms of cancer

As noted, smoking has damaging effects on your cardiovascular system, which can be deadly.

  • 68% of adult diabetics age 65 or older die from heart disease.
  • 16% of adult diabetics age 65 or older die from stroke.
  • Diabetics are 2-4 times more at risk of developing heart disease or stroke than non-diabetics.

Respiratory Effects

Smoking impacts the lungs negatively and can lead to:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Other respiratory diseases

Diseases such as these lead to a higher chance of lung infections such as pneumonia, which can be even more dangerous if you are diabetic, since it would raise your blood sugar and make it harder to recover.  Diabetics are almost three times more at risk of dying from pneumonia than non-diabetics.

Eye Health

Diabetics also have a higher risk of eye disease such as:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinopathy (a blinding eye disease)

Smoking can speed up the advancement of retinopathy and complicate matters which can lead to eventual blindness.

Lowering Your Risk

Avoiding tobacco products should be at the top of the list if you wish lower your risk of complications with diabetes, which can prove to be more difficult the longer history you have of being a smoker.  Smoking is highly addictive so you may start off with a few tips to aid in quitting such as:

  • Make a list of reasons to stop smoking.
  • Set a quit date.
  • Share quit date with loved ones to help hold you accountable.

Some find quitting cold turkey is the best way to kick the habit, others prefer decreasing cigarette intake over time is their best bet.  Another method is with the use of prescribed medications or over-the-counter aids like nicotine patches or gum, but please note that nicotine in these products will raise your blood sugar.

Read More.

10 Natural Ways to Combat Diabetes

10 Natural Ways to Combat Diabetes

10 Natural Ways to Combat Diabetes

1. Early Prevention

It’s not hard to speculate why so many people develop diabetes.  Genetics has a lot to do with it, but lack of activity will most certainly cause weight gain, increasing risk factors.  Prediabetes is on the rise, in where raised blood sugar levels are not at it’s peak yet to cause symptoms.  Excess visceral fat stores in the body and lack of activity cause cells to stop responding to insulin for absorption of sugar in the blood.  Prediabetes is seldom tested for, but it’s the most optimal time to prevent it from developing into diabetes.

2. Losing A Few Pounds

Extra weight is the main reason people have an elevated risk for type 2 diabetes today.  Weight gain could gather extra fat around organs located in your midsection which is elevated under stressful conditions due to the stress hormone, cortisol.  New studies indicate that this buildup of fat around the abdomen produces a chemical signal to your cells that instruct them to ignore insulin, reducing blood sugar absorption.  Studies have shown that losing just 7% of your body weight lowered risk of diabetes by 58% making it a more viable option than insulin-sensitizing drugs for diabetics.  Quick cardio exercises 3-5 times a week or daily 30 minute walks can be more efficient at losing weight than dieting.

3. Cut Out Sugary Drinks

Get used to only drinking water, club soda, unsweetened tea, of fat-free milk and cut out all sodas, fruit punches, or sweetened ice teas and other such beverages.  One daily serving of soda increases the risk of increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels by a whopping 44%.  Experts have speculated over the possible reasons but may have something to do with the caloric density of sugary drinks as well as the high-fat foods we tend to pair the drinks with.  Findings also show that drinking a single serving of soda daily has been correlated with being overweight.  It might have something to do with the fact that the high caloric count in the beverages are not recognized in the brain, so you don’t end up lowering food intake as a result.

4. Limit Your Inactivity

Daily activity helps reduce chances of diabetes by moving blood sugar into muscle cells and increasing cell sensitivity to insulin.  Limiting inactivity such as watching TV to 10 hours a week can cut diabetes by up to 43%.  A night at the gym or other activities such as hiking, bowling, and dancing can be great forms of “fun” exercise.

5. Reducing Food Intake

Can fast food lead to diabetes? Studies have shown that two servings per week of red meat such as the kind found in hamburgers were 26% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome.  Add a helping of fried foods such as french fries to that equation and that risk rises by another 10-25%.  These foods tend to be high in saturated & trans fats which are detrimental to lowering risks for diabetes.

6. Reduce “Bad Fats”, Increase “Good Fats”

Saturated fats like those found in fast foods like hamburgers clog arteries and increase insulin resistance.  They also cause inflammation, which is harmful to cells, along with those that manage blood sugar.  The precisely opposite effect of lowering your risk can be found the the “good fats” found in foods such as fish, olive oil, nuts, & avocados.  The lowering of saturated fat intake to 7% of total daily calories greatly reduces risk of diabetes.

7. Eat Breakfast

Research indicates that those who skip breakfast are 35-50% more likely to be overweight and/or have insulin resistance than those who do.  Overnight fasting while you sleep puts your body into “starvation mode” and your body has to compensate to keep your blood sugar levels up.  Meanwhile not having breakfast reduces insulin sensitivity as well as increasing appetite throughout the day resulting in progressive weight gain.

8. Get Help With That Depression

When depressed, it is not as likely to find yourself eating well and exercising, although the hazards don’t end there.  Studies have shown that depression changes body chemistry in such a way that it is detrimental to people at risk for diabetes.  Some women in the study have been shown to have 23% higher insulin resistance over women who were not depressed.

9. Sleep More

Constant lack of sleep will eventually lead to weight gain and reduction of insulin sensitivity.  In one research with 1,709 men, it was found that an average of 5-6 hours of sleep doubled their risk of developing diabetes.  The same result was found for women as well.

10. Body Types

Regardless of body weight, waste measurements for women exceeding 35 inches or more and men with midsections of 40 inches or more tend to have fat stores deep in the abdomen, triple the risk of diabetes.  It is not as simple as merely watching total body weight but body composition as well.

Read More.


Simple Ways to Improve Sleep Quality

Simple Ways to Improve Sleep Quality

Simple Ways to Improve Sleep Quality

Getting a sufficient amount of quality sleep can be difficult for many, but a few changes can have a significant impact, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Much of the requirement for getting a good night’s rest revolves around controlling the environment in which a person is sleeping and developing routines that aid a person in transitioning from awake time to sleep time.

A big part of training the body to sleep better involves having a consistent sleep schedule. Ideally, a person will go to sleep and wake up within an hour of this set schedule each day while ensuring that there is time for at least seven hours of sleep or more. For those that find it hard to stick to a bedtime, focus on waking up at the desired time even if you stay up late to help reinforce that part of the cycle first and make yourself tired for the next night.

An often overlooked area for good sleep is what happens during the daytime, and one helpful change could be adding extra physical activities into the daily routine. Engaging in sports, exercise or even just a long walk helps a person fall asleep faster and deeper at night but shouldn’t be done too close to bedtime to avoid being overly energized. Daytime naps, while they can be beneficial, should be limited to 30 minutes and taken earlier in the day to avoid disrupting that set sleep schedule. Similarly, eating big meals or drinking a lot of alcohol right before bed can create disruptions in the sleep cycle.

Finally, the environment itself can be crucial for falling and staying asleep, and this means making the room cool, dark, and quiet. After setting the thermostat to lower itself a couple of degrees shortly before bed, focus on eliminating sources of light and noise in the bedroom. This can include turning off the TV or computer screen, hanging up light-blocking shades, and using earplugs and face masks.

Potential Allergy Complications Indoors

Potential Allergy Complications Indoors

Potential Allergy Complications Indoors

Nasal allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States and indoor allergens can aggravate them according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander can all be irritating to sensitive individuals, and while air cleaning devices with HEPA filters are helpful, the best way to prevent allergy problems is to eliminate the source of allergens inside the home.

Many who suffer from severe reactions to pollen, for instance, retreat indoors during the worst parts of allergy season. Although this prevents most direct contact with outside sources, there are still ways that they can invade the home. Keeping windows and doors closed, even on days with beautiful weather, will help prevent new spores and plant matter from entering the house. Pets with long hair can not only contribute to pet dander but also tend to pick up pollen during the high-volume times of the season so a spring haircut and frequent baths help to mitigate these issues.

Dust mites, which eight out of 10 people are exposed to, can become a problem if left unchecked. Avoid heavy draperies and overstuffed furniture. Use plastic covers on items such as mattresses and pillows. Bedding, pillows or stuffed toys should be washed frequently in water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit to kill the mites.

Vacuum frequently. Consider using a mask to reduce inhalation of dust.

Mold is best kept in check by controlling the humidity in the home. Air conditioners will help with decreasing humidity, but it might be necessary to employ a humidity monitor and dehumidifiers in areas prone to mold accumulation like kitchens and bathrooms. Fix leaks and clean visible mold immediately to prevent it from becoming a problem.

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How to Keep Injection Sites Healthy - Lipohypertrophy is a thickened, rubbery swelling under the skin that happens to people where they inject insulin. Check out this helpful article on how to safety inject insulin #diabetes #T1 #T2…