Sometimes I am a really crappy blogger.
It’s true. That’s why I’m lucky to have people around me who will call me out on it. So what’s been going on with me the past 3 weeks?
I’ve been focusing on my health and sanity. I’ve got some personal stuff going on right now that I’ve been in counseling about. Anxiety/panic attacks and food issues are some of those things. I’ve been going every week for about a month now, and I feel like it’s genuinely helping me. It’s interesting to explore how my attitude towards food is so deeply rooted in the way I was raised. I don’t feel embarrassed to say that I’m currently in therapy. I’m a firm believer that everyone probably needs therapy at some point in their life for one reason or another.
I’ve also taken a huge step in improving my physical health. In the past month, I’ve been in and out of doctor’s offices and labs like you wouldn’t believe. And for those who know me (and know of my severe phobia of these places), this is pretty major. I’ve avoided doctors my entire life for various reasons which I won’t go into now, but just know that this is a big deal for me.
I (finally) went to my primary doctor. It’d been over 5 years since I’d been seen. I got a full physical (including the annual lady visit), blood work, and other various things. Here’s the highlights:
- My cholesterol has gone down almost 100 points since I was 16. Yes, my cholesterol at 16 years of age was 320. For those who are unaware, this is RIDICULOUSLY high. My cholesterol is now 223. A little on the high end, yes, but not high enough to require me to take medication. Diet, exercise, and a fish oil supplement should help me out here.
- I’m a little low on the Vitamin D (like most people), but taking a multi-vitamin and/or Vitamin D supplement will change that.
- Every other test they performed (thyroid, diabetes, blood pressure, pap, etc.) came back 100% normal. Do you understand how big a relief that is to me? I know it’s irrational, but I had almost convinced myself that something was wrong with me because I hadn’t been examined in so long.
I am so happy that I went through this. In spite of my fear, it really is a a huge burden off of my shoulders to know that I am healthy. I even went to the optometrist and had my eyes examined and got fitted for contacts (which I am still trying to adjust to). Overall, I’m proud of myself. I have a clean bill of health from the dentist, optometrist, and doctor. I’m working on my mental/emotional issues to make myself a better and healthier person. And I’m slowly (but surely) getting back on the healthy eating wagon again after a far-too-long absence.
I promise to try and be a better blogger, guys. Thanks for hanging in there with me!
New combo drug sweetens the pill for diabetics
Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons/arbyreed
A new pill received the green light by the Food and Drug Administration Friday and will soon be on the market: Juvisync will be the first combination pill to simultaneously treat Type 2 Diabetes and high cholesterol.
The pill, created by pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co, combines the popular diabetes drug Januvia with Zocor, Merck’s cholesterol lowering drug.
Combining these drugs makes sense in the context that of the 25 million Americans who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes, many also have high cholesterol. Both of these conditions are related to obesity, and according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 72 million Americans are deemed obese.
Juvisync is projected to have a far reaching effect, and bring about two positive consequences for people suffering from both diabetes and high cholesterol: cost savings, and accessibility.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that patients over the age of 40, or who have heart disease also take a statin drug (used to lower cholesterol levels) to their medicine regimen. However, they estimate that up to 4 million Americans don’t. It is one more pill for them to take, and the out-of-pocket costs for patients pile up.
Juvisync will alleviate some of the financial burden for diabetics with high cholesterol, since the drug will cost the same as Januvia on its own, that is to say on average $125 a month (since there are six different dosage strengths to treat the several levels of severity of the disease.)
“This is the first product to combine a type 2 diabetes drug with a cholesterol lowering drug in one tablet […] Dose selection should factor in what other drugs the patient is taking.”
-Mary H. Parks, M.D., director of the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
Moreover, if this drug leads to a higher number of at-risk diabetic patients also taking statins, it will lower health costs in a broader context. In a Washington Post article, Dr. Susan Spratt, endocrinologist at Duke University Medical Center stated that :
“When you improve medication adherence, you actually lower health care costs because patients don’t end up in the ER or in the hospital.”
This approval is a huge win for Merck, whose shares rose by almost 3 percent on Friday, the article reports. Januvia, its popular diabetes drug has been doing well since it was approved in 2006, perhaps slightly cushioning the blow of Zocor’s patent expiration that same year. In addition to that, Merck’s currently top selling drug, Singulair, (used to treat asthma and allergies), has a patent that will expire in 2012, leaving the market open for generic competition. According to a report on the Generics Industry by Business Insights, Merck stands to lose up to approximately $4.7 billion in global sales, its figure for 2009. Merck’s eyes are now on Juvisync to bring in major sales.