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Jun 23, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- SUMMER TIPS FOR DIABETICS

Doctors advise patients with diabetes to be especially careful of their feet during the summer months. Because diabetics have diminished sensation and therefore do not always feel pain, they are prone to harbor untreated foot injuries that could lead to more serious complications -- even amputation, cautions Dr. Riccardo Perfetti, director of the Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Exercise and activity is one of the best ways to lower both sugar and cholesterol levels -- so we encourage diabetics to enjoy summer sports and other physical activities," he said. "It is important for patients with diabetes to be especially careful with these activities because they have significantly higher risk factors for injury and complications." Perfetti offers five foot-safety tips for the summer: Maintain proper glucose levels, lower than 126 mg/dl, on a consistent basis through proper exercise and diet; wear shoes, even indoors to avoid a stubbed toe or other injuries; wear the right shoes and socks to avoid blistering, developing painful calluses and for protecting the feet; inspect your feet daily using a magnifying mirror to see underneath the foot; see a podiatrist regularly to inspect for fungal infections and calluses.


A public interest group is warning of unsafe mercury levels in some albacore tuna. The group, called Mercury Policy Project, says one of every 20 cans of "white," or

albacore, tuna should be recalled as unsafe for human consumption. The group found on average, the levels of mercury in the white tuna were higher than industry and government tests had shown, said project director Michael Bender. "Our tests confirm what (the Food and Drug Administration) has known for over a decade; white tuna has higher mercury levels," Bender said. He said the organic form of mercury found in fish poses an especial health risk to the developing fetus, infants and young children.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment for testosterone replacement therapy in men. The treatment Striant (testosterone buccal system) mucoadhesive (CIII) is intended for conditions associated with a deficiency or absence of the male hormone testosterone, including hypogonadism. Symptoms of low testosterone levels in men may include a diminished interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle mass, osteoporosis and fatigue. Some 5 million men in the United States suffer from low testosterone. Doctors say Striant offers a safe, effective and convenient alternative to such currently available therapy as patches and gels. Striant is an aspirin-size tablet that adheres to the gum surface above the upper teeth. Testosterone is absorbed into the bloodstream through the gum and delivered directly into the vena cava, the largest blood vessels in the body. The treatment is made by Columbia Laboratories, Inc.


Researchers say the 8 million American women with stress urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine during sudden movements, have numerous options. These include Kegel exercises or a minimally-invasive "sling" procedure that restores the body's ability to control urine loss. Another option, scientists said, is the GYNECARE TVT Tension-free Support for Incontinence, a 30-minute procedure shown to stop urine leaks. The researchers point out summer time is especially difficult for women with incontinence because of revealing, light-colored fashions. They encourage women to put away any feelings of embarrassment and talk to their doctors about their problem and the best solution to it.

(Editors: For more information about TIPS, contact Kelli Stauning at 310-423-3674 or For TUNA, Michael Bender at 802-223-9000. For TESTOSTERONE, Megan Stalgaitis at 800-477-9626 or For STRESS, Jackie Russo at 908-218-2764)

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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