May/June 2013                                                                                                             View previous issues


What to keep in mind about diabetes and physical activity

Adapted from a forthcoming publication by the U-M Adult Outpatient Diabetes Education Program.

Now that winter appears to be over (!) and spring is in bloom, many of you will be motivated to start or expand your physical activity. Here are some tips and advice for those who have diabetes:

How does physical activity help someone with diabetes?

  • Lowers blood sugars for 24-48 hours
  • Lowers insulin needs
  • Less stress-related changes in blood sugars
  • Lowers risk of heart disease
  • Improved mood, increased energy level, better quality sleep, and so much more!

Where can you begin? Aerobic activity!

  • Start slow: If you haven't been active at all, then 2-3 minutes/day might be a good start. Work up to 5 minutes. Wait and see how you feel the next day before increasing.
  • A good goal is at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on five (or more) days per week.
  • Walking, swimming, and biking are all good choices.
  • Running is not necessary, but okay for more trained athletes.
  • Chose activities you enjoy.
  • Find a walking partner or join a group.
  • If you are too busy for 30 minutes all at once, try 10-15 minutes two or three times per day.

What about weight lifting or yoga?

Strength training and yoga/stretching are non-aerobic activities that are also important for better balance, more flexibility, and less stress.

Exercise safely:

  • Caution: Check with your doctor before starting any new physical activity.
  • Carry something with you in case your blood sugar drops, such as glucose tablets or a juice box.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Check your feet before and after exercise.
  • If taking a sulfonyurea medication or insulin: Have a medical ID with you!
  • Monitor your blood sugar to learn how your activities affect it.
  • If you take insulin, keep a log of your blood sugars to find out your pattern and share with your diabetes educator or doctor.
  • Do 2-3 trials with a new activity and write down the results. (How do these activities affect your blood sugar?)


TrialNet opens online type 1 diabetes screening for family members

This helps easily identify those at risk, to provide important early diagnosis and treatment

Anyone who has type 1 diabetes, or has a relative with type 1 diabetes, wants two things: They want a cure and they want to see this disease prevented. Did you know that there is a research study devoted to the second aim, slowing and preventing type 1 diabetes? And now, the free screening for this study is conveniently available online!

The research study is called the "Pathway to Prevention" project, part of the "Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet" study — or TrialNet for short. TrialNet is a long-term international study funded by the a National Institutes of Health, with a network of 18 clinical centers working in cooperation with more than 200 sites throughout the world. The University of Michigan is one of the clinical centers in the U.S. participating in TrialNet.

Researchers suspect that there is a genetic predisposition to certain forms of diabetes. If you have a relative with type 1 diabetes (formerly called "juvenile diabetes"), you are 10 to 15 times more likely to develop the disease than the general population. If you or other eligible family members participate in TrialNet's Pathway to Prevention Study, then you are more likely to be diagnosed early if you have or acquire type 1 diabetes. By getting diagnosed early, you could enter a prevention trial, get early care to help avoid complications and hospitalization, and help researchers to closely monitor how type 1 diabetes progresses.

Early diagnosis of type 1 diabetes means patients are less likely to develop diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition. Early diagnosis also means patients can often control their diabetes more quickly, which may slow the loss of insulin-producing cells and may delay complications.

trialnet logoLaunched in 2001, TrialNet has demonstrated that two drugs, Rituximab and Abatacept, slow the loss of insulin production in people with new-onset type 1 diabetes. This finding could improve diabetes control and delay complications. TrialNet has also contributed to research showing that anti-CD3, an immunosuppressive drug, can slow loss of insulin production. Three prevention studies are ongoing.

So getting screened is important — and now TrialNet has made screening very convenient. Previously, in order to be screened, relatives of type 1 patients needed to visit a TrialNet study site in person, or attend a screening event. But now, the free screening tools are now available online! After answering a few questions online at, people who are determined to be eligible volunteers can then receive a blood test kit in the mail, which would then be taken to a local lab for screening, at no cost to the volunteer.

People whose blood test shows that they have antibodies associated with the development of type 1 diabetes will be contacted by a TrialNet center to review the results. They may be invited to have more blood tests at U-M or another study center, and may be invited to join a study aimed at preventing or delaying the disease.

massimo pietropaolo mdThis alternative to in-person initial screening comes as modern technology enables more secure online registration for medical research. The online screening makes it easier for family members to take part in TrialNet studies at U-M or other sites — no matter where they live.

"For people with type 1 diabetes, the importance of early diagnosis cannot be overstated," said Massimo Pietropaolo, M.D., professor of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, and Microbiology & Immunology; director of the Laboratory of Immunogenetics; and U-M Brehm Investigator in the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research, who is the principal investigator of U-M’s participation in TrialNet. "We hope that individuals who have seen the impact of type 1 diabetes on their relatives will join with us on this effort."

To see if you're eligible for the online screening, and to get more information, go to:


U-M Health System patients: We want your opinion about our diabetes care!

The University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) has been working to assess future directions in diabetes care and research and how we in Michigan can make an impact. We want to prepare to provide people with the best care and to gain the best knowledge to prevent, treat, and cure diabetes.

If you are a patient (or family member of a patient) that receives diabetes care or education at the University of Michigan, we would like to invite you to take our short online survey to provide input and perspectives about the diabetes care currently at the University of Michigan Health System, and what we should consider incorporating in the future.


The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete, and your responses will be kept anonymous. We'd like to get the survey results by WEDNESDAY, MAY 22.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to participate!


Another chance to golf for diabetes research on June 7!

Last newsletter, we told you about the 5th Annual "Swing to Cure Diabetes" Golf Outing at the U-M Golf Course on May 20 to benefit diabetes research, in which former U-M Wolverine football players and coaches — and current coach, Brady Hoke — will participate. (To sign up, go to: Now we are pleased to invite you to another golf opportunity, which also benefits diabetes research at the University of Michigan:

Western Golf and Country Club The 30th Annual Gene Rhodes-Visteon
Cure for Diabetes Golf Classic

Friday, June 7, 2013
11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Western Golf & Country Club
Redford, Michigan 48239

Entry Fee: $400 per team ($100 per person)

$20.00 of every individuals' entry fee is donated in their name directly to the U of M Diabetes Research Center and is tax deductible. (Mailing addresses are required for tax deductions.) This event has raised over $123K for diabetes research in the last 12 years alone!

Includes meals and prizes!

Contact Hank Holst, (248) 345-5372 or

Eugene (Gene) Rhodes was a patient with type 2 diabetes who was cared for at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center. His colleagues at Visteon started this golf tournament in his honor, to raise valuable research funds for this cause that was so close to his heart. Now that Gene has passed on, his generous and caring colleagues have continued to organize the event.

DRESS CODE: Please note, there are dress policies at this country club. No jeans, cargo shorts or short shorts and no t-shirts (shirts must have collars). For more details, please see the golf club's website.

Further details on the event will be provided to confirmed and registered golfers.

For more details:


Visit our table at the 6th Annual JDRF "Diabetes Today and Tomorrow" Conference & Exhibits

cathy martin rnNOTE: The Conference has moved to a new location!

Saturday, May 18, 2013
8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

New location:
Wayne County Community College District—Western Campus
9555 Haggerty Road
Belleville, MI 48111
(just north of the Haggerty Road/Interstate 94 intersection, west of 275)

More information and FREE registration: JDRF website

Come visit our table! Special, FREE gifts to the first 100 kids! At this information-packed event, more than 1,000 people with insulin-dependent (T1) and insulin-requiring (T2) diabetes, their family members and medical care professionals will gather to hear the latest in leading-edge research, treatment advances, and care strategies from a collection of internationally recognized experts.

The new location gives JDRF more space, so they could enlarge the session selections and expand the agenda to include a teen program for ages 13-19.

This year's keynote speakers will present on the Artificial Pancreas Project — its history, its current status, and what the project holds for the future of diabetes management. The keynote presentation will be followed by concurrent workshop sessions to address important topics for youths, teens, young adults, and adults with insulin-dependent diabetes. There also will be a JDRF Kids' Camp for T1D children ages 5-12 and the new Teen Central for teens ages 13-19.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Cathy Martin is awarded the ADA's Diabetes Champion Award

Catherine L. Martin, MS, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, a clinical study coordinator at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center, was recently with honored with a special annual award from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Michigan chapter.

The ADA's Diabetes Champion Award is given to someone whose outstanding contributions to diabetes education, advocacy, and research have had a lasting impact on improving understanding, management, and quality of life for those with diabetes.

"Catherine Martin had the strongest nomination out of those we received," said Mary Riegle, special events coordinator for the Michigan ADA. Her colleagues from the U-M Comprehensive Diabetes Center and the U-M Program for Neurology Research & Discovery, all senior scientists and eminent physicians, initiated the nomination.

For 30 years, Martin has been devoted to the care of people with diabetes at the University of Michigan. Since 1987, she has been involved in a variety of clinical trials to advance the understanding of diabetes and to improve its treatment, thereby improving the lives of people affected by diabetes. Her career has included work on the landmark "Diabetes Control and Complications Trial" (DCCT), which demonstrated the benefits of aggressively controlling blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes, as well as on the follow-up to that study, called "Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications Study" (EDIC).

cathy martin wins ada awardMartin accepted the award at the chapter's 21st Annual Commitment for a Cure Gala on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit. "I am truly flattered and deeply appreciative," she said prior to the event. "But the study participants who have given nearly 30 years to the DCCT and EDIC studies, and others who willingly participate in clinical trials, are the true diabetes champions."

A Michigan native, Martin received both her bachelor of science and master of science degrees in nursing from the University. As well as being a registered nurse (RN), she became a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) in 1989 and in 2003 was Board-Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM).

Above, Martin (in blue dress) was presented with the award, a striking red glass statue, by (L to R) Brandon Roux, event master of ceremonies, type 1 diabetes patient, and meteorologist on WDIV Local 4 TV-Detroit; Nick Vitale, member of the ADA Southeast Michigan Community Leadership Board and Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Beaumont Health System; and Debbie O"Leary, Senior Executive Director-Michigan, American Diabetes Association.


Upcoming diabetes-related events

Saturday, May 18, 2013
8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
6th Annual JDRF Diabetes Today and Tomorrow Conference and Exhibits -
"Diabetes in the Age of Technology"

New location:
Wayne County Community College District – Western Campus
9555 Haggerty Road, Belleville, MI 48111
(just north of Interstate 94, west of 275)
Pre-register free online at:
Hear the latest in leading-edge research, treatment advances and care strategies from a collection of internationally recognized experts. The conference begins with keynote presentations on the Artificial Pancreas Project, followed by concurrent "workshop" sessions to address important topics for youths, teens, young adults and adults with insulin-dependent diabetes. There also will be a JDRF Kid’s Camp for T1D children ages 5–12 and the new Teen Central for teens ages 13–19.


Monday, May 20, 2013
11:00 a.m. shot-gun start, dinner banquet 5:00 p.m.
5th Annual "Swing to Cure Diabetes" Golf Outing
to benefit the U-M Comprehensive Diabetes Center and the JDRF
Meet U-M football celebrities and enjoy meals, gifts, and prizes!
University of Michigan Golf Course
500 Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(map and directions)
Registration info at:
The public is invited to join us for this special event to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center. Meet U-M football celebrities like Coach Brady Hoke! Participate in a silent auction and enjoy meals, gifts, and prizes!


Friday, June 7, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. shot-gun start)
30th Annual Gene Rhodes-Visteon Cure for Diabetes Golf Classic
Western Golf & Country Club
14600 Kinloch, Redford, Michigan 48239
map and location
Proceeds from this charitable event benefit the University of Michigan Diabetes Research Center. Meals, prizes for various shots, and lots of fun! Eugene (Gene) Rhodes was a patient with type 2 diabetes who was cared for at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center. His colleagues at Visteon started this golf tournament in his honor, to raise valuable research funds for this cause. Please note dress code for this country club.


Saturday, June 15, 2013
American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure Bicycle Fundraiser
Brighton High School, Brighton, MI
More information and to register:
Tour de Cure is a non-competitive cycling event held in downtown Brighton to raise funds for diabetes research, education, and advocacy in support of the ADA. The 4-mile, 10-mile, 25-mile, 62-mile, 100-mile and Mountain Bike Trail routes encompass all skill levels and abilities. Finish line activities include a catered lunch, complimentary massages, live music, and vendor displays.


Saturday, November 16, 2013
9:00 a.m.–noon
NO U-M home football game that day!
7th Annual U-M Diabetes Health Fair
Sponsored by U-M MedEquip
Sheraton Ann Arbor Hotel
3200 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Please pre-register FREE at:
Free health screenings, lectures, and door prizes, as well as exhibits by UM Health System diabetes experts, medical supply companies, and pharmaceutical companies with the latest in care and prevention for all forms of diabetes.

Adult Diabetes Education  ~  Pediatric (Child) Diabetes Education
Adult Diabetes Support Groups

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