Blog Entries With Tag: Health Canada

Posted: Dec 13, 2013

Right now it seems that it is just the separate CGMS remote that you find in this link as the Animas insulin pump called the Vibe that you see below - has yet to be approved for use here.  

The good thing?  Once the Vibe is approved (Canada only has the Ping at the moment for sale) - you will be able to use the transmitters without the separate remote (or at least that is what I've read at various places online).

Animas Vibe with Dexcom G4


The main thing is - we finally have APPROVAL (an online petition by Nathalia Stanichevsky may have helped push it faster).  For those of us who can afford it (either thru' work insurance coverage) or ability to afford out of pocket.  We are one more step ahead of the game plan.

I had seen it a few years ago at a diabetic conference - and was quite impressed (the excuses given by the rep as to why it was so slow to come to our country made my eyes role as normal - we're a smaller population than USA, the French/English bit, the list goes on).  I even met up with an American that was using it - and she showed how well it worked for her when she was visiting Montreal this summer.  I liked the screen - ease of looking at it - just like the Animas pumps are - compared to the Medtronic that I'd tested out earlier in my pumping years (I'm a late bloomer - starting in 2008 after 40+ years of multiple dosage injections).

The good thing is - now we have two systems  available to us in Canada (the other is Medtronic).  For those of us who are hypo unaware (your blood sugar suddenly drops) or just want to have a better visual of what your blood sugars (BG) are doing - more power to you!

Curently, you have to contact Animas Canada for more info - go to this link to request more info ....

Psst, if you find out more info than I'm gathering up at this moment - please let me/us know - either via this post - or privately!

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Tags: transmitter (1) Vibe (1) Medtronic (1) approval (1) Health Canada (1) blood sugar (1) BG (1) CGMS (1) Ping (1) Animas Canada (1) Dexcom G4 (1)
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Posted: Mar 15, 2013
Salt or sodium if we're going to be technical is in EVERYTHING we eat - we can't avoid it completely - plus our body does need salt.  According to the ... The National Academy of Sciences - they recommend " that Americans consume a minimum of 500 mg/day of sodium to maintain good health.  Individual needs, however, vary enormously based a person's genetic make-up and their lifestyle ".

I was watching a recent episode of Marketplace a consumer program on CBC here in Canada - called The Great Salt Shakedown.  was mortified to find out that here in Canada - when you look at a food label for the sodium content of your food - that the daily requirements are based on a higher number than what the health authorities have been pushing for.  The percentages are based on 2,400 mg per day!

In a nutshell, healthy adults should NOT be consuming more then 1,500 mg of sodium a day.  When it comes to healthy children, their number is 1,000 - 1,500 mg of sodium a day.   Take for example, in my age group, I should only be consuming no more then 1,300 mg of salt per day - when I started to look at the sodium content on my low carb fav of cheese - which I've always known to be high - I just about flipped out! For more info on what you should be aiming for - along with other tips - here's a link to get you started.

In the episode, various participants were asked to collect their urine for the day, and from that, tests performed to see how much sodium was consumed.   It was pretty scary seeing some of the results, healthy/active folks both young and old, who thought they did not consume much salt.  One person, an avid swimmer that looked about my age, had almost 6,000 mg of sodium (and they were vegan)!!!  Let's just say, they were shocked at the results.

After that show, what did we do in my household?  Went looking in our pantry and started to evaluate our sodium content in our processed foods.  Scary, scary, scary - e.g. my fav Bush beans that I keep on the boat for fast meals with canned pork - combined I'm consuming over a third of my sodium level - or more depending on how much I slop on my plate after a day of sailing.   Guess what I'm looking at doing now .... canning my own meats for future sailing trips due to home recipes using way less salt than the mass produced stuff - you can check out one website that tells you how to do it (if you know of another way to do this - let me know).  

For myself as a diabetic, as I am sure many of you do as well, I tend to look mainly at the carb count on the food label, along with the fat and calories.  The sodium content is something I don't really look carefully at - but now after this show, I am.  We all know as diabetics how much stress our internal organs go thru' with the daily grind of our blood sugars, but add that extra sodium and of course it can contribute to high blood pressure - putting a strain on our kidneys / heart. 

How am I going to start reducing my intake of sodium you ask?  Well, I thought I already was with cooking from scratch - but after looking at two cans of tomatoes in my pantry - for 1/2 cup (125 mL) - and one serving from Italy (9 mg) and another from Canada (290 mg) - you can tell which one I'll be sourcing out in future!  Also, as one of the links from Health Canada below,  it points out when/if possible going for fresh rather then processed.  Of course for me it depends on what I can afford and the season (e.g. I can get great deals on tomatoes in September - but it's March right now).

So after having my breakfast, of simple toast (not my own bread like usual - which DOES contain more salt then mine), margarine, pineapple jam and 2% cottage cheese  - it all totalled up to almost half  of my sodium content for the day.  I'm realising this is going to be an interesting experiment to accomplish because many of the foods I love to eat that are processed in one form or another.  I won't even try to figure out what a processed cheese slice contains - I'm too scared to know - even though my fingers are dying to search online to find out what they contain - but don't want my bubble burst for my love of plastic cheese from time to time.

So, do you know how much sodium you consume in the day?  If you don't - check out this helpful guideline at Health Canada - I know I am going to try my best (even though I thought I was doing well).  Also, for more info on the chart showing the % of Daily Value (DV) - please go to this link.

Let the dance begin - at least I know pepper isn't bad for me (and I use a lot in my cooking - freshly ground)!

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Tags: natural (2) potassium (1) salt (1) Health Canada (1) sodium (1) blood pressure (1) Marketplace (1) CBC Canada (1) kidney (1) heart (1) iodine (1)
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Posted: Feb 23, 2012

If you've never heard of bisphenol A (BPA) before - then you must have been hiding your head in the sand.  No worries though, I'm here to tell you the latest and greatest about this "evil" product that here in Canada since October 2010 had been added to Health Canada's Toxic Substance List.    The controversy over this chemical that's found in hard plastic containers and toys is also found in the lining of the resins that coat the interior of food cans to prevent corrosion.  It's been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen and does not occur naturally in the environment.  Also, animal studies theorize the chemical may be linked to obesity, infertility and insulin-resistance in rodents. 

I came across an article in the March 2012 Chatelaine about a study done by the Harvard School of Public Health that indicates BPA link to diabetes and obesity.  Two groups were split into one that ate a serving of canned vegetable soup every day for 5 days while the other group had a fresh version.  The results were that those who ate the canned stuff had a 1,000% increase in their BPA levels over the other group.  Now, who eats canned soup EVERYDAY?  Scary stuff nevertheless!

The weird thing though is that when Canada added BPA to their Toxic Substance List - that many countries (USA included) thought we were being abit far fetched in making this statement.  

All I know is, as a diabetic who likes to eat healthy in order to maintain my quality of life - I try my best to eat foods prepared by myself (not mass produced where you have no idea what gets slopped into the pot).    After reading this latest bit of news about this test group - I think I maybe going to the local farmers market in the Fall time to get a bushel of tomatoes to make my own tomatoes!

The only other thing that I buy that is in a tin can is maple syrup (me produce some good stuff here in Quebec).  I think I maybe opening up the cans in future and pouring into one of my many canning jars I keep for storing leftovers in them (I don't use plastic if I can avoid it - glass is easier to clean/sterilize, etc.).

So, does reading this make you squirm abit and reconsider what you eat?  Are you thinking like I am that more manufacturers of tinned items should sell their food in a glass jar?  Hmm, decision, decisions.

Cat in bottle

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Posted: Aug 29, 2009

Not sure if any of you have checked out the forum area of lately - but I posted a discussion about Stephen Krueger - a Canadian - who died 3 years ago after his Medtronic pump (MMT-511) overdosed him with insulin.  When I first came across the story - I was shocked at what had happened - thinking - what if this happened to me - or one of my many friends that wears a pump?  The other thing that went off in my mind was the fact that the story was only coming to light 3 years later after the fact!

The D and his Guy had posted the same story that I had - but with more discussion going on there - and in my quest to figure out how it happened - had put out a few questions to one person that seemed to know more about this terrible tragedy - and it came to light that they were friends of Steven's and his parents. They shared some information that has left me even more stunned - to the point that I didn't sleep very well - as it has disturbed me to no end.

After Health Canada had completed their investigations that the pump was indeed at fault - they proceeded to hand over the pump to Medtronic - so they could also investigate why their pump had performed this act that lead to the death of Steven.  They did not feel that is was important  and send the pump back without any further testing!

One thing I have come across in searching Health Canada  is that in August 2007 - a recall notice was put out on Medtronic insulin pumps - due to strong magnetic field exposure - and I quote -  "If the pump is exposed to strong magnetic fields, it may exhibit over-delivery potentially resulting in severe hypoglcemia. Users muse avoid exposing the pump to stong magnetic fields such as MRI as stated in the labelling." Could Steven's pump been exposed?  I am not sure what he did for a living - but perhaps he was in the medical field.

WTF - if a plane or car had caused something similar - a death - or accident that could not be explained - the manufacturer would no doubt want to do further investigations of what caused it.  Am I being silly in thinking this way? I feel like I'm losing my marbles trying to grasp at why Medtronic isn't going further into the investigation.

The other thing that is going thru' my sponge brain - Steven's pump was 4 years old - according to what I have read.  Meaning it was perhaps nearing the end of it's warranty (I know with my Animas 2020 I have a warranty of 4 years).  I know of some diabetics - who have had their pumps for much longer - and no problems as of yet with how it works - but there is always a chance something might go wrong.  I am thinking perhaps pump manufacturers might want to have their product go thru' a diagnostic check up from time to time perhaps.  Now, yes, it might cost the consumer - but at the price of a pump - it's a small amount compared to what they would pay for a new pump or perhaps have what happened to Steven occur.

Anyway, I am to the point of trying to get a petition together within some of the diabetic communities I am in - to send to Medtronic to ask them why they proceeded this way in not doing further investigations.  At this point in time - I am so glad I did not purchase a Medtronic pump.  One of the reason I didn't at the time (I had test run the MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time System for 4 months prior to trying out the Animas 2020) was due to the the Customer Service which I did not find as good as Animas.

I want to be the Ralph Nader of Diabetics!!!

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