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Tips for drivers with diabetes




What should you do before driving?

If you have diabetes and are being treated with insulin or certain medications (glyburide, gliclazide, glimepiride or repaglinide), the answer is ‘always test your blood sugar.’

If think you may have low blood sugar and you’re driving, pull over to safety and bring your blood sugar back to normal levels.
If think you may have low blood sugar and you’re driving, pull over to safety and bring your blood sugar back to normal levels.  (Carlos Osorio / Toronto Star)

Driving with low blood sugar (also known as hypoglycemia) can have dangerous and sometimes even fatal consequences.

Hypoglycemia can lead to a variety of warning symptoms. Early signs include sweating, shakiness, hunger, dizziness, and heart palpitations. If your blood sugar is extremely low you can develop confusion, inability to concentrate or even loss of consciousness. Severely low blood sugar impairs your ability to think and safely operate a motor vehicle — putting you at an increased risk of getting into a collision.

If you’re in a collision when you’ve been behind the wheel with low blood sugar, you may be charged with a criminal offence such as dangerous operation of a motor vehicle or criminal negligence causing death. And if the courts decide you haven’t taken adequate precautions to prevent hypoglycemia, you can be convicted and even sentenced to prison. Few people know of these potentially grave consequences.

When your blood sugar is low (less than 4 mmol/l), you need to eat or drink quick-acting carbohydrates like juice, regular (not diet) pop, dextrose tablets or Lifesavers candies then wait at least 40 minutes and recheck your blood sugar to see if your blood sugar has returned to a safe level (above 5 mmol/l) before you drive.

If you’re ever driving and think you might have low blood sugar, immediately pull over to a safe place at the side of the road. Never, ever continue driving if you have even the remotest inkling you’re blood sugar is low.

Always keep your blood glucose meter and quick-acting carbohydrates with you when you’re driving. Also, if you’re going to be driving for more than four hours, periodically find a place to safely pull over and check your blood sugar.

Unfortunately, many people have never been specifically told these things — or were told and forgot. Or, sometimes, they’ve chosen to ignore it.

It’s crucial people with diabetes who may experience hypoglycemia be aware of the key driving information in the Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines. This document provides essential recommendations to keep people living with diabetes safe while driving.

If you’re prone to severe hypoglycemia — when another person is needed to help you treat it — your doctor, depending on where you live in Canada, may be obligated to notify the local licensing authority, which may suspend your license until you’re considered safe to drive.

Education is the first step in preventing hypoglycemia-related collisions. Physicians, diabetes nurse educators, dietitians and other diabetes health care providers need to inform drivers living with diabetes how to responsibly manage their diabetes to avoid hypoglycemia when they’re behind the wheel.

Patients who drive have a duty to follow this advice.

The risk of having a collision when you have low blood sugar is especially high if you don’t know when you’re low.

Many people who’ve had diabetes for many years, or who’ve had frequent episodes of hypoglycemia, develop hypoglycemia unawareness, in which the early symptoms of low blood sugar aren’t felt. This is dangerous because your first indication of low blood sugar may be when your ability to think clearly — and drive safely — is impaired.

Hypoglycemia unawareness isn’t necessarily constant. There may be times when you readily recognize symptoms when your blood sugar is “low” but other times when the first clue you’re low is when others notice you to be confused or disoriented.

If you’re known to experience hypoglycemia unawareness we strongly recommend you use a real-time continuous glucose monitor system. This is a device that automatically and continuously measures your glucose level and displays the results on your cellphone, watch, or other display. It also has alarms to prompt you to deal with impending low blood sugar before it gets out of control.

But it’s not only health care providers and people living with diabetes who need to be better informed about issues surrounding diabetes and driving. Recently, we were part of a team that published an article in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes that advocated for action not only by medical professionals and people living with diabetes, but also by legal professionals and legislators. We believe many members of the legal community don’t sufficiently understand diabetes and, in particular, don’t fully grasp that people experiencing an episode of hypoglycemia unawareness don’t know it’s happening and therefore don’t know that they need to immediately treat it.

Should a person who’s taken appropriate preventive measures and still has an episode of hypoglycemia unawareness be considered truly responsible for their actions when they have an episode of low blood sugar? We think not, and recommend the legal community contemplate this and how they deal with such circumstances.

Dr. Gary Lewis is a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Physiology and the Director of the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine. He is also the Drucker Family Chair in Diabetes Research and Sun Life Financial Chair in Diabetes. Dr. Ian Blumer is a lecturer in the Department of Medicine’s Division of General Internal Medicine and a member of the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre. He is also a member of the board of directors and medical adviser to the Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre. Doctors’ Notes is a weekly column by members of the U of T Faculty of Medicine.


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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high




(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine




(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states




In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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