(ARA) - It is estimated that nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes, including an estimated 5.7 million who remain undiagnosed. The diagnosis of diabetes - a condition in which the body does not adequately produce and/or properly use insulin, the hormone needed to transport glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells of the body for energy - might sound overwhelming. However, managing your diabetes may be made easier with a support system of family and friends. Controlling blood sugar is a 24-hour-a-day job, and a strong support system is important.
Actor Paul Sorvino discovered his support system in his daughter, Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino, when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2006.
"After witnessing an episode of extremely high blood sugar and feeling like I didn't know what to do, I quickly realized I needed to learn as much as possible about diabetes and what I could do to support him," says Mira.
This experience led Paul and Mira to partner with sanofi-aventis U.S. in launching "Diabetes Co-Stars," a new awareness program designed not only to encourage people living with diabetes to inform themselves about diabetes treatments and lifestyle choices, but also to provide helpful information to their family and supporters.
One of Mira's biggest roles in supporting her father includes encouraging a healthy diet. "Living with diabetes, I know how important it is to have a support system in place," says Paul. "As part of our Italian family heritage, we love cooking meals together and Mira joins me in preparing low-carbohydrate pasta and salads full of diabetes-friendly ingredients, such as fresh vegetables and lean meats." Instead of dessert, the family has also recently begun to take walks on the beach after meals, providing light exercise for Paul while simultaneously creating family memories.
As part of his overall diabetes treatment plan that includes exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet and taking oral diabetes medications, Paul also asked his doctor about Lantus(R) SoloSTAR(R) (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection) which he now takes once a day.
Visit www.DiabetesCoStars.com to watch Paul and Mira share their experiences living with his diabetes. The site provides guidance to those who support people living with diabetes as well. Family and friends can find advice on lifestyle choices, healthy cooking, physical activity and available treatment options including insulin. On the site, you can also find links to the sanofi-aventis U.S. Diabetes Division social media pages -- become a fan of the sanofi-aventis U.S. diabetes page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/sanofiaventisUSdiabetes) and follow on Twitter (twitter.com/Diabetes_sanofi) for updates in diabetes research and care.
Important Safety Information for Lantus
Do not take Lantus if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus.
You must test your blood sugar levels while using insulin, such as Lantus. Do not make any changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your healthcare provider. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.
Do not dilute or mix Lantus with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Lantus must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible. Do not share needles, insulin pens or syringes with others.
The most common side effect of insulin, including Lantus, is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may be serious. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision. Severe hypoglycemia may be serious and life threatening. It may cause harm to your heart or brain. Other possible side effects may include injection site reactions, including changes in fat tissue at the injection site, and allergic reactions, including itching and rash. In rare cases, some allergic reactions may be life threatening.
Tell your doctor about other medicines and supplements you are taking because they can change the way insulin works. Before starting Lantus, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including if you have liver or kidney problems, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.
Indications and Usage
Prescription Lantus is a long-acting insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. It should be taken once a day at the same time each day to lower blood glucose.
Do not use Lantus to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.
Lantus SoloSTAR is a disposable prefilled insulin pen. Please talk to your health care provider about proper injection technique and follow instructions in the Instruction Leaflet that accompanies the pen.
For full prescribing information for Lantus(R), please visit http://products.sanofi-aventis.us/lantus/lantus.html or call (800) 633-1610.