New Medications to Help Lower Blood Sugar

May 28, 2014

You may have heard about some new medications to help treat Type 2 Diabetes – Invokana® and Farxiga®. These medications are the newest addition to treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and are unique in their action inside the body. These medications work by taking glucose (sugar) out of the blood and into the urine for excretion. Here are a few things to remember about Invokana and Farxiga:

  • For those patients who feel like they have tried just about everything without success, this is a NEW way of treating Type 2 Diabetes – there are no other medications on the marketBloodSugar like this.
  • Invokana and Farxiga have only been studied in combination with other medications like Metformin, Glyburide, Insulin, and Januvia. It is recommended that these medications be used as an add-on to current treatment therapy, which would include diet and exercise.
  • If you qualify, both Invokana and Farxiga offer a savings coupon that can SIGNIFICANTLY reduce your copay. These are available at and
  • Invokana offers a coupon that pays up to $325 of your copay per month providing a $0 copay (FREE) 30 day supply for the first FOUR months, and as low as a $5 copay permonth on the next eight fills.
  • Farxiga offers a coupon that pays up to $346 of your copay per month providing a $0 copay (FREE) 30 day supply for the first THREE months, and as low as a $10 copay per month on the next eight fills.

Consult with your doctor to determine if either of these medications would be a good option in your treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.

Lowering Your Risks

April 17, 2014

AmericanDiabetesAssociationThe American Diabetes Association has a new website feature that can be a great help in maintaining your health – My Health Advisor. You can discover your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke all in one place! In addition, this site will create a personal action plan to help you lower your risk. If you or a loved one are concerned about your risks associated with any of these diseases, My Heath Advisor is a great place to start.


March Is National Kidney Month

March 14, 2014

March is National Kidney Month! So let’s take the opportunity to examine some methods to help protect our kidneys. Many of you may know that diabetes can be hard on many of the organs, especially the kidneys. You

Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

may be surprised to know that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease and kidney transplant. So, how do we prevent this from happening, if we are living with diabetes? Here are some tips about how we can all keep our kidneys healthy:

  • Visit your healthcare provider on a regular basis. There are several tests that need to be performed on at least a yearly basis, sometimes more often, to keep your body healthy. Some of these tests look directly at kidney health and function.
  • Keep your blood sugar levels under control. This can be very difficult for those recently diagnosed and specific times of year when the food is just so TASTY – holidays, birthdays, vacations. However, keeping your blood sugar within your directed range can protect your kidneys from long-term damage.
  • Keep your blood pressure in your target range. High blood pressure can be hard on the kidneys, especially if your blood sugar is out of its designated range.
  • Cut back on salt intake. The recommended salt (sodium) intake is under 2300 milligrams or less than 1 teaspoon per day. This control can also help in losing weight and keeping blood pressure down.
  • Keep your cholesterol intake at a minimum. Your kidneys act as a filtration system for your blood – keeping the good and getting rid of the bad or unnecessary. However, a high cholesterol diet can be hard on the kidney “filters” and can even damage their function. This recommendation may also help losing weight, and who doesn’t want to drop a few unwanted pounds.

Taking just one of these steps can help to prevent long-term kidney problems associated with diabetes. If you’re ever confused about where to start, our dietitians at Harmons are a fantastic resource! Let’s celebrate our bodies during National Kidney Month by taking steps to prevent kidney disease!

American Diabetes Association Expo

February 24, 2014

It’s that time again. Harmons is sponsoring the American Diabetes Association Expo for the third year! Admission to the expo is FREE! Whether you are personally living with diabetes or know someone who is, you will find a wealth of information at this Expo.

  • Many FREE health screenings will be available, including blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, foot and eye screenings, and diabetes risk assessment.
  • Harmons Chef Johnny will offer four different cooking demonstrations and tasty, diabetes-friendly recipes including:
    • Smokey Egg White Frittata
    • Farro Lettuce Wrap
    • Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry
    • Jicama Salad
  • Harmons will be offering healthy and delicious samples of their fresh-made dishes and local products.
  • Harmons Registered Dietitians will take you through their portable grocery store aisle for a “store tour” to help you learn how to choose delicious foods that fit into a healthy and balanced diabetes meal plan.
  • Harmons Pharmacists will be on hand to answer your questions about managing your diabetes with medication.
  • Product exhibits and presentations will provide knowledge on the most cutting-edge technology and research.
  • Fitness demonstrations will show you how to fit exercise into your daily life.

Come learn more about healthy living with diabetes in a FUN way! Register online to receive event announcements at or call 1-888-DIABETES (extension 7072) for more information.

Or just stop by! It’s FREE!

 South Towne Expo Center
March 1, 2014
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
9575 South State Street
Sandy, UT 84070

If you are not able to visit us at the Expo, there are still some great diabetes events you can take advantage of at Harmons Grocery Stores. We will be teaming up with our Cooking School Chefs for some great diabetes-friendly cooking classes and offering free diabetes store tours.

Registration for all events is available online or by contacting the dietitian hosting the event. For a full listing of events, check out our Great Health Calendar at And as always, you are welcome to schedule a one-on-one store tour at any time by giving us a call.

Dietitian Jonnell Masson, Bangerter Crossing Harmons (801) 617-0119

Dietitian Laura Holtrop Kohl, City Creek Harmons (801) 428-0364

Dietitian Jessica LaRoche, Station Park Harmons (801) 928-2634

Dietitian Kayla Leitzke, The District Harmons (801) 495-5402


Diabetes Myth Busters

January 27, 2014



It’s possible to have a “touch of sugar” No. A “touch of sugar” means you don’t have diabetes. You either have it or you don’t.
People with diabetes have to follow a special diet People with diabetes benefit from the same healthy food that is good for anyone else – plenty of whole grains and fruits and vegetables, with a limited amount of fat and refined sugar
You have to lose a lot of weight for your diabetes to improve Losing 10-15lbs can significantly improve your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol
Diabetes doesn’t run in my family, so I’m safe


Family history is only one of several risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar Type 2 is caused by genetic and lifestyle factors. Being overweight increases your risk for developing type 2, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain.
People with type 2 diabetes, who need insulin, are in serious trouble. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, and most people with it eventually need insulin. By using insulin to keep diabetes in control, people with type 2 can often avoid complications and lead a healthy life.
People with diabetes can’t perform certain jobs. People with diabetes have rights, and federal laws prohibit discriminations against workers with diabetes.


New Medication for Type 2 Diabetes

November 7, 2013
Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

Invokana® is the newest medication to join the family of medications to treat Type 2 diabetes. This medication is unique in its mechanism to treat diabetes, and may be a good option if you just can’t get that blood sugar under control. It decreases blood sugar by taking it out of the blood in into the urine. Remember, it is a “brand name only” medication currently and may have an expensive copay from your insurance – BUT there is hope! The manufacturer provides a savings program at I have a patient who has a $135 copay from insurance, but after the savings card, it is down to $5.99! I’m not promising that price for everyone, but it does provide a significant amount of savings. Where it is a new drug, your doctor is able to get samples from the manufacturer as well for you to try out for a month or two to see if the medication is the right one for you. Ask your doctor if Invokana could be a good treatment choice for you.

Flu Shots and Diabetes

October 2, 2013
Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

It’s that time of year again – Flu season and the annual Flu shots. Now available at your local Harmons Pharmacy!  This is especially significant for those living with diabetes.  Diabetics have a lower functioning immune system putting them at higher risk.  It is critical for those living with diabetes to receive a flu shot annually. There are several different flu shots that available this year:

  • Community vaccine – provides coverage for 3 strains of Influenza, including H1N1. This is the vaccine that the majority of the community will receive.
  • High Dose (HD) vaccine – provides coverage for 3 strains of Influenza, including H1N1. This is a double dosage vaccine that is recommended for those 65 and older.
  • Intradermal vaccine – provides coverage for 3 strains of Influenza, including H1N1. This vaccine is for those who are concerned about using the long needle.  This vaccination needle is millimeters shorter and not quite as daunting.
  • Quadravalent vaccine – provides coverage for 4 strains of Influenza, including H1N1.

If you are planning on vacations in the near future, it is highly recommended that you get a flu shot as soon as possible.  It takes two weeks for the vaccination to provide proper immunity.  The sooner you get the vaccination, the better to secure maximum protection for you and those around you.

Harmons pharmacists are immunization certified. Vaccinations are available on a WALK IN BASIS – No appointment required. Immunizations are provided for only those 9 years of age and older. Stop by your local Harmons today to help protect yourself from this year’s strains of flu!

Diabetes and Eye Care

August 29, 2013
Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

There are many annual appointments that are necessary to a healthy life when one is diagnosed with diabetes. One of the crucial checkups necessary for someone living with diabetes is eye heath, and it often gets forgotten. Having high blood sugar for prolonged periods can be detrimental to your health. Many organs begin to deteriorate and function improperly. Over time, there is a 40% increased risk for glaucoma, a 60% increased risk for cataracts at a younger age, and are four times as likely to get retinopathy. All of these debilitating diseases can lead to blindness.  However, there are some steps you can take to avoid these issues.

Firstly, the most important step is keeping your blood sugar under control. The problems come when levels are unstable or consistently high. In a recent study, those who kept their blood sugar close to normal levels had a drastically lower incidence of the disease appearing. And, those who already had the disease and tight blood sugar control had progression of the disease half as often. Continue Reading »

Delicious Diabetes Friendly Summer Eats

June 6, 2013
Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

It’s that time again – that great summer pastime –so let’s dust off the grill and get cooking. However, it can be difficult to find good summer grilling recipes that are diabetes friendly. The American Diabetes Association has put together a great list of tasty main dishes and sides for you to enjoy. ALL DIABETES FRIENDLY!  Tasty meats such as grilled chicken Parmesan and spiced shrimp with grilled lemon. Sides like grilled spiced mango and grilled beets with balsamic glaze.  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

It is also important in the summer to control portion sizes with all the savory meats and sugary drinks. It’s all too easy to have just one more bite or one more drink. Remember, it takes about 20-30 minutes for the stomach to tell you brain that it’s had enough – so slow down and enjoy the flavors of summer!

The recipes mentioned and more can be found at:

Diabetes and Technology

April 15, 2013
Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

In this age of smart phones and computer tablets, managing your diabetes is easier than ever! Thousands of apps are available to help you take better care of your illness. Here are some solutions that are available that may have not crossed your mind:

  1. Tracking Blood Sugar. Download an app to help you track your blood sugar. A pen and paper isn’t always handy, but a cell phone is. These apps can provide graphs and trends in blood sugar that are easily sent to a computer to print or even to your doctor before appointments in order to better analyze your personal information.
  2. Counting Carbs. There are apps available to help you with carbohydrate counting. Carb counting can be a pain! But, by entering in the food you want you eat, these apps can give you an approximation of carbs/serving. Most restaurants will have their menus with nutritional information on their websites.  If you are out to eat and not sure what is appropriate for your diet, call up their webpage. This information can be accessed on your tablet or cell phone.
  3. Organizing Prescriptions. Often, especially in complicated or uncontrolled diabetes, there are so many medications involved that it can be difficult to remember to take all of them! If any of you are like me, I have a hard enough time remembering to take my multi-vitamin once a day, let alone insulin injections with meals and injections nightly and tablets once or twice daily along with testing blood sugar up to 6 times a day! Sounds confusing. There are apps that send you messages and alarms when it’s time to take your medication. This can also help you remember if you actually took your medications that day. You can also get reminders to refill your prescriptions.

Take a look in your phone or tablet’s app store to see what is available – this could be a free and easy way to help more effectively manage your diabetes. Let’s “App Up” for a better life!