Send a Kid to Diabetes Camp This Summer!

April 27th, 2012 by Iron Andy (0) General

Hug a Person with diabetes and help send a child to diabetes camp this summer, check out this Challenge at Hubbub Health - and don’t forget to download the FREE Insulin Nation digital Community app - available from Apple, Android and Kindle Fire.

Iron Andy

Win a Team Iron Andy running jersey!

March 12th, 2012 by Iron Andy (0) General

Not yet receiving Insulin Nation? Register today and you’ll be eligible to win a FREE Team Iron Andy running jersey. A random reader will be selected on March 19th. Don’t miss out on another issue and a chance to win. Register today at Or download the FREE app from Apple, Android and Kindle Fire Markets.

Iron Andy

Insulin Nation

February 24th, 2012 by Iron Andy (0) General

I know, I know, where have I been?  I’ve neglected this blog, but i have been spending time on Twitter, Facebook and with a new and exciting project called Insulin Nation, read on…

Insulin Nation is a free digital publication delivered to PWD’S on their mobile devices or any device with a Web browser. It leverages new technology and social media to promote wellness and fosters an open dialogue with those who are well-engaged with their diabetes, or those who want to be.

Monthly issues are video centric and use stories about people with diabetes and how they deal with both the condition and their life around it.  The “Buzz” section in each issue is updated daily to keep readers abreast of the whole world of social media around diabetes in real time. Monthly wellness challenges are inspired and created by Andy Holder, aka Iron Andy.  Insulin Nation readers will receive a free membership to Hubbub Health, a new Web and mobile-centered wellness platform developed by Regence Health, where they can participate in Iron Andy challenges or create them on their own.

Free download is available from Apple, Android and Kindle Fire markets.


Big Blue Test

November 9th, 2011 by Iron Andy (0) General

People with diabetes will help change the lives for others with diabetes in need as they do something in unison – exercise. Every time someone participates in the Big Blue Test and shares the experience on, a donation of life-saving supplies will be made on their behalf to someone with diabetes in need. 

The Big Blue Test, a diabetes awareness program started by the nonprofit Diabetes Hands Foundation, takes place every November leading up to World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14. The campaign reinforces the importance of exercise in managing diabetes. People with diabetes are encouraged to do the Big Blue Test any day between November 1 and November 14 at midnight Pacific Time, by testing their blood sugar, getting active, testing again, and sharing the results online at  

I did the test…you should too!



Husson University

October 24th, 2011 by Iron Andy (0) General

Last week I attended a health fair at Carrol Drug in Southwest Harbor Maine.  I also spoke at Husson University to an audience of a few hundred, most of them were pharmacy students.  After my speech I joined them by walking the first mile of a 1,100 mile virtual walk to New Orleans…bringing attention to National Pharmacy month and to promote healthy living!  Take a look at the clip from chanel 2 news -   


Richard Simmons…

August 22nd, 2011 by Iron Andy (0) Speaking Events, General

Yes, I know…it’s been a long time since I have blogged - Sorry! 

Yesterday I was in Columbus, OH representing Good Neighbor Pharmacy at the 10 TV Health and Fitness Expo.  It was a very nice event, great expo!  They had more fun activities for kids than any expo I have attended before.  My first job was to assist local TV Sports reporter Dom Tiberi on the Healthy Cooking Stage.  I helped Dom make his spicy chicken and vegetables…I really just stirred the veggies so they wouldn’t burn as Dom asked me questions about diabetes and triathlon training.  It was a lot of fun, thanks Dom!

Next was the highlight of the day…and certainly the most unique experience I have had in the past five years as the Good Neighbor Pharmacy national spokesperson - I met Richard Simmons!  The first thing he said was “you look so serious.”  Maybe that was because I was fixated on his red “flapper-like” tank top.”  But he was very nice, exactly how you would imagine him to be.  Then, he took the stage!  Bad news for me was I was following him! He had about a thousand people singing, dancing and cheering for about an hour…tough act to follow.  As he was leaving the stage, he saw me in the wings…grabbed my bald head and gave me two kisses…I don’t think I will ever wash this head again, just kidding.

Off to Flint Michigan tomorrow for the CRIM Festival 10 mile run.


Diabetes 1.0

June 24th, 2011 by Iron Andy (0) General

As I have been traveling around the country these past five years as the National Spokesperson for Good Neighbor Pharmacy, I have been amazed at how little the general public seems to know about a disease that is affecting ALL OF US.  I thought I would use this week’s BLOG to share some basic information about type 1 and type 2 diabetes, some common myths and some of the staggering statistics:

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form ofpe 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk. Some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications. the disease. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy, happy livesDIABETES MYTHS: 

Myth: Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.  Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Myth: If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.Fact:  Being overweight is a risk factor for developing this disease, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role. Unfortunately, too many people disregard the other risk factors for diabetes and think that weight is the only risk factor for type 2 diabetes.  Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight.   Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.  Fact: No, it does not.  Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors.  Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories, whether from sugar or from fat, can contribute to weight gain.  If you have a history of diabetes in your family, eating a healthy meal plan and regular exercise are recommended to manage your weight. Myth: People with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods. Fact: A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is generally the same as a healthy diet for anyone – low in fat (especially saturated and trans fat), moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on whole grain foods, vegetables and fruit.  Diabetic and “dietetic” foods generally offer no special benefit. Most of them still raise blood glucose levels, are usually more expensive, and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols.  Myth: If you have diabetes, you should only eat small amounts of starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta.  Fact: Starchy foods are part of a healthy meal plan.  What is important is the portion size.  Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks.  The key is portions.  For most people with diabetes, having 3-4 servings of carbohydrate-containing foods is about right.  Whole grain starchy foods are also a good source of fiber, which helps keep your gut healthy. Myth: People with diabetes can’t eat sweets or chocolate.Fact: If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes.  They are no more “off limits” to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes.   Myth: You can catch diabetes from someone else.Fact: No.  Although we don’t know exactly why some people develop diabetes, we know diabetes is not contagious.  It can’t be caught like a cold or flu.  There seems to be some genetic link in diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes.  Lifestyle factors also play a part.  Myth:  People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses.  Fact: You are no more likely to get a cold or another illness if you have diabetes.  However, people with diabetes are advised to get flu shots. This is because any illness can make diabetes more difficult to control, and people with diabetes who do get the flu are more likely than others to go on to develop serious complications. Myth: If you have type 2 diabetes and your doctor says you need to start using insulin, it means you’re failing to take care of your diabetes properly.Fact: For most people, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. When first diagnosed, many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose at a healthy level with oral medications.  But over time, the body gradually produces less and less of its own insulin, and eventually oral medications may not be enough to keep blood glucose levels normal.  Using insulin to get blood glucose levels to a healthy level is a good thing, not a bad one.   Myth:  Fruit is a healthy food.  Therefore, it is ok to eat as much of it as you wish.  Fact: Fruit is a healthy food.  It contains fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals.  Because fruits contain carbohydrates, they need to be included in your meal plan.  Talk to your dietitian about the amount, frequency and types of fruits you should eat. 

Data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (released Jan. 26, 2011)Total prevalence of diabetesTotal: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.Diagnosed: 18.8 million peopleUndiagnosed: 7.0 million peoplePrediabetes: 79 million people*New Cases: 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010.* In contrast to the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, which used fasting glucose data to estimate undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes, the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet uses both fasting glucose and A1C levels to derive estimates for undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes. These tests were chosen because they are most frequently used in clinical practice.
Under 20 years of age

  • 215,000, or 0.26% of all people in this age group have diabetes
  • About 1 in every 400 children and adolescents has type 1 diabetes

Age 20 years or older

  • 25.6 million, or 11.3% of all people in this age group have diabetes

Age 65 years or older

  • 10.9 million, or 26.9% of all people in this age group have diabetes


  • 13.0 million, or 11.8% of all men aged 20 years or older have diabetes


  • 12.6 million, or 10.8% of all women aged 20 years or older have diabetes

Race and ethnic differences in prevalence of diagnosed diabetesAfter adjusting for population age differences, 2007-2009 national survey data for people diagnosed with diabetes, aged 20 years or older include the following prevalence by race/ethnicity:

  • 7.1% of non-Hispanic whites
  • 8.4% of Asian Americans
  • 12.6% of non-Hispanic blacks
  • 11.8% of Hispanics

Among Hispanics rates were:

  • 7.6% for Cubans
  • 13.3% for Mexican Americans
  • 13.8% for Puerto Ricans.

Morbidity and Mortality

  • In 2007, diabetes was listed as the underlying cause on 71,382 death certificates and was listed as a contributing factor on an additional 160,022 death certificates. This means that diabetes contributed to a total of 231,404 deaths.

ComplicationsHeart disease and stroke

  • In 2004, heart disease was noted on 68% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 years or older.
  • In 2004, stroke was noted on 16% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 years or older.
  • Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes.
  • The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.

High blood pressure

  • In 2005-2008, of adults aged 20 years or older with self-reported diabetes, 67% had blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg or used prescription medications for hypertension.


  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20–74 years.
  • In 2005-2008, 4.2 million (28.5%) people with diabetes aged 40 years or older had diabetic retinopathy, and of these, almost 0.7 million (4.4% of those with diabetes) had advanced diabetic retinopathy that could lead to severe vision loss.

Kidney disease

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44% of new cases in 2008.
  • In 2008, 48,374 people with diabetes began treatment for end-stage kidney disease in the United States.
  • In 2008, a total of 202,290 people with end-stage kidney disease due to diabetes were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant in the United States.

Nervous system disease (Neuropathy)

  • About 60% to 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.


  • More than 60% of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.
  • In 2006, about 65,700 nontraumatic lower-limb amputations were performed in people with diabetes.

Cost of Diabetes

  • $174 billion: Total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2007
  • $116 billion for direct medical costs
  • $58 billion for indirect costs (disability, work loss, premature mortality)

After adjusting for population age and sex differences, average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.The American Diabetes Association has created a Diabetes Cost Calculator that takes the national cost of diabetes data and provides estimates at the state and congressional district level.Factoring in the additional costs of undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes brings the total cost of diabetes in the United States in 2007 to $218 billion.

  • $18 billion for people with undiagnosed diabetes 
  • $25 billion for American adults with prediabetes 
  • $623 million for gestational diabetes

From the American Diabetes Association website –

Sending kids to camp!

June 13th, 2011 by Iron Andy (0) General

I am happy to report that the Iron Andy Foundation has awarded 71 diabetes camp “camperships” to well deserving kids all across the country.  In most cases a week at camp is the only time these kids who battle diabetes everyday, have an opportunity to be around other kids who know exactly what they are going through.  Diabetes is tough enough…going through it alone is unfair.  So, 71 kids will have an experience of a lifetime this summer, and 71 families will have some financial stress and burden removed!!!

I would like to thank some people and organizations who made this possible: The biggest contribution came from Good Neighbor Pharmacy…thank you for your support and donations.

Thanks to Jerry Armstrong and his “Run the Coast” crew who ran from San Francisco to San Diego to raise awareness and money for IAF.

I would also like to thank my IAF Cup committee, all our corporate sponsors and everyone who helped make our inaugural event a success.

Finally, thank you to ALL who made donations last year and this year…your support has gone a long way.

Stay tuned for info about IAF Cup 2011 - 5k Run and 1 Mile Fun Run on October 9th.


Executive Leaders Radio

April 28th, 2011 by Iron Andy (0) General

I was recently interviewed on Executive Leaders radio, along with Mike Cantrell, the President of Good Neighbor Pharmacy.  Follow this link to listen, our segment starts about 12 minutes in -–2368.aspx


Iron Andy

Triathlete Magazine

April 19th, 2011 by Iron Andy (0) General

I am profiled in the May issue of Triathlete Magazine…it’s a cover feature story called “Traithlon Saved Me - four profiles of transformation through multisport.”  You can find the May issue in most places that carry magazines, but just in case you can’t, here is a link to the story in the digital edition of Triathlete -

Iron Andy