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Why Is It Important To Properly Manage Diabetes?

Diabetes And The Importance Of Sleep

Diabetes And The Importance Of Sleep

To paraphrase the old Cole Porter love song: Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Let's do it, let's . . . sleep? "Sleep is a biological imperative," says Stuart Quan, M.D., a Harvard Medical School professor of sleep medicine and editor of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. "You can't not sleep," he says. Virtually all animals sleep. Fruit flies have been shown to have sleep cycles, and even sea sponges have sleeplike periods, Quan says. While experts have different theories on why we sleep, it's well proven that getting too little has serious consequences for your health and diabetes. Shorting yourself on shut-eye can worsen diabetes and, for some people, even serve as the trigger that causes it. People who don't sleep enough may: -- impair the body's use of insulin. -- have higher levels of hormones that cause hunger. -- crave junk food. No snooze, you lose People who don't get enough sleep often have higher levels of chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Lack of sleep also can increase production of cortisol (the body's primary stress hormone), impair memory and reflex time, elevate blood sugar, and increase appetite -- ultimately promoting weight gain, says Carol Touma, M.D., an endocrinologist at the University of Chicago who focuses on sleep research and metabolism. And the more you weigh, the worse you sleep. Research by Madhu H. Rao, M.D., an endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, found that a person's body mass index (BMI) affects slow-wave sleep, the deep sleep cycles needed for maximum rest. Very preliminary results of Rao's current research on the effects of sleep restriction in healthy volunteers show an increase in insulin resistance in the range of 10 to 15 percent. But mysteries remain. Will sleeping m Continue reading >>

10 Tips For Managing Your Diabetes Treatment

10 Tips For Managing Your Diabetes Treatment

1 / 11 Follow These Steps to Better Manage Your Type 2 Diabetes Treatments There may be millions of people with diabetes, but your diabetes treatment plan should be specific to you. For instance, not everyone needs the same drugs — or needs drugs at all. Some people may prefer an insulin pen to more traditional injections, and some people might have to test their blood sugar eight times a day, while others only have to test it twice. But there are a few things that everyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes can do to manage their treatment. “It’s extremely important for individuals diagnosed with diabetes to remember that the condition can be managed, and that they should be an active participant in the plan,” says Cordialis Msora-Kasago, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Through regular visits with physicians, dietitians, certified diabetes educators (CDEs), pharmacists, and other members of your healthcare team, you can develop a personalized plan that not only controls blood sugar but allows you to adopt the skills necessary for life-long management.” Early detection of an issue can often reduce the risk of more serious complications. So let your care team know when you notice fluctuations in your blood sugar. Just as you follow your blood sugar monitoring routine, take your diabetes medications on the exact schedule your doctor prescribed. Keep your doctor informed about everything you're taking and be honest with her or him. One of the best things you can do if you’re trying to manage your condition is to make changes in your diet and exercise habits. You may even be able to go off medication, says Arti Bhan, MD, division head of endocrinology at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan, “but it will depend on p Continue reading >>

Treating Diabetes: 1921 To The Present Day

Treating Diabetes: 1921 To The Present Day

The lives of people with diabetes has changed considerably in 50 years. They now have specific tools and easier access to information than ever before. The healthcare professionals who treat them also know more about the complexity of the disease, and which treatments work best. Pending the next medical revolution, Diabetes Québec is demanding the implementation of a national strategy to fight diabetes – a strategy founded on education, prevention, support and treatment. The last 60 years have clearly demonstrated that people with diabetes who are well informed, properly supported and treated appropriately live longer lives in better health. The discovery of insulin and glycemic control Insulin, discovered in 1921 by the legendary Banting, Best and MacLeod collaboration, is nothing short of a miracle. Worldwide, it has saved thousands of patients from certain death. Before the discovery of insulin, diabetics were doomed. Even on a strict diet, they could last no more than three or four years. However, despite the many types of insulin and the first oral hypoglycemic agents that came to market around 1957 in Canada, glycemia control – the control of blood glucose (sugar) levels – still remains an imprecise science. In the 1950s, the method a person used to control his blood glucose levels was to drop a reagent tablet into a small test tube containing a few drops of urine mixed with water. The resulting colour – from dark blue to orange – indicated the amount of sugar in the urine. Even when they monitored their patients closely, doctors realized that blood glucose levels had to be much better controlled in order to delay the major complications significantly affecting their patients’ lives: blindness, kidney disease, gangrene, heart attack and stroke. A disc Continue reading >>

My Friend Has Diabetes. How Can I Help?

My Friend Has Diabetes. How Can I Help?

What's My Friend Going Through? Diabetes. Sure, you've heard of it. But how much do you really know about what it's like to live with it? Teens with diabetes often say they feel isolated and alone. After all, it's hard enough being a teenager with all the body changes and hormone surges — dealing day-to-day with a health problem like diabetes can only make things harder. Having to test your blood sugar several times a day, keep tabs on what you eat, and give yourself insulin shots or other medicine is enough to make anyone feel self-conscious and different. As a result, some people may want to pretend that their diabetes doesn't exist. That's not a good plan, because it usually leads to poorly controlled diabetes. And that can be dangerous to your friend's health. As a friend, your understanding and acceptance are very important. The more you know about diabetes, the less self-conscious and alone your friend is likely to feel. And that's good for anyone's health! What Is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose. When you eat, glucose from the food gets into your bloodstream. Then, the pancreas makes a hormone called insulin that helps the glucose in the blood get into the body's cells, where it's used as fuel. When people get diabetes, the glucose in their blood doesn't get into the cells as well as it should, so it stays in the blood instead. This makes blood sugar levels get too high and can lead to symptoms like getting very thirsty or peeing a lot. Proper treatment of diabetes helps to control these symptoms. It also can help prevent long-term effects — like kidney, eye, nerve, or heart problems — that can happen in people who have high blood sugar levels for many years. The two main types of diabetes that can occur during childho Continue reading >>

Managing Your Child’s Diabetes

Managing Your Child’s Diabetes

As your child’s primary caregiver the role of managing their diabetes will fall mainly to you in the early stages of their childhood. This can be very daunting at first but there is a lot of resources available to you. Your child’s healthcare team and Diabetes Ireland are also here to help you. Check out our Pete the Pancreas booklets below. They are designed to help parent and child learn about diabetes in a child friendly way. Whilst you are their primary carer today, as they grow up they will need to manage their condition themselves. Therefore, it is important to involve your child in the learning process and make decisions with them. Whilst it will be challenging at first, overtime you will realise that your child can live a happy and healthy life with their diabetes. Parental leave – The Parental Leave Act 1998, as amended by the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2006, allows parents to take parental leave from employment in respect of certain children. On 8 March 2013 the European Union (Parental Leave) Regulations 2013 increased the amount of parental leave available to each parent per child from 14 weeks to 18 weeks. (Those who have taken or are taking 14 weeks’ parental leave are also entitled to this extra 4 weeks.) The Regulations extended the age limit for a child with a long-term illness to 16 years. For more information visit Citizens Information – – Self-management Self-management is the best way to manage diabetes. Your child may be too young to do this at the moment, it is up to you the parent to manage their diabetes and teach them along the way. This means that you keep track of their blood glucose and take an active part in the treatment of their diabetes. What and when to teach your child 0 – 5 years old From 0-4 months, most children ha Continue reading >>

A Healthy Pregnancy For Women With Diabetes

A Healthy Pregnancy For Women With Diabetes

PDF Format A Healthy Pregnancy for Women with Diabetes What is diabetes mellitus? Diabetes mellitus (also called "diabetes") is caused by a problem with insulin. Insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into the body’s cells where it can be turned into energy (see the FAQ Diabetes and Women). Pregnancy health care providers often call diabetes that is present before pregnancy "pregestational diabetes." When the body does not make enough insulin or does not respond to it, glucose cannot get into cells and instead stays in the blood. As a result, the level of glucose in the blood increases. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the body and cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision problems, and kidney disease. How can pregestational diabetes affect my pregnancy? If your diabetes is not managed well, you are at increased risk of several of the complications associated with diabetes. The following problems can occur in women with diabetes: Birth defects High blood pressure Hydramnios—In this condition, there is an increased amount of amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac that surrounds the baby. It can lead to preterm labor and delivery. Macrosomia (very large baby)—The baby receives too much glucose from the mother and can grow too large. A large baby can make delivery more difficult. A large baby also increases the risk of having a cesarean delivery. How can pregestational diabetes affect my baby? Babies born to mothers with pregestational diabetes may have problems with breathing, low glucose levels, and jaundice. Most babies do well after birth, although some may need to spend time in a special care nursery. The good news is that with proper planning and control of your diabetes, you can decrease the risk of these problems. If I have d Continue reading >>

Role Of Self-care In Management Of Diabetes Mellitus

Role Of Self-care In Management Of Diabetes Mellitus

Abstract Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic progressive metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia mainly due to absolute (Type 1 DM) or relative (Type 2 DM) deficiency of insulin hormone. World Health Organization estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide have DM. This number is likely to more than double by 2030 without any intervention. The needs of diabetic patients are not only limited to adequate glycemic control but also correspond with preventing complications; disability limitation and rehabilitation. There are seven essential self-care behaviors in people with diabetes which predict good outcomes namely healthy eating, being physically active, monitoring of blood sugar, compliant with medications, good problem-solving skills, healthy coping skills and risk-reduction behaviors. All these seven behaviors have been found to be positively correlated with good glycemic control, reduction of complications and improvement in quality of life. Individuals with diabetes have been shown to make a dramatic impact on the progression and development of their disease by participating in their own care. Despite this fact, compliance or adherence to these activities has been found to be low, especially when looking at long-term changes. Though multiple demographic, socio-economic and social support factors can be considered as positive contributors in facilitating self-care activities in diabetic patients, role of clinicians in promoting self-care is vital and has to be emphasized. Realizing the multi-faceted nature of the problem, a systematic, multi-pronged and an integrated approach is required for promoting self-care practices among diabetic patients to avert any long-term complications. Introduction Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic progressive metab Continue reading >>

Diabetes Education: Why It’s So Crucial To Care

Diabetes Education: Why It’s So Crucial To Care

Diabetes education is the cornerstone of diabetes management, because diabetes requires day-to-day knowledge of nutrition, exercise, monitoring, and medication, according to Patricia Bonsignore, M.S., R.N., C.D.E., Diabetes Educator at the Joslin Diabetes Center. Importance of Diabetes Education Diabetes is unlike other diseases, such as cholesterol and hypertension, where medication alone can often times successfully treat it, Bonsignore says. There are a lot of other components to diabetes, such as: the diabetes disease process, nutritional management, physical activity, medications, glucose monitoring, and psychosocial adjustment. Diabetes education makes you more aware of diabetes, what it takes to treat it, and gives you the power to control it. Diabetes education allows you to better incorporate education into your life and make the necessary changes to improve your lifestyle. Who to Involve in your Diabetes Education Diabetes education and self-management training should be done with a team, according to Bonsignore. The team should consist ideally of: If you don’t have access to all of these people, Bonsignore says to check with your local hospital to see what diabetes education services are available, or ask your primary care physician about the endocrinologists in your area. Best Practices for Diabetes Education It’s a good idea to have individual diabetes education as well as group education. In a group, you may feel more comfortable because people have the same concerns, you can share your experiences and frustrations, and hear answers to questions you may not have thought of yourself. However, Bonsignore says it’s very important that you create an individual plan after the group visit, because everyone’s lifestyle is different. Your diabetes self-man Continue reading >>

For Parents

For Parents

You've probably heard your child's doctor talk a lot about "diabetes control," which usually refers to how close the blood sugar, or glucose, is kept to the desired range. What does this mean and why is it important? When Diabetes Isn't Under Control Too much or not enough sugar in the bloodstream can lead to short-term problems that must be treated right away, like hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or diabetic ketoacidosis. Too much sugar in the bloodstream also can cause long-term damage to body tissues. For example, it can harm blood vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems. These problems don't usually affect kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. But they can happen in adults with diabetes, particularly if they haven't managed or controlled their diabetes properly. Kids with diabetes who don't control their blood sugar levels may also have problems with growth and development. They might even have a delay in when puberty starts. Puberty is when the body changes as kids start growing into adults. Also important is avoiding frequent and/or severe episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can interfere with participation in school and other activities, making it hard for kids to cope with their diabetes and achieve a healthy, happy childhood and adulthood. Controlling diabetes means keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. It's a three-way balancing act: Your child's diabetes medicines (such as insulin), food, and activity level all need to be balanced to keep blood sugar levels under control. If any one of these is off, blood sugar levels will be, too. In general, poorly controlled blood sugar levels c Continue reading >>

The Importance Of Proper Nutrition To Manage Diabetes

The Importance Of Proper Nutrition To Manage Diabetes

Managing diabetes properly is important in order to prevent serious consequences such as the loss of a limb, heart issues, kidney failure, or even death. The good news with most cases of diabetes is that it can be controlled with good eating habits. Whether you are a caregiver of someone with diabetes, or you have it yourself and want to manage your own diet, there are important things to consider when grocery shopping and meal planning. Meal Planning People who have diabetes are not able to process sugar properly because of insulin resistance. This means that one of the most important parts of diabetes management is to cut down on sugar intake, which can be challenging. Whether you are receiving in-home care, are in an assisted living center, or you are living independently, planning your meals will not only help to keep your insulin in check, but it will also make mealtime easier. By planning ahead, you can be assured that you are making healthy choices both at the grocery store and while you are eating. While you want to make smart food choices, you also need them to fit certain eating habits and specific schedules, or else it will be difficult to maintain. It may help to speak with a nutrition consultant who can guide and help you plan meals based on the glycemic index, the plate method, or watching your carbohydrate intake. Healthy Choices Controlling diabetes through diet will also benefit you in that it can reduce your risk for stroke and heart disease. Include a wide variety of food items to make sure you are getting all the essential nutrients and so you don’t get bored. Some good choices are: Chicken Lean meats Turkey Fish Vegetables Fruits Whole grains Low-fat dairy products Beans and legumes The Plate Method If eating healthy is a new concept for you, the Continue reading >>

Taking Steps To Manage Your Type 2 Diabetes.

Taking Steps To Manage Your Type 2 Diabetes.

Taking care of yourself when you have type 2 diabetes starts with learning everything you can about your body and your treatment. To help you begin, we’ve pulled together some useful information and tools for you. In this section, you’ll learn everything from basics and beyond. You know the saying, “knowledge is power”? In the case of type 2 diabetes, that may very well be true. Learning the Basics Do you wish you knew more about type 2 diabetes? Learn more about what causes type 2 diabetes. And what steps you can take to help manage your condition. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas. It helps sugar move out of the bloodstream and into many cells of the body, where it is used for energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin, and the insulin that your body produces does not work as well as it should. Both of these situations can lead to too much sugar in your blood. Although there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, there are steps you can take to help manage it. These include working with your health care team to reach your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol goals. Taking medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Making healthier food choices. And being physically active. Continue reading >>

Healthy Eating Especially Important For Those Who Have Diabetes

Healthy Eating Especially Important For Those Who Have Diabetes

Dietetics In plain terms, people with diabetes need to develop a routine with their eating. Because blood sugar is mostly affected by what you eat, eating a variety of healthy foods at regular times, and in regular amounts, helps you regulate your blood sugar. If you take diabetes medication, regular mealtimes and regular amounts of various foods also help you get the most out of the least amount of medication. Because people with diabetes are at risk of — or already have — high blood pressure or high blood fats, it makes sense to also choose foods that are heart healthy (lean, low-fat) and ones that are low in salt. You don't need special foods, and your meals do not need to be complicated. Here are four steps you can take to "tune up" your diet to take control of blood sugar — without your diet taking control of you. 1. Eat three meals at regular times. This should include breakfast, a noon meal and an evening meal. Maintaining an eating schedule establishes a time frame for building your meals. It helps ensure that you don't eat too much — or too little — throughout your day. Why is this important? Your body is better able to utilize the insulin it produces — or takes as a medication. Skipping meals or eating at irregular times causes unhealthy highs or lows in blood sugar levels. 2. Eat the healthiest foods. We all know what they are. Vegetables, fruit and starchy foods (whole grains, beans, peas and lentils) should be the basis of your diet. Choose smaller amounts of leaner meats (including poultry, fish) and lowfat dairy products. Why? A healthy diet that builds upon whole-grain starchy foods, vegetables and fruit fills you up, helps you reach a healthy weight and avoids risk of diabetes complications. These food groups also contain fiber which moderat Continue reading >>

Living With

Living With

If you have type 2 diabetes, it's important to look after your own health and wellbeing, with support from those involved in your care. Caring for your health will make treating your diabetes easier and minimise your risk of developing complications of diabetes. Self care for type 2 diabetes includes: maintaining good physical and mental health preventing illness or accidents effectively dealing with minor ailments and long-term conditions. Your diabetes care team As type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition, you'll be in regular contact with your diabetes care team. Your GP or diabetes care team will also need to check your eyes, feet and nerves regularly because they can also be affected by diabetes. You should also be tested regularly – at least once a year – to check how well your diabetes is being controlled over the long term. A blood sample will be taken from your arm, and the HbA1c test will be carried out. It measures how much glucose is in the red blood cells, and gives your blood glucose levels for the previous two to three months. Lifestyle changes Healthy eating Eating a healthy, balanced diet is very important if you have diabetes. However, you don't need to avoid certain food groups altogether. You can have a varied diet and enjoy a wide range of foods as long as you eat regularly and make healthy choices. You can make adaptations when cooking meals, such as reducing the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, and increasing the amount of fibre. You don't need to completely exclude sugary and high-fat foods from your diet, but they should be limited. The important thing in managing diabetes through your diet is to eat regularly and include starchy carbohydrates, such as pasta, as well as plenty of fruit and vegetables. If your diet is well balanced, you Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes

Feline Diabetes

Insulin injections are the preferred method of managing diabetes in cats. Figure 1: To administer an injection, pull the loose skin between the shoulder blades with one hand. With the other hand, insert the needle directly into the indentation made by holding up the skin, draw back on the plunger slightly, and if no blood appears in the syringe, inject gently. Tips for Treatment 1. You can do it! Treating your cat may sound difficult, but for most owners it soon becomes routine. 2. Work very closely with your veterinarian to get the best results for your cat. 3. Once your cat has been diagnosed, it's best to start insulin therapy as soon as possible. 4. Home glucose monitoring can be very helpful. 5. Tracking your cat's water intake, activity level, appetite, and weight can be beneficial. 6. A low carbohydrate diet helps diabetic cats maintain proper glucose levels. 7. With careful treatment, your cat's diabetes may well go into remission. 8. If your cat shows signs of hypoglycemia (lethargy, weakness, tremors, seizures, vomiting) apply honey, a glucose solution, or dextrose gel to the gums and immediately contact a veterinarian. Possible Complications Insulin therapy lowers blood glucose, possibly to dangerously low levels. Signs of hypoglycemia include weakness, lethargy, vomiting, lack of coordination, seizures, and coma. Hypoglycemia can be fatal if left untreated, so any diabetic cat that shows any of these signs should be offered its regular food immediately. If the cat does not eat voluntarily, it should be given oral glucose in the form of honey, corn syrup, or proprietary dextrose gels (available at most pharmacies) and brought to a veterinarian immediately. It is important, however, that owners not attempt to force fingers, food, or fluids into the mouth of a Continue reading >>

The Diabetes Diet

The Diabetes Diet

What's the best diet for diabetes? Whether you’re trying to prevent or control diabetes, your nutritional needs are virtually the same as everyone else, so no special foods are necessary. But you do need to pay attention to some of your food choices—most notably the carbohydrates you eat. While following a Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can help with this, the most important thing you can do is to lose a little weight. Losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Losing weight and eating healthier can also have a profound effect on your mood, energy, and sense of wellbeing. Even if you’ve already developed diabetes, it’s not too late to make a positive change. By eating healthier, being more physically active, and losing weight, you can reduce your symptoms or even reverse diabetes. The bottom line is that you have more control over your health than you may think. The biggest risk for diabetes: belly fat Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, your risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat surrounds the abdominal organs and liver and is closely linked to insulin resistance. You are at an increased risk of developing diabetes if you are: A woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more A man with a waist circumference of 40 inches or more Calories obtained from fructose (found in sugary beverages such as soda, energy and sports drinks, coffee drinks, and processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, cereal, candy and granola bars) are more likely to add weight around your abdomen. Cutting back on sugary foods can mean a slimmer waistline as well as a lowe Continue reading >>

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