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How Can You Manage Your Diabetes?

Managing Your Blood Sugar

Managing Your Blood Sugar

Hyperglycemia - control; Hypoglycemia - control; Diabetes - blood sugar control; Blood glucose - managing When you have diabetes, you should have good control of your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is not controlled, serious problems called complications can happen to your body after many years. Learn how to manage your blood sugar so that you can stay as healthy as possible. Take Control of Your Diabetes Know the basic steps for managing your diabetes. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to many health problems. Know how to: Monitor your blood sugar (glucose) Find, buy, and store diabetes supplies If you take insulin, you should also know how to: Give yourself insulin Adjust your insulin doses and the foods you eat to manage your blood sugar during exercise and on sick days You should also live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Do muscle strengthening exercises 2 or more days a week. Avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time. Try speed walking, swimming, or dancing. Pick an activity you enjoy. Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise plans. Follow your meal plan. Take your medicines the way your health care provider recommends. Check Your Blood Sugar Often Checking your blood sugar levels often and writing down the results will tell you how well you are managing your diabetes. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about how often you should check your blood sugar. Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their blood sugar every day. But some people may need to check it many times a day. If you have type 1 diabetes, check your blood sugar at least 4 times a day. Usually, you will test your blood sugar before meals and at bedtime. You may also check your blood sugar: After you eat out, especially if y Continue reading >>

Top 5 Tips For Managing Your Diabetes

Top 5 Tips For Managing Your Diabetes

Hispanics continue to be challenged by high rates of diabetes. According to national examination surveys, Hispanics are almost twice as likely as non-Hispanics to be diagnosed with diabetes by a physician. Hispanics also have higher rates of end-stage renal disease as a complication of diabetes and are 50 percent more likely to die from diabetes than non-Hispanics. Diabetes is a common disease, and while it can be effectively managed, it also often requires significant lifestyle changes and can present unique challenges. Recently, my uncle was taken to the hospital after suffering a severe hypoglycemic reaction. Knowing I am a health professional, my family members asked for my advice, and I shared the following tips with them. Managing diabetes requires day-to-day care, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Learning the basics, getting advice and support from health professionals like your physician, certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian, and doing a little planning can help you live well with diabetes. 1. Manage your weight If you are overweight, losing just 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight — a weight loss of 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person — can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes or, if you have diabetes, can help you better manage the disease and reduce your risk of other health problems, including heart disease. 2. Check your blood sugar frequently Checking your blood sugar before and after meals as well as before and after you exercise is an important way to monitor your diabetes control and notice improvements in your blood sugar levels as they get closer to your target. 3. Keep daily records It is critical that you keep a record of the date and the amount and type of physical activity, as well as your blood sugar level Continue reading >>

How To Beat Type 2 Diabetes With Diet And Lifestyle Changes

How To Beat Type 2 Diabetes With Diet And Lifestyle Changes

It's no secret that type 2 diabetes is on the rise in the United States and around the world. But if you've been diagnosed with diabetes, there's a lot you can do to improve your health — and the best place to start is likely by making some changes to your lifestyle. “Basic principles of good health like eating right, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight can be as effective as medicine in the management of type 2 diabetes for most people,” says Sue McLaughlin, RD, CDE, lead medical nutrition therapist at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. That's backed up by the Look AHEAD study, a large clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The researchers found that over a four-year period, changes like eating a healthier diet and getting more exercise led to weight loss and improved diabetes control in 5,000 overweight or obese participants with type 2 diabetes. A December 2016 review in Diabetologia similarly found through 28 studies that participants who were able to achieve about 150 minutes per week of moderate activity lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes by 26 percent compared with nonactive participants. If you're ready to make positive changes to help control diabetes, here's how to get started. Improve Your Diet to Help You Treat Type 2 Diabetes Naturally Keeping close tabs on your diet is a major way to help manage type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet for people with type 2 diabetes includes fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean meats, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Focus on eating fruit and non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, and lettuce, and having smaller portions of starchy foods, meats, and dairy products. Be especially careful about loading Continue reading >>

10 Diet And Exercise Tricks To Control Diabetes

10 Diet And Exercise Tricks To Control Diabetes

Small goals make a big difference When it comes to type 2 diabetes, you need diet and exercise goals that encourage you to succeed—not ones that set you up to fail, says Ann Goebel-Fabbri, PhD, a psychologist and investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center, in Boston. "I think goals have to be small and well spelled out for people. Everyone has the experience of going to a health practitioner and being told something vague: 'You know, you really ought to lose weight.' What does that mean? Goals need to be broken down into small nuts and bolts," she says. First step: See where you stand now Margaret Savoca, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, suggests that you stop and look at your eating and exercise habits, and figure out what will be the easiest changes to make, rather than making huge changes that are tough to sustain. "Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint," says Elizabeth Hardy, 47, a Dallas resident who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2005. For Hardy it was easiest to make changes in her life one step at a time. Here are 10 ways to start. Bring your own lunch Avoid eating lunch at restaurants or fast-food joints. Restaurant meals "can go out of control easily," Savoca says. They tend to have large portions, lots of calories, and high amounts of fat. Research has found an association between eating out more and having a higher body weight. When you make your own lunch, you control the ingredients and your portion sizes. If making your own lunch every day is too much, you might want to try twice a week to start. Use a pedometer These handy devices—available for less than $20 at sporting goods stores—clip on to your waistband and record the number of steps you take. Use one to estimat Continue reading >>

Diabetes Care In Prison: How To Manage Your Diabetes In Prison

Diabetes Care In Prison: How To Manage Your Diabetes In Prison

The United States has experienced mass incarceration, and now 2 million people are held in federal prisons and correctional institutions across the country. 80,000 of those, or 4.8%, are diabetics1. Statistics from 1998 show that 11 million people were set free from correctional institutions. Many more pass through the system, such as diabetics experiencing hypoglycemic episodes on the roadways who are often mistaken for being intoxicated or on illegal drugs2. ADA Standards for Care in Prison The American Diabetes Association has written policies to guide correctional institutions in meeting national standards for diabetes care. They include provisions where a diabetic who is incarcerated would be allowed to perform their own self-care, including finger stick blood sugars and insulin or other diabetes injections, as well as keep extra carbohydrates in their jail cell for the possibility of a low blood sugar. The ADA stand generally sets forth standards where all prisons should continue Medical Nutrition Therapy, a regular activity regimen, and special dietary considerations for those with diabetes. It is true that a prison is a controlled environment. If everything were to be in place in prison for the diabetic as ADA envisions, then diabetes management in the prison would likely be better than diabetes management for the person prior to incarceration. This has been shown to be true in some prisons who do have strict guidelines for providing care to their diabetic prisoners and are following them. Some diabetics A1C prior to incarceration has been shown to drop several points once incarcerated due to stricter monitoring in the institution. The ADA recognizes a need for screening upon entrance to a correctional facility. A person with diabetes who is being incarcerated, Continue reading >>

Pardon Our Interruption...

Pardon Our Interruption...

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Manage Your Diabetes

Manage Your Diabetes

Whether you have taken another insulin or are just starting insulin, understanding how to manage your diabetes is the key to reaching your diabetes goals. The right tools and the right knowledge can help you get there, one day at a time. Read food labels. You can begin to understand how different foods will affect your blood sugar by reading their nutrition labels. Two key things to pay attention to are serving size and carbohydrates. For a helpful tool that lists the nutritional value of certain foods, you can use the food lookup tool on Cornerstones4Care.com after signing up. Exercise doesn’t have to be overwhelming Activities like walking the dog, cleaning the house, and washing the car can be part of your exercise routine. How you choose to exercise is less important than finding a way to stay active regularly. When you are active, your cells become more sensitive to insulin, so the insulin can work more efficiently. Exercising, even in smaller increments, can help lower blood sugar and improve your A1C. For example, you could: Replace a coffee break with going for a walk Walk around while on the phone instead of staying seated Use the stairs at work instead of the elevator Stretch while watching TV instead of lounging Park at the far end of a parking lot to get a longer walk Rake leaves in the yard or garden Work with your health care provider In addition to helping you make decisions about your exercise routine, your health care provider can talk to you about the diabetes medicines and over-the-counter medications you take. Depending on your level of physical activity, you may need to change from one medicine to another or adjust the amount you take. Know signs and symptoms to watch out for Speak to your health care provider about testing your blood sugar to see Continue reading >>

How To Manage Your Diabetes As You Grow Older

How To Manage Your Diabetes As You Grow Older

Diabetes requires careful treatment. A healthy diet and exercise along with medicine are the mainstays of treatment. It is important to follow your healthcare professional’s instructions as long-standing uncontrolled diabetes can cause serious problems, including damage to your eyes, nerves, and kidneys. As you get older, your treatment may need to be changed, making it important to visit your healthcare professional regularly. Eat Healthier Foods All people with diabetes should eat a healthy diet that is low in sugar (including sugar from fruit). Mono and polyunsaturated fats are recommended in moderation. Avoid or reduce unhealthy fats (eg, saturated, trans fat). It may help to see a diabetes educator or nutritionist to help you create a healthy meal plan. Mono and polyunsaturated fats are recommended in moderation. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, fresh tuna, trout, and sardines. Plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids include ground flaxseed, canola oil, soybean oil, nuts (eg, walnuts) and seeds (eg, sunflower). Get Regular Exercise Exercise is an important part of diabetes management and can help you lose weight (if you need to), lower your blood glucose level, and improve your cholesterol level. The American Diabetes Association recommends 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least 5 days a week, and strength training at least 2 times per week. You can split up the exercise into 10-minute workouts 3 times a day. Examples of aerobic and strength-training exercises are shown in the Table. Always talk to your healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program to see if it is right for you. If you have trouble walking, chair exercise programs are available on DVD, online, or at local community centers or gyms. “Chair classes” are even avail 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 >>

How To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

How To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

Life with type 2 diabetes can sometimes seem like an hourly or even minute-by-minute effort to stabilize your blood sugar. All of the recommendations and drugs you’ve been given as part of your type 2 diabetes treatment plan are intended to help you reach — and keep — healthy blood sugar levels most of the time. But doctors are learning that to control type 2 diabetes well, better information about why blood sugar matters and how to manage it is essential. The Facts About Diabetes and Blood Sugar As the American Diabetes Association (ADA) explains, your body needs sugar (glucose) for fuel, and there’s a fairly complicated process that makes it possible for your body to use that sugar. Insulin, which is made by the pancreas, is the hormone that enables the cells in your body to take advantage of sugar. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body isn’t able to remove sugar from your blood. This can happen if your body stops being sensitive to insulin or if it starts to respond in a delayed or exaggerated way to changes in your blood sugar. Diabetes is signaled by an elevated blood sugar level of more than 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for a fasting blood test, or more than 200 mg/dL at any time during the day. It can also be indicated by a hemoglobin A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher, a measure of the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin in the blood during the past two to three months. (Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body. So an A1C of 6.5 means that 6.5 percent of your red blood cells have sugar attached to them.) Unchecked high blood sugar gradually damages the blood vessels in your body. Over the long term, this slow, progressive harm can lead to a dangerous loss of sensation in your legs and fe Continue reading >>

How Can You Manage Your Diabetes?

How Can You Manage Your Diabetes?

The goals of diabetes management are to: Keep your blood sugar levels as near normal as safely possible by balancing food intake with physical activity and medication. Help slow or possibly prevent the development of diabetes-related health problems. Here are five tips to remember when managing your diabetes: Test your blood glucose as recommended by your health care professional. Take your medicine as prescribed by the doctor-- be it tablets (pills) or injectable medicines like insulin. Make healthy food choices. Be physically active. Learn all you can do to manage your diabetes and live a healthier life. Continue reading >>

10 Tips To Manage Your Diabetes

10 Tips To Manage Your Diabetes

The problem with living with a chronic condition like diabetes is that it’s, well, chronic. It doesn’t go away. Bridget McNulty, type 1 diabetic and editor of Sweet Life diabetes lifestyle magazine and online community, offers 10 tips to make living with diabetes a little easier: 1. Take your medication This one is so obvious that I shouldn’t have to mention it, but it probably has the biggest impact on any diabetic’s life. Insulin – whether in pill form for type 2 diabetics or injections or a pump for type 1 diabetics – is literally life-saving. Take your medication properly, and you can live a long, happy, healthy life with diabetes. Don’t take your medication and you can get very ill, very fast. 2. Eat a healthy diet Again, it’s not rocket science, but it is vitally important. People with diabetes don’t have to eat a special ‘diabetes diet’, but they do have to eat the same healthy diet that we should all be eating: little to no fast food, junk food, fizzy drinks, sweets and cakes, lots of fresh vegetables, some fruit, good quality proteins, the right kind of fats and a small amount of wholegrain carbs. We all know that refined carbohydrates like white rice and pasta and doughnuts and cookies are bad for us – as diabetics, it’s important to know this and respect it. That’s not to say there’s no room for treats in life, but I always stick to my mom’s advice: “everything in moderation" 3. Exercise regularly Moderate exercise three times a week is the magic key to a healthy life with diabetes, in my opinion. We can all find half an hour three times a week to go for a walk, or do a yoga class, or jog around the block. And in the long-term, that’s going to be much better for your health than one big gym session once a week. Slow and ste Continue reading >>

How Can You Manage Your Diabetes?

How Can You Manage Your Diabetes?

The goals of diabetes management are to: Keep your blood sugar levels as near normal as safely possible by balancing food intake with physical activity and medication. Help slow or possibly prevent the development of diabetes-related health problems. Here are five tips to remember when managing your diabetes: Test your blood glucose as recommended by your health care professional. Take your medicine as prescribed by the doctor-- be it tablets (pills) or injectable medicines like insulin. Make healthy food choices. Be physically active. Learn all you can do to manage your diabetes and live a healthier life. Continue reading >>

Do You Need To Use A Blood Glucose Monitor To Manage Your Diabetes?

Do You Need To Use A Blood Glucose Monitor To Manage Your Diabetes?

The blood glucose monitor is a device that every diabetic patient is well acquainted with. It serves to measure blood sugar levels to ensure control and proper management of the metabolic condition. The device is seen as an absolute necessity for those using insulin as their primary form of treatment. However, some type 2 diabetics are not treated with insulin. Instead, they find relative relief of their diabetes through adequate diet and exercise combined with scheduled medication doses. So does this group of diabetics need to use a glucose monitor to control their condition? This is the question a group of researchers wanted to address. Forms of diabetes There are two forms of diabetes commonly recognized—type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes results from the destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leaving little to no insulin left for the body. This makes insulin injection the only treatment method left for these patients. Type 2 diabetes results from cells becoming resistant to insulin, with the pancreas still able to produce insulin in most cases. This makes treatment a little more complex, as medications can be used to help make cells more sensitive to insulin or decrease the amount of glucose absorbed by the body. However, there are some cases of type 2 diabetes where insulin therapy is the last line of treatment available. Testing glucose control The study exploring this issue involved 450 patients. These subjects were split into three groups. The first had no blood sugar monitoring, the second had only once daily glucose monitoring, and the third had enhanced daily glucose monitoring with an Internet-delivered tailored message of encouragement or instruction. Participants were followed for one year. The researchers discovered that no significant Continue reading >>

Managing Gestational Diabetes

Managing Gestational Diabetes

I have gestational diabetes. Will I see my doctor more often? Once you know you have gestational diabetes, you'll probably see your healthcare provider at least every two weeks. If you take insulin or another medication, you may need to see your provider once a week. In your third trimester, you may have one or more ultrasound exams to check how your baby is growing. If you take medications to control your diabetes, you may also have a fetal nonstress test once or twice a week. This is a safe test which measures your baby's movements and heartbeat. It's important to go to all your prenatal appointments, even if you're feeling well. Your provider will need to monitor you and your baby regularly and may adjust your treatment plan based on the results of your tests. What will I need to do if I have gestational diabetes? The key to managing your condition is tracking your blood sugar levels. This helps you take control of your condition and be sure that your treatment plan is working. Your healthcare provider will show you how to test your own blood sugar using a special device. This involves pricking your finger with a small surgical blade called a lancet. Although some women find it unpleasant at first, it isn't usually painful. Your provider will tell you how often to test your blood sugar. Usually, you need to test yourself first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything, and then one or two hours after each meal. If you have trouble controlling your blood sugar, you may need to test more often. If your blood sugar is normal most of the time, you may be able to test less often. Your provider will also recommend lifestyle changes to help you to manage your gestational diabetes. Your blood sugar levels will show if these changes are working. What lifestyle cha Continue reading >>

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