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Diabetes Awareness Month: Why Is It So Important To Take Your Diabetes Medication?

Diabetes Awareness Month: Why is it so important to take your diabetes medication?

Diabetes Awareness Month: Why is it so important to take your diabetes medication?

As we mark Diabetes Awareness Month in November, it is perhaps good to start with a reality check. The fact is that too many Canadians are already very aware of diabetes, either because they are living with it, or know at least one friend or family member who is.
The latest Statistics Canada data (from 2016) show that about 2.1 million Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes (7% of the population 12 and older). The overwhelming majority (about 90%), suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Even more alarming is a 2011 report from Diabetes Canada, which looks at skyrocketing increases in the number of Canadians living with diabetes since the year 2000, and estimates that by 2020, one in three Canadians will be affected. (Note that this figure includes people with undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes.)
Although treatable, diabetes is by no means curable, and it can lead to very serious consequences, including blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke. For diabetes patients, preventing these outcomes in the long term means carefully controlling their blood sugar levels every day.
Read: Knowing your risk of type 2 diabetes can help you reduce the impact
The good news is that there are very effective medications to treat diabetes, and new and better treatments are becoming available seemingly every day. Some of the newer drugs produce fewer side effects (low blood glucose, weight gain), and may even reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke for diabetes patients, which would be a major benefit.
Today, thanks to these advancements, along with a healthy diet and exer Continue reading

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How Intermittent Fasting Can Help Reverse Diabetes

How Intermittent Fasting Can Help Reverse Diabetes

The “Fast Cure” for Diabetes
Though we may not like to admit it, type 2 diabetes is a disease chiefly brought on by our lifestyle choices.[1] Yes, genetics come into play too, but when it comes to type 2 diabetes, you are not a slave to your gene pool. You have the power to even alter your genes.[2]
According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is increasing worldwide at an alarming rate due to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.[3] So, let’s say that you (or someone you know) became overweight, were less and less active, and finally one day at a routine doctor visit, your doctor announced that you have type 2 diabetes and put you on medication to lower your blood sugar.
Perhaps you’ve been taking diabetes meds for years now and the idea of reversing your diabetes seems far-fetched, even fanciful. Maybe your doctor doesn’t believe that type 2 diabetes is reversible. That has been the traditional medical thought greatly influenced by the pharmaceutical companies who want to push their expensive drugs.
But a new day has dawned and many doctors are seeing their patients reverse their type 2 diabetes. One effective way people reverse their type 2 diabetes is by intermittent fasting. Dr. Jason Fung, MD, writes, “While many consider type 2 diabetes (T2D) irreversible, fasting has been long known to cure diabetes.”[4] Wow, “cure” is a strong word coupled with diabetes and spoken by a medical doctor!
Harvard University is home to the famous Joslin Center for Diabetes. The center is named after Dr. Elliot Joslin, one of the greatest specialists in Continue reading

Eating with Diabetes: What About Fruit?

Eating with Diabetes: What About Fruit?

The Best Fruit Choices for People with Diabetes
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, fruit should be part of any healthy diet. As a diabetes educator, some of the most frequent questions from my clients have to do with fruit. Can I still eat fruit? How much fruit should I eat? What are the best fruits for someone with diabetes?
Most people with diabetes are worried about eating fruit because they know that fruit contains sugar. And in the past, people with diabetes were told to avoid eating sugar. While it's true that fruit contains naturally-occurring sugars—and sometimes added ones, too (more on that below)—fruit also provides a host of other healthy nutrients that are beneficial for everyone, including people with diabetes. In addition, it's important to remember that people who have diabetes can eat anything, including fruit! Here's why.
All carbohydrate-containing foods—not just those with sugar—affect blood sugar levels. It is the amount of carbohydrate you eat (not the type) that has the biggest influence on blood sugar levels. Because of this, people with diabetes can treat all carbohydrate-containing foods (including fruit) the same when meal planning. Too much of any carbohydrate at a given meal or snack will probably raise your blood sugar higher than you would like. Therefore, a big part of diabetes meal planning is devoted to carbohydrate counting or “budgeting” carbohydrates in some way. You should work with your diabetes educator or a dietitian that specializes in diabetes in order to determine how much carbohydrate you need.
If you count ca Continue reading

What is Type 3 Diabetes?

What is Type 3 Diabetes?

At first blush, it may be hard to imagine a connection between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. But it’s real—and it’s so strong that some experts are now referring to it as type 3 diabetes or brain diabetes. By any name, it’s the progression from type 2 diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia marked by memory deficits and a dramatic decline in cognitive function.
While all people with diabetes have a 60 percent increased risk of developing any type of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, recent research suggests that women with type 2 diabetes have a 19 percent greater risk of a certain type, known as vascular dementia (which is caused by problems with blood supply to the brain) than men do. Overall, older adults with type 2 diabetes suffer from greater declines in working memory and executive functioning (a set of mental processes that involve planning, organization, controlling attention, and flexible thinking) than their peers do.
Granted, not everyone who has type 2 diabetes will develop Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, or any other form of dementia, and there are many people who have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia who don’t have diabetes, notes Gary Small, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute and author of The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. But the reality is, “these risk factors tend to add up: If you have diabetes, that doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. If you have a first-degree relative—a parent or sibling, for example—with Alzheimer Continue reading

Smoking and Diabetes

Smoking and Diabetes

What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of diseases in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Most of the food a person eats is turned into glucose (a kind of sugar) for the body’s cells to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin that helps glucose get into the body’s cells. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use the insulin very well. Less glucose gets into the cells and instead builds up in the blood.1
There are different types of diabetes. Type 2 is the most common in adults and accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes cases. Fewer people have type 1 diabetes, which most often develops in children, adolescents, or young adults.2
How Is Smoking Related to Diabetes?
We now know that smoking causes type 2 diabetes. In fact, smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. And people with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and with controlling their disease.3
The more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk for type 2 diabetes.3 No matter what type of diabetes you have, smoking makes your diabetes harder to control.
If you have diabetes and you smoke, you are more likely to have serious health problems from diabetes. Smokers with diabetes have higher risks for serious complications, including:4
Heart and kidney disease
Poor blood flow in the legs and feet that can lead to infections, ulcers, and possible amputation (removal of a body part by surgery, such as toes or feet)
Retinopathy (an ey Continue reading

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