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Slideshow: Diabetes Complications -- Eye Problems And Blindness

Slideshow: Diabetes Complications -- Eye Problems and Blindness

Slideshow: Diabetes Complications -- Eye Problems and Blindness

Diabetes can make you more likely to have eye problems. Your blood sugar (glucose) levels may be high because your body can't make or use insulin properly. Too much blood sugar can build up and harm your nerves and blood vessels. Damage to the blood vessels in your eyes can lead to vision loss or blindness. Anyone with diabetes is at risk, so it’s important to get yearly eye exams.
Diabetes can affect your eyes in different ways. When your blood sugar is high or when you start insulin treatment, you may have blurry vision or other problems. But your eyes can be damaged even if you don’t notice any changes. Don’t wait for symptoms to arise to get your vision checked.
Diabetic Retinopathy
The retina senses light coming into your eye, and it sends messages to your brain about the things you see. Damage to blood vessels inside the retina from blood sugar buildup is called diabetic retinopathy. You might not notice changes at first, but over time the walls of your blood vessels may leak fluid. When you’ve had diabetes for a while, blood vessels can form scar tissue and pull the retina away from the back of your eye. This can lead to severe vision loss and even blindness.
Your doctor can diagnose retinopathy during a thorough eye exam. He’ll use a special dye to find leaking blood vessels. In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy often can be treated with laser surgery called photocoagulation. The laser seals the blood vessels and stops them from leaking and growing. The procedure can't restore lost vision. Combined with follow-up care, though, it can lower your chance Continue reading

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How Well Do You Know Your Diabetes Management Plan?

How Well Do You Know Your Diabetes Management Plan?

As a person with diabetes, you are in charge of your diabetes management. Your doctor, diabetes educator, dietitian, and other members of your team are there to give input on your plan, but between checkups, your diabetes care is your responsibility.
Having the information you need is key to successfully managing your diabetes. It’s important to truly know what your diabetes plan is and to understand how to carry it out. It also helps to know why you’re doing the things you’re doing. For example, your doctor may tell you that you need an HbA1c test result below 7%, but you may not feel that striving for that is worth the effort unless you know that a result under 7% is directly associated with fewer long-term complications. In addition, knowing what, knowing how, and knowing why can help you problem-solve should something go wrong.
The following questions are designed to get you thinking about how well you know your diabetes control plan, while encouraging you to seek out the missing answers.
Medicine
Do you know the names of the medicines you take for your
diabetes?
Drugs often go by two different names: the generic name, which is the scientific name of the drug, and the brand name, which is the name you’ll see in large print in TV or magazine ads. Drugs sold as generics are labeled only with their generic names, while brand-name drugs are labeled with both the generic name and the brand name. For example, the long-acting insulin Lantus is marked with both its brand name, Lantus, and its generic name, insulin glargine. In most cases, knowing one or the other is pro Continue reading

13 Things All Teachers Should Know About Type 1 Diabetes

13 Things All Teachers Should Know About Type 1 Diabetes

Brought to you by JDRF
Millions of people around the world live with type 1 diabetes (T1D), a life-threatening autoimmune disease that strikes both children and adults. JDRF is the leading global organization funding research that will one day create a world without T1D. By joining JDRF Kids Walk, not only can your students make a difference for those living with T1D, but it’s fun and easy for everyone involved!
Find out how your school can help today.
As an educator, you provide an extremely important set of eyes and ears for students. Since you see them throughout the day, you notice when things are different, off or just not quite right. This is incredibly helpful and comforting to parents because teachers often uncover important and even life-changing discoveries. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is one of those diseases that teachers can often see signs of in the classroom, so it’s important to know what to look for. Take a look at some of these warning signs, and also get tips about how to accommodate a child with T1D in your classroom.
1. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease.
It is not related to lifestyle, nor is it the result of anything the child (or family) did or did not do. Normally, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps the body use glucose (“blood sugar”) for energy. In people who have T1D, the body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells and the pancreas produces very little or no insulin, so blood sugar levels can rise if unchecked. A person with T1D needs insulin injections or infusions to live.
2. Excessive urination, thirst a Continue reading

Diabetes In Hot Weather — 12 Things To Know

Diabetes In Hot Weather — 12 Things To Know

To date, 2016 has been the hottest year ever, and it’s getting hotter. From now on, coping with heat will be an important part of managing diabetes.
Some knowledge that might help you:
1. High body temperatures can lower blood sugar. Mayo Clinic writers Nancy Klobassa Davidson, RN, and Peggy Moreland, RN, CDE, say you should check your sugars more often in the hot weather.
2. Sunburn can raise blood sugar. The Mayo Clinic advises wearing a good sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat while out in the sun.
3. Warm skin absorbs insulin faster, while dehydrated skin absorbs insulin more slowly. The closer you can keep your injection site to normal temperature and hydration, the better.
4. Dehydration from sweating can raise blood sugar and can lead to heat exhaustion. According to the Cleveland Clinic, people with diabetes are more likely than others to be admitted to hospitals for dehydration and heat exhaustion, and to die from it.
High glucose levels lead to urinating more, which increases risk for dehydration. This may be especially true if you’re on an SGLT-2 inhibitor drug. Keep drinking water with a bit of salt if you are blessed to live in an area where water is available. Have a bottle with you and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
Learn to check yourself for dehydration by pinching up some skin on your arm and letting it go. It should snap right back into place. If it goes more slowly, you are getting dehydrated. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine in super-hot weather, as they are dehydrating.
5. Heat can damage insulin, other medications, and test strips. Th Continue reading

10 Best Type 2 Diabetes Snacks

10 Best Type 2 Diabetes Snacks

Healthy Combinations Ready in Minutes
When you have type 2 diabetes, a smart strategy for controlling your blood sugar levels is to think of snacks as miniature versions of meals and plan your carbs accordingly. Snacks with a good mix of protein, fat, and fiber will help keep hunger at bay and your blood sugar on an even keel throughout the day. "Since a meal should include 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates, a snack should have around 15 to 20 grams," says Katherine Basbaum, MS, RD, a clinical dietitian in the Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation departments at University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville. By the same token, she says, fill your snack plate the same way you would for a regular meal. That means half should be non-starchy vegetables, one-quarter should be lean protein, and one-quarter a starchy carb.
Here are 10 terrific options for healthy diabetes snacks. Continue reading

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