Diet and Exercise Is Key for Diabetics

September 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Living with Diabetes

If you’re living with diabetes, being overweight or obese heightens your chances of complications. Losing weight through healthy eating and exercise can help you better manage your diabetes and lower your risk of additional health problems.

The first step to eating healthy is choosing the right foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dried beans and lean proteins. You should also consume low-fat milk and diary products and healthy fats in moderation. Healthy fats include vegetable oils mayonnaise and margarine with no trans fat. You can continue to enjoy potato chips, cakes, soda and other snacks, but it’s important that you reduce your intake of these types of foods.

In addition to choosing the right foods, be sure to watch the amount of food you consume. Portions consumed at restaurants and at home have greatly increased over the past 10 years. Eating too much, even healthy food, can cause you to gain weight.

Physical activity is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle. It can help lower blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure levels and decrease your risk of chronic diseases. Calories are in everything you eat and drink. You can burn the calories you consume through exercise. The more exercise you do, the more calories you can burn. Diet and exercise go hand in hand for everyone and is especially important if you’re living with diabetes.

 

Count Those Carbs

September 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Living with Diabetes

The goal of meal planning is to help people living with diabetes eat healthy without placing too much restriction on your food choices. The carbohydrate counting method is a fairly new meal planning method for diabetics. It involves setting a limit on the amount of carbohydrate foods you eat.

We have been told in various diets that carbs are bad, but this simply is not the case. A healthy, well-balanced diet includes carbohydrates – just not too many. Most diabetics should eat about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. To use the carbohydrate counting methods, you will first need to know which foods have carbohydrates and how to determine the amount of carbs per serving. Carbohydrates are found in starchy foods such as breads, rice, pasta, fruit, vegetables, sweets and snacks.

The carb-counting method opens up the list of “off-limit” foods. With this method diabetics are encouraged to eat the foods you love, but monitor how much of those foods are consumed. While this may sound like a dream come true, it is important to focus on good carbohydrates – those found in vegetables, fruits and whole grain breads, versus those found in cakes, soda and snacks.

 

Living With Diabetes – Proper Dental Care

September 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Living with Diabetes

If you’re living with diabetes, you likely know the importance of a healthy diet, a healthy weight, and controlling your blood sugar. These factors, along with many others, can maintain your health and ward off complications. Complications can include heart disease, stroke, organ damage and amputation. But these aren’t the only conditions you should worry about. Living with diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, thus it’s important to practice good dental hygiene.

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the gum tissue. Because you’re more prone to gum disease, brushing frequently throughout the day is a necessity. While someone without diabetes may brush three times a day, someone with diabetes may brush after every meal or snack. Flossing is also crucial to avoiding gum disease. This practice removes plague and other particles from around the gum line.

If you’re living with diabetes, never underestimate the importance of regular dental checkups. Even if you brush and floss multiple times during the day and avoid sugary foods, dental visits contribute to your oral health. Schedule checkups every six months – or as recommended by your dentist.

 

Living With Diabetes – Proper Dental Care

September 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Living with Diabetes

If you’re living with diabetes, you likely know the importance of a healthy diet, a healthy weight, and controlling your blood sugar. These factors, along with many others, can maintain your health and ward off complications. Complications can include heart disease, stroke, organ damage and amputation. But these aren’t the only conditions you should worry about. Living with diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, thus it’s important to practice good dental hygiene.

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the gum tissue. Because you’re more prone to gum disease, brushing frequently throughout the day is a necessity. While someone without diabetes may brush three times a day, someone with diabetes may brush after every meal or snack. Flossing is also crucial to avoiding gum disease. This practice removes plague and other particles from around the gum line.

If you’re living with diabetes, never underestimate the importance of regular dental checkups. Even if you brush and floss multiple times during the day and avoid sugary foods, dental visits contribute to your oral health. Schedule checkups every six months – or as recommended by your dentist.

 

Living With Diabetes – Listen to Your Body

September 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Living with Diabetes

If you’re living with diabetes, your doctor may schedule periodic appointments to monitor your condition and check your blood glucose level. If carefully managed, people with diabetes can live relatively healthy lives. But if a person with diabetes maintains a poor diet or makes other unhealthy lifestyle choices, this can spell trouble.

While you may take your medication as directed by your doctor and adhere to periodic lab work, managing diabetes also involves knowing your body and recognizing changes that can indicate problems.

If you’re living with diabetes, it is important that you closely monitor your thirst. It’s normal to feel thirsty after a workout or after you’ve eaten a salty meal. Furthermore, if you haven’t had a beverage in hours, it’s also normal to feel unusually thirsty. But if you cannot pinpoint the cause of extreme thirst, and you’re feeling unusually weak or tired, make a doctor’s appointment. This can indicate changes in your blood glucose level, and if not corrected, this can trigger complications with your diabetes.

 

A Three-Step To-Do List for Newly-Diagnosed Diabetics

August 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Living with Diabetes

It’s a day millions of Americans will never forget: the day they discovered they had diabetes. For newly-diagnosed diabetics, the news can be devastating. Yet with time, patience, and hard work, living with diabetes can be manageable.

But it’s important to get off on the right foot; health experts recommend newly-diagnosed diabetics do three things as soon as possible.

First, diabetics should sign up for a comprehensive diabetes class. While more and more information is out there to educate individuals about proper diabetes care, there is still a lot of ignorance and confusion. A diabetes class will teach diabetics how the disease works, how it is treated, and how it can be properly managed on a day-to-day basis.

Second, the newly-diagnosed should get a brand new blood glucose monitor. Diabetics should never use monitors given to them by friends or family members, as they run the risk of contracting blood-borne pathogens.

And lastly, diabetics should closely monitor their carbohydrate intake until they meet with a dietician who can draw up a customized regimen. And while the temptation may be there, carbs and sugars should not be eliminated from one’s diet entirely, as it can reduce one’s glucose levels to abnormally low levels.

 

Successful Diabetes Management Combines Both Physical and Emotional Wellness

When we talk about managing diabetes, the discussion is often centered around the physical toll the disease takes on the body.  But there is also an emotional impact as well, and diabetics should be constantly aware of how their condition affects their moods.

The science is irrefutable: diabetics are more likely to suffer from depression, anger, and anxiety if blood sugars are poorly controlled.  On one hand, escalating or mercurial blood sugars can adversely affect brain chemistry and trigger episodes of depression and anxiety.

At the same time, even when blood sugars are kept under control, diabetics may nonetheless feel depressed or angry given their lifestyle.  And it’s understandable: living with diabetes requires constant vigilance and, over time, can leave the diabetic exhausted and depressed.

At the end of the day, successful management of diabetes consists of both physical and mental wellness.  Diabetics need to keep the lines of communication open with their doctors and dieticians if they feel anxious or depressed, as these emotional conditions are inextricably linked to their physical well-being.

 

Diabetic Alert Dogs an Increasingly Popular Line of Defense in Managing Diabetes

July 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Living with Diabetes

A recent article in the New Yorker examined the incredible advancements humans have made in training dogs for all sorts of public safety or military measures. In the article, we learn how dogs are being deployed in Afghanistan to sniff out improvised explosive devices and how New York City policemen use them to catch would-be criminals or terrorists in subways and on the streets.

Now comes another encouraging development for individuals living with diabetes: diabetic alert dogs.

These dogs can, quite literally, smell if a diabetic’s blood sugars are low. More incredibly, the dogs can sense changes in blood sugars from as far away as five miles – or an hour or so before a meter detects it.

To say a dog’s sense of smell is amazing is an understatement: while the average human has five-million scent receptors, a dog has close to a quarter-million. As a result, when a diabetic’s blood sugars rise, they release a chemical that only dogs can detect. When this occurs, the dog is trained to paw at the owner to alert them to take insulin.

 

Living With Diabetes: Alcoholic Beverages

July 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Living with Diabetes

People living with diabetes have to keep a close eye on their health and diet. Diabetes is a condition in which the body has difficulty regulating blood sugar. Keeping this condition under control involves carefully monitoring your sugar intake. While you may adopt better eating habits and reduce your intake of candy and other sweets, living with diabetes also calls for limiting your alcohol intake.

It’s okay for people with diabetes to enjoy a drink here and there, but some alcoholic beverages have high sugar content. Consuming several of these beverages a day can negatively affect your blood glucose level and lead to complications.

To maintain your health when living with diabetes, it’s best to watch your intake of alcohol and consume no more than one glass of wine or beer a day. Better yet, you can go a step further and only drink alcoholic beverages that contain no sugar, such as whiskey.

 

Depression Caused by Diabetes Among Women

July 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Living with Diabetes

For women living with diabetes the rate of depression is much higher than her male counterparts. It is primarily due to hormonal factors and stress. Women, busier than ever, need to balance work, family, finances, meals, etc. daily, so adding managing diabetes along with everything else can become too much.

Dealing with changes in their menstrual cycle, pregnancies, life after baby arrives, peri-menopause and menopause are all hormonal factors that can contribute to the state of mind of a women during her life especially while she is managing diabetes. It is important that women are evaluated if they are feeling depressed and are no longer able to enjoy activities as they have in the past. Part of leading a healthy life while managing diabetes involves staying active and fit. If a woman is going through a time when she is depressed she could very likely let her care slip and that is never an option when one has diabetes.

Seeking medical attention for help with depression will diminish these feelings and allow a woman to take charge of her life, do the things that make her happy and keep herself fit, which will help to keep her blood glucose levels in check and allow her to stay happy and healthy.

 

Driving for Diabetics

July 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Living with Diabetes

Living with diabetes means having to be prepared in a myriad of situations. Driving a vehicle is sometimes overlooked as a an instance where something could happen regarding a diabetic emergency. Since you are never without diabetes, you should never be without precautions that could help in these emergencies.

Before you get behind the wheel, check your blood sugar. If you find your blood sugar is too low, eat a snack before you head out. If it is fine but you are taking a long trip, pack extra snacks to eat at various intervals and don’t ever forget to pack your blood sugar meter and other diabetes supplies.

If you are driving and you feel the signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) pull over immediately. Grab one of your snacks, which should contain a quick source of sugar. Then before you begin driving again, be sure to recheck your blood sugar and only continue if it is in your target range. Keep a cell phone on you and make sure friends and family are aware of where you are headed if you are taking a long trip.

 

Dealing with Childhood Diabetes

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the United States across the past three decades. And if we as a society aim to bring this epidemic to a halt, everyone – including parents, teachers, doctors, and policy-makers – must realize that the risk of developing childhood diabetes is linked to not only what they eat, but where they live.

In other words, the characteristics of a child’s neighborhood – its walkability, proximity to parks, and access to healthy food – can be huge contributing factors to the development of obesity and diabetes.

Recent research confirms this, finding that children in a “favorable neighborhood environment” have close to 60 percent lower odds in being obese. And childhood obesity, as we all know, can contribute to diabetes.

Another study, for example, found that children who lived in rural areas got the appropriate amount of exercise; meanwhile, those in suburban or urban environments spent most of their time on buses or in cars shuttling from place to place.

 

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