More and More Diabetics Turning to Smartphone Apps to Help Manage Their Condition

August 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

For diabetics seeking to take charge of their personal health, the Internet can be a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because the Internet, naturally, has a wealth of information that can be easily accessed.

But researching diabetes care online can also be frustrating. For starters, it’s hard to know what information to trust. And perhaps more importantly, sites that describe treatment for diabetes may not be applicable to all diabetics. After all, each patient is different.

Fortunately, doctors and software engineers are working to fill this void. One smart phone app called MedSimple, for example, takes a customized approach towards helping users. It allows users to compare medication costs across local pharmacies so they can find the best deal. It also enables users to enter their current medication regimen and provides reminders so they take their medication on time or refill it.

These developments, of course, are just the beginning. The next few years will see a welcomed revolution in how diabetics manage their disease with the help of technology.


Managing Diabetes: Put Down the Cigarettes

August 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

Diabetes complications are potentially life-threatening, but you can reduce your risk of serious complications by closely monitoring your health and properly managing diabetes.

The treatment plan recommended by your doctor depends on your type of diabetes, as well as the severity of your condition. The goal of treatment is to keep your blood glucose level within a healthy range. But even if you follow your doctor’s orders and take your medications as directed, smoking cigarettes can undo your hard work.

Most people associate smoking with heart disease and lung cancer. But cigarettes don’t only affect these areas of your health. Smoking can also increase your blood glucose level. For this reason, smoking is counterproductive to managing diabetes, and if you want to stay healthy and ward off problems, it’s time to give up cigarettes.

Talk to your doctor about various options, such as the nicotine patch or perhaps medications designed to help you kick the habit such as Xyban, which I used. The sooner you stop smoking, the sooner you can devote all your energies to managing diabetes and improving your overall health.


Powerful Piece on New Jersey Families Puts a Human Face to the Diabetes Epidemic

August 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

Too often, writers and magazines talk about diabetes in the abstract, referring to stats and figures while ignoring the human element. A recent article in the Daily Beast, however, avoids that. It provides a powerful and alarming profile on the human “face” of diabetes.

In this case, it’s a diabetic family in Camden, NJ, led by Alicia Rivera, a mother of three. The article delves into Alicia’s past, and in doing so, underscores the roots of America’s diabetes epidemic.

Alicia came to New Jersey in 1972. At the time, she was surrounded by fresh fruits and vegetables, yet also ate traditionally carbohydrate-rich foods for dinner. Nonetheless, she remained thin, until the early 1980s when Camden saw the emergence of more fast food restaurants. During that time, she also had children, which made it more difficult to exercise and eat properly.

Now she spends her days worried about managing diabetes, equipped with an EpiPen – a syringe full of adrenaline that’s always at the ready in the event of an insulin coma.

Ultimately, Alicia’s story has been replicated by millions of diabetics across the country and shows how a poor diet and lack of exercise can lead to diabetes.


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.


Alternatives for Managing Diabetes

July 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

There is no cure for diabetes (and life insurance for diabetics is expensive) This is a life-long condition that affects your body’s ability to process sugar or glucose. Many people living with diabetes live relatively healthy lives. Properly managing diabetes is a key to longevity. This involves watching your sugar intake, taking medications as directed, and incorporating other healthy habits into your life. Failure to manage your diabetes can result in life-threatening complications.

Here are a few tips for managing diabetes and keeping your condition under control

1. Take your doctor’s advice and maintain a healthy weight. Cut out fast foods, fatty foods, and other unhealthy selections.

2. Get active and exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes.

3. Add fiber to your diet — eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or take a fiber supplement.

4. Take a vitamin supplement each day. Purchase supplements over-the-counter. Talk to your doctor before starting a vitamin regimen. Ask about other supplements to keep your diabetes under control.


Ongoing Management of Diabetes

July 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

What happens to a person if they stop managing diabetes? If a person were to leave their diabetes untreated, many problems would occur in the body. Diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage will most likely occur over time. This condition is very dangerous as it lessens a diabetic’s sensitivity in their legs, feet, and hands putting them in serious danger. They become less sensitive to temperature and pain. If diabetes is left untreated a person would develop diabetic retinotherapy where the retina of their eye becomes damaged. This is a result of having too much blood glucose in the body and can lead to blindness. Kidney, heart disease and stroke are also very real possibilities if a diabetic receives no treatment for diabetes. These are obviously very serious conditions and can be life threatening.

People who have been diagnosed with diabetes know they would never chance these health conditions happening to them. However, when some folks get their diabetes under control they become complacent with their health. There is no room for complacency with managing diabetes. Yes, you can live a long healthy life, but there are many things you have to do each and every day to stay on top of your health and keep from ever falling ill.


New Apps Help Take the Frustration Out of Diabetes Management

July 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

There was a time when managing diabetes involved writing down your meals in a notebook, tallying your sugar intake, and tracking your blood glucose levels all on paper. For most diabetics, it was and still is an arduous process, never mind the fact that often times people forget to take their notebook with them when they leave the house.

Fortunately, a whole new host of apps look to make managing diabetes just a bit easier.

OnTrack, for example, is a log book that resides on your phone, rather than in your purse or pocket. You can enter your blood sugar levels and track your insulin dosages. Better yet, you can print out the log and show it to your doctor.

But what about the other huge challenge: food for diabetics? There’s an app for that too, and it’s called GoMeals. It has a database of name brand foods and their associated nutritional data. Better yet, it has an extensive list of restaurants with the nutritional information of their meals as well.

Managing diabetes is never easy, but these apps can make life a little better.


The Importance of Communication in Managing Diabetes

July 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

As many Americans can tell you, managing diabetes is extremely difficult because there are so many things outside of a diabetic’s control.

Take the nutritional labeling of foods for example. A focused and determined diabetic can strictly control his diet within the confines of his home, but once he go out in public, they are immediately challenged by the fact that most restaurants don’t provide the nutritional information of a given meal.

Of course, the diabetic can bring with them a book that has estimated blood sugar levels for different types of meals, but again, this is just an estimate. And being surrounded by non-diabetics can make it even more difficult to stick to a healthy diet regimen.

Fortunately, there is help on the horizon. For example, Chartered Health Plan, a managed care organization in the District of Columbia, is sending out diabetes-related text messages to individuals to help them better manage the disease. This is important because research has shown that diabetics with consistent communication with professionals, either through text messages, telephone calls, or in-person meetings, have an easier time in managing diabetes.


Consistent Eating Habits and Managing Diabetes

June 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

Properly managing diabetes is key to maintaining your health. Even if your diabetes is under control, complications can occur down the road. These can include nerve damage, stroke, heart attack and coma. With diabetes, a healthy blood glucose level is crucial. There are several ways to maintain healthy levels, such as eating enough fiber, exercising and taking prescription medications. Additionally, managing diabetes necessitates consistent eating habits.

Someone without diabetes can skip meals or go hours between meals without serious consequences. However, it is vital that people living with diabetes eat throughout the day. This doesn’t suggest eating large meals or overindulging in food. A healthy eating plan includes five or six small meals a day. You might enjoy a moderate-size portion for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then eat three healthy snacks in between meals. This is especially important when managing diabetes because skipping meals can increase your blood sugar, whereas well-spaced out meals and snacks helps maintain a healthy level.


Exercise and Living With Diabetes

June 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

The risk of heart disease is greater in people living with diabetes. People with diabetes often suffer from elevated blood sugar levels. And while medication is an effective treatment for diabetes, adopting a healthier lifestyle is also crucial.

If you’re living with diabetes, controlling your weight and blood sugar are imperative to avoiding complications, such as heart disease. Inactivity is a common problem among adults. Health and wellness experts recommend daily physical activity, but the majority of adults do not exercise on a regular basis. Relatively healthy people might be able to skip daily workouts and maintain a measure of health, but if you’re living with diabetes, you need to adjust your daily schedule and incorporate some form of physical activity.

You don’t have to workout for hours, nor do you have to take part in strenuous or exhausting workouts. Low-impact, simple activities, such as walking, biking and swimming are all you need. Get into a habit of working out and you’ll gradually drop excess pounds and naturally lower your blood sugar.


All About Type 2 Diabetes

May 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

There is a lot that goes into managing diabetes. Diet, exercise and medication all work together to keep a person’s blood sugar under control. But another big part of managing diabetes is understanding the risks involved. Many people don’t understand the serious health complications that can arise from type 2 Diabetes and they aren’t going to the doctors.

These serious complications include heart disease and stroke. People living with type 2 Diabetes are at a far greater risk of dying from heart disease. It is the leading cause of death.

Many folks with type 2 Diabetes have high blood pressure. If they have not been diagnosed, they may not be taking the proper prescription medication that will help to keep their pressure under control. High blood pressure makes it more difficult for people to fight off what could be dangerous infections.

People with type 2 Diabetes are at a much greater risk of kidney disease and nerve damage. This nerve damage accounts for many leg and foot amputations. If a person has not been treated for type 2 diabetes, they are at serious risk for glaucoma and cataracts. They may also have retinopathy, which can lead to blindness.

If you are overweight and lead a sedentary lifestyle, it is imperative that you are seen by a doctor so they can diagnose if you have type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, you should embark on a healthier lifestyle and reduce these risks even if you test negative for the condition.


Including Support In Your Diabetes Treatment

April 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

It seems completely normal to be sad and overwhelmed because of your diabetes. Many folks express the feelings of wanting to run away and never look back. But Diabetes, as with any illness, follows you; a constant reminder that you need to be focused and in charge, every minute, of your own health and your own future.

Managing diabetes day in and day out can take a toll on your mental well-being and that is why treatment for diabetes needs to include support. Support can be in many forms. You could find support right at your fingertips with an online support group. These are really helpful if time is short. Folks online become a sort of “family” and will offer support while they get to know you. It ends up being a safe place to voice your sadness, frustration, and even your joy.

You can also join a support group where you meet at a mutual location and talk one-on-one with folks who have Diabetes. Some meetings are run by experienced medical personnel, who are available to answer your questions. Sharing helps to reduce the burdens you carry and you will find that you will meet more people who are living with diabetes and leading happy lives. This will inspire and motivate you during those times of sadness. And soon you may find that your stories begin to help the people who need your support.


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