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Dining Out with Diabetes

In honor of this year’s World Diabetes Day, we’re asking a challenging question: Which ways can diabetes actually help your family? Diabetes is certainly tough, but we also believe it can present families with unique opportunities to better understand their health and to work together to develop healthier habits. One of the most important aspects of managing your diabetes—or your health in general——is balanced and healthy nutrition. You are working to cut carbs and sugar, increase your protein and vegetable intake, and control your portion size so you don’t overeat. It might seem counterintuitive to...

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Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children or young adults, although it can occur at any age. Roughly 3% of children and adolescents have diabetes. The onset of type 1 diabetes is often sudden and can include the following symptoms: Abnormal thirst and a dry mouth Frequent urination Extreme tiredness/lack of energy Sudden weight loss Slow-healing wounds Recurrent infections Blurred vision Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the beta cells found in the pancreas—...

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Future of Diabetes Treatment

Diabetes care has come a long way in just a few decades—after all, the first insulin pump was introduced in 1963, and fingerprick tests for personal blood glucose monitoring have only been around since the mid-1980s. So what's next? In development: Automating insulin delivery—the artificial pancreas Taking insulin pumping to the next level, an artificial pancreas is being tested that combines a continuous glucose monitor, insulin pump and glucagon pump (should blood glucose go too low), all managed by an app on a smartphone. The goal is to monitor your blood glucose and adjust your insulin throughout...

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What is Diabetes?

Understanding the basics of diabetes is the first step in gaining control of your health. Let’s look at what causes diabetes, some of the common symptoms, the benefits of healthy living, and what to do if you’ve just been diagnosed. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic disease. Your blood sugar levels are controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas. When you eat, food gets broken down and glucose enters your bloodstream. Insulin takes the glucose out of your bloodstream and allows it to enter your cells where it is broken down and turned into energy. If you have...

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Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar drops too low. The body responds to low blood sugar with warning signs that may be different in each person. Some warning signs of low blood sugar are feeling: Weak Shaky Irritable or confused. Low blood sugar may occur if your meal or snack is delayed or missed, after vigorous physical activity, or if too much insulin is given. In a person without diabetes, the pancreas will stop producing insulin if the blood sugar level falls below normal. In a person with diabetes, the insulin they inject keeps working, even when the blood...

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Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose, occurs when blood glucose rises above your recommended range. Your healthcare professional will determine the proper healthy blood glucose range for you. High blood glucose can be caused by many things, including: Eating too much food Little or no physical activity Not taking medications Stress, infection or illness Bad or spoiled insulin High blood glucose can cause serious problems and a major cause of long-term diabetes complications. Warning signs of high blood glucose include: Tiredness or...

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Carbohydrate Counting and Exchanges

The myth: If you have diabetes, you can't eat sweets or sugar. The truth: A food doesn't have to be sweet or sugary to raise your blood sugar. Anything with carbohydrates will affect your blood glucose, whether it's from white potatoes, pasta, bread or (insert local sweets here…jelly babies / lollies / strawberry laces).1 Of course, different foods may affect you differently. Why? Eating protein, fat or fiber along with your carbohydrates may slow the absorption of the carbohydrates into your system. That's why the extra fiber in whole-grain foods can help you avoid a...

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Creating a Circle of Support

No one can go it alone. Whether you have diabetes or you’re a caregiver, it’s important to have a few options for emotional support. Knowing who to turn to with specific questions will make life easier. Find other people with diabetes Few things are more comforting than talking with someone who understands you when you have diabetes, or if you are facing a type 1 or type 2 diagnosis. If you don’t already have a friend or family member with diabetes who can fill this role, seek out a diabetes support group  near you. What have you got to lose? If you don’t like one group, look for...

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Insulin Pumps

Insulin pumps provide insulin to your body 24 hours a day. A basal, or background, rate is delivered automatically based on your total daily insulin requirements. You can also give yourself a bolus insulin dose to cover the food you eat, as well as supplemental doses to correct your blood sugar when it is out of range. Your healthcare professional will help you determine your rates and dosages. Under the care of a healthcare professional, insulin pump users can go to school or work, sleep and even play sports with the pump. At night, it can be clipped to sleepwear, a blanket or tucked under your pillow. Insulin pump...

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