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Building Your Diabetes Support Team

Diabetes can be overwhelming, but you do not have to go it alone. The theme of World Diabetes Day 2018 is “Family and Diabetes,” which has us thinking about the ways diabetes can actually help our families grow closer and healthier together. That may not have been what you thought of when you read the word diabetes, but it is true. Regular communication about our health and how we feel with those closest to us can have a positive impact for you and the ones you love. As you look at those around you to develop your team that can help you navigate your life with diabetes, the following is a list of the people...

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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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Treatment

Diabetes does not have a cure, but it is treatable. With the proper treatment plan, you can reduce or even prevent the complications related to diabetes. Common treatments for diabetes include insulin injections, oral medications, diet and exercise. Work closely with your healthcare team to create the best treatment plan for you. Over time, hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) can cause health problems. Diabetes has been linked to: 1 Heart disease Heart attacks Strokes Kidney disease Nerve damage Digestive problems...

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Alternative Site Testing (AST)

Some blood glucose meters allow you to use blood samples from other parts of the body, such as the palm, forearm, upper arm, thigh or calf. Testing from alternate sites is not always ideal. Blood from your fingertip shows changes in blood sugar quickly, but blood from alternate sites may not, and you may not get the most accurate result.1 Always consult with your healthcare professional before using sites other than your fingertip for blood sugar testing. Alternate site testing, or AST, may be recommended when blood sugar is stable, such as immediately before a meal or before bedtime. AST is not recommended when blood...

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Oral Treatment

Many people with type 2 diabetes still create insulin, but their bodies either do not make enough or do not use it as effectively as they should. Often, healthcare professionals start people with diabetes on a therapy of diet and exercise. If these are not enough, the healthcare professional may prescribe oral medications. If medication still does help control blood sugar levels, insulin may be added to a person’s therapy. Today’s oral drugs offer more options for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Because various medications work in different ways, healthcare professionals may be able to add drugs together for better...

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Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnancy hormones and weight gain block a woman’s body's ability to use insulin properly. This type of diabetes can effect women who have never had diabetes. Gestational diabetes may affect as many as 7% of pregnant women.1 This type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. Gestational diabetes can lead to high blood pressure for the mother and high birth weight for the baby. There is also an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes for both you and your baby in the future. Your baby may also be at higher risk of childhood obesity.2 You can reduce these risks by...

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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 big spike in blood glucose....

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HbA1C

The HbA1c test (also known as A1c or glycated hemoglobin) measures your average blood sugar levels over a period of time by taking a sample of a specific component of your red blood cells—hemoglobin A1C molecules. Some blood sugar naturally attaches itself to these A1C molecules as the molecules move through your bloodstream. When this happens, the molecule is considered "glycated." The more sugar in your blood, the more glycated A1C molecules you will have.1 The A1C test is not a substitute for frequent self-monitoring. It shows the average amount of blood sugar in the body over the last 3–4 months....

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Insulin Treatment

Insulin is a natural hormone made in your pancreas. It moves blood glucose from your blood into your cells. If your body cannot produce its own insulin, it may be necessary to take insulin in order to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Insulin can be injected using a syringe or a pen, or through an insulin pump. Insulin cannot be taken in pill form because the acids in the stomach will break it down. There are a variety of insulin types, brands and sources. Healthcare professionals often prescribe 2 types of insulin: mealtime insulin and background insulin. Mealtime insulin (bolus) is used to control after-meal blood glucose...

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