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World Diabetes Day: What is diabetes?

“What is diabetes?” might have been the first question you had when you were diagnosed. It might be the first question a family member or friend asks. Essentially, diabetes is too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, which acts like a key to let glucose from the food we eat pass from the blood stream into the cells...

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Eating Healthy with Diabetes

As a person with diabetes, you make important decisions every day about food. What you eat has a greater impact on your blood glucose than anything else you do. You can meet this daily challenge by meal planning. With a meal plan, you can make choices when eating at home, grocery shopping and dining out. By working with your healthcare professional and learning about nutrition and the effect of food on blood sugar, you can turn meal planning into a pleasurable experience. Most food turns into sugar—or blood glucose—before entering the bloodstream. Insulin then helps blood glucose move from the bloodstream into your...

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Glycemic Index

Studies show when considering the effect of carbohydrates on blood glucose, it is not just how many carbohydrates you eat but their source as well.1 Some foods cause a quick rise in blood glucose after a meal, while others cause a smaller peak and more gradual decline in blood glucose levels. The measure of how fast a food causes blood glucose to peak is called its glycemic index, or GI. What a Glycemic Index (GI) Number Means High-carbohydrate foods are ranked on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 representing the effect of pure glucose on the body. The lower the GI of a food, the slower its peak. The way...

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Planning Your Meals

The goal of a meal plan is to control your blood glucose levels, maintain a healthy body weight and feel good. Your dietitian can assist you in meal planning by suggesting the right amounts, types and timing of the foods you eat. Different types of foods have specific roles within the body. Keeping track of what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat, along with regular testing, can help you and your healthcare professional understand how the foods you eat affect your blood glucose levels. As you develop your meal plan, think about the foods that you normally eat. One way to identify this is by creating a list of...

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How to Talk to Your Doctor

Whether you’ve been living with diabetes for years or you’re newly diagnosed, communicating with your healthcare team is one of the best things you can do. If you’re nervous about opening up to your doctor or pharmacist, there are some good reasons to conquer these fears. Less communication leads to measurable increases in your stress, anxiety, and possible depression. It also leads, inevitably, to less frequent and less successful diabetes management.1 Since communicating with your healthcare providers is proven to be good for your health, here are some guidelines for starting the conversation and keeping it going....

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Preparing for pregnancy—good reasons to start today

Let's think into the future. Imagine sitting in a rocking chair playing with ten brand-new, tiny toes. That's the image you can remember every time you check your blood glucose, visit your doctor or say no to a glass of wine. And it's absolutely worth it. Not ready for parenthood yet? Here's what you can do now. There are several things you can do to prepare for pregnancy well before you're ready to conceive. Read about it—just not too much. When you understand the risks, you can take steps to reduce them, but it could be overwhelming if you dwell on them. Stay confident knowing...

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How and Why to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

When you are getting enough sleep, you may find that you have an easier time controlling your blood sugar. You’ll be more alert during the day, have more energy, less stress, and an overall better mindset for monitoring and managing your diabetes. Consider what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. In addition to other things that may interfere with your sleep like schedule changes or stress, people with diabetes can have potential complications with sleep. Both high and low blood sugar levels can interrupt your sleep. People with type 2 diabetes who don’t get a good night’s sleep may me more insulin resistant and have a...

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Exercise More

Exercise is good for everyone, but for people with diabetes, it can make a big difference in keeping your blood sugar level under control. Not only that, but staying active allows your cells to process insulin more efficiently, improving your overall A1C levels. The many benefits to staying active Exercise is one of the cornerstones of managing your diabetes, because the list of benefits for people with diabetes is long. Exercise can:1 Improve insulin sensitivity for people with type 12 Decrease the glucose in your blood for people with type 23 ...

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Maintaining a Healthy Weight

If you have diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight positively impacts your health.1 It is important to involve your healthcare professional in weight-loss efforts. This is especially important if you have type 1 diabetes, because losing weight involves virtually every aspect of your diabetes self-care program, including your meal plan, physical activity and insulin requirements. Some people gain weight when they begin using insulin, as your body may be trying to restore itself to a healthy weight. By working with your healthcare professional, you can set up a plan to maintain a healthy weight and achieve weight-loss...

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