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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 characterized by the body’s total or partial deficiency in producing insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas). Insulin is created as part of the food digestion process. Insulin allows the blood sugar to enter the cells. Without insulin, glucose remains in the blood, increasing the level of glucose (hyperglycemia). At this stage, the body begins to show signs that something...

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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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Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes represents more than 90% of all diabetes cases.1 In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas may make enough insulin, but the body cannot effectively use the insulin it creates. This is known as insulin resistance. Eventually, the pancreas may stop producing insulin altogether. Type 2 diabetes traditionally affects people later in life, but can affect people at any age. Additional risk factors or characteristics for type 2 diabetes include Family history of diabetes History of gestational diabetes Obesity Race/Ethnicity such as...

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Monitoring

Controlling your blood sugar is very important part of managing diabetes. Regularly testing your blood sugar helps measure the effectiveness of your meal plan, physical activity and medications is by testing your blood sugar regularly. To self-test your blood sugar, you need a blood glucose meter, a test strip and a lancing device. Then, follow these steps:1 Wash and dry your hands. Using warm water may help the blood flow. Prick your finger with the lancing device to obtain a drop of blood. Apply the drop to the test strip as directed. Wait a few...

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How to Safely Have Fun with Your Family While Managing Diabetes

A diabetes diagnosis can impact every member of your family. But have you ever thought about the positive effects diabetes can have on the ones you love? For example, one important part of effectively managing diabetes is staying physically active. When you find opportunities to include friends and family in your regular exercise routine, this presents you with an opportunity to manage your blood sugar while helping everybody stay healthy together—and have some fun! Consider the following while enjoying fun and healthy activities with your family and friends. Plus we have also added...

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Decoding Diabetes: How to Read Nutrition Labels

Have you ever thought about how diabetes can actually help your entire family get healthier? Managing diabetes well means being disciplined and thoughtful about every food you choose, which creates a real opportunity to think more carefully about what is in the food you and your family eat. Shopping for groceries for a family means thinking about the nutritional needs of everybody in the household—especially those with special dietary requirements. When you or someone you love lives with diabetes, you may find yourself checking labels more often to make sure your food choices are well-rounded and help with...

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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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Three Easy Steps to Managing Diabetes through Family Fitness

Diabetes presents families with plenty of challenges, but can it actually help families get healthier? This World Diabetes Day, we’re exploring the different opportunities diabetes offers the whole family to take control of their health as a group. Exercise is one of the key pillars of managing diabetes well. Getting in shape helps you manage your blood sugar levels by helping your muscles burn energy more effectively. And while exercise is not everybody’s idea of fun, exercise can help every member of the family, diabetes or not, keep their bodies strong and healthy. When you are excited about exercise, you...

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