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Archive for Lifestyle Tips

May
20

How healthy is your gut?

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Do you suffer from bloating, constipation, diarrhea or a lack of regularity?

Are you always hungry and cannot seem to control your appetite or maintain a healthy weight?

If so, you too are like many others who may be suffering from an unhealthy gut.

Now you may be wondering, what is all the talk about and why is there so much conversation about the gut?

The answer is simple; a healthy gut and GI tract may be the two secret keys to better health.

We see it on television, read it in magazines (especially at the supermarket), hear it on the radio, on podcasts and watch it on YouTube videos. Gut health is everywhere. Every health ambassador on every platform, preaching the importance of the health and wellbeing of the intestinal tract and the micro flora found within it.

The goal of the “healthy gut” is to get the entire gut flora back in “wack”, as scientific as that sounds. “Healthy gut” biome is great for nutrient absorption and toxic elimination. Science is starting to recognize that a unhealthy gut can cause symptoms that may cause stomach bloating, skin issues, obesity and even poor sleep.

A “healthy gut” can develop by eating more fermented foods and good bacteria. There are several foods that support the human microbiome, supply the right bacteria and then help to promote the “healthy gut”. These foods include both prebiotics and probiotics that initiate and maintain the healthiest environment inside one’s gut.

Prebiotics initiate and feed the gut’s micro flora. They are essential nutrients that nourish and grow the signals that initiate the healthiest responses from the immune and endocrine systems. Prebiotics are the source that nourishes and nurtures the growth of probiotics in the microbiome. Prebiotics can establish an environment for growth in the large intestinal tract with the most active, healthy microbiome that produces the signals for satiety, blood glucose regulation, immune system support, and gastric emptying regularity.

Foods that encourage a healthy gut are dairy free yogurt, yogurt and kefir. These foods contain strains of probiotics or good bacteria that are beneficial and that help repair the gut and possibly decrease some symptoms of “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Yogurt has three strains of good bacteria while kefir has ten strains of the active bacteria.

Garlic and onions are prebiotics that help feed the healthy bacteria that already exists in the gut. High fiber food choices like lentils and green beans improve the gut. Using coconut oil, a medium chain fatty acid can also produce a positive effect on the human micro biome.

Lastly, a source of both prebiotic and probiotic strength for wellness of the gut environment is found in chocolate. Of course, as with all food choices moderation is a key when adding this particular food to the individual’s meal plan.

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Apr
10

Fasting Safely

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spoonDuring the month of April, people of various faiths will celebrate holidays that will include religious or spiritual fasting. Lenten fasts of no meat on Fridays to the week-long and a day Passover ritual of abstaining from leaven breads, are religious practices and cultural beliefs that are followed by individuals of all ages and walks of life. Among the many who will fast are those with diabetes.

Generations of people who have Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, will celebrate their faith by limiting their intake of food, water or both items for one meal, a whole day, or even for several days.

The limitation of food or fluid intake for even just one meal can have an effect on a person with diabetes, therefore, it becomes important for those with the disease to recognize the symptoms of a potential hypoglycemic episode, to know how to adjust insulin to match carbohydrate intake, to alter physical activity and to understand how to use medical technologies to help them maintain good glucose management while they practice their religious observances.
Tips for fasting safely:
  • Always speak with your doctor or health care provider or diabetes educator before starting a fast.
  • Wear diabetes medical alert jewelry - bracelet, necklace, dog tags - at all times.
  • Keep emergency contact information on you where it can be quickly found.
  • Understand that fasting can affect medication regimes – a change in eating schedules can directly affect when medications are taken.
  • Check blood glucose more frequently.
  • Do remember for many religions, there are exemptions from participating in the fast if doing so would jeopardize the health and safety of the individual.
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Jan
31

Heart Smart Exercise & Eating Tips

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IMG_3932LET’S GET MOVING!
Regular exercise and eating habits are key to having a healthy heart and a great quality of life. For those of us who struggle to eat well and stay active, here are a few tips:
Exercise Tips
Tip #1: Commit to exercising or participating in a physical activity on a regular basis. The same exercise plan to abate diabetes can keep your heart healthy.
Tip #2: Try to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. Exercise or physical activity can be broken into three types: cardio or endurance, resistance or strength building, flexibility or functional.
Healthy Eating Tips
Tip #1: Use monounsaturated fats like olive oil or canola oil in the cooking process.
Tip #2: When preparing food, bake, broil, stew or grill rather than fry.
Tip #3: Choose lean meats rather than fatty meats. A choice that allows one to cut the fat away can still be an option. A piece of meat that has the fat marbled or streaked through it may not be as healthy.
Tip #4: Eat fish two to three times weekly.
Tip #5: Reduce the consumption of salty foods. Large intakes of sodium or salt can affect blood pressure.
Tip #6: Become an expert label reader. Both the ingredient list and the nutrition facts section can identify the amount of sodium that is in the food. Remember that sodium hides in processed food products.
Overall, let’s work hard to eat better and increase our mobility! We can do it!
All exercise or physical activity plans need to be discussed with one’s physician before the initiation of the program.
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Nov
15

Infrared Heaters: 10 Amazing Benefits

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Infrared heaters produce heat that is similar to the heat produced by the sun. The infrared rays emitted are easily absorbed by the items in your home, which gently increases the temperature of their surroundings. As cool surfaces heat up, infrared heaters raise the ambient temperature of the room. Besides warming up your home, infrared heaters provide many other benefits.

1. Infrared Heaters & Safety

When purchasing a space heater, safety is a main concern. The core temperature of infrared heaters never get as high as a conventional heater’s temperature. A protective metal sheath usually covers the heating elements as well. This means animals and children can touch the surface of an infrared heater without being burned.

2. Minimal Maintenance

Nobody wants to be burdened with a bunch of maintenance tasks. Because infrared heaters have no moving parts, maintenance is minimal. There are no motors to wear out, air filters to replace or lubrication required. Your infrared heater will need periodic cleaning of the reflectors and replacement of the heat source to ensure optimal performance.

3. Quick Heat Recovery

Some space heaters require a long cool-down time between being turned off and being turned back on. Infrared heaters will still provide the same strong, penetrating heat no matter how long it’s been after being turned off.

4. Infrared Heaters Heat Silently

When in noise-sensitive environments such as bedrooms or studies, finding a heater that doesn’t operate loudly is important. There are no moving parts or fan blades whirring on infrared heaters, therefore they deliver heat silently.

5. Comfortable, Gentle Heat

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Infrared heaters can make you comfortable indoors no matter what the temperature is outdoors. Inside the heater, a  hot coil is wrapped into a circle so that all of the heat can be transferred evenly. The heat produced is reflected by a special polished metal, a reflector, and the heat can be felt several yards in front of the heater.  Also, infrared heaters aren’t affected by drafts or wind.

6. Infrared Heaters Provide Instant Heat

Instead of warming the air like other conventional heaters, infrared heaters heat objects directly in their paths. Heating the air wastes energy and the benefits of the heat aren’t felt immediately. The rays produced by infrared heaters penetrate and warm you beneath the skin. The infrared rays radiate outward, heating all nearby objects, producing a widespread effect. This all happens immediately, with no need to wait for the heat to buildup.

7. Cost Effective

The benefit of any space heater is zone heating. With an infrared heater, heating only the parts of your home that you’re using at any given time is possible. When you aren’t heating your entire home, you’ll save money on your heating bill. Infrared heaters can save you up to 30-50% on heating costs. Actual savings vary depending on insulation, ceiling height, type of construction and other factors.

8. Environmentally Friendly

This day in age, the earth’s resources must be used responsibly. Infrared heaters operate without any carbon combustion, no toxic by-products of combustions, no open flame, and no fuel lines to leak. They add nothing to the air and take nothing away from the air, making them environmentally friendly.

9. Energy Efficient

Infrared heaters use a substantially lower amount of energy than conventional heaters. Some infrared heaters can operate on as low as 300 watts of electricity and 800 watts is enough power to provide heating to a room. The reflective metal used in its design transfers almost 100 percent of the heat created. Also, there’s no need to turn on the heater in advance to pre-heat the room because heat is delivered instantly.

10. No Dry Heat

Unlike conventional heaters that draw moisture out of the air as a part of their heating process, infrared heaters don’t produce dry heat. This way you can avoid uncomfortable side effects such as itchy eyes and throat.

For any questions about the benefits of infrared heaters, or to browse a wide selection of models, feel free to visit  Air & Water, Inc.

 

Link to original source: https://www.air-n-water.com/infrared-heaters-benefits.htm

Categories : Lifestyle Tips
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Mar
23

Hitting the road: Have pump, CGM will travel!

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one_touch_chartWhether you have already planned a summer vacation or still in the process, incorporate your pump or CGM needs into your travel plans instead of treating your needs as an afterthought or an overwhelming fear. There’s nothing new under the sun and you can also reap the benefits of those who have traveled the vacation path before you.

Flying through the screening process? You don’t have to encounter problems passing through security at an airport. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a helpline number to assist patients with medical conditions who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying. Call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227.

You can obtain a Transportation Security Administration Card to print out and bring with you to notify TSA of your diabetes can be found online.  If you have concerns about wearing an insulin pump or CGMS through scanners, contact the manufacturer of your medical device.

Tips for traveling while wearing an Insulin Pump or CGM

  • Always have Plan B in place in case something goes wrong with your current device, such as carrying syringes or pens to give injections and carrying extra supplies in case you run low.
  • Be sure to carry some form of prescription or letter from your physician that treats you for your diabetes.
  • Carry all of your medicines, such as insulin, and all related supplies in your carry-on baggage. Be sure to place these items in a clear plastic bag that is labeled. It will help to remove this bag from your luggage so that the TSA officials can clearly see what is inside. Also, in case your checked luggage is lost, you will still have your insulin and supplies with you in your carry-on bag.
  • If you wear an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitoring device, it is OK to continue to keep them on as you go through security at airports or terminals. The scanners will not harm these devices in anyway. Please notify the TSA officials as you move through the checkpoints that you are wearing a pump or CGM. Usually, the TSA official will pull you to the side and do a more thorough search of the device, such as swabbing the pump or monitor and/or your hands.

A printed checklist might help elevate stress and keep your plan in your hands, front and center. Medtronic, an industry leader in insulin delivery systems, has a downloadable checklist for traveling with a pump and/or CGM. Click HERE for a copy.

Learning how to handle life’s challenges like traveling and treatment plans is a covered topic in diabetes self-management courses. If you need help developing life and treatment strategies, Diabetes Management & Supplies can assist with diabetes self-management and education services. For more information, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email education@diabetesms.com.

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Feb
09

Goals can pack more punch than resolutions

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SMART-goals

The start of each year is a prime time to consider your life, health and ways to improve both. Motivation and method are both key to setting new goals and ending your year with a sense of accomplishment.

Good health is important, but it will not just happen. SMART Goals provide a road map to success because those goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Diabetes is often a numbers game: blood sugar level, A1C, weight, etc. Beyond those faceless figures, one should focus on goals that bolster your diabetes control. “I want to lower my A1C to 7, but ‘why?’”

If you want to accomplish a task, you set a plan, you set deadlines and you take action. Most people are familiar with SMART goals in the workplace, but they also apply to health. For example, let’s say you wanted to an A1C of 7.5, but your level is now 11. It would be unrealistic to say you wanted reduce your A1C to 11 in next month.

It would be more realistic to set up a SMART goal:

  • Specific – I will decrease my average fasting blood sugar by 2 points each week.
  • Measureable – I will keep track of blood sugar levels three times daily so I can track my
    progress towards my goal.
  • Attainable – Is the goal attainable for me? Your diabetes care team should be consulted about ways to reduce your A1C and risk of complications.
  • Realistic – Is the goal realistic for me? Lowering one’s blood sugar is a great goal, but drastic drops can increase changes of hyperglycemia.
  • Timely – I will make an appointment with my care team every three months in 2016 to evaluate my A1C with hopes to start 2017 near 7.5.

Other goals that will impact blood sugar control include getting regular and sufficient exercise, gaining or losing weight, following a diabetes nutrition plan, and being more compliant to medication schedules.

Need help turning your goals into a viable game plan? Diabetes Management & Supplies offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services. For more information on specific needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email education@diabetesms.com.

The National Diabetes Education Program, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers an online resource for making a plan for success. Visit Diabetes Health Sense and make your plan today!

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Feb
01

Monitoring: It’s a numbers game you can win!

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Blood sugar levels are tested in your doctor’s office, but that is not enough. Blood sugar changes not only from day to day. It changes from hour to hour. Some people run high in the morning and others at night. Certain foods might cause a spike. A long walk may drop levels too low.

Glucose monitors are machines that measure blood sugar from finger sticks. Continuous glucose monitors are worn on the body. They records several readings a day without finger sticks.

Why test your blood sugar?

  • Tell how well you’re reaching health goals
  • Know how diet and exercise affect blood sugar levels
  • Know how other factors, such as illness or stress, affect blood sugar levels
  • See the effect of diabetes drugs on blood sugar levels
  • Know when blood sugars are too high or low

To get a full picture of your diabetes, you need regular monitoring. Testing often will show problem areas and how your levels react to certain foods. A blood sugar reading might be an early warning sign in sudden illness.

Another method of monitoring blood glucose is Continuous Glucose Monitoring or CGM. A CGM automatically takes several blood sugar readings throughout the day, sends alerts for extreme readings and feeds those levels to the insulin pump. The goal would be blood sugar control that is consistently stable.

The CGM reads blood sugar levels every one to five minutes and shows whether a person’s blood sugar is rising or falling. Combining CGM with insulin pump therapy can provide a method to monitor and manage blood glucose levels. The information obtained can also help to fine-tune the pump settings.

The American Heart Association offers these tools to help you understand the importance of monitoring and staying as healthy as possible:

  • Diabetes-Friendly Recipes. Recipes to satisfy cravings – sweet, savory or somewhere in between.
  • My Diabetes Health Assessment. Having type 2 diabetes greatly increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Learn your 10-year risk and ways you can lower it.
  • Diabetes Quiz. Take this short quiz to learn the facts about diabetes.

The diabetes educators at Diabetes Management & Supplies can help take the guess-work out of your monitoring needs. For more information on specific monitoring or insulin delivery needs, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.

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Dec
18

Holiday season may host seasonal depression

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The holiday season may help bring attention to a rarely-discussed diabetes symptom: depression. Whether emphasized by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or just noticed in contrast to the festive season, depression may be one sign of diabetes or a flag that one’s diabetes is not in good control.

The American Diabetes Association explains that people with diabetes are at a greater risk to depression and the complications of poorly controlled blood sugars are very similar to the symptoms of depression.

Spotting depression in yourself or someone you love is an important step to countering depressions effects. The signs include:

  • Loss of pleasure: You no longer take interest in doing things you used to enjoy.
  • Change in sleep patterns: You have trouble falling asleep, you wake often during the night, or you want to sleep more than usual, including during the day.
  • Early to rise: You wake up earlier than usual and cannot to get back to sleep.
  • Change in appetite: You eat more or less than you used to, resulting in a quick weight gain or weight loss.
  • Trouble concentrating: You can’t watch a TV program or read an article because other thoughts or feelings get in the way.
  • Loss of energy: You feel tired all the time.
  • Nervousness: You always feel so anxious you can’t sit still.
  • Guilt: You feel you “never do anything right” and worry that you are a burden to others.
  • Morning sadness: You feel worse in the morning than you do the rest of the day.
  • Suicidal thoughts: You feel you want to die or are thinking about ways to hurt yourself.

You should contact your doctor if you see any three of these signs. Taking action can affect both your mental and physical well-being.

Visit the ADA for more on the link between diabetes and depression.

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Dec
18

Plan for a safe, healthy holiday party season

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Holidays can be hard when you are trying to handle your diabetes. When family and friends gather, food is often involved. Routines are often disregarded for parties, shopping, cooking and decorating. Learning how to choose the best foods for you can be stressful.

Keep in mind that New Years and Christmas are days to relax and celebrate. Treat yourself to your favorite stuffing or homemade pie on these days.  Keep these treats to the holidays. You will then avoid turning this time into a whole season of blood sugar trouble.

These tips can help you stay on track during the holidays:

  • Drink water and eat a snack before you go to parties. You won’t make choices when hungry.
  • Be sure to eat some food when drinking alcohol. This will help prevent low blood sugar.
  • Help out the host. If you are going to a party, call first and ask if you can bring a dish. Now, you will know there will be food that fits into your needs.
  • Look for hidden carbohydrates. Gravies, soups, dips and salads can have flour, sugar, potatoes, corn and bread. Remember to count these foods with your allowed carbohydrates per meal.
  • Don’t forget about free foods such as non-starchy vegetables. These foods fill you up, but will not affect your blood sugar. Chicken, turkey and cheese are often on party trays. These are not free foods so it is important to be aware of portion size and servings.
  • Work in exercise. Just a 15-minute walk before or after a holiday party can help to keep your blood sugar in control when you are celebrating.

Enjoy your holidays. Make good choices to keep your blood sugar in control. This will allow you to have many more healthy and happy holidays.

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Oct
01

Stay equipped for diabetes treatment plan

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a1c_meal
A diabetes treatment plan is your strategy to stay on top of your health. Monitoring your blood sugar, tracking and taking drugs are crucial. The directions are given, but they must be carried out to improve your condition. You may have many medical professionals, but you complete the team.

Here are some things you can do to take charge of your health:

  • Follow healthy meal plans that are best for your unique needs
  • Keep up with your medications and store them correctly
  • Take your insulin or other medications as instructed
  • Monitor and test your blood sugar as directed
  • Keep good records of your blood sugar readings
  • Share those readings with your doctor or diabetes educator

You may have learned already the basics about drugs and testing. Now is a good time to ask specific questions about your treatment plan. Make sure you know how things should work. Carefully following any medication orders and instructions is vital to your plan’s success. This is where we can help. Make sure you don’t run out of supplies just as you refill prescriptions so you don’t run out of medication. Learn more: Diabetes treatment plan a road map to success.

Here are some ways you can let us help you reorder supplies:

  • Call us at 1-888-738-7929
  • Email customerservice@diabetesms.com
  • Click to fill out an Order Form

We value the part we play on your treatment plan team and realize that winning is good health.

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Ordering Supplies and Equipment

A diabetes treatment plan is very important. Make sure you know how things should work. Carefully following any medication orders and instructions is vital to your plan's success. Make sure you don't run out of supplies just as you refill prescriptions so you don't run out of medication.

Here are some ways you can let us help you reorder supplies:

At Diabetes Management & Supplies, we value the part we play on your treatment plan team and realize that winning is promoting good health.