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Archive for Lifestyle Tips

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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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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Aug
27

Planning key when school, diabetes mix

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Attending school or getting a child with diabetes ready for school presents an added challenge. School supplies and pencils and pens are joined by diabetes testing supplies, needles or insulin pens. Proper planning and measures, however, can counter the anxiety and stress.

A parent of a child with diabetes should first contact the school and connect with the school nurse. A health plan specific to the child should be carefully crafted with providers or a diabetes care team. The child must be properly educated to safely attend school and the school must be prepared and educated on the exact needs of any child living with diabetes.

The Joslin Diabetes Center makes some basic points to cover with school and diabetes mix:

  • Know the school’s policies
  • Create a plan specific for each person
  • Provide the school with a container of supplies
  • Investigate the cafeteria and menu plans
  • Select a means for disposal of sharps
  • Have a plan for field trips and special events

Students who qualify for services under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), should have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is the document that sets out what the school is going to do to meet the child’s individual educational needs. There are a lot of specific rules about developing an IEP, reviewing it, and what it must contain. Because IEPs are so detailed and have specific requirements, school districts often use their own form. Although students with diabetes who qualify for services under IDEA are also covered by Section 504, there is no need to write two separate plans. Diabetes provisions should be included in the IEP.

The term “504 Plan” refers to a plan developed to meet the requirements of a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (commonly referred to as “Section 504”).

A 504 Plan sets out the actions the school will take to make sure the student with diabetes is medically safe, has the same access to education as other children, and is treated fairly. It is a tool that can be used to make sure that students, parents/guardians, and school staff understand their responsibilities and to minimize misunderstandings.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that every student with diabetes have a Section 504 Plan or other written accommodations plan in place.

Students leaving for college should also take steps to prepare for the new demands of college life and the continued health needs of living with diabetes.

For more, visit: Back to School with Diabetes | The Basics or Written Care Plans for School

May
22

Heat and insulin: Know the facts, plan ahead

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Extreme temperatures can affect insulin and make it unsafe or less effective in controlling blood sugar. The rules have changed from previous times when insulin used to control diabetes was beef or pork insulin. Unopened insulin is stored in the refrigerator and once opened the various types of insulin can be stored at or near room temperature for a little less than a month. Please consult your packaging for exact temperatures and storage length for your prescription.

The original pork and beef insulin formulations were supposed to be kept cold all the time. Those cold insulin injections create a sting so the move to being able to keep the newer human insulin at room temperature was a big step in the comfort of people taking daily shots.

The American Diabetes Association offers these tips for storing insulin:

  • Do not store your insulin near extreme heat or extreme cold.
  • Never store insulin in the freezer, direct sunlight, or in the glove compartment of a car.
  • Check the expiration date before using, and don’t use any insulin beyond its expiration date.
  • Examine the bottle closely to make sure the insulin looks normal before you draw the insulin into the syringe.
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May
22

Follow precautions to keep summer fun, safe

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People living with diabetes should not wait until temperatures approach 100 to take precautions. According to the National Weather Service, individuals with diabetes should begin taking precautions when the heat index reaches 80 or 90 to avoid heat stroke, sunstroke, and other problems.

Getting plenty of water and avoiding long periods of unprotected exposure to the sun are simple steps that might help.

It is common to protect insulin from temperature extremes, but health care providers or diabetes educators should be asked about the harm that high temperatures can cause to oral medications, glucose monitors, strips and insulin pumps.

Visit WebMD for more on preparing or summer with diabetes

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Jan
20

NoYo#: Know Your Numbers to reach goals

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Daily blood sugar levels plus lab reports are just two tools needed to develop a road map to diabetes management success.  Knowing those numbers tells you where you are, but goals represent where you would like to be.

A lab report crucial to your goal-setting is your A1C level also known as hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c. The A1C is a common test for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It measures how well diabetes is managed over a period of time instead of just one instance. An A1C reading of 6.5 is the usual indicator of a diabetes diagnosis.

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A1C test recommendations

  • Every 6 months when you are meeting treatment goals and have stable blood sugars.
  • Every 3 months when therapy has changed or if you are not meeting blood sugars targets.
  • Used by physician to allow for timely decisions on therapy changes.
  • In-home testing may be done with across the counter testing device called A1C Now®.  See this at www.a1cnow.com

When setting goals, it is important to strive for noted, but reasonable change. Home testing may be recorded each day, but it might take three to six months to evaluate the big picture and see true progress or regression. Be very patient and don’t expect to drive your averages down or up like the numbers on a scale. Slow and steady not only wins the race, but it also provides a safe playing field for your diabetes treatment plan.

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Oct
24

Fall into some good habits: Take a hike!

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UntitledIn almost every corner of the country, fall signals a beautiful change in outside scenery or a reprieve from hot or cold conditions. Walking may be just the ticket for those looking to increase their exercise and physical activity.

Walking is one of the most highly recommended forms of physical activity for people with diabetes. It requires very little preparation and cost. It can be done practically anywhere – parks, malls, and in the street or the woods.

perform_shoeTake good care of your feet and they will take care of you. You might not spend a lot, but invest in good walking shoes. The shoes need to fit comfortably, with plenty of room in the toe area. They should not rub at the heel. Some walking shoes include an extra pair of eyelets close to your ankle. Lacing these may help prevent heel friction. Make sure your walkers have flatter, broader soles, which help improve balance.

Wear good socks. Cotton socks can bunch and retain moisture. Check out newer synthetic fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin.

A regular walk will be an effective way to control blood pressure. People living with diabetes should consider these tips from About Health magazine before taking off.

  • Begin slowly and easily. Walking just 5 or 10 minutes on the first day is perfectly acceptable if that’s all you can accomplish. The important thing is to not get injured or sore, which could end a walking campaign at the starting line.
  • Add 5 or 10 minutes per week. As one continues to improve, aim for 45 minutes to an hour, five to seven days per week. That’s an ideal amount of time for blood glucose maintenance. However, health benefits begin to accrue at just 30 minutes per day.
  • Break it up. Several 10- to 15-minute sessions are just as effective as one longer walk.
  • Count your steps. During the last few years, pedometers — small devices that clip to the belt to count steps — have become popular. They can help track total steps taken on daily walks, or all day long. Recording walking totals can be motivating.
  • Find a place to walk. If one’s neighborhood is unsafe, limit walking to daytime, walk in groups or try a nearby school track, community center or shopping mall.

For more on specialized shoes, check out the I-RUNNER line of diabetic shoes or our full line at Onlinestore-Diabetesms.com.

 

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Aug
15

Healthy eating key piece of treatment plan

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food_bagEating a balanced diet means your diet contains all the necessary food groups including carbohydrates (carbs), proteins and fats.

Carbohydrates, when broken down, turn into sugar. Too many carbs at one time can cause your blood sugar to go too high. The amount of carbs that you should eat at one meal depends on the individual. Contact a diabetes educator or a dietician for a customized meal plan.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has a simple principle that explains all carbohydrates are created equal: A carb is a carb is a carb! It is important to understand that sucrose (table sugar) and other sugars do not create a more harmful effect on blood sugar and they are not absorbed more rapidly than starches. The totalamount of carbohydrates eaten will have more of an effect on blood sugar levels than the source of the carbohydrate.

A healthy eating regimen doesn’t just help control blood sugar. It also can have a positive effect on other conditions like obesity, hypertension and heart disease.

Diabetes Management & Supplies offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services. For more information on specific nutrition needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email education@diabetesms.com.

Apr
08

Diabetes Superfoods can come to the rescue

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Diabetes involves metabolism, but this doesn’t mean food is the enemy of people living with diabetes. Good food is in your prescription for health and and proper nutrition plays a role in getting and maintaining blood sugar control.

Some foods are better than others in helping to reach diabetes control. The American Diabetes Association has identified the top 10 diabetes superfoods in an effort to encourage individual steps for staying healthy.  These foods have glycemic impact and are rich in the key nutrients we often miss out on in our current eating habits. Those key nutrients include calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E.

Here are your 10 Diabetes Superfoods

  • Beans
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Citrus Fruit
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Whole Grains
  • Nuts
  • Fat-free Milk and Yogurt

strawberries-and-yogurt-sauceCheck out these easy-to-follow recipes for ideas on using the Diabetes Superfoods

Diabetes Management & Supplies offers accredited diabetes education services that can make managing diabetes and other conditions an easier task. For more information on care management needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email an educator at education@diabetesms.com.

Visit the ADA for a complete discussion on 10 Diabetes Superfoods

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.