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.
This month (November) is Diabetes Awareness Month, a time set aside to education and inspire those living with a form of diabetes and those who can take steps to reduce their risk of the preventable conditions associated with diabetes.
Diabetes is not a single disease. It is group of similar conditions that fall into the same category because the symptoms and effects on the body may be similar. The most common types of diabetes in our presence society are Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes. Understanding what they have in common, how they differ and the associated risk factors is crucial to raising awareness and encouraging prevention, when possible.
Type 1 Diabetes accounts for only 5 – 10 percent of all cases, and used to be called juvenile diabetes. Three-quarters of people who develop type 1 are under the age of 18, and most others are under 40 years old, but older adults develop it as well.
The cause of Type 1 Diabetes is unknown. Most experts believe it is an autoimmune disorder, which is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. With Type 1 Diabetes, an infection or some other trigger causes the body to destroy the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
This condition can be passed down through families. In fact, in most cases of Type 1 Diabetes, people inherit risk factors from both parents. Such factors appear to be more common in whites, who have the highest rate of type 1 diabetes.
The pathway to developing Type 1 Diabetes can take years. In studies that followed relatives of people with Type 1 Diabetes, researchers found that relatives who later developed diabetes had certain auto-antibodies in their blood for years.
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 – 95 percent of all cases. It used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but, unfortunately, both children and adults develop this kind of diabetes. Many people think of it as the kind of diabetes that does not require insulin. However, about half of people with type 2 diabetes will eventually need insulin. This is because the pancreas produces less and less insulin over time, so it must be injected to meet the body’s needs.
The causes of Type 2 Diabetes are not completely understood, but it almost always starts with insulin resistance. So what contributes to this insulin resistance? Here are some of the most common risk factors:
- Family history of diabetes
- Growing older – your risk increases as you age
- History of gestational diabetes
- Lack of exercise
- Member of a high-risk ethnic group, such as:
- African American
- Asian American or Pacific Islander
- Hispanic American
- Native American
- Overweight or obese
Gestational Diabetes is diabetes that develops while you are pregnant. Gestational diabetes is still diabetes, which means your blood sugar levels are abnormally high. That excess sugar crosses the placenta and can make your baby grow too large and lead to problems with your pregnancy and delivery.
The causes of Gestational Diabetes have not been determined, but the many hormonal changes during pregnancy contribute to what is called insulin resistance – which is your body not using the insulin that your pancreas produces.
For more on these forms of diabetes, visit the Diabetes Management & Supplies Learning Center.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
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.
The future of glucose monitoring seemed very promising after a recent announcement that Dexcom, a leader in Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM), announced plans to partner with Google to provide the next generation of monitoring technology that will involve smaller sensors and data stored “in the cloud” for instant archiving and record-keeping.
Dexcom will work with the new Google Life Sciences company to make bandage-thin CGM devices. Google Life Sciences, a part of the parent company Alphabet, is one of the companies created in a recent Google corporate reshuffling.
CGM devices give glucose readings continuously through the day. This helps people with diabetes track their blood sugar levels in more effectively. Blood sugar monitors use finger sticks for each reading, but CGM can provide up to 288 glucose readings a day. Most CGM users have type 1 diabetes, but some patients with type 2 diabetes who are insulin-dependent also use CGM.
Diabetes Management & Supplies is a certified distributor of Continuous Glucose Monitoring devices and a provider of diabetes education and insulin pump training. For more information on CGM, insulin delivery or training needs, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.
For more on this CGM advancement, see:
- Digital Trends: Google reveals a tiny, disposable monitor that tracks glucose levels
- Endocrine Web: Google + Dexcom = High-Tech, Low-Cost Diabetes Devices
- Mobile Health News: DexCom taps Google for smaller, cheaper diabetes devices
Chris Rosier is well on his mission of bringing hope and becoming a positive role model to children living with type 1 diabetes. Rosier, the Diabetes Management & Supplies spokesman, was invited to be a guest speaker at the annual Arizona American Diabetes Association’s Camp (AZDA) held at Friendly Pines.
Rosier and the campers discussed different types of pumps, testing strips, and more seriously, the struggles and stigma that follow this disease. “I don’t remember my life without diabetes,” said 14-year-old Ginger Netten of Scottsdale.
Rosier, 34, was in his mid-20s before he was diagnosed. “I went blind for a week,” Rosier said. “You want to make a grown man cry. Take away his sight.”
Learn more about Chris by visiting the DMS blog: Jockey set to motivate youth with diabetes.
Full article from the Daily Courier (AZ): Diabetes does not have to hold you back.
Race days are fast-paced and exciting for jockey Chris Rosier, but they are also full of challenges and victories related to his life with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Management & Supplies is giving Rosier, the only professional jockey with Type 1 diabetes racing in the United States, an opportunity to greatly impact the lives of children living with diabetes.
Rosier was born in San Diego, but he says he “grew up” at the horse tracks. He traveled and moved around quite a bit and now calls Haughton in Bossier Parish his home. While he has competed in big and small arenas, he has the distinction of racing in one of the biggest events of all, the Kentucky Derby. Rosier rode Summer Bird to a sixth-place finish in the 2009 Kentucky Derby.
Rosier has been riding professionally since he was 19, but found out he had diabetes when he was in his early 20s. His diagnosis came shortly after he broke his collarbone during a spill off a horse. Later, he was stricken by temporary blindness. Soon after, his doctors diagnosed him with Type 1 diabetes.
This summer, DMS will sponsor a series of appearances at diabetes camps for children. Rosier will participate in Camp AZDA (Arizona Diabetes Association) June 6-12 and return to Louisiana in July for Camp Victory, the diabetes session of the Lions Club camps for children with medical or special needs.
Rosier, the company’s “Face of Diabetes,” is a part of the DMS patient family and feels it is important that children and teenagers know that diabetes does not limit them from having and achieving dreams. Rosier controls his diabetes with the help of Insulin Pump therapy and Continuous Glucose Monitoring. He wears both the Medtronic Insulin Pump and Enlite Continuous Glucose Monitor supplied by DMS.
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.
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.
Race days are fast-paced and exciting for jockey Chris Rosier, but they are also full of the challenges and victories related to his life with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Management & Supplies is inviting a group of young people with diabetes to meet Rosier, the only professional jockey with Type 1 diabetes racing in the United States today.
A Day at the Races will be held on Lundi Gras, the Monday before Mardi Gras at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans. The participants range from 6 to 17.
Rosier, the company’s “Face of Diabetes,” is a member of the DMS patient family and he wants young children and teenagers to know that having diabetes does not limit them from having and achieving their dreams. Rosier controls his diabetes and with the help of Insulin Pump therapy and Continuous Glucose Monitoring. He wears both the Medtronic Insulin Pump and Enlite Continuous Glucose Monitor supplied by DMS.
The day of the event, Rosier will lead a tour of the stable and paddock. After the big race, each tour participant will be invited into the Winner’s Circle to take pictures with the winning jockey and horse.
Rosier was born in San Diego, but he says he “grew up” at the horse tracks. He traveled and moved around quite a bit. He calls Haughton in Bossier Parish his home. While he has competed in big and small arenas, he has the distinction of racing in one of the biggest events of all, the Kentucky Derby. Rosier rode Summer Bird to a sixth-place finish in the 2009 Kentucky Derby.
Rosier has been riding professionally since he was 19, but found out that he had diabetes when he was in his early 20s. His diagnosis came shortly after he broke his collarbone during a spill off a horse. Later, he was stricken by temporary blindness. Soon after, his doctors diagnosed him with Type 1 diabetes.
He regained his health and strength, climbed back into the saddle and back into professional racing. He soon gained all the motivation he needed for his life and career. “I have three kids and a wife that support me and keep me going,” Rosier said.