Choosing a Diabetes Care Provider

As you start to choose your health professionals, it may help to listen to the experience of other people with diabetes. Consider the stories of James and Helen, decades apart in age, but sharing an initial sense of confusion and a little fear about finding quality care for diabetes. James had just started college 500 miles away from home when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Mastering glucose management by blood glucose monitoring, insulin shots, and carbohydrate counting was confusing...

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply. Start with the muscles in your face, working your way down to Inhale. Raise your eyebrows. Tense them. Hold for a count of 3. Relax your eyebrows. Exhale. Inhale. Open your mouth and eyes wide. Then close your mouth and eyes tightly. Squeeze. Hold for a count of 3. Relax your eyes and mouth. Exhale. Inhale. Bite down on your teeth. Hold for a count of 3. Relax your jaw. Exhale. Inhale. Pull your shoulders up. Hold for a count of 3. Relax your...

More than One Shot

You may get better coverage by splitting your one shot of insulin into two shots. These can be given in the morning and in the evening. Usually, the morning shot will be a bigger dose than the evening shot. Graph 4 shows the amount of insulin available if you split your intermediate dose into a morning and evening shot. However, you'll notice that even with this plan, you may have a period in the early morning, between 3 and 10 a.m., when your insulin level may be low. Graph 4...

Health Insurance

The health insurance landscape for people with diabetes is changing. Although it can be discouraging, it is better than it was just a few years ago. If you change jobs or insurance companies, you will need to talk to your benefits office or the insurer. Read all you can and make a list of questions. You should be prepared to ask for details on the cost of monthly premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and coverage for diabetes-related care and supplies like test strips, diabetes education, durable...

Getting Admitted

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are checking into the hospital Make sure all doctors and nurses and other caregivers are aware that you have diabetes. Tell them what medications you are taking for diabetes and any other medications you are taking, including any over-the-counter drugs. It helps to keep a list of these ahead of time, including how often you take them and in what doses. Explain any allergies or other conditions you may have that could affect the actions of medications....

Brittle Diabetes

You used to hear the term brittle diabetes often before blood glucose monitoring became possible for everyone. It refers to wide, unpredictable swings in blood glucose. Now, it's rarer for people with diabetes to be unaware of these swings and frustrated about why they can't manage their blood glucose levels. Why do blood glucose levels swing so widely The changes can be created by several factors, working alone or together. The amount of time it takes for food to be absorbed is different every...

Because I had gestational diabetes I might get diabetes when Im older

Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of insulin resistance that usually reveals itself about halfway through the pregnancy. This is when the hormones of pregnancy normally create extra insulin resistance. Most women are able to overcome this extra resistance to insulin. However, for women with gestational diabetes, either their pancreas is not able to make the additional insulin that is needed or their body's cells become less efficient at taking up glucose from the blood....

Causes of Type Diabetes

Insulin is produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. In people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly destroys these cells. The body responds to the beta cells as if they were foreign invaders. This is called an autoimmune response. Autoimmune responses also occur in other diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and thyroid diseases such as hypothy-roidism Hashimoto's disease and hyperthyroidism Graves' disease . Researchers do not know exactly why this happens. But for...

The Importance of Communication

To work together as a team, you must be able to communicate with your fellow health care team members. It's not always easy to communicate, especially when you're feeling nervous, worried, or under pressure. Sometimes people can feel intimidated by health care professionals. However, just remember that they are there to help you. But to best help you, they need to know what is on your mind. Only you can tell them how you are feeling and what special concerns you might have. Here are a few tips...

Vitamins and Minerals

People with diabetes have the same requirements for vitamins and minerals as people without diabetes. If you are eating a variety of foods, rich in vegetables, fruits, cereals, and grains, then you are most likely getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. The one exception may be the need for calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Large doses of micronutrients have not been shown to help diabetes or blood glucose levels. In fact, large doses of some vitamins can be harmful. If you think you may...

Oral diabetes medications or oral hyperglycemic medications

Medications taken orally that are designed to manage blood glucose levels. They are used by some people with type 2 diabetes and are not to be confused with insulin. Pancreas A comma-shaped gland located just behind the stomach. It produces enzymes for digesting food and hormones that regulate the use of fuel in the body, including insulin and glucagon. In a fully functioning pancreas, insulin is produced and released through special cells beta cells located in clusters called islets of...

Prevention of Type Diabetes

The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is to maintain an active lifestyle and to keep your weight at a healthy level. In the Diabetes Prevention Program DPP study, researchers tested whether changing lifestyle habits or taking the oral diabetes medication metformin Glucophage could delay or prevent the onset of diabetes in people at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The study evaluated 3,234 volunteers who were overweight and had impaired glucose tolerance IGT . IGT or pre-diabetes is...

Driving and Operating Heavy Equipment

If you operate heavy equipment, if you are involved in public safety jobs like law enforcement or firefighting, or even if you drive an automobile, it is important to always be aware of your blood glucose levels. This is especially important for people who take insulin or oral medications that can cause a low blood glucose reaction. A low blood glucose reaction in these situations can result in serious injury to yourself and others and can have serious employment consequences. Federal law...

Work Schedules

You may have an easier time managing your diabetes if you have a regular work schedule. But if your job entails working the late shift or traveling all over the globe, diabetes doesn't have to keep you from pursuing it. Most people can make the necessary adjustments with help from their health care team. If your employer or prospective employer questions your ability to manage a job with irregular work hours, explain to them how you are able to manage your diabetes. Emphasize that you are in...