1. Continue to visit The Diabetic Pastry Chef at www.diabeticpastrychef.com for the latest info, tips and recipes for diabetic baking.
2. Losing weight can improve, blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol. Diet plans beneficial to diabetics include The Biggest Loser Diet, The DASH Diet, Engine 2 Diet, Flexitarian Diet, the Mayo Clinic Diet and the Ornish Diet. Researchers state obesity can shorten the average lifespan by up to 8 years.
3. Natural sweeteners worth trying are stevia, agave nectar, erythritol, xylitol, yacon syrup and Whey Low®.
4. Regular exercise can lower blood glucose levels, burn body fat, boost energy levels, help blood circulation and lower blood pressure.
5. Associations: Become a member of the American Diabetes Association which includes a subscription to their monthly magazine Diabetes Forecast. The American Diabetes Association sponsors regular, informative workshops, Expos and other events around the country. They are leaders in the field of diabetes research. Please support.
6. Magazines beneficial to diabetics include Diabetes Forecast, Diabetic Living and Diabetic Gourmet Magazine.
7. It’s important to drink adequate amounts of water, at least 2 quarts a day, to support kidney function and to help regulate blood sugar.
8. Free diabetes testing meters may be available through your doctor. You may also want to Google “free diabetic testing supplies.”
9. Keep glucose pills or hard candy in your nightstand for when you experience low blood sugar at night.
10. Whole grain consumption is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Whole grains contain fiber and fiber does not raise blood glucose levels, which makes it a better choice than processed grains.
11. Good sugar-free drinks include water, seltzer water, unsweetened tea and coffee, vitaminwater® Zero, Zevia® soda and unsweetened almond milk.
12. Processed foods are loaded with sugar, sodium and chemicals. Read the labels and opt to cook and bake from scratch whenever possible.
13. See an eye doctor at least once a year to determine if there are any changes to your eyesight due to diabetes. Supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, zinc, selenium, turmeric, lutein and bilberry are said to protect eye health. Pharmacies sell a vitamin and mineral supplement called Ocuvite® said to support eye health.
14. Supplements sold to help control blood sugar levels are cinnamon capsules, alpha-lipoic acid, bitter melon, chromium, resveratrol, purslane, banaba leaf extract, pau d’arco, berberine, vanadium and gymnema sylvestre. These supplements may interfere adversely with some of the medications you take, so discuss with your medical advisor before taking.
15. There are now numerous medications to control your diabetes. Some such as Byetta®, Victoza® and Bydureon® have the added benefit of assisting you to lose weight. Ask your doctor about these medications. Be aware of all side effects.
16. Diabetes Educators are health professionals who specialized (and often certified) to teach patients with diabetes how to manage their condition. Many doctors refer their diabetic patients to diabetes educators shortly after diagnosis.
17. Patient Assistance Programs are instituted by pharmaceutical companies to provide free meds to those who can not afford to purchase their medications. A database of these programs are found at www.rxassist.org. A similar website is www.needymeds.org.
18. Divabetic is an entertaining and informative website for female diabetics. They present fun, empowering events free of charge around the country. They also have podcasts: www.divabetic.org
19. dLife TV is a weekly television series dedicated to empowering those with diabetes. It is an entertaining and informative program that features patients, real stories, celebrities, cooking and advice. You can watch the shows on www.dLifeTV.com. Radio podcasts are available at www.voiceofdiabetes.org.
20. Diabetes testing is done by testing meters which give current blood sugar readings, and by the A1C test given by medical professionals. The A1C test is a gauge to show how well blood sugar levels have been managed over the past 3 months. Those without diabetes will have A1C levels under 5.7%. Those who have pre-diabetes may have readings between 5.7 and 6.4%.
21. A trustworthy, comprehensive diabetes website is www.diabetes.org
22. Adult women with diabetes should consume between 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal. Adult men should aim for 60-75 grams per meal. Children should have less.
23. Diabetic warning signs are increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, increased hunger, foot pain and numbness and frequent infections.
24. The glycemic index contain numbers associated with particular types of foods that indicates the food’s effects on a person’s blood glucose levels.
25. The rise in obesity in the U.S. coincides with the prevalent use of artificial sweeteners. Researchers say they have found a link to obesity, and artificial sweeteners may actually promote diabetes.
26. The most comprehensive diabetes news can be found at www.diabetesnews.com.
27. People with diabetes are susceptible to serious problems such as foot ulcers, infections and also amputation. Poorly-controlled diabetes can wreak havoc to the feet. Diabetic shoes are meant to protect the feet from injury. One company that sells diabetic socks and shoes is Foot Smart. www.footsmart.com. 1-(800) 707-9928.
28. Celiac disease is 5-7% more common than the general population in those with type 1 diabetes. These individuals must follow a gluten-free diet.
29. Diabetic gift baskets are available online.
30. Flu shots are recommended once a year for diabetics, as studies show diabetics who contract the flu are more susceptible to develop serious complications later.
31. Seniors are more susceptible to hypoglycemia. And many are doing too good of a job keeping their blood sugar below certain target levels. Keeping A1C levels below 7%, increases the risk of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a major cause of emergency room visits. Ask your doctor what is the right target level for you.
32. It is wise to wear medical ID bracelets or necklaces as they can save your life. Engraved onto the surface can be medical conditions, food and drug allergies, prescribed medicines and emergency contacts. General medical bracelets and necklaces can be obtained from pharmacies or stores such as Walmart.
33. Portion Control: Use measuring cups to allot your food portions.
34. A1C tests measure the percentage of hemoglobin in red blood cells that are coated with sugar. Everyone with diabetes should undergo A1C tests every 3 to 6 months.
35. Wireless medical alert systems can be used to summon help in the event of an emergency. These generally consist of a pendant that can be pushed to alert monitoring personnel that you need alert and support. For those with OnStar service in their vehicles, help can be summoned by pushing a button and speaking to OnStar® personnel.
36. People with diabetes are more prone to foot problems, which can escalate into serious, life-threatening problems. Feet should be inspected every day for foot injuries. Use lotion on your feet, wear socks and shoes and never walk barefoot. Wear well-fitting shoes. Wash and dry your feet every day to help prevent infection. Professional pedicures can cause nicks and tears to the skin that can cause infections. Many doctors advice diabetics not to get them for this reason.
37. If you have diabetes, you are at higher risk for gum disease. Practice good oral hygiene and see your dentist on a regular basis. Medical researchers state there is a correlation between untreated gum disease and heart disease.
38. As many as a third of people with diabetes will experience a skin condition at some point. Talk to your doctor about any skin problems, keep your blood sugar stabilized, and your skin moisturized with lotion.
39. There are many books and cookbooks on the subject of diabetes. A good place to start is by reading Diabetes For Dummies by Dr. Alan L. Rubin.
40. Researchers say cocoa appears to have many health benefits. Consuming cocoa may decrease blood pressure and improve cholesterol. Research by Penn State University say mice fed cocoa have a reduced risk of obesity-related inflammation and type 2 diabetes.
41. It is estimated 68.5% of US adults are ineligible to donate a kidney due to existing health problems and potential loss of income.
42. Weight-Loss Systems: There are weight loss systems that can help you to achieve your targeted weight. These systems include prepared meals delivered to you.
43. Best foods for diabetics are said to be cooked oatmeal, eggs, green veggies, salads, beans, nuts, yogurt, meats, fish and seafood.
44. Risk factors for type 1 diabetes which start in childhood are genetics and family history, diseases of the pancreas and infection or illnesses that can damage the pancreas. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include obesity or being overweight, inactivity, family history, age, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
45. Medical Equipment and Supply stores such as Liberty Medical often give free diabetes cookbooks or free meters to potential customers. In addition, they are a source for diabetic supplies such as test strips, insulin pumps and monitoring systems.
46. When blood sugar levels dip too low, a crisis can ensue. To raise blood sugar fast, you’ll need to drink a glass of orange or other juice, suck on a piece of hard candy or purchase blood glucose tablets from your pharmacy. One or more of these items should be carried with you at all times. You can keep these in the glove compartment of your car, in your purse or pocket when away from home.
47. Breath odors can develop when your blood sugar is not properly controlled. If your breath has the smell of acetone, call your doctor immediately, as this can indicate a serious condition.
48. Sourdough bread is low on the glycemic index. It rates more favorably than whole grain breads. Aim to make this the only white bread that crosses your lips.
49. Bariatric (weight loss) surgery can result in patients returning to normal blood glucose levels within days of surgery.
50. Mail-order pharmacies generally save you time and money. You don’t have to go to the pharmacy and stand in line. You also may be able to get a 90-day supply of meds for the same price you would pay for a 30-day supply at your local pharmacy. Check with your local pharmacy, though, as some chains such as Walmart can now dispense 90-day supplies of medicine. This is not widely known, however, you need to ask.
51. Sudden onset of diabetes in people with normal body mass index, is often a warning sign of pancreatic cancer.
52. Consuming a small glass of red wine in the evening can lower morning, fasting blood sugar levels by 15% in type 2 diabetics.
53. Remember, you can eat almost anything if the portion is small enough.
54. Those with diabetes have a higher risk of developing a stroke or heart attack. Doctors recommend not smoking, avoid diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol, exercise and medication.
55. According to a recent article in the New York Times, new research indicates two large meals per day may help those with type 2 diabetes better control their metabolism.
56. Chronic, non-healing wounds can be treated at Wound Healing Centers. Ask your doctor for a recommendation.
57. According to WebMd, natural foods that may help to control diabetes include whole oats and most whole grains, barley, strawberries, broccoli, spinach, green beans, salmon and lean meats, cinnamon and unsweetened sparkling water.
58. Contrary to what you may think, it is possible for diabetics to obtain life insurance. Do an Internet search for “diabetes life insurance coverage.” Of course, your diabetes has to be proven to be under control in order to be approved for coverage.
59. Diabetic Ketoacidosis a serious complication of diabetes occurs when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. Symptoms include frequent urination, excessive thirst, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, weakness or fatigue, shortness of breath, confusion and fruity-scented breath. If you are experiencing these symptoms call your doctor immediately.
60. Is it possible to reverse diabetes? On his website www.doctoroz.com, Dr. Oz says there are some Type 2 diabetics who are able to significantly change their lifestyle and lose weight to the point that their blood glucose returns to normal. He further says that these people will most likely continue to be closely watched by their physician.
61. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water at bedtime can lower blood sugar levels in the morning for type 2 diabetics. It can also lower blood sugar levels when taken with meals.
62. Under the government’s Affordable Care Act, those with preexisting health conditions are guaranteed healthcare coverage. Coverage can be applied for online, in person, by phone or by mail.
63. Too much animal protein has been shown to increase diabetes risk according to a European study.
64. A new study has found eating yogurt 4 or 5 times a week may lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
65. In addition to free testing meters, doctors often have free sample medicine packs they can give you. You may have to ask however.
66. Researchers say low intake of Vitamin A and magnesium increases risk of Type 2 diabetes. Be careful, as too much Vitamin A and magnesium both can be harmful.
67. Healthy restaurant choices for those with diabetes include eggs, meats, fish and seafood, salads and green veggies. Water with lemon makes for a refreshing beverage.
68. Diabetic truck drivers and those traveling by road find it challenging to eat healthy. Truck stops and convenience stores sell mostly high-carb foods. It is best to stock up at a grocery store before traveling.
69. There is a link between poor sleep causing weight gain and susceptibility to diabetes.
70. Average net carb counts for non-diabetic dessert servings: puddings 49.12, apple pie 57.5, pecan pie 63.68, cupcakes 31.97, chocolate chip cookie 6.11, sugar cookie 10.08, cup of ice cream 31.55 and 2” square brownie 38.97.
71. Diabetes can sap your energy. Liquid B-Complex and Liquid B-12 are available at your local health food store to assist with your energy levels. Check with your physician before taking.
72. Plan ahead and make wise decisions regarding your food choices during the holiday season to prevent overindulgence.
73. Researchers say working night shifts may increase the risk of diabetes for Black women. The more years this schedule is worked, the more the risk increases.
75. Those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes often don’t take advantage of educational programs available to them, which can help them control their diabetes.
76. Your team of medical personnel should include your primary doctor, an endocrinologist and a diabetes educator. Your physician may refer you to other specialists.
77. Prolonged sitting may be hazardous to your health. A study involving 800,000 people found those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease than those who sat the least. Exercise is important to a diabetic, but so is reducing overall sitting time.
78. Consider getting a dog and walking it for exercise, if you do not already have one.
79. There are many camps for children with diabetes across the nation. The American Diabetes Association operates such camps. You can find these on their website www.diabetes.org under “In My Community.” Another directory can be found at www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/camps
80. Be sure to read all of the side effects of your prescription drugs.
81. Diabetes can adversely affect your libido. Up to 75% of men and 35% of women may experience sexual problems due to diabetes. You can lower your risk by controlling your blood glucose levels, lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Speak to your healthcare provider for additional help. They are well aware of the impact diabetes can have on your sex life.
82. Patients with diabetes are susceptible to yeast infections. Talk to your doctor about this. There are effective over the counter meds for this available without a prescription. Natural yeast remedies include eating less sugar and sugar products, acidophilus capsules and eating plain yogurt with live probiotic cultures.
83. Experts say nearly all diabetics should be on cholesterol-lowering drugs.
84. The mineral chromium is said to reduce cravings for sugar.
85. Those with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease. Brush twice a day and floss. See your dentist on a regular basis.
86. Many diabetics experience excruciating leg cramps at night. This may be caused by potassium deficiency, low calcium levels or other erythrocyte deficiencies. Leg cramps can also be affected by low and high glucose levels. Your doctor can give advice and prescribe medication for your leg cramps.
87. Diabetes complications include neuropathy, kidney disease, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, gastroparesis, skin disorders, foot complications, ketoacidosis, eye problems, sexual problems and mental health problems.
88. Good diabetic snacks include hardboiled eggs, string cheese, nuts and celery stuffed with peanut butter.
89. High coffee consumption can lower the risk of diabetes. However, for those who are already Type 2 diabetics, regular high coffee consumption has been shown to impair insulin sensitivity.
90. Sugar alcohols can cause intestinal distress consumed in large amounts. Watch for sugar free foods that contain ingredients that end in “-ol”, such as sorbitol, glycol, maltitol, etc.
91. Read food labels to determine ingredients, sugar, and carbs.
92. Warning signs of a stroke generally include face drooping, arm weakness, and speech difficulty. Call 9-1-1 immediately!
93. Warning signs of a heart attack typically include chest pain, chest discomfort and chest pressure. Call 9-1-1 immediately!
94. Those with belly fat are at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Diet and exercise can reduce belly fat.
95. For those on dialysis, if you’d like to travel away from home for an extended period of time, ask your dialysis clinic to arrange for you to get dialysis in the new location. The website www.dialysisatsea.com features cruises on leading cruise lines such Royal Caribbean®, Holland America® and Celebrity Cruises® that provide dialysis treatments while cruising. Bon voyage!
96. Fats, proteins and fiber are known to slow the absorption of carbohydrates.
97. The majority of Type 2 diabetics with kidney disease are undiagnosed. More than 35% of diabetics over the age of 20 are estimated to have kidney disease. You may want to ask your physician to test for this debilitating disease.
98. A serving of yogurt a day may lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 18% per Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.
99. There are many diabetic cookbooks available, including The Diabetic Pastry Chef. Check the list of diabetic cookbooks at your local library, local bookstore or on Amazon or other online book-oriented websites.
100. According to the American Diabetes Association, blood sugar levels should be 90 to 130 mg/dl for type 1 adults before meals. After meals (1 to 2 hours after) type 1 adult levels should be less than 180 mg/dl. Bedtime levels for type 1 adults should be 90 to 150 mg/dl. Blood sugar targets for type 2 adult diabetics should fall in the range of 70 to 130 mg/dl before meals. After meals (1 to 2 hours after eating) adults with diabetes should have blood sugar levels of less than 180 mg/dl.