5 Things You Need to Know Now About Blood Sugar

Many people diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes have lots of questions about blood sugar and what raises it. Here are five things that you really need to know about blood sugar.

  • Your blood sugar level is important because it’s your body’s main source of energy. Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas produces which helps sugar move out of the bloodstream, and into the body’s cells where it’s used as energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body isn’t making enough insulin, and the insulin that it does produce doesn’t work as well as it should.
  • Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis is a form of chronic stress which leads to higher blood sugar levels.
  • Artificially-flavored foods or drinks like diet soda can take a negative toll on your blood sugar – studies have shown mice given artificial sweeteners had high blood sugar levels than mice who drank plain water, or even water with sugar.
  • High-fat meals can affect blood sugar to as high levels of fat in the blood harm the body’s ability to clear out sugar.
  • Smoking cigarettes raise blood sugar levels which increase the risk for serious diabetes complications, including stroke and heart attack.

Remember: Eating a varied diet that is loaded with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and healthy fat, is a great way to keep your blood sugar balanced.

-Be Well


5 Proven Ways to Stay Positive Once Diagnosed With Diabetes

It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed after being diagnosed with diabetes, but there are proven ways to help you stay positive through it all.

Remember that you’re not alone

There are more than 380 million people around the world who have been diagnosed with diabetes – just knowing you’re not alone can help you stay positive.

Just small changes can bring big rewards

Small changes are the ones that often stick, and losing even just a few pounds while incorporating good habits like regular exercise can make a big difference in your blood sugar levels as well as improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

Get support

With millions of people across the globe dealing with diabetes, there has been an explosion of online communities focused on dealing with the disease. You’ll find a wealth of forums and support groups designed for people just like you.

Connect with someone who has successfully managed diabetes

Try and find someone who has already been successful at managing their own diabetes you can meet up with for tips and other information on dealing with situations you might struggle with.

Track your progress

It takes time to chart what you eat, your physical activity, medications, and glucose, but it’s a great way to track your progress, keeping you more positive and motivated.

Most of all, keep an optimistic attitude, squash negative thinking  and be proactive. Everything will be ok!

-Be Well


3 Popular Type 2 Diabetes Myths Busted

There is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to diabetes, and odds are, you believe these particular myths are true. Once and for all, let’s bust them to discover the truth.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you brought it on yourself. While it is true that weight, diet, and physical activity contributes to the risk of developing the disease, genetics play a major role. You can’t get diabetes simply from eating too much sugar, though continually overdosing on sweets could trigger someone with prediabetes to get full-blown diabetes.

You have to take medication the rest of your life. Many people can manage diabetes through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. This is, however, something you will have to do for the rest of your life in order to keep your blood sugar within safe limits.

You’ll know when your blood sugar gets too high because of specific symptoms. The truth is, you won’t necessarily be able to tell when your blood sugar is too high. Symptoms are often so subtle at first that they’re easily overlooked. Some of the most common symptoms include feeling tired, being thirstier than usual and urinating more frequently, which often go unnoticed when they aren’t extreme.

Here is a FACT to take away:  If you follow these simple food rules you will be able to take charge of your health and look and feel your best.

-Be Well


How to Help a Loved one Diagnosed With Diabetes

If one of your loved ones is diagnosed with diabetes, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help. It’s not easy for anyone to deal with the fact that they’ve got a serious medical condition.

Ask if they’d like you to help with reminders

Your first instinct may be to become the “diabetes police,” reminding your loved one when it’s time to check blood glucose, exercise and to put down unhealthy foods. But it’s better to ask if your help is truly needed to avoid rifts in the relationship. If they say no and you think they still need it, consider attending a doctor’s appointment with them, and find out from the healthcare professional whether or not they’re on target.

Ask what you can do

If you aren’t sure what you can do to help, ask. There may be something that hasn’t even occurred to you, and perhaps they’re afraid to ask. Assisting with little things like recording symptoms may actually be a big help.

If you do most of the cooking, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with how to make delicious, yet healthy meals that will help your loved one stay on track.

Get support for yourself

If you’re in a caregiving position, it’s more important than ever to get support for yourself. You can join a support group, or simply talk with someone you trust like a close friend.

-Be Well,

How to Live a Normal Life With Diabetes

While being diagnosed with diabetes can be a frightening thing, the good news is that you can still live a normal life by making some key changes to your habits. It will still affect you medically, but you can control your health, rather than letting it control you.

A healthy diet is key to enjoying a normal life with diabetes. If your doctor or other healthcare provider hasn’t provided you with information on the right diet, ask for it and don’t be afraid to ask questions, such as where to obtain certain foods if they’re hard to find in your area. Know which foods are healthy and which aren’t. If you need to, keep a food diary so that you can track everything you eat and drink, in case problems need to be identified later.

Drink lots of water. It’s important to stay hydrated, but you need to avoid both sugary beverages and artificially flavored drinks, instead focusing on water and naturally decaffeinated herbal teas.

Get regular exercise. Ask your healthcare provider how much exercise you should get according to your particular situation. Follow his or her instructions and experiment to find the activity that you like the most if you need to.

-Be Well


I Am a New Diabetic: Should I Lose Weight?

Studies have shown that becoming overweight or obese is a major risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, about 30 percent of overweight people have been diagnosed as being diabetic, and 85 percent of diabetics are overweight.

Weight loss should be an important goal for those with type 2 diabetes who are obese or overweight. Losing just five to 10 percent of body weight can help improve insulin levels, lower fasting glucose concentrations and lessen the need for some diabetes medications.

You don’t have to diet yourself skinny, simply participating in regular exercise and being cautious about what you eat can help lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of developing serious complications – even if you don’t shed a lot of pounds. It is important to be particularly careful when eating out. If you know how to make good choices away from home, you will save yourself a great deal of anxiety.

If you lose weight, you’ll:

  • Lower your blood glucose levels, which could allow you to delay, or decrease the amount of medication you take.
  • Cut insulin resistance
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of kidney failure, heart attack and other serious complications.

According to David Marrero, PhD, president of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association, even “very modest” amounts of weight loss have a “huge reduction in risk” Losing just 7% of your body weight, cuts your risk of developing diabetes by 60%.

-Be Well


I Am a Diabetic: What Does This Mean?

Just about everyone has at least heard of the word diabetes, but many don’t understand exactly what being diabetic means – and, if you were diagnosed, that’s probably one of the first things you wondered.

  • You’re considered a diabetic when your blood sugar is too high (typically if blood glucose is higher than 130 mg/dl before a meal, or above 180 mg/dl two hours after the first bite of a meal).
  • Diabetes is a serious condition that won’t go away or get better on its own.  It’s essential to play an active role in controlling it, as well as to have regular ongoing medical care.
  • The goal of treatment is to keep blood sugar levels in the “safe range,” which reduces the risk of developing serious complications like blindness, amputation, heart disease, stroke and problems with the kidneys or nervous system.
  • Managing and even reversing diabetes is possible for those who follow a healthy diet, get regular exercise including both cardio and resistance, address necessary lifestyle adjustments recommended by healthcare providers, lean on the support of family and friends, and take medications and/or insulin as prescribed.
  • Diabetics who are able to keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range can still live a full, rich life while lessening the risk of developing potentially serious complications.

-Be Well