The right amount of carbohydrates varies by how you manage your diabetes, including how physically active you are and what medicines you take, if any. Your health care team can help you create a personal eating plan based on carbohydrate counting.
Aerobic exercise is activity that makes your heart beat faster and makes you breathe harder. You should aim for doing aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day most days of the week. You do not have to do all the activity at one time. You can split up these minutes into a few times throughout the day.
We give you special kudos for managing your condition, as it is not always easy. If you’ve had diabetes for a long time, it’s normal to burn out sometimes. You may get tired of your day to day tasks, such as counting carbohydrates or measuring your blood sugar. Lean on a loved one or a friend for support, or consider talking to someone else who has diabetes who can provide, perhaps, an even more understanding ear or ideas that can help you.
Alcohol use: Moderate or eliminate consumption of alcohol. Try to have no more than seven alcoholic drinks in a week, and never more than two drinks in an evening. One drink is considered 1.5 ounces of liquor, 6 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer. Excessive alcohol use is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Alcohol consumption can cause low or high blood sugar levels, nerve pain (neuritis), and an increase in triglycerides.
Metformin does not stimulate the pancreas to make or release more insulin. It does not cause hypoglycemia or weight gain therefore obese patients with type 2 diabetes are usually started on biguanides.
• In a small study reported in the Journal of Dietary Supplements in 2011, researchers found that when people with type 2 diabetes supplemented their diets with ground flaxseed, fasting blood glucose levels decreased 19.7 percent, total cholesterol decreased more than 14.3 percent, triglycerides lowered 1.5 percent, and low-density LDL (bad) cholesterol declined 21.8 percent.
Treatment of diabetes is highly individualized, depending on the type of diabetes, whether the patient has other active medical problems, whether the patient has complications from diabetes, and the age and general health of the patient at time of diagnosis.
A recent study found that people who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. Why? A written record helps you identify problem areas—such as your afternoon snack or your morning latte—where you’re getting more calories than you realized. It also increases your awareness of what, why, and how much you’re eating, which helps you cut back on mindless snacking.
Gestational diabetes. If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases. If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes.
For example, a 6′ 2″ tall man with diabetes who weighs 180 pounds and wants to maintain his current weight might be told he could eat 350 grams of carbohydrate spread out over the day. His goal would be to spread those grams out over the course of the day so that he doesn’t send his blood glucose too high at any one time. If he is taking insulin or oral diabetes medication, he might also have to manage when he eats his carbohydrate in such a way that there is enough sugar from his meals in his bloodstream when his medication is working its hardest.
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is managed through use of a variety of insulins. People with T1D must work closely with their medical team to find the right insulin treatment for their condition. Further information about the types of insulin and their effects are available on our insulin page.
• Steel-cut oatmeal has a dense, thick texture. It can take up to 45 minutes to cook, so some people make a batch ahead of time and warm it up for an instant breakfast. These less-processed oats are lower on the glycemic index, which may help control blood sugar.
Talk with your doctor about connecting with a certified diabetes educator and receiving diabetes self-management education. Learning about what to eat, what your medicines do, and how to test your blood sugars are just some of the things these resources can help with. Educators can also dispel myths, create meal plans, coordinate other doctors appointments for you, and listen to your needs. They are trained to teach using a patient-centered approach. They are your advocates who specialize in diabetes. Ask your doctor today or go to the American Association of Diabetes Educators website to find someone near you. Be sure to call your insurance company to see if these services are covered, A1c or HbA1c is a protein on the surface of red blood cells. The HbA1c test is used to monitor blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes over time. Normal HbA1c levels are 6% or less. HbA1c levels can be affected by insulin use, fasting, glucose intake (oral or IV), or a combination of these and other factors. High hemoglobin A1c levels in the blood increases the risk of microvascular complications, for example:
Are you constantly asking yourself, “What can I eat?” It’s time to stop worrying! Living with diabetes doesn’t have to mean feeling deprived. We’ll help you learn to balance your meals and make the healthiest food choices.
The FDA approved canagliflozin (Invokana) in March 2013 and dapagliflozin (Farxiga) in January 2014 to improve blood sugar control (glycemic control) in adults with type 2 diabetes. These oral medications belong to a class of drugs known as sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. They work by blocking the kidneys’ reabsorption of glucose, leading to increased glucose excretion and reduction of blood sugar levels.
GLP1 antagonists can help promote weight loss and can be taken daily or weekly. Exenatide and liraglutide are two injectables that ramp up insulin in response to high blood sugar while simultaneously reducing the liver’s blood sugar release.
Manufacturers are required to provide the total amount of sugar in a serving but do not have to spell out how much of this sugar has been added and how much is naturally in the food. The trick is deciphering which ingredients are added sugars. Aside from the obvious ones—sugar, honey, molasses—added sugar can appear as agave nectar, cane crystals, corn sweetener, crystalline fructose, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, and more.
Dinner. Salmon, 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil, small baked potato, 1/2 cup carrots, side salad (1 1/2 cups spinach, 1/2 of a tomato, 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar), unsweetened iced tea
American Diabetes Association (ADA). Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2018. Diabetes Care 2018 Jan; 41(Supplement 1): S1-S2. Accessed Jan. 21, 2018 at https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/diacare/suppl/2017/12/08/41.Supplement_1.DC1/DC_41_S1_Combined.pdf
Pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and trauma can all harm the beta cells or make them less able to produce insulin, resulting in diabetes. If the damaged pancreas is removed, diabetes will occur due to the loss of the beta cells.
The American Diabetes Association recommends routine screening for type 2 diabetes beginning at age 45, especially if you’re overweight. If the results are normal, repeat the test every three years. If the results are borderline, ask your doctor when to come back for another test.
Diabetes can be very complicated, and the physician needs to have as much information as possible to help the patient establish an effective management plan. Physicians may often experience data overload resulting from hundreds of blood-glucose readings, insulin dosages and other health factors occurring between regular office visits which must be deciphered during a relatively brief visit with the patient to determine patterns and establish or modify a treatment plan.
Those dark patches on your skin could be more serious than a blotchy tan. In fact, they might be the first sign of diabetes. This darkening of the skin, which usually occurs on the hands and feet, in folds of skin, along the neck, and in a person’s groin and armpits, called acanthosis nigricans, often occurs when insulin levels are high. The high insulin levels in your blood can increase your body’s production of skin cells, many of which have increased pigmentation, giving skin a darkened appearance.