Diabetes Self-Management Articles

Staying healthy is about more than just diabetes management. In this section, you’ll find answers to common diabetes and general health questions. Want to know how to improve your sleep? What supplies you need in the event of an emergency? How diabetes can affect your skin or hearing? It’s all here.


Adopting Healthier Habits by Rita Carey Rubin, MS, RD, CDE, and Bill Rubin, MS

You are likely aware that a balanced diet, regular exercise, and daily stress management can help you manage your blood glucose levels and avoid many of the complications of diabetes. But if these healthy habits are not already established parts of your lifestyle, it may take more than knowledge and good intentions to adopt and maintain them…

Also inside: Rate Your Readiness to Change, Resources

Advances In Medical Technology by Jan Chait

Treatment of diabetes, like most areas of medicine, has changed considerably over the years as a result of technological advances. From the discovery, purification, and mass production of insulin to the development of less painful ways to deliver it, the…

Also inside: Personal Electronic Health Records

Anemia by Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN

Anemia is a condition in which there is a lower than normal number of healthy red blood cells in the body and/or a lower than normal amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. As many as 25% of Americans with diabetes also have anemia, so if you feel fatigued or weak, get it checked out…

Also inside: Anemia Resources

Avoiding Medical Identity Theft by Kurt Ullman, RN

Your phone rings, and the caller says that you can get all sorts of free diabetes supplies or a diabetes-friendly cookbook; all you have to do is tell the person your Medicare number. Should you do it?


Blood Glucose Monitoring: When to Check and Why by Rebecca K. Abma

Managing diabetes is one part investigation and two parts action. Unlike some other diseases that rely primarily on professional medical treatment, diabetes treatment requires active participation by the person who has it. Monitoring your blood glucose level on a regular basis and analyzing the results is believed by many to be a crucial part of the treatment equation…


Boning Up on Bone Health by Belinda O’Connell, MS, RD, CDE

Most of us do not think about the health of our bones very often. We tend to take their supporting presence for granted. But perhaps we shouldn’t. Without strong bones, many daily activities can become increasingly difficult to do…


Diabetes Alert Dogs by Marie Rosenthal, MS

Diabetes alert dogs are relative newcomers to the assistance dog scene, but they are making a real difference. Learn about these literally life-saving dogs…

Also inside: Diabetes Alert Dog Resources

Diabetes and Bone Health by Elsa S. Strotmeyer, PhD, MPH

Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disorder, affecting an estimated 10 million Americans. It is a chronic condition characterized by reduced bone strength, low bone mass, and a higher risk of bone fracture, especially at the hip, spine, and wrist. If you are over the age of 50, there is a 55% chance that you are at increased risk for osteoporosis or have it already. The risk of osteoporosis increases with age; it is not, however, limited to older individuals…


Diabetes and Your Skin by May Leveriza-Oh, MD

The phrase “feeling comfortable in your own skin” is usually used figuratively to describe a level of self-confidence or self-acceptance. But when your skin itches, hurts, flakes, breaks out, changes color, or just doesn’t look or feel the way you’d like it to, the phrase can take on a new, very literal meaning…


Diabetes Blogs by Allison Blass

Blog. It sounds like something you would say when you are feeling under the weather (“I’m feeling so blog today…”), but it is actually short for Web log, a regularly updated online journal. Blogs were originally used by people who…

Also inside: Getting Started With Blogs

Diabetes Educator of the Year: Alyce Thomas, RD by Aubrey Everett

In recognition of National Diabetes Month, Diabetes Self-Management recently spoke with nutrition consultant Alyce Thomas about what diabetes education means to her…


Disability Resources

Diabetes can cause a number of complications, including some that can affect your ability to get around. The following resources offer a variety of tools to help you manage your disability and advocate for your rights…


Disaster Preparedness by Dan Katzki and Lisa Katzki, RN, BSN, PHN

When the subject of emergency preparedness comes up in our home state of California, the focus is almost always on earthquakes and, more recently, wildfires. The discussion is not about if one will happen, but when…

Also inside: Getting Out in a Hurry, Government Agencies, Purifying Water

Drugs That Can Worsen Diabetes Control by Mark T. Marino, MD

One of the main goals of any diabetes control regimen is keeping blood glucose levels in the near-normal range. The cornerstones of most plans to achieve that goal include following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and taking insulin or other…


Exploring Your Family History by David Spero, RN

As author Carol Daus says in her book Past Imperfect, “Tracing your family medical history can save your life.” Learn how to start your search from nurse David Spero…

Also inside: Books, Online Resources

Getting the Sleep You Need by David Spero, RN

Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

—William Shakespeare, Macbeth

You don’t need…

Also inside: Sleep Resources, for Sample Sleep Log

Getting to Know You: Dominique Wilkins

We all know there are lots of other people out there with diabetes, but who are those people? Diabetes Self-Management talks with one of the millions of Americans with diabetes to uncover both the common threads of living with diabetes and also what sets Dominique Wilkins apart…


Healthy Aging With Diabetes by Robert S. Dinsmoor

It used to be said that having diabetes aged people an additional 20 years. Today, thanks to better tools for managing diabetes and preventing and treating its complications, people with diabetes have the opportunity to live longer than ever before. However, managing diabetes in the golden years presents a variety of challenges…


How Much Do You Know About Smoking? by Joseph Gustaitis

Unless you’ve been living on a desert island for the past 20 years, you’re undoubtedly aware of all the research demonstrating the dangers of smoking. Nevertheless, certain interesting facts about cigarette smoking may have escaped your attention…


How much do you know about Vitamin B12?

The primary functions of vitamin B12 in the body are the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of a healthy nervous system.
TRUE FALSE


How Well Do You Know Your Diabetes Management Plan? by Allison Blass

As a person with diabetes, you are in charge of your diabetes management. Your doctor, diabetes educator, dietitian, and other members of your team are there to give input on your plan, but between checkups, your diabetes care is your…

Also inside: Self-Help Resources,

Information and Support for Caregivers

According to the National Family Caregivers Association, there are more than 50 million family caregivers in the United States right now. Caregivers now have many possible sources of instruction and aid — including emotional support, often through connections with other caregivers. The following resources offer a variety of tools to address caregiving needs…


Integrative Health Coaching by Leila Finn

Wouldn’t it be great to have a member of your health-care team who listened to you, asked you what you want and need, and then helped you to get there? Someone who didn’t tell you what to do, but rather helped you figure out how to do it? That person is now entering the health-care [...]

Also inside: Resources

Kidney Disease Warnings by Joseph Gustaitis

Every year, more than 100,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with kidney failure. Over 40,000 of those people have diabetes, which led to their kidney disease. That’s why it’s crucial for anyone with diabetes to know the facts about kidney disease.


Living Alone and Living Well With Diabetes by Carolyn Robertson, APRN, MSN, BC-ADM, CDE

Planning ahead makes good sense for anyone with diabetes, but for someone who lives alone, it takes on added importance. When you live alone, for example, you can’t take for granted that someone will be with you — or even come home…

Also inside: Cookbooks for One or Two

Maintaining Your Health During the Holidays by Patti Geil, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., and Laura Hieronymus, M.S.Ed., A.P.R.N., B.C.-A.D.M., C.D.E.

To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.

—Philip Andrew Adams

What does the holiday season mean to you? Is it a special time for family gatherings, gift-shopping, and spiritual renewal…

Also inside: Bah Humbug to the Flu Bug!, Give the Gift of Good Health, Lightening Up Your Holiday Favorites

Memory Fitness by Cynthia R. Green, PhD

Are you frustrated by forgetfulness? If so, you are not alone. People of all ages complain about the memory lapses that get in their way, such as forgetting their keys, scheduling two appointments for the same time, losing a train of thought, not recalling what they wanted to get from the kitchen, and — worst of all! — forgetting names. As people grow older, these slips seem to become more frequent and can even be frightening. It’s all too easy to worry that each little memory lapse is actually the early sign of a slow decline to dementia…

Also inside: Name Game

Needle Anxiety by Joseph Gustaitis

There can’t be many people who actually like giving themselves injections, but to what extent people might dislike it can vary a lot…


New Tools 2008 by Diane Fennell

The management of diabetes requires a certain amount of paraphernalia: A meter, lancing device, lancets, and test strips, for a start, and some people use many more devices and supplies than just these. Each year, product manufacturers work on developing…


Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Physical Activity by Richard M. Weil, MEd, CDE

It’s no coincidence that the rate of Type 2 diabetes is
rising as rapidly as the rate of obesity in the United States. The two
are strongly related: The heavier people are, the more likely they are
to develop diabetes. So…

Also inside: Body-Mass Index

Planning Ahead for Sick Days by Michelle Kowalski

Having a bad cold or the flu can make anyone want to crawl into bed and stay there until it’s over. But when you have diabetes, hiding under the covers and sleeping until you feel better isn’t the best option (although getting plenty of rest is still a good idea)…

Also inside: Diabetes Sick-Day Kit

Preventing Falls by Emily Piven Haltiwanger, OTD, MHE, OTR

Sadly, my friend’s mother died recently of a fall that could have been prevented. One cause of this accident was stubbornness, which remains a difficult condition to treat. But fortunately, for many other causes of falling, there are preventive steps that can be taken by older adults who are willing to make the effort…

Also inside: Fall Prevention Resources

Questions For Your Doctor by Jan Chait

You’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes and you want to take proper care of yourself. After all, you know that if you control your blood glucose levels, you’ll feel better and lessen your chances of developing complications. But there are two problems…


Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes: by Ralph Pascualy, M.D.

The epidemic of diabetes in the United States is being fueled by multiple medical, social, and demographic forces. Among those forces is sleep apnea, which is now recognized as a major contributor to the development of diabetes. In sleep apnea, people…


Taking Your Diabetes On A Cruise by Jan Chait

Glacier-capped mountains peered down on pine forests. The scent of the trees mingled with the briny smell of the ocean as the ship cut a swath through mirror-smooth water. I leaned back and took a sip of steaming hot coffee. Up on the sun deck, a woman…

Also inside: Cruise Checklist

Ten Ways to Observe National Diabetes Month by Ingrid Strauch

November is National Diabetes Month, and much government and media attention is focused on the need to slow the growing “epidemic” of diabetes and prediabetes in the United States…


The Benefits of Tight Control by Wayne Clark

It has been 16 years since the results of the landmark Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) were published. Despite its continuing legacy of proof that maintaining blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible reduces the risk of…


The Ears Have It by Nancy Vaughan, PhD, CCC-A

Many people think that having hearing loss is like listening to a radio set to a low volume — the sound is simply not as loud. Although it is true that certain kinds of hearing loss can make sounds noticeably softer and more difficult to hear, there are in fact different types of hearing loss that can have vastly different effects on how sounds are heard and understood. The different types of hearing loss tend to have different causes, and it appears that having diabetes can contribute to the development of certain types of hearing loss…

Also inside: A Look Inside the Ear, Resources

Thyroid Disorders and Diabetes by Patricia Wu, MD

Thyroid disorders are very common in the general U.S. population, affecting up to 27 million Americans, although half that number remains undiagnosed. It is second only to diabetes as the most common condition to affect the endocrine system…

Also inside: Suggested Reading, Symptoms and Signs, Who's At Risk?

Tools of the Trade 2012 by Alwa Cooper

This year was a busy one for the diabetes market; many more new tools and medicines won FDA approval in 2012 than in recent years…


Top 10 Tips for Better Blood Glucose Control by Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE

Parents need to stay involved in their child’s management. Find out how to make things just a little bit better, both for you and for your kids…


Travel Tips by Tara Dairman

Diabetes should never keep you from doing the things you love, and travel — even world travel — is no exception. Luckily, there are several resources that can give you pointers to prepare for your travels…


Unintended Consequences by Wil Dubois, BS, AAS, CPT

“Best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” is especially true in the complex world of diabetes management. Here, medicines, behavior, quirks of the human body, and just plain luck collide, with results that can be hard to predict. Sometimes the best of intentions leads to the worst of outcomes…


Visiting a Theme Park With Diabetes by Lisa Fritscher

Even with the economy in the doldrums, some people are still planning vacations this year, and it’s likely that many of them are thinking of visiting a theme park. With their varied activities and attractions, theme parks tend to appeal to a broad range of people. But people with diabetes who are considering such a vacation may have some questions and concerns about how they will manage their diabetes while enjoying the rides, shows, and other activities…

Also inside: Suggested Reading

What to Expect in the Hospital by Laura Hieronymus, MSEd, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE, and Susanna Robinson, RPh, CDE

Most people experience a stay in the hospital at least once in their lives, and for some, it is much more often than that. No matter what the reason for your admission to the hospital, it is imperative that your blood glucose levels be controlled while you are there…

Also inside: Blood Glucose Goals in the Hospital, Diabetes Drugs in the Hospital

What You Should Know About Celiac Disease by Judy Giusti, MS, RD, LD, CDE

Celiac disease, sometimes called celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is a hereditary, autoimmune disease in which the body launches an immune reaction when a person consumes gluten, a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley…

Also inside: For Further Reading and Information, National Support Groups, Select Manufacturers and Retailers of Gluten-Free Products, Carbohydrate Content of Selected Gluten-Free Foods

Your Diabetes Management Plan by Michael Weiss and Martha Funnell, MS, RN, CDE

Whether you have had diabetes for years or are newly diagnosed, you know that dealing with this condition can be a challenge. For one thing, diabetes never goes away. Although there are numerous medicines and other therapies available for treating…

Also inside: Diabetes Resources

“Reversing” Type 2 Diabetes by David Spero, RN

Health professionals usually call Type 2 diabetes a chronic, progressive illness. “Chronic” means you’ll always have it. “Progressive” means you will almost certainly get worse. The best you can hope for is to slow its progression through your diet, exercise, and oral medicine or insulin. The diagnosis of a chronic, progressive condition can feel like having a curse put on you…

Also inside: Resources

Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

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