These articles cover a wide range of subjects, from the most basic aspects of diabetes care to the nitty-gritty specifics.
- Alternative Medicine/ Complementary Therapies
- Blood Glucose Monitoring
- Dental Health
- Diabetes Basics
- Diabetes Definitions
- Diabetic Complications
- Emotional Health
- Eyes & Vision
- Foot Care
- General Diabetes & Health Issues
- Heart Health
- High Blood Glucose
- Insulin & Other Injected Drugs
- Kids & Diabetes
- Low Blood Glucose
- Money Matters
- Nutrition & Meal Planning
- Oral Medicines
- Sexual Health
- Tools & Technology
- Weight Loss
- Women's Health
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In every issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine, we test your knowledge on a diabetes-related topic. Here's a quiz question from the March/April 2013 issue.
How much do you know about irritable bowel syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) isn’t exactly a topic to discuss at the dinner table or around the water cooler at the office, but you might be surprised at how many Americans suffer from this gastrointestinal condition. Anywhere from 10% to 20% of the population has IBS, and women are twice as likely to have it as men. IBS isn’t a disease, like Crohn disease or inflammatory bowel disease, because it doesn’t affect the structure of the intestines. Instead, it’s a gastrointestinal disorder that affects bowel function and is characterized by certain symptoms that, unfortunately, can make life downright miserable at times. Try your hand at this question to see what you know and to find out what you can do to better manage this condition.
Probiotics may be helpful for people with IBS.
TRUE or FALSE?
TRUE. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that live in your digestive tract to help fight off harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause disease. They also promote a healthy immune system. Researchers have been studying the effects of probiotics on gastrointestinal conditions, including IBS. Certain strains of probiotics, including bifidobacteria (found in supplement form in the brand Align), may be helpful in alleviating diarrhea, while others may help ease constipation. Probiotics are available in supplement form, and also in certain foods, including yogurt (look for yogurt that contains live, active cultures), kefir (a cultured milk beverage), miso, tempeh, and even in some brands of cheese and energy bars. While eating foods that contain probiotics is safe, talk with your health-care provider before you start taking a probiotic supplement to make sure that it’s safe for you and that you choose the right kind and dose.
In every issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine, we test your knowledge on a diabetes-related topic. Here's a quiz question from the January/February 2013 issue.
How much do you know about winter woes?
When the weather outside is frightful, people with diabetes face a new set of challenges that they didn’t have in the warmer months. Insulin and other injected medicines need to be kept from freezing, blood glucose meters have a lowest temperature at which they’re functional—and that’s just your diabetes supplies. Low temperatures, little sunlight, and the pressures and temptations of the holiday season can all affect your blood glucose level and your diabetes management. Take this quiz to find out how much you know about staying healthy through the winter.
Packing an emergency kit before the cold weather sets in is a terrific way to stay safe and healthy all winter.
TRUE or FALSE?
TRUE. Inclement weather that disrupts your daily routine is more likely in the winter months. Winter storms can cut your power; freeze your pipes, robbing you of water; and leave you snowed in and unable to get to a pharmacy or grocery store. It’s a good idea to assemble a diabetes emergency kit to keep you one step ahead of Mother Nature. Your kit should include extra medicines, glucose, supplies, and test strips, along with a way to keep medicines at a safe temperature even if you have no electricity. Your kit should be portable and organized in such a way that you can have all your supplies ready to leave with you at a moment’s notice. It should have all you need to survive (diabetes-wise) for two weeks. Be sure to rotate the stock from your emergency kit from time to time so the medicines and supplies in it don’t go bad. It’s also a wise move to stock your home with at least three days’ worth of drinking water (one gallon per person per day); nonperishable, ready-to-eat food; one or more flashlights; a battery-operated radio; and extra batteries for the flashlights and radio.
In every issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine, we test your knowledge on a diabetes-related topic. Here's a quiz question from the November/December 2012 issue.
How much do you know about herbal supplements?
The number of Americans using herbal supplements has increased in recent years, and people with diabetes are well represented among those who do. Commonly, herbal supplements are taken in the hopes of lowering blood glucose levels. But do any of them really work? Because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not consider them drugs, herbal supplements are exempted from the rigorous efficacy and safety tests that medicines must undergo. Consequently, knowing whether an herbal supplement is safe or effective–and in what dose–is difficult to determine. Try your hand at the question below to find out how much you know about herbal supplements.
Since herbal supplements are not considered medicines, it is not necessary to tell your health-care providers which ones you’re using.
TRUE or FALSE?
FALSE. It’s very important to tell your health-care providers about any supplements–herbal or otherwise–that you’re taking, even though they are not considered drugs. They may have therapeutic effects in the body, and they have the potential to cause serious side effects, interact with drugs or certain foods you may be consuming, interfere with lab tests, and affect other health conditions you may have. It is important to let your doctor know what you’re taking, even if he doesn’t ask. One particularly important reason is that there may be a need to adjust the conventional medicines you’re currently taking. Your health-care provider may be able to help you choose a supplement that’s safe to take and to check for side effects or possible interactions.
In every issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine, we test your knowledge on a diabetes-related topic. Here's a quiz question from the July/August 2012 issue.
How much do you know about beverages?
The human body is composed of at least 60% water, so it makes sense that we can’t survive long without drinking water (or other fluids). But does it matter what you drink, as long as it’s wet? What about a morning cup of coffee, a lunchtime soft drink, or a glass of wine at the end of the day? In fact, your choice of beverages can have a big effect on your health, including your diabetes control, your waistline, and your ability to stay awake (or fall asleep) when you want to. So what’s a good choice, and what beverages might be best avoided? Try your hand at the question below to check out your beverage smarts.
An energy drink like Red Bull, Rockstar, Full Throttle, or Monster is the best way to make sure you stay alert and get through a long day.
TRUE or FALSE?
FALSE. Energy drinks are trendy beverages that are hyped up on caffeine–literally. These drinks are marketed to people who tend to be short on sleep and energy, and ads for them hint at improved athletic performance. Some of these beverages contain upward of 300–500 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per serving (compared to about 100 mg in a cup of coffee). Some of your favorite coffee beverages at the local chain coffee shops are high in caffeine, too, but energy drinks are often gulped down like water, and it’s easy to not only overdo the caffeine, but also to swallow a lot of sugar (and calories) at the same time. An 8-ounce can of Red Bull contains 113 calories and 28 grams of carbohydrate, and a 16-ounce can of Full Throttle boasts 220 calories and 58 grams of carbohydrate. Some energy drinks come in a sugar-free version, so you can save calories and carbohydrate that way, but you’ll still get a hefty dose of caffeine. Too much caffeine can give you insomnia, make you jittery and irritable, and cause a rapid heartbeat.
What about the “extras” in energy drinks, like B vitamins, amino acids, and herbal extracts? These ingredients don’t provide you with energy. B vitamins help your body use energy, but they won’t do you much good unless you’re eating a healthy diet. And there’s no good research supporting the addition of amino acids or herbs for either energy or athletic performance.
In every issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine, we test your knowledge on a diabetes-related topic. Here's a quiz question from the May/June 2012 issue.
How much do you know about high and low blood glucose?
Most people with diabetes regard dealing with high and low blood glucose as “diabetes kindergarten” — the first things we learned about on our diabetes journey. But the symptoms of both extremes of the blood glucose continuum can overlap, making it difficult to tell what exactly you’re feeling. And you may not know about some of the dangers that can arise from spending too much time in high or low ranges. So how much do you know about this seemingly most basic of basics? Test your knowledge of high and low blood glucose with the question below.
It’s OK to have lots of highs and lows, as long as your HbA1c stays in the range you want.
TRUE or FALSE?
FALSE. Your HbA1c test results only indicate the average blood glucose level in your body over a three-month period and can mask glycemic variation, the severe yo-yo-ing of lows and highs. Clinical research is increasingly showing glycemic variation to be a significant causative factor in the development of diabetes complications. An in-target HbA1c is only healthy when accompanied by blood glucose readings within your goal range.
In every issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine, we test your knowledge on a diabetes-related topic. Here's a quiz question from the March/April 2012 issue.
How much do you know about eggs?
Eggs have been much maligned over the years, thanks to the common belief that eating them will raise blood cholesterol levels. At first glance, it may seem logical that a food that contains dietary cholesterol would raise blood cholesterol. But this isn’t exactly true. The biggest influence on blood cholesterol is the type of fats you eat, not the amount of cholesterol you get from food. So since eggs are a highly nutritious, affordable food, don’t be afraid to enjoy them as part of a healthy eating plan. Think you’re an “eggs-pert” on eggs? Take this quiz and see how you do!
Eating eggs increases an older adult’s risk of developing diabetes.
TRUE or FALSE?
FALSE. If you have a family history of diabetes, are at risk for diabetes for other reasons, or have been diagnosed with prediabetes, you may have paid special attention to news about a study back in 2008 that reported that eating an egg every day might increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. More specifically, researchers noted that men who ate an egg daily had a 58% chance of getting diabetes, while women who were daily egg eaters had a 77% chance. Fortunately, the same researchers repeated their analysis a few years later and, after adjusting for factors such as smoking status, physical activity, fiber consumption, and body-mass index, they concluded that there was no link between eating eggs (even eating an egg a day) and an increased risk of diabetes in people age 65 years and older. Why were the results of these two studies different? The first time around, the researchers didn’t take into account fasting blood glucose and insulin levels and other markers of glucose metabolism. Also, both of these studies were observational studies that relied on subjects to self-report data. So, while the good news is that you can eat eggs (and likely even an egg every day) even if you’re at risk for diabetes, it’s always a good idea to check with your health-care provider or dietitian before doing so. People with particular health conditions or risk might be advised to limit the number of eggs in their diet.
In every issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine, we test your knowledge on a diabetes-related topic. Here's a quiz question from the January/February 2012 issue.
How much do you know about ketones?
Most people with diabetes — and anyone who has read about low-carbohydrate diets — has probably heard of ketones, but how many people really know what they are? Messages about ketones can be confusing: Some sources say they are toxic and dangerous, while others suggest that ketones are a positive sign of weight loss through fat burning. When you have diabetes, it’s important to know the facts about ketones, as well as when to check for them, how to check for them, and what to do if you detect them. Try your hand at this question to see how much you know about ketones.
Studies have found that elevated ketones during pregnancy are associated with reduced intelligence in the baby.
TRUE or FALSE?
TRUE. Although the research is somewhat controversial, at least two studies have shown a link between elevated ketones in the mother and lower IQ and learning disabilities in the offspring. It’s believed that the presence of ketones may affect the development of brain cells in the growing fetus. While some authorities argue that other issues related to poor diabetes control may be more to blame than elevated ketones, most gynecologists advocate regular ketone testing as part of prenatal care.
In every issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine, we test your knowledge on a diabetes-related topic. Here's a quiz question from the November/December 2011 issue.
How much do you know about skin care?
The skin is the body’s biggest organ, but when people with diabetes think about the complications they might face, skin problems don’t always come to mind. In fact, high blood glucose and the complications it can lead to are associated with a number of skin problems, some of which can become serious if not attended to promptly. The good news is that keeping blood glucose levels in target range and following a thorough self-care regimen can prevent many skin conditions, help you to identify others early, when they’re most easily treated, and keep you looking and feeling your best.
Ulcers on the feet always lead to amputation.
TRUE or FALSE?
FALSE. Losing a foot or leg is a common fear among people with diabetes. It’s true that untreated ulcers can lead to infection, which in turn can make amputation necessary, but that’s not the only possible outcome. Wearing comfortable and supportive shoes and socks, inspecting your feet daily for any sores, rashes, or blisters, and treating any problems early, before they become more serious, can prevent ulcers from forming. If an ulcer forms, topical medicines, special dressings and wraps, and even oxygen chambers can be employed to help an ulcer to heal and leave the foot intact. Wound-care centers are your best option for this type of care. They are usually staffed by dermatologists, podiatrists, surgeons, or other medical personnel with special training.
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.