Today's Tip: What are some risk factors for cardiovascular disease?

High LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and uncontrolled blood glucose levels all place you at risk for heart disease. Carrying extra weight around your waist also raises your risk of heart disease, and smoking doubles your risk of developing heart disease. The ACCORD study and others have raised questions about the belief that high blood glucose is the biggest risk factor.

Learn more about heart disease here.

Yesterday's Tip: I’m starting a new job. What steps can I take to keep my diabetes under control during this transition?

If your new job will mean a big change in your daily schedule or activity level, speak to your doctor before you begin to discuss how and when any changes in your diabetes self-management regimen should be made. If possible, adopt your new schedule before you actually start your new job so you can see what effect, if any, it has on your blood glucose levels.

Learn more about managing your blood glucose here.

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July 26, 2017: How often should I change the insulin in my pump reservoir?

In most cases, pump users should change the insulin in their pump’s reservoir, as well as their infusion set, every 48 hours. However the FDA approved a labeling change to insulin aspart (brand name NovoLog) that allows people to use the insulin in their pump for up to six days.

Learn more about insulin pumps here.

July 25, 2017: For how long can I use a vial of insulin?

The expiration date on insulin packaging is for unopened, refrigerated vials, disposable pens, or pen cartridges. Once opened, most vials of insulin last for 28 days, even if refrigerated, but many pens and pen cartridges are good for only 7, 10, or 14 days (and should not be refrigerated).

Learn more about insulin here.

July 24, 2017: How can I ensure I’m counting carbohydrate accurately?

Working with a registered dietitian can be helpful in fine-tuning your carbohydrate-counting skills. Carefully reading nutrition labels on food products and measuring portions will also help you to meet your carbohydrate goals.

Learn more about carbohydrates here.

July 23, 2017: Can stress have an effect on my blood glucose level?

Yes — during periods of stress, the body releases so-called stress hormones, which cause a rise in blood glucose level. If stress becomes chronic, high blood glucose can also become chronic.

Learn more about stress here.

July 22, 2017: My blood glucose remains high long after meals. Why might this be?

Meals that are high in fat may contribute to prolonged elevations in blood glucose after eating.

Learn more about hyperglycemia here.

July 21, 2017: What is the best way to determine whether I have high blood glucose?

The best way to identify high blood glucose, or hyperglycemia, is to routinely monitor your blood glucose levels on a schedule determined by you and your health-care team and to get regular HbA1c tests, also on a schedule agreed on by you and your health-care team (usually two to four times a year).

Learn more about hyperglycemia here.

July 20, 2017: How should I count fiber when determining how much insulin I need to cover a meal or snack?

Since fiber is not digested or absorbed, you should subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate on the label if there are more than 5 grams of fiber per serving. People who are very sensitive to insulin may wish to subtract all fiber, even if there are fewer than 5 grams per serving.

Learn more about fiber here.

July 19, 2017: Will going on a gluten-free diet affect my diabetes regimen?

For people with diabetes and celiac disease, starting a gluten-free diet requires learning the carbohydrate content of new, gluten-free foods, so they can be introduced into a meal plan or so that insulin doses can be adjusted accordingly.

Learn more about celiac disease here.