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Today's Tip: How can a “sleep diary” help me improve my sleep quality?

Keeping a sleep diary can help you figure out what’s keeping you up or what works best to help you sleep. Each morning, record in your sleep diary when you went to bed, about how long it took to go to sleep, about how many times you recall waking up, when you got up and how rested you feel. Record any naps you took the day before. Also rate your energy level and alertness during the day on a scale of 1 to 10. If this doesn’t improve your sleep quality, you may want to consult a sleep specialist.

Learn more about sleep here.

Yesterday's Tip: What kind of pillow should I use to get the best night’s sleep?

Thinner pillows may give better posture and provide more comfortable sleep to people who sleep on their backs, while people who sleep on their sides may need thicker pillows for more neck support. You can also try a pillow or bolster behind you when you sleep on your side, or a pillow under your feet or between your knees to reduce back strain.

Learn more about sleep here.

November 24, 2020: What are some tips that can help me sleep?

To help yourself sleep, reduce caffeine, limit alcohol and stop smoking. Get in the habit of using your bed only for sleep and sex. Don’t read, eat, talk on the phone or watch television in bed. Get up at the same time every morning, whether you’ve slept or not. Be patient, as it can take at least two weeks to learn new sleep behaviors.

Learn more about sleep here.

November 23, 2020: How can you learn more about the medicines you take?

To learn more about the medicines you take, read the information sheets given out with prescriptions by your pharmacist, or talk to your doctor, nurse or diabetes educator about your medicines.

Learn more about diabetes medicines here.

November 22, 2020: What kinds of calcium supplements should I avoid?

Avoid “natural” calcium supplements that contain calcium from coral, oyster shells, dolomite or bone meal, because these sources are more likely to be contaminated with lead and other dangerous substances.

Learn more about supplements here.

November 21, 2020: What kind of calcium supplement should I take?

If you need a calcium supplement to meet your calcium requirements, choose one that contains calcium citrate, calcium lactate or calcium carbonate.

Learn more about supplements here.

November 20, 2020: How can I make sure the supplement I choose is of high quality?

Choose supplements that have the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) seal, showing they meet government guidelines for production and dissolution.

Learn more about supplements here.

November 19, 2020: What important step should I take before starting a supplement?

Talk to your doctor before starting any dietary or herbal supplements. He should be able advise you about whether the supplement is safe and effective, and whether it may interact with any other drugs you take.

Learn more about supplements here.

November 18, 2020: When seeing a new doctor, what should I tell him about my medicines?

At your first appointment, tell your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter drugs you are taking. Bring a list of all of your medicines to your appointment, or bring the drugs themselves (in their original containers).

Learn more about planning for a successful doctor’s visit here.

November 17, 2020: What simple steps can help you prevent drug interactions and errors?

Filling all of your prescriptions at one pharmacy, if possible, can help your pharmacist catch any potential interactions between drugs you take. And when you refill your prescriptions, note whether your pills (or insulin) look different from those you normally take. If they do, check it out with your pharmacist.

Learn about dangerous drug combinations here.

November 16, 2020: My prescriptions are too expensive. What can I do?

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if there are generic equivalents to the drugs you take, and consider using combination tablets that contain more than one drug to reduce your co-pays and the number of pills you take each day.

Get more tips for saving money on your diabetes care here.

November 15, 2020: What are some common symptoms of a urinary tract infection?

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include burning upon urination, the need to urinate frequently or urgently and lower abdominal pain. Urine may look milky or cloudy, or possibly even reddish from blood.

Learn more about urinary tract infections here.

November 14, 2020: I don’t have ketones in my urine. Does this mean I don’t have to worry about hyperglycemia (high blood glucose)?

Not necessarily. It is possible to have dangerously elevated blood glucose without ketones, especially in people with Type 2 diabetes who are dehydrated. This is called hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, and its symptoms include excessive thirst, hallucinations, sensory loss, rapid eye movement, paralysis on one side of the body, and seizure. It may be mistaken for a stroke.

Learn more about hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state here.

November 13, 2020: Under what circumstances should I check my blood or urine for ketones?

Check for ketones if your blood glucose level is over 250 mg/dl twice in a row, or even only once if you intend to exercise soon.

Learn more about ketones here.

November 12, 2020: What is diabetic ketoacidosis?

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency characterized by an extremely high blood glucose level and a toxic level of ketones in the blood. It can cause such symptoms as extreme thirst, frequent urination, vomiting, fever, paleness, elevated heart rate, nausea or abdominal pain, fruity or acidic-smelling breath, shortness of breath and lethargy.

Learn more about diabetic ketoacidosis here.

November 11, 2020: I’ve noticed a reduction in my sexual desire lately. What might be the cause?

A lack of sexual desire may result from depression or from a common class of antidepressant drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). High blood glucose can also cause sluggishness that results in reduced sexual desire. Additionally, men with diabetes as young as 45 are twice as likely to have a low testosterone level as men without diabetes, often leading to reduced sexual desire. Testosterone deficiency can be treated, as can depression and high blood glucose.

Learn more about sexual health here.

November 10, 2020: Are there any medicines that can protect my kidneys from damage?

Drugs called ACE inhibitors and ARBs can reduce blood pressure and help prevent kidney damage; ask your doctor about drug options if you believe you may be at high risk for kidney disease.

Learn more about caring for your kidneys here.

November 9, 2020: I’ve become depressed after having a heart attack. What can I do?

Depression after a heart attack can impair recovery. Seeking support from a mental-health professional can help both your emotional and physical well-being.

Learn more about heart health here.

November 8, 2020: My gastroparesis is causing constipation. What can I do?

If you experience constipation because of gastroparesis, a form of neuropathy that causes delayed stomach emptying, avoid high-fat and high-fiber foods, and ask your healthcare provider for individualized nutrition recommendations.

Learn more about gastroparesis here.

 

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