January 16, 2009: What types of foods should you avoid if you are trying to lose weight?

Avoid concentrated sweets and beverages. Foods such as pastries, cakes, and sugar-sweetened beverages get digested rapidly and have a lot of calories.

Learn more about weight loss here.

January 15, 2009: How can you commit yourself to losing weight?

Decide that you and your health are worth the effort it will take to change your eating and exercise habits.

Learn more about weight loss here.

January 14, 2009: What’s the best way to avoid overeating when treating hypoglycemia?

Using preportioned glucose tablets or gel to treat hypoglycemia instead of food or juice may help you control the amount of carbohydrate you consume.

Learn more about treating hypoglycemia here.

January 13, 2009: Which is more of a threat, a single low blood glucose reading or a single high reading?

Take low blood glucose seriously; any single low reading presents more of a threat to your well-being than a single high reading.

Learn more about low blood glucose here.

January 12, 2009: What exactly is the HbA1c test anyway, and how can it help you to better health?

The HbA1c test gives an indication of your blood glucose control over the previous 2–3 months and is an important part of your diabetes-care regimen. Because the red blood cells in a blood sample used for an HbA1c test are a mixture of cells of different ages, the test gives a “weighted” average of recent blood glucose levels. Even if you haven’t met your HbA1c goal yet, you might be pleased to know that just about any decrease in blood glucose levels can help. Exactly how often your HbA1c level should be checked depends on your degree of blood glucose control and your physician’s judgment. Because everyone’s health situation is unique, you need to work with your health-care team to set an HbA1c goal that will work best for you.

Learn more about the HbA1c test here.

January 11, 2009: When you check your blood glucose, what site will give you the most accurate results?

When checking your blood glucose level after meals or snacks, you should use a blood sample from a finger rather than an alternate-site sample.

Learn more about blood glucose monitoring here.

January 10, 2009: What “good fats” may help fight depression?

Much recent research suggests that low intake of omega-3 fatty acids may increase the possibility of depression, and that supplementing the diet with omega-3 fatty acids may help alleviate depression symptoms. Before supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids, talk to your physician or dietitian about recommended doses and also about which foods or supplement to use.

Learn more about omega-3 fatty acids here.

January 9, 2009: When life bowls you over, how can you handle it?

Even though life’s problems can blindside you every once in a while, using relaxation techniques can help you to roll with the punches and adjust rather than letting stress knock you for a loop.

Learn more about how to cope with stress through relaxation here.

January 8, 2009: Everybody messes up. How can you make the most of your mistakes?

Don’t judge yourself harshly when you make a mistake; just observe the effects on your blood glucose, mood, and energy level, and use this information as a learning experience.

January 7, 2009: How can you make healthy lifestyle changes more likely to stick?

The greater the number of things changed in a management plan at one time, the greater the probability that none of them will be accomplished. The slower the pace of change, the greater the probability that a goal will be achieved and, even more important, sustained. So start slow and set achievable goals.

January 6, 2009: When you feel OK, does it mean that your blood glucose level is under control?

Just because you feel OK doesn’t necessarily mean your blood glucose level is well controlled.

Learn more about blood glucose monitoring here.

January 5, 2009: Supplies too expensive? Tap this surprising source of money-saving ideas.

Ask your health-care providers for any money-saving tips they may have, and tell them if you cannot afford the drugs or other products they recommend — they may be able to help.

Find more money-saving tips here.

January 4, 2009: Once you open it, how long does insulin last?

Once opened, most vials of insulin last for 28 days, but many pens and pen cartridges are good for only 7, 10, or 14 days.

Learn more about insulin here.

January 3, 2009: What should you do if you have hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) symptoms when you don’t have your meter?

For most people with diabetes, a blood glucose level of 70 mg/dl or less is considered low, and treatment is recommended to prevent it from dropping even lower. If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia and do not have your blood glucose meter available, treatment is recommended.

Learn more about preventing and treating hypoglycemia by reading these articles.

January 2, 2009: What kinds of items should be in your sick-day box?

The idea behind a sick-day box is to have all of your sick-day supplies together in a place you can easily reach for when you do not feel like moving or cannot move very far. Work with your health-care team to personalize your sick-day box to cover all your health needs. Keep a list of names and important telephone numbers on a single page or file card in your sick-day box. A pen and pad of paper are among the most important items in your sick-day box. Every sick-day box should have a thermometer to check for fever.

Learn more about sick day rules here.

January 1, 2009: Should you be taking cholesterol drugs just because you have diabetes?

The American Diabetes Association recommends starting diet and exercise changes if your LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol level is over 100 mg/dl and adding drug therapy if it exceeds 130 mg/dl.

Learn more about lowering your cholesterol here.

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