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bookDiabetes articles about daily topics that affect those living with diabetes. There is a lot of information about diabetes and hopefully you find this information useful in your everyday life. Here we have compiled a list of older articles from our previous "The Diabetes Network" along with links to blogs and articles, an extended reading archive. You can use the search in the top-right menu to search for specific articles.

 

What Can Happen if You Don’t Control Your Blood Glucose Levels?

Just because you have been told that managing and keeping track of your blood glucose levels is very important for managing your diabetes does not necessarily mean that you understand why that is. Using exercise, diabetic recipes, diabetic diet plans, medications, and your blood glucose meter is very important, but why do you have to keep such a close eye on it, what’s the worst that can happen? The truth is, there are a great many bad things that can happen as a result of not controlling your blood glucose levels.

High blood glucose levels over an extended period of time can result in several negative things. These things are a wide range of complications, including kidney failure, eyesight loss, and severe heart problems. Infections, chronic lethargy, excessive urination, and extreme thirst or hunger are all other side effects of leaving high blood glucose levels go untreated.

Low blood glucose levels can also cause negative complications if left alone without attempt to control it for an extended period of time. These things include coma, loss of consciousness, and seizures. Irritability, sweating, hunger, dizziness, shaking, dry mouth, and weakness are also negative side effects of being hypoglycemic for long periods of time.

The bottom line is that diabetes is a disease and condition that needs to be caught early and closely monitored when it is to ensure that there are no lasting problems or complications, and that you live as long as possible without any major health problems as a result of it.

How to Find Reliable Diabetes Research

A few years ago, I signed up to Google news alerts to stay on top of diabetes news, and, in particular, diabetes research.  For me, research is way of peeking at my future and an important reminder of why I need to not give up on keeping control, watching the carbs, and staying physically active.  The better my body is doing, aside from the diabetes, the more opportunity for me to enroll in a trial for a new protocol for diabetes management.

But, the truth is what Google thinks is research is often not research, but snake oil!  And for those new to diabetes who are terrified and searching for a miracle, this is frustrating, to say the least! So, I've decided to give a few reliable pointers for searching out diabetes research information and trials:

A few links to dedicated diabetes research:

Diabetes Research Institute: DRI is known for its great diabetes education programs and research efforts.  It is an organization that has been around for 40 years helping fund diabetes research for a cure. But DRI also is engages in other diabetes research. Under their menu bar on the left they have a section on Diabetes Clinical Trials.

Trialnet: Trialnet has an incredible workhorse for screening and working toward finding ways to prevent, delay and reverse type 1 diabetes. Trialnet has locations all over the US and international sites as well.  One program that has been a respite

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What Kind of Diabetic Recipes Are There?

Diabetes is a serious medical condition, but it does not have to ruin your life. With mediation or insulin shots and by following a diabetes diet, you can take control of your diabetes without giving up your life. When people hear the phrase “diabetes diet” they often assume that it is limited to bland meals. This does not have to be the case, however. There is such a variety of diabetic recipes available that no diabetes diet should ever become boring – there are countless options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, even appetizers and desserts. All you have to do is go on the internet or purchase a cookbook to find the best diabetic recipes.

No matter what kind of food you are in the mood for there are sure to be dozens of diabetic recipes that will be delicious. If you like Mexican food, try one of the diabetic recipes for beef fajitas or chicken quesadillas; if you prefer Italian food, consider a few diabetic recipes for pasta primavera or lasagna. Even if you only stick to a certain category of food you can find so many diabetic recipes that you will never run out of options. Many diabetic recipes are formulated to achieve balance between carbohydrates, sugars, and proteins – sugars go straight into the bloodstream while carbohydrates and proteins take time to digest.

By using glucose meters you can monitor how your body responds to certain diabetic recipes and, based on your findings, you can create your own diabetes diet. Having diabetes does not mean that you cannot enjoy your life. By monitoring your blood sugar level with glucose meters and by eating healthy using diabetic recipes you can manage your diabetes and stay healthy – all without having to make any drastic changes to your lifestyle. A few simple adjustments can make all the difference.

The Breakfast Problem

I recently took a trip to the Northwest and stayed mostly in budget motels. Most motels these days include a breakfast along with the room, and sometimes they offer greasy sausage and tasteless eggs. But mostly, they offer a carb banquet: cereal, milk, doughnuts, toast, bagels, jam, pastries, etc., without a protein in sight.

What to do? When you're traveling with someone else who does eat carbs, it's inconsiderate to insist on going elsewhere for breakfast.

I solve this problem by bringing my own low-carb cereal. I mix ground nuts and ground flaxseed, half of each, and carry it in a baggy. Then if they provide it, I can just add boiling water. Otherwise I can add hot coffee.

I sprinkle on a little fake sugar (when I'm at home I use DaVinci sugarfree syrups, sometimes available at Marshalls and TJ MAxx stores, for flavor), which I also bring along, and I've got a breakfast that satisfies me until lunchtime and hardly makes my blood glucose levels go up at all. If available and you can tolerate it, you could also add a little fruit.

Another approach is to put some of my dinner into my "doggy box," a tightly sealed plastic box with compartments that fits perfectly into a small cotton purse. Then I can have that for breakfast. But if the weather is hot and the room doesn't have a fridge, you might not be comfortable doing that.

The cereal works anywhere, regardless of weather.

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What Does a Type 2 Diabetes Diet Look Like?

Unlike individuals who have Type 1 diabetes, those with Type 2 diabetes can sometimes circumvent the need for medication. This is often possible through the responsible use of a diabetes diet. Though there is no formula for a set diabetes diet, there are certain foods and eating practices that an individual with diabetes can utilize to take control of their disease and to limit the negative side effects associated with it.

Along with regular blood sugar tests using glucose meters, a diabetes diet can give a diabetic individual freedom from medications while still allowing them the ability to enjoy a full, healthy life. For individuals with Type 2 diabetes, the key is to limit the amount of sugary foods you consume, though weight control is another important factor. More than 80% of individuals with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, so one of the goals of a diabetes diet for these individuals is to reduce carbohydrate intake in order to regulate glucose levels and lose weight.

A diabetes diet for an individual with Type 2 diabetes should consist of several small meals throughout the day in order to prevent spikes or drops in blood sugar level. As you begin your diabetes diet, maintain regular screenings with your glucose meters in order to see how your body responds to certain meals – as you establish a routine, your blood sugar levels should stabilize. A diabetes diet might include items like bread, skim milk, a boiled egg, and a serving of fruit for breakfast and then a bowl of pasta, two servings of vegetables, and a serving of meat like chicken or turkey for lunch. Dinner should not be too heavy, consisting of three servings of meat or fish, half a baked potato, two helpings of vegetables, and fruit.

You may also have an afternoon snack and an after dinner snack consisting of milk or tea, fruit, and a few saltine crackers. So you do not become bored with the monotony this type of diabetes diet can incur, use the internet to find a few good diabetic recipes. Diabetic recipes are specially made for individuals with diabetes so they should fit in well with the rest of your diabetes diet. Every day new diabetes news is being released – perhaps someday there will be a “cure” for diabetes but until then it is possible to contain the condition by responsibly following a diabetes diet.

Avoiding the Meter: The Vicious Cycle

It isn't a rare thing to know your blood sugar before you even check it. If you've lived with this disease long enough, sometimes you feel your lows coming from a mile away and you can feel when your blood sugar is anywhere above 200 mg/dL. Maybe it's because you know you ate something, didn't pay attention to the carbohydrates, and didn't take enough insulin...or because you just know by the way you feel, by that slow-as-maple-syrup feeling, that your blood sugar is high.

Either way, how often does knowing that you're high, and feeling that you're high, keep you from using your glucose meter to actually and check and see?

How often do you purposefully think, "Nope, I am not gonna check. I don't want to see that number. I don't want to deal with it. I definitely don't want to think about what I did or didn't do that led my blood sugar that high in the first place..."?

It's a habit. A very clever one. I wouldn't blame anybody for taking part in it. Who wants to see 350 mg/dL on the screen of their meter? Not me! No matter what you tell yourself, the first thought that goes through your head is, "Well, I messed up again."

Instead, it's easier to not check at all. Maybe give yourself a bolus or a quick insulin shot of what you think might bring you down from whatever number you think your

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