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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.

 

Phase 2 Mittens

Shucks, winter is here. We are getting some heavy snow right now - that's Minnesota for you.

I am thankful that I have a big supply of warm clothes and accessories. Inluding my walk to the bus stop and then the wait, I can be out in the elements anywhere from 10-30 minutes. It's best to be prepared.

These are my Phase 1 gloves, from the Dollar Store. I always lose them so will buy 4 pairs at a time. Phase 1 weather is between 20-40 degrees.

Then we come to Phase 2, about 0-20 degrees. These are mittens I knit and the pattern called them "Traditional Latvian Mittens", but we all know that things change over time and continents. There is another wool mitten inside, but, they are really not as warm as they look.

And finally, when it's below zero, we have to call on the big guys. The Phase 3's are lined with goosedown. I ordered them from Canada 10 years ago and guard them with my life. See that big diagonal ridge? That's where the down has lumped up, but if I put them in the dryer on low, the lump will disappear.

Today was a Phase 2 day. As I was getting ready to get off the bus, the woman next to me said, "oh, are those the mittens with that insulin from 3M"? Obviously she meant
Thinsulate, a synthetic product made to add warmth to outdoor clothing. I told her no, they weren't, but I had some insulin in my purse. She replied, "well, that's good - you can't go wrong with a nice warm handbag".

No, I guess you can't.

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Study challenges "carb counting" in diabetes

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - How many carbs you eat might be less important for your blood sugar than your food's glycemic load, a measure that also takes into account how quickly you absorb those carbs.

That's the conclusion of a new study of healthy adults, which questions the way people with type 1 diabetes determine how much insulin they should take before meals.

In type 1 diabetes, which affects about 3 million Americans, the pancreas doesn't produce sufficient amounts of the hormone insulin, which helps ferry sugar from the blood into cells. So people with the disease are quickly overwhelmed when the sugar in their food hits the bloodstream.

To avoid the dangerous blood sugar surge, diabetics inject insulin before a meal -- usually based on how many carbohydrates they will be downing.

But the new study, by Jiansong Bao at the University of Sydney in Australia and colleagues, hints the number of carbs alone might not be the best way to go.

Instead, the so-called glycemic load of a food, which also takes into account how quickly it makes the blood sugar rise, might work better. Foods with soluble fiber, such as apples and rolled oats, typically have a low glycemic index, one of the contributors to glycemic load.

The researchers took finger-prick blood samples from 10 healthy young people who ate a total of 120 different types of food -- all with the same calorie content. They also had two groups of volunteers eat meals with various staples from the Western diet, such as cereal, bread, eggs and steak.

The glycemic load repeatedly trumped the carb count in predicting the blood sugar and insulin rise after a meal.

"It suggests that the methods used to assess carbs in persons with type 1 diabetes might benefit from some rethinking," said Dr. Edward J. Boyko, a diabetes expert at the University of Washington in Seattle who wasn't involved in the study.

But he said it wasn't certain the findings would hold up in people who aren't completely healthy.

"In the U.S., 60 percent of people are overweight or obese so we don't know how the results would apply to them or to persons with diabetes," he told Reuters Health.

The glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the amount of carbs in grams per serving by the food's glycemic index divided by 100. The glycemic index for a variety of foods can be found at www.glycemicindex.com/.

Foods with a low glycemic index cause the blood sugar to rise slowly, and so put little pressure on the pancreas to produce insulin.

Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers say their findings also suggest that eating foods with high glycemic loads could be linked to chronic disease like type 2 diabetes - which does not require insulin injections -- and heart disease by raising blood sugar and insulin levels.

But that is not clear from the study, which only looked at blood sugar and insulin changes up to two hours after a meal, said Boyko.

"It would just be speculation whether a dietary change like this would help people with type 2 diabetes," he told Reuters Health.

Long-term effects and other nutrients in the food might also be important for disease risk, for instance. And the most important problem remains pure and simple overeating, according to Boyko.

"The excess weight is the main thing we ought to focus on," he said. "The simplest message would be, eat less."

Sources include
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/11/us-study-challenges-carb-counting-diabet-idUSTRE72A8JB20110311

http://www.anzctr.org.au/ACTRN12610000484044.aspx
http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/2011/02/25/ajcn.110.005033.abstract
http://www.ajcn.org/search?author1=Jiansong+Bao&sortspec=date&submit=Submit

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Eggs,bikes,and Tylenol PM

I have been struggling with some higher blood sugars lately. About 10 days ago, it got suddenly worse. My postprandials had been going higher for awhile, but then my fastings started to hover in the 130s. I became worried enough to contact Janet and then Dr. Bellin about the situation. After some discussion, it was decided to try a lower carb breakfast and to try not to worry about it too much. I know that stress can cause higher BGs, and seeing those high numbers was definitely causing some stress. This all occurred right before Labor Day weekend and it was decided to wait a few days and see if my numbers improved. If not, it might be time to try some insulin. It would break my heart a little to do this, but would bring down my numbers for sure.

When I told Gary about this, he asked if my sleeping problems might have something to do with the higher numbers? I realized that he might be right about that. So I started taking 2 Tylenol PMs at bedtime. I had been taking them before, but only if I really felt that I needed to. Its been almost a week now since I started all of this and my numbers are better. I know its not very scientific to try three things at once, but at that point, I was ready for any good idea.

So now, I'm having higher protein and fewer carb breakfasts, bike rides or long walks during the day, and Tylenol PM at night. My fastings are definitely better. I'm still having some higher postprandials, (200-250) but not as many. The exercise really helps. I'm planning on tapering off of the Tylenol PM and keeping up with the breakfasts and the exercising for awhile. I'm keeping a close watch on my weight during all of this.

The Labor Day weekend was wonderful. I was really hoping that I would be too busy to worry about my BGs too much, and it really worked out that way. We had a wedding on Saturday. We went to Kelly's Island with some friends on Sunday. We had fun playing some horseshoes there. And on Monday, we went kayaking on the Maumee River and then staffed a Donate Life Ohio booth at the Fulton county fair. Blake Shelton was playing in the background.

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Invisible Illness Week - Sept. 13-19

Via Karen at Bitter-Sweet Diabetes, I am posting this to raise awareness of Invisible Illness Week. Despite 20 years with the ups and downs of living with bigD, I don't think I've ever considered myself ill - I guess that goes to show just how invisible it is; even to me! But, I have been struggling with my feelings about living with an invisible disease and whether I can come to peace with adding someone to my team who would make type 1 diabetes much more visible, but no better understood, to the rest of the world. I'll post more about that later. In the meantime, it's Meme time:

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know...

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BIG BLUE, PART 2

I'm well aware that I have never been without any medical supplies.
Growing up my dad had amazing health insurance coverage and we had closets (yes, plural) filled with supplies.
Now grown up and on my own insurance,
I am again, blessed with everything I need.

* All it took was a phone call from my doctor to get set up with sensors and my continuous glucose monitor.
* My pump just ran out of warranty in August.
* One phone call and I was upgraded to the newest model.
* I even got to choose the color I wanted (pink!), and it was sent to my work just days later.
* My insurance was so good in fact, that after turning in my old pump, I had a credit of money on my account...so essentially, I got paid to go on an upgraded pump.

Not everyone is as fortunate
and some even lack a basic needle and vial of insulin they need to keep them alive!!!

BUT...many people and various organizations have come together to make it possible for children with Diabetes in some of the poorest countries to receive the insulin they need.

And to make it happen, all you need to do is watch this video:

Up until November 14th (World Diabetes Day), money will be donated to this cause.
Read the press release here to find out more info:
Thanks for doing your part.

GO BIG BLUE!!!!   :)

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The Big Blue Test

The Big Blue Test is almost here!  On November 14th, at 2:00 pm (local time).Click here to find out more about the Big Blue Test and the Diabetes Hands Foundation.

Here's something you can do right now to, not only help spread awareness, but to give life-saving insulin to children in need.  Just watch the following video.  That's it.  Simple, right?!  It will take a mere minute and 49 seconds of your time but will give a child with diabetes a week supply of insulin!

Then, spread the word by telling your friends and family to do the same.  Post it on facebook.  Tweet about it on twitter.  Email the link to everyone you know.  Let's see how many views we can help make happen between now and November 14th...

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