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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.

 

To carb or not to carb?

The challenge question:

Thursday 5/13 - To carb or not to carb. Today let’s blog about what we eat. And perhaps what we don’t eat. Some believe a low carb diet is important in diabetes management, while others believe carbs are fine as long as they are counted and bolused for. Which side of the fence do you fall on? What kind of things do you eat for meals and snacks? What foods do you deem bolus-worthy? What other foodie wisdom would you like to share?

I suppose I fall in the middle. Carbohydrates are certainly something to be limited if you wish to reduce the amount of insulin you inject. I've followed the low-carb way of eating off and on and I do have a lot of energy when I am eating low carb. It's expensive, though, and I usually end up freaking out and eating carbs after a week or so. More often, I just eat what I want and bolus to cover it. Life is too short.

That being said, I do have some simple rules:

(1) I can eat what I want, as long as I record it in my food diary and make the effort to look up the carbs.

(2) If I am going to drink soda (and I have a love/hate relationship with it for various reasons), it has to be diet.

(3) Whenever possible, eat food and not foodstuff. You know the difference. If it comes in a box, sits on a shelf or contains any ingredients you can't realistically find in your kitchen, it ain't food.


The final foodie wisdom I will share with you non-existent readers (yes, I'm talking about... you!), is to read and listen to author Michael Pollan. He does an excellent job of explaining food and agricultural issues and is practical (and realistic). I've read almost all of his books and would highly recommend them.

Because of him, we (a) have belonged to a CSA - community sustained agriculture - in which we support a local farmer and her family by buying all of our needed produce and eggs (fertilized AND really cage free!) from her; (b) haven't purchased bread in over two years because we make all of it ourselves in a whopping 5 minutes or so of work per day; and (c) make such "oddities" as our own, homemade corned beef, soups, etc.

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THINGS ARE LOOKING UP

"Looks like things are really looking up".
A phrase often said when things go from bad to good (or at least, better).

For me this possitive phrase had quite a different meaning the other morning.

My normal routine is to wake up at 5:45am, stumble into the kitchen to grab a protein cookie, stumble into the front room to read my Bible (while eating my protein cookie), and stumble back into the bedroom by 6:20am to wake up Derek.


(+)

I've found that the protein cookie is the ONLY thing that I can eat for breakfast that doesn't make my blood sugars spike shortly after...which then comes plumeting down an hour later. I've tried EVERYTHING...eggs, fruit, yogurt, cereal.

Derek had the day off, so I decided to let myself sleep in a little bit longer, ignoring the 5:45am alarm, and slowly rolling out of bed shortly after 6:20am.

I definitely ran at a bit of a slower pace as the intense heat was making me so lethargic. AND I spent most of the morning wiping away the sweat that was literally dripping off of my face.

I only had time to grab a granola bar on my way out to the car.
Quaker Oats.
Chocolate Chip.
17 grams of carbs.
2.1 units of insulin
...and I was off to work.


(+)

Looked down at my pump (which communicates with my CGM...continuous glucose monitor) shortly after getting to work...and things surely seemed to be looking up...





Oh come on! 246??? Double arrow up? (which means my blood sugarwas increasing quickly, by at least 40 in the last 20 minutes)



But never fear...a little bit of insulin and shortly, things were looking up...well, actually (literally) down...which was a good thing... so I was looking Up.

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Glucomotive 2010 Ragnar Great River Relay

Yes, this relay was run in August, the 20th and 21st. Yes, it is October. That's how slow I am.

Andrew, the driver for van 1, the van I was in, had just injured his ankle on a bike ride. It was so swollen and ugly that we wondered if he could reliably work the accelerator and brakes as he drove us up the Mississippi.

Andrew's ankle later that day, as we waited for van 2 to come into the second van exchange. In the small version of this picture, it looks OK because the swelling has gone down, but if you zoom in, you can see the tiger-striping from the bruise being wrapped with an Ace bandage. But Andrew did fine driving. He kept us guessing about whether he was about to run into things, but he must have known what he was doing.
You get a good look at some of our Costco supplies in this picture, too.

Dave and Daniel relaxing at the first van exchange, I think, before Saci (below) hands off to Pratt from van 2.




Saci in Triabetes gear smiling through his first leg, which was rated "Very Hard."


Daniel, Saci, Jennifer, and Igor after a dip in the Mississippi at the second van exchange.

Daniel by our van in the early morning of the second day, at the fourth van exchange.

The runners from both vans get a rare chance to spend some time together at the fifth van exchange, waiting for Saci to come in. This is counter-clockwise from Daniel, shirtless, Gary in the "Diabetes. Run with it." shirt, Emily in her "Running on Insulin" shirt, Dave, Jennifer, Andrew, and Corinne.


Pratt hauling up a monstrous hill on his last leg.

Dave, Daniel, Igor, Anne, Saci, and Jennifer at the finish, ready for our anchor runner, Corinne, to come in.

Corinne tearing down the pavement toward the finish.

Post-race joy.

Gary, Emily, Mike, Corinne, Pratt, Anne, Igor, Jennifer, Saci, Dave, me, and Daniel.
Not pictured, the awesome drivers, Andrew and John.
Here's a great video Peter put together from stuff we shot during the race.


(Teammates, I left out last names because I wasn't sure if anyone would mind. Am I being silly?)

.

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Dream a little

The challenge;

Sunday 5/16 - Dream a little dream - life after a cure. To wrap up Diabetes Blog Week, let’s pretend a cure has been found. We are all given a tiny little pill to swallow and *poof* our pancreases are back in working order. No side effects. No more insulin resistance. No more diabetes. Tell us what your life is now like. Or take us through your first day celebrating life without the Big D. Blog about how you imagine you would feel if you no longer were a Person With Diabetes.

For a while I would feel as if a part of me was missing. That would be my insulin pump. It's been attached to me for more than a decade now, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To not have it with me, clipped on my belt, would be... lonely.

I'd also miss carrying my man-purse everywhere since I wouldn't need my meter. Where would I carry my iPod?

But at the same time, I'd certainly LOVE not having to do all the fingersticks, infusion set insertions, math games, paying lots of $$$ each month for the medical supplies... I'd also enjoy the chance to be free to do anything, anywhere, anytime without having to worry about everything.

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THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN

It's that time of year again.
The beginning of the end. It came so quickly.
Somehow the Summer flew by again.
I didn't even go to the beach, didn't make it to any farmer's markets. I don't have a tan...
but I'm ok.
The leaves will soon change. The cool breeze will blow while I wear comfy sweaters and eat chili.
And...fall will be in full swing.

Training camp always marks the end of summer and the beginning of Derek's favorite season...FOOTBALL!

We made our annual trek to BEARbonnais last week to watch the guys practice.


After the hour or so drive, we were ready for all things blue and orange.



Maybe a little TOO much blue and orange!!!



The Hills joined us again this summer (while Jenny was at work).



They know this is serious business, so they were ready to take pictures, get autographs, and cheer on the Bears with us!





We watched them run plays.



And do drills.
(These guys are HUGE! I wouldn't want to get in their way!).



Some of the guys stuck around after practice to sign autographs.



And some even took pictures with us.




It was another great day at ONU


Dave, class of 1996,     Jake, class of  2024,    Abby, class of 2026

It was a busy, but fun day.



Have I mentioned before on this blog that I really like Jay Cutler???



We didn't get his autograph this time, so I now carry a silver sharpie with me everywhere...just in case I happen to bump into him.
I'd have him sign my insulin pump!
You think I'm kidding...but check my purse next time you're with me.
It's true.
...and now you think I'm crazy!


If I did see him, I'd give him a big hug (after he signed my pump of course)
 and I'd thank him for all that he's doing for kids with Diabetes.

Then I'd pat him on the butt and say..."Now come on Jay! Let's go get some touchdowns!"

...and so another season begins!

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What your parents said

Last week I was invited to be a speaker at a local camp for families with diabetes.
There were four groups of children(as well as their parents), divided by ages . In preparing, I created a sheet that asked a series of questions.
Namely,
1. The easiest thing about dealing with diabetes is..
2. The hardest thing, etc....
3. The best thing, etc.....
4. The worst thing, etc.....
5. I wish my child knew....

The parents had the above questions, and the kids' sheets had the same questions, but the 'tense' was altered. For example, Q.1 read, "the easiest thing about having diabetes is..." and the last question was, "I wish my parents knew..."

Being that the responses were anonymous, I had hoped for honesty. What I got was beyond what I had hoped for. Here's a sampling of the parental responses...

The best thing about dealing with diabetes is...
-"There is treatment for the disease my son has."
-"Seeing the courage my daughter has.."
-"you can still do the same things that everyone else does"
And more than one parent said plainly,
-"nothing"

The worst thing about dealing with diabetes is...
-"dealing with potential restrictions on future activities."
-"missing activities with other children."
-"having it for the rest of your life??"
-"not knowing the future."
-"feeling like I am always bugging him about his sugar (level) or treating."

Now, let me address some of these answers: diabetes should not restrict or hinder you from anything. That's outdated info. Kids with diabetes do not need to miss anything. Further, we are on the cusp of the cure. As I said at camp, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO HAVE DIABETES!!

Not knowing the future can cause anxiety in anyone (with diabetes or not), but faith and a secure foundation can really counteract your fears.

And finally, "I wish my child knew..."

-"I would trade places with him if I could.."
-"How smart he is.."
-"how proud of her I am."
-"highs and lows will still happen even if you do everything 'by the book'"
-"there's nothing she can't do"
-"by not testing and taking care of himself how he is hurting his body."

These answers reveal much of what all parents feel for their kids. How many of us would do anything to take away our child's hurts, fears, or struggles?
Now compound that with a chronic disease that takes no prisoners, and the helpless feelings must multiply.

Yet there is another side to these answers that shows how diabetes affects more than just the diabetic. It affects the whole family, and includes friends, classmates, and more. Education is real power when it comes to effectively managing diabetes. There's no reason a child today should feel limited or inhibited in any way by diabetes.

All of this reinforces the conclusion I had previously reached, which is everyone with diabetes should be on the insulin pump.

It allows freedom and flexibility; but most importantly it is the best tool we have today to treat diabetes.

Stay tuned, because the next post will highlight what all the children with diabetes had to say, and you are NOT going to want to miss it!!

Until there's a cure, there's the pump.

That's why iPump.

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