This is an adorable clip i’ve found, of a mother talking about her son who is a type 1 diabetic.If a mere child can test and take care of his diabetes, then adults can to! lets all follow this young man’s example..
The second largest Native American tribe, Tohono O’odham, has the highest rate of adult onset diabetes in the world. Many of the tribe’s 28,000 members live on a reservation in the desert in the U.S. southwest state of Arizona. Until 1960, no one had diabetes because people ate traditional foods that helped prevent the disease. But with the introduction of foods high in fat and calories, diabetes became widespread, including in children. Now the O’odham people are being encouraged to go back to eating the traditional foods and a cafe on the reservation is making those foods appealing.
This is lunch hour at the Desert Rain Cafe on the Tohono O’odham reservation in Arizona. Each dish contains at least one traditional food from plants that grow on the reservation. This popular chicken sandwich has a sauce made from Prickly Pear cactus. Customers are raving about the tasty and healthy food. The cafe also serves calcium rich cholla buds from the Cholla cactus, and fruit smoothies with nutritious chia seeds. Cafe manager Sam Saunders says another popular meal is meat with high protein tepary beans. He also says he put seeds from a giant cactus in the region in some dishes. “These are the saguaro seeds that are grown on the Saguaro cactus. It’s harvested only one time a year,” he explained.
Tristan Reader, Co-Director of the Tohono O’odham Community Action group, started the cafe to encourage people to eat traditional foods. “A mom might be able, if she doesn’t have time to cook, she can come in, get those good, healthy foods, and take them home for dinner,” Reader explained. Tribal health officials say up to 70 percent of the O’odham people have diabetes. Reader says the traditional foods can prevent diabetes, which affects children as young as six years old. “The same compounds that let the plant survive actually regulate blood sugar levels. They keep blood sugar levels even and help prevent diabetes and keep diabetics healthier,” he said.
Faith Pablo is with a diabetes prevention program on the reservation and is testing this woman’s blood sugar level. “We want people to eat more traditional foods again, to use more of those foods that weren’t raising sugars, to get people to become more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies,” Pablo said. Traditionally, the Tohono O’dham were farmers who harvested food from native plants and grew crops that could withstand the desert heat. But today few people farm and the cafe is growing its own crops.
Until 1960, no one had diabetes because people ate traditional foods that helped prevent the disease. But with the introduction of foods high in fat and calories, diabetes became widespread among the Tohono O’odham tribe.
Farm manager Noland Johnson says the tepary bean is one of the world’s most heat resistant. “They’re very drought tolerant. I’ve seen them go up to 4 or 5 weeks without water,” he explained. The farm also plants corn that sprouts quickly from the dry earth. The corn is served at the café and is also dried for future use. “It’s pretty much saved for years, that you can keep it and store it, and then eat is when you need it,” Johnson said. The Desert Rain Cafe is introducing traditional foods to young people who may not have eaten them before. This girl says it would be hard to give up some of the less healthy foods she’s used to eating. Reader says he wants schools on the reservation to serve traditional foods, instead of high calorie and fatty meals. “And if a kid grows up eating traditional foods, one or two meals a day, every day at school, then that’s what they are going to be used to,” he said. He says bringing back traditional foods is also important in preserving the Tohono O’odham culture, because those foods are part of stories and used in ceremonies.
Deborah Block | Tohono O’odham Reservation, Arizona
My Diabetes Central has an interesting article on the swine flu & diabetes. Learn what you can do to protect yourself against the H1N1 virus. Remember that diabetics often take longer to heal from certain illnesses, and or injuries. This is a very serious disease, and all diabetics need to be mindful of what’s going on with this epidemic. It’s also good to remember that any kind of stress; which includes colds, flu, cold medicines, etc., can raise your blood sugar significantly. Check your sugar often especially when your sick. Many times when we are sick, our normal senses that would tell us if we are high or low usually don’t work. Therefore, don’t guess, test!!
by: Ruby Bhayani
Keeping diabetes in check between doctor visits (ARA) – Americans are taking a closer look at their own personal health and assessing changes they can make, as the topic of health care remains front and center. More and more, people are paying attention to the cost of prevention and care for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, as they have a high risk for health complications. Diabetes now affects nearly 24 million people in the United States, an increase of more than 3 million in approximately two years, according to 2007 prevalence data estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If not controlled, diabetes in particular can lead to serious health complications including heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. That’s why it is extremely important to manage the disease on a daily basis. To stay healthy and avoid potential consequences, people with diabetes can take steps every day to manage the disease. In addition to eating a balanced diet and exercising, this also involves monitoring blood glucose levels each day and seeing their physician regularly to check in and monitor their A1C levels – a test that provides a two to three month indication of average of blood glucose. Fortunately, medical advances have made it easier for people with chronic illnesses, like diabetes, to closely monitor their health and better manage the disease, along with their healthcare providers. For example, years ago, people with diabetes relied on laboratory obtained tests to get a clinical measure of their A1C levels – a process that required a wait time. Now patients can, for the first time, test their A1C at-home and get results within five minutes with Bayer’s A1CNow(R) SELFCHECK in between regularly scheduled doctor visits. This allows them to take a more active role in their diabetes over the long term, like modifying their diet and exercise, and have an informed discussion with their healthcare provider based on the results. By working with their doctors on appropriate disease management, patients may see a reduction of their A1C level and subsequently reduce their risk for complications associated with diabetes. A 1 percent point reduction in A1C can reduce the risk of serious complications by 40 percent. The A1CNow SELFCHECK allows patients to further participate in their diabetes care by monitoring their A1C levels in between physician visits. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends performing an A1C test at least two times a year in patients who are meeting treatment goals and have stable glycemic control. The ADA recommends quarterly testing (four times a year) for patients whose therapy has changed or are not meeting glycemic goals. Clinical research and advancements in technology are helping people with diabetes manage the chronic condition to achieve long-term success until a cure for the disease is found. People with diabetes are encouraged to visit www.SimpleWins.com for more information on the tools and resources that can help them properly manage the disease and invest in their health. Courtesy of ARAcontent.
Rubyna Bhayani , Registered Nurse and Certified Case Manager with extensive clinical experience in the fields of Geriatric Case Management, Long Term Disability Management and Home Health Services. I am the Proud owner and manager of Senior Care Companion, an in-home Personal Care Assistance Provider.
I’ve found an interesting article from “Diabetes Forecast” about kidney disease. I recommend every diabetic should have a basic understanding of our kidneys, and how high levels of sugar over time can damage our them. The article talks about how high blood pressure can be a sign there’s a kidney problem. Also how getting a Urine albumin test can determine any indications of potential kidney failure in the future. Check out the article here @ Diabetes Forecast.
I’ve read many articles on diabetes, but there is one subject that seems to be seriously overlooked; and that is….. diabetics who are starving themselves, because they think its the only way, to control sugar AND loose weight (without medication). Too many diabetics are also not talking to their doctors about this major problem; a lot of people are too embarrassed to tell their doctor that they are hungry, in addition to some diabetics seeing this as a possible sign of failure, weakness, and or not having will power. Diabetes is more complicated than people realize. It is extremely important that you stay in constant communication with your doctor. I understand that their are many people who prefer to do it naturally. However, for some of us, sometimes for what ever reason our bodies will not cooperate. Some diabetics (type 2 in particular) have no other choice but to be put on medications.
Another element that adds more difficulty, is the assumed or misinformation about carbohydrates. In the fitness world or the world of gym bunnies, there are some diets that promote high consumption of carbohydrates; but to a diabetic can be extremely dangerous in terms of long term. Many assume that carbohydrates are bad for you, then try to cut it out of their diet completely. This is not a good plan of action and can often prove dangerous for some diabetics; since carbs are literally our life force. Paring up with a good endocrinologist is key. Endocrinologist, are not just people who talk to you about diet, they ARE DOCTORS and most specialize in this area of diabetes and metabolism. Remember, just like computers, research and the study of diabetes, are always changing.
ALL DIABETICS NEED TO KNOW that carbohydrates is one of the main and vital sources for the body’s energy and fuel. Over 90% of what we consume has some form of carbohydrates, and that includes meats, rice, veggies, even some of the so called “sugar free” products (but that’s another subject by itself). The main thing to focus on is your quality of carbs you consume. You also need to know that, if you deprive yourself of all carbs (which is just about everything, short of leafy vegetables), your not only run the risk of making your body grow hungry; your depriving the body of its prime source of energy, depriving it of being able to defend itself against outside forces, such as bacteria, germs, infection, the ability to regenerate cells, to heal itself, as well as possible organ damage (long-term), these are just a few… The key thing to remember as a diabetic, your sugar cannot be consistently high OR consistently low, for a prolonged period of time. It is the consistency that causes the diabetic complications. This is when your blood glucose meter comes in, so you can monitor your blood and know where your heading, allows you to know how particular foods effect your blood glucose, and the opportunity to change your A1C to healthier numbers.
Carbohydrates are good for us in moderation. There are 2 main things to consider, in terms of carbohydrates (aka sugar) that is, natural sugars and processed sugars. Natural sugars are fruits, honey, etc., (some fruits have more sugars than others), and the process sugars are cakes, chocolates, taffys, pies, breads, etc,. You would want to go after the natural sugars, not just because of more vitamins and minerals, but because your body can break them down much better. You may be treating your tongue to a great tasting ‘devil’s chocolate cake”, but you are definitely not doing good by the rest of your body, when it is consumed in excess. On the other hand, it’s about better food choices, not starving your body either. Do not allow your tongue’s taste buds, override your need for nutrition.
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By Susan C. Conrad, MD, and Stephen E. Gitelman, MD
Melissa, 17, has had diabetes since she was 3 years old. When she was young, her mother took care of her diabetes management, and Melissa’s A1C’s were usually under 8 percent.
When Melissa became a teenager, she began to take more responsibility for her diabetes care. She took glargine once a day and lispro before meals. She based her mealtime doses on how much carbohydrate she planned to eat. She also added a correction factor if needed, adding 1 unit for every 50 mg/dl above 100 mg/dl.
At a recent diabetes clinic visit, Melissa said that she was satisfied with her blood glucose control. When her meter memory was downloaded, it showed at least three or four blood glucose checks a day, and almost all were in the 70-180 mg/dl range. But her A1C was 9.4 percent. That meant that Melissa’s average blood glucose level over the past two to three months had been over 250 mg/dl.
There are many reasons an A1C may not agree with home blood glucose checks.
If you check your blood glucose levels only before meals, you catch only the lowest values of the day. By checking two hours after meals, you may catch some high glucose levels that would otherwise be missed.
Glucose meters need to be calibrated with a code from the test strip. If the wrong code is entered, the results may be wrong.
Test strips need to be protected from light. If they aren’t, they may give incorrect results.
Some medical conditions can affect A1C.
But in teens, a surprisingly common reason that an A1C does not agree with the blood glucose log is that the numbers in the log aren’t true. Some teens simply make up numbers without checking blood glucose. Others report numbers that are “better” than what the meter showed.
After a lengthy discussion, Melissa admitted that she had used the meter’s control solution for most of the checks. She said she was tired of dealing with her diabetes, and she found it “exhausting” to meet the expectations of her family and diabetes team.
Her mother, who always came with Melissa to her clinic visits, was surprised to find out that Melissa had used the control solution. She said she had little involvement now with Melissa’s diabetes care. Melissa seemed to want to be more independent, didn’t want her mother to “nag” her, and seemed to have things under control.
Caution: Teen Years Ahead
The teen years are rough, for teens and their parents. Diabetes adds another area for conflict.
In many children, blood glucose control worsens when they hit their teens. Part of this is biology: Growth hormone, testosterone, and estrogen make their bodies less sensitive to insulin. Part is social and psychological: Teens want to be to be like their peers. They want to be independent. They test limits.
When out-of-range blood glucose numbers start coming up, parents may get upset or angry, and may nag or punish. Or at least, this is how the teen sees it. So the teen may become secretive.
It’s tempting to think that this is “just a phase” and that diabetes control will get better again after high school. But recent research suggests that poor coping habits now may continue into adulthood. It’s important to break this cycle now.
Your teen is not mature enough to handle all his or her diabetes care alone and still needs your help with this complicated, frustrating, never-ending task.
What You Can Do
Get help from your diabetes care team. Extra sessions with the diabetes educator may be needed. It may help to see a social worker or psychologist, who can teach your teen coping skills.
To keep from “nagging,” try having a set time every evening to review your teen’s blood glucose results.
- Keep in mind that the numbers on the meter are neither “bad” nor “good,” they are information.
- Your job could be to simply record the numbers from the meter’s memory. Or you might help your teen look for patterns: highs or lows at certain times of days, or on certain days. Talk to your diabetes educator about how to adjust the insulin plan when you see these patterns. Your teen may need to take a break from diabetes care, and you could do all the tasks that day.
Susan C. Conrad, MD, is a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital and Research Center at Oakland in Oakland, Calif. Stephen E. Gitelman, MD, is a professor of clinical pediatrics in the Department of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco.