Fiber is extremely important because it helps to create bulk in the lower intestines. Together with a generous daily intake of water, fiber can assist with healthy bowl movements, in order to safely get waste out of your body. In terms of fiber, water is key, because not only does water keep your body hydrated, it can also prevent constipation. Fiber exist in just about all fruits and vegetables. You can also purchase fiber in the form of capsule or powder/liquid brands such as Benefiber.
How does fiber effect diabetics?? Well, I guess this is one of those things that’s a matter of opinion and personal experience. Speaking for myself, fiber should only be used for the expressed purpose of promoting healthy digestion. However, many dietitians and CDE’s recommend high fiber diets to diabetics because it often prevents sudden spikes in blood sugar. Although this is true, on the other hand, it can be a nightmare for some of us who take insulin.
Though nutrients extracted from fiber are digested more slowly, keep in mind your blood sugars are still rising throughout the day regardless. This means if you are a type 2 diabetic, and control your sugars by way of diet and exercise, you need to test your blood sugar more than once a day. It is the only way you will learn how certain foods effect YOUR particular body. The American Diabetes Association recommends that, your blood sugar should be in the range of 160 180 mg/dl two hours after food consumption. Blood sugar levels that are consistently higher for longer than a two hour period, can not only effect your A1C levels, but risk the start of long term diabetic complications.
In the long run, foods with high fiber, proteins, & fats, can make tight glucose control difficult for anyone that is insulin dependent UNLESS you are on a insulin pump. Newer insulin pumps have the capability of spreading out a bolus insulin dose, to compensate for the still rising blood sugar as a result of high fiber, proteins, and fats consumed. If your on Multiple Daily Injections (MDI) talk to your doctor about adding a few additional dosage of basal insulin; it may help prevent from giving yourself extra bolus shots.
Ultimately, this is clearly an individual decision, and I believe it’s important for all diabetics to have flexibility. Foods effect everyone differently, and understanding how fiber can change your blood sugar levels, is a huge advantage to controlling our diabetes.
© 2010 DiabeticRadio.com
A chronic disease such as diabetes has MANY symptoms, and unfortunately I’ve encountered physicians that have tunnel vision. In other words, a doctor prescribes you a pill based on the specific problem you say you are having, yet so many of these same doctors don’t ask if the patient has any other symptoms, that could give a clue as to one disease. It is also true that, many patients may not mention any other problems they are having, because they may not realize one has to do with the other.
I can’t stress enough, the patient/doctor communication factor. Your ability to effectively express how you feel, give the doctor a clue as to what may be wrong with you. Do not leave any details out, no matter how small you think it is. It is important to remember that in this day and age, doctors can see upwards of 400+ patients in a day, not including paperwork; there is very little time to hold any patient’s hand. Playing an integral role in your own diabetes care is key to a long complication free life.
The best way to manage the small amount of time you have with your doctor, is to purchase a small note pad, and write down any questions that you have for your doctor, along with your blood sugar history. Discuss these questions and concerns with your doctor, and write down his answers if it helps you to remember.
Many of us have more than one doctor or specialist. Do everything in your power to let each and every one of your doctors know all your current medications (even vitamins). Informing your doctors of any herbal substances, vitamins, medications, and sometimes even the kinds of fruits and vegetables you consume, may help avoid drug interactions (even some herbal teas has medicinal effects).
Ask your doctor for any resources he/she may posses, such as dietitians, support groups, Certified Diabetes Educators, and or even mental health. It is a documented fact that a measurable percentage of diabetics are more likely to experience depression. Seeing a therapist does NOT mean there’s something wrong with you mentally, its just another extension of the healing process. Depression and diabetes is a horrible mix, especially for those of us who are emotional eaters. Because of high food intake, stress hormones, and depression meds, can make it nearly impossible for any emotional eater to control their blood sugars. It is my belief that you absolutely cannot truly take care of your diabetes, without addressing emotional and psychological challenges. Otherwise, your life will be like a ping-pong ball.
Explore areas that alter your state of mind. Some examples of these are music, dance, board games, good friends, walking, sight seeing, aromatherapy, yoga, drawing, etc., etc. All of the above mentioned, are great tools that help to facilitate the manifestation of positive energy. Diabetes is a chronic and life long disease. Yet our condition does not inhibit us from doing anything we’d like to do. Let us live life as normal as we possibly can, and learn as much as we possibly can about diabetes. No information is too much information.
© 2010 DiabeticRadio.com
There is much debate amongst the various diabetic online communities, as to whether or not it’s ok to reuse your syringes and lancets. I truly sympathize with diabetics that are seriously struggling financially, and can’t afford their supplies, however, it is not medically safe to reuse syringes. Our blood naturally has pathogens (disease causing bacteria); once a needle has been inserted in to the skin (for longer than a second or two) the needle is now considered a bio-hazard, and or contaminant. When ever possible, its important to use a brand new needle at all times. Reusing a needle is like using the bathroom without washing your hands.
Once the used needle is out of the skin & exposed to air, the contaminants grows and gets stronger. There are no white blood cells present to fight off those pathogens, therefore, if you reuse your needles, your potentially reinfecting yourself with stronger pathogens/bacteria, and the body has to work harder to fight them off.
Both syringes and pen needles have special anti-bacterial lubricants, that allows for a smoother and less painful entry. Reusing needles will eventually loose this special coding. Both needles will also eventually become dull and jagged at the tips. Once the tips are bent because of over use, you will potentially cause bruising, in addition to the infection that may be caused by the now overly contaminated needle.
In NYC, unfortunately, there are no official known procedures, as to how to dispose of your used diabetic supplies. If your @ work, it is my opinion (as a courtesy to others) that you store all your used test strips, lancets, and syringes in a coffee can, or one of these 99 cent hard plastic containers. Once container is full, tape up top securely and dispose by regular means, or you can give to your doctor and have him/her dispose of your medical waste. If your hanging out with some friends, another alternative, is to rap your used supplies in a napkin securely, and dispose of waste. Be respectful and mindful of non-diabetics; make sure all needles are covered bare minimum!! No one wants to worry about being stuck with with somebody Else’s needle.
Lancets are a little different. To my understanding, lancets are generally ok to reuse, because today’s lancet devices are so fast, that the needle has no contact with blood. However, keep in mind that like syringes, lancets do become dull, and can cause bruising. Try to change your lancets at least once a week. Also make sure that you are rotating ALL sites..
© 2010 DiabeticRadio.com
Various things that can effect your blood sugars.
A couple of days ago, I happen to see the front page of my local newspaper, a picture of our NYC’s (legally blind) Governor David Paterson signing vetoes. I couldn’t help but share this picture with my visitors, because it gave me powerful flashbacks (just before my surgery). A reminder as to where I was, (visually speaking), and where I am now. Like him, or hate him; indirectly, he is my role model in terms of not allowing his disability stop him from accomplishing his goals. Granted, although both our situations are different, I’ve got a tiny glimpse of what my life may have been like, if I were permanently blind. It’s scary to think that there exist several other more serious and irreversible diabetic eye complications I could have had. Yet those cataracts has caused absolute chaos in my life. I could only stop and think, as to what Governor Paterson may have become, if he’d allowed his disability to be a hindrance, or the kind of health care he would have received if he were not Governor, or even the kinds of discrimination that disabled people often face.Were would I have been, if I did not grab the bull by the balls and get my job?? You’ll never know what you can accomplish, unless your pushed against a brick wall!!
I don’t think the average person understands, the level of emotional strength that is required, once you discover your going blind. Just trying to accomplish basic daily tasks was at times unbearable. I was barely mobile, and the insurance in/out of network crap did not make things any easier for me. I knew that if I did not act fast (before I’ve gone totally blind), my chances of finding someone to be my second eyes were slim.
At the end of the day, and all is said and done; experience has taught me that, you must keep yourself as healthy as you possibly can. So many hospitals are absolutely horrendous, often disorganized, unequipped, understaffed, and uncaring. Unfortunately, as health care cost rise, I predict this will get exponentially worse. This is were building a strong family & friends support group is important.
The time is now to take care of your diabetes!! If you have a known family history of diabetes, get tested right away. Demand that your doctor give you an Hemoglobin A1C test. Take charge of your diabetes.