How Family and Friends are Eager to Help. 

People are willing to support you in your journey if you ask.

People are willing to support you in your journey if you ask.

Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help and brave enough to ask for it.
— Unknown

It started with a phone call from my aunt. She told me she called to find out how my mother was doing. My mother at times socially isolates herself from others and that particular day she was not answering her phone. As I was explaining tomy aunt the frustration with trying to get my mom to open up about her feelings, my aunt revealed to me her struggle with depression. 

As many of my readers know I have family members diagnosed with diabetes.  Both my grandmothers and many members on both sides of my family had diabetes. My dad died from complications from this condition. I worked with one of my cousins to find the right diet and medication regiment. She was having difficulty with the side effects of Metformin so I suggested she ask her doctor for Metformin ER(extended release) to relief her symptoms. I figured cousin must have called my aunt and urged my aunt to call me. My mom was just a Segway for my aunt to talk about her diabetes.

My aunt is a caregiver. For years she took care of my uncle with Parkinson's disease until he recently died and she also has a husband with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD). She stated sometimes she "forgets" to take her medications. She mentioned she just needs someone to remind her to take her pills in the morning until she can get into a routine. I told her I would remind her.

My aunt lives on the other side of the state. Luckily, phone service is cheap. Every morning I send her a text at 8:00am reminding her to take her medications. Since we both have smart phones I send her pictures of my cat, Pinterest quotes and You Tube videos to cheer her up. I am human so sometimes I send the text later than I anticipated because I overslept or became caught up in my work but I make sure she hears from me at some point of the day.

She texted me last week telling me her doctor reported her HbA1c has lowered but most of all she feels supported. She probably does not know this but people with diabetes tend to have higher rates of depression than the rest of the population and stress could also cause her blood sugar to increase.

If you have diabetes don't be afraid to ask for help. If you know someone with diabetes who is struggling with depression ask what YOU can do to help them. Sometimes the individual with diabetes just needs someone to listen without judgment.

If you have diabetes what cheers you up? If you know someone with diabetes what step have you made to help them deal with diabetes? Please leave your comments below. Your input could help others. As always you can schedule an appointment with me.



How to Deal with These Two Related Conditions.

Getting enough rest can help you deal with your diabetes

Getting enough rest can help you deal with your diabetes

Let her sleep for when she wakes she will move mountains.
— Shakespeare

The majority of American adults fail to get enough sleep at night and adequate sleep seems to be especially a problem for people with diabetes. Many people with diabetes suffer from a condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where the person breathing pauses during sleep due to  obstruction of the individual's airway.  

Part of the problem is many people with type II diabetes are overweight. The excess tissue around their neck interrupts the airways causing a blockage. Lack of proper sleep raises blood sugar levels making it difficult to manage the sleep deprived person's diabetes. Sleep deprivation also elevates  blood pressure increasing a  person with hypertension and diabetes risk for stroke.

Here are some tips to treat sleep apnea:

1. Lose Weight.  Overweight people who lost an average of 22 pounds  were able to have significant improvements in their sleep apnea. In some cases, the condition COMPLETELY resolved. Also, as most of you know, weight loss improves blood glucose and high blood pressure giving the person with diabetes THREE benefits in one. 

2. CPAP Therapy.   Some people will need more than weight loss to resolve their sleep apnea. For those people they may need a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy to improve their sleep. A CPAP machine blows air through a mask the person wears at night to keep the person's airways open.  

In most cases, doctors will need to send their clients to a sleep center to find out if they are a candidate for a CPAP machine. However, if you just want to sleep sounder at night avoiding caffeinated beverages after lunchtime,  watching television or surfing the internet no later than 9:00pm and learning how to manage stress can help. 

If you have any other questions or suggestions about sleep apnea please leave your thoughts in the comment section. Your input could help others. Also, if you would like to work with me to help deal with YOUR diabetes please leave your contact information below.









Solutions for the Cosmetically Challenged Food

Stir-frying can turn ugly vegetables to sexy creations. 

Stir-frying can turn ugly vegetables to sexy creations. 

It's that time of year! The time of the year when the sun gives us a bounty of ripe fruit and vegetables.  However, sometimes our garden delights don't look as sexy as we would like.  It might also be fair to say some of produce may be called, "ugly".  

So what do you do with your cosmetically challenge summer harvest? 

First of all, understand when you find produce in your garden or Farmers' Market realize just like you can't judge the taste of plum by it's shape. Just like people some of the best fruits and vegetables may be have a less than stellar looks. 

Second,  implement the slogan of "making lemonade out of lemons." Instead of letting your fruit rot on the ground learn how to preserve.  There are books,  community extension courses and internet courses teaching anyone who is interested how to freeze, can and dry produce. Learning how to preserve is a  chance to have healthy food available when the weather changes and you could even give your creations as gifts.  Sauces, salads and stir fry dishes are always an option. 

Finally, see cosmetically change produce as an opportunity to save some money. Usually, the food is marked down because let's face it most people are superficial.  Why not cash in on their ignorance?

Here is a stir fry sauce I found in Pinterest that should get your creative juices flowing. 

If you have any other suggestions regarding ugly fruit please leave them in the comment section below. Your comments could help others.






The Most Underrated Tool to Manage Your Blood Sugar. 

Vegetables can be sexy and delicious. 

Vegetables can be sexy and delicious. 

Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.
— Bob Bitchin

"Eat your vegetables!"  This phrase is  touted by nutrition expects and our mothers to improve our health. This may be exactly why we may resist eating them. What we fail to realize is vegetables are a powerful tool  for optimal health. Recently, researchers conducted studies proving why vegetable intake is so imperative to managing type 2 diabetes. 

A new study published in the Journal of Medicine College of Nutrition found individuals with type II diabetes who ate a plant-based diet lost twice as much weight and reduced muscle fat than individuals who ate the standard diabetic diet that included meat. Both diets contained the same amount of calories and all participant had the same exercise regimen.  The only animal product the vegetarian group ate was 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt a day. 

If you still are convinced maybe you need a little  motivation. Researchers at Stanford University Department of Psychology found one simple tool to get people to eat their vegetables; make it sexy!  Researchers  offered food to college students using terms such as "slow roasted caramelized " and "citrus infused"  versus "low-fat" and "low-calorie" to describe the same vegetables. All things being equal, when the researchers used the more descriptive name on the menus, student ordered the vegetables with the sexy names 41% MORE often. 

Maybe part of the reason people avoid vegetables is because they think it is boring? 

Mixing vegetables in your smoothies, sneaking vegetables into your casseroles and trying new recipes are tactics you can use to get more vegetables in your diet. 

If you have any other tips or have any opinions regarding this subject please leave a comment in the section below. Your input can help others. As always you can schedule an appointment with me.







Staying in the shade will protect your skin and your health. 

Staying in the shade will protect your skin and your health. 

Summertime. The living is easy and obviously hot. A little sun gives us our needed vitamin D. On the other hand too much sun can be harmful, especially for  folks with diabetes.

There are several reasons why the heat severely affects people with diabetes.

Nerve Damage or Neuropathy compromises the sweat glands making the body less efficient at cooling down. The result is heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Another reason heat adversely affects people with diabetes is their increase risk for dehydration. Poorly managed blood sugar causes the body to lose excessive water resulting in dehydration. Also, some blood glucose medications along with medications to treat the complications of diabetes such as diuretics for high blood pressure causes water loss. 

Finally, the body uses insulin differently when temperatures are high and sunburn increases your blood sugar. 

Here are some tips to protect yourself during the hot weather.

  1. Drink plenty of water BEFORE you feel thirsty.
  2. Avoid high caffeine and alcoholic beverages. These drinks increase fluid loss. 
  3. Wear sunscreen, loose fitting light clothing and hats when outside.
  4. Do not go outside barefoot, even at the beach or pool area. 
  5. Exercise indoors . If you must exercise outsidedo it BEFORE the temperature rises.
  6. Check your blood sugar, before, during and after exercising.
  7. Keep your medications in a cooler.

These simple tips should help you deal with your diabetes during the summer.

If you have any other questions or suggestions please post them in the comment section below. Your input could help others. As always, you can schedule an appointment with me.







Diabetes Foot Care

It's more than a good manicure.

Keeping your feet soft and supple is essential to good diabetes care. 

Keeping your feet soft and supple is essential to good diabetes care. 

Our feet. Sometimes we forget how much we need them to get where we are going along with the wear and tear they take to get our destination.  Most of us need to take better care of our digits, especially individuals with diabetes. 


 Poor blood sugar(glucose) control for people with diabetes impairs blood circulation and causes nerve damage in their feet. Also, small sores on their feet can lead into infections and eventually amputations.

Here are some top tips to proper foot care for your diabetes.

1. Be proactive, keep your blood sugar under control.

Sounds obvious but it never hurts us to remember. Keeping your fasting blood glucose to 80-130mg/dl and your 2 hour post-meal(postprandial) blood sugar under 140mg/dl helps to prevent problems from occurring. 

2. Wash and lotion your feet daily to keep them clean and soft.

Dry cracked smelly feet are not only unattractive they are a haven for bacteria.  Too much bacteria can cause infections. Wash your feet and invest in lotion to keep your feet clean and soft. However, avoid adding lotion between your toes since this can create environment that favors fungal growth. 

3. Avoid over-the-counter products or sharp products for removing corns and callouses.

Over the counter medications to remove  foot warts  or corns are not recommended for people with diabetes. If you have neuropathy or nerve damage to your feet have a podiatrist or foot nurse provide foot care. 

4. Wear well fitting shoes and socks at all times.

Most foot specialists recommend padded socks made with acrylic and acrylic blends for people with diabetes. Change your socks daily and rotate your shoes daily to reduce wear and tear on your feet.  Also, make sure your shoes are actually comfortable to avoid corns and callouses.

6. Protect your feet from extreme hot and cold temperatures.

Wearing shoes at the beach and hot pavement, wearing socks at night when your feet are cold, never testing bath water with your feet and avoiding heating pads on your feet will protect your digits from potential problems. 

7. Exercise regularly and avoid any movement that restricts blood flow to your feet.

Try to get in at least 30 minutes of movement daily.  Wiggle your toes and move your ankles for 5 minutes several times daily.  Avoid crossing your legs for long periods of times. These are actions you need to take to keep proper circulation in your feet. 

The National Institute of Health or NIH has more detailed information and resources to provide for foot care.

If you have any comments or questions please share them in the comment section below. As always your input could help others.







Solving the Mystery of The Glycemic Index

Popcorn has a glycemic index of 55-89 depending on how this snack is prepared. 

Popcorn has a glycemic index of 55-89 depending on how this snack is prepared. 

Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.
— Robin Sharma

Every so often  someone will ask me about Glycemic Index.

"What is glycemic index?", you ask. 

Glycemic Index(GI) was invented in 1981 by researchers  Dr. Thomas Wolever and Dr. David Jenkins who were able to prove certain carbohydrates raise blood glucose(sugar) levels higher than other carbohydrates. 

Participants were given 25 grams of carbohydrates and based on the results foods were ranked from 0 to 100. High Glycemic Index(GI) food made blood sugar spike faster and low GI food absorbed carbohydrates at a slower rate. 

According to glycemic professionals, people with diabetes should aim for food with a glycemic index of 55 or less.  Fat and fiber helps decrease a food's glycemic index so don't be afraid to add either to decrease your blood sugar(glucose) load.  Many people with diabetes, hyperlipidemia and who  just want to lose weight have food success using the glycemic index . There are many websites with tips on how to decrease your glycemic load and look for foods labeled GI for more information. 

If you have any questions about the glycemic index or would like to share your experience using this technique to deal with your diabetes,  please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Your comments could help others. As always, you can schedule an appointment with me.










Don't let Mondays break you down. 

Don't let Mondays break you down. 

If Monday was a mannequin....
— Unknown

Monday morning.

We all know the feeling.

For most of us, Monday represents a feeling a dread and we may be justified with this feeling.

Researchers found most heart attacks occur on Monday; particularly Monday mornings. 

For me, the question is why?

I decided to ask few coworkers for their opinions partly for information but mostly for stress relief. The answers varied. A social worker named "Aretha" stated she felt most people had heart attacks on Monday because many were partying or eating unhealthy throughout the weekend and their bodies caught up with them on Monday. Interesting?

"Kathy", a physician assistance, told me she had never heard of this fact although in her experience most people had heart attacks after a "traumatic event." I responded, "Kathy for some people Monday IS a traumatic event!" She thought about my statement and started to chuckle. 

Since we now know Mondays increase your chances for a heart attack here are some suggestions to beat the odds.

1. Prepare for your week on Sunday night.

Iron your clothes for the week the night before so you won't stress about what to wear in the morning. Pack your lunch and bring it work so you can have healthy food available instead of rushing to the vending machine.  Make sure you have a full tank of gas in your car before you go to sleep.  Most stress is caused when you are feeling out of control so preparing for your week on Sunday will make you feel more empowered.

2. Get plenty of sleep.

Instead of waking up tired and drinking a gallon of coffee throughout the day, try getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep the night before. Your mind and body will thank you

3. Play your favorite music in the morning.

The right song can get your through the day. Maybe you need  to hear something soft and relaxing to sooth your mind.  On the other hand, maybe you need a hard thumping Gangsta rap song to get your blood pumping.  Anything to lift you mood works. No judgement here!

4. Pray or meditate before you leave the house.

Think of at least one thing you are grateful for when you wake up. If you can't think of anything remember there are many people in the world who did not have the privilege of waking up.  You will be amazed how this simple exercise can help put your life in perspective. 

5. Treat Mondays like a new beginning.  

Instead of thinking of Mondays as the end of the weekend envision this day as a clean slate. Maybe this is the week you try a new restaurant or read a new book. How about changing the part on your hair today?  Change the quote on your email. Use Monday to kickoff all the new experiences you want to try and actually try them. 

Are Mondays stressful to you and if so how do you deal with this feeling? Please post your tips so you can help others. As always you can notify fill out the information section below if you have any questions.






Insulin 101-Part 2

Managing Insulin In a Emergency

putting out fire
Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next.
— Denis Waitley

In my last post I talked about the differences between the basic types of insulin.  In this post, I will write about correction bolus insulin. 

Basal insulin(i.e. Lantus or Levemir)  affects your fasting blood glucose(sugar). If your blood sugar is too high in the morning or before meals you need to adjust your basal insulin.

On the other hand, if your blood sugar is too high after meals you need to adjust your bolus insulin.  Fast acting insulin such as Humulin or rapid acting insulin such as Novolog are considered bolus insulin. Bolus insulin is considered a mealtime and correction( AKA emergency) insulin.

Sometimes an individual with diabetes will do all the right things but for whatever reason their blood sugar may occasionally be too high. The reasons may be varied: they may have an infection or unknowingly consume too many carbohydrates during a meal. 

Ideally, if you have diabetes, two hours after mealtime(post-meal or postprandial) your blood sugar should be less than 140mg/dl. Sometimes, health professionals with liberalize post-meal(postprandial) blood sugar level to less than 180mg/dl for people struggling with hypoglycemia. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if to find what works for you. 

The first plan of action to reduce the need for correction bolus is be proactive. Learning how to  count carbohydrates can help you find the right dose to prevent hyperglycemia. Monitoring your blood glucose more frequently when you are sick can also help. Many chain restaurants menus are online and provide information on carbohydrate content to help you adjust your insulin accordingly. 

How much insulin you need to give yourself varies so please work with your doctor and pharmacist if you are having difficulty managing your blood glucose(sugar).

Please leave your comments below if you have any questions or tips regarding this topic. Your input could help others. You can also schedule an appointment with me if you need help managing your diabetes.