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Springtime is the perfect "lower your A1C" time

If your healthcare provider has talked to you about reducing your A1C test result, or you want to make some improvements to your diabetes care, this is the ideal time to get started. After all, warmer weather makes it easier to get outside and get active, fresh foods are easier to come by, and the sunshine may help you feel like you can conquer anything. 7% vs. 7.0 mmol/L First, let's be clear on what your A1C result means. It can be a little confusing, as the A1C is a percentage, rather than a direct measurement of the glucose in your blood. Your regular blood sugar checks tell you the amount of...

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Diabetes: A Primer

Glucose, or blood sugar, is an important source of energy, especially for the brain, and insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which allows cells to use it and regulates how much of it your blood contains. Diabetes means the pancreas doesn't produce enough, or any, insulin, or that the hormone is not doing its job effectively. This causes blood sugar levels to be too high—a state known as hyperglycemia. Symptoms include: Frequent urination Fatigue or drowsiness Increased hunger and thirst Unexplained weight loss ...

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Understanding type 1 diabetes

What is it? Known as “insulin-dependent diabetes” or “juvenile diabetes", type 1 diabetes affects 5% to 10% of people living with diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes requires immediate insulin treatment and occurs mostly in children and teenagers. What many people don’t know is that it can develop at any age and that it unfortunately cannot be prevented. Even today, the exact causes of the disease remain unknown. Genetics can play a role, and some environmental factors, such as viruses, can trigger the...

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Understanding Gestational Diabetes

What is it? Gestational diabetes (or “pregnancy diabetes”) affects between 3% and 20% of pregnant women. It generally occurs in the second or third trimester of the pregnancy and goes away on its own after childbirth. Any pregnant woman can develop it, but there are a number of risk factors such as age, ethnicity, excess weight, corticosteroid use, family history and some pre-existing conditions. What’s happening? Gestational diabetes...

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Understanding Prediabetes

What is it? Prediabetes is when a person’s blood sugar level (blood glucose) is higher than average, but not enough to diagnose them with diabetes. Almost all people living with type 2 diabetes have had prediabetes, but not all prediabetics develop type 2 diabetes. Of course, it’s not enough to hope you fall into the right category: without any intervention, prediabetes is extremely likely to evolve in the wrong direction. What’s happening? ...

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Putting your best foot forward!

In the long run, the hyperglycemia that characterizes diabetes ends up affecting the nerves (in what is known as neuropathy) and the blood vessels, especially the capillaries. This results in a loss of sensitivity and a decrease in the natural hydration of the feet, which leads to dry skin, cracks and calluses. This means that not only are you more likely to injure your feet and not realize it right away, but you heal more slowly, and your wounds are more likely to become infected. How do you prevent problems? ...

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Hyperglycemia

When there isn’t enough insulin in your body, or when the hormone becomes ineffective, your cells are unable to use the available glucose, which then builds up in the blood. Hyperglycemia occurs when glucose levels rise above target values, i.e.: Over 7 mmol/L fasting or before a meal Over 10 mmol/L two hours after a meal Chronic hyperglycemia is what causes the long-term complications of diabetes such as blood vessel and nerve damage, blindness and kidney failure. Signs Fatigue or drowsiness ...

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Hypertension 101

Also known as “high blood pressure”, hypertension is one of the leading causes of strokes and heart disease, and the worst part is that it often shows no symptoms. People living with diabetes need to be especially watchful, as they are more likely to develop hypertension at some point and suffer from its adverse consequences. Blood pressure “Blood pressure” refers to the pressure that blood exerts on artery walls. It’s an essential part of the process that carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. ...

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Protecting Your Smile When You Have Diabetes

Diabetes increases the risk of mouth problems, but this has (almost) nothing to do with your sugar intake. The main culprit is actually hyperglycemia. The effect of blood glucose Your body can react in many different ways to improperly managed blood glucose. You produce less saliva, and the smaller amount you do produce contains more glucose, which can lead to dry mouth, ulcers, tooth decay or yeast infections. Due to hyperglycemia, there is increased glucose in the saliva which promotes the spread of bacteria, decreases nutrient...

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