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Springtime is the perfect "lower your A1C

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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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 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 occurs late in pregnancy, at the stage where the baby is already formed. Placental hormones, which help the child...

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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 type 2 diabetics 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? Prediabetes entails abnormal fasting blood glucose—that is, abnormal blood sugar levels eight hours after a...

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Diabetes And Depression: Warding Off The Sword Of Damocles

Being diagnosed with diabetes means it’s suddenly time to make lifestyle changes, which can feel like a loss. It’s normal to feel destabilized and experience negative feelings at first. But even beyond that initial shock, people living with diabetes are more likely to slip into depression. Greater risk Nearly 10% of people with diabetes will experience major depression; around 30% will experience symptoms. That prevalence of depression is twice that found in populations without a chronic disease. Risk factors for depression include improper blood glucose management and...

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How and Why to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

When you are getting enough sleep, you may find that you have an easier time controlling your blood sugar. You’ll be more alert during the day, have more energy, less stress, and an overall better mindset for monitoring and managing your diabetes. Consider what happens when you don’t get enough sleep . In addition to other things that may interfere with your sleep like schedule changes or stress, people with diabetes can have potential complications with sleep. Both high and low blood sugar levels can interrupt your sleep. People with type 2 diabetes who don’t get a good night’s sleep may have a harder time controlling blood...

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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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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? As with everything related to diabetes—and health in...

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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 with diabetes need to be especially watchful, as they are more likely to develop hypertension at some point and suffer its adverse consequences. Blood pressure “Blood pressure” refers to the pressure blood exerts on artery walls. It’s an essential part of the process that carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Hypertension Hypertension occurs when blood...

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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 what you do produce contains more glucose, which can lead to dry mouth, ulcers, tooth decay or yeast infections. Due to hyperglycemia, there is increase glucose in the saliva which promotes the spread of bacteria, decreases nutrient absorption and slows healing. This partly explains why you’re more...

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