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<h2>Springtime is the perfect "lower your A1C</h2>

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...

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Sleep–Infographic

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Diabetes Superfoods–Infographic

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lady drinks soda with a straw

Sugary Drinks: Not So Sweet After All

The World Health Organization recommends reducing sugar intake to 10% of daily energy intake—in other words, 200 of the 2,000 calories that you consume in the day, or 50 g of sugar. And lowering that percentage to 5%, or 25 g, would be even healthier. That’s barely 6 teaspoons a day! One thing you quickly learn when living with diabetes is that sugar is everywhere. Keeping a close watch on what you eat is fine, but applying the same vigilance to what you drink is just as important. Soft drinks, for example, are like little calorie bombs. Each can has about 150 calories and 40 g of carbohydrates, or 10 teaspoons of sugar! Why not replace them with juice, then? Here’s why not: 100% pure fruit juice may actually contain just as many calories and carbohydrates. What’s more, it has almost no fibre and thus isn’t as filling as fresh fruit. What can replace sugary drinks, then? Well… good old water, in fact! Add a few drops of lime or lemon juice, or steep fruits, cucumber, ginger or mint with it. Various water flavourings are also available. However, as they are made with sugar or sweeteners, these products should be used with caution: you could be adding one or two tablespoons of sugar to a single glass of water. As for sports drinks, unless you’ve engaged in prolonged physical exertion and sweated profusely (by running for an hour, for example), they’re not a good choice. Are soft drinks like a soft drug for you? Break the cycle of addiction: Set a quit date and make a promise to yourself. Identify the triggers that lead to soft drink consumption: defuse the situation by distracting yourself or going for a walk after your meal. Make sure you eat enough fibre and starchy foods—you’ll be better able to resist the call of sugar. Worried about running out of energy? Whatever you do, stay away from energy drinks, which are packed with sugar and caffeine. Look into tea instead: from green tea to Pu’er and oolong, you’ve got a rainbow of flavours at your disposal. You can also go for coffee, as long as you don’t top it with a mountain of sugar and whipped cream!  

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refreshing glass of watermelon and kiwi water

Hot Hot Hot!

As nice as it is to bask in the sun, you still have to remain vigilant. Your blood sugar could rise with the thermometer and prevent your body from properly regulating its temperature. Result: you risk hyperthermia. What are the symptoms? Fatigue, dizziness, nausea, clammy skin, excessive sweating, muscle cramps and headaches are all common symptoms. Who is at risk? The body’s ability to regulate its temperature in young children is not yet developed, and is reduced in the elderly, which increases their risk of suffering from hyperthermia. People with diabetes are also affected more frequently given that blood sugar can cloud the issue (symptoms of hypoglycemia resemble those of hyperthermia). What are the triggering factors? Heat and dehydration are the main culprits, especially in confined spaces (like cars), in full sun, or during a long or intense workout session. How is it treated? If you think you have hyperthermia, look for some shade or go indoors, ideally somewhere with air conditioning. If possible, take a cool bath, or place some cold towels on your neck and wrists. Also try to rehydrate yourself by drinking some water. When is it considered an emergency? Call 911 if your temperature rises above 40°C, if your heart rate shoots up or if you’re no longer sweating, because severe heat stroke can cause permanent damage or even death. How can you prevent hyperthermia? Avoid sunburns by using sunscreen and taking shelter in the shade during the hottest hours of the day. As temperature has an impact on blood sugar, measure it often and keep snacks handy. During a heat wave, exercise in the morning or in the evening rather than in the middle of the day, and always watch out for dehydration: drink water regularly, and keep caffeine and alcohol to a minimum. Finally, choose fabrics that breathe, like cotton, and lighter colours, which absorb less heat. Enjoy the beautiful weather… while protecting yourself from unpleasant surprises!

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iced tea glass in front of a pool

Give Some Sparkle To That Water

At the cottage, on the beach or during an evening with friends, it’s nice to keep a glass in hand without worrying about your blood sugar rising with your alcohol level. Drinking water is an excellent plan, but why not tickle your taste buds at the same time? Iced tea Commercial iced teas are often loaded with sugar, but homemade tea infusions, hot or cold, are simple, economical and low-calorie! Hot infusions You can infuse your tea as usual for a few minutes (in 65°C water for green tea, 80°C for oolong tea or 95°C for black tea), then leave it in the fridge for a few hours. Next, add some lemon or lime juice and a bit of maple syrup (about a tablespoon for every two litres of iced tea). Cold infusions All teas—yes, all of them!—may also be infused cold. Now’s the time to make use of that dried-up lychee green tea you had forgotten about at the back of the pantry. To start, use the same proportion of leaves as usual (you can add more for a stronger-tasting tea) and let them infuse in cold water for at least six hours. Once again, you can flavour your infusion with some lemon or lime juice and a bit of sugar. To vary the taste A few suggestions of seasonings to add to your homemade mixture: Mint and lemon Orange and spices (cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, etc.) Rose water and basil Flavoured water and infusions Need some inspiration to jazz up your water or sparkling water? Here are a few refreshing ideas: Fresh ginger root, mint and pineapple Watermelon and rosemary Pineapple and rosemary Cucumber and lemon Mint and cucumber Strawberry, kiwi and basil Strawberry, pink pepper and basil You can crush the ingredients before mixing them into your water in a glass, pitcher or bottle. As for tea infusions, you can also let them steep for a few hours. One last suggestion: you can make ice cubes with flavoured water, or use frozen fruit like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or mango pieces. Cheers to your health!

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Man watching TV sitting on a couch

Breaking Free Of The Sofa Without Forsaking TV

So you don’t have the time—or the inclination!—to go for a run or visit the gym? If you own a stationary bike or other type of exercise machine, combining workouts with binge-watching an addictive series is a no-brainer. Otherwise, fear not: there are still plenty of ways to work out in the comfort of your living room. No equipment needed besides comfortable clothing! You can choose from a wide range of exercises:Running in place, jumping jacks… as long as you don’t have a downstairs neighbour, that is!Leg lifts, sideways or forward kicksDrawing circles with your arms (sideways or above your head)Scissors: Lie on your back, lift your legs about 20 cm from the ground, then cross and uncross them for 30 seconds.The plank: Lie down on the ground, support yourself with your hands or elbows directly under your shoulders, and keep your back perfectly straight. Hold the pose for 30 seconds (or more!). You can kick the difficulty up a notch by placing your feet on the couch.Forward or sideways lunge: Take one step forward and, while keeping your upper body perfectly straight, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. (Your knee should just barely hide your big toe.) Hold the pose for 30 seconds or quickly switch from one leg to the other for a minute. Of course, since there are tons of types of push-ups and sit-ups, feel free to add some to the menu! You can also practice yoga in front of the screen. The goddess or warrior poses, for example, will let you exercise your muscles without missing a second of the on-screen action. No ads? No problem! If you’re watching a live broadcast, you can do a series of exercises during each commercial break. If you’re watching a program without ads, you’ll be happy to know that procedural or medical dramas are very well suited for exercising at home: [[{"fid":"12276","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Exercise for TV show with no ads","height":"185","width":"650","class":"media-element file-default"}}]] Finally, remember to test your blood sugar before and after your workout—just like you would if you’d gone to the gym!

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Un père est assis sur le gazon et discute avec ses enfants.

Discussing Diabetes With Your Child

Just got your diagnosis? Or is your child growing up and starting to ask questions? In either case, you’ll eventually have to broach the topic with them. Here are a few tips to guide the discussion: Test the waters. Once the news is out, ask your child what they know about diabetes. Listen carefully, then set the record straight, correcting misconceptions if necessary (e.g., diabetics are contagious or can’t eat sugar). Be concise. Briefly explain what diabetes is, how your medication works and what you need to do to stay healthy. Choose simple words such as blood sugar instead of glucose. Be positive. Don’t show that diabetes worries you; your child will pick up on it and start worrying too. Tell them that you’re doing well, that the disease can be controlled and that you’re taking care of yourself. Be honest. Even if it’s not easy. Your child might ask you if you’re going to die or if they will “catch” diabetes too. Don’t try to conceal or sugar-coat the facts—this is a serious disease with genetic factors, so it’s possible that your child might suffer from it someday. That said, make sure that they know it’s not inevitable, especially if they adopt a healthy lifestyle, and that you’ll be there to keep them healthy no matter what. Talk about safety. Your child must understand that they aren’t allowed to touch your medication and your equipment. First, they could hurt themselves on the syringe, and second, they could be putting you in grave danger by moving your insulin or medication. Set clear boundaries, and keep your things out of reach of younger children. Establish a routine. Have your child participate in meal preparation to teach them about your dietary needs and promote the importance of healthy eating at the same time. It’s a great way to have fun learning! Explain the useful facts. Older children should know what type of diabetes you have, whether you wear a pump, what medication you take and what you should do in case of high or low blood sugar. Make an emergency plan. Again, this all depends on your child’s age. The youngest ones should know how to call 911 if you pass out. As they grow up, you can teach them to detect signs of low blood sugar and ask them to bring you a glucose tablet or a glass of juice to treat it. Provide additional information. Some examples: direct your child to reliable online sources or invite them to diabetes information sessions. As they grow older, they will probably want a better understanding of the disease you’re living with. Have an open-door policy. Explain to your child that you will always be there to answer any questions they may have. Diabetes can be a scary thing, but through dialogue, you can calm those fears by showing that you are knowledgeable and in control of the disease. Communicate, communicate and communicate more—that’s the key to establishing trust and promoting understanding.

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Man sick can't sleep in bed at night

Managing Sick Days

Feeling fine? It's the perfect day to create a sick day plan. When you're feeling ill, you'd like nothing more than to lie in bed with a good book or movie. Yet that's when you need to focus even more on diabetes self-care. The key to sick days with diabetes is doing all of the thinking ahead of time. That way, when you don't feel like concentrating, you can simply follow the plan. What to include in your plan Involve your diabetes care team in developing your sick day plan1—ask them when you should call for help, how often you should check your blood glucose and ketones, what medicines to take and what to eat. Gather a sick day kit so the additional items you might need will be ready. Sick day kit checklist Thermometer Pain reliever Sugar-free throat lozenges Cough medicines, expectorants and acetaminophen have no effect on blood glucose1 Urine ketone strips Extra blood glucose test strips and lancets Extra insulin and supplies Glucagon emergency kit Easy-to-eat foods that contain carbs At the first sign of illness Understanding how illness might affect your blood glucose can help you take the right steps to care for yourself. For example:2 If you use insulin, don't stop taking it. Even if you are having trouble eating, you will likely need extra insulin to combat the hormones that often cause high blood glucose during illness. You might do this by raising meal or correction boluses, or using a temporary basal rate on an insulin pump. Follow your healthcare provider's recommendations. Monitor blood glucose levels more frequently, at least every 1 to 2 hours. Check your urine for ketones if blood sugar is high. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of unsweetened liquids (sparkling water, diet soft drinks, bouillon, etc.) to avoid becoming dehydrated, at the rate of 250 ml every hour.1 Make sure you eat according to your regular meal plan. Keep easy-to-eat, fast-acting carbohydrates available. They can be useful in treating a low, as well as substituting for a meal. If you feel nauseated or are vomiting, try a sports drink, juice, regular soda or even frozen fruit bars to get the carbs you need. If you lose your appetite, drink liquid or semi-liquid sources of carbohydrates (fruit sauces, yogurt, etc.) at the rate of 15 g of carbohydrates per hour if you have taken the proper insulin doses.1 Talk to your diabetes care provider about any medications you take, or any unexpected blood glucose results you experience while taking them. Some cold medicines, antibiotics and other prescription and over-the-counter drugs are known to affect blood glucose levels.3 When to contact your healthcare team Get in touch with your doctor any time they recommend, as well as when you:1 Have been sick or had a fever for more than 48 hours without improvement. Have had 2 or more vomiting or diarrhea episodes within 4 hours.4 Detect moderate to large ketones in your urine. Your blood sugar is higher than 20 mmol/L with the presence of ketones (moderate to high) — type 1 diabetes Your blood sugar is higher than 25 mmol/L and you feel excessively drowsy — type 2 diabetes Experience symptoms that might signal ketoacidosis or dehydration, such as worsening abdominal pain, trouble breathing or breath that smells fruity or like acetone. The key to successfully navigating an illness is preparation. By creating your sick day plan and kit before you experience the first signs of illness, you'll be ready to attack a virus head-on.   Sick day snacks4 These foods contain 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrate, and may be easier to eat when you don't feel well. 6 soda crackers 1 cup soup (water) 1 slice toast 2 digestive cookies 1/3 cup apple juice 1/2 cup orange juice 1/2 cup applesauce 1/2 banana 1/2 cup regular pop 1/4 cup regular Jello 1/4 cup sherbet 1/2 popsicle  

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