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The sugar thieves

Do you know any sugar thieves? Those well-meaning people who steal your real sugar and replace it with stevia, saccharin or other substitutes? I think about one holiday celebration a few years ago. There was a table filled with pies, cakes and bars straight out of Willy Wonka's dream. The smell alone made my mouth water. Next to that table was a smaller one with sugar-free apple pie and gummy bears, just for me. While it was extremely thoughtful and considerate of my diabetes, well, YUCK! I choked down a few forkfuls and watched the others enjoy their desserts. It's been over a decade since the experts...

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Doctor telling patient bad news

Coming to terms with a diabetes diagnosis

You’ve just received the news: you or your child have diabetes. After the initial shock, you’ll probably experience a whole range of emotions and have a ton of questions. It’s a normal process that’s unique to everyone, and it may include the following stages: Denial. You don’t believe the diagnosis. Anger. You feel a sense of injustice, or anxiety that turns into revolt. Bargaining. You partially accept the situation, but question some aspects of it (the proposed treatment, the severity of the disease, etc.). ...

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man sitting on a bench park looking depressed

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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Stress: It’s Not All In Your Head!

When your body is under attack—or when it feels attacked—it will naturally have a fight or flight response, with the hormonal reaction this entails. Cortisol and adrenaline, among other hormones, increase glucose levels, which is quickly transported to cells to provide the body with energy. Diabetes causes insulin to not always play its role effectively, which can lead to hyperglycemia. And if you’re living with type 1 diabetes, beware: you are also at risk of hypoglycemia. Breathe! To develop better defense mechanisms, do some soul-searching:     • Identify...

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doctor taking blood pressure of a patient

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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A man and his wife on a boat sailing

Exotic Flavours: A Recipe For Success

You’ve chosen your destination, watched all the slideshows, salivate at the delicious dishes that await you… and then, diabetes crashes your party. Yes, travelling impacts your routine, especially food-wise, but there’s no need for you to go hungry. Read on! Before setting sail First, research your destination and its cuisine. For example, Mediterranean food is generally easier to manage than carb-rich Italian dishes (pizza and pasta ahoy!). Also make sure you learn about local eating habits. In some countries, such as Spain, people eat much later than in North America. Then, whether you’re...

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A mother playing with her 2 kids

Ladies, this one is for you.

French cartoonist Emma recently struck a nerve with her web cartoon "Fallait demander/You should have asked." The comic shows a husband tell his overworked, exasperated wife that he would have been happy to help with the household duties—if she'd only asked. The upshot was something many intuitively know—that women carry an overwhelming proportion of the mental load in any household. For example, while someone else may be willing to pick...

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Ah... Ah... Choo!

Every year we cross our fingers, hoping we’ll be spared. The common cold and influenza have a nasty reputation and with good reason. Who can stand a runny nose or a hacking cough? Both infections are common and relatively harmless, but they still have to be closely monitored in people living with diabetes. A few facts Colds and influenza are viral infections affecting the respiratory tract. The common cold is relatively mundane and is generally over in ten days. The flu is more serious, characterized by fever, coughing, headaches, and other symptoms, which can last for two to three...

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Married couple looking worried

Putting Your Worries Into Words

It’s been a while since you’ve seen your friend, and you notice there’s something different about her—but, not in a good way. She takes frequent trips to the bathroom, has lost some weight and says she’s been overly tired lately. Living with diabetes has heightened your sensitivity to this disease, and your friend—let’s call her Brigitte—is showing symptoms that seem sadly familiar. How do you tell her you think she might have diabetes? You obviously have good intentions, but be careful: you could quickly find yourself in a minefield. Think before you speak. Diabetes...

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