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Everything you need to know about HbA1c

Hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, A1c… You have probably heard these letters and numbers before. However, what do they actually mean? What is an HbA1c test? What is a “normal” HbA1c level? What can you do to lower your HbA1c? These are great questions. Well, we’ve put together everything you need to know about HbA1c here. What is the HbA1c test? Hemoglobin is the part of your blood that carries oxygen. It’s what gives your blood its red color. When glucose is processed by your body and enters your bloodstream, a small amount of it...

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Neuropathy: A Painful Reality

Neuropathy is one of the complications of diabetes: over time, hyperglycemia ends up damaging nerves—particularly those in the lower extremities. This can then compromise the functioning of organs such as the digestive or renal system, the heart or the genitals. Recognizing the problem and diagnosing it in time The risk factors of neuropathy share much with those of diabetes: High blood glucose High triglyceride levels in the blood Excess weight Smoking Hypertension Your health care...

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How to make sense of blood sugar values

I don’t understand what my blood sugar range means! If you live with diabetes, you have probably been asked to check your blood sugar a lot. But what are you supposed to be checking? How do you interpret the values you see? Managing your diabetes is easier when you know what the values mean and what you are trying to accomplish. What is the normal blood sugar range? Your doctor is the best person to ask what your blood sugar goals should be. Since everyone is different and unique, your goals may be different from the standard ranges. Things like age, your health...

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Delicious Valentine’s Day

Picture this: it’s Valentine’s Day and all that chocolate is looking mighty fine. You’d like to enjoy a good dinner without worries—so what do you do? Do not fear, here we come to the rescue. Here are three ideas to celebrate the occasion while keeping your diabetes managed. 1. This year, forget about overcrowded restaurants and prepare a five-star meal in the comfort of your home by drawing inspiration from Ricardo’s excellent recipes for people with diabetes. You’ll have peace of...

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How to Talk to Your Doctor

Whether you’ve been living with diabetes for years or you’re newly diagnosed, communicating with your health care team is one of the best things you can do. If you’re nervous about opening up to your doctor or pharmacist, there are some good reasons to conquer these fears. Less communication leads to measurable increases in your stress, anxiety, and possible depression. It also leads, inevitably, to less frequent and less successful diabetes management.1 Since communicating with your health care providers is proven to be good for your health, here are some guidelines for starting the conversation and keeping...

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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 living with diabetes can have potential complications with sleep. Both high and low blood sugar levels can interrupt your sleep. People living with type 2 diabetes who don’t get a good night’s...

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Get Grilling!

Do you recognize the fragrance that’s filling the air in your neighbourhood? That’s right, the barbecue season has begun! You put on your apron, ready to impress everyone with your grill mastery… when suddenly, the question arises. Is this cooking method compatible with diabetes management? Good news: it’s absolutely possible to cook healthy meals on the barbecue. The important...

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For A Healthy Heart!

Did you know your heart beats about 35 million times a year? It’s quite the hard-working muscle! However, it does need your cooperation to keep working properly. Wondering how you can help? Watch out for high blood pressure. When you have high blood pressure, your heart needs to work even harder, and your blood vessels can suffer from it. Keep in mind that diet plays an important role in managing your blood pressure (for example, consuming too much sodium is a risk factor). Limit your...

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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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