11. January 2012 05:58
Energy drinks are everywhere you look. They are available in grocery stores, vending machines, convenient and drug stores. Some of my friends use them for a quick energy fix. Many cannot get through the day without having at least one. There are even sugar-free brands that are diabetes friendly.
I do know that these drinks are extremely high in caffeine. Some can have as much as 500 mg in every 8-ounce serving. To me, that is excessive, since a 5-ounce mug of coffee has between 60-150 mg. But, keep in mind; most people don’t drink just 5 oz…I think I will just stick to my coffee! If you look at the nutrition label on a can or bottle, the caffeine amount is not even listed. Energy drinks usually contain guarana which supplies an additional amount of concentrated caffeine. This should concern some people with diabetes because too much caffeine can increase the heart rate and elevate your blood pressure. Both conditions can lead to a heart attack. Many people with type 2 diabetes already have high blood pressure and heart disease.
In additions, these drinks may also contain herbal supplements. Certain herbs can interfere with some of your diabetes medicines. The best message to take home, if you have diabetes, is to always speak with your doctor about these types of drinks. I strongly believe that all we need to do is to get plenty of sleep and exercise. Both can help boost our energy levels without needing any of these energy drinks.
What are your thoughts?
Reference: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the-CounterMedicines/UCM205286.pdf, accessed 12/9/2011.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k11/WEB_DAWN_089/WEB_DAWN_089_HTML.pdf , accessed 12/9/2011.
28. November 2011 06:03
I have two friends who have had the gastric bypass surgery. They qualified for two reasons; Their BMI ranged between 35.0-39.9 and they have type 2 diabetes. Both of my friends lost almost 100 pounds each! Most importantly, they were taken off of their diabetes medicine to manage it with diet and exercise. One of my friends actually suffered from frequent hypoglycemic episodes after this. She was able to get it under control quickly, having known before-hand that this is a common side effect with this type of surgery. Gastric Bypass is becoming more common for people with type 2 diabetes as an option to lose the weight.
Gastric Bypass sounds like a quick and easy fix to dropping some serious weight, right? What some people don’t understand is that you can gain the weight back by overeating very easily. That is exactly what happened to both of my friends. As a result of not following a smaller/strict diet, they both are back on their diabetes medicine and have regained the weight that was dropped from the gastric bypass surgery.
What are some other safe options for weight loss with diabetes?
Do you know anyone this has happened to? Did they decide to have the surgery again?
17. November 2011 04:49
The holidays can be a challenge for people with diabetes and the stress can be too much with all the activities going on. You are probably preparing for entertaining, family visits, buying gifts and parties. Besides all of this, you are working full time, therefore, diabetes care is put on the back burner.
Here are some tips to plan for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season:
- Plan your schedule, make a list of gifts to purchase and do some shopping online
- Always carry glucose tablets and your blood glucose meter in your car, purse or pocket
- Carry a healthy snack like nuts, a small apple with cubes of cheese or peanut butter and crackers instead of eating in the food court
- Keep your exercise schedule, it can reduce stress
- Prepare your traditional holiday food with healthier ingredients
- Bring a pre-mixed light alcoholic drink for fewer carbohydrates. Follow the American Diabetes Association alcohol guidelines for women 1 oz. and men 2 oz. per day.
- When traveling, get all prescription medication (insulin/pills) filled ahead of time. Take syringes, lancets, test strips, pump supplies and batteries
Enjoy your holiday season while effectively still managing your diabetes!
Do you have any tips for the holiday season?
15. November 2011 04:55
Have you heard of the term “Dawn Phenomenon” or the “Somolgyi” effect? Many people with diabetes haven’t, and yet it happens quite often.
The “Dawn Phenomenon” is a sudden rise in blood sugar between 3:00am and 6:00AM. It occurs in type 1 diabetics and occasionally in people with type 2 diabetes. It is caused by the body’s reaction to hormones that are released when you sleep. The result is an increase in blood sugar due to lack of insulin in the blood stream.
The “Somolgyi” effect, also known as the “rebound” effect, is a period of low blood sugars followed by high blood sugars. It usually happens in the middle of the night. Normally this occurs as a result of taking too much insulin or an oral medication that works at the wrong time. When the blood sugar is low the body releases hormones and stored sugar is released from the liver which also results in high blood sugars.
How do you know which one you have? This is the fun part! Your doctor will ask you to test your blood sugar between 2:00AM and 3:00 AM a few nights in a row. If the blood sugar is normal or high at this time, suspect the dawn phenomenon. However, if your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, you are experiencing the “Somolgyi” effect, caused by too much night time insulin or too small of a bedtime snack for the insulin given.
What can you do? Ask your doctor about an insulin pump to manage your diabetes. One of the features that the pump can do well is stop the dawn phenomenon. You can set different basal rates to increase or decrease insulin according to your needs.
Feel free to share your “Dawn Phenomenon” or “Somolgyi” effect stories…what steps did you take to overcome this?
9. November 2011 08:54
Have you been wondering what has caused your blood sugars to elevate? Your first instinct is to look at your food intake or lack of exercise. But there are other things that can affect your blood sugar readings, and STRESS is one of them. Your body’s stress hormones, such as cortisol, can increase in the blood stream when you are stressed out. The major function of these hormones is to help boost energy, this is referred to as the “fight or flight” reaction. It causes tremors, fast heart beat and shakiness. These hormones send your blood sugars skyrocketing to boost energy when needed.
Here are some ways to prevent this from happening:
- Make time for yourself and do something you enjoy
- Have an exercise routine
- Take a break when you feel overwhelmed
What is your biggest stressor and how do you cope with it to keep your blood sugar under control?
7. November 2011 05:33
Yesterday I went to see my dentist for a routine visit. We got to talking and she commented on how the diabetic patients that she treats have a very poor understanding on how diabetes can affect their teeth.
Did you know that people with diabetes are likely to experience tooth loss? Why is this? It is because bacteria is always present in the mouth, even though we don’t like to think about it. When blood sugars are high, the bacteria will settle into the gums and results in gum disease. The germs destroy the bone around the tooth and promote infection.
What signs and symptoms should you look for?
- Bleeding gums when brushing and flossing
- Gums appear red, irritated and swollen
- Loose teeth
- Puss oozing around the tooth
- Mouth odor
How can you prevent this from happening?
Remember it is easier to prevent gum disease than treat it! What additional steps can you recommend to stay on top of your dental hygiene?
20. October 2011 04:35
I talk with patients daily about blood sugar testing. When questioned why they are testing less than their doctor has ordered, their excuses are too many to list.
When I hear this, I look back on my own life with diabetes over the past 51 years. When diagnosed with diabetes that many years ago, I had urine test tape. When placed in the urine the tape would turn colors. I would compare it to the color chart and the chart would tell me the range the sugar was in. I then progressed to the Clinitest which measured the amount of glucose in the urine, this was the only way for diabetics to keep a check on their glucose levels at the time. These tests were unreliable and you can imagine how happy I was when the blood glucose meters became available. Now, I could actually see a specific number associated with my test. It improved the ability to control my diabetes and my medications could be adjusted properly. This is why I encourage people to test their blood sugars as prescribed by their doctor.
We have come a long way in diabetes testing management. There are so many types of diabetes blood glucose meters on the market that you are bound to find one that fits your needs. Blood sugar testing is the most important thing you can do to manage your health and prevent complications.
If you have been managing diabetes for quite a few years - what is your favorite benefit of the new blood glucose meters?
7. October 2011 08:25
One of my friends who has been a type 1 diabetic for over 25 years asked me if diabetes can affect your hearing.
My answer to her was, “yes”. Why? She asked. I explained the amount of time you have been living with diabetes paired with high blood sugars can cause hearing loss. The tiny vessels and nerves in the inner ear can be damaged by high blood sugars. It occurs over time, so a person may not realize that it is happening, but your family and friends will.
What signs of hearing loss should you look for?
- Asking people to repeat what they say
- Difficulty hearing in noisy places
- Turning the volume up on the television or radio
- Unable to hear what people say unless you are directly facing them
Don’t forget to have your doctor check your hearing on your next visit to prevent complications.