Archive for HEALTH INFO

Cholesterol + diabetes

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Have you been told that you have high cholesterol?

High cholesterol usually refers to high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. The main goal is to lower LDL-cholesterol. Most adults need medications (such as statin) to accomplish this. Weight management, healthy eating, and regular physical activity will also help you reach this goal.

Diabetes management requires good blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol control.

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Blood pressure is a measurement of the force of your blood against the blood vessel walls. The recommended target for people with diabetes is less than 130/80 mmHg. The top number is the pressure when your heart contracts and pushes blood out (systolic). The bottom number is the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats (diastolic). There are often no symptoms of high blood pressure. This means that you may have high blood pressure and not know it.

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Alcohol + Diabetes

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As a general rule, there is no need to avoid alcohol because you have diabetes. This article is about alcohol + diabetes.

You should not drink alcohol if you:

-          Are pregnant or trying to get pregnant

-          Are breastfeeding

-          Have a personal or family history of drinking problems

-          Are planning to drive or engage in other activities that require attention or skill

-          Are taking certain medications. Ask your pharmacist about your medications.

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Managing your blood glucose

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What is blood glucose?

Blood glucose (sugar) is the amount of glucose in your blood at a given time.

Why should you check your blood glucose levels? Checking your blood glucose levels will:

-          Provide a quick measurement of your blood glucose level at a given time;

-          Determine if you have a high or low blood glucose level at a given time;

-          Show you how your lifestyle and medication affect your blood glucose levels; and

-          Help you and your diabetes healthcare team to make lifestyle and medication changes that will improve your blood glucose levels.

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Smoking and Diabetes

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Why is it so hard to quit?

Simply put, nicotine is among the most addictive drugs. Smoking is not a habit or a lifestyle choice. It’s an addiction that over time, changes brain chemistry. Nicotine has its effect by attaching to certain receptors in the brain, and when you become a smoker these receptors increase in number. If not regularly stimulated with nicotine, the increased receptors begin to make a person feel very unpleasant, a phenomenon known as withdrawal. Both withdrawal and the craving it causes are tied to changes in brain chemistry.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things individuals living with diabetes can do to help prevent or delay the onset of complications.

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Physical Activity and Diabetes

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What kind of activity is best?

Both aerobic and resistance exercise are important for people living with diabetes.

Aerobic exercises 

Aerobic exercise is continuous exercise such as walking; bicycling or jogging that elevates breathing and heart rate.

Resistance exercises 

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Resistance exercise involves brief repetitive exercises with weights, weight machines,resistance bands or one’s own body weight to build muscle strength

. If you decide to begin resistance exercise, you should first get some instruction from a qualified exercise specialist, a diabetes educator or exercise resource (such as a video or brochure) and start slowly.

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Living well with Diabetes

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More than 9 million Canadians are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Many people with diabetes do not understand diabetes and how it affects their body. The more you learn about diabetes, the better you will understand how it affects you.

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects the way your body turns food into energy. Usually…

  • Food you eat is turned into a type of sugar (called glucose) that enters your bloodstream.
  • Your pancreas (an organ near your stomach) produces insulin.
  • Insulin plays an important role in how your body uses glucose for energy.

When you have diabetes…

  1. Your pancreas is not producing as much insulin as needed
  2. Your cells are not responding properly to insulin, so they do not take in the glucose to be converted into energy.

The result…

Too much glucose stays in your bloodstream. This is known as hyperglycemia (hyper= too much, glycemia= glucose in the blood).

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Diabetes Mellitus

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The Disease

The ancient Chinese in 1500 BC knew that the urine of patients with “the wasting condition” was sweet. They also recognize that these people drank copious amounts of fluids, and urinated literally gallons of urine daily. The latin for honey is meil, and mellitus is derived from there. And diabetes means “to run over”, so diabetes mellitus is simply “running over with honey”, or, lots of sweet urine. » Read more

Type 2 diabetes: the basics management

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What is type 2 diabetes?

Your body gets energy by making glucose from foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and fruits. To use this glucose, your body needs insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body control the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which your pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes.

If you have type 2 diabetes, glucose builds in your blood instead of being used for energy. » Read more

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