You never think you’re going to get it. You never think
that you will have to adjust your whole life for a short statement told to you
by your doctor in a flat manner “You’re A1C test results came in back this
morning, I’m afraid to tell you that the diagnoses is diabetes.”
This might be another day for the doctor, but this is the defining day with one
simple diagnoses that will impact every minute of the rest of your life.
You’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes. Now what?
Well, there’s no one right answer on what you should do, as everyone’s story and situation is different. But here are 5 steps you can take that will lead you in the right direction.
Tip #1. Learn the lingo. Know your numbers.
The first step to taking control of your diabetes is to understand the language that surrounds your diagnosis. Becoming familiar with diabetes terminology means you won’t feel overwhelmed when doing research. Knowing basic terms will prevent confusion as you decipher diabetes jargon.
A few basic terms that are good to know include:
You can see more helpful definitions here .
A diabetes diagnosis means you will have to start monitoring your blood glucose levels. This is important in determining whether you have a high or low BGL at any given time. A general guideline for most people with diabetes is 4.0 to 7.0 mmol/L BGL before meals and 5.0 to 10.0 mmo/L BGL two hours after eating.
Tip #2. Fitting fitness and healthy food into your lifestyle.
It will come to you as no surprise that eating healthy and finding time to exercise will help you take control of your diabetes (especially if you are type 2).
When it comes to diet, here are a few points to consider:
Find time for fitness:
Tip #3) For Type 1 Diabetics – Know your coverage options.
What makes type 1 diabetes so different than type 2 diabetes is the absolute need for insulin. For type 1 diabetics, the pancreas does not produce insulin, which you need to control blood glucose levels.
The thorn in your side will come from the equipment you will need to buy: your blood glucose motioning system, your insulin, and your pen, needles, syringes, or pump. Since you will have to monitor your blood glucose constantly and inject small doses of insulin throughout the day, the expenses that come with diabetes should be considered carefully.
Diabetes Canada completed a composite case study in which the majority of Canadians with Diabetes pay greater than 3% of their income or $1,500 out-of-pocket for everything they need to manage diabetes. This is why it is important to look at your options.Most provinces and territories have programs that will help cover the cost of your insulin pump and supplies depending on eligibility . This is a great place to start your research and discuss your options with your doctor.
Tip #4) For Type 2 Diabetes – Putting your condition into remission.
There is talk about reversing or completely eradicating your type 2 diabetes all over the internet. While these self-proclaimed cures or “reversing diabetes” fads are up for debate, individuals with type 2 diabetes can put their diabetes into remission.
The best chance a type 2 diabetic has in reducing the negative effects of their diabetes is early detection and a combination of health changes.
A recent study done over at McMaster University in Ontario declared 11 of the 27 participants to be in complete or partial diabetes remission after the 16 week program. Participants took part in a low-calorie diet, consistent exercise, and medication (melformin and acarbose) to achieve remission.
You can also break the cycle by adhering to low calorie or low carbohydrate diets for potential success.The key here is to catch your diabetes early and get to work on an active and healthy lifestyle!
Tip #5) Never stop learning.
Diabetes—whether your type 1 or type 2—is a complicated and serious disease. That’s why there are organizations like the Alberta Diabetes Foundation, who are dedicated to preventing, easing the complexity of, and searching for a cure for diabetes. One of the best tools you can use is your mind. The more you understand your condition, the greater you will be able to deal with it.
Below are a list of websites that have helpful resources:
Truthfully, your life will change drastically. However, this condition does not prevent you from going after the goals and the life you wanted before you were diagnosed. The most important nugget of knowledge to take away is to know that developing diabetes does not define you as a person—you make that call.
Please note these tips may not necessarily reflect every situation and may be more helpful for certain types of diabetes.
University means a fresh start. You can put anything you want behind you, and instead look forward to who you want to become. Even if you aren’t moving away from home and you are entering your first year of university, many aspects of your life will still change.
It is important to remember that with the many changes university brings, your diabetes management may have to change too. A new living situation, new stressors, and new faces can cause your health to dip. But we have 3 tips to prepare you for living with diabetes in university.
Protein is a source of endless debate. Some bodybuilders say if you’re trying to bulk up, it should be the bulk of everything you eat. Others say the power of protein is overestimated. How did we get so mixed up about a few amino acids?
The fact is, it’s an essential nutrient that keeps your body functioning well by building and repairing muscle, hormones and enzymes, as well as your skin, nails and hair. But obviously there’s some confusion so I offer this to you: a protein primer.
One of the first projects funded by the Alberta Diabetes Foundation when it was founded in 1988 was the clinical research of Dr. Ray Rajotte, which it funded for 12 years. Dr. Rajotte pioneered the first-ever islet cell transplant, which was the biggest breakthrough in diabetes research since the discovery of insulin. That work, plus an expanded islet cell transplant team and the addition of anti-rejection protocol, ended up becoming the international standard of care for islet cell transplantation.
Since 2000, when the protocol was developed, Alberta Diabetes Foundation has invested in a capital campaign to build the world-class building that now houses the Alberta Diabetes Institute. Since then, the Foundation has endeavoured to continue to invest in world-class research for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes right here in Alberta.
Alberta Diabetes Foundation works in tandem with the best-in-class Alberta Diabetes Institute to allocate funding where and when it is needed most, ensuring that important diabetes research and projects do not become stalled. The Alberta Diabetes Foundation is able to fund projects, even at early stages, often filling in gaps left by traditional granting organizations. The researchers in Alberta are confident that a world without diabetes is possible and, today they are doing more than providing sustainable solutions to treating diabetes -- our researchers are on their way to a cure.
Imagine this. Recently you’ve noticed that your child hasn’t been acting quite like their usual self lately. You can’t quite pinpoint it, so you chalk it up to a rough week. But maybe that rough week turns into two. You start to think on their behaviour more and you grow more concerned; they are always asking for extra water or juice at breakfast, they seem to be constantly hungry, they’re rushing off to the bathroom more frequently, and they are tired as soon as they step in the door from school.
Although these symptoms may seem common for children who may not have had a good night’s rest or for those going through puberty, that’s not always the case. These symptoms should be taken seriously, and if you notice these in your child for a prolonged period of time, you should discuss a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test with your doctor. An A1C test will determine your child’s average blood glucose level over the past 3 months. If your child’s A1C level is 6.5 or over, if could mean that they have Type 1 diabetes.
As a parent, your child’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis can be earth shattering for both you and your child. So many thoughts can go through a parent’s head; why does it have to be my child? How is my child going to live with this? How am I going to be able to give my child everything they need now that they have this condition?
Every parent and child will go through this journey in their own way, but it is important to know that Type 1 diabetes is a disease that can be managed, and proper management will allow your child to live a healthy life. As for the questions, you have as a parent, we would like to help by providing you with a few answers.
Why does my child have to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes? Where does Type 1 diabetes come from? What could wehave done as parents to prevent it?
Type 1 diabetes is not a preventable disease. It is a mixture of genes and environment. Although scientists do not know the exact cause of Type 1 diabetes , they do know that genes and environment play a role . They have figured out that individuals who have a certain type of HLA complex (human leukocyte antigen on chromosome 6) may be susceptible to Type 1 diabetes. This complex can create an autoimmune disorder that is triggered by a viral infection.
Simply put, when your body tries to fight the viral infection, it may also attack beta cells in your pancreas—cells that make insulin. This process usually takes several years before symptoms develop. The right combination of genes (HLA complex) and environment (exposure to a viral infection) can contribute to the onset of type 1 diabetes.
How is my child going to live with this condition?
Diabetes will be a day-to-day change in you and your child’s life. Your child will require insulin injections. You might even be required to administer insulin injections for your child depending on recommendations from the doctor. You will also want to revaluate the lifestyle that you and your child live. Focus primarily on the diet and exercise your child gets. And remember to stay on top of these few daily tasks you will need to complete:
Although it may not happen everyday, your child will go through highs and lows with their diabetes. Both diabetic highs and lows are serious and can be life threatening
Symptoms of a diabetic high and low are:
Symptoms of a diabetic low also include:
You and your child’s first encounter with can be frightening. If you prepare yourself to know that symptoms and you are able to react accordingly, you can make your child feel safer in the earlier stages of this condition.
How am I going to be able to provide everything my child with everything they need to take this condition on?
The biggest change a parent can have on their child’s life is setting a great example. Your child relies on you and looks up to you. As a parent you should eat healthy, exercise, and take on proper responsibility for your own health. Your own accountability will benefit your child in the short-term and long-term. Additional support from friends and family will also help your child manage emotional and physical effects of the diabetes diagnosis. You may also consider joining a diabetes support group or participating in a run to fund diabetes research.
Advice from the following people can help ease the stress of your child’s diabetes:
As a parent, the best thing you can do for your child is simply to be there for them. Communicate with your child in a way that is supportive and will help to boost their self-esteem. Allowing your child to be open and honest with you will make treating diabetes that much easier.
No parent wants to see their children suffer. Remember that diabetes was not something that your child was marked for, and it isn’t your fault as a parent. As a family, you can work through this disease together, and put your child down a path of success.
You’ve seen the ads: “Cut out bananas and banish belly fat forever.” It seems like the world is going bananas over a simple piece of fruit.
It’s a bit strange. They’re almost identical in carbs to a delicious pear, but nobody seems to be preaching safe pear practice. So why do bananas get a bad rap? Why do people suddenly find them so un a-peel-ing?
Don’t be Split on Bananas
Many have tried to bruise the banana’s reputation by spreading the rumour that they’re loaded with carbs and sugar, instantly leading to weight gain and sending your blood sugars into a spiral. This is nothing more than a far-fetched fruit fallacy.
For one, at just 105 calories, a medium banana puts a mere 5% dent in a 2,000-calorie diet ( 1 ). Yes, bananas do contain starch and sugar, which does cause blood sugars to rise, but that doesn’t mean you should steer clear! First off, our bodies need carbs to function. Second, there is a world of difference between the sugar in fruit and that found in pop, cake or candy. Unlike sweets, bananas are rich in naturally-occurring sugar, plus 3.5 grams of fibre and a ton of nutrients needed for good health.
Bet on Bananas
Fibre—like that found in bananas—is essential for weight and blood sugar management. It helps prevent overeating by making you feel full for longer. It also helps to slow the absorption of sugar. Just-ripe bananas and other carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and insulin levels ( 3 ).
Another boast for the banana is that it packs, on average, more than 400 milligrams of heart-healthy potassium . That’s almost 10% of your recommended daily intake! Potassium is vital for normal muscle, nerve and brain function and is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure .
Since many Canadians may not be getting enough potassium in their diet ( 2 ), bananas are a tasty way to up your daily dose
Still think bananas are to blame for all your weight woes? Here’s the truth: No one food is responsible for the number on the scale.
A diet high in fibre-rich fruits and vegetables —including bananas—is a key ingredient for a healthy body weight and reduced risk of chronic disease.
Bananas are a carbohydrate-rich food. If you're watching your blood sugars, be mindful of your portions. Otherwise, there's no monkey business when it comes to bananas. Unless you have been told to limit them by your doctor, there’s no reason to shun this simple fruit.
Some tasty tips to enjoy bananas:
1) Health Canada, Canadian Nutrient File (2015). Banana, raw . Accessed June 7, 2017 from https://food-nutrition.canada.ca/cnf-fce/serving-portion.do?id=119
2) Health Canada, Food and Nutrition (2012). Do Canadian Adults Meet Their Nutrient Requirements Through Food Intake Alone? Accessed June 7, 2017 from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/surveill/nutrition/commun/art-nutr-adult-eng.php
3) University of Sidney, Glycemic Index Database (2017). Banana, raw. Accessed June 7, 2017 from http://www.glycemicindex.com/index.php