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Does Your Family Know These Blood Sugar Facts?

This year, the focus of World Diabetes Day is all about family and diabetes, and we are celebrating by taking a close look at how families support each other in managing health. Can diabetes actually help families make health a priority? We think so—especially when families understand the demands of diabetes, and as a result their own individual health needs. When it comes to managing diabetes, it is all about blood sugar. If blood sugar (or “blood glucose”) levels get too high or too low, it can drastically alter your mood, your well-being, and even your long-term health. But as important as blood sugar management is, for...

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Father dropping young daughter off at elementary school

5 additions to your back-to-school-with-diabetes supply list

You've got the DMMP and the 504 or IEP down.* You've filled a "low box" with snacks and hypo treatments to keep at school—and stashed some in the backpack. And you've met with school staff. So what else can you keep on hand for the challenges of the new year? Books for friends. Younger kids may want to share diabetes-themed picture books or printed coloring sheets with friends, so they can understand why your child eats extra snacks, checks blood sugar or leaves the room throughout the day. Ask the teacher if you can distribute materials to the whole classroom. A Blue Friday...

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Elderly physician holding folder and discussing results with elderly female patient

Insulin? But I have type 2!

BY KAREN FLANAGAN, MA, RD, CDE With type 2 diabetes, many people think, "take a pill, watch your diet and all will be well." Right? Then, out of the blue, your doctor mentioned insulin. Insulin is secreted from a healthy-functioning pancreas in response to food or stress—whenever your body needs to get glucose into your muscle cells. In doing so, it helps keep a healthy level of glucose in your blood. Without a doubt, insulin is the most natural, easiest way to keep your blood sugar in an optimal range. Still, some physicians don't recommend insulin because they think that their patients might be too scared...

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Seeking a sense of community? Here are 6 places to look.

Don't underestimate the value of diabetes online communities and face-to-face support in navigating life with diabetes. Here are some tips for finding places to connect. Ask at an appointment. Your doctor, educator or dietitian probably knows about groups that meet in your area, and if they don't, their colleagues may. Just ask. Plan on showing up one time, even if you think you don't need it or won't like it. Then decide if you want to stick with it. Talk to JDRF or the ADA. Your local chapter of the...

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Is emotional support nearly as important as diabetes medication? See why one diabetes specialist says yes.

We enjoyed chatting with Michelle, an assistant professor and research scientist at the University of Utah College of Nursing, as well as a board-certified family nurse practitioner who works with adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. She talked with us about the value of peers providing diabetes support to one another, and how she helps her patients connect. How did you choose to specialize in diabetes care? I always knew I didn't want to be in a quick-fix area of healthcare—I wanted to get to know patients better. Initially, I was concentrating on forensic nursing, but then I had an endocrinology...

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Woman cradling coffee cup and laughing as man across the table speaks

Keep laughing through the highs and lows (and we aren't just talking about blood sugar)

Diabetes isn't just a blood sugar rollercoaster—it can be an emotional one, too. After all, nobody can be at the top of their game every hour of every day, year in and year out. Taking care of your emotional health can be just as important (and challenging) as managing your blood sugar. Fortunately, if you're getting one of them right—the physical or emotional side—the other one is likely to come easier. Here are three thoughts on keeping a positive, hopeful outlook. Don't check out this winter. It's easy, especially if you live in the north, to see winter as one long self-care vacation. It...

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Bennet's type 2 diabetes treatment tips—gleaned from caring for his type 1 kids

Bennet's been active in the diabetes online community (DOC) since the early days, when two of his four children were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. We talked to him about that experience, and how it guided his care when his own numbers began to rise. How did you first get involved in the DOC? One of my kids was diagnosed...

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5 things to change about your blood glucose checks

Has your doctor recommended that you check your blood sugar, but you're not sure how—or why? Here are a few ideas to take to heart. Make sure you're doing it right. Knowing the right way to test can reduce the pain of pricking your fingers and save money through fewer wasted test strips. If you haven't learned the technique from your healthcare team, watch a step-by-step video on our YouTube channel. Stop thinking they're just for your doctor. You can learn a great deal from the data you collect in-between visits...

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Two young girls in dresses swaying happily on swing

Why we heart American Girl

There's a new kid in town, and she's winning with type 1 diabetes. The new American Girl® Diabetes Care Kit for Dolls includes everything a doll needs to check her blood glucose, pump or inject insulin, and even treat a low. Who knew a lancing device could be cute? The accessory kit was inspired by an 11-year-old girl who created an online petition, gathering more than 4,000 signatures. She'd just been diagnosed a few months before, and wanted her doll to be just like her. Naturally, that included learning about and managing her...

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