What is Hypoglycemia?
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Diabetics can experience hypoglycemia if their blood sugar drops too low. Get details on hypoglycemic episodes and how to treat them.
Transcript: Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. This condition CAN affect people with diabetes...
Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. This condition CAN affect people with diabetes as a side-effect of their medication. People with diabetes take oral medications or inject insulin in order to move blood sugar into the body's cells where it is used for fuel. If they don't take enough medication, their blood sugar levels remain TOO HIGH. But if they take too much, OR DON'T EAT ENOUGH after taking their medication, then their blood sugar levels may dip TOO LOW. Hypoglycemia can also hit when someone with diabetes exercises vigorously and that uses up too much of their available blood sugar. Symptoms include CRANKINESS, aggressiveness, NERVOUESNESS, blurry vision, FAST heartbeat, headache, TINGLING skin, tiredness, CONFUSED thinking, hunger, SWEATING, and shaking. In severe cases, a person can fall into a life-threatening coma. If you have any of those symptoms, you MUST test your blood sugar level immediately. A blood sugar reading of 70 milligrams per deciliter or lower is considered hypoglycemic. If you don't have a glucose meter on hand, it's better to be SAFE and treat your low blood sugar with a drink of juice or an injection of glucagon. Call 911 ASAP if your blood sugar levels don't improve after treatment, or if you're with someone who passes out from hypoglycemia.More »
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When you have diabetes, you can get control of your glucose levels if you make lifestyle choices that keep you healthy. Click through this slideshow to learn about easy ways to manage your diabetes.
Last Modified: 2014-04-17 | Tags »
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You may have seen TV characters with diabetes, but what do you remember about the disorder? Get the facts on causes, symptoms, treatments and more.
Last Modified: 2011-08-25 | Tags »
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Glucose testing is a vital part of diabetes management. But the frequency and method of testing depends upon your individual needs. Take this survey to learn how other diabetics handle the necessary routine.
Last Modified: 2012-01-25 | Tags »
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If you're diabetic, your doctor probably checks your A1C level. Learn all about what your A1C level means in this video.
Transcript: If you're a diabetic, you've probably taken an A1C test. But what exactly does your A1C level mean?...
If you're a diabetic, you've probably taken an A1C test. But what exactly does your A1C level mean? The hemoglobin A1C test gives your doctor a snapshot of your blood glucose over the last 2 to 3 months and tells you your AVERAGE blood glucose level during that time. When your blood glucose level is too high, your red blood cells absorb the extra glucose, which sticks to hemoglobin molecules. This is called glycated hemoglobin and A1C test tells you how much of your hemoglobin is affected. A normal A1C level is about 5% --meaning that 5% of a NON-diabetic person's hemoglobin is glycated. In diabetics, this percentage is often much higher. Achieving an A1C level of 7% is recommended for most people with diabetes-anything higher can cause diabetes-related complications. But diabetics should aim for an A1C LOWER than 7% only after talking to their doctor. If you have trouble bringing your A1C down to a healthy level, work with your doctor to revise your treatment plan. And remember, A1C testing can NEVER replace at-home blood glucose monitoring. At-home monitoring gives you accurate, on-the-spot results, so don't skip itMore »
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Monitoring your diabetes is just as much your responsibility as it is your doctor's. Learn how to monitor and manage your diabetes at home with this video.
Transcript: Having diabetes can be quite a challenge. But by regularly monitoring your blood sugar and blood pressure...
Having diabetes can be quite a challenge. But by regularly monitoring your blood sugar and blood pressure AND taking steps to make sure they stay at HEALTHY levels, you CAN reduce your risk of kidney and nerve damage, vision problems and heart disease. Monitoring your blood glucose can be done with a prick of your finger and a glucose monitor. The monitor gives instant results by measuring the amount of glucose in a drop of blood you place on a test strip. Generally, people with type 2 diabetes who use oral medications should monitor glucose levels once or twice a day-- IF they are having trouble maintaining healthy levels or are pregnant. EVERYONE who uses insulin should monitor their levels 4 or more times per day. You're aiming for a glucose level of 70 to 130 before a meal and a level of 180 two hours after you've eaten. You can give yourself an at-home A1C BLOOD TEST every 2 to 3 months to find out your average glucose level over that time. A reading of around 7% your goal. An at-home blood pressure monitor is also useful. Two-thirds of adults with diabetes have high blood pressure. That increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and vision problems. Fortunately, blood pressure can be controlled through changes in diet and exercise, as well as medications. You should aim for a reading of 120/80. For more information on staying healthy with diabetes, watch the other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-17 | Tags »
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A diabetes diagnosis is the first step towards effective treatment. Check out this video to learn what will happen in your doctor's appointment.
Transcript: When you or your child has diabetes, it's important to receive good medical care-but that first doctor's...
When you or your child has diabetes, it's important to receive good medical care-but that first doctor's visit can be a little overwhelming! What should you expect? No matter your age or the type of diabetes you have been diagnosed with, your physician will have a clear goal for the first visit: To bring your blood glucose down to a normal level. Plan to work closely with your doctor to bring your sugar down to between 90 and 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals. A. To prepare for your appointment, you'll want to bring some basic items, B. including all the medications you take regularly. C. If you have already begun testing glucose levels, D. take your test notes and your glucose monitor. It will help to have a notepad and pen for jotting down questions during your visit. Don't hesitate to ask you are doctor if you're confused or concerned about any aspect of your diabetes! A. Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, your doctor will begin by taking a detailed medical history. B. Be ready to answer questions about past illnesses, family health, and your eating and exercise habits. C. If your child has diabetes, D. you might want to consider going over this at an earlier visit without him there. Next, your doctor will perform a routine physical examination. Feel reassured that this will be much like a standard check-up. Following the examination, you will need to give your blood and urine samples. These will assess your levels of cholesterol, fat, blood glucose and urine protein. A painless electrocardiogram, or EKG, may be administered to check the heart. At the end of your visit, your doctor will create a diabetes care plan to effectively manage the disease. This individualized plan should take into account your daily schedule, eating and exercise habits, and cultural background.. A. Your plan should detail the medications you will need to lower your blood glucose and the B. tools you will use to measure your sugar levels, like a glucose meter. The plan will also lay out lifestyle changes you may need to make, 1. like adopting healthier eating habits, 2. taking up exercise, or cutting out cigarettes Your doctor may want to refer you to other individuals who will aid you with specialized aspects of treating diabetes. These people will become part of your treatment team. Your team might include: A dietician to help you devise an effective eating plan, a registered nurse to teach you about daily living with diabetes, and, perhaps, a psychologist to help you cope with the emotional aspects of living with a lifelong disease. Expect to schedule subsequent visits every three to six months, although you may need more frequent appointments in the beginning. By working closely with your doctor, you will be able to control your sugar and return to health!More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-08 | Tags »
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Food plays an absolutely critical role in managing diabetes and there are plenty of options to choose from. Learn more about diabetic diets through the video.
Transcript: Diet plays a key role in managing all types of diabetes. Let's look at the ways in which food choices...
Diet plays a key role in managing all types of diabetes. Let's look at the ways in which food choices can help keep you healthy. When you have diabetes, a smart diet starts with understanding how different foods can affect your blood sugar levels. Fortunately, there's a convenient tool to measure this-the glycemic index. The glycemic index, or GI, is a tool that distinguishes how different carbohydrates affect blood sugar. The system compares various foods to pure glucose, which has a rating of 100. Foods with a glycemic index rating below 55, such as an apple, are digested slowly, keeping blood sugar stable. A. Foods with a GI rating greater than 55, like a donut, are digested and absorbed quickly, B. creating intense fluctuations in the body's sugar and insulin levels. Because diabetics must regulate their blood sugar carefully, it is best to avoid foods that will cause sugar spikes. Some examples of foods with particularly high GIs include: A. white bread, which has a GI of 71, B. watermelon, which weighs in at 72 and C. pretzels, which have a GI of 81. A. If you have diabetes, you'll rarely go wrong with fresh vegetables, because they have extremely low glycemic indexes. B. For example, broccoli and spinach both have a GI of 15. Once you begin to use the glycemic index, there are some guidelines to follow that can keep you on the path to good health. Start adding high-fiber foods to your diet. Fiber will keep you full longer and reduce blood sugar surges. A. Enjoy low GI fruit, like apples and cherries. B. Lean meats, like chicken and turkey, C. and unrefined grains are great options for diabetics, too. While every diabetic is different, a good rule of thumb is to try to consume 50 percent of your nutrients from carbohydrates, 20 percent from protein and a maximum of 30 percent from fats. While all of us should watch our intake of saturated fats, processed foods, and simple sugars, it's even more important for diabetics to do so. A. That's because these foods can cause uncontrollable blood sugar surges in diabetics, B. resulting in a coma or even death. Above all else, a great healthy-eating guideline I share with my clients, is to read the ingredient listings on your food. If you don't recognize or can't pronounce some of the ingredients, don't eat it! A diagnosis of diabetes can be life-altering, however following a healthy diet that takes the glycemic index and general good sense into account can help diabetics stay well and feel great! Because every diabetic is different, remember that you should always talk to your doctor before starting a new diet.More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-08 | Tags »
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Does diabetes have an impact on your teeth? Watch this for the connection between diabetes & your teeth.
Transcript: If you're one of the 23.6 million Americans with diabetes, you know that taking care of your body is...
If you're one of the 23.6 million Americans with diabetes, you know that taking care of your body is extra important. And that goes for your mouth as well. Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you're at a higher risk of dental problems. Why? Well, diabetes causes blood vessels to thicken, putting a roadblock in the way of getting key nutrients flowing into your gums, and getting harmful elements out. This slowdown of normal blood flow weakens your gums and teeth, making them prone to infections such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. And if you're a smoker, your gum disease risk is MULTIPLIED. Also, because diabetics heal more slowly, gum infections are more severe and frequent. If left untreated, gum disease can wear away at your gums and jawbone. If your gums are swollen, irritated, or bleeding, see your dentist RIGHT away. Keeping your blood glucose levels in check is vital. The higher your blood sugar levels, the higher the risk you'll get cavities. The sugars and starches in your saliva mix with the natural bacteria in your mouth, creating plaque. The more sugars in your system, the more plaque there is to sit on your teeth and erode the enamel. A side effect of diabetes that can ALSO contribute to cavities is dry mouth. Saliva washes away leftover food and helps excess bacteria from growing. If your mouth stays dry for long periods of time, this can irritate the gums making them susceptible to infection. Your dentist may prescribe a wash or other medicine to keep your mouth moisturized. You can also try sucking on ice chips, or sugar-free candy and gum. Avoid salty foods, caffeine, and alcohol. Aside from monitoring your blood sugar, diabetic oral hygiene is pretty standard. Daily flossing, brushing after meals, and regular trips to the dentist are all crucial. For more ways to keep you and your mouth healthy, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
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You can exercise with diabetes, you just need to watch your blood sugar level closely. Learn how to exercise with diabetes safely in this video!
Transcript: Physical activity helps regulate blood sugar AND blood pressure, IMPROVES your body's ability to use...
Physical activity helps regulate blood sugar AND blood pressure, IMPROVES your body's ability to use insulin, REDUCES bad cholesterol levels, and helps you LOSE weight. But before you get moving, ask your doctor what sort of exercise is safe for YOU. If you're not in shape, start out SLOWLY. Try taking a walk or a swim in a pool, and then INCREASE the intensity as your doctor recommends. And if you have vision problems or other diabetes-related complications make sure that increased blood pressure during exercise won't cause further damage. People with diabetic neuropathy need to work with a physical therapist to determine what is safe AND possible. And everyone with diabetes, even if you're in TIP-TOP shape, has to be careful not to trigger hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, while exercising. You can develop it if you take your normal dose of medication or insulin AND burn up available blood sugar through physical activity. You may also have a low if you SKIP a meal and then exercise. Your doctor can help you figure out how to adjust your medication and diet to avoid problems. Remember, take a glucose reading BEFORE exercise. If your blood sugar reading is 300 or higher OR 100 or lower, don't start exercising. Also take a reading right after you're done, and LATER ON. Exercise can lower blood sugar for up to 12 hours. Also check your glucose DURING exercise if you're active for longer than 45 minutes. Once you're ready for exercise, take along snacks in case you become hypoglycemic and drink PLENTY of water. Check out the other videos on diabetes to learn more.More »
Last Modified: 2014-04-09 | Tags »
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The Glycemic Index can help you watch your diet and count carbs more accurately. Watch this to learn more about the Glycemic Index diet.
Transcript: If you have diabetes, you need to plan your meals so that you know just how many carbohydrates you're...
If you have diabetes, you need to plan your meals so that you know just how many carbohydrates you're eating. That way you can make sure you don't OVERLOAD your bloodstream with glucose. In addition to counting carbohydrates, you can use the GLYCEMIC INDEX to determine how your meal will affect your blood sugar levels. The GI ranks foods based on how QUICKLY their carb content raises your blood glucose. For a STEADY blood sugar levels, it's best to eat mostly low and medium GI foods. Low GI foods are ranked 55 or less. They include stone-ground whole wheat bread, BARLEY, beans, PEANUTS, prunes, carrots, tomatoes, milk, LIGHT yogurt, and many fruits. Medium GI foods are ranked between 56 and 69. They include peas, BANANAS, brown rice, baked sweet potato, and -really--ICE cream. High GI foods are ranked 70 or more. They include plain bagels, short grain white rice, WATERMELON, pineapple, baked white potatoes, cornflakes, and much more. A food's GI increases with the amount of COOKING and PROCESSING it goes through before consumption-al dente pasta is low than SOFT pasta, fresh fruit is lower than fruit JUICE. And larger portions equal HIGHER GIs. Also foods with a low GI may still be HIGH in calories and fat and have FEW vitamins or minerals. That's why the glycemic index is not recommended as a PRIMARY meal planning tool. You should count carbohydrates and then use the GI for added information. And consult your doctor or nutritionist to figure out a meal plan TAILORED to your personal diet goals.More »
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You should be exercising with diabetes, but take these precautions first. Watch to learn more about exercising as a diabetic.
Transcript: If you're not in shape, start out SLOWLY. Try taking a walk or a swim in a pool, and then INCREASE the...
If you're not in shape, start out SLOWLY. Try taking a walk or a swim in a pool, and then INCREASE the intensity as your doctor recommends. And if you have vision problems or other diabetes-related complications make sure that increased blood pressure during exercise won't cause further damage. People with diabetic neuropathy need to work with a physical therapist to determine what is safe AND possible. And everyone with diabetes, even if you're in TIP-TOP shape, has to be careful not to trigger hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, while exercising.More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-23 | Tags »
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