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NOVEMBER IS…HAPPY THANKSGIVING!…plus Health Information on Stomach Cancer, Diabetes…

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 HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

THE HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

THANKSGIVING AT PLYMOUTH
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Did You Know?

Lobster, seal and swans were on the Pilgrims’ menu.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.

Check out the Thanksgiving by the Numbers infographic for more facts about how the first Thanksgiving compares to modern holiday traditions.

 

THANKSGIVING BECOMES AN OFFICIAL HOLIDAY
Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies.

In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

THANKSGIVING TRADITIONS
In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.

Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.

Beginning in the mid-20th century and perhaps even earlier, the president of the United States has “pardoned” one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement. A number of U.S. governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual.

THANKSGIVING CONTROVERSIES
For some scholars, the jury is still out on whether the feast at Plymouth really constituted the first Thanksgiving in the United States. Indeed, historians have recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America that predate the Pilgrims’ celebration. In 1565, for instance, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé invited members of the local Timucua tribe to a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida, after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival. On December 4, 1619, when 38 British settlers reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River, they read a proclamation designating the date as “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Some Native Americans and others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of millions. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.

THANKSGIVING’S ANCIENT ORIGINS
Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.  READ MORE>>

 

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November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month®

No Stomach For Cancer is actively involved in raising awareness around the world and provides information about stomach cancer to patients, families, and caregivers.
Currently the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide with almost one million new cases diagnosed each year. Of these, approximately 700,000 will lose their lives.
In 2010 NSFC successfully championed and celebrated the first official Stomach Cancer Awareness Month in the US. Stomach cancer and other organizations and people worldwide have come to recognize November, a month known for the pleasure of eating, as the ideal month to raise awareness about this deadly disease. There is a great deal of focus on food, nourishment and family at this time of year, and that can be challenging for people dealing with stomach cancer, and for those living without a stomach.
Additionally, the Surgeon General has committed to making Thanksgiving Day National Family History Day, emphasizing the importance of knowing one’s hereditary risks for disease, clearly one of the risk factors for stomach cancer.
November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month however raising awareness about stomach cancer is important all throughout the year!
The purpose of promoting Stomach Cancer Awareness Month and stomach cancer awareness is:
To raise awareness and support efforts to educate people about stomach cancer, including risk factors, prevention and early detection

 

To recognize the need for additional funding and research into early diagnosis and treatment for stomach cancer
To raise funds for stomach cancer research
To encourage people and interested groups and organizations to observe and support Stomach Cancer Awareness Month through appropriate programs and activities to promote public awareness of, and potential treatments for, stomach cancer
To empower everyone by uniting the caring power of people worldwide affected by stomach cancer
Supporters hope that greater awareness and knowledge will lead to earlier detection of stomach cancer, which is directly associated with higher long-term survival rates, and that money raised for stomach cancer research will result in better detection, treatments, improved survival rates, and ultimately a cure for this deadly disease.
Each year, we encourage patients, caregivers, families, friends, businesses and organizations to participate in the month in a variety of ways; putting a face to the disease by sharing personal stories through local, national and international media, through awareness activities in their neighborhoods and local communities, through active engagement on our Facebook pages and Website forum and other social media, through third party events, and though participation in the annual No Stomach For Cancer Walk.

 

It has been very exciting to watch the momentum of this important awareness initiative building. We see growing interest and involvement by people who care about this cause, not only in the US but also in countries throughout the world. The word is getting out and the passion to help others and to make a difference is evident everywhere.
What a difference between each year…it excites us to think what Stomach Cancer Awareness Month will look like in two more years, three more, five more years…
We invite you to help Raise Awareness and please Contact Us to for more information about ways to get involved!

The History
Understanding the critical need for awareness of stomach cancer No Stomach For Cancer (NSFC) was determined to have a month designated for awareness of this disease.
In 2010, NSFC’s initiative and work with the US Senate resulted in S. Res. 655, a resolution establishing November as the first national Stomach Cancer Awareness Month in the US! The Resolution had passed only weeks before the start of November, and we did our best to raise awareness on whatever scale possible. Most important – it was a start!
In 2011, awareness of Stomach Cancer Awareness Month grew, organizations began requesting awareness materials and adding the ‘month’ to awareness calendars, and more people participated by hosting local events that raised awareness and funds – Jeans Days, Bowl-a-thons, Memorial Brunches, Raffles…. even a float in a parade!
By 2012 people throughout the world were clamoring for an event to join in their area. We were looking for ways to visibly bring awareness to stomach cancer worldwide. In response we held our 1st annual No Stomach For Cancer Walk, a Global Walk to Raise Awareness About Stomach Cancer. Participation was far beyond our expectation, with participants from 35 states in the US and 10 countries throughout the world.
Despite subsequent challenges to obtain ‘official designations’ for the month NSFC remained committed to increasing awareness and celebrating November as Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. The key to success, however, is a unified voice. For that reason, NSFC applied for and received US Trademark registration for STOMACH CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. We took this action to ensure the continuity of the month.
November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, and each year we will work to reach more people, spreading the word and sharing the knowledge, and ultimately saving lives through awareness. We will continue to raise funds to support research for better screening, early detection, treatment and prevention, with the hope of someday finding a cure for stomach cancer.
NSFC actively encourages individuals and other groups and organizations to join in this effort and Raise Awareness.
Find out how to order a Stomach Cancer Awareness Month Banner from our Build A Sign Giving Program to use for your awareness activities!

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November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month®
No Stomach For Cancer is actively involved in raising awareness around the world

and provides information about stomach cancer to patients, families, and caregivers.
Currently the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide
with almost one million new cases diagnosed

each year. Of these, approximately 700,000 will lose their lives.

In 2010 NSFC successfully championed and celebrated the first official Stomach Cancer Awareness Month in the US. Stomach cancer and other organizations and people worldwide have come to recognize November, a month known for the pleasure of eating, as the ideal month to raise awareness about this deadly disease. There is a great deal of focus on food, nourishment and family at this time of year, and that can be challenging for people dealing with stomach cancer, and for those living without a stomach.
Additionally, the Surgeon General has committed to making Thanksgiving Day National Family History Day, emphasizing the importance of knowing one’s hereditary risks for disease, clearly one of the risk factors for stomach cancer.
November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month however raising awareness about stomach cancer is important all throughout the year!

The purpose of promoting Stomach Cancer Awareness Month and stomach cancer awareness is:

  •  To raise awareness and support efforts to educate people about stomach cancer, including risk factors, prevention and early detection
    –  To recognize the need for additional funding and research into early diagnosis and treatment for stomach cancer
    –  To raise funds for stomach cancer research
    –  To encourage people and interested groups and organizations to observe and support Stomach Cancer Awareness Month through appropriate programs and activities to promote public awareness of, and potential treatments for, stomach cancer
    –  To empower everyone by uniting the caring power of people worldwide affected by stomach cancer

Supporters hope that greater awareness and knowledge will lead to earlier detection of stomach cancer, which is directly associated with higher long-term survival rates, and that money raised for stomach cancer research will result in better detection, treatments, improved survival rates, and ultimately a cure for this deadly disease.
Each year, we encourage patients, caregivers, families, friends, businesses and organizations to participate in the month in a variety of ways; putting a face to the disease by sharing personal stories through local, national and international media, through awareness activities in their neighborhoods and local communities, through active engagement on our Facebook pages and Website forum and other social media, through third party events, and though participation in the annual No Stomach For Cancer Walk.

It has been very exciting to watch the momentum of this important awareness initiative building. We see growing interest and involvement by people who care about this cause, not only in the US but also in countries throughout the world. The word is getting out and the passion to help others and to make a difference is evident everywhere.
What a difference between each year…it excites us to think what Stomach Cancer Awareness Month will look like in two more years, three more, five more years…
We invite you to help Raise Awareness and please Contact Us to for more information about ways to get involved!

The History
Understanding the critical need for awareness of stomach cancer No Stomach For Cancer (NSFC) was determined to have a month designated for awareness of this disease.
In 2010, NSFC’s initiative and work with the US Senate resulted in S. Res. 655, a resolution establishing November as the first national Stomach Cancer Awareness Month in the US! The Resolution had passed only weeks before the start of November, and we did our best to raise awareness on whatever scale possible. Most important – it was a start!

In 2011, awareness of Stomach Cancer Awareness Month grew, organizations began requesting awareness materials and adding the ‘month’ to awareness calendars, and more people participated by hosting local events that raised awareness and funds – Jeans Days, Bowl-a-thons, Memorial Brunches, Raffles…. even a float in a parade!
By 2012 people throughout the world were clamoring for an event to join in their area. We were looking for ways to visibly bring awareness to stomach cancer worldwide. In response we held our 1st annual No Stomach For Cancer Walk, a Global Walk to Raise Awareness About Stomach Cancer. Participation was far beyond our expectation, with participants from 35 states in the US and 10 countries throughout the world.

Despite subsequent challenges to obtain ‘official designations’ for the month NSFC remained committed to increasing awareness and celebrating November as Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. The key to success, however, is a unified voice. For that reason, NSFC applied for and received US Trademark registration for STOMACH CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. We took this action to ensure the continuity of the month.

November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, and each year we will work to reach more people, spreading the word and sharing the knowledge, and ultimately saving lives through awareness. We will continue to raise funds to support research for better screening, early detection, treatment and prevention, with the hope of someday finding a cure for stomach cancer.
NSFC actively encourages individuals and other groups and organizations to join in this effort and Raise Awareness.
Find out how to order a Stomach Cancer Awareness Month Banner from our Build A Sign Giving Program to use for your awareness activities!

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DIET MATTERS!…

Check out this diet…easy, sumptuous, filling and Great For YOU!

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NOVEMBER is

 

A message from my good friend who is no longer with us…

but her love of life and message lives on…

Thanks Carrie!…Love and Miss You!

With October being breast cancer awareness month, I was pondering over what health issue I wanted to share with you in November.  I accidentally found that November is deemed pancreatic awareness month.  Because my dad had pancreatic cancer and pancreatic cancer is related to breast cancer via the BRCA2 gene, here’s the topic for this month.

Whenever someone is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer people tend to think that person does not have long to live.  Well that was the case with my father. By the time he was diagnosed the cancer had spread all over his liver.  Surgery was not recommended and chemo could do little to control or shrink the tumors. He passed away in 5 months at 56 years old. That was in 1994.

 Much has been found out since then.  Pertaining to hereditary cancer there was the discovery of the BRCA2 (the breast cancer gene) in December of 1995.  I did not know about the possibility of inheriting this gene until I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Most attention in the media has been given to the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.   Carriers of the BRCA2 gene mutations also have a tenfold increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.  My father was the only one in his family ever diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  His mom had breast cancer at 66 (she did not pass on from it and lived until 81).  His dad had prostate cancer at 60 and survived it until 74.  Since my grandparents weren’t below the age of 50, the cancer history in my family seemed to be from aging not from inheritance.

  Low and behold one can carry the BRCA2 gene and never develop cancer of any kind. These people who never develop cancer are not represented in the statistics pertaining to occurrence.  Most likely the occurrence in the general population is higher than current studies show.    Every cell in the human body has 2 copies of the BRCA2 gene, in my case and my dad’s case we have one mutated BRCA2 gene and one “normal” one. This means that some lifestyle factor and chance caused us to develop our cancers.  Scientists say we will see more cancers caused by inherited BRCA2 mutations as our population ages.  Most of the information about BRCA2 is related to the Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. That’s the group that scientists have found the gene to be most prevalent. The mutation occurred approximately 3000 years ago.  My dad and I do not have that specific mutation.  I initially thought there must have been an impostor Italian catholic in the family years ago.  I found out quickly that was inaccurate. Our gene is 8475delGA.The Jewish one is 6174delT. There are many others.

When you see percents of occurrence even one percent is significant.  BRCA2 carriers have a 1 in 10 to 1 in 20 chance of developing pancreatic cancer by the age of 80. In the big scheme of things these chances may not seem significant.  One may have greater chance of being in a fatal car accident so why should I think about cancer.  The reason we all need to think about cancer is that it can sneak up on any one of us without warning and if it is not caught early enough chances of survival decreases.

So know your family history and lifestyle risk factors and advocate for screening tools for all types of cancer not just breast cancer.

outRisk Factors for pancreatic cancer

The exact causes of pancreatic cancer are not yet well understood. There are certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood that an individual will develop pancreatic cancer. Research studies have identified some of the following as potential risk factors:

Risk Factor

Description

Smoking

Smoking is a significant risk factor and is the cause of about 25% of all pancreatic cancer cases. People who smoke cigarettes are 2 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than people who do not smoke.

Age

The chance of developing pancreatic cancer increases with age. Most people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are over the age of 60.

Family History

If a person’s mother, father, sibling, or child had pancreatic cancer, then that person’s risk for developing the disease increases by 2-3 times.dThe risk increases if a greater number of family members are affectedAAlso, the risk of pancreatic cancer increases if there is a history of familial breast or colon cancer, familial melanoma, or hereditary pancreatitis.or Approximately 10% of pancreatic cancer cases are related to a family history of the disease. Individuals who smoke and have a family history of pancreatic cancer are at risk of developing pancreatic cancer up to 10 years earlier than their previously diagnosed family member(s).

Chronic Pancreatitis and Hereditary Pancreatitis

A person, who has been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, particularly at a younger age, has an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Chronic pancreatitis is usually diagnosed in individuals 35-45 years old and often in individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol for many years. In addition, the mumps virus and various autoimmune disorders can cause chronic pancreatitis, which may lead to pancreatic cancer.

Race (Ethnicity)

African-Americans have a higher incidence of pancreatic cancer compared to individuals of Asian, Hispanic or Caucasian descent. There is also a higher incidence of pancreatic cancer among Ashkenazi Jews, possibly due to a mutation involving the breast cancer (BRCA2) gene that is found in about 1% of individuals of this background.

Gender

Slightly more men are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer than women. This may be linked to higher smoking rates in men. With increasing smoking rates in women, the incidence of pancreatic cancer in women may soon equal that in men.

Diabetes

Pancreatic cancer is 2 times more likely to occur in people who have diabetes than in people who do not have diabetes. In pancreatic cancer patients who have had diabetes for less than five years, it is unclear if the diabetes contributed to the cancer or if the precancerous cells caused the diabetes.

Diet

The association of diet and the development of pancreatic cancer are still unclear. A diet high in red meats, animal fats, processed meats, and carbohydrates is thought to increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. A diet high in fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk. There may also be a risk associated with eating meats that are very well-cooked, especially those that are charred, foods that are high in salt and refined sugar, or foods that have been smoked, dehydrated or fried.

Obesity

For people who are considered clinically obese, there may be a significantly increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. In those who are overweight, the risk may decrease with increased physical activity.

Physical inactivity

Lack of physical activity or exercise has been associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer in a large epidemiologic study.  This is independent of the effects of obesity, as obese patients who exercise regularly have a lower risk than those who do not.

For more information on Pancreatic Cancer visit this site:

http://cancer.about.com/b/2008/11/03/november-is-national-pancreatic-cancer-awareness-month.ht

Learn about the rare form of pancreatic cancer Steve Jobs battled for 7 years.

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, also known as islet cell tumors, are a rare form of pancreatic cancer compared to the more common, and aggressive adenocarcinoma. Click to learn more.

The information found on this page

 was from this informative website: http://www.pancreaticcancer.org/


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NOVEMBER IS…

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Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to your health because it’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It’s also your brain’s main source of fuel.

If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood, although the causes may differ. Too much glucose can lead to serious health problems.

Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include prediabetes — when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes — and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy but may resolve after the baby is delivered.

Symptoms
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Controlling Your Diabetes

Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:

Increased thirst
Frequent urination
Extreme hunger
Unexplained weight loss
Presence of ketones in the urine

(ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle
and fat that happens when there’s not enough available insulin)
Fatigue
Irritability
Blurred vision
Slow-healing sores
Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections
Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age, though it’s more common in people older than 40.

When to see a doctor

If you suspect you or your child may have diabetes. If you notice any possible diabetes symptoms, contact your doctor. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes. After you receive your diagnosis, you’ll need close medical follow-up until your blood sugar levels stabilize.

Causes
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Controlling Your Diabetes

How insulin works

Insulin is a hormone that comes from a gland situated behind and below the stomach (pancreas).

The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream.
The insulin circulates, enabling sugar to enter your cells.
Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream.
As your blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.
The role of glucose

Glucose — a sugar — is a source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues.

Glucose comes from two major sources: food and your liver.
Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the help of insulin.
Your liver stores and makes glucose.
When your glucose levels are low, such as when you haven’t eaten in a while, the liver breaks down stored glycogen into glucose to keep your glucose level within a normal range.

Causes of type 1 diabetes

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. What is known is that your immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria or viruses — attacks and destroys your insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leaves you with little or no insulin. Instead of being transported into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.

Type 1 is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, though exactly what many of those factors are is still unclear.

Causes of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

In prediabetes — which can lead to type 2 diabetes — and in type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, and your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Instead of moving into your cells where it’s needed for energy, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.

Exactly why this happens is uncertain, although it’s believed that genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight is strongly linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, but not everyone with type 2 is overweight.

Causes of gestational diabetes

During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones to sustain your pregnancy. These hormones make your cells more resistant to insulin.

Normally, your pancreas responds by producing enough extra insulin to overcome this resistance. But sometimes your pancreas can’t keep up. When this happens, too little glucose gets into your cells and too much stays in your blood, resulting in gestational diabetes.

Risk factors
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Controlling Your Diabetes

 

Risk factors for type 1 diabetes

Although the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, factors that may signal an increased risk include:

Family history.

Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 1 diabetes.

Environmental factors.

Circumstances such as exposure to a viral illness likely play some role in type 1 diabetes.
The presence of damaging immune system cells (autoantibodies). Sometimes family members of people with type 1 diabetes are tested for the presence of diabetes autoantibodies. If you have these autoantibodies, you have an increased risk of developing

Type 1 diabetes.

But not everyone who has these autoantibodies develops diabetes.

Dietary factors.

These include low vitamin D consumption, early exposure to cow’s milk or cow’s milk formula, and exposure to cereals before 4 months of age. None of these factors has been shown to directly cause type 1 diabetes.

Geography.

Certain countries, such as Finland and Sweden, have higher rates of type 1 diabetes.

Risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

Researchers don’t fully understand why some people develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and others don’t. It’s clear that certain factors increase the risk, however, including:

Weight.

The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.

Inactivity.

The less active you are, the greater your risk. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.

Family history.

Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.

Race.

Although it’s unclear why, people of certain races — including blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans — are at higher risk.

Age.

Your risk increases as you get older. This may be because you tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as you age. But type 2 diabetes is also increasing dramatically among children, adolescents and younger adults.

Gestational diabetes.

If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases. If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes.

Polycystic ovary syndrome.

For women, having polycystic ovary syndrome — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity — increases the risk of diabetes.

High blood pressure.

Having blood pressure over 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

If you have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol, your risk of type 2 diabetes is higher. Triglycerides are another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Your doctor can let you know what your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are.

Risk factors for gestational diabetes

Any pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes, but some women are at greater risk than are others. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

Age. Women older than age 25 are at increased risk.

Family or personal history. Your risk increases if you have prediabetes — a precursor to type 2 diabetes — or if a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, has type 2 diabetes. You’re also at greater risk if you had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, if you delivered a very large baby or if you had an unexplained stillbirth.

Weight. Being overweight before pregnancy increases your risk.

Race. For reasons that aren’t clear, women who are black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.

Complications
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Controlling Your Diabetes

Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The longer you have diabetes — and the less controlled your blood sugar — the higher the risk of complications. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening. Possible complications include:

Cardiovascular disease. Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis). If you have diabetes, you are more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your nerves, especially in your legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Left untreated, you could lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Damage to the nerves related to digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, it may lead to erectile dysfunction.
Kidney damage (nephropathy). The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters (glomeruli) that filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Eye damage (retinopathy). Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), potentially leading to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious vision conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma.
Foot damage. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can develop serious infections, which often heal poorly. These infections may ultimately require toe, foot or leg amputation.
Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
Hearing impairment. Hearing problems are more common in people with diabetes.
Alzheimer’s disease. Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The poorer your blood sugar control, the greater the risk appears to be. Although there are theories as to how these disorders might be connected, none has yet been proved.

Complications of gestational diabetes

Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies.

However, untreated or uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause problems for you and your baby.

Complications in your baby can occur as a result of gestational diabetes, including:

Excess growth. Extra glucose can cross the placenta, which triggers your baby’s pancreas to make extra insulin. This can cause your baby to grow too large (macrosomia). Very large babies are more likely to require a C-section birth.
Low blood sugar. Sometimes babies of mothers with gestational diabetes develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth because their own insulin production is high. Prompt feedings and sometimes an intravenous glucose solution can return the baby’s blood sugar level to normal.
Type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies of mothers who have gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
Death. Untreated gestational diabetes can result in a baby’s death either before or shortly after birth.
Complications in the mother can also occur as a result of gestational diabetes, including:

Preeclampsia.This condition is characterized by high blood pressure, excess protein in the urine, and swelling in the legs and feet. Preeclampsia can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications for both mother and baby.
Subsequent gestational diabetes. Once you’ve had gestational diabetes in one pregnancy, you’re more likely to have it again with the next pregnancy. You’re also more likely to develop diabetes — typically type 2 diabetes — as you get older.
Complications of prediabetes

Prediabetes may develop into type 2 diabetes.

Preparing for your appointment
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Controlling Your Diabetes

 

You’re likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor if you’re having diabetes symptoms. If your child is having diabetes symptoms, you might see your child’s pediatrician. If blood sugar levels are extremely high, you’ll likely be sent to the emergency room.

If blood sugar levels aren’t high enough to put you or your child immediately at risk, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in diabetes, among other disorders (endocrinologist). Soon after diagnosis, you’ll also likely meet with a diabetes educator and a dietitian to get more information on managing your diabetes.

Here’s some information to help you get ready for your appointment and to know what to expect.

What you can do:

Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if you need to do anything in advance. This will likely include restricting your diet, such as for a fasting blood sugar test.
Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated.
Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes. If you’re monitoring your glucose values at home, bring a record of the glucose results, detailing the dates and times of testing.
Make a list of any allergies you have and all medications, vitamins and supplements you’re taking.
Record your family medical history. In particular, note any relatives who have had diabetes, heart attacks or strokes.
Take a family member or friend, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help you remember information you need.
Write down questions to ask your doctor. Ask about aspects of your diabetes management you’re unclear about.
Be aware if you need any prescription refills. Your doctor can renew your prescriptions while you’re there.

Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.

For diabetes, some questions to ask include:

Are the symptoms I’m having related to diabetes or something else?
Do I need any tests?
What else can I do to protect my health?
What are other options to manage my diabetes?
I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
Are there restrictions I need to follow?
Should I see another specialist, such as a dietitian or diabetes educator?
Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you’re prescribing?
Are there brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

Can you describe your symptoms?
Do you have symptoms all the time, or do they come and go?
How severe are your symptoms?
Do you have a family history of preeclampsia or diabetes?
Tell me about your diet.
Do you exercise? What type and how much?

Tests and diagnosis
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Appointments & care

 

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often appear suddenly and are often the reason for checking blood sugar levels. Because symptoms of other types of diabetes and prediabetes come on more gradually or may not be evident, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended screening guidelines. The ADA recommends that the following people be screened for diabetes:

Anyone with a body mass index higher than 25, regardless of age, who has additional risk factors, such as high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, a history of polycystic ovary syndrome, having delivered a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds, a history of diabetes in pregnancy, high cholesterol levels, a history of heart disease, and having a close relative with diabetes.
Anyone older than age 45 is advised to receive an initial blood sugar screening, and then, if the results are normal, to be screened every three years thereafter.
Tests for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and prediabetes

Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you’ll have with sugar attached. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates that you have diabetes. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates prediabetes. Below 5.7 is considered normal.
If the A1C test results aren’t consistent, the test isn’t available, or if you have certain conditions that can make the A1C test inaccurate — such as if you’re pregnant or have an uncommon form of hemoglobin (known as a hemoglobin variant) — your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose diabetes:

Random blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken at a random time. Regardless of when you last ate, a random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) — 11.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) — or higher suggests diabetes.
Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast. A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. If it’s 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes.
Oral glucose tolerance test. For this test, you fast overnight, and the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood sugar levels are tested periodically for the next two hours. A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) after two hours indicates diabetes. A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L) indicates prediabetes.
If type 1 diabetes is suspected, your urine will be tested to look for the presence of a byproduct produced when muscle and fat tissue are used for energy when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to use the available glucose (ketones).

Your doctor will also likely run a test to see if you have the destructive immune system cells

associated with type 1 diabetes called autoantibodies.

Tests for gestational diabetes

Your doctor will likely evaluate your risk factors for gestational diabetes early in your pregnancy:

If you’re at high risk of gestational diabetes — for example, if you were obese at the start of your pregnancy, you had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, or you have a mother, father, sibling or child with diabetes — your doctor may test for diabetes at your first prenatal visit.
If you’re at average risk of gestational diabetes, you’ll likely have a screening test for gestational diabetes sometime during your second trimester — typically between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Your doctor may use the following screening tests:

Initial glucose challenge test. You’ll begin the glucose challenge test by drinking a syrupy glucose solution. One hour later, you’ll have a blood test to measure your blood sugar level. A blood sugar level below 140 mg/dL (7.2 to 7.8 mmol/L) is usually considered normal on a glucose challenge test, although this may vary at specific clinics or labs. If your blood sugar level is higher than normal, it only means you have a higher risk of gestational diabetes. Your doctor will order a follow-up test to determine if you have gestational diabetes.
Follow-up glucose tolerance testing. For the follow-up test, you’ll be asked to fast overnight and then have your fasting blood sugar level measured. Then you’ll drink another sweet solution — this one containing a higher concentration of glucose — and your blood sugar level will be checked every hour for a period of three hours. If at least two of the blood sugar readings are higher than the normal values established for each of the three hours of the test, you’ll be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Treatments and drugs
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Appointments & care

Depending on what type of diabetes you have, blood sugar monitoring, insulin and oral medications may play a role in your treatment. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and participating in regular activity also are important factors in managing diabetes.

Treatments for all types of diabetes

An important part of managing diabetes — as well as your overall health — is maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy diet and exercise plan:

Healthy eating. Contrary to popular perception, there’s no specific diabetes diet. You’ll need to center your diet on more fruits, vegetables and whole grains — foods that are high in nutrition and fiber and low in fat and calories — and cut down on animal products, refined carbohydrates and sweets. In fact, it’s the best eating plan for the entire family. Sugary foods are OK once in a while, as long as they’re counted as part of your meal plan.

Yet understanding what and how much to eat can be a challenge. A registered dietitian can help you create a meal plan that fits your health goals, food preferences and lifestyle. This will likely include carbohydrate counting, especially if you have type 1 diabetes.

Physical activity. Everyone needs regular aerobic exercise, and people who have diabetes are no exception. Exercise lowers your blood sugar level by moving sugar into your cells, where it’s used for energy. Exercise also increases your sensitivity to insulin, which means your body needs less insulin to transport sugar to your cells. Get your doctor’s OK to exercise. Then choose activities you enjoy, such as walking, swimming or biking. What’s most important is making physical activity part of your daily routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes or more of aerobic exercise most days of the week. If you haven’t been active for a while, start slowly and build up gradually.
Treatments for type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump, frequent blood sugar checks, and carbohydrate counting. Treatment of type 2 diabetes primarily involves monitoring of your blood sugar, along with diabetes medications, insulin or both.

Monitoring your blood sugar. Depending on your treatment plan, you may check and record your blood sugar as often as several times a week to as many as four to eight times a day. Careful monitoring is the only way to make sure that your blood sugar level remains within your target range. People who receive insulin therapy also may choose to monitor their blood sugar levels with a continuous glucose monitor. Although this technology doesn’t yet replace the glucose meter, it can provide important information about trends in blood sugar levels.

Even with careful management, blood sugar levels can sometimes change unpredictably. With help from your diabetes treatment team, you’ll learn how your blood sugar level changes in response to food, physical activity, medications, illness, alcohol, stress — for women, fluctuations in hormone levels.

In addition to daily blood sugar monitoring, your doctor will likely recommend regular A1C testing to measure your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Compared with repeated daily blood sugar tests, A1C testing better indicates how well your diabetes treatment plan is working overall. An elevated A1C level may signal the need for a change in your insulin regimen or meal plan. Your target A1C goal may vary depending on your age and various other factors. However, for most people with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends an A1C of below 7 percent. Ask your doctor what your A1C target is.

Insulin. People with type 1 diabetes need insulin therapy to survive. Many people with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes also need insulin therapy.

Many types of insulin are available, including rapid-acting insulin, long-acting insulin and intermediate options. Depending on your needs, your doctor may prescribe a mixture of insulin types to use throughout the day and night.

Insulin can’t be taken orally to lower blood sugar because stomach enzymes interfere with insulin’s action. Often insulin is injected using a fine needle and syringe or an insulin pen — a device that looks like a large ink pen.

An insulin pump may also be an option. The pump is a device about the size of a cellphone worn on the outside of your body. A tube connects the reservoir of insulin to a catheter that’s inserted under the skin of your abdomen. A tubeless pump that works wirelessly is also now available. You program an insulin pump to dispense specific amounts of insulin. It can be adjusted to deliver more or less insulin depending on meals, activity level and blood sugar level.

An emerging treatment approach, not yet available, is closed loop insulin delivery, also known as the artificial pancreas. It links a continuous glucose monitor to an insulin pump. The device automatically delivers the correct amount of insulin when the monitor indicates the need for it. There are a number of different versions of the artificial pancreas, and clinical trials have had encouraging results. More research needs to be done before a fully functional artificial pancreas can receive regulatory approval.

However, the first step toward an artificial pancreas was approved in 2013. Combining a continuous glucose monitor with an insulin pump, this system stops insulin delivery when blood sugar levels drop too low. Studies on the device found that it could prevent low blood sugar levels overnight without significantly increasing morning blood sugar levels.

Oral or other medications. Sometimes other oral or injected medications are prescribed as well. Some diabetes medications stimulate your pancreas to produce and release more insulin. Others inhibit the production and release of glucose from your liver, which means you need less insulin to transport sugar into your cells. Still others block the action of stomach or intestinal enzymes that break down carbohydrates or make your tissues more sensitive to insulin. Metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others) is generally the first medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes.
Transplantation. In some people who have type 1 diabetes, a pancreas transplant may be an option. Islet transplants are being studied as well. With a successful pancreas transplant, you would no longer need insulin therapy. But transplants aren’t always successful — and these procedures pose serious risks. You need a lifetime of immune-suppressing drugs to prevent organ rejection. These drugs can have serious side effects, including a high risk of infection, organ injury and cancer. Because the side effects can be more dangerous than the diabetes, transplants are usually reserved for people whose diabetes can’t be controlled or those who also need a kidney transplant.
Bariatric surgery. Although it is not specifically considered a treatment for type 2 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes who also have a body mass index higher than 35 may benefit from this type of surgery. People who’ve undergone gastric bypass have seen significant improvements in their blood sugar levels. However, this procedure’s long-term risks and benefits for type 2 diabetes aren’t yet known.
Treatment for gestational diabetes

Controlling your blood sugar level is essential to keeping your baby healthy and avoiding complications during delivery. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and exercising, your treatment plan may include monitoring your blood sugar and, in some cases, using insulin or oral medications.

Your health care provider will also monitor your blood sugar level during labor. If your blood sugar rises, your baby may release high levels of insulin — which can lead to low blood sugar right after birth.

Treatment for prediabetes

If you have prediabetes, healthy lifestyle choices can help you bring your blood sugar level back to normal or at least keep it from rising toward the levels seen in type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and healthy eating can help. Exercising at least 150 minutes a week and losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight may prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

Sometimes medications — such as metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others) — also are an option if you’re at high risk of diabetes, including when your prediabetes is worsening or if you have cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease or polycystic ovary syndrome.

In other cases, medications to control cholesterol — statins, in particular — and high blood pressure medications are needed. Your doctor might prescribe low-dose aspirin therapy to help prevent cardiovascular disease if you’re at high risk. Healthy lifestyle choices remain key, however.

Signs of trouble in any type of diabetes

Because so many factors can affect your blood sugar, problems may sometimes arise that require immediate care, such as:

High blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Your blood sugar level can rise for many reasons, including eating too much, being sick or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication. Check your blood sugar level as directed by your doctor, and watch for signs and symptoms of high blood sugar — frequent urination, increased thirst, dry mouth, blurred vision, fatigue and nausea. If you have hyperglycemia, you’ll need to adjust your meal plan, medications or both.
Increased ketones in your urine (diabetic ketoacidosis). If your cells are starved for energy, your body may begin to break down fat. This produces toxic acids known as ketones. Watch for loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, fever, stomach pain and a sweet, fruity breath. You can check your urine for excess ketones with an over-the-counter ketones test kit. If you have excess ketones in your urine, consult your doctor right away or seek emergency care. This condition is more common in people with type 1 diabetes.
Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome. Signs and symptoms of this life-threatening condition include a blood sugar reading over 600 mg/dL (33.3 mmol/L), dry mouth, extreme thirst, fever, drowsiness, confusion, vision loss and hallucinations. Hyperosmolar syndrome is caused by sky-high blood sugar that turns blood thick and syrupy. It tends to be more common in people with type 2 diabetes, and it’s often preceded by an illness. Call your doctor or seek immediate medical care if you have signs or symptoms of this condition.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If your blood sugar level drops below your target range, it’s known as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Your blood sugar level can drop for many reasons, including skipping a meal and getting more physical activity than normal. However, low blood sugar is most likely if you take glucose-lowering medications that promote the secretion of insulin by your pancreas or if you’re receiving insulin therapy. Check your blood sugar level regularly, and watch for signs and symptoms of low blood sugar — sweating, shakiness, weakness, hunger, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, heart palpitations, irritability, slurred speech, drowsiness, confusion, fainting and seizures. Low blood sugar is treated with quickly absorbed carbohydrates, such as fruit juice or glucose tablets.

Lifestyle and home remedies
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Controlling Your Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious disease. Following your diabetes treatment plan takes round-the-clock commitment. Careful management of diabetes can reduce your risk of serious — even life-threatening — complications.

No matter what type of diabetes you have:

Make a commitment to managing your diabetes. Learn all you can about diabetes. Establish a relationship with a diabetes educator, and ask your diabetes treatment team for help when you need it.
Choose healthy foods and maintain a healthy weight. Losing just 7 percent of your body weight if you’re overweight can make a significant difference in your blood sugar control. A healthy diet is one with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, with a limited amount of saturated fat.
Make physical activity part of your daily routine. Regular exercise can help prevent prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and it can help those who already have diabetes to maintain better blood sugar control. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise — such as brisk walking — most days of the week is recommended. A combination of exercises — aerobic exercises, such as walking or dancing on most days, combined with resistance training, such as weightlifting or yoga twice a week — often helps control blood sugar more effectively than does either type of exercise alone.

Lifestyle for type 1 and type 2 diabetes

In addition, if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes:

Identify yourself. Wear a tag or bracelet that says you have diabetes. Keep a glucagon kit nearby in case of a low blood sugar emergency — and make sure your friends and loved ones know how to use it.
Schedule a yearly physical and regular eye exams. Your regular diabetes checkups aren’t meant to replace yearly physicals or routine eye exams. During the physical, your doctor will look for any diabetes-related complications and screen for other medical problems. Your eye care specialist will check for signs of retinal damage, cataracts and glaucoma.
Keep your vaccinations up to date. High blood sugar can weaken your immune system. Get a flu shot every year, and your doctor may recommend the pneumonia vaccine, as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also currently recommends hepatitis B vaccination if you haven’t previously been vaccinated against hepatitis B and you’re an adult ages 19 to 59 with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The most recent CDC guidelines advise vaccination as soon as possible after diagnosis with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If you are age 60 or older, have diabetes, and haven’t previously received the vaccine, talk to your doctor about whether it’s right for you.
Pay attention to your feet. Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water. Dry them gently, especially between the toes. Moisturize with lotion, but not between the toes. Check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness or swelling. Consult your doctor if you have a sore or other foot problem that doesn’t heal promptly on its own.
Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol. Medication may be needed, too.
Take care of your teeth. Diabetes may leave you prone to more-serious gum infections. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. And if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, schedule regular dental exams. Consult your dentist right away if your gums bleed or look red or swollen.
If you smoke or use other types of tobacco, ask your doctor to help you quit. Smoking increases your risk of various diabetes complications. Smokers who have diabetes are more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than are nonsmokers who have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Talk to your doctor about ways to stop smoking or to stop using other types of tobacco.
If you drink alcohol, do so responsibly. Alcohol can cause either high or low blood sugar, depending on how much you drink and if you eat at the same time. If you choose to drink, do so only in moderation — one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger — and always with food.

Remember to include the carbohydrates from any alcohol you drink in your daily carbohydrate count. And check your blood sugar levels before going to bed.

Take stress seriously. The hormones your body may produce in response to prolonged stress may prevent insulin from working properly, which will raise your blood sugar and stress you even more. Set limits for yourself and prioritize your tasks. Learn relaxation techniques. And get plenty of sleep.


   American Diabetes Month

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Join Bret Michaels this November and become involved in American Diabetes Month®.

This year, the American Diabetes Association is asking:

How will you Stop Diabetes®? The future is in your hands.

Last November, the American Diabetes Association launched the Stop Diabetes movement,

with the audacious goal of having 1 million people join in the first year

.  So far, more than 814,000 people around the country have raised their hand and pledged to join the fight.

There are plenty of ways you can become involved in American Diabetes Month

and the Stop Diabetes movement this November.

There is no time to waste. Diabetes is a disease with deadly consequences.

Drastic action is needed.  From everyone.

Tools are available to help spread the word for companies,

community organizers and health care professionals.

You can discover more ways to become engaged in American Diabetes Month

by visiting

calling 1-800-DIABETES or texting JOIN to 69866 (standard data and message rates apply).

American Diabetes Month Tools

American Diabetes Month 2010 Fact Sheet (PDF)

American Diabetes Month 2010 Newsletter Insert (PDF)

American Diabetes Month 2010 PowerPoint

http://www.diabetesaction.org/site/PageServer?pagename=tip

Blog 30 Days of Diabetes for November – and Beyond!

Blog about diabetes each day of November and we could put you on the blogroll for our blog,

Diabetes Stops Here℠: Living with Diabetes; Inspired to Stop It.

To honor National Blog Posting Month,

bloggers around the country will blog every day in the month of November.

You could blog about diabetes and help create awareness

about the disease all month long. Need ideas? Click here for more information.

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READ MORE ABOUT TYPE 1 …

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Ever see the top 10 lists for foods everyone should eat to superpower your diet?

Ever wonder which will mesh with your diabetes meal plan?

Wonder no more.

Your list of the top 10 diabetes superfoods has arrived.

As with all foods, you need to work the diabetes superfoods

into your individualized meal plan in appropriate portions.

All of the foods in our list have a low glycemic index or GI

and provide key nutrients that are lacking in the typical western diet such as:

calcium
potassium
fiber
magnesium
vitamins A (as carotenoids), C, and E.
There isn’t research that clearly points to supplementation,

so always think first about getting your nutrients from foods. Below is our list of superfoods to include in your diet.

Beans

Whether you prefer kidney, pinto, navy, or black beans, you can’t find better nutrition than that provided by beans. They are very high in fiber, giving you about 1/3 of your daily requirement in just a ½ cup, and are also good sources of magnesium and potassium.

They are considered starchy vegetables, but ½ cup provides as much protein as an ounce of meat without the saturated fat. To save time you can use canned beans, but be sure to drain and rinse them to get rid of as much sodium as possible.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Spinach, collards, kale – these powerhouse foods are so low in calories and carbohydrate. You can’t eat too much.

Citrus Fruit

Grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes. Pick your favorites and get part of your daily dose of soluble fiber and vitamin C.

Sweet Potatoes

A starchy vegetable packed full of vitamin A and fiber. Try in place of regular potatoes for a lower GI alternative.

Berries

Which are your favorites: blueberries, strawberries or another variety? Regardless, they are all packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Make a parfait alternating the fruit with light, non-fat yogurt for a new favorite dessert. Try our Superfood Smoothie recipe.

Tomatoes

An old standby where everyone can find a favorite. The good news is that no matter how you like your tomatoes, pureed, raw, or in a sauce, you’re eating vital nutrients like vitamin C, iron, vitamin E.

Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Salmon is a favorite in this category. Stay away from the breaded and deep fat fried variety… they don’t count in your goal of 6-9 ounces of fish per week.

Whole Grains

It’s the germ and bran of the whole grain you’re after. It contains all the nutrients a grain product has to offer. When you purchase processed grains like bread made from enriched wheat flour, you don’t get these. A few more of the nutrients these foods offer are magnesium, chromium,

omega 3 fatty acids and folate.

Pearled barley and oatmeal are a source of fiber and potassium.

Nuts

An ounce of nuts can go a long way in providing key healthy fats along with hunger management. Other benefits are a dose of magnesium and fiber.

Some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flax seeds, also contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Fat-free Milk and Yogurt

Everyone knows dairy can help build strong bones and teeth. In addition to calcium, many fortified dairy products are a good source of vitamin D. More research is emerging on the connection between vitamin D and good health.

Some of the above list can be tough on the budget depending on the season and where you live.

Look for lower cost options such as fruit and vegetables in season or frozen or canned fish.

Foods that every budget can live with year round are beans and rolled oats or barley that you cook from scratch.

Of course, you probably don’t want to limit yourself to just these items for every meal. The American Diabetes Association’s book What Do I Eat Now? provides a step-by-step guide to eating right.

– See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/diabetes-superfoods.html#sthash.Gf03fwmz.dpuf

MORE FOOD TIPS… 

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Military Family Month

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Military Family Month was established in 1993 by the Armed Services YMCA, with the U.S. Government recognizing the occasion every year since.President Barack Obama proclaimed November 2009 as Military Family Month, calling on all Americans to honor military families through private actions and public service for the tremendous contributions they make in the support of our service members and our Nation.

Each November, ASYMCA celebrates Military Family Month to demonstrate the nation’s support and commitment the families of military personnel. With hundreds of thousands of service members deployed overseas, recognizing the daily sacrifices made by military families has never been more important.

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Celebrating Military Family Week at Installations Worldwide

  • Each year during Military Family Month in November efforts are made to organize special community-wide events to recognize our military families. Look at how installations celebrated and honored military families during past years.
  • Some bases held different event(s) for every day of the week
  • Bases publicized family services and programs during their activities
  • Base MWR agencies (i.e., Outdoor Recreation Center, Bowling Center, Movie Theater, and Clubs) provided special family events with reduced prices. For example, an Outdoor Recreation Center sponsored a Family Florida Everglades Ecotour.
  • Base family programs (i.e., Family Center and Children Development Center) provided special family events. For example, a Children Development Center hosted a Family Fun Festival.
  • Special family events including free lunch, magicians, horse rides, jumping booths, climbing wall, disc jockey, and prizes were held at AAFES
  • Sales were offered at BXs and Commissaries
  • Ecumenical services were held at the chapel
  • Information was sent to commands to recognize and celebrate the contributions of military families
  • “Lunch and Learn” educational forums for military personnel and their families were held
  • Military Family Week booths were set up
  • Relevant articles appeared in base newspaper
  • A base offered “Operation Informed Spouse” to provide information on available family services/programs and installation tour
  • Several organizations at a base invited families to tour their work centers
  • Commanders held open houses in their units
  • A Military Family Partnership (USAFA FSC, Peterson CSC, Ft. Carson ACS, Pikes Peak region ASYMCA, and the Falcon Wanderers Volksmarch club) sponsored an annual 10K Volksmarch
  • A local ASYMCA sponsored the Annual Five Star Military Family Recognition Program
  • A local high school hosted Tops in Blue stage performance
  • A Family Talent contest was being hosted at a base for: (1) parent – child, (2) husband – wife, (3) children age 3-7, (4) preteens age 8-12, and (5) entire family
  • Commanders and First Sergeants served meals to military members and their families in the dining hall
  • Thanksgiving dinner was served to families of deployed, remote and single members
  • Thanksgiving Day gift baskets were distributed

Information and Resources

For information and resources regarding Military Family Month please go to the Armed Services YMCA Military Family Month site.

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