Wish You Were Here!

shutterstock_192421106Are you planning on going on a trip? Maybe you are visiting a local treasure or entering new territory across the country or around the world! No matter the destination, your diabetes should not prevent you from traveling! With a little planning that focuses on maintaining a healthy lifestyle while visiting new places, you can ensure to have a wonderful time!

shutterstock_192421478They say less is more, but when it comes to your meds, over-pack! Bring at least twice as much as you’ll need for good measure. Be prepared for the unexpected, like travel delays or misplacing your medication. In addition, be sure to keep those medications and other supplies handy, whether traveling by car or plane. Stash away some snacks for your journey! In case of delays on the highway or runway, you can quickly treat low blood sugar. This is a good idea in case you cannot get a snack or your flight does not serve food. Staying hydrated is also very important, especially if traveling during the summer months. Carrying a water bottle with you is not a bad idea to help stay hydrated!

Keep in mind time differences while traveling, especially if you take insulin shots! Crossing time zones is confusing, so remember eastward travel means a shorter day, while westward travel means a longer day. Be sure to keep track of shots as well as meals while traveling.

Go wherever your heart desires! Keep in mind, you take your diabetes with you wherever you go, so take your self-care too.  Hopefully, these helpful tips will aid in having a fun experience wherever your travels take you! traveling-withdiabetes_large[1]  

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1 in 4 Veterans Has Diabetes – Could You Be The 1?

shutterstock_16665385Are you or someone you love one of our nations proud veterans of military service?  If you are, there is some information you might like to know about veterans and their unusually high incidence of diabetes. As a group, veterans are at a much higher risk of developing diabetes than the general population. Approximately 1 in 4 veterans, or 25%, has diabetes according to the Veterans Health Administration. Almost all are Type 2 diabetics which means they developed diabetes as an adult.  In the general US population people living with diabetes is about 8%.  So why are veterans three times more likely to have diabetes?

Aside from lifestyle and family history, there are several reasons why this may be true.  The first is simple.  The average age of a veteran is older than the general US population.  58 is the average age of a veteran compared to 37.5 in the general population. Being over 45 is one factor in developing diabetes but there are others as well.

There are three other simple explanations for why veterans have a higher incidence of diabetes; being male, obesity and smoking. Men develop diabetes more than women at a ratio of 3:2.  Men also make up 97%of our former military. As a result, there is a greater number of veterans with diabetes because there are so many more men. Obesity is also a well-known risk factor for developing diabetes.   Nearly 70 % of our veterans are overweight.  shutterstock_1520719Lastly, smoking. Approximately 32%, or 1 in 3 veterans, are smokers. Rates are even higher among deployed members of the military where a staggering 50% smoke.

There is one last, lesser known, possible explanation for greater numbers of diabetics among our veterans.  It specifically relates to those who served in Vietnam and that is Agent Orange. In 2001 diabetes became listed as a presumptive condition for vets who served in Vietnam. If you served in the country of Vietnam and later were diagnosed with diabetes the VA presumes that Agent Orange may have been a contributing factor.  This based on a study at the National Academy of Sciences that showed a higher than expected correlation between diabetes and dioxin exposure. More Vietnam veterans are being compensated for diabetes than for any other medical condition, including post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing loss or injuries.shutterstock_17555125

Today, the VA provides health benefits to nearly 1.5 million veterans living with diabetes. With so many of former members of the military diagnosed as diabetic, the price tag for their care is very high.  Care for diabetics is about 4% of the VAs overall budget and 28% of their pharmacy budget.  It costs about one and half billion dollars a year to care for veterans with diabetes. This number has increased dramatically and has nearly doubled in the last 10 years.  Diabetes is a more common problem for our veterans than many people realize.

Could you or someone you love be one of the millions of veterans living with diabetes?Sharing this information is important.  If you are concerned about the possibility of being diabetic, be sure to see a doctor.  The evidence is overwhelming that left untreated, diabetes can result in other secondary medical problems like blindness, cardiovascular diseases and kidney problems.  Fortunately, diabetes is treatable but catching it early is key to successful care and management.

As we look ahead to Memorial weekend,  it is with great pride and gratitude that we honor all our veterans of military service.  It is a time to reflect on the service and contribution of millions of Americans.  For all that they have done, our veterans deserve to be happy…. and well.

For more information visit the websites below or contact your local VA

http://www.diabetesmine.com/2012/05/not-your-granddaddys-va-changing-diabetes-care-for-veterans.html

http://www.vva.org/veteran/0808/diabetes.html

 

 

 

Posted in Diabetes, diabetic, Family, Health, medical problems, men, military, obesity, smoking, Uncategorized, Veterans | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bare Footing? Maybe Not If You’re Diabetic

Summer seems like a natural time to shed your shoes and spread your toes.  If you are diabetic, however, that may be one of the worst things you can do for your feet. Here are a few suggestions for caring for your tootsies and preventing any serious problems this summer.

Wash your feet every day.  Wash them gently with soap and a wash cloth.  And remember, shower run off is not washing!

Check your feet every day.  Check the top, bottom, sides, and between the toes of each foot. Use a mirror if necessary to see the bottoms of your feet. If you have any red spots, wounds, bruises, rashes or injuries call the doctor.

Get an annual foot exam. Identify any conditions that could cause a foot ulcer.  See a podiatrist more often if you have bunions or hammertoes or diabetes related nerve damage.

If you do develop food ulcers or wounds that won’t heal, consider trying Neoteric Diabetic Advanced Healing Cream.  It is formulated with patented Tri-Oxygen C and has been clinically proven to promote healing.

Control your blood sugars. High blood glucose can cause neuropathy but good blood sugar control can reduce the risk and progression by about 50 percent.

Shoe shop for comfort ONLY! Shop at the end of the day when feet are slightly swollen. If you tend to have sweaty feet, buy two pairs and alternate them.  Be sure to let shoes dry thoroughly before you wear them again.

Try prescription footwear. If you have foot deformities, foot ulcers, nerve damage or a lack of sensation in your feet, your podiatrist can prescribe custom footwear.  Insurance carriers may even cover the cost.

Check your shoes before wearing them. If you have neuropathy you may not feel a problem  Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside. Make sure there are no loose pieces of fabric or leather inside the shoe that could rub against your foot.

Wear clean proper socks every day. Avoid socks with big seams.  Some people with diabetes prefer seamless socks, but socks with flat, unobtrusive and soft seams are also fine.

Keep the blood flowing.  Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down several times a day. Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time.

NEVER GO BAREFOOT! Not at the beach, pool or in water. Wear sandals or swimming shoes!

You can still enjoy the lazy days of summer.  Just be sure to take good care of your feet!

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Ice Cream! A Summer Must!

Did you know that most Americans eat the equivalent of 20 teaspoons of sugar a day? That’s about 150 pounds of sugar per year!  Most of our sugar intake comes from sugary cereals, snacks, soda, and a summer must, ice cream!  So what about artificial sweeteners like Sweet N Low or Equal?  Are they a good choice for diabetics?

Artificial sweeteners are compounds that offer sweetness with fewer calories. Sweeteners can have anywhere from 30 to 8,000 times sweeter than sugar. This means that foods made with artificial sweeteners have a lot less calories than those made with table sugar. Most doctors and nutritionists believe that artificial sweeteners can be very helpful to diabetics for two reasons.

First, artificial sweeteners allow people to stick to a good diet for a longer period of time. “If somebody is trying to lose weight and cut back on sugar and calories, artificial sweeteners can add flavor to unsweetened beverages or other products,” says Michael F. Jacobson, PhD, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Artificial sweeteners allow people to enjoy a wider range of foods than they would be able to eat or could only eat in such small amounts that they are not satisfying.

Secondly, artificial sweeteners do not effect blood sugar levels. Artificial sweeteners can be helpful to people who need to control their sugar intake. Some foods, however, contain artificial sweeteners and can affect blood sugar because of other carbohydrates or proteins in them.  In other words, while foods that contain artificial sweeteners may be sugar-free, they may not be carbohydrate-free.  Diabetics should be aware that food that contains artificial sweeteners instead of sugar can still affect blood sugar levels.

So enjoy a little ice cream this summer!  Many top brands make delicious frozen treats with artificial sweeteners. They taste great and will help you to stay healthy without feeling deprived.  It is possible to have your cake (or ice cream) and eat it, too!

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All in the Family

Last year, a dear friend was unexpectedly diagnosed with diabetes in his late 50’s.  He had no family history, was thin and in generally good health.  In a matter of weeks he was overwhelmingly thirsty.  He was drinking gallons of juice and water and nothing quenched his thirst. His wife urged him to go to the doctor.  He did and quickly found out that he was one of the nearly 2 million people diagnosed with diabetes every year.

According to recent estimates from the CDC, diabetes will affect one in three people born in 2000 in the United States. If you have three children or grandchildren under the age of 10 it is very likely that one of them will be diabetic. Is someone in your family diabetic? Diabetes tends to run in families. A person with a family history of diabetes is 2-4 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone without a family history further increasing the risk for our children and grandchildren.

Diabetes may run in families, but it is also a family disease.  When one member of a family  has diabetes, it affects every member of the family.  Diabetes means that everyone in the family has to be more aware of their health, what they eat and the increased risk of developing the disease.  When our friend was diagnosed, it not only changed his life but that of his family.  His wife cooks differently now.  His kids now have a family history of diabetes and their children may be at greater risk.

Forget the hype and media scare about diabetes. Just be more aware of your loved ones.  We all want our children to wear a helmet when riding a bike.  We expect our teen drivers to wear a seat belt.  We help aging parents around the house so they won’t fall.  It’s love and common sense.  To combat diabetes, eat a better and walk a little more.  It’s good for the whole family.

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Head Health

Itchy, dry scalp is a common problem. Yes it really is! Most people just don’t want to talk about it. There are many options to choose from when it comes to dry, itchy scalp conditions. But for those who suffer from this condition caused as a result of diabetes, there really is only one option, Neoteric Cosmetics Diabetic Shampoo. From the people who brought you clinically proven Neoteric Diabetic Advanced Healing Cream comes a new shampoo specially formulated to help relieve the scalp of itching, dryness and flaking. This shampoo contains the same effective-patented Tri-OxygenC technology present in our Advanced Healing Cream. That means that it not only soothes an itchy, dry scalp but it actually heals it! Tri-OxygenC technology mimics the natural lipids in skin that carry oxygen to temporarily stimulate circulation and absorb oxygen. This helps to strengthen the skin’s natural healing process.

This shampoo is also great for your hair and doesn’t leave behind gunky residue or leave hair feeling dried out. It works well on all types of hair even on processed or treated hair. Men love it as much as women and it’s even gentle enough to use on children’s hair. It leaves your hair feeling soft and clean with a natural shine.  Beautiful hair, a healthier scalp and no more itching, doesn’t that sound grand?

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Walk, Swim, and Dance Your Way to Health

Diabetes can have serious complications such as extremity problems, eye disease, and kidney disease. Exercise can help lower blood glucose levels and manage your Diabetes. But exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are a few fun ways to get moving!

  1. Make a splash! Get swimming. Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise with low impact so you can give your joints a break. Cardiovascular exercise helps reduce the risk of heart disease, something that is common among people with Diabetes. By strengthening large muscle groups in your body, you can efficiently absorb blood sugar. But remember, start your new exercise routine slowly and gradually work your way up.
  2. Lace up your shoes and take a stroll! Walking is a great exercise to relieve stress. The best part about walking, is that it can be done anywhere without equipment. It is recommended you walk between 30 minutes to an hour most days of the week. You can even break up your walks: take the dog for a stroll in the morning, walk with a co-worker at lunch, and take a tour of the neighborhood after dinner. Walking will improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and manage your blood glucose.
  3. What is an exercise buffet? Pick and choose your exercises! You want to keep your body guessing and your mind from becoming bored. Cross training programs include a lot of aerobic exercise and routines that work different muscle groups. Many people do one routine Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and a completely different one Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Examples of cross training are swimming, biking, dancing, hiking, running, ice skating, and climbing stairs.

The key to any exercise program is to enjoy it. If you are bored or unhappy with your exercise routine, it will become more of a chore than a fun activity. It helps to get friends and family involved for support. So whether you’re swimming, walking, or ice-skating your way to a healthier you, be safe and have fun!

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