The holidays are known as a time for family gatherings, catching up with relatives, and sometimes even the occasional family conflict. Like drama at the holiday dinner table, in many ways your health is influenced by your family-for better or for worse. This year, why not start a conversation that benefits everyone? Gather your family health history.
Do you ever wish you could leave your diabetes at home? Maybe you're at a holiday party, chit chatting with your buds gathered around the bar enjoying an adult beverage (or two), maybe grazing at the table of cookies, cakes and other tempting morsels. "Oh, I think I'll try one of those. Maybe one of those too. I didn't bring my diabetes with me, so I don't have to think about it tonight." Diabetes is not last year's outfit you can leave at home, or a bad relationship you can dump and move on. It is more like a tattoo. It goes everywhere with you.
I was reading the latest issue of one of my parenting magazines when I came across an article on children and food. The author suggested offering dessert only two to three times a week instead of every day. I laughed aloud.
In late July, five teenagers and five adults hiked to the summit of Mount Shavano, one of Colorado's famed 14,000-foot peaks. For this particular group, the journey to the top of Shavano was designed to be an intensive educational experience on the topic of diabetes management. Each teenager had type 1 diabetes, and the adults were mentors dedicated to helping the teens feel more in control of the disease. The team made it to the summit by performing countless blood sugar tests, counting carbs, and experimenting with insulin pump basal rates. The outfit behind the expedition was Testing Limits, an outdoor adventure club just for people with diabetes, operated by the non-profit Insulindependence.
In type 1 diabetes, the body relentlessly attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. But a study by Joslin Diabetes Center scientists now has firmly established that some of these cells endure for many decades in a small group of people with the disease-offering clues to potential treatments for preserving and even restoring the crucial cell population.
Fall is a welcome season, full of bounty and beauty. The heat of summer gives way to calmer days and crisper evenings. We trade our shorts and swimsuits for jackets and jeans and enjoy campfires, hayrides, and holiday celebrations.
Going back to school can be a little scary for someone with diabetes. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to making it through the school day without having problems with your blood sugar levels. In school, we strive for that all important "A" on a test; to score 100. The same is true about blood sugar/glucose levels; the closer I come to keeping my blood sugar level at "100," the better for my health and the better for my grades; high and low blood sugars aren't helpful in keeping a clear, quick-thinking mind.
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