Every spring since 1999, the Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) has distributed our publication to their young campers. In honor of their youthful enthusiasm, our springtime issue always focuses on people who inspire us, from the young to the old. In this issue, we bring you the stories of people who refuse to let their diabetes limit them, people whose example re-ignites our determination to live our very best and healthiest lives. As a publisher, I am always seeking inspiration, and each of these individuals is a fresh reminder of what we can do if we put our minds to it.
Last summer, I led the third annual swim-run biathlon for the Barton Center for Diabetes Education, which hosts two Massachusetts camps for children with type 1-Camp Joslin for boys and Camp Clara Barton for girls. It was at Camp Joslin that I met a memorable eight-year-old boy who exemplifies what being a diabetes hero is all about. I'll call him "Adam.'
Scientific studies -- and our own common sense -- tell us that staying motivated and engaged helps control our diabetes. We know what we should resist temptation at the dinner table, monitor our blood sugars avidly, and get regular check-ups. But knowing all of these things, and knowing that self-motivation is the way to achieve them, isn't quite enough.
The piece of cake sits there on the plate, daring you to eat it. The blood sugar meter rests on your nightstand, an obstacle formed of lancets and test strips. Life with diabetes is a parade of challenges, from diet temptations to healthcare hassles. You know--we all know --that the only way to say "no" to the cake and "yes" to the blood sugar check is through consistent self-motivation.
I am excited to have this opportunity to write a diabetes-focused blog for Diabetes Health about living and thriving with type 1 diabetes. First of all, I am extremely passionate about racing road and mountain bicycles, running 5K runs and sprint triathlons, and doing other activities that I find to compete in for Team Type 1. But before I start blogging, I would like to tell a little about myself.
Italian and Greek researchers conducting a meta-analysis* of the diets of more than 500,000 people have concluded that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that are common precursors to type 2 diabetes. Those factors include overweight or obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, high blood sugar, high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and high "bad" cholesterol. The Mediterranean diet is high in fruit, vegetables, whole grain foods, and low-fat dairy products. Proteins include fish, legumes, poultry, tree nuts, and mono-unsaturated fatty acids from olive oil. Alcohol intake is moderate and almost always in conjunction with meals. Red meat is only an occasional menu item. The scientists looked at 50 studies that involved more than 500,000 people, then extrapolated the effects of a Mediterranean diet from them. Although the meta-analysis pointed to the usefulness of the Mediterranean diet in fending off metabolic syndrome, its authors said that their conclusion is tentative, given the need for more research on the topic. The study was published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. * A meta-analysis looks at a number of similar studies and tries to derive new and useful results from them by detecting common patterns among them.
Hispanics are almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to have type 2 diabetes, and more than a third of working adult Hispanics do not have health insurance. For this audience, Jane Delgado, PhD, has written The Buena Salud Guide to Diabetes and Your Life. Available in both Spanish and English, it's a culturally sensitive and reassuring book that dispels myths and presents detailed science while gently guiding readers toward the right path in caring for their diabetes. The tone is conversational, as Dr. Delgado speaks to her readers like a family member who knows them well and has their best interests at heart.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.
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