Diabetes Agent > Common Concerns & Issues about Diabetes

Working with Health Care Providers - Diabetes Agent

Talk to your doctor if…

Ask your doctor about…

Discuss with your doctor before…

You hear this everywhere you turn. It might be annoying, you might tune it out, but the truth is that even though it sounds simplistic, this is one of the most crucial steps you can take to gain control over your diabetes management plan.

Talking to your doctor makes a huge difference in your metabolic status and your quality of life. Sure, there are hundreds of tools available to create a personalized plan that satisfies your needs, but if you don’t talk honestly with your doctor, you might never benefit from them.

Be willing to engage your health care providers in honest and meaningful discussion. They can’t read your mind. They’re likely going to focus on the disease, but, as you know, sometimes you need more than just that. Health care providers can be valuable members of your support system.

The only silly question is the one that you don’t ask. Your doctors will almost always welcome input – what might seem silly to you, might provide very important information for your doctor. You are worth the time and effort it takes to talk with your health care providers, and so is your health.

This website offers a wealth of tools to help you prepare and plan what to say to your health care providers.


Jump to: Videos  |  Tools & Resources  |  News

Videos

Jessica Monitoring Glucose

Jessica talks about trying to reach her ideal A1C number.

Watch Video »

Jessica Managing Medication

Jessica discusses her appreciation for insulin pump technology.

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Gene Managing Medication

Gene talks about how he’s trying to avoid taking insulin.

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Tools & Resources

Medication Tracker Card / Magnet

Use this card to help manage your medication. Missed doses matter!

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I’m already on medication, but my doctor prescribed another pill. Does this mean I’m getting sicker?

Your doctor may ask you to try one kind of pill. If it doesn’t help you reach your blood glucose targets, your doctor may ask you to: take more of the same pill add another kind of pill change to another type of pill start taking insulin start taking another injected medicine If your doctor […]

Read More »

Previsit Form

When you get to your next appointment, your doctor will have questions. Will you have the answers? Be prepared with the help of this printable form.

Read More »

Doctor Prescription Reminder

This card helps you manage your medication.

Read More »

Can diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?

Up to 75% of men with diabetes experience some type of difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. Erection is a cooperative effort between nerves and blood vessels. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to nerves (peripheral neuropathy) and blood vessels, impairing their ability to work together. The key to managing erectile dysfunction related to diabetes is […]

Read More »

What are the complications of using birth control pills while having diabetes?

Birth control pills may raise your BG levels. Using them for longer than a year or 2 may also increase your risk of complications. For instance, if you develop high blood pressure while on the pill, you increase the chance that eye or kidney disease will worsen.

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One of my medications has started giving me really bad stomach aches. I should discontinue its use immediately, right?

Wrong! Many of us need medications to improve our health. Sometimes when we try them, we experience uncomfortable or negative side effects. When we do, it’s really important to tell our health care team that we’re having this experience and what the side effects are. Much of the information about managing side effects that you […]

Read More »

It’s difficult to eat right when I travel. Do you have any suggestions?

If you take oral medications and/or insulin, you should always carry a simple form of carbohydrate such as juice, glucose tablets, candy or regular soda in case of hypoglycemia. Maintaining a diabetic diet can be challenging, especially at airports, highway rest stops or food courts in shopping malls. Look for regular- or junior-sized meals or […]

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Managing Medication Handout

Having diabetes means that your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. Monitoring your glucose gives you vital feedback about your diabetes management techniques. Here are some frequently asked questions about monitoring glucose.

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Long Drug Fact Sheet

This sheet provides information about the drugs Lisinopril, Prinivil, Zesteril, Statin.

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Taking Medications Info Sheet

“I don’t like taking medicines. I don’t feel it is a good idea to take artificial substances into my body.” These sentences express the feelings of some people. As a result, many decide to not take medicines that their provider feels would benefit their health. Why should you take medicine?

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How is Diabetes Managed?

Host David Fatback explains the different ways you can keep your blood glucose under control.

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But there’s medicine to treat diabetes now. So is it really that big a deal if you get it?

It is a big deal if you get any chronic disease. In fact, with diabetes medication is not the answer or the sole treatment. Those with diabetes still must eat healthfully, test their blood sugar regularly and exercise.

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Diabetes and Sex: What’s the 411?

Good, juicy question! First, the good news: many, many people with diabetes enjoy a healthy sex life with their partners, despite the challenges caused by the disease. Like any other complication, sexual issues require awareness, communication with your doctor, and a good plan to lower their incidence. Sex is an important part of life and […]

Read More »

Refill Reminder Card / Magnet

Use this card to help manage your prescription refills. Missed does matter!

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How does smoking affect my diabetes?

It is commonly known that smoking has many negative effects on the body, including, but not limited to: lung disease, premature infant births with low body weight, damage to the circulatory system, high blood pressure, and cancers of the mouth and respiratory tract. Effects on the circulatory system include constriction of the blood vessels in […]

Read More »

Are there any diabetes medications that have a higher incidence of side effects amongst women who use them?

Yes, the oral medications classified as thiazolidinediones (TZDs) may cause women who are not ovulating and haven’t gone through menopause to begin ovulating again, enabling them to conceive. Also, oral contraceptives may be less effective when taking this medication.

Read More »

I’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes and I was too embarrassed to ask my doctor to really explain what this disease is. Can you tell me more about the disease?

If you have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes your pancreas is not able to produce the hormone, insulin, which is needed to control your blood sugar. You’ll need to take insulin every day. Currently, insulin is only given by injection. You’ll also need to follow a meal plan, exercise and test your blood sugar.

Read More »

If I have diabetes, does that mean I’ll be on meds forever?

Not necessarily. Sometimes changing your diet, losing weight and increasing your activity level can control type 2. “Since overeating and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of diabetes, interventions that reduce or improve these factors can almost always improve blood sugar levels,” says David M. Nathan, M.D., director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts […]

Read More »

My doctor is starting me on medication. Is that all I have to do to control my diabetes?

No. Medication helps, but if you have diabetes you still need to manage your food intake to create a balance between medication, food, and activity. You also need to test your blood sugar level one or more times a day to ensure your treatment plan is working. Diabetes is a self-managed disease. In other words, […]

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Why do so many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure?

When blood sugar is too high for long periods of time, it damages the vascular system, which then impairs blood flow to all of the tissues of the body. This can have all sorts of life threatening implications, including high blood pressure. Vascular and heart disease are the leading cause of shortened lifespan for persons […]

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What is an insulin pump?

An insulin pump is a small electronic device that provides a continuous, low flow of insulin (called a basal rate) to the wearer via an infusion line. The end of the infusion line has a small needle called an insertion set that is pushed just under the surface of the skin. The user can program […]

Read More »

Appointment Journal

People forget things after their appointments. This form helps you remember what you and your doctor discuss.

Read More »

Once a diabetic, always a diabetic?

Someone living with diabetes can lose a bunch of weight, eat right, and get their numbers in control, and as such, they have no signs or symptoms of diabetes but, like everyone, they could slip right back into those bad numbers if they do not maintain their lifestyle and medication behaviors. For Type 1 diabetes, you […]

Read More »

How is diabetes managed?

1) Healthy eating: Why Eat Right? If you have diabetes, you will quickly learn that how you eat can have a significant impact on your ability to control your glucose. Certain foods will really elevate your glucose and make it hard to control your diabetes. Naturally, you want to avoid large amounts of concentrated sugars, […]

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Medications

If you aren’t able to control your Type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise, there are numerous medications available to you. Often considered the “last resort”, insulin is always an option. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe insulin for a newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetic in order to get dangerously high levels down to a more […]

Read More »

Drug Types Info Sheet

What do my drugs do for me?

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Side Effects Info Sheet

Different drugs can have different side effects. Some side effects are normal and others may mean that you are having difficulties that need to be dealt with, possibly immediately.

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I have type 2 diabetes, and just started insulin. Does that mean I’m type 1 now?

No. Many people with type 2 diabetes who can’t adequately control their blood glucose levels with diet, exercise, or oral medications go on insulin. The type of diabetes you have is defined by the cause, not the treatment. People with type 1 diabetes have experienced beta cell destruction and make insufficient insulin to control their […]

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Side Effects Risk Info Sheet

Will I Have Side Effects? You have probably heard about side effects that someone you know experienced when they took a drug that your doctor wants you to take.  You may also have heard about side effects while listening to television or radio commercials.  Hearing this can be scary. What is important to remember is […]

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What happens if I don’t manage my diabetes?

So, diabetes causes high blood glucose. Why is that such a bad thing? Glucose is fuel for our bodies, so more fuel available in the blood seems like it would be a good thing, right? Well, no. When there’s too much glucose circulating in the blood, it attaches to and damages the walls of all […]

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Why take diabetes medications?

Many people, including those with diabetes, have chemical imbalances in their bodies that, if left untreated, will have a negative impact on their health and possibly the quality of their life. Fortunately, there are a wide range of medicines that are designed to restore these imbalances and, by doing so, promote health. People with diabetes […]

Read More »

Once a diabetic, always a diabetic?

Someone living with diabetes can lose a bunch of weight, eat right, and get their numbers in control, and as such, they have no signs or symptoms of diabetes but, like everyone, they could slip right back into those bad numbers if they do not maintain their lifestyle and medication behaviors. For Type 1 diabetes, you […]

Read More »

Could I have prediabetes and not know it?

Absolutely. People with prediabetes don’t often have symptoms. In fact, millions of people have diabetes and don’t know it because symptoms develop so gradually, people often don’t recognize them. Some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of diabetes include unusual thirst, a frequent desire to urinate, blurred vision, or a feeling of being tired […]

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How do I find out if I have diabetes?

The ADA suggests everyone over the age of 45—and anyone overweight—get screened for type 2. The most common test is the fasting blood glucose test. After not eating for eight hours, you get your blood sugar checked. If your glucose level is 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher, you have diabetes, according to the […]

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Are there any diabetes medications that have a higher incidence of side effects amongst women who use them?

Yes, the oral medications classified as thiazolidinediones (TZDs) may cause women who are not ovulating and haven’t gone through menopause to begin ovulating again, enabling them to conceive. Also, oral contraceptives may be less effective when taking this medication.

Read More »

Now that I have diabetes, do I cut all sugar out of my diet?

Eating right with diabetes is more about moderation and healthy food choices then severe dietary restriction. While you do need to manage your intake of all carbohydrates (i.e., starchy vegetables and grains and cereals as well as sugar), people with diabetes can occasionally enjoy foods containing sugar as part of their overall daily meal plan. […]

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My doctor said I’ll need to see a couple of different types of specialists to control my diabetes and handle some of the problems that come along with the disease. What kinds of specialists will I need to see and why?

There are four main types of doctors that people with diabetes typically consult, including endocrinologists, ophthalmologists or optometrists and podiatrists. Endocrinologists specialize in caring for those with diseases of the organs or glands that secrete hormones- like insulin. Problems with the vision and the eyes can result from poor blood sugar control, so people with […]

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What foods should a person with type 1 diabetes eat/avoid?

People with type 1 diabetes should discuss their individual dietary needs with their doctor. Individualized meal planning is an integral part of every diabetes care plan. The key to every plan is balancing diet, exercise, and insulin intake to achieve blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. It’s important that anyone new to […]

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How does exercise affect my blood sugars?

Exercise is an important part of diabetic management, not only in terms of losing excess weight, but also in stabilizing your metabolism to provide a consistent “burn” of your body sugars for fuel. Low-impact exercise which elevates your heart rate also elevates your metabolism, which tends to stay at a more constant level if your […]

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Is type 2 diabetes curable or reversible?

At this point in time, there is no known cure for type 1 or type 2 diabetes. While symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be well controlled with diet and exercise in some people with type 2 diabetes, they continue to have the disease even if their blood glucose levels remain within target ranges.

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Appointment Journal

People forget things after their appointments. This form helps you remember what you and your doctor discuss.

Read More »

HbA1c: Diabetic Blood Test

If you’ve been diagnosed as a diabetic you are, or soon will be, quite familiar with a blood test called the HbA1c, or A1c for short. The HbA1c test is used to monitor your diabetes. It is an average of your blood glucose levels over time and gives you a good idea of how well […]

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I’m already on medication, but my doctor prescribed another pill. Does this mean I’m getting sicker?

Your doctor may ask you to try one kind of pill. If it doesn’t help you reach your blood glucose targets, your doctor may ask you to: take more of the same pill add another kind of pill change to another type of pill start taking insulin start taking another injected medicine If your doctor […]

Read More »

I had diabetes before I was pregnant. Now that I am pregnant, how often should I monitor my BG levels?

Most health care professionals recommend that a woman with pre-existing diabetes (both type 1 & type 2) who becomes pregnant monitor her BG levels up to 8 times daily. In terms of your day-to-day routine, you should probably monitor: before each meal, 1 or 2 hours after each meal, at bedtime, occasionally at 2-3 a.m.

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Could I have pre-diabetes and not know it?

Yes, it’s possible. 79 million people in the United States (including 50% of all adults over 65 years of age) have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is when your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it makes as effectively. As a result, your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet […]

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Diabetes and Sex: What’s the 411?

Good, juicy question! First, the good news: many, many people with diabetes enjoy a healthy sex life with their partners, despite the challenges caused by the disease. Like any other complication, sexual issues require awareness, communication with your doctor, and a good plan to lower their incidence. Sex is an important part of life and […]

Read More »

Should children be screened for prediabetes?

We are not recommending screening children for prediabetes because we don’t have enough evidence that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in children at high risk for the disease. However, a study published in the March 14, 2002, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found 25 percent of very obese children […]

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Is prediabetes the same as Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose?

Yes. Doctors sometimes refer to this state of elevated blood glucose levels as Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IGT/IFG), depending on which test was used to detect it.

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If it’s sugar-free, can I eat as much as I want?

Many products are now touting “sugar-free,” “low fat,” “low carbs,” and more. Does something being sugar-free or low in fat make it safe for a diabetic to eat? Actually, a simple carbohydrate is a simple carbohydrate, in terms of your disease, however sometimes the difference is in how the body processes the carb. In foods […]

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What role does water play in my diabetic care plan?

Most of us carry a water bottle with us when we exercise, whether it is going for a walk or working out in the gym. Water is important for a variety of reasons, and not just for exercise, especially for those with diabetes. Proper hydration promotes: 1) Kidney function – assists in flushing out toxins […]

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Doctor Prescription Reminder

This card helps you manage your medication.

Read More »

One of my medications has started giving me really bad stomach aches. I should discontinue its use immediately, right?

Wrong! Many of us need medications to improve our health. Sometimes when we try them, we experience uncomfortable or negative side effects. When we do, it’s really important to tell our health care team that we’re having this experience and what the side effects are. Much of the information about managing side effects that you […]

Read More »

What makes my blood sugar go up?

In order to understand what makes your blood sugar go up, let’s review what blood sugar is and does. Blood sugar is the fuel we all have and need to function. Blood sugar is simply the amount of sugar in your blood. It is also sometimes called glucose. Blood glucose is simply the level of […]

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I had gestational diabetes. How soon after having the baby should I get my blood glucose rechecked?

About 6-8 weeks after delivery. Like 90% of the women with gestational diabetes, your BG levels will probably return to normal right after your baby is born. However, you still run the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, prior studies have shown women who have had gestational diabetes are at risk (of up […]

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What is an insulin pump?

An insulin pump is a small electronic device that provides a continuous, low flow of insulin (called a basal rate) to the wearer via an infusion line. The end of the infusion line has a small needle called an insertion set that is pushed just under the surface of the skin. The user can program […]

Read More »

How do I know whether I or my child is getting the best medical care available? Is there a list of recommended doctors and health care experts I can check?

Ultimately only you can determine whether or not you or your child is seeing the right doctor, but we will attempt to provide general guidelines to help you make that determination. On your next visit to your doctor, you may want to ask some or all of the following questions, in order to determine his […]

Read More »

Can diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?

Up to 75% of men with diabetes experience some type of difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. Erection is a cooperative effort between nerves and blood vessels. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to nerves (peripheral neuropathy) and blood vessels, impairing their ability to work together. The key to managing erectile dysfunction related to diabetes is […]

Read More »

I’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes and I was too embarrassed to ask my doctor to really explain what this disease is. Can you tell me more about the disease?

If you have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes your pancreas is not able to produce the hormone, insulin, which is needed to control your blood sugar. You’ll need to take insulin every day. Currently, insulin is only given by injection. You’ll also need to follow a meal plan, exercise and test your blood sugar.

Read More »

What is the treatment for prediabetes?

Treatment consists of losing a modest amount of weight (5-10 percent of total body weight) through diet and moderate exercise, such as walking, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Don’t worry if you can’t get to your ideal body weight. A loss of just 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference. […]

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What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease that affects people with diabetes (glaucoma and cataracts are also common) and is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. The damage to the blood vessels in the retina caused by retinopathy can result in vision loss or blindness. The disease causes new blood vessels to […]

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How does exercise lower blood glucose levels?

Several ways. When you work out, your muscles use glycogen-a glucose source stored in muscle tissue-for energy. With prolonged exercise, the muscles take up glucose at an accelerated rate, turning to blood glucose once glycogen stores have been depleted. In addition, if you have type 2 diabetes and are overweight, exercise can help you lose […]

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What’s up with diabetes and my feet?

Diabetes often comes with other complications that affect your body’s ability to fight infections. Circulatory damage to your blood vessels means that less blood and oxygen is traveling to your feet. Nerve damage means that you might not be able to feel an injury or uncomfortable pressure on the skin of your foot. Together, this […]

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If I have diabetes, does that mean I’ll be on meds forever?

Not necessarily. Sometimes changing your diet, losing weight and increasing your activity level can control type 2. “Since overeating and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of diabetes, interventions that reduce or improve these factors can almost always improve blood sugar levels,” says David M. Nathan, M.D., director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts […]

Read More »

Why take diabetes medications?

Many people, including those with diabetes, have chemical imbalances in their bodies that, if left untreated, will have a negative impact on their health and possibly the quality of their life. Fortunately, there are a wide range of medicines that are designed to restore these imbalances and, by doing so, promote health. People with diabetes […]

Read More »

I have type 2 diabetes. What are my own numbers that I should be aware of?

Know your ABCs. Focus on the numbers that can affect your health. To reduce diabetes complications, such as heart attacks and strokes, the American Diabetes Association recommends the following: A1C: A three-month blood glucose average test that can monitor development and progression of eye, kidney and nerve damage. Target: less than 7 percent. Blood pressure: […]

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Medications

If you aren’t able to control your Type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise, there are numerous medications available to you. Often considered the “last resort”, insulin is always an option. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe insulin for a newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetic in order to get dangerously high levels down to a more […]

Read More »

What should my blood glucose levels test at?

Everyone has individual goals for diabetes management. You should work with your doctor to set your target goals for self-monitored blood glucose levels. However, the American Diabetes Association suggests the following general guidelines for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes*: Fasting or before meals (preprandial) – 90 to 130 mg/dl (5.0 to 7.2 […]

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Why do I go to bed with normal blood sugar levels and wake up with high levels when I haven’t eaten all night?

Morning highs are typically caused by one of two things: The Somogyi effect (also called rebound hyperglycemia) or Dawn Phenomenon. With the Somogyi effect, you may be experiencing hypoglycemia (or low blood glucose episodes) during the night. In reaction to these untreated lows, your body releases stress hormones and the subsequent high blood glucose levels […]

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I’ve been so thirsty lately and my friend said I might have diabetes. Could she be right?

Your friend’s hunch may be correct; increased thirst is one of the most common symptoms, along with frequent urination, fatigue and blurred vision. Also, if you have an infection that takes a long time to clear up (especially bladder and vaginal infections in women) or dark patches on the folds of your skin, like the […]

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5 Things I Wish I Had Known When Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes

My diagnosis as a Type 2 diabetic caught me completely by surprise. I knew almost nothing about it and had to get up to speed on the disease, fast. Here’s a quick list of a few things I wish I had known immediately after getting off the phone with my doctor: Am I going to […]

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What are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes (T1D)?

The symptoms may occur suddenly, and include one or more of the following: Extreme thirst Frequent urination Drowsiness, lethargy Sugar in urine Sudden vision changes Increased appetite Sudden weight loss Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath Heavy, labored breathing Stupor, unconsciousness If you think you or your child has diabetes, call a doctor immediately, […]

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How does smoking affect my diabetes?

It is commonly known that smoking has many negative effects on the body, including, but not limited to: lung disease, premature infant births with low body weight, damage to the circulatory system, high blood pressure, and cancers of the mouth and respiratory tract. Effects on the circulatory system include constriction of the blood vessels in […]

Read More »

When to Check Blood Sugar

Blood glucose monitoring is a way of life for the diabetic. When you are first diagnosed, it is very important that you get a glucometer as soon as possible. How often should I check? At first, pretty much all the time. The only way to come to grips with your diabetes is to learn, as […]

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Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Although Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are very different diseases, they share many of the same symptoms. The classic symptoms are: extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme weight loss and fatigue. These can come on quite quickly in a type 1 diabetic, but can develop slowly in a type 2. The thirst and urination are […]

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Working with Providers Handout

A diabetes diagnosis means that you will need to partner with our health care providers to stay on top of your condition. Here are some frequently asked questions about working with a provider.

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My mom was diagnosed with diabetes. Does that mean I’ll get it too?

A family history of diabetes puts you at increased risk, but so does just being over age 45. The disease is also more common among Alaska natives, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans and African-Americans. Even if you’re in one of these high-risk groups, you can protect yourself by striving for a healthy lifestyle and […]

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What are some of the problems I might experience and what I should do about them?

Typical symptoms of high blood sugar include extreme thirst, frequent urination, and feeling tired all the time. You might also have dry, itchy skin or blurred vision. If you have a family history of diabetes, you should be tested at your annual physical. Sometimes, catching blood sugar elevations in the early stages can give you […]

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Doctor Discussion Reminder

Doctor Discussion Reminder

A card to take to the doctor or nurse to remind her/him to (re)fill a prescription.

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What kind of doctor should treat my diabetes?

There’s no definitive answer to that question. You can find diabetes care providers that are family and/or general practitioners, endocrinologists (doctors that specialize in diabetes and other hormone-based disorders), osteopaths, and internal medicine specialists. Many people prefer to see an endocrinologist that specializes in diabetes care; however, factors such as bedside manner, communication, and diabetes […]

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Who should get tested for prediabetes?

If you are overweight and age 45 or older, you should be checked for prediabetes during your next routine medical office visit. If your weight is normal and you’re over age 45, you should ask your doctor during a routine office visit if testing is appropriate. For adults younger than 45 and overweight, your doctor […]

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What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

There are often no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. There is no pain and vision may not change until the disease becomes severe. Blurred vision may occur when the macula (the part of the retina that provides sharp, central vision) swells from the leaking fluid. This condition is called macular edema. If […]

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Previsit Form

When you get to your next appointment, your doctor will have questions. Will you have the answers? Be prepared with the help of this printable form.

Read More »

News

What are you taking?

Due to the rapid increase in the rate of diabetes in the United States, there has been a lot of healthcare research focused on finding the best way to provide quality care in the most cost-efficient manner possible. One recent study looked at the prescriptions type 2 diabetes patients are receiving when they first start […]

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Taking your medication pays off

If you are taking multiple medications every day, keeping to your regimen can be a big challenge. But taking all of your medications as your doctor instructed is one of the biggest factors in staying in control of your diabetes and reducing your risk of complications. The payoff for medication adherence can be huge; an […]

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Sneaky Bad Habits – Have any of these crept into your self-management?

There’s no way around the fact that no matter your prescribed treatment, managing a chronic illness such as diabetes is a lot of work. It’s a 24 hours a day, 365 (or 366) days per year occupation. Sometimes, the with the amount of attention diabetes requires, bad habits and shortcuts might start drifting in to […]

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Don’t lose your mind! Poor glucose management can lead to brain volume loss late in life.

Here’s yet another reason to stick to your blood glucose self-management regimen: poor control over your blood glucose can result in brain atrophy – basically, your brain shrinking in volume. Brain atrophy happens as a result of the loss of cells, and its exact effects vary depending on where the cells are lost. Regardless of […]

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Nerve damage, vision loss, kidney disease: Diabetes complications can start sooner than you think

Loss of vision, nerve damage in the feet and hands, eye disease, kidney disease? Not me. These are complications that can happen to people who have had diabetes a long time, not newbies, right?! A new study suggests this common belief may be dead wrong and that even patients with newly diagnosed diabetes may experience […]

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Finding the right age to start regular colonoscopies

Preliminary results from a small study suggest that patients with type 2 diabetes may need to begin regular colonoscopies sooner than their peers. In a colonoscopy, a doctor uses a camera attached to the end of a long, thin, flexible tube to examine the walls of the large intestine. During this procedure, any polyps (small […]

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Can the “gift of life” give back?

On their home page, the American Red Cross invites you to “Give the gift that everyone wants but money can’t buy” by donating blood. New research is suggesting that regular blood donation may give back to the donor as well. Yes, giving blood that may save someone’s life can provide anyone with an emotional lift. […]

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More reasons not to postpone your eye exam

Diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retinas caused by high blood sugar that can cause vision loss, is a major concern for all persons with diabetes. Getting an eye exam is a vital part of routine health care if you have diabetes, and newly published research suggests that retinopathy is not the only concern.

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Low HDL may raise diabetic nephropathy risk

HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, are a form of cholesterol. HDL is often referred to as the “good cholesterol,” since many studies have suggested that higher levels of HDL may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Low-density lipoproteins, LDL, are the form of cholesterol that can build up in the arteries, raising the risk of […]

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Beyond Blood Sugar: Is it time to expand the focus of diabetes care?

What would you say is your health care provider’s main focus in treating you for diabetes? If you are like most diabetics in the United States, you probably answered something fairly close to “preventing complications by managing your blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and/or your blood pressure.”

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Special concerns: Diabetes and post-surgical infections

You may already be aware that people with diabetes are at high risk for bacterial and fungal infections of the skin. This is one of the reasons foot care is so essential if you have diabetes; the combination of poor circulation and nerve damage make it easy to injure your feet without noticing, or to […]

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When was your last eye exam?

The diabetes epidemic is concerning in and of itself, but it also may be driving large spikes in related health problems as well. A group of researchers sponsored jointly by the National Eye Institute and Prevent Blindness America just released their analysis of the rates health conditions that threaten vision in the United States. They […]

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Preventing complications goes beyond watching your blood sugar

Watching your blood pressure is a good idea for anyone, but is especially important for those with diabetes. High blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol are two of the most common conditions that are comorbid with diabetes; according to the CDC, about 13 percent of U.S. adults are living with a combination of two of […]

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The key to raising low testosterone levels may begin with a “kiss!”

Testosterone is a very important hormone, and it gets a lot of press.  It’s often known as the male hormone, and the majority of the hormone in men is produced in the testes.  Testosterone has some important functions in women as well, but recent health research has largely focused on men, and a recent publication […]

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Insulin and CVD Risk – Myth Busted!

Any time you are prescribed a new medicine, it is normal and healthy to be concerned about potential side effects – especially if it is something you are likely to be taking long-term. If you’ve been prescribed insulin, or have looked into the possibility, you may have heard that one of the potential side effects […]

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Is it time to reassess early treatment of Type 2 Diabetes?

If you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the past decade, you are probably familiar with the “stepwise” approach to confronting the condition. This stepwise approach, currently the standard in healthcare, encourages blood glucose control through lifestyle changes first. For example, the American Diabetes Association recommends that newly diagnoses diabetics be treated with a […]

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