Diabetes Resources

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.

Appointment Journal

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

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 […]

I really hate to exercise. What are some ways to manage my diabetes without exercise?

I wish I could tell you otherwise, but exercise is vital to managing your diabetes and staying healthy. There’s no way around it – but it doesn’t have to be torture! One way to sustain momentum is to make sure there’s enough pleasure in your life while you take the time and effort to build […]

I’ve seen sugar-free foods in the grocery store. Does that mean I can eat as much of those foods as I want?

There are many products that are sold as being “sugar-free,” “reduced sugar,” “light,” “no sugar added,” and so forth. These labels can be confusing and sometimes misleading. While the amount of sugar in a product might be lower, it’s important to remember that sugar is only one type of carbohydrate, and all carbohydrates affect your […]

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 […]

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 […]

So I have diabetes. It’s not a big deal. After all, there’s medicine to treat it now.

Would you say the same thing about asthma? Epilepsy? Osteoporosis? No! Like these conditions, diabetes is a chronic disease that you will have for the rest of your life. How you choose to treat your diabetes (or not) has a vital impact on how long that life will be. While there are medications to help […]

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.

Social Support Handout

Supportive friends, family, and health care providers can make an enormous difference when dealing with a diabetes diagnosis. Here are some frequently asked questions about social supports.

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.

Exercise & Fitness Handout

Being active offers huge benefits to everyone, especially persons with diabetes. Here are some frequently asked questions about exercise and fitness.

Diet & Nutrition Handout

A healthy lifestyle for people with diabetes includes creating a healthy eating plan. Here are some frequently asked questions about diet and nutrition.

Monitoring Glucose 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.

What is Diabetes?

Host David Fatback delivers a fast-paced, all-inclusive overview of diabetes.

How is Diabetes Managed?

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

What if I Don’t Manage My Diabetes?

Host David Fatback explains what may happen if you don’t manage your diabetes properly.

Exercise Guide: Squats

Learn the proper way to do squats with this informative handout.

Exercise Guide: Sit Up Salutes

Learn the proper way to do sit up salutes with this informative handout.

Exercise Guide: Push Ups

Learn the proper way to do push ups with this informative handout.

Exercise Guide: Push Ups on Bar

Learn the proper way to do push ups on a bar with this informative handout.

Exercise Guide: Modified Push-Ups

Learn the proper way to do modified push-ups with this informative handout.

Exercise Guide: Leg Raises

Learn the proper way to do leg raises with this informative handout.

Exercise Guide: Dips

Learn the proper way to do dips with this informative handout.

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 […]

What is 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 high enough to be considered clearly diabetic. Note: a person has pre-diabetes when their blood sugar is borderline high, and may have […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Are there different types of diabetes?

Yes! There are three main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes – the body does not make any insulin. Insulin helps the body use glucose from food for energy. People with type 1 need to take insulin every day. Type 2 diabetes – the body does not make enough insulin or use what it does make well. […]

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body digests and uses food. It means that your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. What does that mean? Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose, the kind of sugar that circulates in our blood. Glucose is the main source of […]

Medication Tracker Card / Magnet

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

Refill Reminder Card / Magnet

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

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.

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?

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 […]

Long Drug Fact Sheet

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

Doctor Prescription Reminder

This card helps you manage your medication.

Drug Types Info Sheet

What do my drugs do for me?

Doctor Discussion Reminder

Doctor Discussion Reminder

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

I hate to exercise. Can I just eat right and skip the exercise to avoid diabetes?

Sorry, no. Exercise is vital. It not only helps to keep your weight down, but it also assists your body in the maximum utilization of the foods you eat. But, remember that exercise is not just that hour of sweating at the gym. It’s also all the movement you do throughout the day that can […]

How is diabetic retinopathy detected?

If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes examined at least once a year. Your eyes should be dilated during the exam, which means eyedrops are used to enlarge your pupils. This dilation allows the eye care professional to see more of the inside of your eyes to check for signs of the disease.

Who is most likely to get diabetic retinopathy?

Anyone with diabetes. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will get diabetic retinopathy. Between 40-45 percent of those with diagnosed diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy.

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 […]

What is the most common eye disease for people with diabetes?

Diabetic retinopathy. This disease is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, retinal blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. These changes […]

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 […]

My friend says she has pre-diabetes. What’s that? Is she doomed to get full-blown diabetes?

Pre-diabetes means that your blood sugar is not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. However, if those with pre-diabetes fail to make lifestyle changes, they are at increased risk of developing “full-blown” or Type 2 diabetes.

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.

Is there a particular kind of diet that can help fight diabetes?

Generally, you should avoid fad diets and steer yourself instead toward eating well-balanced meals, which include fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lower-fat meats and healthy fats.

Can I do anything to prevent diabetes?

Yes, try to achieve a healthful weight, stay physically active and eat a nutritious diet.

Is a cure for diabetes on the horizon?

Though there is currently no cure for diabetes, a great deal of research is being performed all over the world. For now, the medical community is emphasizing the need to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes in people by emphasizing good nutrition, physical activity and healthy weight.

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 […]

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, […]

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.

Are there different types of diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes. In Type 1, an individual’s pancreas is not producing insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the individual’s pancreas still produces insulin, but the cells are not using the insulin effectively. Another type of the disease, gestational diabetes, develops during pregnancy because of hormones that are secreted to maintain the […]

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 […]

How does my blood sugar affect my mood?

Studies have shown a relationship to chocolate and mood. There is a chemical in chocolate that stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain, creating feelings of well-being and calm. So, how does this relate to diabetes? Well, fluctuations in blood sugars or sugars that are out of range can contribute to unexplained mood swings, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

What are the causes of high blood sugars (hyperglycemia)?

Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugars, can be a serious complication of diabetes. It can have many causes, including, but not limited to: eating too much or too many simple carbohydrates, i.e. doughnuts, candy lack of exercise illness stress not taking medication properly medication side effect, such as prednisone or antibiotics expired medication – efficacy tends […]

Can I drink alcohol on my meal plan?

Alcohol is considered a carbohydrate, and it breaks down very easily into simple sugars. Due to this fact, it can have a dramatic effect on your blood sugars. Just as you would see if eating chocolate, the blood sugar rises sharply, and then subsequently drops just as quickly, which can result in symptoms of hypoglycemia […]

I’ve seen diabetic-friendly foods at the supermarket, but they’re pretty pricey. Are they really necessary?

“You don’t need to buy foods that are specially designed to be lower in sugar,” says Jackie Newgent, R.D., author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook (American Diabetes Association). Many people incorrectly believe that sugar causes or worsens diabetes. It’s really the total number of carbs you eat—whether from a slice of chocolate cake or a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Does having diabetes affect your interest in sex?

Yes, diabetes can impact the sex drive and performance of both men and women. Erectile dysfunction (ED; also known as impotence) may occur as a result of nerve or blood vessel damage associated with diabetes. In addition, emotional factors such as depression and stress that can be associated with diabetes may affect libido.

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. […]

Why are carbohydrates so important in diabetes care?

Carbohydrates are important because they’re your body’s main source of glucose. Overload on dietary carbohydrates and your blood glucose levels rise. That’s why knowing the quantity of carbohydrates you’re eating, and other related nutrient qualities of your food, is so important.

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 […]

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 […]

What is an A1c test?

An A1c test, also called a hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycosylated hemoglobin test, is a measurement of your long-term blood glucose management. The blood test, which the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends at least twice yearly, represents an average of the last three months of blood glucose levels. The ADA suggests that patients and their […]

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.

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 […]

What tests are recommended for diagnosing diabetes?

A fasting blood plasma glucose test, performed first thing in the morning, is the preferred test for diagnosing type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, a diagnosis of diabetes can be made based on a random (i.e., any time of day) plasma glucose test and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The findings should be […]

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 […]

Now that I have diabetes, do I need to change the shoes I wear?

Amputation and foot ulceration are the most common consequences of diabetic neuropathy, and major causes of morbidity and disability in people with diabetes. With regards to diabetic products, it is advisable to wear well-fitted walking shoes or athletic shoes. The goal is to avoid shoes that pinch or rub or place undue pressure on any […]

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 […]

It seems like so many people have diabetes today. What are the real numbers?

An estimated 23.6 million Americans – 7.8 percent of the population – have diabetes. Of these, 17.9 million have been diagnosed and an estimated 5.7 million remain unaware of their condition. In 2007, 57 million American adults had a condition called pre-diabetes. This occurs when the blood glucose level is higher than normal but not […]

If my blood glucose number is so important, how do I control it?

Using the “4 Ms” – medication, movement, meal planning and monitoring – can be very effective in controlling blood glucose levels. Medication and movement typically lower blood glucose, while a diabetic diet helps you limit carbohydrates that tend to raise blood glucose. Monitoring helps you answer diabetes questions like: Do I need a snack? Can […]

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: […]

How do I find a support group near where I live that can help me learn to manage my disease?

Many hospitals offer diabetes support groups, which are good sources of diabetes information. Check your local newspaper, hospital or health department for support group locations and meeting dates. Endocrinologists (physicians who specialize in diabetes) may also offer support groups that are open to all type 2 diabetes patients. Check the yellow pages for “Endocrinologists” and […]

What Can I Eat?

If you’re like me, when you first got your diagnosis of diabetes, you were terrified to eat.

Suddenly, food was the enemy. Everything that went in your mouth had the potential to cause you to have your feet amputated and go blind. Sounds a bit extreme now, but at the time, that’s what went through my mind every time I picked up a fork.

Diabetes Medical Alerts

Without question, Type 1 Diabetics should wear some sort of medical alert bracelet or necklace at all times. Type 2′s on insulin should as well. The dangers of going low, or hypo, are just too great and you see news stories all the time of hypo diabetics being confused for a drunk and not given […]

Diabetic Frozen Shoulder

A little known complication of diabetes is a condition called Frozen Shoulder (medical name: adhesive capsulitis.) Frozen shoulder is a condition in which adhesions in your body’s joints (typically the shoulder) cause severe pain and restrictive movement. Prior to my diagnosis, I spent several years with limited range of motion in my shoulder and a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Fast Food Diabetic

As a Type 2 diabetic, you’re going to struggle with food choices pretty much non-stop. When you are first diagnosed, it feels like you can’t eat anything! Unless you are taking insulin, you’re going to have to watch what you eat closely. “Eating by your meter” is what a lot of Type 2′s call it. […]

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 […]


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 […]

Chicken or Egg?

Which came first, the extra weight or the Type 2 Diabetes? There is a prevailing opinion that fat people get Type 2 Diabetes *because* they are fat. At the same time, there’s plenty of evidence that Type 2 Diabetes is an inherited genetic disorder of the metabolic system that is progressive. Why is it so […]

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 […]

I have type 1 diabetes and need help finding life insurance.

People with T1D may encounter difficulties obtaining life insurance. It may be necessary to do some individual research to find a company that will provide you with a policy. While JDRF does not keep lists of companies that offer life insurance to people with type 1 diabetes, we can offer some direction to help you […]

Where can I find health insurance for myself or my child with type 1 diabetes?

The federal government’s new site, Healthcare.gov, has information about health insurance options as well as an easy-to-use guide to help you find out which private insurance plans, public programs and community services are available to you. Also, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) has a publication entitled “Financial Help for […]

I need financial assistance for type 1 diabetes supplies and/or healthcare.

There are pharmaceutical assistance programs offered directly by some drug companies for people with type 1 diabetes who have little or no insurance to help offset the cost of supplies or prescription medications. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888-477-2669) offers a point of access to hundreds of assistance programs that have joined together to provide […]

Where can I get a medical ID for my child?

A number of companies make medical alert IDs and products specifically marketed toward children with type 1 diabetes. The Children with Diabetes website has a comprehensive listing of medical ID products.

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 […]

What do I need to know about type 1 diabetes in school?

School presents a host of challenging issues for children with T1D, and it’s important to know how to work with the school to ensure the best care for your child. JDRF’s School Advisory Toolkit is a comprehensive resource for parents, teachers, nurses, and everyone who provides care for a child with type 1 diabetes in […]

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 […]

How long will my child have type 1 diabetes? Can you outgrow it?

At this point, type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease, meaning you never outgrow it. However, JDRF is doing everything in its power to find a cure and also produce treatments that improve people’s lives as soon as possible. We were founded in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, who made a […]

How did my child get type 1 diabetes? We have no family history.

Research has shown that at most, only 15 percent of people with type 1 diabetes have an affected first-degree relative – a sibling, parent, or offspring. Research suggests that genes account for less than half the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. These findings suggest that there may be environmental factors that influence the development […]

Is type 1 diabetes hereditary?

Researchers are still trying to get a clear picture about how genes and environmental factors interact to determine a person’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Forty percent of everyone in the United States carries one or more of the HLA genes (human leukocyte antigen) which lead to increased risk of type 1 diabetes. To […]

What is the “honeymoon phase”?

In a person who has type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed by immune cells. However, right after the time of diagnosis, some patients go through a “honeymoon phase” in which their existing beta cells still function. A number of research projects are currently taking place which hope to preserve […]

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, […]

What should my A1C (Hemoglobin A1C) be while I am pregnant?

An A1C (Hemoglobin A1C) is a blood test that can predict average blood glucose levels for about 8-12 weeks. People without diabetes generally have an A1C of less than 6%, though this usually drops to less than 5% during pregnancy. Women with diabetes should strive for “near normal” A1Cs prior to, as well as during, […]

What are some of the symptoms of women’s sexual health issues related to diabetes?

Lack of interest in sex (libido), pain or discomfort during intercourse, and decreased production of vaginal lubrication, to name a few.

What should my daily intake of cholesterol be and what are the ADA’s guidelines?

Cholesterol should be less than 200. LDL (bad cholesterol) below 100 mg/dL, HDL (good cholesterol) above 55 mg/dL and triglycerides below 150 mg/dL.

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 […]

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.

Can women with diabetes breastfeed their babies?

Unless your health care team advises you otherwise, yes. Breast milk provides the best nutrition for babies and breastfeeding is recommended for all mothers with either preexisting diabetes or gestational diabetes.

What are the blood glucose levels for women that are pregnant?

Fasting 60-90 mg/dL (whole blood) 69-104 mg/dL (plasma), before meals 60-105 mg/dL (whole blood) 69-121 mg/dL (plasma), 1 hour after meals 100-120 mg/dL (whole blood) 115-138 mg/dL (plasma) and 2 a.m. – 6 a.m. 60-120 mg/dL (whole blood) 69-138 mg/dL (plasma).

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.

Will menopause affect my diabetes?

Yes. The changes in hormonal levels and balance, may lead to blood glucose levels that are out of control. Women with diabetes are also at risk of developing premature menopause and consequent increased risks of cardiovascular disease.

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.

Why are women with diabetes pre-disposed to developing recurrent yeast infections?

The glucose (sugar) in your body is the perfect trigger to encourage and grow yeast within your body.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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.

Who Develops Type 2 Diabetes?

Age, sex, weight, physical activity, diet, lifestyle, and family health history all affect someone’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The chances that someone will develop diabetes increase if the person’s parents or siblings have the disease. Experts now know that diabetes is more common in African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Native Hawaiians than […]

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

There is no simple answer to what causes type 2 diabetes. While eating sugar, for example, doesn’t cause diabetes, eating large amounts of sugar and other rich, fatty foods, can cause weight gain. Most people who develop diabetes are overweight. Scientists do not fully understand why obesity increases someone’s chances of developing diabetes, but they […]