Monday, October 17, 2016

Don’t Get Type 2 Diabetes – Join a Diabetes Prevention Program

Could you be on the path to developing type 2 diabetes? It is estimated that 1 out of 3 adults and half of all seniors have pre-diabetes, a condition that often leads to diabetes, if not treated.  One of the scary parts is that most people with pre-diabetes don’t even know that they have it!!!  The positive news is that some weight loss and physical activity can help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Julie Mallard of Escanaba was one of the many Yoopers who found out through a simple blood test at her hospital lab that she has type 2 diabetes (The test is repeated a second time on a different day to make sure you really do have pre-diabetes). Julie then decided to go into action; she didn’t want to get diabetes – she joined a local Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP); this program has been proven to help prevent type 2 diabetes.

According to Julie ‘The DPP has been a game changer for me. I’ve tried various weight loss programs and methods before, but I could never stick with them. For the first time in my life, I have started to make lifestyle changes that don’t feel temporary. I’m not perfect with my program, but I have stuck with it, and even when I sometimes make choices that aren’t the healthiest, those are now the exception rather than the norm.I appreciate the structure of the DPP – beginning with a focus on food and nutrition, gradually working in the exercise and fitness element, and all the while sharing the journey with the same group of people week after week. The support has been tremendous and the results have been thrilling.”

To find a Diabetes Prevention Program in your area, call 2-1-1.  Some are free and other programs have a cost.  If you don’t have a program in your area, see your local RD for assistance or consider joining a weight loss support program like TOPS or Weight Watchers.
You can find more information about pre-diabetes on the U.P. Diabetes Outreach and UPCAP website. There is even a simple quiz to take to see if you are at high risk for having pre-diabetes. 

Once a person develops diabetes, there is no cure, but it can be controlled. Health care costs increase by about 50% when a person gets diabetes. Take action today - prevent type 2 diabetes!! Get your a fasting blood sugar (glucose) test; if  it is between 100 and 125 mg/dL, join a Diabetes Prevention Program to help you lose weight and avoid getting diabetes. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

More Hope for Those with Type 1 Diabetes

Currently about 5 to 10% of people living with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. It differs from type 2 diabetes in that the pancreas stops making insulin and type 1 diabetes can not be prevented. There is also no cure and people with type 1 diabetes must use insulin everyday.  However, new research has shown that putting a covering around pancreatic cells and implanting them in rats with type 1 diabeteshelped the rats produce their own insulin for up to 6 months. Plus the covering on the pancreatic cells prevent the body from attacking the cells and no antirejection drugs are needed. The next step is to test it in primates. Read more about it at this link:

Monday, March 14, 2016

If you have diabetes, your close family members are at high risk for developing diabetes too!!

Do you have diabetes? If so your children, brothers and sisters are at higher risk for developing diabetes. The following website was designed to help people identify their risk for having pre-diabetes or diabetes.  If diagnosed with pre-diabetes, lifestyle changes can help keep the person from getting diabetes. Early detection and treatment of diabetes can help the person stay healthy and avoid the serious diabetes complications like heart attacks, blindness and kidney failure.  Share this website with your family!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Will you be able to check your blood glucose with contact lenses in the near future?

Google has teamed up with a manufacturer of contact lenses – Alcon, which is part Novartis, to develop a contact lens that can test your glucose level. It will apparently test the glucose level of your eye tears every second and then send the results wirelessly to a mobile device. They are starting to test the contact lens on humans, but we don’t yet know when these smart lenses may be available!

Monday, February 29, 2016

UPCAP offers free Health And Wellness Programs Across the UP

Do you have a fear of falling? Do you struggle with the daily challenges of living with diabetes or other health problem?  Or, do you care for a loved one living at home with memory problems?  If you answered yes to any of one of these questions, then UPCAP may have a program for you.  For the last 8 years, UPCAP and many community partners have been implementing and expanding a variety of nationally recognized evidence based programs. UPCAP, the UP Area Agency on Aging, targets those aged 60 and older-however, these programs are open to all adults.   These programs are available in most areas of the UP, are held in community settings such as Senior Centers, Churches, Libraries.  Small groups meet weekly, usually for 6-8 weeks, and people learn from trained facilitators, and also learn from other group members, ways to manage their concerns. UPCAP AND UPDON worked together to bring the first program, Personal Action Toward Health (PATH) to the UP.  The PATH program, as it's called in Michigan, is Stanford University's Chronic Disease Self-Management program. The program helps people to better manage their condition by discussing tools that can make a difference and goal setting, which empowers people to do what they know they should be doing.  UPCAP offers 2 other similar programs from Stanford, exclusively for those living with diabetes and for those living with chronic pain.  People who take this class often say they feel like they are in more control of their health, rather than their health controlling them.

Another program offered by UPCAP is called, A Matter of Balance, Managing Concerns About Falls.  This 8 session program helps to reduce people's fear of falling, and thus, stay active and independent.  Group discussions help people set goals for physical activity, manage behaviors and disruptive thoughts, and learn exercises to help improve balance, strength, and flexibility.  Many people report that after taking the class, they feel more confident that they can reduce their risk of falling.

Creating Confident Caregivers is for families caring for someone living at
home with memory loss.  The program provides caregivers with information, skills, and attitudes to manage stress and increase their effectiveness as a caregiver.  Often, they feel more able to take control and manage situations that may arise in the day to day care of someone with memory loss.

Two other programs are available in limited areas, Healthy Eating for
Successful Living in Older Adults, and Walk With Ease.

To register for upcoming programs or to be placed on a waiting list, contact


Monday, February 22, 2016

Ways to keep your heart healthy

Keeping your Heart Healthy with Food

Currently heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with diabetes. Taking steps to keep your heart healthy are important if you want to avoid having a heart attack or stroke. Here are some general eating tips that can help you take care of your heart:
1.      Watch those portion sizes, especially if you are overweight. Think about eating a little bit less at each meal.
2.      Make an effort to have less salt/sodium in your diet (eat fewer processed foods like canned soups, packaged foods, frozen dinner; use other types of herbs and spices on your food, choose low or no salt condiments like ketchup and soy sauce)
3.      Eat more fruits and vegetables.
4.      Choose whole grains more often (whole wheat bread instead of white bread; quinoa, barley, buckwheat or brown rice in place of white rice or white pasta; oatmeal or cereals with more than 5 grams of fiber per serving)
5.      When you have a fat, choose a more healthful fat (olive oil, canola oil,  nuts, seeds and avocados instead of butter, lard,  cream, sour cream, and hydrogenated fats)
6.      Relax and enjoy a treat once in a while.

Other ways to keep your heart healthy when you have diabetes
1.      Be a nonsmoker/don’t use nicotine products – if you need help quitting nicotine ask your provider for information about a quit line, online programs and medications that can help you quit.
2.      Control your blood pressure – for most that means a blood pressure under 140/90 mmHg. Some benefit from even low blood pressure levels. Take medication, if needed to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
3.      Take a statin if you have heart disease or at high risk for having heart problems. You may need a statin even if you blood cholesterol is not too high.
4.      You may need to take aspirin if you have heart disease – ask your doctor/provider.
5.      Be physically active most days of the week.

More information about taking care of your heart when you live with diabetes can be found at this link:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Medicare and Diabetes Coverage

Do you know what your Medicare benefits are when you live with diabetes?
FREE annual visits with your Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RD/RDN) are just one of your many benefits – get help making an eating plan that you can live with, one that still includes your favorite foods and helps you keep your blood sugar at healthy levels!!
Other Medicare diabetes supply and care services like diabetes self management education, foot care, flu and pneumonia shots and blood sugar testing supplies are found on this web site:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Eating with Diabetes

Anything goes with a diabetes diet today. There is no definite plan that works best for everyone with diabetes. Getting help from a trained nutrition professional (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist – RD/RDN) can help you find a way to eat that helps control your blood sugar, a plan that also takes into consideration what you like to eat.  For details about nutrition for adults living with diabetes click on this link:

Monday, January 25, 2016

What Helps Winnie Manage Her Diabetes

My thoughts on managing diabetes have really come to focus with my gypsy lifestyle of late, and I've realized that no matter where you find yourself, a daily ritual, no matter how small can really help. For me, I can see that beginning the day with focused breath, setting an intention of healthy eating (in my case, shooting for grain-free), stretches and two tall glasses of water really helps me to get started in the right direction. On the days when I did this, I felt more in control and usually found myself eating and hydrating well and doing some sort of exercise. On the days I missed it, my control was not there. Note: there is no one best way to eat when you have diabetes. Get help from your local Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist to make an eating plan that works for you!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Need More Help Managing Your Diabetes – See Your Diabetes Educator

          Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) are uniquely trained to help people with diabetes learn more about diabetes and provide guidance and support in managing diabetes. Most work as part of Diabetes Self-Management Programs at U.P. hospitals.Studies have shown that the more time a person with diabetes spends with their diabetes educator, the better blood glucose control he or she will have.

          Diabetes self-management education is a yearly covered by Medicare and many insurance plans. Ask your doctor or health care provider for a referral to see your local diabetes educator.
You can find a link to diabetes education in your area on this web page, along with a variety of other diabetes educational handouts.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Keep your Eyes Healthy When You Have Diabetes

          Everyday 32 to 64 people living in the U.S. lose their eyesight due to diabetes related complications. Most of those cases of blindness could have been prevented. Here are some tips to keeping your eyes healthy when you live with diabetes:
·        Get a dilated eye exam once per year. Often there are no early signs of diabetes eye disease. That is why it is so important to get your eyes checked regularly.
·        Get laser treatment on your eyes, if you eye doctor says you need it.
·        Work with your health care team to keep your blood glucose and blood pressure at desirable levels. Good blood glucose and blood pressure control can lower your risk of having eye problems.

For more information about diabetes and eye concerns, click on this link:

Monday, January 4, 2016

What Helps Carol Live Well with Diabetes

The one thing that really helps me manage my diabetes these days is my continuous glucose monitor (CGM). I have lived with Type 1 diabetes for 40 years, and my ability to detect hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is spotty at best. My CGM measures my glucose (sugar) every few seconds, and puts a new value on my insulin pump screen every 5 minutes. I love being able to look at the graph on the insulin pump at any time of day or night to see the latest glucose value and to see what direction my blood glucose is going (up, down or holding steady). This lets me make safe decisions about food, exercise, driving and going to sleep! Carol, Yooper Living With Diabetes

You can read more about continuous glucose monitors at this link: