When Ellis was first diagnosed, his A1c results were 7.2%. Now, after following his doctor's prescription of a healthy diet and plenty of exercise (Ellis spends 30 minutes on a stationary bike every night while he watches TV), his A1c levels are in the 6% range. Instead of having an A1c test every 3 months, the recommended norm for people with diabetes, Ellis goes in every 6 months.
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Choose a plan that you are likely to follow long-term that fits your diabetes goals and personal needs. Think about your likes and dislikes and how a change to your eating will affect your day to day life with family and friends as well as your personal weight loss goals. Budget also plays a part in choosing the right healthy eating plan that will meet your needs.
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Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often appear suddenly and are often the reason for checking blood sugar levels. Because symptoms of other types of diabetes and prediabetes come on more gradually or may not be evident, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended screening guidelines. The ADA recommends that the following people be screened for diabetes:
But good general advice to follow is to keep your carbs consistent -- eat the same amount at breakfast, lunch, and dinner to keep blood sugar from spiking or dipping too low. Weisenberger recommends 45 grams as a target for the three main meals of the day. "If you go lower than 30 grams at a meal, it's going to be really hard to get all the nutrients you need, such as fiber and phytochemicals," the health-boosting nutrients in fruits and vegetables.
If you have prediabetes, healthy lifestyle choices can help you bring your blood sugar level back to normal or at least keep it from rising toward the levels seen in type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and healthy eating can help. Exercising at least 150 minutes a week and losing about 7 percent of your body weight may prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Check your blood sugar level regularly, and watch for signs and symptoms of low blood sugar — sweating, shakiness, weakness, hunger, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, heart palpitations, irritability, slurred speech, drowsiness, confusion, fainting and seizures. Low blood sugar is treated with quickly absorbed carbohydrates, such as fruit juice or glucose tablets.
Another non-insulin injection for people with diabetes is exenatide (Byetta). This medication, originally derived from a compound found in the saliva of the Gila monster, triggers insulin release from the pancreas when blood glucose levels rise. Exenatide is meant to be used along with oral diabetes drugs. It is dosed twice daily and should be injected within an hour of the morning and evening meals. Recently, the FDA warned that exenatide may increase the risk of severe even fatal pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and that the drug should be discontinued and not restarted if signs and symptoms of pancreatitis develop (severe abdominal pain, for example). It is not for use in people with type 1 diabetes.
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