Travelling With Diabetes Medicines
If you’re going on holiday:
- pack extra medicine â speak to your diabetes nurse about how much to take
- carry your medicine in your hand luggage just in case checked-in bags go missing or get damaged
- if you’re flying with a medicine you inject, get a letter from your GP that says you need it to treat diabetes
Page last reviewed: 18 August 2020 Next review due: 18 August 2023
Insulin Is Continuously Released Into The Blood Stream
Insulin levels are carefully calibrated to keep the blood glucose just right.
Insulin is the main regulator of sugar in the bloodstream.
This hormone is made by beta cells and continuously released into the blood stream. Beta cells are found in the pancreas, which is an organ behind the stomach. Insulin levels in the blood stream are carefully calibrated to keep the blood glucose just right.
High insulin levels drive sugar out of the bloodstream into muscle, fat and liver cells where it is stored for future use. Low insulin levels allow sugar and other fuels to be released back into the blood stream.
Overnight and between meals, insulin levels in the blood stream are low and relatively constant. These low levels of insulin allow the body to tap into its stored energy sources and also to release sugar and other fuels from the liver. This overnight and between-meal insulin is referred to as background or basal insulin. When you havent eaten for a while, your blood sugar level will be somewhere between 60 to 100 mg/dl.
When eating, the amount of insulin released from the pancreas rapidly spikes. This burst of insulin that accompanies eating is called bolus insulin. After a meal, blood sugar levels peak at less than 140 mg/dl and then fall back to the baseline range. The high levels of insulin help the sugar get out of the blood stream and be stored for future use.
Start With These 6 Tips:
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Who Is At Risk For Type 2 Diabetes
Many Americans are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Your chances of getting it depend on a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle. The risk factors include:
- Having prediabetes, which means you have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes
- Being overweight or having obesity
- Being age 45 or older
- A family history of diabetes
- Being African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
- Having acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition in which your skin becomes dark and thick, especially around your neck or armpits
Eat More Fruit And Veg
We know eating fruit and veg is good for you. Its always a good thing aim to eat more at meal times and have them as snacks if youre hungry. This can help you get the vitamins, minerals and fibre your body needs every day to help keep you healthy.
You might be wondering about fruit and if you should avoid it because its sugary? The answer is no. Whole fruit is good for everyone and if you have diabetes, its no different. Fruits do contain sugar, but its natural sugar. This is different to the added sugar that are in things like chocolate, biscuits and cakes.
Products like fruit juices also count as added sugar, so go for whole fruit instead. This can be fresh, frozen, dried or tinned . And its best to eat it throughout the day instead of one bigger portion in one go.
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Can You Control Diabetes Reverse It
Absolutely. We can beat diabetes. The disease process associated with diabetes can be slowed and even partially reversed by controlling blood glucose and other cardiovascular disease risk factors. For maximum effectiveness, blood glucose must be controlled at near normal levels throughout most of the day via loss of excess weight, particularly belly fat, as well as daily physical activity, and, if necessary, medications and insulin injections.
How To Manage High And Low Blood Sugar
When living with diabetes, most people will experience events of hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, or hyperglycemia which is high blood sugar. An out-of-range blood sugar can occur even when you do your best to control your diabetes. Knowing how to control diabetes in the event of a high or low blood sugar outside your target range can help keep you healthy.
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What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels
- Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
- Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
- Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
- Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
- Drink water instead of juice or soda.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
- Control your food portions .
How To Control Diabetes: 10 Tips To Maintain Blood Sugar Level
- Diet plays a major role in keeping a control on the blood sugar level
- Being overweight causes insulin resistance
- Muscle movement results in the utilization of insulin
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and looking for all sorts of ways to keep a check on your blood sugar level,
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How Does Diabetes Lead To Amputation
Unmanaged diabetes can lead to poor blood flow . Without oxygen and nutrients , you are more prone to the development of cuts and sores that can lead to infections that cant fully heal. Areas of your body that are farthest away from your heart are more likely to experience the effects of poor blood flow. So areas of your body like your toes, feet, legs and fingers are more likely to be amputated if an infection develops and healing is poor.
What Blood Sugar Levels Should I Aim For
The NICE recommendations vary a little depending on the type of diabetes and whether you are a child or adult.
Broadly speaking, we should aim to get our blood sugar levels into a range similar to someone without diabetes i.e. between 4 and 6 mmol/L before meals and under 7.8 mmol/L after meals.
- View the current blood glucose level ranges
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Use Your Hands As A Serving Guide
Another way to gauge appropriate portion size without any measuring tools is by simply using your hands.
As your hands usually correspond to your body size, bigger people who require more food typically have bigger hands (
If you are eating out, you can always ask for a half portion or a childrens dish.
This will save you a lot of calories and help prevent overeating.
Alternatively, you could share a meal with someone or order a starter and side instead of a main dish.
Other tips include ordering a side salad or vegetables, asking for sauces and dressings to be served separately and avoiding buffet-style, all-you-can-eat restaurants where its very easy to overindulge.
Summary Restaurant portions tend to be at least twice the size of a regular portion. Prevent overeating by asking for a half portion, ordering a starter instead of a main dish and avoiding buffet-style restaurants.
What Types Of Diabetes Require Insulin
People with Type 1 diabetes need insulin to live. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your body has attacked your pancreas, destroying the cells that make insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, your pancreas makes insulin, but it doesnt work as it should. In some people with Type 2 diabetes, insulin may be needed to help glucose move from your bloodstream to your bodys cells where its needed for energy. You may or may not need insulin if you have gestational diabetes. If you are pregnant or have Type 2 diabetes, your healthcare provider will check your blood glucose level, assess other risk factors and determine a treatment approach which may include a combination of lifestyle changes, oral medications and insulin. Each person is unique and so is your treatment plan.
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Does Eating Sugary Foods Cause Diabetes
Sugar itself doesn’t directly cause diabetes. Eating foods high in sugar content can lead to weight gain, which is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Eating more sugar than recommended American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons a day for women and nine teaspoons for men leads to all kinds of health harms in addition to weight gain.
These health harms are all risk factors for the development of diabetes or can worsen complications. Weight gain can:
- Raise blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Cause fat buildup in your liver.
- Cause tooth decay.
Why Controlling Diabetes Is Important
Taking care of yourself and your blood sugar is important for good health and wellbeing, no matter what type of diabetes you have. When your blood sugar is under control, you decrease your risk for complications, and in the case of gestational diabetes, avoid complications for both you and your baby.
Controlling type 1 or type 2 diabetes can lead to short-term and long-term benefits, including:
- Feeling good with a high level of energy.
- Being able to enjoy work and/or school and perform as expected.
- Financial savings of costs for extra doctors office visits, lab tests or hospitalizations.
Controlling gestational diabetes can lead to short-term and long-term benefits, including:
- Better health for the baby including a healthy birth weight.
- Preventing low blood sugars in the baby after birth.
- A normal delivery without complications.
- Helping to prevent type 2 diabetes in the baby later in life.
- Better health for mom.
Learning how to control diabetes can help you experience fewer complications, such as:
- Missed school or work days due to illness.
- Frequent hospitalizations.
- Diabetic eye disease requiring surgery or laser treatment.
- Diabetic neuropathy which can include pain in feet and hands.
- Kidney disease leading to the need for dialysis.
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Control Type 2 Diabetes
With type 2 diabetes, one of the best ways to achieve greater control of your diabetes is through diet.
Some foods affect our blood sugar significantly more than others and so picking the diet for type 2 diabetes that works for you can make a big difference to your numbers and your health.
We recommend using blood glucose testing to help you to test which foods are blood glucose level friendly.
- Read more on controlling type 2 diabetes
Ramp Up Your Movement Each Day
Exercise helps improve blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity and the bodys ability to use glucose as energy, according to the American Diabetes Association. In type 2, exercise helps improve insulin resistance, says James G. Beckerman, MD, a cardiologist in Portland, Oregon. The end result is lower blood sugars.
Crandall Snyder tells patients that exercise is like spring cleaning for the body. It takes the stored form of glucose and uses it for energy so the next time you eat carbohydrates there’s a place to put it, she says.
Because exercise can immediately reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, work with your healthcare team to determine the right amount of activity and timing for you. A study published in September 2017 in Frontiers in Endocrinology found exercising 30 minutes after the start of a meal is usually best for maintaining blood sugar controls.
Learn more about managing your blood sugar in Diabetes Daily’s article “HbA1C: Everything You Need to Know.”
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Record Your Blood Glucose Levels
Recording your blood glucose levels comes highly recommended. By recording your levels you can start to build up a history of results and draw conclusions from results.
Recording your blood sugar levels can help you:
- Improve dosage decisions
- Identify which foods are best for your levels and which arent so good
- Learn from periods of high sugar levels such as during illness
- See how your sugar levels are affected by exercise
Can Diabetes Be Controlled With Little Or No Medication Absolutely We Can Beat Diabetes
You can beat diabetes. The disease process associated with diabetes can be slowed and even partially reversed by controlling blood glucose and other cardiovascular disease risk factors.
All this suffering, all this early death, is preventable. It is the direct result of the way we live by our sedentary habits and our Western-style diets, bereft of whole, fiber-rich foods and full of fast foods and other calorie-dense junk.
Type 2 diabetes usually starts after the age of 40. But because of Americas childhood obesity epidemic, more and more of our youth are being diagnosed with the disease, including children as young as 10 and occasionally even younger.
Type 2 diabetes affects about 30 million people in the U.S. Nearly 90 million more Americans have pre-diabetes.
Theres more troubling news. The pre-cursors of Type 2 diabetes pre-diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome increase our risk of heart disease almost as much as Type 2 diabetes does. These pre-cursors are so widespread in 21st century America that scientists now estimate that the majority of the current U.S. population over the age of 65 has them. And they put people at dangerously high risk of developing full-blown Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and dying prematurely.
The power of prevention
The lifestyle changes in the study were similar to the Pritikin Program and focused on eating low-calorie-dense, high-fiber foods, exercising five days weekly for at least 30 minutes, and a 7% weight loss.
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Different Types Of Diabetes
The three most frequently seen types of diabetes are type 1, type 2. and gestational diabetes.
Knowing how to control diabetes starts with understanding the type of diabetes you have and any other health conditions that may affect your diabetes care plan. The treatment regimen for controlling each type of diabetes is slightly different, but all focus on balancing meals, medication and/or insulin, and physical activity since each of these influence blood sugar levels.
How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry or have other symptoms, check your blood sugar. Even if you dont have symptoms but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dL, do one of the following immediately:
- Take four glucose tablets.
- Drink four ounces of fruit juice.
- Drink four ounces of regular soda, not diet soda.
- Eat four pieces of hard candy.
Wait for 15 minutes and then check your blood sugar again. Do one of the above treatments again until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above and eat a snack if your next meal is an hour or more away. If you have problems with low blood sugar, ask your doctor if your treatment plan needs to be changed.
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Managing Diabetes: Six Healthy Steps With The Most Benefit
Extra pounds? Lose a little. You dont have to be a biggest loser or get an extreme makeover to enjoy big weight-loss benefits if you have diabetes. In a nationwide study of 5,145 people with type 2 diabetes, those who shed just 5 to 10 percent of their weight were three times more likely to lower their A1C by 0.5 percent, a significant drop. They were also 50 percent more likely to lower their blood pressure by 5 points and twice as likely to lower their triglycerides by 40 points compared with those whose weight remained the same.
Say yes to fiber-rich foods. When people with diabetes increase the fiber in their diet, they can potentially lower blood glucose over a period of 12 weeks or less, according to a major review of 15 studies. Most peoplewith or without diabetesdont get the recommended 21 to 38 grams of fiber daily. Those who participated in these studies increased their intake by an average of 18 grams a daythe amount in a bowl of higher-fiber breakfast cereal plus a couple of extra servings of vegetables. Whenever you can, choose vegetables, whole grains, and fruit over sugary treats and bread, rolls, and other foods made with refined grains.
Know your ABCsand beyond.Because your risk for heart disease is higher with diabetes, its smart to see your doctor regularly for checks, Kalyani says. Have your:
- A1C tested as often as your doctor recommends