Summertime and Diabetes

Learn what happens to your blood sugar levels overnight and how you can keep them in check!

early morning

After a diabetes diagnosis, there is usually a time of education. You learn all about the disease and how it affects your body. Part of that learning curve is discovering when your blood sugar levels tend to be high or low. You might also quickly learn that, for someone with diabetes, the early morning hours can be an important time of the day.

What Happens to Your Body Overnight

For many with diabetes, they may take insulin but still wake up with high blood sugar levels. This is caused by one of two things. The first is called the “dawn phenomenon.” As you sleep, your body goes through a series of changes. One includes increasing the amounts of the hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, that fight insulin’s job of lowering your blood sugar levels. This typically happens between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. These hormones enter your blood system right when your bedtime dose of insulin is wearing off, thus leading to high glucose levels.

The “Somogyi effect” is a bit different. Also referred to as “rebound hyperglycemia,” the term refers to a pattern in the body. This includes an episode of low blood sugar – hypoglycemia – followed by high morning sugars. In the middle of the night, your blood sugar levels can drop low enough that your body releases hormones to raise it. This might happen if you took too much insulin earlier in the evening or perhaps if you didn’t eat enough of a snack before bedtime.

How to Know Which One You Have

Though both result in high blood sugar levels in the morning, your doctor will need to know which is causing the increased levels. To determine the cause, a physician will typically have you check your levels for a few nights in a row, usually between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. If your blood sugar is consistently low at that time, the Somogyi effect is, well, likely in effect. But, if at that time, your levels are normal or high, your doctor will likely assign blame to the dawn phenomenon.

What You Can Do About It

Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can impact the way your blood sugar levels act during the night. You might need to:

  • Avoid carbohydrates before bedtime.
  • Adjust when you take your evening dose of insulin.
  • Take long-acting insulin before bed so it works at its peak right when your blood sugars go on the rise.
  • Take extra insulin overnight if needed.
  • Use an insulin pump that’s programmed to release medication when you need it during the early hours of the morning. CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) pumps work very well at controlling levels since they continually regulate insulin.

How We Can Help

As you continue to learn more about diabetes, and more specifically, diabetes’ effect on YOUR body, you’ll understandably have questions. Let the trained experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy help. We have over 50 years of combined experience helping people with diabetes live life to the fullest by providing  diabetes supplies and insulin pumps conveniently and for little or no cost. Check us out at www.FocusPharmacy.com or call  toll-free 1-866-403-6287.

 

As someone living with diabetes, it’s hard to know what information about your diet you should trust. Here are some things you may not know.

 food cravings

If you have diabetes, there’s a lot of information available on the subject, both good and bad. This is especially true when it comes to questions about what you can eat. It’s sometimes hard to know which advice you should follow.

Unfortunately, the truth is that some of what you hear about diabetes and your diet is outdated information or sometimes just untrue. For many with diabetes, there is really no need to eat differently than other members of the family – as long as your family eats a healthy, balanced diet.

Dealing with Food Cravings

As someone with diabetes, one of the worst things you can do is to completely deny yourself of the foods that you love. When you cut out all sugar and carbohydrates from your diet, it can lead to bad choices, such as craving foods that are high in sugar or fat. Current diabetes nutrition guidelines allow for “special occasion” treats or indulgences that you might not think that you can eat – as long as it’s part of a healthy diet.

Just like sugars, if starchy foods are your weakness there is no need to eliminate them from your diet completely.  Some starchy foods, such as pastas and rice, are an important source of carbohydrates – the body’s energy source. As with any food, the key is not to overindulge and to keep an eye on your blood glucose to ensure it remains at a healthy level.

Fatty Foods

Although it’s ok to treat yourself to a small sweet or enjoy some pasta, you do still want to keep an eye on your fat intake. When you eat foods that are too high in fat it slows your digestion down, which can make it harder for your insulin to do its job. Saturated and trans fat, fats often found in butter, shortening, red meat and fast foods, should be avoided as much as possible.

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy eating. As long as you are eating a healthful diet of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, it’s ok to treat yourself from time to time! Of course, it’s always best to check with your doctor when making any changes to your diet, or if you have specific medical questions.

With more than 50 combined years of experience with insulin pumps and over 100 combined years of experience with diabetes supplies and prescription medications, the professionals at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help! Their experienced and knowledgeable personnel are always ready to answer questions about diabetes, insulin pumps and supplies.

Call them today at 1-866-403-6287 or visit them at www.FocusPharmacy.com

 

Not all salads are diabetes friendly. Learn a few safe recipes that are delicious and still fit into a diabetes food regimen.

 

 fruit salad photo

Summertime is here and July 4th barbecues and picnics are around the corner!  With fresh fruits and veggies more available, there are some yummy salads you can make that can be a healthier alternative to other foods. However, not all salads are healthy and diabetes friendly. You can pile on meats and dressings that are actually not healthy at all. Read on to discover some diabetes friendly recipes that still let you indulge.

  • Grilled Ginger Melon Kabobs. Made with fresh melon, cantaloupe, lime and honey, this yummy recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Serve it up at a summer get-together or for an evening treat. With less than 100 calories and a full serving of fruit, it’s a go to option.
  • Fresh Fruit with Citrus Mint Dressing. Let’s face it. Sometimes the best part of a salad is the dressing. But, unfortunately, some dressings pack in enough calories that eating a hamburger might be healthier! If you love your dressing, try this low calorie and diabetes friendly option. Combine orange juice with mint and honey for a delicious, low calorie option. Pour over fresh fruit of your choice such as strawberries and pineapple for a yummy summer side dish.
  • Fresh Fruit Salad with Creamy Lime Topping. Looking for something a little more on the sweet side? Try this creamy dressing over fruit and you’ll be begging for seconds. Made with mayonnaise, sour cream and powdered sugar, it’s hard to believe this recipe is also diabetes friendly. With only 64 calories and one gram of fat, go ahead and indulge.
  • Italian Pasta Salad. Who loves pasta? Living with diabetes, it can be difficult to enjoy pasta salad because of the sugar and carbohydrates. However, this recipe, made with whole grain rotini pasta, fresh basil, olive oil and veggies, gives you the same taste with less calories, sugar and carbs! With 118 calories, serve it up for a lunch in the office or a dinner at home alone.
  • Macaroni Salad. Macaroni salad is a fan favorite. Using lighter options such as whole grain macaroni, low fat yogurt, fat free milk and light mayonnaise, you can still enjoy a beloved recipe while keeping your diabetes in check.

While all of these options are diabetes friendly, remember to always consult your healthcare provider before considering a new meal plan.

If you have questions about other diabetes friendly foods, the helpful and knowledgeable people at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help! And, they are always ready to answer your questions about diabetes, insulin pumps and supplies. Call them today at 1-866-403-6287 or visit them online at www.FocusPharmacy.com   ENJOY THE HOLIDAY!!!!

 

 

 

Now you can have hot fun and cool refreshing summer diabetes friendly beverages that have zero calories, no artificial sweeteners and that fit your diabetes plan.

summertime drinks

While having fun in the hot summer sun you’ll be looking for refreshment that meshes well with your diabetes meal plan. These summer drinks will have your taste buds saying “ahhh” without throwing your diabetes dietary needs into the pool.  There’s something for every occasion and pleasure.

Dive into Refreshing Water

You’re likely to have the most access to water and of course, it best fits your diet.  If your zesty lifestyle requires more flavor, there are an abundance of sparkling or flavored waters to suit your taste.  Just be sure to check the labels for those that are diabetes-friendly and stick to low sugar, low-calorie, or zero-calories. Or, make your own flavored water!

Splash Around in the Flavor with No Artificial Sweeteners

Dasani and SoBe LifeWater have made finding diabetes friendly H2O even easier with multiple flavors of zero-calorie waters, and no artificial sweeteners.  In fact, Dasani offers four flavors of sparkling waters and four completely different flavors of plain water.  SoBe LifeWater offers eight zero-calorie flavors, including Blood Orange Mango, Fuji Apple Pear, Black Cherry Dragon Fruit and more.

If none of those varieties appeals to you, whip up your own!  Add fresh fruit, such as lemon or lime to an ice cold glass of water.  Go even wilder with strawberries, raspberries, or cucumber for a refreshing beverage by the pool, and remember to skip the sweetener.

 Sweet Tea on Deck

There are many other beverage options, from tea to Gatorade but the important thing is to keep the sweetener and calories low.  Consider these:

  • Snapple makes a “Lightly Sweetened” line with low sugar and no artificial sweetener drinks.
  • True Citrus Mix is a tea/water mix, also with no artificial sweeteners.

If juice is more for you, these labels may look different but the contents are just the same:

  • Tropicana 50: The “Light ‘n’ Healthy” version boasts 50 calories per 8 ounces and you choose the amount of pulp.
  • Gatorade Natural: with 50 calories per 8 ounces and approximately one carb per serving, it’s perfect after a long day in the sun.

Enjoy your summer fun and keep your beverages in check with your meal plan.  If you have questions about your diabetes or diabetes supplies the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are standing by to help.  Call us today at 1-866-403-6287.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer can be a fun time, but if you have diabetes, there are some potential dangers with the warmer weather. Use these tips to help you stay safe.

 summertime

If you have diabetes, it’s important to ensure you’re  staying safe during the warmer part of the year.  Use these tips to help you enjoy the summer months while keeping your diabetes under control.

  • Prevent dehydration. Warmer weather coupled with high blood sugar can cause dehydration faster. To avoid this, it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day during summer months and avoid sugary drinks such as carbonated beverages.
  • Avoid alcohol.  Alcohol makes it harder for your body to regulate its temperature, which can make you more susceptible to heat exhaustion or dehydration.
  • Plan exercise and outdoor activities carefully. It is recommended to plan these activities in the cooler parts of the day such as the early morning or late evening. With the longer days, you have more sunlight later in the day to enjoy the outdoors more safely anyway!
  • Test your blood sugar. If you are going to be outdoors for extended periods of time, make sure you are checking your blood sugar levels since low and high blood sugar can be caused by the hotter weather.
  • Recognize and treat heat exhaustion. If you have diabetes, you are at a greater risk for heat exhaustion if you’re exposed to higher temperatures for a longer period of time and don’t replace the fluids you lose. Typical symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps and nausea.
  • Avoid heat stroke. If you start to experience any heat exhaustion symptoms, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids, find a shady place to rest and take a cool shower or bath. If your symptoms do not subside, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

 The experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help answer your diabetes questions concerning summer weather and more. Focus Express Mail Pharmacy has years of experience helping people manage their diabetes and they readily are available to answer questions about diabetes, insulin pumps and supplies.

Call us today at 1-866-403-6287 or visit us at www.FocusPharmacy.com