Monthly Archives: February 2021

5 Thirst-quenching Infused Water Favorites You Need To Try

The benefits of water are endless. Crucial for nutrition, energy and vitality, humble H20 is the ultimate building block for a healthy lifestyle. Although it may be important, the thought of drinking glass after glass of plain old water doesn’t seem too appealing. Thankfully, Rooi’s range of sports water bottles are the perfect way to make deliciously-infused recipes that promise to give an energising boost – each and every time. Here’s a few of our personal favourites.

Citrus infusions

infused-water-citrusBrimming with nutritional boosters and benefits – vitamin C-rich citrus fruits are the ideal ingredient for an enriching infused water. Much more than just a natural sweetener, fruits rich in vitamin C contain super-antioxidants that work to keep your skin nourished and aid in the healing of wounds and blemishes. Not only that, it works to combat the effects of free radicals on the body – harmful molecules that help to develop diseases such as heart disease and arthritis.   Traditional options such as limes, lemons and oranges work perfectly. However, for a much more diverse flavour, try clementines, mandarins or grapefruit to give a zingy, zesty taste.

Fresh fruit water

fruit-infusion-strawberryThanks to their emergence as a so-called ‘superfood’, it’s no wonder we have seen an increase in berry sales over the past few years.
Traditionally found along Britain’s picturesque footpaths, their natural sweetness and versatility make berries the ultimate fruit for perfectly balanced infused water. When incorporated into a healthy diet, the fibre found in berries can contribute to tackling weight loss – particularly raspberries. Raspberries and blackberries work perfectly together, whilst strawberries possess a unique ability to be partnered with a huge variety of ingredients. Delicious with both mint and basil for a complex flavour.

Herbal infusions

herbal-infusionHerbs are filled with a wide variety of health benefits. Sage has been found to tackle Alzheimer’s, whilst thyme and oregano are packed with powerful antioxidants. Although the flavour of herbs has always leant towards savoury cooking, when twinned with certain fruits they deliver a beautifully intricate flavour. Extremely easy to source and grow, herbs are incredibly popular for maintaining healthy skin. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps to cool the skin and lemongrass naturally minimises oil secretion – combating skin irritation in the process. Our personal favourite water bottle concoctions are bananas and parsley, thyme with pears and cherries and mint paired with watermelon.

Chilled teas

chilled-teaGreen tea has long been famed for its ability to enhance sporting performance and weight loss. Although more commonly perceived as a hot drink, when served chilled in our drinkware, its spicy, aromatic notes shine through. Herbal tea remedies – especially those containing thyme – work to assist kidney function. By doing so, it helps to promote clearer skin, as any toxins are ‘flushed out’. The lively qualities of lemon and lime work brilliantly with green tea, whilst adding a touch of black tea to a raspberry-based infusion makes for a deliciously refreshing replacement for your standard mug of tea.

Superfood water

superfoodThe superfood has been the definitive ‘buzzword’ of the food and drink industry for a few years now, and unsurprisingly – it has become a must-have ingredient for infused water recipes. The beauty of superfoods, whatever the latest trend may be, is that they are filled to the brim with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals – all promoting a healthy lifestyle. Pomegranate (bone strength), watermelon (healthy blood flow) and beetroot (combats skin problems) are some of the most popular choices – and ideal for infused water recipes. This year’s superfood of choice has been the naturally sweet and immune-boosting goji berry. When mixed with pomegranate or blueberries, it creates an exhilarating and fresh taste. Packed with vitamin C, A, iron and fibre – it is the perfect drink to satisfy your thirst.
 

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast: 50 Shades Of Gray – Diabetes & Aging

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast: 50 Shades Of Gray – Diabetes & Aging

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Here is a favorite from the archives that was broadcast last year. Mr. Divabetic takes a ’50 Shades of Gray’ approach to talking about diabetes and aging during this lively hour of diabetes education and empowerment. As you age, you may be most aware of your new gray hairs and wrinkles, but aging causes changes throughout the entire body. It used to be said that having diabetes aged people an additional 20 years. Today, thanks to better tools for managing diabetes and preventing and treating its complications, people with diabetes have the opportunity to live longer than ever before. However, managing diabetes in the golden years presents a variety of challenges, ranging from increased insulin resistance and weight gain to sexual health issues and depression. Guests include Dr. Andrea Chisholm MD, FACOG, OB-GYN, “How To Fight FATflammation!”, Author Lori Shemek PhD, “The Secrets to Living and Loving With Diabetes” and “Sex and Diabetes” Janis Roszler, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, FAND 2008-2009 Diabetes Educator of the Year (AADE), Humorist and Author “The Sweet Blessing: My Adventures in Diabetes” Trisha Porretti RN, BSN, CDE. Throughout the podcast we will be playing selected songs from Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas’ album courtesy of SONY Music.
Aging is inevitable — even botox can’t turn back the clock permanently. However, you do have a choice over how you’ll spend your twilight years. By doing everything you can to take care of your body and mind, you can help live a full, meaningful, and energetic life. Diabetes Late Nite is a fast-paced, full-filled hour of diabetes education and wellness advice that encourages listeners to “laugh a little, learn a lot.” Diabetes Late Nite is a fast-paced, full-filled hour of diabetes education and wellness advice that encourages listeners to “laugh a little, learn a lot.”

 About Mr. Divabetic

Mr. Divabetic Diabetes PodcastHosted by the happiest health care “MC,” Max “Mr. Divabetic” Szadek, DivaTalkRadio will change attitudes, boost spirits, encourage hope and motivate others to stay healthy with a feather boa, a smile and fabulous sense of style! DivaTalkRadio is the epicenter of the circle of care, a link between patients and their health care providers, a translator of clinical speak and a bridge between denial and acceptance, fear and confidence. Divabetic was inspired by the late music legend, Luther Vandross and created in 2005 by Max Szadek, who, as Vandross’ assistant of 14 years, witnessed his boss, mentor, and friend struggle in silence and solitude with the diabetes and its related complications. President Barak Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter have acknowledged Divabetic for its dedication and determination on behalf of the diabetes community. Through education, support and a Glam More, Fear Less philosophy, Divabetic encourages a predominately-female entourage to become wellness and health ambassadors to their families and their communities.
Visit Divabetic on the web: www.divabetic.org.

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Diabetics Higher Heart Attack Risk Attributed to Damaged Coronary Blood Vessels

Diabetics Higher Heart Attack Risk Attributed to Damaged Coronary Blood Vessels

On a positive note, the study found that the loss of capillaries is not irreversible.

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A new study is said to have pinpointed one of the causes why diabetics have a significantly higher risk of suffering a heart attack. A research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) found that diabetes is associated with the loss of small blood vessels around the heart. This, in turn affects the entire cardiac muscle. A genetic therapy that promotes the growth of blood vessels may offer a remedy. According to the release: The coronary vessels can be compared to a road network. Veins and arteries form the main transportation routes, with countless small and minuscule connecting roads and access pathways branching off from them. If one of these little pathways is blocked, it has very little impact on the overall traffic flow. But if enough of the off-ramps are closed, the traffic on the main highway becomes very dense. In a worst-case scenario, the entire system comes to a standstill: a heart attack. A team headed by TUM has found out that diabetes can lead to these very conditions. The scientists working with Dr. Rabea Hinkel and Prof. Christian Kupatt, cardiologists at TUM’s Klinikum rechts der Isar, have reported their results in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Differences between hearts of patients with and without diabetes In their research they compared blood vessels of patients with and without diabetes undergoing heart transplants. The conclusion: The samples from diabetics showed significantly reduced numbers of small blood vessels around the heart.
In the laboratory the team was able to show that elevated blood sugar levels are associated with a loss of cells known as pericytes. “These cells normally form a layer wrapped around the small blood vessels,” explains Rabea Hinkel. “We believe that this layer has a stabilizing function. When it is damaged, the entire blood vessel becomes unstable and ultimately breaks up.” Animal experiments confirmed the assumption of a steady decrease in capillary density around the heart when diabetes is left untreated. “Diabetes often remains undetected in patients for years or even decades. Over that long period, massive damage can occur,” says Rabea Hinkel. Therapy with thymosin beta 4 The loss of capillaries is not irreversible, however. In their study, Hinkel and Kupatt applied a genetic therapy to stimulate heart cells to increase production of the molecule thymosin beta 4, a protein whose effects include stimulating the growth of pericytes. In this way, the team at TUM was able to induce the growth of lasting and functional capillary networks. “It will be a while before this kind of therapy can be used in humans,” says Christian Kupatt. “But we were able to show for the first time in a transgenic large animal model, which closely models human type I diabetes mellitus, how diabetes damages the heart. That opens up new perspectives for treating patients. It also further reinforces our awareness of how important it is to diagnose diabetes early.”

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An Interview with Daniel Puddick – Founder of Sundried Activewear

An Interview with Daniel Puddick – Founder of Sundried Activewear

Sundried is a recently-launched ethically and environmentally conscious collection of activewear designed and tested by top triathletes.

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What if you could feel completely confident that the product you’re using is ethically made while at the same time feel satisfied with its performance? That’s what Daniel Puddick has set out to do with the founding of Sundried activewear. Puddick, a personal trainer, triathlete and father, was determined to build a company that not only produced quality activewear, but one that his children could one day view with pride.
“I think there aren’t many brands who can say they’re proud of how their products have come to market.”
Every piece of Sundried activewear comes with a special tracking code on the label that allows consumers to explore the whole journey of the garment through the production process –ensuring that the highest ethical and environmental standards are adhered to along the way. Not only is Sundried an ethically and environmentally conscious brand, its collection of activewear was conceived by some of the world’s best designers, from brands like LuluLemon Athletica and Sweaty Betty. Everyday Diabetes Magazine recently spoke with Daniel Puddick about this unique concept in socially conscious, high quality clothing.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how Sundried got started?

After successfully selling my first business The Sunglasses Shop when it was the biggest online sunglasses retailer in Europe, I knew my next venture would have to be something good.It had to be something I was (and am) personally into and it has to have strong ethical values.

Being a parent makes you think about the bigger picture for the world, so business for me now is more than just creating a financially successful brand. I gathered the best in the business and told them I wanted premium ethical activewear that was stylish and functional, flash forward to now and we have just successfully overfunded for our second and third collections on Crowdcube, which will launch next year.

Sundried Activewear

The driving force behind Sundried is ethical activewear. Can you talk about what that means?

How can we call ourselves ethical activewear, without taking care of our staff throughout the supply chain? For us being ethical means being as good to the environment as possible, whilst protecting our staff. We regularly visit our factory in Portugal and make a donation to Water for Kids with every Sundried purchase. To me, it’s very much about sharing my success with those less fortunate and helping to keep the planet around for my kids and grandkids!

How are the ethical standards benchmarked and monitored for compliance?

We partnered with the Low Carbon Innovation Fund who have strict polices on how our clothing is produced, which we adhere to. We then also have our Product Development and Sourcing Expert who regularly visits our factories to ensure everything is running as it should be.

Sundried ActivewearThe company description talks about having a “heritage in triathlon and outdoor pursuits.” Tell us about that and what sort of customer Sundried is aimed towards.

Sundried is aimed at those of us who grab the chance to be active wherever we find it. Whether it’s competing in a triathlon, to cycling back from the office. Our first collection was designed to be transitional, so you can work and play in it. I’m excited for our further collections as we are now going to explore competitive Tri gear. Sundried is for those who want to look and feel great whilst exercising, knowing they are also doing something good for the environment and those who are less fortunate.

What is it about Sundried that makes it a better choice than other brands of activewear?

I think there aren’t many brands who can say they’re proud of how their products have come to market, we use the finest fabrics with the latest technologies and create our products in a way you can be proud of.

What are you most excited about looking to the future of your new venture?

It’s all very exciting, but I can’t wait for my children to grow up and be proud of the brand Sundried becomes.

You can find out more at www.sundried.com

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Is Breakfast a ‘Dangerous Meal’? A Conversation with Dr. Terence Kealey

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Is breakfast an essential part of your day? Well, if you’re a diabetic, perhaps you might want to reconsider. This according to a new book by Dr. Terence Kealey called, Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal: Why You Should Ditch Your Morning Meal For Health and Wellbeing. (Harper Collins, 352 pgs) And while it’s certainly your right to disagree with Dr. Kealey’s conclusions, it’s certainly hard to easily dismiss them. Dr. Kealey, who was ­diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2010, is a trained clinical biochemist who lectured at Cambridge before serving a 14-year stint as vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham. Going against conventional wisdom Dr. Terence Kealey believes that breakfast is easily the most dangerous meal in the diabetic’s day. “Hardly anyone has heard of insulin resistance, yet its death rate can be compared to the death rates from the bubonic plague during the Black Death years of 1346-53,” Kealy writes. Everyday Diabetes recently spoke with Dr. Terence Kealey about his diagnosis, his book, and his thoughts on the state of diabetes.
Can you tell us about your diagnoses and your reaction?
My diagnosis of diabetes was made on 24 May 2010 by my GP. I’d known secretly for a number of weeks that I must have been diabetic, as I was continuously thirsty (I would buy a litre of orange juice before embarking on a car journey, and I couldn’t sit through a lecture for more than an hour without having to excuse myself to pee and take a drink) and I was getting up several times in the night to pee. Also I was losing weight, and my muscles were aching as they wasted. But I was working so hard that I simply ignored the symptoms (I didn’t have time to be ill) and it was only when my wife insisted on driving me to the surgery that a diagnosis was made. What was your reaction to the diagnosis? My reaction was anger: anger with myself for my stupidity in ignoring the symptoms for some weeks, but also anger at my body for letting me down. I’d been previously quite healthy before then (I was then 58 years old) and I’d barely see a doctor since my childhood. This is no exaggeration, I really had barely seen a doctor in 40 years, so I was angry that for no apparent reason (I wasn’t fat and I ran every morning) I had developed type 2.
I am actually a very conventional person who believes, as the Americans say, in motherhood and apple pie. I am not a natural contrarian, but on this occasion amended my opinion because of my personal experience.
These were, of course, the classic first stages of grief (denial and anger) but after a few months they faded, and I didn’t proceed into the remaining 3 classical stages of grief (bargaining, depression and acceptance) because instead, I decided to defeat the condition by taking control of my blood sugar level. Thanks to my glucometer I swiftly concluded that everything I was being told (namely to eat breakfast, to eat carbohydrates, to avoid alcohol) was wrong, and equally I decided that even though I was not large my early prescriptions for sulphonylureas were wrong, and I went over to Metformin. How did it affect your daily life? The impact was surprisingly small. Once I had got into the habit of skipping breakfast, cutting down markedly on carbohydrates, avoiding sugar like the plague (if it was in the Great British Bakeoff I avoided it) and eating lots of vegetables and nuts and all animal products except for red meat, my daily life proceeded apace. But that regime kept my blood glucose levels and HbA1c levels down below the diabetic range.
It turns out that the middle classes are slimmer than the working classes, and it also turns out that the middle classes tend to eat breakfast because they ‘know’ they should, while many working class people, who don’t like being told what to do, skip it.
On diagnosis I had a fasting blood glucose of 19.3 mM and an HbA1c of 13.3%, so I was pleased to have driven them down so easily below the diabetic range. Oh, and drinking alcohol was very good for my blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia is a recognized effect of alcohol) so I avoided carbohydrate-rich drinks like beer, but found wine to be very good. Regarding your book. Who are you especially targeting?   There are millions of people on this globe who are not hungry in the morning yet who eat breakfast because they think they should. This book is specially targeted at liberating those people from that nonsense. Your book offers an interesting concept that goes against commonly held beliefs, can you talk about it? This was for me the most fascinating part of the whole exercise, I am actually a very conventional person who believes, as the Americans say, in motherhood and apple pie. I am not a natural contrarian, but on this occasion amended my opinion because of my personal experience. It’s been fashionable for so long (largely pushed by the cereal companies) to suppose that breakfast is healthful that scientists have simply not looked at the data. I was on Radio 5 Live the other day, and Catherine Collins of the British Dietetic Association said that diabetics didn’t need to worry about breakfast because it raised blood glucose levels only by a tiny blip for 10 minutes. But that’s just not true. If Catherine (who by the way is a delightful and courteous person, this is not an attack on her, only on her repeating the standard view) had actually looked at the data (see page 7 of my book) she’d see that breakfast is easily the most dangerous meal in the diabetic’s day.
The persistence of the false idea illustrates how powerfully people will believe in false ideas in the face of evidence. There seems to be something wrong in our species’ ability to examine data!
But people don’t look at the data. Even diabetics who have glucometers (and by the way they should all have glucometers, which should not be restricted only to type 1s) seem to ignore their own data. But it seems that humans find it too easy to follow authority figures rather than the evidence of their own eyes. Why do people suppose that eating breakfast reduces the total amount of food they consume over the day when the opposite is true? This is an important question. It turns out that the middle classes are slimmer than the working classes, and it also turns out that the middle classes tend to eat breakfast because they ‘know’ they should, while many working class people, who don’t like being told what to do, skip it. So scientists, when they saw the association between slimness and eating breakfast, assumed it was cause-and-effect (the supposed cause being post-breakfast satiety or fullness, which supposedly reduces the intake at lunch) rather than a social class association. But when scientists tested the idea, by actually measuring what happened when people ate or skipped breakfast, they found that breakfast only increased our numbers of calories very considerably. But the persistence of the false idea illustrates how powerfully people will believe in false ideas in the face of evidence. There seems to be something wrong in our species’ ability to examine data! Who should consider intermittent fasting by removing breakfast from their daily routine? Everybody except for people who are slim, physically fit and young. Certainly, all diabetics should avoid it like the plague (sorry to use a cliché, but for diabetics, breakfast is indeed the plague). In Britain today, two-thirds of people are overweight or obese, and in addition, others are hypertensive or have raised cholesterol or are prediabetic or have other conditions of overeating, and since only a handful of us are really fit, the reality is that only a handful of people can afford to eat breakfast. And even they shouldn’t unless they feel they really need to. The only other category of people who should eat breakfast are that small proportion of people who really feel they need it and who are engaged in crucial jobs such as heart surgery or airline piloting. They have to put others before themselves. But they are a tiny minority. Are the benefits solely for breakfast? What about other meals? Two meals a day is almost certainly optimal, namely lunch and dinner, as long as there is not too long a time gap between these meals, say up to 7 hours. No late night suppers, though! What are potential problems? Some people feel they simply can’t skip breakfast. If they really can’t, then, of course, they must eat it, but in that case, it must be carbohydrate-free. I explain all this in the book. On a more general topic. What are your thoughts on the state of diabetes awareness and efforts to stem the rise of cases? People are bombarded by advertisements for food, and this is a health nightmare. Diabetes is caused by eating too often during the day, by eating too much, by eating too many carbohydrates, and by not exercising enough. I’m a great believer in freedom and in freedom of speech, but we have to recognize asymmetries in power, and we need to think very hard about food advertising, as we’ve effectively handed the nation’s public food education programs to corporations whose only imperative is shareholder value. On the other hand, the government’s food education record is also poor (witness the 40-year misguided campaign against fat) and as I’ve chronicled in my book, the very worst breakfast offenders are the very best universities on the globe. It’s incredibly difficult to get good food advice at present, and that bothers me, but I think one solution would be to get a group of philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians together, supported by some first class statisticians, and get them to probe the data with a level of critical awareness we currently lack.
Before switching or trying any alternative diet plan, first consult with your healthcare provider on what is best for you. The opinions stated here are not neccessarily those of Everyday Diabetes.

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Beer Yoga: The Latest Exercise Craze from Germany

Beer Yoga: The Latest Exercise Craze from Germany

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No wonder Oktoberfest and Bieryoga come from Germany, their love for beer is so uncanny that they create amazing things from it. Emily and Jhula are the masterminds behind ‘beer yoga’, a German craze that allows fitness fanatics to carry out traditional yoga poses while taking sips of booze. Participants in these sessions, which usually last an hour, can take sips of the alcohol in between but are advised to limit their drinking to just one or two bottles. Dailymail reports:

The movement, called ‘Bieryoga’, started in Berlin in 2015 and has spread to cities like Melbourne and Sydney. Despite gushing that they are ‘passionate about beer’, Emily and Jhula insisted the craze was not all fun and games. 

‘Beer Yoga is fun but it’s no joke – we take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer-drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness,’ the Bieryoga official site reads, says Dailymail.

Read more here.

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The Surprising Benefit of Light Physical Activity – Everyday Diabetes

The Surprising Benefit of Light Physical Activity

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You don’t have to spend hours at the gym or work up a dripping sweat to improve your mood and feel better about yourself, researchers at the University of Connecticut say in a new study. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle — spending large parts of your day sitting at home or at work – simply getting out of your chair and moving around can reduce depression and lift your spirits. “We hope this research helps people realize the important public health message that simply going from doing no physical activity to performing some physical activity can improve their subjective well-being,” says Gregory Panza, a graduate student in UConn’s Department of Kinesiology and the study’s lead author. “What is, even more, promising for the physically inactive person is that they do not need to exercise vigorously to see these improvements,” Panza continues. “Instead, our results indicate you will get the best ‘bang for your buck’ with light or moderate intensity physical activity.” For those keeping score, light physical activity is the equivalent of taking a leisurely walk around the mall with no noticeable increase in breathing, heart rate, or sweating, says Distinguished Kinesiology Professor Linda Pescatello, senior researcher on the project. Moderate intensity activity is equivalent to walking a 15-20-minute mile with an increase in breathing, heart rate, and sweating, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. Vigorous activity is equivalent to a very brisk walk or jogging a 13-minute mile with a very noticeable increase in breathing, heart rate, and sweating to the point of being unable to maintain a conversation. The study looked at 419 generally healthy middle-aged adults who wore accelerometers on their hips to track physical activity over four days. Participants also completed a series of questionnaires asking them to describe their daily exercise habits, psychological well-being, depression level, pain severity, and the extent to which pain interfered with their daily activities. Here’s what the researchers learned:
  • People who reported higher levels of sedentary behavior also reported lower levels of subjective well-being, meaning those who sat around a lot were the least happiest. Subjective well-being is defined as the positive and negative evaluations that people make of their own lives. These results confirmed previous studies.
  • In general, physical activity improved people’s sense of well-being. Yet, different intensities of physical activity were more beneficial to some people than others. For instance, people who participated in light-intensity physical activity reported higher levels of psychological well-being and lower levels of depression. People who participated in moderate-intensity physical activity reported higher levels of psychological well-being and lower levels of pain severity.
  • People who led sedentary lives and engaged in light or moderate physical activity showed the greatest improvement in overall sense of well-being. “The ‘more is better’ mindset may not be true when it comes to physical activity intensity and subjective well-being,” says Panza. “In fact, an ‘anything is better’ attitude may be more appropriate if your goal is a higher level of subjective well-being.”
  • While light and moderate physical activity clearly made some people feel better about themselves, when it came to vigorous activity, the results were neutral. There was no positive or negative association found between high-intensity physical activity and subjective well-being.
The last finding is actually good news for folks who enjoy hard, calorie-burning workouts, as it doesn’t support a widely reported recent study that found high-intensity workouts significantly lowered some people’s sense of well-being. “Recent studies had suggested a slightly unsettling link between vigorous activity and subjective well-being,” says Beth Taylor, associate professor of kinesiology and another member of the research team. “We did not find this in the current study, which is reassuring to individuals who enjoy a vigorous activity and may be worried about negative effects.” Many previous studies have attempted to identify the best exercise regimen to improve people’s sense of well-being. Yet no clear consensus has emerged. Some studies say moderate or vigorous activity is best. Others say low-intensity exercise is better. The differences, the UConn researchers say, may be due to the way the studies were designed and possible limitations in how people’s well-being and levels of physical activity were measured. The UConn study is believed to be the first of its kind to use both objective (accelerometers) and subjective (questionnaires) measurements within a single group to examine the relationship between physical activity intensity and well-being. Yet the UConn research also has its limits, Panza says. All of the individuals who participated in the UConn study had a generally positive sense of well-being going into the project and were generally physically active. So their answers in the questionnaires need to be framed in that context. Whether the same results would hold true for people with lower subjective well-being or lower levels of physical activity is unknown, Panza says. Also, the conclusions formed in the UConn study are based on information gathered at a single point in time. A longitudinal study that tracks people’s feelings and physical activity over time would go a long way toward helping determine what exercise regimen might be best for different populations, Panza said. “If it doesn’t make us feel good, we don’t want to do it,” says Taylor. “Establishing the link between different types, doses, and intensities of physical activity on well-being is a very important step in encouraging more people to exercise.” The study was published in the Journal of Health Psychology in February.

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Do You Live in One of the Fittest Cities in America?

Do You Live in One of the Fittest Cities in America?

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When you hear healthy country, America would not even be on your top 10 list, let alone the top 5. But it does not mean there are no healthy cities that exist.

Fitbit and the American College of Sports Medicine recently gave out a list of the healthiest cities in America. There are several factors that were taken into account when the cities were ranked, such as each area’s percent of people who do the government-recommended amount of aerobic activity, smoking rates, and the obesity rates.

Mensfitness.com reports:

Here are the top 20 fittest metropolitan areas in the United States, in order, ranked by the American College of Sports Medicine:

  1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
  2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-MD-WV
  3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
  4. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
  5. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  6. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
  7. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
  8. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
  9. Salt Lake City, UT
  10. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
  11. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA
  12. Austin-Round Rock, TX
  13. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
  14. Raleigh, NC
  15. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
  16. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
  17. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
  18. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
  19. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
  20. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Read more here.

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The Surprising Benefit of Light Physical Activity – Everyday Diabetes

The Surprising Benefit of Light Physical Activity

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You don’t have to spend hours at the gym or work up a dripping sweat to improve your mood and feel better about yourself, researchers at the University of Connecticut say in a new study. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle — spending large parts of your day sitting at home or at work – simply getting out of your chair and moving around can reduce depression and lift your spirits. “We hope this research helps people realize the important public health message that simply going from doing no physical activity to performing some physical activity can improve their subjective well-being,” says Gregory Panza, a graduate student in UConn’s Department of Kinesiology and the study’s lead author. “What is, even more, promising for the physically inactive person is that they do not need to exercise vigorously to see these improvements,” Panza continues. “Instead, our results indicate you will get the best ‘bang for your buck’ with light or moderate intensity physical activity.” For those keeping score, light physical activity is the equivalent of taking a leisurely walk around the mall with no noticeable increase in breathing, heart rate, or sweating, says Distinguished Kinesiology Professor Linda Pescatello, senior researcher on the project. Moderate intensity activity is equivalent to walking a 15-20-minute mile with an increase in breathing, heart rate, and sweating, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. Vigorous activity is equivalent to a very brisk walk or jogging a 13-minute mile with a very noticeable increase in breathing, heart rate, and sweating to the point of being unable to maintain a conversation. The study looked at 419 generally healthy middle-aged adults who wore accelerometers on their hips to track physical activity over four days. Participants also completed a series of questionnaires asking them to describe their daily exercise habits, psychological well-being, depression level, pain severity, and the extent to which pain interfered with their daily activities. Here’s what the researchers learned:
  • People who reported higher levels of sedentary behavior also reported lower levels of subjective well-being, meaning those who sat around a lot were the least happiest. Subjective well-being is defined as the positive and negative evaluations that people make of their own lives. These results confirmed previous studies.
  • In general, physical activity improved people’s sense of well-being. Yet, different intensities of physical activity were more beneficial to some people than others. For instance, people who participated in light-intensity physical activity reported higher levels of psychological well-being and lower levels of depression. People who participated in moderate-intensity physical activity reported higher levels of psychological well-being and lower levels of pain severity.
  • People who led sedentary lives and engaged in light or moderate physical activity showed the greatest improvement in overall sense of well-being. “The ‘more is better’ mindset may not be true when it comes to physical activity intensity and subjective well-being,” says Panza. “In fact, an ‘anything is better’ attitude may be more appropriate if your goal is a higher level of subjective well-being.”
  • While light and moderate physical activity clearly made some people feel better about themselves, when it came to vigorous activity, the results were neutral. There was no positive or negative association found between high-intensity physical activity and subjective well-being.
The last finding is actually good news for folks who enjoy hard, calorie-burning workouts, as it doesn’t support a widely reported recent study that found high-intensity workouts significantly lowered some people’s sense of well-being. “Recent studies had suggested a slightly unsettling link between vigorous activity and subjective well-being,” says Beth Taylor, associate professor of kinesiology and another member of the research team. “We did not find this in the current study, which is reassuring to individuals who enjoy a vigorous activity and may be worried about negative effects.” Many previous studies have attempted to identify the best exercise regimen to improve people’s sense of well-being. Yet no clear consensus has emerged. Some studies say moderate or vigorous activity is best. Others say low-intensity exercise is better. The differences, the UConn researchers say, may be due to the way the studies were designed and possible limitations in how people’s well-being and levels of physical activity were measured. The UConn study is believed to be the first of its kind to use both objective (accelerometers) and subjective (questionnaires) measurements within a single group to examine the relationship between physical activity intensity and well-being. Yet the UConn research also has its limits, Panza says. All of the individuals who participated in the UConn study had a generally positive sense of well-being going into the project and were generally physically active. So their answers in the questionnaires need to be framed in that context. Whether the same results would hold true for people with lower subjective well-being or lower levels of physical activity is unknown, Panza says. Also, the conclusions formed in the UConn study are based on information gathered at a single point in time. A longitudinal study that tracks people’s feelings and physical activity over time would go a long way toward helping determine what exercise regimen might be best for different populations, Panza said. “If it doesn’t make us feel good, we don’t want to do it,” says Taylor. “Establishing the link between different types, doses, and intensities of physical activity on well-being is a very important step in encouraging more people to exercise.” The study was published in the Journal of Health Psychology in February.

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Napercise, anyone? – Everyday Diabetes

Napercise, anyone?

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It’s no joke. Napping is now a form of exercise. A U.K.-based fitness chain is about to make that daydream a reality with “napercise,” a group class in which participants quite literally nap for 45 minutes. Imagine having beds instead of stationary bikes. Participants of the class will find single beds, “atmospheric” sounds and a temperature which promotes calorie burning during sleep. The class will take place in the mid-afternoon. Health.com reports:

While the concept may seem silly, the motivation for the class is no joke. The idea came about after a David Lloyds Clubs survey found that 86% of parents struggle with fatigue, and 26% generally get less than five hours of sleep a night.

Read more here.  

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Exercise Benefits in a Pill For Those Who Cannot Move – Almost a Reality – Everyday Diabetes

Exercise Benefits in a Pill For Those Who Cannot Move – Almost a Reality

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If you have long dreamed of reaping the rewards of exercise, but unfortunately, you are not able to move let alone stand, worry no more. Scientists are starting to make this dream a reality. Hopes for such a pill emerged on Tuesday from scientists who found that an experimental drug allowed mice to run on a treadmill for 270 minutes before exhaustion set in. They turned to a drug known as GW501516 which had previously been shown to improve stamina and burn fat faster. ScienceDaily reports:

In the current study, the Salk team gave normal mice a higher dose of GW, for a longer period of time (8 weeks instead of 4). Mice in the control group could run about 160 minutes before exhaustion. Mice on the drug, however, could run about 270 minutes — about 70 percent longer.

Read more here.

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Pole Dancing in Water – Latest Fitness Craze – Everyday Diabetes

Pole Dancing in Water – Latest Fitness Craze

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Pole dancing was brought back as a fitness routine – but lo and behold, for those water babies out there who prefer to be submerged, AquaPole gives you so much more. Pole dancing whilst submerged in water began in Italy, where AquaPole trainers from South Australia traveled to learn the tricks of the trade and bring it  back to Australia. Dailymail.co.uk reports:

AquaPole is a fun new fitness craze that sees people using a pole as a fitness tool in the water to strengthen their core and muscles. The pole is 2.2 metres in height and is hooked into a base which is suctioned to the pool floor with suction cups. It provides stability in the water to hold on to and use as a fitness tool.

‘Adding that extra dimension to exercise brings new life for the younger generation because up until a few ago, water exercises such as water aerobics were considered, you know, grannies’ activities,’ Jodie explained to DailyMail.

Read more here.  
 

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Gluten-Free Diet May Increase Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Other Diseases Suggests Study – Everyday Diabetes

Gluten-Free Diet May Increase Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Other Diseases Suggests Study

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New research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that avoiding gluten, a protein found in many grains, could actually increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. A 30-year observational analysis of nearly 200,000 people found that people who eat gluten develop type 2 diabetes less often than occasional consumers –as intake does not exceed 12 grams per day. The research also shows gluten-phobes tend to eat less cereal fiber, a type of fiber found in bran, barley, and other whole grains that’s known to guard against type 2 diabetes. While those with Celiac disease or diagnosed gluten sensitivity should continue to abstain, Harvard’s Geng Zong says those who eat gluten-free foods as a lifestyle choice may want to reconsider. “Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrients, making them less nutritious and they also tend to cost more,” Zong says. “People without Celiac disease may reconsider limiting their gluten intake for chronic disease prevention, especially for diabetes.” Consult your healthcare provider for what is best for you.

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Wonderful Walnuts – Weight Loss and Improved Cholesterol Levels Among the Perks – Everyday Diabetes

Wonderful Walnuts – Weight Loss and Improved Cholesterol Levels Among the Perks

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A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a diet containing unsaturated fats, such as those found in walnuts and olive oil, has similar weight loss effects as a lower fat, higher-carbohydrate diet. The research, led by Dr. Cheryl Rock of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, also showed that a diet containing walnuts, which are primarily comprised of polyunsaturated fats, positively impacts heart health markers, such as cholesterol. “One of the surprising findings of this study was that even though walnuts are higher in fat and calories, the walnut-rich diet was associated with the same degree of weight loss as a lower fat diet,” said Dr. Rock. “Considering the results of this study, as well as previous walnut research on heart health and weight, there’s something to be said for eating a handful of walnuts a day.” To reach their findings, the research team studied 245 overweight and obese women (22-72 years old) enrolled in a one-year behavioral weight loss intervention. Participants were randomly assigned to three different diets: 1) a lower fat and higher carbohydrate diet, 2) a lower carbohydrate and higher fat diet, or 3) a walnut-rich, higher fat and lower carbohydrate diet. Those prescribed a walnut-rich diet consumed 1.5 ounces per day. Looking at data from the first six months of the intervention, this study found that the average weight loss was nearly eight percent of initial weight for all groups. The walnut-rich diet participants saw comparable weight loss to the other study groups; however, they exhibited the most improvement in lipid levels, especially in those who are insulin-resistant. In addition to a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol, the walnut participants achieved a greater increase in HDL cholesterol as compared to the other diet groups. Whereas the lower carbohydrate and higher fat diet participants were encouraged to consume foods higher in monounsaturated fats, the walnut-rich diet provided more polyunsaturated fats. Walnuts are the only nut in which the fat is primarily polyunsaturated fat (13g/oz), including a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-derived form of omega-3 fatty acids (2.5g/oz). Recent research from Harvard also shows health benefits of consuming polyunsaturated fats. The study suggested that people who replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats may live longer and have a lower risk of heart disease. Additionally, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend consumption of polyunsaturated fats as a replacement for saturated fats.3 There are some study limitations that should be considered. The sample only included women, so these results may not be generalizable to men. Although 245 participants were enrolled, the sample sizes for comparisons were reduced because the participants were divided into subgroups. In addition, there is a lack of detailed information about dietary intake and adherence to the diets. Considering the weight loss that was seen in participants, it seems that most were adhering to a reduced calorie diet.
“In addition to these findings, we hope to explore the effect of walnuts on satiety, as we believe satiety is a critical factor for maintaining weight loss,” said Dr. Rock.

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Pole Dancing in Water – Latest Fitness Craze – Everyday Diabetes

Pole Dancing in Water – Latest Fitness Craze

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Pole dancing was brought back as a fitness routine – but lo and behold, for those water babies out there who prefer to be submerged, AquaPole gives you so much more. Pole dancing whilst submerged in water began in Italy, where AquaPole trainers from South Australia traveled to learn the tricks of the trade and bring it  back to Australia. Dailymail.co.uk reports:

AquaPole is a fun new fitness craze that sees people using a pole as a fitness tool in the water to strengthen their core and muscles. The pole is 2.2 metres in height and is hooked into a base which is suctioned to the pool floor with suction cups. It provides stability in the water to hold on to and use as a fitness tool.

‘Adding that extra dimension to exercise brings new life for the younger generation because up until a few ago, water exercises such as water aerobics were considered, you know, grannies’ activities,’ Jodie explained to DailyMail.

Read more here.  
 

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The Surprising Benefit of Light Physical Activity – Everyday Diabetes

The Surprising Benefit of Light Physical Activity

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You don’t have to spend hours at the gym or work up a dripping sweat to improve your mood and feel better about yourself, researchers at the University of Connecticut say in a new study. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle — spending large parts of your day sitting at home or at work – simply getting out of your chair and moving around can reduce depression and lift your spirits. “We hope this research helps people realize the important public health message that simply going from doing no physical activity to performing some physical activity can improve their subjective well-being,” says Gregory Panza, a graduate student in UConn’s Department of Kinesiology and the study’s lead author. “What is, even more, promising for the physically inactive person is that they do not need to exercise vigorously to see these improvements,” Panza continues. “Instead, our results indicate you will get the best ‘bang for your buck’ with light or moderate intensity physical activity.” For those keeping score, light physical activity is the equivalent of taking a leisurely walk around the mall with no noticeable increase in breathing, heart rate, or sweating, says Distinguished Kinesiology Professor Linda Pescatello, senior researcher on the project. Moderate intensity activity is equivalent to walking a 15-20-minute mile with an increase in breathing, heart rate, and sweating, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. Vigorous activity is equivalent to a very brisk walk or jogging a 13-minute mile with a very noticeable increase in breathing, heart rate, and sweating to the point of being unable to maintain a conversation. The study looked at 419 generally healthy middle-aged adults who wore accelerometers on their hips to track physical activity over four days. Participants also completed a series of questionnaires asking them to describe their daily exercise habits, psychological well-being, depression level, pain severity, and the extent to which pain interfered with their daily activities. Here’s what the researchers learned:
  • People who reported higher levels of sedentary behavior also reported lower levels of subjective well-being, meaning those who sat around a lot were the least happiest. Subjective well-being is defined as the positive and negative evaluations that people make of their own lives. These results confirmed previous studies.
  • In general, physical activity improved people’s sense of well-being. Yet, different intensities of physical activity were more beneficial to some people than others. For instance, people who participated in light-intensity physical activity reported higher levels of psychological well-being and lower levels of depression. People who participated in moderate-intensity physical activity reported higher levels of psychological well-being and lower levels of pain severity.
  • People who led sedentary lives and engaged in light or moderate physical activity showed the greatest improvement in overall sense of well-being. “The ‘more is better’ mindset may not be true when it comes to physical activity intensity and subjective well-being,” says Panza. “In fact, an ‘anything is better’ attitude may be more appropriate if your goal is a higher level of subjective well-being.”
  • While light and moderate physical activity clearly made some people feel better about themselves, when it came to vigorous activity, the results were neutral. There was no positive or negative association found between high-intensity physical activity and subjective well-being.
The last finding is actually good news for folks who enjoy hard, calorie-burning workouts, as it doesn’t support a widely reported recent study that found high-intensity workouts significantly lowered some people’s sense of well-being. “Recent studies had suggested a slightly unsettling link between vigorous activity and subjective well-being,” says Beth Taylor, associate professor of kinesiology and another member of the research team. “We did not find this in the current study, which is reassuring to individuals who enjoy a vigorous activity and may be worried about negative effects.” Many previous studies have attempted to identify the best exercise regimen to improve people’s sense of well-being. Yet no clear consensus has emerged. Some studies say moderate or vigorous activity is best. Others say low-intensity exercise is better. The differences, the UConn researchers say, may be due to the way the studies were designed and possible limitations in how people’s well-being and levels of physical activity were measured. The UConn study is believed to be the first of its kind to use both objective (accelerometers) and subjective (questionnaires) measurements within a single group to examine the relationship between physical activity intensity and well-being. Yet the UConn research also has its limits, Panza says. All of the individuals who participated in the UConn study had a generally positive sense of well-being going into the project and were generally physically active. So their answers in the questionnaires need to be framed in that context. Whether the same results would hold true for people with lower subjective well-being or lower levels of physical activity is unknown, Panza says. Also, the conclusions formed in the UConn study are based on information gathered at a single point in time. A longitudinal study that tracks people’s feelings and physical activity over time would go a long way toward helping determine what exercise regimen might be best for different populations, Panza said. “If it doesn’t make us feel good, we don’t want to do it,” says Taylor. “Establishing the link between different types, doses, and intensities of physical activity on well-being is a very important step in encouraging more people to exercise.” The study was published in the Journal of Health Psychology in February.

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Geninna Ariton

Geninna Ariton

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Genina is a regular contributor to Everyday Diabetes.

A Thai Liver Parasite Could be the Answer to Wound Healing in Diabetics Says Study

Every day 12 Australian diabetics have a limb amputated because of a non-healing wound. Globally, it’s one every 30 seconds. A molecule produced by a…

Diabetic Kidneys Can Be Donated

If you have Diabetes and would still want to be an organ donor, great news, you can donate your kidneys. People who received kidneys from…

Health Effects of Food Not According to it’s Nutrition Facts

Traditionally investigations of a foodstuff’s implications for human health focus on the content of individual nutrients such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, etc. However, newer…

The Indy 500 Driver with Diabetes – Charlie Kimball

Having no functioning pancreas, every other race car driver in the Indy 500 has a definite advantage over Charlie Kimball, a driver with diabetes to…

Alien Yoga, anyone?

Forget about beer yoga or AquaPole, alien yoga is the latest craze in fitness these days and is taking social media by storm. The…

A Glass of Milk a Day Can Keep Diabetes Away Says Research

If a glass of milk a day is a staple in your diet, then you’ve just lowered your diabetes and hypertension risk. Results of…

Wearing Stiffer Soles Will Make You More Comfortable

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when choosing the right footwear or inner sole to take away pressure from diabetic patients’ feet. The body mass…

Do You Live in One of the Fittest Cities in America?

When you hear healthy country, America would not even be on your top 10 list, let alone the top 5. But it does not…

Improved Medication for Type 2 Diabetes on it’s Way

Type 2 diabetes, a prolific killer, is on a steep ascent. According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of the condition has grown…

Beat The Diabetes Risk, Don’t Be a Couch Potato

If you’re one of those who binge watches and sits on their couch all day long (or stay in bed for that matter), then…

Max Szadek

Max Szadek

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Max Szadek aka ‘Mr. Divabetic’ is the founder and executive director of Divabetic and the happy healthcare host of Diva TalkRadio. www.divabetic.org

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast: Inspired by Gladys Knight & The Pips

Mr. Divabetic talks about embracing people with diabetes heath-related complications with musical inspiration from Della Reese.

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast: Inspired by Della Reese

Mr. Divabetic talks about embracing people with diabetes heath-related complications with musical inspiration from Della Reese.

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast with Mr. Divabetic – Women’s Diabetes Health 2017

We’re talking about the state of women’s equality and diabetes and sexual health post-election.

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast with Mr. Divabetic – Inspired by Leona Lewis

We’re talking about coping with diabetes depression and food during the holidays on December’s Diabetes Late Nite with musical inspiration from Leona Lewis.

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast with Mr. Divabetic – Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald, also known as “First Lady of Song” and “Lady Ella”, captured audiences everywhere with her astonishing vocal range, scat singing, and improvisational ability.

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast with Mr. Divabetic – The Diabetes Game Show

This November during National Diabetes Awareness month, Divabetic is teaming up with prominent healthcare vendors to giveaway great prizes to celebrate our listeners’ ongoing commitment to self-care.

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast with Mr. Divabetic – Inspired by Etta James

As she entered her 70s, Etta James began struggling with health issues. She was hospitalized in 2010 for a blood infection, along with other ailments. It was later revealed that the legendary singer suffered from dementia, and was receiving treatment for leukemia.

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast with Mr. Divabetic – Inspired by Meghan Trainor

Tonight, we’re talking about BODY IMAGE & DIABETES with musical inspiration from Meghan Trainor.

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast with Mr. Divabetic – Inspired by Tamar Braxton

Find a great looking pair of shoes that don’t hurt your feet can be a challenge especially if you’re living with diabetes.

Diabetes Late Nite Podcast with Mr. Divabetic – Inspired by A Tribe Called Quest

Phife Dawg, born Malik Taylor, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May of 1990. Experiencing constant thirst and bathroom visits, his grandmother, a nurse, tested him for diabetes after a performance in Connecticut.

Interview: Scott K. Johnson, Writer, Advocate, Type 1 Diabetic – Everyday Diabetes

Interview: Scott K. Johnson, Writer, Advocate, Type 1 Diabetic

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Scott Johnson was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in 1980 at the tender age of 5-years-old. At the time, he processed it as a young mind would, in the service the simple desire “to get back to playing with my G.I. Joe & Hot Wheels.”

In 2004, Scott picked up the pen (or the keyboard in this case) and started blogging about his life at ScottsDiabetes.com . He has, until this day, remained an unwavering and incredibly refreshing voice on the topic of diabetes.

Along with being an active writer, Scott is also a patient advocate, working with people across the healthcare spectrum to help them establish effective communication with the patient community.

He is also the Communications Lead in the U.S. for mySugr and Patient Pathways Lead in the Diabetes Division of Delta Project Management.

Everyday Diabetes recently had the pleasure of catching up with Scott at his home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Photo: Manuel Gruber/Stereochrome
Photo: Manuel Gruber/Stereochrome

When you were diagnosed with type 1 back in 1980, what was your reaction and how did you respond in the months to follow?

I was only five years old when diagnosed, so I honestly don’t remember much about it. I like to think that there was this beautifully ignorant resilience – where I just did the mechanics of diabetes in order to get back to playing with my G.I. Joe & Hot Wheels. I’m sure it wasn’t that easy, of course. And the majority of the burden of care rests on parents and caregivers. 

You’ve been blogging about about diabetes since 2004. How do you stay inspired to keep at it?

This question makes me smile because life with diabetes never fails to present interesting stories to share! Whether they are funny, ironic situations I find myself in, or inspiring people doing wonderful things while living with diabetes.

And if I see another news story about “suffering” from diabetes… I’m not suffering. Yes, it takes work, and yes, it sometimes sucks. But I’m living well with diabetes, thank you.

For example, one of my dear friends with diabetes near Minneapolis is allergic to insulin! Technically I think it’s one of the preservatives or additives included, but nevertheless, what a situation she’s in! Yet, she’s one of the most upbeat, positive people I know, and her sense of humor is amazing. 

What are some assumptions that non diabetics make about people with diabetes that drive diabetics crazy?

Great question!

One assumption is that diabetes is simple. That we just take our shots and we’re fine, or we follow a certain diet and that’s all there is to it. The reality is that diabetes is immensely complex, is different for all of us, and is often inconsistent (so I can repeat the same routine behaviors yet experience different results).

Read More: Jill Knapp on Overcoming Life’s Adversity – Including Losing over 100 Pounds

Diabetes requires a lot of mental energy, which is sometimes exhausting. Most of us make it look much easier than it is because we don’t want pity or people treating us special or different. 

And if I see another news story about “suffering” from diabetes… I’m not suffering. Yes, it takes work, and yes, it sometimes sucks. But I’m living well with diabetes, thank you. 

Having been an astute observer of the situation for all these years, and considering that, despite increased awareness, type 2 continues to increase, do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?

Yes, I think so. It feels like people around the world are starting to realize that little decisions make big differences. Additionally, the medical community continues to make slow and steady progress in treatment options and they’re gaining better understanding about diabetes in general. However, the more we learn about diabetes, the more complicated the puzzle gets. And in the big picture, my decade on the scene is a relatively short period of time.

You recently had the chance to meet with Minnesota Senator Al Franken about Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Can you talk a little bit about the work that JDRF does and how people can help?

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. They work to reduce the impact of T1D from people’s lives until a world without T1D can be achieved (through better treatment, prevention, and eventually a cure). JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners to advance scientific research and regulatory influence.

Diabetes requires a lot of mental energy, which is sometimes exhausting. Most of us make it look much easier than it is because we don’t want pity or people treating us special or different.  

The meeting with Senator Franken was part of the wonderful JDRF Advocacy group who empowers local grassroots efforts to build and sustain critical support for T1D research funded by the U.S. Federal Government by raising awareness among Members of Congress of the financial, medical and emotional costs of the disease.

As people living with diabetes, it’s easy to forget that the general public (including our representatives) does’t understand what diabetes is all about and how much work we do to stay healthy. We need our representatives to remember our stories every time something to do with diabetes lands on their desk. 

JDRF has a great website (jdrf.org) with a section dedicated to getting involved, and that’s the first place I’d go when looking for ways to contribute, whether that be financially or by finding opportunities to volunteer. 


If you’ve never taken a spin through the deep archives of Scott’s blog, then you really should. Now. Go. scottsdiabetes.com

Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottKJohnson

Photos by Mandy Dwyer/Glimpses of Soul Photography and Manuel Gruber/Stereochrome

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A Talk With Mike Kendall – Founder of the 'Everyday Ups and Downs' Diabetes Blog – Everyday Diabetes

A Talk With Mike Kendall – Founder of the ‘Everyday Ups and Downs’ Diabetes Blog

A thoroughly enjoyable talk with Mike Kendall about not only living with Type 1, but blogging about it with his wife.

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Mike Kendall Every day ups and downs Diabetes - Everyday Diabetes Magazine

Mike Kendall is a Bristol, England born and raised graphic designer who lives with his wife, two teenage daughters and, as Mike describes it, “a very hairy dog”. Sounds normal enough, right? But Mike’s story doesn’t end there. In fact, what makes the 47-year-old designer special is that he shares his story through his informative and insightful blog, Everyday Ups and Downs, which he and his wife, Jane, started together in 2010. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1991 at the age of 21, Mike and Jane (whom he met and married in 1994) had a dual incentive for starting the blog. “Mostly I think we are probably writing for ourselves, to understand how we feel about diabetes a little better,” writes Mike. “But we also hope that by sharing our experiences we might encourage others living with or affected by Diabetes themselves.” Everyday Diabetes had the good fortune catching up with Mike at his home in Bristol for this interview.
Your blog is called “Everyday Ups and Downs”. Can you talk about the name and what it means to you?
Naming the blog was a strange thing. It didn’t really get all that much thought if I’m honest, and mostly boiled down to thinking of something and then seeing if the domain names were still available! Everydayupsanddowns was far, far too long, of course. But we liked the way that the meaning can be swapped and changed between challenges which are ‘everyday’ in that they are completely normal and ordinary, nothing to get too bothered about; versus the sense in which ‘every day’ can reflect the relentlessness and constancy of facing these battles every single day without a break. It’s nice to recognise the ups as well as the downs of diabetes too. Living with type 1 isn’t all bad, and has meant I have connected with some absolutely amazing people from all over the world and taken on some challenges I probably would not have done if I didn’t have it.
It’s nice to recognise the ups as well as the downs of diabetes,too. Living with type 1 isn’t all bad, and has meant I have connected with some absolutely amazing people.
You and your wife started the blog so you could write about our own experiences living with the condition while also writing for others. What are some of the highlights of the journey since you started blogging? Yes, when we started everyone in the family wrote from their own perspective, but as the years have passed it has really only been me that has kept finding things to say. In those early years it was very, very interesting to read those different points of view. However much you think you talk and communicate about these things, people express themselves very differently when writing stuff down. It really helped me to understand how my diabetes was affecting other people in my family. I’m not sure if I ever expected anyone else to stumble across our ramblings – but it is incredibly rewarding each and every time someone responds to a post and says it has resonated with them, made them smile, or helped in some way. When first diagnosed, were you quick to change your lifestyle? Things were very different when I was diagnosed, at aged 21 while away at art college. From the outset approaches and changes were presented to me in terms of ‘what you have to do now’ rather than as a complex set of options and strategies to enable me to carry on living exactly as I had before. I was given set doses of premixed insulin, based on a conversation which assessed my general diet. I then was given a carb count for breakfast, lunch, evening meal and three predetermined snacks at set times of day that could not be omitted. It was a very rigid structure, and not one I stuck with for very long, but I am grateful that it introduced from the very outset the concept of measuring and monitoring carbohydrate intake in order to match insulin doses. It made transitioning to more flexible insulin regimens easier later on.
I think if I had stayed on mixed insulin for much longer that system would have become too much of a straightjacket and I would have rebelled against it.
What was the most difficult adjustment? I think if I had stayed on mixed insulin for much longer that system would have become too much of a straightjacket and I would have rebelled against it. It was very much based on you fitting your life around diabetes management rather than the other way around. If you missed or delayed a meal or snack you would end up in bother, and every meal and snack had to meet its fixed carb count whether that was not enough or far too much. Looking back on my life with diabetes as a whole I guess the most difficult adjustment for me has been the thinking required around food. I can’t just eat something if I fancy it, I always have to consider the impact on my blood glucose management. However intently or otherwise I am managing my diabetes at the time there is never ‘just eating’ any more. Do I want to eat that? Can I manage the insulin effectively? What happened last time I ate that? What will it do to my BG levels? Is that potential effect worth the pleasure the food or snack might give me? Am I better off making a different choice? Do I need to wait between a dose and eating? If so, how long? What are my BG levels doing right now? Do I need to eat something, even if I’m absolutely stuffed and really don’t want to (in order to head off an impending low). Don’t get me wrong… I still love food and eat pretty much whatever I want most of the time, but it’s always viewed through the filter of my diabetes. That’s just how life is.
However much you think you talk and communicate about these things, people express themselves very differently when writing stuff down. It really helped me to understand how my diabetes was affecting other people in my family.
What do you think about the state of diabetes in general as far as how people approach it and the efforts by the medical industry and the government to fight the disease? I don’t think there has ever been a better time to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and it can be very frustrating and difficult to live with, but modern treatment techniques and technology make near-normal blood glucose management tantalisingly achievable…well, some of the time anyway! Plus, it is perfectly possible to live a long, exciting, healthy life with type 1. Diabetes doesn’t have to hold you back doing anything. What are some of the more exciting developments you see out there in the area of treatment? Technology and research is moving at such a pace it is hard to keep up. Sensor-augmented pump therapy is improving year-by-year and is beginning to automate some of the management decisions based on continuous glucose data. We are still some way from a full ‘artificial pancreas’ (though every device launched in the past 5 years has been billed as such) but there are significant steps that are being made. And with something as fickle and contrary as type 1 diabetes it is a huge change to have a device proactively monitoring and safeguarding blood glucose management 24/7 in a way that you simply cannot when ‘flying manually’, particularly overnight. There are great strides being made in all sorts of areas: stem cells, nano-encapsulation of transplanted beta cells, smart insulin, non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring, open-source data-sharing and bio-hacking initiatives such as Nightscout and DIYAPS and, of course, the ever-elusive cure.
Don’t get me wrong… I still love food and eat pretty much whatever I want most of the time, but it’s always viewed through the filter of my diabetes. That’s just how life is.
What advice would you give someone newly diagnosed? First off, take a breath. Allow yourself to feel rotten about this – some people liken it to grieving and you will most likely face each of those ‘5 stages’ in the coming months and years, several times, and in no particular order. But don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the ‘anger’ or ‘denial’ stages for too long. It may not feel like it right now but this *is* something that you can successfully manage. Just take one day at a time – test lots, count carbs, carry sweets and keep asking questions. See if there is a structured education course that you can access to help you learn about diabetes management, dose adjustment, exercise, alcohol, illness, self-monitoring and what to do with the results. Understand that whatever levels or targets are mentioned to you, YOU have to decide what you are aiming for, in agreement with your clinic, Dr or diabetes team. This is your diabetes and you will get to know it better than anyone else. Aiming for something because ‘they’ tell you to (whoever they are) is a shortcut to feeling frustrated. You have to own your targets and ranges. Start from wherever you are and try to make small improvements to protect your long-term health. See if there are any gadgets or gizmos that might help your day-to-day management, and how you can go about accessing them. A different insulin pen, a smart meter to help you spot patterns or suggest doses, a smartphone app or two to log results or help estimating carb values in meals, an insulin pump or CGM. Each person will have their own unique diabetes toolkit that helps make living with T1 just that little bit easier. Connect with others – either face-to-face at a local group, or online through forums, Twitter, Facebook or blogs. Living with diabetes is tough, but it’s even harder if you are battling on your own. For everyone there’s a little corner of the internet that can provide support, encouragement and shared experiences. Is there a particular book you think everyone should read? Tricky. I have so many I could suggest. Diabetes-wise it is probably ‘Think Like a Pancreas’ (which is odd as I have still not read the actual book, but everything I have seen and read by Gary Scheiner, along with everyone else’s recommendations make it my go-to book to recommend). For a novel you could do a lot worse than ‘A fine balance’ by Rohinton Mistry or ‘Good Omens’ by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett which I am currently halfway through.
We highly recommend you take a spin through the archives of Mike and his family’s wonderful blog at www.everydayupsanddowns.co.uk

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Natalie Marie Applegate

Natalie Marie Applegate

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Natalie is a passionate writer devoted to her work, and has spent her last six years in Okinawa studying and making a family as a military wife.

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Diagnosed with Diabetes at 10 Years Old – An Interview with Shane Abeyta – Everyday Diabetes

Diagnosed with Diabetes at 10 Years Old – An Interview with Shane Abeyta

A compelling interview with a young man dealing with being diabetic.

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Shane Abeyta, a 24-year-old in Westmoreland, Kansas, has had a long struggle after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the tender age of 10-years-old. Raised in Farmington, NM, he graduated high school and moved on to work as a sheet metal apprentice along with other side jobs. Shane has seen his share of ups and downs in the 13 years since being diagnosed, and feels robbed of his childhood due to the disease. Thriving with work, he also has a job where he builds decks, houses, and many other general construction jobs. “It’s fun and it’s a career. I went Union and they pay me to go to school, provide work, and full benefits. It sounded like a pretty good deal to me. The Union takes pretty good care of its members out here.” When he’s not busy with his demanding career and side job, he spends his free time skateboarding, longboarding, mountain biking, snowboarding, and anything that sounds fun and exciting at the time. Shane recently spoke with Everyday Diabetes  from his home in Westmoreland, Kansas.
Shane Abeyta Everyday Diabetes MagazineBeing diagnosed as a child is a difficult and confusing time. Did you know what was happening and what the doctors were telling you?
Well, my mom had a pretty good idea. I told her I was going to the bathroom a lot and drinking a lot of water and she didn’t think much of it until we went to the mall. At that point, I’d make it about 10 feet into every store and I’d need to go to the bathroom. She took me to the doctor to see if she was right or not, and when we went I cried most of the way there because I knew if she was right I couldn’t join the military like my dad did and that’s all I wanted growing up. After seeing the doctor, I was diagnosed at ten years old and spent about a week at the hospital. My fifth grade class all sent me get well cards while I was in the hospital which was pretty cool. I understood what was going on because my mom had type one diabetes my whole life so I was use to it. Learning to calculate how much insulin I needed to take took time to get use to. For the first year I couldn’t even give myself my shots, it scared me so bad. Eventuality I learned to do it. When my doctor told me about what was happening, I fully understood since my mom had it. If it wasn’t for my mom having it I don’t know how well I would have learned to manage it. America needs to teach it better in school. In my 9th grade health class, I taught the class about diabetes because I had it and knew a lot more information than the old inaccurate textbooks did.
In my 9th grade health class, I taught the class about diabetes because I had it and knew a lot more information than the old inaccurate textbooks did.
How did you feel after your diagnosis at that time? Pretty much being diagnosed stole my childhood. Everything I knew was taken away. I couldn’t eat or drink what I wanted anymore. It also made me feel different since I would leave for lunch early so I could go to the nurse’s office everyday to get my shot and check my sugar. It was really hard to accept that I couldn’t be like everyone else anymore for a few years after being diagnosed. Then, later on in life, I became severely depressed from other things going on in my life and I absolutely didn’t care about my blood sugars so my A1C was ridiculously high and it caused damage nobody can see. I went through difficult times because my blood sugars varied quite a bit. I just didn’t care anymore. Since you went through your ‘not caring’ phase, have your outlook changed? Yes, I have changed, but only after hitting as low as I could. I planned to commit suicide my senior year of high school. Someone found out and I got sent to Albuquerque to a mental hospital. It was where I discovered to never give up no matter what.
“Being diagnosed stole my childhood.”
As for your breaking point during your senior year of high school, what advice would you give other people suffering from diabetes and depression? My advice: don’t give up. I know it sounds stupid and cheesy, but it’s the truth. Life’s hard and being diabetic makes it harder. Uncontrolled sugars affect our moods a lot. Being depressed is already a struggle, but not taking care of your diabetes can turn you into a ticking time bomb. Having a day feeling down and out with blood sugar out of whack can cause you to overreact and want to you to give up even more. After being where I was, I know anyone can make it. More people care about you than you think. Asking for help is hard, but when you really feel like giving up, say something. Don’t try to fight it alone. Since then, what have you done to change your the way you live your life? I’ve opened up to people instead of trying to do it all alone. I’ve worked on controlling my sugars better, and I forced myself to have a more positive outlook. When I was suicidal and went to that mental hospital, I saw something so basic and simple it opened my eyes. Since then, I’ve been pushing through it all, and chasing what I want more than anything. I can’t say if everything I want will ever happen or not, but it gives me a reason to keep going no matter how bad it gets.
“I’ve never had any issues at work. I just tell someone “hey give me a sec, I need to sit down and eat a snack I can feel my blood sugar coming down,” or something like that and it’s never been a problem.”
You boldly continue to push through. As for your diet and exercise, do you have anything you do specifically? Well about a year ago I was going to the gym everyday, but that stopped because I started working out of town and didn’t have time. Now that I’m working back in town when I get off 12-hour days, I plan on going back to working out. However, I get constant exercise at work doing hard manual labor for very long hours. I consider that constant physical activity. On the weekends I’m always active and go longboarding or ride my mountain bike. My diet isn’t as high in protein since I’m not working out, but I try to eat as healthy as I can. Do you now keep track of your levels and use your insulin as instructed? I don’t log the sugars like I did when I was first diagnosed, I just calculate my insulin for what I need. I have to use my stuff everyday or I start feeling bad. I can go two, maybe three days without my insulin before having to go to the hospital. I only know that because I’ve run out before and couldn’t get more for a couple of days. How about your jobs; do your employers always accommodate to your needs well? I tell every employer I have diabetes when I get hired. Usually they have no idea about diabetes when I first bring it up, so I have to  inform them what they need to know. So far, I’ve never had any issues at work. I just tell someone “hey give me a sec, I need to sit down and eat a snack I can feel my blood sugar coming down,” or something like that and it’s never been a problem. I’m Union. If I was ever fired because of diabetes, there would be some serious consequences for that company. What do you think America could do as a whole to prevent the increase of children being diagnosed with diabetes? America needs to teach it better in school. In my 9th grade health class, I taught the class about diabetes because I had it and knew a lot more information than the old inaccurate textbooks did. America is lazy and unless all the unhealthy food disappears, diabetes will always be there. The food they give in schools is awful and I don’t think kids get enough exercise while in school. Physical Education might not be for everyone, but instead of cramming useless information down the throats of kids, have a daily 45-60 minute walk around the school. If habits like that were established young, then as adults there’s a higher chance of staying active. If you were to meet a young child who was recently diagnosed, what would you say to give them support? I’d tell them the truth about what’s going to happen and how things will change. I would also tell them how they will start to feel, so that when the change starts happening it wouldn’t be a huge shock to them. God has a plan for everything and it seems unfair to be given something you’d never want, but the strongest people are given the heaviest burdens. I may not be the best example, but I’ve done so many things in my life that I was told I couldn’t do because I have diabetes. So don’t let anyone or anything stop you from what you want.  

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3 Questions: Rick Storm, Type 2 Diabetic from Beaverton, Oregon

3 Questions: Rick Storm, Type 2 Diabetic from Beaverton, Oregon

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We ask Everyday Diabetics three questions and they record themselves answering from the heart. Real people, real answers, unfiltered and uncut for the real world. This week we put three questions to Rick Storm. A 52-year old native of Sacramento, California, now living in Beaverton, Oregon, Rick’s 9-5 is for a fire protection company where he oversees the day to day business. Rick is also active in the world of mixed martial arts on the The Underground at MixedMartialArts.com, where he works as an admin for a public forum as well as dealing with fighter stats and promoters. The Mixed Martial Arts organization is the official record keepers for mixed martial arts worldwide.
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The Indy 500 Driver with Diabetes – Charlie Kimball – Everyday Diabetes

The Indy 500 Driver with Diabetes – Charlie Kimball

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Having no functioning pancreas, every other race car driver in the Indy 500 has a definite advantage over Charlie Kimball, a driver with diabetes to compete in this event. Kimball, one of two IndyCar drivers with Type 1 diabetes and one of four in elite-level racing overall, has to consider a lot more safety precautions than most other drivers when he gets behind the wheel. Mensfitness.com reports:

“I wear a continuous glucose monitor, which is a sensor, which is worn on my body with a wire that is injected under my skin. It transfers the reading to a display that I put on my steering wheel. So when I’m racing, just like I check lap time, water pressure, oil temperature, speed, gear, I can also check blood glucose at the same time. That way I can double check the cars running right, and my body is running right as well,” says Kimball to Mensfitness.

In addition to that, Kimball also has a drink bottle mounted in the car, as most drivers do. He also has another bottle filled with a glucose-rich fluid like orange juice so he can take a sip should his sugar run low.

Read more here.  
 

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