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The goal of managing diabetes is to keep your blood glucose in a healthy range. You and your doctor decide on that range together, based on what's best for you.

 

How to manage your blood glucose

Help keep your blood glucose in a healthy range by following the tips below. Stress and illness can also affect blood glucose levels.

 

Eat healthy

  • Make healthy choices whenever possible
  • Eat a variety of foods in proper portions
  • Include non-starchy vegetables, a lean protein and a starch/grain
  • Choose water or a no-calorie drink

 

Be more active

  • Strengthen your muscles (try resistance bands)
  • Aim for 30 minutes of walking 5 days a week. Three 10-minute walks is okay!
  • Get up and move at least every 90 minutes
  • Take the stairs when possible
  • Park your car farther from the building
  • Get up during TV commercials and walk in place

 

Medicine

  • Take your diabetes medication at the same time every day
  • Call your provider with questions
  • If you have side effects that don't go away, contact your provider -- do not stop taking your medication

 

Check your blood glucose

Checking your blood glucose lets you know what your blood glucose is right then. It can help you make healthy day-to-day decisions. The A1C test tells you the average of your blood glucose over the past two or three months.

 

How diabetes affects your body

Over time, blood glucose levels above your healthy range can damage your heart, brain, eyes, kidneys, feet and nerves.

 

Hypoglycemia

Blood glucose levels below your healthy range can be dangerous if not treated immediately.

 

Symptoms that need immediate attention

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Sweaty
  • Hungry
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Shaky
  • Anxious
  • Weak or tired
  • Nervous or upset

 

Long-term effects

  • Stroke
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinopathy
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Nerve damage/amputation

Taking charge of your own health is an important step to catching diseases early or to prevent serious health conditions later. There are numerous ways to stay healthy and on top of your health, including talking with your healthcare provider to set up preventive screenings and well-woman visits.

 

Five basics for a healthy future

 

The National Women's Health week website suggests five very simple and straightforward steps to follow:

 

  • Get regular checkups and screenings from a healthcare professional.
  • Get active.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors like smoking, or not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.

 

The basic screenings every woman needs to know about are:

 

  • Bone health
  • Breast health
  • Colorectal health
  • Diabetes
  • Heart health
  • Reproductive health
  • Sexual health

 

Here's an easy-to-follow interactive screening chart that gives you guidance depending on your age as to what is recommended for each screening, but here are a few guidelines on each from HHS.

 

Breast cancer. Ask your doctor or nurse if you should have a mammogram to screen for breast cancer. Your age, family health, and personal health are all factors.

 

Cervical cancer. If you're between the ages of 21 and 65 and have ever been sexually active, schedule a Pap smear every one to three years. If you're older than 65 and your last Pap smear was normal, you don't need a Pap smear. If you've had a hysterectomy (your uterus and/or ovaries removed) that wasn't for cancer, you can also skip the Pap smear.

 

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), including chlamydia. STDs can cause a range of problems. They may cause trouble getting pregnant, problems that are passed on to your baby while pregnant, and other health concerns. It's important to be tested regularly. Also, if you're younger than 25 and having sex, talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner about a chlamydia screening.

 

Colorectal cancer. Starting at age 50, it's a good idea to have regular colorectal cancer tests. You may want to be tested sooner if you have a family history of colorectal cancer. There are several ways to test for colon cancer; your doctor can help you pick the right one.

 

Depression. Your emotional health makes a big difference to your physical health. Studies have shown that depression lowers the body's ability to resist all kinds of attacks. If you've felt consistently sad or weary for two weeks or longer, talk to your doctor about being tested for depression.

 

High blood pressure. The American Heart Association says that nearly half of all adults with high blood pressure are women. High blood pressure can be a risk for pregnant women and their babies. After age 65, women are actually more likely to have high blood pressure than men. So have your blood pressure checked at least every two years after you turn 18. A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80; "prehypertension" ("pre-high-blood-pressure") readings range from 120/80 to 139/89. High blood pressure readings begin at 140/90 and can go all the way to emergency levels from there.

 

Diabetes. It's also called "high blood sugar." By any name, diabetes is behind all kinds of health problems. In fact, it seems like scientists find new links between health problems and diabetes all the time. It can be to blame for heart, brain, eye, nerve, kidney, and foot trouble. If your blood pressure is higher than 135/80, or if you are on medicine for high blood pressure, regular diabetes screenings can help you prevent a host of problems.

 

High cholesterol. It's a good idea to have your cholesterol checked every year starting around age 20. This is even more important if:

 

  • You use tobacco
  • You are overweight
  • You have diabetes or high blood pressure
  • You have a personal history of heart disease
  • You have a personal history of blocked arteries
  • A man in your family had a heart attack before age 50 or a woman in your family had a heart attack before age 60.

 

HIV. HIV or AIDS screening is a must if:

 

  • You've had sex with more than one partner without using a condom
  • You've injected drugs
  • You're being treated for a sexually transmitted disease
  • You've had a blood transfusion between 1975 and 1985
  • You have, or have had, a sex partner who is bisexual, injects drugs, or has HIV
  • You exchange sex for money or drugs, or if you have a sex partner who does
  • You have any other reason to worry you might be infected.

 

Human papillomavirus (often called "genital warts"). The virus that causes these warts has also been linked to cervical cancer. Screening should begin at age 30 and should be done again about every three years after that.

 

Osteoporosis (weakening or thinning of the bones). Get a screening at age 65 to check your bones' strength. If you're younger than 65 but wondering whether you might have a problem, talk to your doctor.

 

Obesity. If your body mass index (BMI) number shows that you're overweight or obese, you're at risk for all kinds of issues. To find your BMI, use a BMI Calculator like this one and see where you rank. Generally, a person is overweight if their body mass is between 25 and 29.9. Any number over 30 is considered obese. If your BMI is too high, take action and talk to your healthcare team. The sooner you start, the easier it is to solve!

 

An aspirin a day

 

There are some medicines you can take to prevent health problems. As always, you should ask a healthcare professional first. A few of these include:

 

Aspirin. It may help prevent strokes. If you're age 55 or older, ask your doctor about it.

 

Estrogen (Hormone Replacement Therapy). It's been found that estrogen is NOT a safe way to prevent heart disease. In fact, it may increase your risk. Estrogen and Hormone Replacement Therapy may, however, help with the symptoms of menopause. If you're having trouble, talk to your doctor.

 

Breast cancer medicines. Some studies have shown that taking breast cancer medicines may help prevent cancer from starting in women with family histories of the disease. So if you have a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer, ask your doctor about this.

 

Immunizations. Even when you've finished school, there are still shots you should get regularly depending on your age and general health. These include:

 

  • A flu shot (get one every year)
  • A pneumonia shot if you're 65 or older
  • A shingles or whooping cough shot if your doctor says you need one
  • Other vaccinations like MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) and Tdap (Tetanus-Diptheria-Pertussis), or Tdap boosters.

 

Click here for a handy online quiz from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help you see which vaccinations you might need.

 

You're worth it!

 

So why not take some time to get your health in order this month? If you're like many women, there's someone who counts on you. Whether it's by your parents, your spouse, your children, or your job, you're needed. Why not value yourself as much as others value you? Call your health team and make an appointment for a checkup today. It's the first step on what can be a much healthier, happier journey.

 

For more on women's preventive services, see www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines.

 

Source: Health and Wellness from Humana: Well-Woman Checkup List

Regular mammograms may lead to early detection

 

To give yourself the best chance at staying healthy, talk to your doctor about when and how often you should get a mammogram. Routine mammograms may detect breast cancer early, when it’s easier to treat, which is definitely a plus.  That’s why regular screenings are such a good idea.

 

The American Cancer Society recommends the following:

 

  • Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screenings with mammograms (X-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
  • Women ages 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older should switch to getting mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.

 

Staying in good health may reduce your risk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, says that many factors can influence your breast cancer risk. While knowing your family history is important, most women who get breast cancer do not have a family connection to the disease. To reduce your risk for the disease, the CDC recommends the following:
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Limiting or eliminating alcoholic drinks

 

See the complete list.

 

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) members can now get reminders to refill prescriptions and track their prescription orders with a few taps on their wrist thanks to the new Humana Pharmacy app for Apple Watch. The new app is one of the first mail order pharmacy apps of its kind for the device and accompanies a major update to the Humana Pharmacy app for iPhone.

"For people managing multiple daily medications, these tools can make a real difference in helping our members optimize their drug therapy and achieve their best health."

The Apple Watch app offers two features:

  • Refill reminders to notify members when it’s time to reorder;
  • Order tracking to show members exactly when their order will arrive.

 

A third feature that will remind members to take their medicine will be added later this year.The Apple Watch app will integrate with the features of the newest version of the Humana Pharmacy app for iPhone, making it easy for members to move easily between their Apple Watch and iPhone. New features on the mobile app allow members to:

  • View videos with important safety information about their medications;
  • Use their phone’s camera to scan the barcode on a medication to request a refill;
  • Take a photo of a medication to transfer the prescription from a retail pharmacy to Humana Pharmacy.

 

“Our new Apple Watch app makes managing medications and adhering to medication therapy easier than ever before,” said William Fleming, President, Humana Pharmacy Solutions. “For people managing multiple daily medications, these tools can make a real difference in helping our members optimize their drug therapy and achieve their best health.”

The app is Humana’s second Apple Watch app. The company launched Cue by Humana in April 2015, which prompts users to take small, daily actions known to result in better health – drink water, focus on breathing, focus on posture, get up and move, get outside and stretch.

The Humana Pharmacy app is available on the App Store for iPhone and from the App Store for Apple Watch, found within the Apple Watch app on iPhone under the Explore tab.

About Humana Pharmacy Solutions

Humana Pharmacy Solutions, a division of Humana Inc., manages traditional pharmacy benefits with member-focused strategies to yield savings in pharmacy and total health expense. Providing prescription coverage for both individuals and employer groups, Humana Pharmacy Solutions strives to give members access to the medicine they need while offering guidance on clinically proven, therapeutically equivalent drugs that bring better value to the member and the customer. For more information visitwww.HumanaPharmacy.com.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com

Find more Pharmacy information at The specified item was not found.

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Humana Pharmacy’s app for iPhone also gets update to make managing medications easier for users
Tuesday, April 19, 2016 10:45 am EDT

Medication Refills Made Easy Through the New Humana Pharmacy App for Apple Watch | Humana Healthcare

If you're diabetic, losing even a little bit of extra body weight can be good for you. But first, talk to your doctor and develop a plan.

 

Losing weight won't affect your diabetes

The answer is: FALSE. If you are diabetic, losing even a little bit of extra body weight can be good for you. Losing only 10-15 pounds can help lower the sugar in your blood, lower your blood pressure, improve your blood fat, and help you move around easier to help you feel better. Maybe you have tried to lose weight in the past but have not been able to. This can happen for different reasons. Maybe you tried to lose too much weight at one time? Or too quickly? Or maybe your weight loss plan was not the right one for you?

Before you start, it is important to set goals and develop a plan for losing weight. Talk to your doctor first, so that together you can develop a plan that is right for you. Below are some tips to help you get started.

Choose the best time to start

A time when your life is not so stressful may be the best time to start a program to lose weight. Sometimes stress and certain situations cause us to over eat or eat unhealthy foods.

Take a few days and keep a record of your meals

This will help you develop a plan that is right for you. If you enjoy having several snacks, fruits or nuts would be a good choice instead of potato chips or candy bars. If you usually have large meals, perhaps smaller, more frequent meals would help. If you drink soda or juice several times a day, perhaps limiting yourself to one or two cups a day will help.

Be ready to make a change for good

Healthy eating is a good habit to keep for you and your family.

Become more active

Exercise is an important part of being healthy. Many people only need to exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week to improve their health and exercise can be included in day to day activities.

Get help

You don't have to do this alone. Your friends, family, and doctor can support you as you work on getting healthier. Humana Family nurses can also help you. Humana has a program to help you manage your diabetes. This program is available at no additional cost and a nurse may call you and work with you on managing your diabetes. Ask your doctor to help you sign up today.

To find out more about diabetes and Humana programs to help you manage it, log in to MyHumana

Resources

Humana.com: Health and Wellness from Humana - Diabetes and Weight Loss

 

American Diabetes Association

Links to various other Websites from this site are provided for your convenience only and do not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana of these sites, any products or services described on these sites, or of any other material contained therein. Humana disclaims responsibility for their content and accuracy.

If you have diabetes, you're not alone. Almost 26 million people in the United States are living with the disease. That's more than 8 percent of the population. Another 79 million are at high risk for developing it. Diabetes is a serious condition. It can lead to big health problems when it isn't well managed. But when you take charge, you can help yourself live a much healthier life.

November is American Diabetes Month. It's a great time to take a look at what you can do to live well with diabetes.

 

What is diabetes?

When you eat, your body breaks down the sugars and starches in food into blood sugar, or glucose. It is the basic fuel for the body's cells. Normally, a hormone called insulin carries glucose from the blood into the cells. But in people with diabetes, this system doesn't work the way it should. Without careful management, glucose can build up in the blood and not reach the cells.

The types of diabetes

As the American Diabetes Association, or ADA, explains, there are three types of diabetes.

  • Type 1 is most often found in children and young adults. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin. People with type 1 diabetes need insulin therapy or other treatments. Only 5 percent of people with diabetes have this type.
  • Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. Either the body does not make enough insulin, or the cells ignore the insulin. It may be treated by a combination of medications, diet, and exercise.
  • Gestational diabetes occurs in some women during pregnancy. It raises the woman's future risk of getting diabetes. It may also raise her child's risk of being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes. If a woman develops this, it is important for her to follow her doctor's advice.

Diabetes can cause complications

When glucose builds up in the blood, it can lead to long-term health problems. Among them are:

  • Eye problems that can put your sight at risk
  • Foot problems such as nerve damage and slow wound healing
  • Skin infections and disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Hearing loss
  • Kidney disease

With correct care and lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes are able to prevent complications.

These four steps can help you control your diabetes – for life

The National Diabetes Education Program, NDEP, recommends these four steps. They can help you manage your diabetes. And that can help you stay healthy.

Step 1: Learn about diabetes

  • Make sure you understand what type of diabetes you have. Learn all you can about it. Talk with your doctor and ask questions. Talk with a dietitian or certified diabetes educator for help with your diet. Ask your treatment team for help when you need it.
  • Ask about the things nearly everyone with diabetes needs to do: Make healthy food choices. Stay at a healthy weight. Exercise every day.

Step 2: Know your diabetes ABCs

  • A is for A1C. This is a test that shows what your blood glucose has been over the last three months. The A1C goal for many people is below seven. But your healthcare provider can tell you what A1C target is right for you. As you've read, high blood glucose can harm your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes.
  • B is for blood pressure. The goal for most people with diabetes is a measure below 130/80. High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard. It can lead to heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
  • C is for cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy material that is found in foods and made by your body. LDL, or bad cholesterol, can build up and clog blood vessels. That can cause a heart attack or a stroke. HDL, or good cholesterol, helps remove cholesterol from your blood vessels. The LDL goal for most people with diabetes is below 100. The HDL goal for most men with diabetes is above 40. The HDL goal for most women with diabetes is about 50.

Step 3: Manage your diabetes

  • Work with your healthcare team to reach your ABC targets.
  • Follow your diabetes meal plan. It will guide you in deciding how many meals and snacks to eat each day.
    • Choose healthy foods. They include fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dry peas or beans, whole grains, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.
    • Keep fish and lean meat and poultry portions to about three ounces. That's about the size of a deck of cards. Bake, broil or grill it.
    • Eat foods that have less fat and salt.
    • Eat foods with more fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.

The ADA reminds people with diabetes that they can eat the same foods their families enjoy. Everyone benefits from healthy eating, so the whole family can take part. You can fit your favorite foods into your meal plan and still manage your diabetes.What you eat and when you eat affect how your diabetes medicines work. Talk with your doctor about when to take your diabetes medicine. It may help to make a chart with the following: names of your medicines; when to take them; and how much to take.For people taking certain diabetes medicines, following a schedule for meals, snacks, and physical activity is best. However, some diabetes medicines allow for more flexibility. You can work with your healthcare team to make the diabetes and meal plans that are best for you.

  • Get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days. Physical activity is an important part of staying healthy and controlling your blood glucose. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
    • Ask your doctor what exercises are safe for you. Brisk walking is one great way to move more.
    • Make sure your shoes fit well and your socks stay clean and dry. Check your feet for redness or sores after exercising. Call your doctor if you have sores that do not heal.
    • Warm up and stretch for 5 to 10 minutes before you exercise. Then cool down for several minutes after.
    • Always wear your medical identification or other ID.
    • Find an exercise buddy. Many people are more likely to do something active if a friend joins them.
    • Ask your doctor whether you should exercise if your blood glucose level is high.
    • Ask your doctor whether you should have a snack before you exercise.
    • Know the signs of low blood glucose, shown below. Always carry food or glucose tablets to treat it.
  • Exercise affects what you eat and when you need to eat. So be aware of your blood glucose when you exercise. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIDDK, tells us that low blood glucose can make you feel shaky, or weak. You may be confused, irritable, hungry, or tired. You may sweat a lot or get a headache. If you have any of these symptoms, check your blood glucose. If it is below 70, have one of the following right away:
    • 3 or 4 glucose tablets;
    • 1 serving of glucose gel;
    • ½ cup, or four ounces, of any fruit juice;
    • ½ cup of a regular - not diet - soft drink;
    • cup of milk;
    • 5 or 6 pieces of hard candy;
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey.

After 15 minutes, check your blood glucose again. If it's still too low, have another serving. Repeat these steps until your blood glucose level is 70 or higher. If it will be an hour or more before your next meal, have a snack as well.

  • Stay at a healthy weight by using your meal plan and by exercising more. The experts at the Mayo Clinic stress the importance of a healthy weight. If you're overweight, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can make a big difference. It can help you control your blood glucose better.
  • Ask for help if you feel down. Talk with a mental health counselor, support group, member of the clergy, friend or family member.
  • Learn to cope with stress. Stress can raise blood glucose. While it is hard to get rid of stress, you can learn to handle it. One source for help is Diabetes HealthSense. It offers  access to resources that can help you make healthy changes. Visit Your Diabetes Info: Health Sense
  • Stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk of many diabetes complications. For help in quitting, call 1-800-QUITNOW.
  • Take your medicine even when you feel good. Ask your doctor if you need aspirin to help prevent a heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor if you cannot afford your medicine or if you have side effects.
  • Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call your doctor right away about sores that don't heal.
  • Brush your teeth and floss every day. This can help you avoid problems with your mouth, teeth, and gums.
  • Check your blood glucose. Talk with your doctor about how and when to do your testing. Show your results to your healthcare team. Ask how you can use your test results to help you manage your diabetes.
  • Check your blood pressure if your doctor tells you to. Do it as often as advised.
  • Report any changes in your eyesight to your healthcare team. Treating problems early can help protect your vision.

Step 4: Get routine care

  • The NDEP says to see your healthcare team at least twice a year. They can help find and treat any problems early. At each visit, you should have a blood pressure check, foot check, and weight check. Your doctor should also review your self-care plan.
  • At least twice a year, you should have an A1C test. You may need testing more often if your A1 is more than seven.
    • Once a year, you should have the following:
    • cholesterol test;
    • test to check for fat in the blood;
    • complete foot exam;
    • eye exam;
    • flu shot;
    • urine and blood test to check for kidney problems;
    • dental exam. Be sure to tell your dentist that you have diabetes.
  • At least once, you should have a pneumonia shot. Ask your doctor when to get it.

Keeping a close eye on your diabetes and your health takes effort. But it is worth it. After all, it can help you live a longer, healthier, and more active life.

It is believed that more than 300 million people worldwide have asthma. And close to 300 million are living with diabetes. But before we talk about a link between these two conditions, it will help to talk what each condition is.

What is asthma?

Asthma, pronounced AZ-ma, is a lung disease that causes a person's airways to narrow. Airways are how air gets into and out of your lungs. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, an asthma attack can make it hard for a person to breathe and cause coughing, wheezing, and chest tightening. If not treated, it can be very dangerous.

There are many ways to treat and control asthma. But there is no cure. Even if a person with asthma feels fine, the disease can pop up again at any time.

What is diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes "is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin."

What does that mean? Basically, it means that a person with diabetes can't create or properly use insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels. And when blood sugar levels are high, it can cause many different symptoms.

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. The ADA offers this list of common symptoms for each type:

Type 1 diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness

Type 2 diabetes (often people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms)

  • Any of the type 1 symptoms
  • Frequent infections
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
  • Skin, gum, or bladder infections

Both types need to be taken seriously and treated by a doctor. The National Diabetes Education Program says that, without the right treatment, diabetes can lead to other conditions. These include heart attack and stroke, eye problems that can lead to trouble seeing or blindness, nerve damage and kidney problems.

So, are asthma and diabetes connected?

Now that we know more about each condition, let us look into possible connections between them. Below, we will present information pulled from two studies that say that there may be a link. Keep in mind that, while studies may show a connection, there is no firm proof that shows either asthma or diabetes to be a direct cause of the other.Study No. 1The first study was published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Here, we will present a shortened summary based on an article found on Reuters.comIn this study, researchers looked at 2,000 3- to 21-year-olds with diabetes. They found that 11 percent had asthma. This is higher than the roughly 9 percent rate among all people in the U.S. within that age range. When the researchers looked just at a group that has type 2 diabetes, a full 16 percent had asthma.There were two main findings from this study:

  1. Kids with diabetes may have a higher-than-average rate of asthma.
  2. Those with both conditions seem to have a tougher time keeping their blood sugar under control.

The study found no firm reason why children with both conditions have a harder time keeping blood sugar controlled. But the researchers have two possible ideas.The Reuters article reports: "Some past research … has found that people with poorly controlled diabetes are more likely to show dips in lung function over time than those with well-controlled diabetes. But the reasons for that are not known."The second idea is that "... it may simply be tougher for kids with type 1 diabetes to control their blood sugar when they have another chronic health problem."Study No. 2The second study, as reported on WebMD.com, followed two groups of people from 1964 to 1983. The first group was made up of 2,392 people with asthma. The second group was made up of 4,784 people without asthma.During those 19 years, a higher percentage of asthma sufferers developed diabetes than did those who did not suffer from asthma.The conclusion: "People with asthma were at higher risk for developing diabetes."This study was conducted by a group lead by Young J. Juhn, MD, MPH, of the Mayo Clinic. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in San Francisco.But Juhn cautions that further study is needed before a definite link is proven.Juhn says in a news release: "While it's important … to be aware of the increased risks of … diabetes in those with asthma, these findings should be taken with caution."

What does all this mean to you?

If you or someone you care about has asthma, you should work with a doctor to be tested often for diabetes and other conditions. There is no guarantee that an asthma sufferer will develop diabetes. But the two studies discussed here could mean that you are more at risk than a person without asthma.Building a long-term relationship with a doctor can have a positive impact on your overall health, especially if you already have asthma or another condition.

Controlling the conditions

If you have asthma or diabetes -or both - learning how to control your condition can help you lead a better life. The most important thing for either condition is to work closely with a physician to create a medical treatment plan. But the following tips can help you deal with asthma or diabetes on a daily basis.Asthma control tipsAsthma.com says one of the best ways to control asthma is to "know your triggers." Triggers are things like pets, allergies, and even things you eat that can cause an asthma attack. After working with your doctor to create a treatment plan, you should pay attention to those things that cause your asthma to get worse. And then you can work to stay away from those things in your life.Asthma.com also has some great tips for helping you remember to take your asthma medicine.

  • If you have coffee every morning, keep your medicine next to your favorite coffee mug.
  • If you have a cell phone, set its alarm for twice a day-once in the morning and once in the evening-to remind you to take your medicine.
  • Work with a friend, who is also on medicine, to call each other daily.
  • If you use a computer every day, program a start-up reminder or a daily e-mail.
  • Each time you get a new supply of medication, make a note to refill it on your calendar one week before the medicine is due to run out.

One more tip: eat right. Eating healthy foods is good for anyone. And it just might help those with asthma control their symptoms.WebMD.com points out that "many doctors suspect that the specific foods you eat might have a direct impact on your asthma." The site lists the following as good advice for people with asthma:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat foods with omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna, and sardines.
  • Avoid trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids. Look at the labels to make sure foods you eat don't contain these things.
  • Keep a healthy weight, as overweight people tend to have more trouble controlling asthma.

 

Diabetes control tips

The National Diabetes Education Program, on its website, suggests following your diabetes meal plan. If you do not have one, ask your healthcare team to help you develop a meal plan. Good rules of thumb are to:

  • Eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dry peas or beans, whole grains, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.
  • Keep fish, lean meat, and poultry portions to about 3 ounces. Bake, broil, or grill it.
  • Eat foods that have less fat and salt.
  • Eat foods with more fiber such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.

The program also suggests other well-being tips such as:

  • Doing things, like brisk walking, which get you moving 30 to 60 minutes every day.
  • Staying at a healthy weight by using your meal plan and moving more.
  • Asking for help if you feel down. Talking to a friend or family member, even someone from your place of worship. You can also get professional help from a counselor.
  • Learning to cope with stress. Stress can raise your blood glucose. While it is hard to remove stress from your life, you can learn to handle it.
  • Stoping smoking. Ask for help to quit.
  • Taking your prescribed medicines even when you feel good.
  • Checking your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling.
  • Brushing your teeth and floss every day to avoid problems with your mouth, teeth, or gums.
  • Testing your blood glucose one or more times a day. Keep your doctor in the loop.
  • Checking your blood pressure if your doctor thinks you should.
  • Reporting any changes in your eyesight to your healthcare team.

If there were things you could do to prevent type 2 diabetes, would they be worth the effort?

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” And here’s why.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Over time, it can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke, as well as vision loss, kidney failure, nerve damage, and the loss of limbs.1 The disease is virtually a pandemic in the United States, affecting almost 30 million people. And as many as 95 percent of those cases are type 2 diabetes.2

What is type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are dangerously high. It is a disorder of the metabolism, which is the way our bodies use food for energy.

Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose. It enters the bloodstream and travels to cells throughout the body where it is used for energy. A hormone called insulin must be present to allow glucose, or blood sugar, to enter the cells. In people who have type 2 diabetes, however, there are usually two problems. First, the body doesn’t make enough insulin. Second, tissues such as muscle and fat cells develop a resistance to insulin. When this happens, the body can no longer maintain normal blood sugar levels. Blood sugar rises dangerously high. This is when diabetes has developed.3

It starts with prediabetes

Before full-blown diabetes develops, most people go through a stage called prediabetes. This occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Many people with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. In addition, they are at risk for heart disease and stroke.3

 

5 tips for preventing type 2 diabetes

Changing your lifestyle can be a big step toward prevention. Making a few changes now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road. This is especially important if you’re at increased risk of diabetes.4

  1. Get more physical activity. Exercise can help you lose weight and lower your blood sugar. It can also improve your body’s response to insulin, helping keep your blood sugar within a normal range. Including both aerobic and resistance training in your exercise program provides the greatest benefit. Aerobic training, such as jogging, swimming, or riding a bike, promotes the circulation of oxygen throughout your body. Aerobic exercises are associated with more rapid breathing and a faster heart rate. Resistance training works to increase muscle strength through repetitive exercises, most often with weights, weight machines or resistance bands.

  2. Eat plenty of fiber. A high-fiber diet can help you control blood sugar and lower your risk of heart disease. It helps you feel full, too, which can promote weight loss. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

  3. Choose whole grains. Try to make them at least half of the grains you eat. Look for the word “whole” on the package when you buy bread, pasta, and cereal.

  4. Lose that extra weight. If you’re overweight, you may be able to prevent diabetes by weight loss. Participants in a recent study who lost a moderate amount of weight – just about seven percent of initial body weight – and who exercised regularly reduced their risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent!

  5. Fad diets aren’t the answer. Making healthy choices is. Think variety and portion control as part of your overall plan for eating healthy. Fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but you may be giving up important nutrients. Neither their effectiveness at preventing diabetes nor their long-term effects are known.

 

Sources:

Humana.com: Tips to Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

 

1http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/diabetes/diabetes-heart-disease-stroke/Pages/index.aspx

2http://professional.diabetes.org/admin/UserFiles/0%20-%20Sean/Documents/Fast_Facts_9- 2015.pdf

3 http://www.medicinenet.com/diabetes_prevention/article/htm

4 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-prevention/ART- 20047639?pg=1

5 http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Diabetes/UnderstandYourRiskforDiabetes/Understand-Your-Risk-for-Diabetes_UCM_002034_Article.jsp#.ViD-7aSrhOg

 

This material is provided for informational use only. You should consult with your doctor.