• Mood
  • Food
  • Move
  • Me
  • 5 responses to unsolicited advice
  • 7 Tips to Help Increase Your Happiness
  • Emotional Wellbeing
  • Do your hypos affect your close relationships?
  • How to start the conversation
  • A Healthy Mind and Diabetes

Mood

Here are five of the most common (and annoying!) questions and comments you hear about diabetes, and suggested responses.

Living with diabetes can be challenging enough and getting unsolicited advice can make you feel frustrated, isolated or upset. Managing these conversations can be difficult and you don’t have to do it by yourself.

These are our suggested responses to the most common comments you’ve received. You can speak to your healthcare team about managing conversations that are not listed below or call our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

Comment 1: “Are you sure you should eat that?”

Response: Thanks you for your concern, I can eat all the same foods as you – just less of some. Living with diabetes still means eating a well-balanced diet and my diabetes team and I have it covered.

Comment 2: “What was your last test result?”

Response: It’s a very personal question and I only share my results with my GP and healthcare team. It’s normal to have numbers that are sometimes to low or too high, and having other people comment on them can make me feel disappointed or frustrated.

Comment 3: “Diabetes is easy to manage, at least you don’t have something worse.”

Response: I know you’re trying to make me feel better, however what you’re saying makes it sound like diabetes is no big deal, which it is. Diabetes is a condition that I live with every day and can be very challenging. As I work hard to manage my diabetes, it can be incredibly helpful to know you support me and care.

Comment 4: “Have you tried [insert diet here]”.

Response: There is no such thing as a ‘diabetic diet’ and my meals are tailored to my nutritional needs. I’ve spoken to my healthcare team about my diet and I’m doing my best to make the healthiest choices I can. If I need to adjust my diet I will speak to my dietitian.

Comment 5: “My grandmother/uncle/cat has diabetes and they went blind/had an amputation.”

Response: My diabetes health team is keeping an eye on any complications that could occur as a result of diabetes. I’m managing my diabetes and we know with good management you can live a long, healthy and happy life with diabetes. Stories like this are not reassuring and can make me feel scared or stressed about my diabetes.

 

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5 responses to unsolicited advice

Living with diabetes can be challenging enough and getting unsolicited advice can make you feel frustrated, isolated or upset. Managing these conversations can be difficult and you don’t have to do it by yourself.

These are our suggested responses to the most common comments you’ve received. You can speak to your healthcare team about managing conversations that are not listed below or call our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

Comment 1: “Are you sure you should eat that?”

Response: Thanks you for your concern, I can eat all the same foods as you – just less of some. Living with diabetes still means eating a well-balanced diet and my diabetes team and I have it covered.

Comment 2: “What was your last test result?”

Response: It’s a very personal question and I only share my results with my GP and healthcare team. It’s normal to have numbers that are sometimes to low or too high, and having other people comment on them can make me feel disappointed or frustrated.

Comment 3: “Diabetes is easy to manage, at least you don’t have something worse.”

Response: I know you’re trying to make me feel better, however what you’re saying makes it sound like diabetes is no big deal, which it is. Diabetes is a condition that I live with every day and can be very challenging. As I work hard to manage my diabetes, it can be incredibly helpful to know you support me and care.

Comment 4: “Have you tried [insert diet here]”.

Response: There is no such thing as a ‘diabetic diet’ and my meals are tailored to my nutritional needs. I’ve spoken to my healthcare team about my diet and I’m doing my best to make the healthiest choices I can. If I need to adjust my diet I will speak to my dietitian.

Comment 5: “My grandmother/uncle/cat has diabetes and they went blind/had an amputation.”

Response: My diabetes health team is keeping an eye on any complications that could occur as a result of diabetes. I’m managing my diabetes and we know with good management you can live a long, healthy and happy life with diabetes. Stories like this are not reassuring and can make me feel scared or stressed about my diabetes.

 

Mood

Boost your mood and your mental health.

We all strive for happiness in our lives and it’s important to review what’s impacting your mood and your mental health. Here are 7 tips to increasing your happiness:

  1. Work-life balance

Leave work at work and use your down time to relax. A healthy work-life balance can significantly reduce your stress. Being present and focussed on what you are doing in the moment will help you to  enjoy it and prevent guilt about things you ‘should’ be doing. Those emails will still be there tomorrow morning!

 

  1. Negative thoughts are just thoughts

Negative thoughts can have a big impact on our self-esteem and happiness. The funny thing is when they surface we very rarely take the time to question or challenge them.  One way to banish negative thoughts is to write them up on a piece of paper and shred them or treat them like an annoying backseat driver – you’re not interested in listening.

 

  1. Step away from social media

Social media can be great for keeping in touch with friends and seeing what’s going on in the world. But it can also be a negative experience if you  start comparing yourself to unrealistic standards. Try turning your phone off and take the time to connect with people face-to-face.

 

  1. Surround yourself with friends and family

Stay close to  the people who bring out the best in you. Often when life gets busy, hanging out with your friends is the first thing to get cut from your schedule. Making sure to spend time with your favourite people boosts your mood and reduces stress.

 

  1. Remind yourself of one thing you are looking forward to and one thing you are grateful for.

Maybe you’re grateful that there was no line for your coffee today and you’re looking forward to watching your favourite TV show tonight. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but it will keep you grounded in the good parts of life and looking forward to the future.

 

  1. Take time to do the things you enjoy

Listen to a podcast, go see a movie or read your favourite book. Regularly taking  time to do something that’s just for you and  makes you smile is good for your overall wellbeing.

 

  1. Take care of your physical health

Healthy eating, regular exercise and sleep are all important to boosting your mood and reducing your stress levels. If you’re looking to get inspired check out our healthy recipes and exercise tips.

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7 Tips to Help Increase Your Happiness

We all strive for happiness in our lives and it’s important to review what’s impacting your mood and your mental health. Here are 7 tips to increasing your happiness:

  1. Work-life balance

Leave work at work and use your down time to relax. A healthy work-life balance can significantly reduce your stress. Being present and focussed on what you are doing in the moment will help you to  enjoy it and prevent guilt about things you ‘should’ be doing. Those emails will still be there tomorrow morning!

 

  1. Negative thoughts are just thoughts

Negative thoughts can have a big impact on our self-esteem and happiness. The funny thing is when they surface we very rarely take the time to question or challenge them.  One way to banish negative thoughts is to write them up on a piece of paper and shred them or treat them like an annoying backseat driver – you’re not interested in listening.

 

  1. Step away from social media

Social media can be great for keeping in touch with friends and seeing what’s going on in the world. But it can also be a negative experience if you  start comparing yourself to unrealistic standards. Try turning your phone off and take the time to connect with people face-to-face.

 

  1. Surround yourself with friends and family

Stay close to  the people who bring out the best in you. Often when life gets busy, hanging out with your friends is the first thing to get cut from your schedule. Making sure to spend time with your favourite people boosts your mood and reduces stress.

 

  1. Remind yourself of one thing you are looking forward to and one thing you are grateful for.

Maybe you’re grateful that there was no line for your coffee today and you’re looking forward to watching your favourite TV show tonight. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but it will keep you grounded in the good parts of life and looking forward to the future.

 

  1. Take time to do the things you enjoy

Listen to a podcast, go see a movie or read your favourite book. Regularly taking  time to do something that’s just for you and  makes you smile is good for your overall wellbeing.

 

  1. Take care of your physical health

Healthy eating, regular exercise and sleep are all important to boosting your mood and reducing your stress levels. If you’re looking to get inspired check out our healthy recipes and exercise tips.

Mood

Looking after your diabetes can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Over time this can take its toll on your emotional wellbeing. It’s normal to feel stressed sometimes but prolonged or intense stress is not healthy.

Looking after your diabetes can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Over time this can take its toll on your emotional wellbeing. It’s normal to feel stressed sometimes but prolonged or intense stress is not healthy. In a recent Australian survey, 28% of people with type 1 diabetes and up to 22% of people with type 2 diabetes reported experiences severe diabetes-related distress.

If you are feeling stressed over your family, work or health, it’s important to take care of yourself and help get yourself back on track.

Talk to someone. The saying is true – ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’. Connect with someone and talk about how you’re feeling – it could be a friend, family member or a health professional. Alternatively, you can seek out professional help at www.diabetescounsellingonline.com.au, Black Dog Institute or BeyondBlue. 

Do something you enjoy. When we get busy and stressed, it’s easy to stop making time for the things we enjoy. Take some time out for your favourite activities. It could be as simple as putting your feet up with a cup of tea and a good book. Alternatively you could catch up with a friend, plan a date with your significant other, get a massage, spend some time gardening or go see a movie – anything that makes you feel good.

Focus on the present. We often feel stressed over something that happened in the past (e.g. eating a ‘bad’ food or forgetting a medication) or worry about the future (e.g. developing complications or potential impact of diabetes on work, money or relationships). Try to focus on the present – praise yourself for the things you have done well and focus on the things you can change here and now.

Take care of yourself. Make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep, drinking plenty of water and eating well – it will go a long way to making you feel better. Exercise also helps relax your muscles and releases feel-good hormones, which can help boost your mood.

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Emotional Wellbeing

Looking after your diabetes can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Over time this can take its toll on your emotional wellbeing. It’s normal to feel stressed sometimes but prolonged or intense stress is not healthy. In a recent Australian survey, 28% of people with type 1 diabetes and up to 22% of people with type 2 diabetes reported experiences severe diabetes-related distress.

If you are feeling stressed over your family, work or health, it’s important to take care of yourself and help get yourself back on track.

Talk to someone. The saying is true – ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’. Connect with someone and talk about how you’re feeling – it could be a friend, family member or a health professional. Alternatively, you can seek out professional help at www.diabetescounsellingonline.com.au, Black Dog Institute or BeyondBlue. 

Do something you enjoy. When we get busy and stressed, it’s easy to stop making time for the things we enjoy. Take some time out for your favourite activities. It could be as simple as putting your feet up with a cup of tea and a good book. Alternatively you could catch up with a friend, plan a date with your significant other, get a massage, spend some time gardening or go see a movie – anything that makes you feel good.

Focus on the present. We often feel stressed over something that happened in the past (e.g. eating a ‘bad’ food or forgetting a medication) or worry about the future (e.g. developing complications or potential impact of diabetes on work, money or relationships). Try to focus on the present – praise yourself for the things you have done well and focus on the things you can change here and now.

Take care of yourself. Make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep, drinking plenty of water and eating well – it will go a long way to making you feel better. Exercise also helps relax your muscles and releases feel-good hormones, which can help boost your mood.

Mood

Having diabetes can be frustrating, but imagine being in the shoes of your loved ones or colleagues watching from the sideline while you treat hypos and deal with mood swings associated with fluctuating blood glucose levels. The diabetes might be yours, but it can also affect those around you.
Hypo symptoms are the brain’s reaction to a lack of glucose and may greatly increase your emotional response which can make you exceptionally happy, silly, worried, frightened, paranoid or angry. The effect can be strikingly similar to being drunk and may worsen if left untreated.
Often, regardless of the reason for your changed emotions, the first reaction by those around you is to blame your diabetes. Some might even be accuse you of not looking after yourself or they may even want you to keep higher BGLs to avoid hypos. Even with the patience of a saint you may struggle with having to repeatedly explaining yourself and your diabetes.
You can start by letting those closest to you know how you react when your levels are dropping too low and how they can help. Look for reason why hypos may be happening and discuss strategies to reduce the frequency or prevent them with your diabetes team.
Every relationship can be trying at times, throw in diabetes and it can be extra complicated. Check out our Mood articles for advice on mental health and diabetes or call our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

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Do your hypos affect your close relationships?

Having diabetes can be frustrating, but imagine being in the shoes of your loved ones or colleagues watching from the sideline while you treat hypos and deal with mood swings associated with fluctuating blood glucose levels. The diabetes might be yours, but it can also affect those around you.
Hypo symptoms are the brain’s reaction to a lack of glucose and may greatly increase your emotional response which can make you exceptionally happy, silly, worried, frightened, paranoid or angry. The effect can be strikingly similar to being drunk and may worsen if left untreated.
Often, regardless of the reason for your changed emotions, the first reaction by those around you is to blame your diabetes. Some might even be accuse you of not looking after yourself or they may even want you to keep higher BGLs to avoid hypos. Even with the patience of a saint you may struggle with having to repeatedly explaining yourself and your diabetes.
You can start by letting those closest to you know how you react when your levels are dropping too low and how they can help. Look for reason why hypos may be happening and discuss strategies to reduce the frequency or prevent them with your diabetes team.
Every relationship can be trying at times, throw in diabetes and it can be extra complicated. Check out our Mood articles for advice on mental health and diabetes or call our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

Mood

While it’s normal to feel stressed or anxious at times about having to manage a chronic condition such as diabetes, intense or ongoing feelings can be a sign of diabetes distress, burnout or depression.

It’s little surprise that managing diabetes can feel overwhelming at times, but it’s important to start the conversation about how it’s impacting you. Managing diabetes can sometimes feel like a full-time job with checking blood glucose levels, taking medications or insulin, remembering appointments and checkups, thinking about what to eat, keeping active and much more.

While it’s normal to feel stressed or anxious at times about having to manage a chronic condition such as diabetes, intense or  ongoing feelings can be a sign of diabetes distress, burnout or depression. Too often people struggle quietly on their own with stress, anxiety and depression and it can be hard to know how to help, but just letting someone know that you care could make all the difference.

 

Diabetes distress and burnout vs depression

Diabetes distress occurs when concerns about managing diabetes start to impact on daily life, including work, school, family or social life.  Someone might feel overwhelmed by the demands of diabetes, frustrated that they can’t control their blood glucose readings or feel guilty that they’re ‘failing’ when things get a bit off-track.

Burnout occurs when the distress intensifies it all feels like managing diabetes is too much to cope with and they want to forget they have diabetes altogether.   People with diabetes may experience distress or burnout at various times through their lives but it’s important for them to look after their mental health and seek support from loved ones and diabetes care team when they need it.

Depression, on the other hand, is a serious mental health condition that may or may not be related to diabetes.  Depression is one of the most common mental health concerns in our society, but people with diabetes have a two-fold increased risk of developing the condition.  They may be feeling down much of the time, have little interest in things they used to enjoy or experience changes in their appetite or sleep.  If you think you (or someone you know) might be depressed, talk to your GP. They can help diagnose the condition and talk about treatment options.

Managing diabetes can also be tough for families and carers and they can also be susceptible to these conditions.  The desire to take good care of their loved ones can cause stress and worry, which can affect their own mental health and well-being.

 

How to start a conversation

It’s not always easy to start a conversation with someone about how they are feeling.   It can feel like you might be opening a Pandora’s Box and don’t know what to do if someone opens up to you.  The good news is that you don’t have solve their problems for them – your job is just to be a good listener and let them know you care.  If you know someone you think might be struggling try some of these conversation starters:

  • “How have you been lately? What’s been happening?”
  • “What’s going on for you at the moment?”
  • “How are you going?”

Give the person a chance to talk about whatever might be on their mind.  Often people appreciate the opportunity to talk and feel like they’re being understood.  Avoid the urge to jump in with your own story about a similar experience.  Offer them support and encourage them to reflect on how their feeling: “Wow, you’ve got a lot going on for you at the moment – how are you coping?

Keep in touch with the person following your conversation to let them know you’ve haven’t forgotten about them.  It could be as simple as sending a text message, giving them a phone call or organising to catch up again for coffee or a round of golf.  Anything to let them know you care.

If they’ve been feeling down for an extended period of time, consider suggesting they seek professional help.  A local psychologist is a great resource and they can make an appointment directly or else their GP can help organise a referral.  Phone counselling is available from Lifeline (Ph: 13 11 14) and Kids Helpline for those aged 5 – 25 years (Ph: 1800 55 1800).

Diabetes NSW & ACT is also here to help for you.  Our infoline is staffed with Credentialled Diabetes Educators, Dietitians and Exercise Physiologists to help answer your diabetes questions.  Give us a call on 1300 342 238.

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How to start the conversation

It’s little surprise that managing diabetes can feel overwhelming at times, but it’s important to start the conversation about how it’s impacting you. Managing diabetes can sometimes feel like a full-time job with checking blood glucose levels, taking medications or insulin, remembering appointments and checkups, thinking about what to eat, keeping active and much more.

While it’s normal to feel stressed or anxious at times about having to manage a chronic condition such as diabetes, intense or  ongoing feelings can be a sign of diabetes distress, burnout or depression. Too often people struggle quietly on their own with stress, anxiety and depression and it can be hard to know how to help, but just letting someone know that you care could make all the difference.

 

Diabetes distress and burnout vs depression

Diabetes distress occurs when concerns about managing diabetes start to impact on daily life, including work, school, family or social life.  Someone might feel overwhelmed by the demands of diabetes, frustrated that they can’t control their blood glucose readings or feel guilty that they’re ‘failing’ when things get a bit off-track.

Burnout occurs when the distress intensifies it all feels like managing diabetes is too much to cope with and they want to forget they have diabetes altogether.   People with diabetes may experience distress or burnout at various times through their lives but it’s important for them to look after their mental health and seek support from loved ones and diabetes care team when they need it.

Depression, on the other hand, is a serious mental health condition that may or may not be related to diabetes.  Depression is one of the most common mental health concerns in our society, but people with diabetes have a two-fold increased risk of developing the condition.  They may be feeling down much of the time, have little interest in things they used to enjoy or experience changes in their appetite or sleep.  If you think you (or someone you know) might be depressed, talk to your GP. They can help diagnose the condition and talk about treatment options.

Managing diabetes can also be tough for families and carers and they can also be susceptible to these conditions.  The desire to take good care of their loved ones can cause stress and worry, which can affect their own mental health and well-being.

 

How to start a conversation

It’s not always easy to start a conversation with someone about how they are feeling.   It can feel like you might be opening a Pandora’s Box and don’t know what to do if someone opens up to you.  The good news is that you don’t have solve their problems for them – your job is just to be a good listener and let them know you care.  If you know someone you think might be struggling try some of these conversation starters:

  • “How have you been lately? What’s been happening?”
  • “What’s going on for you at the moment?”
  • “How are you going?”

Give the person a chance to talk about whatever might be on their mind.  Often people appreciate the opportunity to talk and feel like they’re being understood.  Avoid the urge to jump in with your own story about a similar experience.  Offer them support and encourage them to reflect on how their feeling: “Wow, you’ve got a lot going on for you at the moment – how are you coping?

Keep in touch with the person following your conversation to let them know you’ve haven’t forgotten about them.  It could be as simple as sending a text message, giving them a phone call or organising to catch up again for coffee or a round of golf.  Anything to let them know you care.

If they’ve been feeling down for an extended period of time, consider suggesting they seek professional help.  A local psychologist is a great resource and they can make an appointment directly or else their GP can help organise a referral.  Phone counselling is available from Lifeline (Ph: 13 11 14) and Kids Helpline for those aged 5 – 25 years (Ph: 1800 55 1800).

Diabetes NSW & ACT is also here to help for you.  Our infoline is staffed with Credentialled Diabetes Educators, Dietitians and Exercise Physiologists to help answer your diabetes questions.  Give us a call on 1300 342 238.

Mood

Mood

Looking after your diabetes, blood glucose levels, diet or treatment can be a significant source of stress. You can experience unique emotional issues directly related to the burdens and worries of living with a chronic disease like diabetes. Many people with diabetes experience common feelings of worry, frustration, concern and ‘burn-out’. These feelings can often arise from concerns about looking after your diabetes, lack of support, emotional burden, and difficulty accessing health care services.

It’s important to keep a healthy mind while living with diabetes.

Looking after your diabetes, blood glucose levels, diet or treatment can be a significant source of stress. You can experience unique emotional issues directly related to the burdens and worries of living with a chronic disease like diabetes. Many people with diabetes experience common feelings of worry, frustration, concern and ‘burn-out’. These feelings can often arise from concerns about looking after your diabetes, lack of support, emotional burden, and difficulty accessing health care services.

People with higher stress levels are more likely to develop higher blood glucose levels than those with lower stress levels. Finding the source of pressure for you is important so stress management strategies can be put in place.

When talking to people with diabetes some common source of stress for them were:

  • ‘I find it difficult and frustrating keeping up with ‘normal’ people’
  • Woman ‘I can’t eat dessert and not worry about the effect it will have on me’
  • ‘Sometimes I think it would be easier to live in a house with people who are like me, with diabetes, then life would be the same for all of us’
  • Can you identify what the sources of stress are for you? Here are some tips to cope with your diabetes:
  • Understand your, and others’, expectations. Setting small achievable goals can maintain motivation and provide a sense of achievement.
  • Recognise and accept your reality and your limitations – there is more in your life than just diabetes, perhaps a demanding job, a family, someone else to care for?
  • Be cautious of other people’s opinions, remember everyone will have a ‘view’ on diabetes. Don’t let self-doubt arise, talk to your health care team if you’re unsure.
  • Pace yourself – try not to be everything for everyone, take some ‘time out’ for yourself as regularly as you can.
  • Acknowledge and accept that there may be days when you experience different emotions. It is common for people to grieve for the life they once had before diabetes, feelings of loss of control and uncertainty about the future, denial or feeling overwhelmed, and even guilt towards your diagnosis. It is important to discuss your feelings with people you trust, and don’t hesitate to ask for professional help if your ability to cope is not improving.
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A Healthy Mind and Diabetes

It’s important to keep a healthy mind while living with diabetes.

Looking after your diabetes, blood glucose levels, diet or treatment can be a significant source of stress. You can experience unique emotional issues directly related to the burdens and worries of living with a chronic disease like diabetes. Many people with diabetes experience common feelings of worry, frustration, concern and ‘burn-out’. These feelings can often arise from concerns about looking after your diabetes, lack of support, emotional burden, and difficulty accessing health care services.

People with higher stress levels are more likely to develop higher blood glucose levels than those with lower stress levels. Finding the source of pressure for you is important so stress management strategies can be put in place.

When talking to people with diabetes some common source of stress for them were:

  • ‘I find it difficult and frustrating keeping up with ‘normal’ people’
  • Woman ‘I can’t eat dessert and not worry about the effect it will have on me’
  • ‘Sometimes I think it would be easier to live in a house with people who are like me, with diabetes, then life would be the same for all of us’
  • Can you identify what the sources of stress are for you? Here are some tips to cope with your diabetes:
  • Understand your, and others’, expectations. Setting small achievable goals can maintain motivation and provide a sense of achievement.
  • Recognise and accept your reality and your limitations – there is more in your life than just diabetes, perhaps a demanding job, a family, someone else to care for?
  • Be cautious of other people’s opinions, remember everyone will have a ‘view’ on diabetes. Don’t let self-doubt arise, talk to your health care team if you’re unsure.
  • Pace yourself – try not to be everything for everyone, take some ‘time out’ for yourself as regularly as you can.
  • Acknowledge and accept that there may be days when you experience different emotions. It is common for people to grieve for the life they once had before diabetes, feelings of loss of control and uncertainty about the future, denial or feeling overwhelmed, and even guilt towards your diagnosis. It is important to discuss your feelings with people you trust, and don’t hesitate to ask for professional help if your ability to cope is not improving.
Managing Your Mental Health

Managing Your Mental Health

Do you feel overwhelmed, worried, sad or unmotivated? It is important to recognise when you are feeling lousy and unmotivated and do something to intervene. High stress levels and depressive symptoms can make looking after your diabetes more challenging. Low mood Read More …

Managing Your Mental Health

Do you feel overwhelmed, worried, sad or unmotivated? It is important to recognise when you are feeling lousy and unmotivated and do something to intervene. High stress levels and depressive symptoms can make looking after your diabetes more challenging. Low mood can prevent good self-care of your diabetes, make it harder to reach your blood glucose targets, and increase the risks of diabetes related complications.

Some people know when they are distressed (or are likely to become distressed) while others are less aware. The specific warning signs will vary from person to person, although there are some general symptoms you can look out for:

Physical Changes: Headaches, muscle tension, stomach cramps, chest pain, diarrhoea, high blood glucose levels.

Repetitive negative thoughts: I’ve had enough, I can’t do this, this is too hard, what if…., If only……, no one cares.

Feelings/Emotions: Resentment, guilt, denial, anger, irritability, frustration, low motivation, stress.

Behaviours: Poor self-care, avoidance of other people, sleep problems, reduced physical activity.

Things you can do to help your mood and mental well-being include:

  • Focusing on the present and not stressing about the past.
  • Find time for pleasant activities. Do something that makes you feel good, maybe something you previously enjoyed and have not done for a while.
  • Challenge negative thoughts by questioning them. ‘Am I jumping to conclusions’, ‘Would I be this hard on someone else?’, ‘Why is this upsetting me?’.
  • Use deep breathing exercises, 10 deep breaths per minute can help relax you.
  • Reach out and talk to someone supportive. This may be a family member, friend or health professional.

Taking care of your emotional well-being means knowing when to get help. Your GP or Diabetes Educator is a good place to start and they can direct you to the help you need.

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Food

Believe it or not your food choices can play an important role when it comes to protecting your pearly whites. 

The sweet and not-so-sweet truth about sugar:

By Accredited Practising Dietitian Katie Allison

When it comes to sugar and mouth health not all sugars are the same. Sugar found in soft drinks, cordials, sugary foods and highly processed foods made on flour (such as cakes and biscuits) are lower in nutrition and higher in kilojoules. This means we can put on weight easily if we eat too much. This type of sugar also feeds bacteria living on our teeth which then produce acid, forming the perfect environment for dental caries.

On the other hand naturally occurring sugars in milk, yoghurt and fresh fruit come with lots of nutrition. These foods also contain other properties that may protect against dental caries. This is important to note because foods such as reduced fat dairy, fruit and vegetables play an important role in healthy eating.

Acidic foods:

The acid in foods can erode tooth enamel. Some examples of acidic foods include wine, coffee and citrus. Citrus fruits are still an important part of healthy eating. Next time you choose to snack on an orange pair it with a glass of water.

It’s all in the timing:

Beware of grazing or constant snacking as it is not good for your waistline, diabetes management and your teeth. It usually takes about 30 min – 1 hour for the acid in our mouth to neutralise and the enamel to start repairing. This means if we are consistently snacking, especially on sugary or acidic foods and drinks it can have negative effects.  In many cases spreading out the timing of our meals and snacks evenly over the day can help manage our blood glucose levels as well as our mouth health. When having meals aim to balance them with some lean protein, wholegrains and salad to help neutralise food acid.

Other ideas:

  • Drink tap water which contains fluoride. Fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel. It is also cheap and kilojoule free!
  • Aiming for two serves of fruit and five serves of veggies each day is a great start! The fibre and vitamin C found in fresh fruit and vegetables help protect against gum disease.
  • Include dairy. Dairy foods have a unique mix of calcium, phosphorus and casein. This combination can help protect tooth enamel and strengthen oral health.
  • If you are living with diabetes ensuring good blood glucose management also helps promote good gum and mouth health.

While it is true your nutrition matters when it comes to good oral health but it certainly does not replace your regular check up with your dentist and keeping up good oral hygiene. These are essential!

Glossary:

  • Dental caries: tooth decay, cavities, or holes in teeth.
  • Tooth enamel: one of the tissues that make up a tooth. It is the protective outer layer.
  • Tooth decay: when the enamel is damaged and dental caries start to form.

For more information on balancing your nutrition and information on oral health visit the following websites:

Or read our information sheet here.

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Healthy Eating for a Healthier Smile

The sweet and not-so-sweet truth about sugar:

By Accredited Practising Dietitian Katie Allison

When it comes to sugar and mouth health not all sugars are the same. Sugar found in soft drinks, cordials, sugary foods and highly processed foods made on flour (such as cakes and biscuits) are lower in nutrition and higher in kilojoules. This means we can put on weight easily if we eat too much. This type of sugar also feeds bacteria living on our teeth which then produce acid, forming the perfect environment for dental caries.

On the other hand naturally occurring sugars in milk, yoghurt and fresh fruit come with lots of nutrition. These foods also contain other properties that may protect against dental caries. This is important to note because foods such as reduced fat dairy, fruit and vegetables play an important role in healthy eating.

Acidic foods:

The acid in foods can erode tooth enamel. Some examples of acidic foods include wine, coffee and citrus. Citrus fruits are still an important part of healthy eating. Next time you choose to snack on an orange pair it with a glass of water.

It’s all in the timing:

Beware of grazing or constant snacking as it is not good for your waistline, diabetes management and your teeth. It usually takes about 30 min – 1 hour for the acid in our mouth to neutralise and the enamel to start repairing. This means if we are consistently snacking, especially on sugary or acidic foods and drinks it can have negative effects.  In many cases spreading out the timing of our meals and snacks evenly over the day can help manage our blood glucose levels as well as our mouth health. When having meals aim to balance them with some lean protein, wholegrains and salad to help neutralise food acid.

Other ideas:

  • Drink tap water which contains fluoride. Fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel. It is also cheap and kilojoule free!
  • Aiming for two serves of fruit and five serves of veggies each day is a great start! The fibre and vitamin C found in fresh fruit and vegetables help protect against gum disease.
  • Include dairy. Dairy foods have a unique mix of calcium, phosphorus and casein. This combination can help protect tooth enamel and strengthen oral health.
  • If you are living with diabetes ensuring good blood glucose management also helps promote good gum and mouth health.

While it is true your nutrition matters when it comes to good oral health but it certainly does not replace your regular check up with your dentist and keeping up good oral hygiene. These are essential!

Glossary:

  • Dental caries: tooth decay, cavities, or holes in teeth.
  • Tooth enamel: one of the tissues that make up a tooth. It is the protective outer layer.
  • Tooth decay: when the enamel is damaged and dental caries start to form.

For more information on balancing your nutrition and information on oral health visit the following websites:

Or read our information sheet here.

Food

Living with diabetes shouldn't stop you from enjoying Easter. Here are our top tips to take the stress out of Easter.

Living with diabetes shouldn’t stop you from enjoying Easter. People may raise their eyebrows at you when you’re eating an easter egg, but the truth is you can eat anything that other people can, just not the same amount.

Having a well-balanced diet means it’s fine to have a little bit of chocolate, as long as you don’t go overboard!

7 tips to help you have a diabetes friendly Easter:

1. Portion size is key! Have a little bit of the best quality stuff.

2. Go for dark chocolate over milk or white. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids and usually less added sugars than milk chocolate, making it a healthier option.

3. Sugar-free chocolate and carob are still high in saturated fat and kilojoules, so not a good alternative.

4. If your family does an Easter-egg hunt, ask everyone to keep the packaging to help with carb counting.

5. Hot cross buns are a source of fibre and relatively low in fat, as long as you stick to dried fruit versions and avoid the butter. Chose a mini option or go halves with someone to keep your carb intake in check.

6. Swap eating for a DIY Easter themed craft. It serves as a great distraction technique to prevent over-eating and can keep little ones living with diabetes from feeling left out.

7. Stock up on some sugar free marshmallows for yourself or as a gift.

 

For a healthier chocolate recipe, check out Sanitarium’s Double Choc Balls here.

click here

7 Tips For a Diabetes Friendly Easter

Living with diabetes shouldn’t stop you from enjoying Easter. People may raise their eyebrows at you when you’re eating an easter egg, but the truth is you can eat anything that other people can, just not the same amount.

Having a well-balanced diet means it’s fine to have a little bit of chocolate, as long as you don’t go overboard!

7 tips to help you have a diabetes friendly Easter:

1. Portion size is key! Have a little bit of the best quality stuff.

2. Go for dark chocolate over milk or white. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids and usually less added sugars than milk chocolate, making it a healthier option.

3. Sugar-free chocolate and carob are still high in saturated fat and kilojoules, so not a good alternative.

4. If your family does an Easter-egg hunt, ask everyone to keep the packaging to help with carb counting.

5. Hot cross buns are a source of fibre and relatively low in fat, as long as you stick to dried fruit versions and avoid the butter. Chose a mini option or go halves with someone to keep your carb intake in check.

6. Swap eating for a DIY Easter themed craft. It serves as a great distraction technique to prevent over-eating and can keep little ones living with diabetes from feeling left out.

7. Stock up on some sugar free marshmallows for yourself or as a gift.

 

For a healthier chocolate recipe, check out Sanitarium’s Double Choc Balls here.

Food

Take a look at what to get - and what to avoid - to get the healthiest choices when you're eating out.

Eating out is an enjoyable part of life, and having diabetes shouldn’t stop you from sharing a meal with family and friends. If you only eat out occasionally, the choices you make are less likely to affect your overall diabetes management than if you eat out regularly. If eating out is a regular part of your life, it’s important to try and choose healthy options

Many restaurants serve food that easily fits into a healthy eating plan. Some restaurants have menus online so you can see what healthier choices are available. It’s a good idea to ask restaurant staff about the dish of your choice and the way it has been cooked – this way you can request simple changes if you need to.

Go for:

  • Choose clear or vegetable-based soups rather than creamy soups.
  • Order salad or steamed vegetables as a side dish.
  • Choose olive oil or vinegar-based dressings for salads.
  • Look for grilled, stir-fried, braised or barbequed dishes with lean meats and plenty of vegetables.
  • Choose dishes with lean cuts of meat, seafood or skinless chicken.
  • Choose the entrée size for pasta dishes and risotto, and opt for a tomato or vegetable-based sauce.
  • Have fresh fruit salad or sorbet instead of rich desserts.
  • Choose plain, mineral, soda water or diet soft drinks.
  • Ask for a small serving of dessert or share one.

Avoid:

  • Dishes described as creamy, battered, crispy or fried.
  • Salty foods and don’t add extra salt to your meal.
  • Extras such as bread and butter, chips with the meal, and chocolates with coffee.
  • If you drink alcohol, limit this to two standard drinks.
  • Ask for an entrée-size meal as a main dish.
  • If choosing from a buffet, try not to over-eat – limit how often you go back for more.
  • Limit salads that contain creamy dressings or high-fat extras like croutons, cheese or deli meats.
  • When eating Asian or Indian-style meals, limit creamy curries and take care with your serving size of rice, noodles and flat breads.
  • Be careful with sauces, dressings and condiments – ask for them to be served on the side and only use small amounts.

 

If you are invited to eat with family and friends at their home, offer to bring a healthy dish to share. Special occasions – such as birthdays and other celebrations – should be enjoyed. You don’t need to miss out on special occasion foods, just ask for a smaller serve. If you use insulin, ask your host what kind of meal they will be serving so you can bring additional carbohydrate foods if needed.

 

For more information speak to a Diabetes NSW & ACT Dietitian on 1300 342 238

click here

Eating out: get your order right

Eating out is an enjoyable part of life, and having diabetes shouldn’t stop you from sharing a meal with family and friends. If you only eat out occasionally, the choices you make are less likely to affect your overall diabetes management than if you eat out regularly. If eating out is a regular part of your life, it’s important to try and choose healthy options

Many restaurants serve food that easily fits into a healthy eating plan. Some restaurants have menus online so you can see what healthier choices are available. It’s a good idea to ask restaurant staff about the dish of your choice and the way it has been cooked – this way you can request simple changes if you need to.

Go for:

  • Choose clear or vegetable-based soups rather than creamy soups.
  • Order salad or steamed vegetables as a side dish.
  • Choose olive oil or vinegar-based dressings for salads.
  • Look for grilled, stir-fried, braised or barbequed dishes with lean meats and plenty of vegetables.
  • Choose dishes with lean cuts of meat, seafood or skinless chicken.
  • Choose the entrée size for pasta dishes and risotto, and opt for a tomato or vegetable-based sauce.
  • Have fresh fruit salad or sorbet instead of rich desserts.
  • Choose plain, mineral, soda water or diet soft drinks.
  • Ask for a small serving of dessert or share one.

Avoid:

  • Dishes described as creamy, battered, crispy or fried.
  • Salty foods and don’t add extra salt to your meal.
  • Extras such as bread and butter, chips with the meal, and chocolates with coffee.
  • If you drink alcohol, limit this to two standard drinks.
  • Ask for an entrée-size meal as a main dish.
  • If choosing from a buffet, try not to over-eat – limit how often you go back for more.
  • Limit salads that contain creamy dressings or high-fat extras like croutons, cheese or deli meats.
  • When eating Asian or Indian-style meals, limit creamy curries and take care with your serving size of rice, noodles and flat breads.
  • Be careful with sauces, dressings and condiments – ask for them to be served on the side and only use small amounts.

 

If you are invited to eat with family and friends at their home, offer to bring a healthy dish to share. Special occasions – such as birthdays and other celebrations – should be enjoyed. You don’t need to miss out on special occasion foods, just ask for a smaller serve. If you use insulin, ask your host what kind of meal they will be serving so you can bring additional carbohydrate foods if needed.

 

For more information speak to a Diabetes NSW & ACT Dietitian on 1300 342 238

Food

When cutting back the kilojoules, ensure that you do it in a way that is safe and sustainable. Try swapping some of these kilojoule-dense options for nutrient-dense ones.

Eating more and moving less does lead to weight gain. At the same time very strict diets are not the answer as they can play havoc with our hormones and hunger levels. They can also deprive our body of important nutrients.

When cutting back the kilojoules, ensure that you do it in a way that is safe and sustainable. In many cases it doesn’t have to be big changes, it just has to be consistent. For example, if you cut out a beer or a can of soft drink each day, you could lose 7kg over a year. Imagine the benefits a few extra swaps could add to this! Try swapping some of these kilojoule-dense options for nutrient-dense ones.

Swap this … For this. Per serve:
Ice cream – 2 scoops Small tub of low fat yoghurt Save 146kJGain 211mg calcium
Potato chips – small packet 13 wholegrain rice crackers Save 239kJGain 1.2g dietary fibre
Muesli slice bar Small handful of unsalted almonds Save 737kJGain 75mg calcium, 2.3g protein
Small glass orange juice (25% juice) Fresh medium orange Save 85kJ

Gain 3.7g dietary fibre

click here

Swap this for that

Eating more and moving less does lead to weight gain. At the same time very strict diets are not the answer as they can play havoc with our hormones and hunger levels. They can also deprive our body of important nutrients.

When cutting back the kilojoules, ensure that you do it in a way that is safe and sustainable. In many cases it doesn’t have to be big changes, it just has to be consistent. For example, if you cut out a beer or a can of soft drink each day, you could lose 7kg over a year. Imagine the benefits a few extra swaps could add to this! Try swapping some of these kilojoule-dense options for nutrient-dense ones.

Swap this … For this. Per serve:
Ice cream – 2 scoops Small tub of low fat yoghurt Save 146kJGain 211mg calcium
Potato chips – small packet 13 wholegrain rice crackers Save 239kJGain 1.2g dietary fibre
Muesli slice bar Small handful of unsalted almonds Save 737kJGain 75mg calcium, 2.3g protein
Small glass orange juice (25% juice) Fresh medium orange Save 85kJ

Gain 3.7g dietary fibre

Food

Having 30 grams of nuts on a regular basis (roughly a small handful) can help boost healthy fats, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Just 15% of Aussies eat nuts every day. Having 30 grams of nuts on a regular basis (roughly a small handful) can help boost healthy fats, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Opt for unsalted varieties and consider mixing into salads, stirfries or even cereals for flavour and crunch.

To assist with weight management stick to only a small handful each day and avoid eating directly from the packet and over doing it.

What does 30 grams look like?

As a rough guide it is:

  • 20 almonds OR
  • 15 Cashews OR
  • 20 hazelnuts OR
  • 15 pecans OR
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts OR
  • 20 pistachios  OR
  • 9 walnuts

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to incorporate nuts into your cooking check out our lamb and pinenut koftas with brazil nut hummus recipe.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed on http://nutsforlife.com.au/ do not necessarily reflect the views of Diabetes NSW & ACT.

 

click here

Are you nuts about nuts?

Just 15% of Aussies eat nuts every day. Having 30 grams of nuts on a regular basis (roughly a small handful) can help boost healthy fats, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Opt for unsalted varieties and consider mixing into salads, stirfries or even cereals for flavour and crunch.

To assist with weight management stick to only a small handful each day and avoid eating directly from the packet and over doing it.

What does 30 grams look like?

As a rough guide it is:

  • 20 almonds OR
  • 15 Cashews OR
  • 20 hazelnuts OR
  • 15 pecans OR
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts OR
  • 20 pistachios  OR
  • 9 walnuts

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to incorporate nuts into your cooking check out our lamb and pinenut koftas with brazil nut hummus recipe.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed on http://nutsforlife.com.au/ do not necessarily reflect the views of Diabetes NSW & ACT.

 

Food

Australia’s Healthy Weight Week is a great time to start thinking about making healthy changes in your lifestyle and diet. They don't need to be drastic to have benefits. In fact, changes that are easier to stick to in the long term can be some of the best you will ever make!

Australia’s Healthy Weight Week is a great time to start thinking about making healthy changes in your lifestyle and diet. They don’t need to be drastic to have benefits. In fact, changes that are easier to stick to in the long term can be some of the best you will ever make!

One way you can achieve a healthier weight and an all-around healthier lifestyle is by cooking. Eating more home cooked meals means you tend to eat smaller portions and ultimately consume less kilojoules, fat, sugar and salt.

Did you know 43% of Aussies eat out 3 or more times a week?

Healthy cooking can be as easy as 4 steps:

1. Choose your base

If you want to make the most of your meal think ‘grow, glow and go’. These are some of the important functions your food can contribute to your body. Aim for:

  • A ‘Go’ option – Good quality carbohydrate that is lower in glycaemic index (GI) and higher in fibre can be an excellent source of energy as well as vitamins and minerals. Some examples include: wholegrain bread, pasta, quinoa or rice, legumes (beans and lentils), sweet potato or corn
  • A ‘Grow’ option – Lean protein options help provide the building blocks for growth and repair. Some healthier options include oily fish like tuna or salmon, eggs, skinless chicken, lean meat, tofu and nuts and
  • Lots of ‘Glow’ options – Non-starchy vegetables or salad are packed full of vitamins and minerals and naturally low in kilojoules.

2. Balance your base

To ensure the best outcomes for your health and hunger levels it is important to balance your meals. The following can be a good general guide:

 

Did you know less than 7% of Australians eat enough veggies?

3. Add flavour

Reaching for the salt shaker or dowsing a dish in sauce is not the best option when it comes cooking healthier meals.  Sauces are often high in salt even if they do not taste salty. Too much salt has been linked to higher blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Other flavouring ideas that are better options and yet still just as simple include garlic, lemon or lime juice, vinegar and herbs and spices. The trick is knowing what herb and spice combo works best. Here are some ideas depending on your dish.

 

Beef and Lamb dishes Chicken dishes Pork dishes Fish and Seafood  dishes Legumes dishes Vegetable dishes

 

Salads / vegetable dishes

 

Fruit dishes

 

Rosemary

Oregano

Mint

Bay leaves

Lemon

Garlic

Thyme

Turmeric

Cayenne

Parsley

 

Lemon grass

Parsley

Garlic

Lemon

Sage

Chilli

Paprika

Tarragon

Allspice

 

Mustard

Cardamom

Sage

Rosemary

Thyme

Allspice

Ginger

 

Tarragon

Rosemary

Dill

Parsley

Chives

Lemon

Lime

Chilli

Ginger

 

 

Nutmeg

Sage

Rosemary

Thyme

Parsley

Garlic

Lemon

Turmeric

 

Parsley

Lemon

Oregano Basil

Coriander

Garlic

Chives

Pepper

Thyme

 

 

Mustard

Thyme

Parsley

Coriander

Chives

Cracked Pepper

Oregano

 

Allspice

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Ginger

Mint

 

4. Cook

How you cook your meal matters. Lower fat cooking methods such as steaming, stir-frying and baking can help reduce extra kilojoules and help support a healthier weight. Healthy fat is still essential but like anything ensure you don’t overdo it and choose healthier varieties like avocado, olive oil and nuts. Aim to include a thumb size portion with your meal. Don’t forget to limit cooking methods that involve saturated fat or excess amounts of oil for example deep frying or using butter, cream and cheesy sauces.

 

For more inspiration around healthy cooking ideas check out the ‘hints for healthy cooking’ factsheet here.

For more information on weight management click here.

 

click here

Cooking counts

Australia’s Healthy Weight Week is a great time to start thinking about making healthy changes in your lifestyle and diet. They don’t need to be drastic to have benefits. In fact, changes that are easier to stick to in the long term can be some of the best you will ever make!

One way you can achieve a healthier weight and an all-around healthier lifestyle is by cooking. Eating more home cooked meals means you tend to eat smaller portions and ultimately consume less kilojoules, fat, sugar and salt.

Did you know 43% of Aussies eat out 3 or more times a week?

Healthy cooking can be as easy as 4 steps:

1. Choose your base

If you want to make the most of your meal think ‘grow, glow and go’. These are some of the important functions your food can contribute to your body. Aim for:

  • A ‘Go’ option – Good quality carbohydrate that is lower in glycaemic index (GI) and higher in fibre can be an excellent source of energy as well as vitamins and minerals. Some examples include: wholegrain bread, pasta, quinoa or rice, legumes (beans and lentils), sweet potato or corn
  • A ‘Grow’ option – Lean protein options help provide the building blocks for growth and repair. Some healthier options include oily fish like tuna or salmon, eggs, skinless chicken, lean meat, tofu and nuts and
  • Lots of ‘Glow’ options – Non-starchy vegetables or salad are packed full of vitamins and minerals and naturally low in kilojoules.

2. Balance your base

To ensure the best outcomes for your health and hunger levels it is important to balance your meals. The following can be a good general guide:

 

Did you know less than 7% of Australians eat enough veggies?

3. Add flavour

Reaching for the salt shaker or dowsing a dish in sauce is not the best option when it comes cooking healthier meals.  Sauces are often high in salt even if they do not taste salty. Too much salt has been linked to higher blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Other flavouring ideas that are better options and yet still just as simple include garlic, lemon or lime juice, vinegar and herbs and spices. The trick is knowing what herb and spice combo works best. Here are some ideas depending on your dish.

 

Beef and Lamb dishes Chicken dishes Pork dishes Fish and Seafood  dishes Legumes dishes Vegetable dishes

 

Salads / vegetable dishes

 

Fruit dishes

 

Rosemary

Oregano

Mint

Bay leaves

Lemon

Garlic

Thyme

Turmeric

Cayenne

Parsley

 

Lemon grass

Parsley

Garlic

Lemon

Sage

Chilli

Paprika

Tarragon

Allspice

 

Mustard

Cardamom

Sage

Rosemary

Thyme

Allspice

Ginger

 

Tarragon

Rosemary

Dill

Parsley

Chives

Lemon

Lime

Chilli

Ginger

 

 

Nutmeg

Sage

Rosemary

Thyme

Parsley

Garlic

Lemon

Turmeric

 

Parsley

Lemon

Oregano Basil

Coriander

Garlic

Chives

Pepper

Thyme

 

 

Mustard

Thyme

Parsley

Coriander

Chives

Cracked Pepper

Oregano

 

Allspice

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Ginger

Mint

 

4. Cook

How you cook your meal matters. Lower fat cooking methods such as steaming, stir-frying and baking can help reduce extra kilojoules and help support a healthier weight. Healthy fat is still essential but like anything ensure you don’t overdo it and choose healthier varieties like avocado, olive oil and nuts. Aim to include a thumb size portion with your meal. Don’t forget to limit cooking methods that involve saturated fat or excess amounts of oil for example deep frying or using butter, cream and cheesy sauces.

 

For more inspiration around healthy cooking ideas check out the ‘hints for healthy cooking’ factsheet here.

For more information on weight management click here.

 

Food

Do you ever feel that you can’t control yourself around food? Do you often find yourself eating something that you “shouldn’t be eating”, then wind up feeling guilty and regretting it the next day?

By Kate Battocchio – Accredited Practising Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist

Do you ever feel that you can’t control yourself around food? Do you often find yourself eating something that you “shouldn’t be eating”, then wind up feeling guilty and regretting it the next day?

We don’t just eat when we are hungry. For some of us, eating is a way of coping with unpleasant feelings, like stress, anxiety and depression.  This is called “emotional eating” or “comfort eating” and it may be something that you are not even aware that you do.

People of all shapes and sizes, with or without diabetes, can struggle with emotional eating. For people with diabetes, emotional eating is a problem because “mood food” tends to be high in kilojoules, added sugar and saturated fats. Research has shown that the brain responds to fatty and sugary foods by increasing the secretion of the neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which make us feel pleasurable feelings. So it is little wonder that every time you feel emotional, cravings for sweet or fatty foods ensue.

Building awareness of the feelings, thoughts and situations that lead you to eat can be useful in overcoming emotional eating. Four common triggers are:

  1. Eating for comfort – you may be feeling lonely, upset, angry, anxious or depressed for a variety of reasons. Common situations include when you are at home alone, after having an argument, or when you are feeling shame or guilt for “failing” your diet.
  2. Rewarding yourself – you may be feeling stressed, or have just completed a stressful task. Common situations include when you have achieved something good or done well at something; or made it through a stressful day or week at work.
  3. Eating for acceptance – you feel the need to be compliant in a group situation in order to meet the needs of other people, feel a part of the group and maintain acceptance in the group. You also fear missing out on the experience. For example you meet friends for coffee and because everyone decides to order cake you feel compelled to join in too.
  4. Boredom – you may be feeling lonely, or finding it difficult to concentrate on a task. Your mind starts to wander and eating is a way of procrastinating; it gives you a new purpose, something different to do for a short time.

Keeping a food and mood diary can help you to become aware of the feelings, thoughts and situations that lead you to reach for “mood food”. Noting what, when, where and how you feel before, during and after eating will help you to identify your own personal triggers. Using a hunger scale before and after meals is another useful tool in identifying non-hungry eating behaviours.

For more information and a sample Food and Mood Diary please click here for the Diabetes NSW & ACT Factsheet: Food and Eating.

click here

Why do we eat when we're not hungry?

By Kate Battocchio – Accredited Practising Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist

Do you ever feel that you can’t control yourself around food? Do you often find yourself eating something that you “shouldn’t be eating”, then wind up feeling guilty and regretting it the next day?

We don’t just eat when we are hungry. For some of us, eating is a way of coping with unpleasant feelings, like stress, anxiety and depression.  This is called “emotional eating” or “comfort eating” and it may be something that you are not even aware that you do.

People of all shapes and sizes, with or without diabetes, can struggle with emotional eating. For people with diabetes, emotional eating is a problem because “mood food” tends to be high in kilojoules, added sugar and saturated fats. Research has shown that the brain responds to fatty and sugary foods by increasing the secretion of the neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which make us feel pleasurable feelings. So it is little wonder that every time you feel emotional, cravings for sweet or fatty foods ensue.

Building awareness of the feelings, thoughts and situations that lead you to eat can be useful in overcoming emotional eating. Four common triggers are:

  1. Eating for comfort – you may be feeling lonely, upset, angry, anxious or depressed for a variety of reasons. Common situations include when you are at home alone, after having an argument, or when you are feeling shame or guilt for “failing” your diet.
  2. Rewarding yourself – you may be feeling stressed, or have just completed a stressful task. Common situations include when you have achieved something good or done well at something; or made it through a stressful day or week at work.
  3. Eating for acceptance – you feel the need to be compliant in a group situation in order to meet the needs of other people, feel a part of the group and maintain acceptance in the group. You also fear missing out on the experience. For example you meet friends for coffee and because everyone decides to order cake you feel compelled to join in too.
  4. Boredom – you may be feeling lonely, or finding it difficult to concentrate on a task. Your mind starts to wander and eating is a way of procrastinating; it gives you a new purpose, something different to do for a short time.

Keeping a food and mood diary can help you to become aware of the feelings, thoughts and situations that lead you to reach for “mood food”. Noting what, when, where and how you feel before, during and after eating will help you to identify your own personal triggers. Using a hunger scale before and after meals is another useful tool in identifying non-hungry eating behaviours.

For more information and a sample Food and Mood Diary please click here for the Diabetes NSW & ACT Factsheet: Food and Eating.

Food

According to Nutrition Australia Australians gain an average 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period, an amount which American researchers say is rarely lost. The good news is we can enjoy a healthy relationship with food this holiday season. Here are four tips on how to eat, drink and still be merry, without the health risks.

Karissa Woolfe, Accredited Practising Dietitian

When it comes to food and the holiday season, it seems there is an unwritten rule: “Thou shalt overeat”. Overeating can lead to one or more of the following: a major case of the food sweats, gastrointestinal discomfort, food guilt, wishing you’d worn looser pants, hunting the medicine cabinet for Quick-Eze or nodding off into a ‘food- coma’.

According to Nutrition Australia Australians gain an average 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period, an amount which American researchers say is rarely lost. The good news is we can enjoy a healthy relationship with food this holiday season. Here are four tips on how to eat, drink and still be merry, without the health risks.

Tip #1 Cherish the celebration  

A healthy relationship with food means more than “all” or “nothing”. The “all” approach has you eating everything, potentially affecting your blood glucose levels and waistline. The “nothing” approach sees you deny yourself and adhere strictly to rigid food rules. Both rob you of joy. Focusing on the celebration and cherishing time with family/friends moves your attention away from what you can/cannot eat, and fosters joy.

Tip #2 Savour the flavour

When visiting friends and relatives, scan what is available before digging in. This gives you time to select foods that appeal most to your senses, and dish up an amount that is in tune with your appetite. Chew slowly and savour the flavour for maximum satisfaction. This helps you notice when you are filling up, so you have the option to stop before feeling stuffed full.

Tip #3 Beware of the nibbles & drinks

On food filled days, nibbles and drinks can undo the best of intentions. Minimise damage by:

  • Moving away from the nibbles so you’re not tempted to eat on auto-pilot.
  • Swapping chips for home-made dip and veggie sticks.
  • Staying hydrated. Often when we’re peckish, we’re actually thirsty, so remember to drink plenty of water.
  • When drinking alcohol, consider lighter options like light beer, reduced alcohol wine, spirits with soda water or a diet mixer.

Tip #4 Burn up those extra calories by staying active

Make the most of summer and enjoy being active. Beaches are the perfect spot for a walk and swim. Get the family involved with throwing the Frisbee, playing outdoor cricket, having a hit of tennis, going for bike rides or the pool for a splash.

Recipe Ideas: Seafood is a low calorie option to enjoy over Christmas

  • Swap the creamy prawn cocktail for barbecued prawns with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Fresh oysters with a twist of lime.
  • Cucumber rounds topped with a smear of fresh avocado, smoked salmon and fresh dill.
  • Wrap a whole fish in foil and chuck it in the Webber. Stuff it with chopped fresh herbs, spring onions, lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil.
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Holiday Season Survival: How to Eat, Drink & still be Merry

Karissa Woolfe, Accredited Practising Dietitian

When it comes to food and the holiday season, it seems there is an unwritten rule: “Thou shalt overeat”. Overeating can lead to one or more of the following: a major case of the food sweats, gastrointestinal discomfort, food guilt, wishing you’d worn looser pants, hunting the medicine cabinet for Quick-Eze or nodding off into a ‘food- coma’.

According to Nutrition Australia Australians gain an average 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period, an amount which American researchers say is rarely lost. The good news is we can enjoy a healthy relationship with food this holiday season. Here are four tips on how to eat, drink and still be merry, without the health risks.

Tip #1 Cherish the celebration  

A healthy relationship with food means more than “all” or “nothing”. The “all” approach has you eating everything, potentially affecting your blood glucose levels and waistline. The “nothing” approach sees you deny yourself and adhere strictly to rigid food rules. Both rob you of joy. Focusing on the celebration and cherishing time with family/friends moves your attention away from what you can/cannot eat, and fosters joy.

Tip #2 Savour the flavour

When visiting friends and relatives, scan what is available before digging in. This gives you time to select foods that appeal most to your senses, and dish up an amount that is in tune with your appetite. Chew slowly and savour the flavour for maximum satisfaction. This helps you notice when you are filling up, so you have the option to stop before feeling stuffed full.

Tip #3 Beware of the nibbles & drinks

On food filled days, nibbles and drinks can undo the best of intentions. Minimise damage by:

  • Moving away from the nibbles so you’re not tempted to eat on auto-pilot.
  • Swapping chips for home-made dip and veggie sticks.
  • Staying hydrated. Often when we’re peckish, we’re actually thirsty, so remember to drink plenty of water.
  • When drinking alcohol, consider lighter options like light beer, reduced alcohol wine, spirits with soda water or a diet mixer.

Tip #4 Burn up those extra calories by staying active

Make the most of summer and enjoy being active. Beaches are the perfect spot for a walk and swim. Get the family involved with throwing the Frisbee, playing outdoor cricket, having a hit of tennis, going for bike rides or the pool for a splash.

Recipe Ideas: Seafood is a low calorie option to enjoy over Christmas

  • Swap the creamy prawn cocktail for barbecued prawns with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Fresh oysters with a twist of lime.
  • Cucumber rounds topped with a smear of fresh avocado, smoked salmon and fresh dill.
  • Wrap a whole fish in foil and chuck it in the Webber. Stuff it with chopped fresh herbs, spring onions, lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil.

Food

When thinking about nutrition it’s helpful to use analogies, such as talking about the body as if it were a car. Here we can think of the role of glucose as our ‘petrol’ and our metabolism as a car’s revs.

By Karissa Woolfe, Accredited Practising Dietitian

When thinking about nutrition it’s helpful to use analogies, such as talking about the body as if it were a car. Here we can think of the role of glucose as our ‘petrol’ and our metabolism as a car’s revs.

Eating regularly timed meals keeps our ‘revs’ up and prevents our fuel tank from ever running empty. Skipping meals on the other hand, makes our car run sluggish and prone to bulging panels (weight gain).

The quality of the fuel you choose to fill your tank with impacts on how well your engine runs, the number of kilometres to the tank, the pressure through your valves (blood pressure) and your oil levels (cholesterol & triglycerides). It can even affect your gas emissions!

In this analogy, an Accredited Practising Dietitian is like a GPS navigation system or NRMA Roadside assistance. Our role is to help you identify areas of your eating that could be modified and help bridge the gap between where your health is now, to where you want it to be.

If you are into tinkering, a great way to ensure good quality fuel goes into your tank is to don your overalls and get hands-on in the kitchen. A recent survey found 66% of men regularly experiment with new recipes and 42% more are cooking more frequently at home. The popularity of cooking shows like MasterChef appears to be the spark to ignite this passion.

At all times, remember you are in the driver’s seat and decide how fast or slow you travel along the road of behaviour change, and whether you implement our suggestions or choose your own route.

We highly recommend checking in with a reliable and friendly mechanic (your health professional team) on a regular basis to keep your car and diabetes management plan well-tuned.

If you have any questions regarding diabetes management you can contact the Diabetes NSW & ACT Health Professional team through our Helpline on 1300 342 238. 

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Quality 'fuel' for your body

By Karissa Woolfe, Accredited Practising Dietitian

When thinking about nutrition it’s helpful to use analogies, such as talking about the body as if it were a car. Here we can think of the role of glucose as our ‘petrol’ and our metabolism as a car’s revs.

Eating regularly timed meals keeps our ‘revs’ up and prevents our fuel tank from ever running empty. Skipping meals on the other hand, makes our car run sluggish and prone to bulging panels (weight gain).

The quality of the fuel you choose to fill your tank with impacts on how well your engine runs, the number of kilometres to the tank, the pressure through your valves (blood pressure) and your oil levels (cholesterol & triglycerides). It can even affect your gas emissions!

In this analogy, an Accredited Practising Dietitian is like a GPS navigation system or NRMA Roadside assistance. Our role is to help you identify areas of your eating that could be modified and help bridge the gap between where your health is now, to where you want it to be.

If you are into tinkering, a great way to ensure good quality fuel goes into your tank is to don your overalls and get hands-on in the kitchen. A recent survey found 66% of men regularly experiment with new recipes and 42% more are cooking more frequently at home. The popularity of cooking shows like MasterChef appears to be the spark to ignite this passion.

At all times, remember you are in the driver’s seat and decide how fast or slow you travel along the road of behaviour change, and whether you implement our suggestions or choose your own route.

We highly recommend checking in with a reliable and friendly mechanic (your health professional team) on a regular basis to keep your car and diabetes management plan well-tuned.

If you have any questions regarding diabetes management you can contact the Diabetes NSW & ACT Health Professional team through our Helpline on 1300 342 238. 

Food

It's that time of year again when everything starts to slow down and we come together with friends and family to celebrate. It is often inevitable that with celebrating comes food…and lots of it! By making some healthier choices these holiday don't have to have a big impact on your waistline or diabetes management.

It’s that time of year again when everything starts to slow down and we come together with friends and family to celebrate. It is often inevitable that with celebrating comes food…and lots of it! By making some healthier choices these holiday don’t have to have a big impact on your waistline or diabetes management.

Some tips for the host:

  • Fresh is best! Christmas time offers us a wonderful variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood. When planning your menu or sending out suggestions to your guests keep this in mind and encourage more nutritious snack ideas. Ideas such as veggie sticks and whole grain crackers with hummus, tzatziki or salsa, fresh fruit salad, cherries or air-popped popcorn work really well!
  • Provide a variety of low kilojoule beverage options to help keep guests hydrated. Jugs of water and sparkling water with slices of lime and strawberries give a nice Christmas touch.
  • Allow your guests to serve themselves. This not only makes it easier for you it allows your guests to plate up their own individual portion. Providing a good variety of salads and vegetable options will also help them balance their meals better.
  • A celebration is a special occasion and but still aim for smaller portions. Consider this when plating up desserts and treats. Cutting desserts into bite size portions will help you and your guests make healthier choices and not over indulge.
  • Even though you’re the host and often running around making sure the day goes smoothly do not forget to enjoy the moment. Eat slowly and talk lots with family and friends.
  • Some of the best Christmas memories can revolve around a friendly game of cricket or soccer with the family. Plan ahead for some activities that will be loads of fun as well as practical burning up those extra kilojoules. Or even get your boogie on and get everyone up dancing.

Some tips for the guest:

  • Plan ahead. Bring a healthy option to share at the party, you are not only being hospitable but you will also know there is a healthier alternative for you to enjoy at the party.
  • Avoid going to your Christmas party on an empty stomach. Have a good quality snack before you leave. Low GI and protein containing options such a small tub of low fat yoghurt is perfect because they tend to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Stack your plate right. As a guide aim to fill half your plate with non-starchy veggies or salad, a quarter with lean meat or protein options (e.g. turkey or chicken breast without skin) and the remaining quarter with nutritious carbohydrate (e.g. grainy bread roll, pasta, roast potato etc.) – any extra vegetables will help fill you up without over doing it on the kilojoules
  • Volunteer to be designated driver. Remember over indulging when it comes to alcohol can give us a bucket load of kilojoules. If you are drinking aim for no more than 2 standard drinks in a day and try spacing these out with non-alcoholic, low kilojoule options.

Remember Christmas comes once a year if you do indulge a little more than normal don’t be too hard on yourself. The important thing is to get back on track and back to your healthier routine.

Remember small changes add up to big differences over all!

Swap this  With this And save…
2 Candy cane 20 cherries 120kJ
Fruit cake (medium slice)  with custard Mini pavlova topped with raspberries and low fat yoghurt 1,138kJ
Beer (schooner) Low alcohol beer (middy) 390kJ
Potato crisps with french onion dip Vegetable sticks with yoghurt dips e.g. tzatziki 1,205kJ
Potato chips Air-popped popcorn 966kJ
Turkey leg w. skin Turkey breast without skin 126kJ
Prawn cocktails with tartare sauce Fresh prawns and sweet chilli sauce or lemon juice 470kJ
Crackers with cheese dip Toasted pita bread with salsa 903kJ
Trifle A little Low fat ice cream and fruit salad 261kJ
Creamy pasta salad Summer salad with low fat dressing 337kJ

Values based on Calorie King (Australia) data base: http://www.calorieking.com.au/

Click here for more tips on healthy eating. 

click here

Choose a Healthier Christmas Menu

It’s that time of year again when everything starts to slow down and we come together with friends and family to celebrate. It is often inevitable that with celebrating comes food…and lots of it! By making some healthier choices these holiday don’t have to have a big impact on your waistline or diabetes management.

Some tips for the host:

  • Fresh is best! Christmas time offers us a wonderful variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood. When planning your menu or sending out suggestions to your guests keep this in mind and encourage more nutritious snack ideas. Ideas such as veggie sticks and whole grain crackers with hummus, tzatziki or salsa, fresh fruit salad, cherries or air-popped popcorn work really well!
  • Provide a variety of low kilojoule beverage options to help keep guests hydrated. Jugs of water and sparkling water with slices of lime and strawberries give a nice Christmas touch.
  • Allow your guests to serve themselves. This not only makes it easier for you it allows your guests to plate up their own individual portion. Providing a good variety of salads and vegetable options will also help them balance their meals better.
  • A celebration is a special occasion and but still aim for smaller portions. Consider this when plating up desserts and treats. Cutting desserts into bite size portions will help you and your guests make healthier choices and not over indulge.
  • Even though you’re the host and often running around making sure the day goes smoothly do not forget to enjoy the moment. Eat slowly and talk lots with family and friends.
  • Some of the best Christmas memories can revolve around a friendly game of cricket or soccer with the family. Plan ahead for some activities that will be loads of fun as well as practical burning up those extra kilojoules. Or even get your boogie on and get everyone up dancing.

Some tips for the guest:

  • Plan ahead. Bring a healthy option to share at the party, you are not only being hospitable but you will also know there is a healthier alternative for you to enjoy at the party.
  • Avoid going to your Christmas party on an empty stomach. Have a good quality snack before you leave. Low GI and protein containing options such a small tub of low fat yoghurt is perfect because they tend to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Stack your plate right. As a guide aim to fill half your plate with non-starchy veggies or salad, a quarter with lean meat or protein options (e.g. turkey or chicken breast without skin) and the remaining quarter with nutritious carbohydrate (e.g. grainy bread roll, pasta, roast potato etc.) – any extra vegetables will help fill you up without over doing it on the kilojoules
  • Volunteer to be designated driver. Remember over indulging when it comes to alcohol can give us a bucket load of kilojoules. If you are drinking aim for no more than 2 standard drinks in a day and try spacing these out with non-alcoholic, low kilojoule options.

Remember Christmas comes once a year if you do indulge a little more than normal don’t be too hard on yourself. The important thing is to get back on track and back to your healthier routine.

Remember small changes add up to big differences over all!

Swap this  With this And save…
2 Candy cane 20 cherries 120kJ
Fruit cake (medium slice)  with custard Mini pavlova topped with raspberries and low fat yoghurt 1,138kJ
Beer (schooner) Low alcohol beer (middy) 390kJ
Potato crisps with french onion dip Vegetable sticks with yoghurt dips e.g. tzatziki 1,205kJ
Potato chips Air-popped popcorn 966kJ
Turkey leg w. skin Turkey breast without skin 126kJ
Prawn cocktails with tartare sauce Fresh prawns and sweet chilli sauce or lemon juice 470kJ
Crackers with cheese dip Toasted pita bread with salsa 903kJ
Trifle A little Low fat ice cream and fruit salad 261kJ
Creamy pasta salad Summer salad with low fat dressing 337kJ

Values based on Calorie King (Australia) data base: http://www.calorieking.com.au/

Click here for more tips on healthy eating. 

Food

Did you know Australians throw out 20% of the food they buy? Some of the following tips may help minimise food waste at home which can benefit your health and your wallet:

Be one step ahead:  Plan out your week ahead for snacks and meals. Knowing exactly what you need will mean there is less leftover to throw away. It also means there is less room for non-hungry eating – if it is not in the pantry it is not tempting.

Shop smarter: A shopping list can help reduce impulse buys. When shopping, consider sticking to the outskirts of the supermarket where fresh produce is found. This also helps you avoid filling up your trolley with non-essentials. Don’t forget never shop on an empty stomach as hungry hormones can encourage poor decisions and unnecessary extras.

Embrace imperfections: Many supermarkets offer fresh produce at a reduced cost just because they look slightly different. In many cases these options are just as nutritious and by purchasing them not only are you getting a bargain but you are helping minimise waste.

Get creative: If you have leftovers you can always freeze for later on in the week. Portion out in an appropriate airtight container or snap lock bag, label and date to avoid confusion. If you are feeling creative you can always use your leftovers to form the base of a brand new dish. For example add a little cumin, cayenne pepper, chilli, capsicum and kidney beans to Bolognese mince and ta-da! You have chilli con carne.

Stock take: It is spring and what better time to spring clean your pantry or fridge. This will remind you what you already have and what is expiring soon.  

Compost: Even inedible food leftovers e.g. apple cores, veggie peels and egg shells can be reused. Starting your own compost will help feed your plants and avoid excess food going to waste.

Don’t forget edible skin on fruit and vegetables can also be a good source of fibre and further save waste.

Share: Extra food always makes for a nice gift to share with others but don’t forget to share the value of winning the war on waste. Encouraging others to make similar changes may seem like small steps but add up to giant leaps!  

click here

Win the War on Waste

Did you know Australians throw out 20% of the food they buy? Some of the following tips may help minimise food waste at home which can benefit your health and your wallet:

Be one step ahead:  Plan out your week ahead for snacks and meals. Knowing exactly what you need will mean there is less leftover to throw away. It also means there is less room for non-hungry eating – if it is not in the pantry it is not tempting.

Shop smarter: A shopping list can help reduce impulse buys. When shopping, consider sticking to the outskirts of the supermarket where fresh produce is found. This also helps you avoid filling up your trolley with non-essentials. Don’t forget never shop on an empty stomach as hungry hormones can encourage poor decisions and unnecessary extras.

Embrace imperfections: Many supermarkets offer fresh produce at a reduced cost just because they look slightly different. In many cases these options are just as nutritious and by purchasing them not only are you getting a bargain but you are helping minimise waste.

Get creative: If you have leftovers you can always freeze for later on in the week. Portion out in an appropriate airtight container or snap lock bag, label and date to avoid confusion. If you are feeling creative you can always use your leftovers to form the base of a brand new dish. For example add a little cumin, cayenne pepper, chilli, capsicum and kidney beans to Bolognese mince and ta-da! You have chilli con carne.

Stock take: It is spring and what better time to spring clean your pantry or fridge. This will remind you what you already have and what is expiring soon.  

Compost: Even inedible food leftovers e.g. apple cores, veggie peels and egg shells can be reused. Starting your own compost will help feed your plants and avoid excess food going to waste.

Don’t forget edible skin on fruit and vegetables can also be a good source of fibre and further save waste.

Share: Extra food always makes for a nice gift to share with others but don’t forget to share the value of winning the war on waste. Encouraging others to make similar changes may seem like small steps but add up to giant leaps!  

Food

While gluten-free cakes, biscuits and slices are ‘sometimes’ foods, getting creative in the kitchen is a sure way to bake healthier options. We take a look a look at five of the most popular gluten-free products trending among foodies.

Your guide to healthier gluten-free baking

While gluten-free cakes, biscuits and slices are ‘sometimes’ foods, getting creative in the kitchen is a sure way to bake healthier options. We take a look a look at five of the most popular gluten-free products trending among foodies.

Words by Karissa Woolfe, Accredited Practising Dietitian

Australian Sweet Lupin Flour

What is it? Sweet lupin (also known as narrow-leafed lupin) is an edible legume ground into flour or flakes (see next). Almost 80 per cent of the world’s lupin crop is farmed in Australia.

Useful for: “Sweet” might be in the title, but it is very low in carbohydrate compared to other gluten-free flours and neutral in taste. Lupin flour can be used to make bread, chapatis, scones, pancakes, cakes and biscuits, as well as coating fish, chicken or patties. It can also be added to smoothies, soups and breakfast cereals for extra protein and fibre.

What the experts say: “Lupin is the king of legumes with the highest levels of protein and fibre, and very low carb and GI,” says Associate Professor and Accredited Practising Dietitian Antigone Kouris. “By replacing up to half the baking flour with sweet lupin flour, you will transform your recipes into much healthier products,” says Dr Kouris.

The drawback? “People with allergies, especially to peanuts, should avoid lupin,” Dr Kouris warns.

Where to buy it? For stockists visit: www.irwinvalley.com.au and www.lupinfoods.com.au

Dr Antigone Kouris is an Associate Professor at La Trobe University and Director of Melbourne’s Total Nutrition Care www.skinnybik.com  To learn more about Dr Kouris’s products and recipes visit: www.skinnybik.com

Lupin flakes

What is it? Flaked sweet lupin kernals

Useful for: Lupin flakes can be used as a filler in rissoles and falafels and to crumb meat. It can be cooked as a substitute for cous cous, and added to dips, smoothies and cereal.

Preparation: Good-to-go, no cooking necessary.

What the experts say: “Lupin flakes contribute fibre, protein, prebiotics and a good range of vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron, often lacking in the gluten-free diet,” says Accredited Practising Dietitian Sally Marchini, who lives with type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease. She says they’re a great addition to lower the GI of a meal, especially if you cannot tolerate legumes.

The drawback? “Flakes have a harder texture so don’t perform as well in baking,” says Dr Kouris.

Where to buy it? For stockists visit: www.lupinfoods.com.au

Sally Marchini works in private practice at www.marchininutrition.com to help clients be their best and enjoy tasty food, despite medical conditions.

Teff

What is it? This gluten-free grain is a staple in Ethiopian cuisine, with Aussie farmers now growing commercial crops. You can find it as a grain, flakes or flour.

Useful for: Cooked teff can be enjoyed as porridge, in salads, veggie burger patties, soups and slow-cooking. Teff flour can be used in baking, pizza bases, pancakes and bread.

Preparation: To cook teff, add one cup to three cups water and boil for 20 minutes. Teff flour is good-to-go, no cooking necessary.

What the experts say: Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian Sue Radd says teff provides people living with coeliac disease another wholegrain option, and its resistant starch content for good digestive health sets it apart. “Resistant starch is a type of fibre with prebiotic properties that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut.” If you’re curious about teff, Radd, who regularly runs cooking workshops, suggests starting with flour. “Teff flour works well in baked goods where a dark brown colour is desired.”  A recent study published in the Journal of Cereal Science, ranked teff flour favourably for protein, folate, calcium, magnesium and iron content.

The drawback?  “Teff is expensive and the grain form is not very practical due to its miniscule size, so it’s best cooked in combination with other wholegrains,” Radd says.

Where to buy it? Coles supermarket (Coles Brown Teff Grain), Chemist Warehouse (Swisse Wholegrain Teff), your local health food shop or online: tefftribe.com.au/

Sue Radd is founding director of Sydney’s Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic  www.nwbc.com.au You can view her cooking videos on YouTube: SuperNutritionist, visit Culinary Medicine Cookshops on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @CulinaryMed

Quinoa

What is it? Regarded as a ‘superfood’, quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) has boomed in popularity. It comes in grains (red, black, white), flakes and ground flour.

Useful for: A gluten-free substitute for cous cous, or alternative to rice. Use it to add bulk to your salad, soup or stew. Quinoa flakes can be used to make porridge, in rissoles, or substitute for breadcrumbs in coating meat.

Preparation: To cook quinoa, rinse one cup in water, then bring to the boil with 2 cups water, before simmering for 12 – 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.

What the experts say: A recent study found compared to rice, sorghum, maize, buckwheat and teff flours, quinoa flour offered the best nutritional value. It had the highest fibre content to help you feel full, and soluble fibre content, which can lower your cholesterol absorption. Because of its higher protein and fibre content than rice, cooked quinoa offers people living with diabetes and coeliac disease a filling, lower GI option. It’s slightly nutty flavour lends itself equally to a filling breakfast porridge or savoury dish, and if you count carbohydrates, a third of a cup cooked quinoa equals one serve/exchange.

The drawback?  More expensive than gluten-containing equivalents.

Where to buy it? Readily available at your local supermarket

Recipe: French style lentils with quinoa salad courtesy of McKenzie’s

You can download a quinoa facts and recipe card here: www.glnc.org.au

 

Nut meal

What is it? Ground nuts (almonds, hazelnut, macadamia, chestnut, cashew)

Useful for: Flourless baking and thickening recipes

What the experts say: Nut meals are a good source of fibre, healthy fats and vitamin E shown to protect against heart disease and diabetes complications. “So look for nut meals ground from whole nuts with skins,” says Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian Lisa Yates. The other key benefit for eating nuts is their GI lowering effect, she explains. “Adding whole nuts to meals with carbohydrates can lower the GI of the meal, reducing the rise in blood glucose following the meal.”

The drawback? Unless you are allergic to nuts, there are no drawbacks from baking with nut meals or adding nuts to your recipes. “Australians are only eating 6g of nuts a day on average, well short of the 30g serve in the Dietary Guidelines,” says Yates.  Time to get nutty!

Where to buy it? Readily available at your local supermarket

For versatile nut recipe ideas visit: www.nutsforlife.com.au/nut-recipes  and www.luckynuts.com.au/recipes/flourlessbaking

 

Lisa Yates works at Nuts For Life visit: www.nutsforlife.com.au

Twitter @nutsforlife facebook.com/nuts4life      pinterest.com/nutsforlife     instagram nuts_for_life

 

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Your guide to healthier gluten-free baking

Your guide to healthier gluten-free baking

While gluten-free cakes, biscuits and slices are ‘sometimes’ foods, getting creative in the kitchen is a sure way to bake healthier options. We take a look a look at five of the most popular gluten-free products trending among foodies.

Words by Karissa Woolfe, Accredited Practising Dietitian

Australian Sweet Lupin Flour

What is it? Sweet lupin (also known as narrow-leafed lupin) is an edible legume ground into flour or flakes (see next). Almost 80 per cent of the world’s lupin crop is farmed in Australia.

Useful for: “Sweet” might be in the title, but it is very low in carbohydrate compared to other gluten-free flours and neutral in taste. Lupin flour can be used to make bread, chapatis, scones, pancakes, cakes and biscuits, as well as coating fish, chicken or patties. It can also be added to smoothies, soups and breakfast cereals for extra protein and fibre.

What the experts say: “Lupin is the king of legumes with the highest levels of protein and fibre, and very low carb and GI,” says Associate Professor and Accredited Practising Dietitian Antigone Kouris. “By replacing up to half the baking flour with sweet lupin flour, you will transform your recipes into much healthier products,” says Dr Kouris.

The drawback? “People with allergies, especially to peanuts, should avoid lupin,” Dr Kouris warns.

Where to buy it? For stockists visit: www.irwinvalley.com.au and www.lupinfoods.com.au

Dr Antigone Kouris is an Associate Professor at La Trobe University and Director of Melbourne’s Total Nutrition Care www.skinnybik.com  To learn more about Dr Kouris’s products and recipes visit: www.skinnybik.com

Lupin flakes

What is it? Flaked sweet lupin kernals

Useful for: Lupin flakes can be used as a filler in rissoles and falafels and to crumb meat. It can be cooked as a substitute for cous cous, and added to dips, smoothies and cereal.

Preparation: Good-to-go, no cooking necessary.

What the experts say: “Lupin flakes contribute fibre, protein, prebiotics and a good range of vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron, often lacking in the gluten-free diet,” says Accredited Practising Dietitian Sally Marchini, who lives with type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease. She says they’re a great addition to lower the GI of a meal, especially if you cannot tolerate legumes.

The drawback? “Flakes have a harder texture so don’t perform as well in baking,” says Dr Kouris.

Where to buy it? For stockists visit: www.lupinfoods.com.au

Sally Marchini works in private practice at www.marchininutrition.com to help clients be their best and enjoy tasty food, despite medical conditions.

Teff

What is it? This gluten-free grain is a staple in Ethiopian cuisine, with Aussie farmers now growing commercial crops. You can find it as a grain, flakes or flour.

Useful for: Cooked teff can be enjoyed as porridge, in salads, veggie burger patties, soups and slow-cooking. Teff flour can be used in baking, pizza bases, pancakes and bread.

Preparation: To cook teff, add one cup to three cups water and boil for 20 minutes. Teff flour is good-to-go, no cooking necessary.

What the experts say: Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian Sue Radd says teff provides people living with coeliac disease another wholegrain option, and its resistant starch content for good digestive health sets it apart. “Resistant starch is a type of fibre with prebiotic properties that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut.” If you’re curious about teff, Radd, who regularly runs cooking workshops, suggests starting with flour. “Teff flour works well in baked goods where a dark brown colour is desired.”  A recent study published in the Journal of Cereal Science, ranked teff flour favourably for protein, folate, calcium, magnesium and iron content.

The drawback?  “Teff is expensive and the grain form is not very practical due to its miniscule size, so it’s best cooked in combination with other wholegrains,” Radd says.

Where to buy it? Coles supermarket (Coles Brown Teff Grain), Chemist Warehouse (Swisse Wholegrain Teff), your local health food shop or online: tefftribe.com.au/

Sue Radd is founding director of Sydney’s Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic  www.nwbc.com.au You can view her cooking videos on YouTube: SuperNutritionist, visit Culinary Medicine Cookshops on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @CulinaryMed

Quinoa

What is it? Regarded as a ‘superfood’, quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) has boomed in popularity. It comes in grains (red, black, white), flakes and ground flour.

Useful for: A gluten-free substitute for cous cous, or alternative to rice. Use it to add bulk to your salad, soup or stew. Quinoa flakes can be used to make porridge, in rissoles, or substitute for breadcrumbs in coating meat.

Preparation: To cook quinoa, rinse one cup in water, then bring to the boil with 2 cups water, before simmering for 12 – 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.

What the experts say: A recent study found compared to rice, sorghum, maize, buckwheat and teff flours, quinoa flour offered the best nutritional value. It had the highest fibre content to help you feel full, and soluble fibre content, which can lower your cholesterol absorption. Because of its higher protein and fibre content than rice, cooked quinoa offers people living with diabetes and coeliac disease a filling, lower GI option. It’s slightly nutty flavour lends itself equally to a filling breakfast porridge or savoury dish, and if you count carbohydrates, a third of a cup cooked quinoa equals one serve/exchange.

The drawback?  More expensive than gluten-containing equivalents.

Where to buy it? Readily available at your local supermarket

Recipe: French style lentils with quinoa salad courtesy of McKenzie’s

You can download a quinoa facts and recipe card here: www.glnc.org.au

 

Nut meal

What is it? Ground nuts (almonds, hazelnut, macadamia, chestnut, cashew)

Useful for: Flourless baking and thickening recipes

What the experts say: Nut meals are a good source of fibre, healthy fats and vitamin E shown to protect against heart disease and diabetes complications. “So look for nut meals ground from whole nuts with skins,” says Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian Lisa Yates. The other key benefit for eating nuts is their GI lowering effect, she explains. “Adding whole nuts to meals with carbohydrates can lower the GI of the meal, reducing the rise in blood glucose following the meal.”

The drawback? Unless you are allergic to nuts, there are no drawbacks from baking with nut meals or adding nuts to your recipes. “Australians are only eating 6g of nuts a day on average, well short of the 30g serve in the Dietary Guidelines,” says Yates.  Time to get nutty!

Where to buy it? Readily available at your local supermarket

For versatile nut recipe ideas visit: www.nutsforlife.com.au/nut-recipes  and www.luckynuts.com.au/recipes/flourlessbaking

 

Lisa Yates works at Nuts For Life visit: www.nutsforlife.com.au

Twitter @nutsforlife facebook.com/nuts4life      pinterest.com/nutsforlife     instagram nuts_for_life

 

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Food

Food

Ever wondered which is better: butter or margarine? Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Full-cream or low-fat dairy? We’ve sized up the saturated fat content to reveal which are the healthiest… Swapping foods high in saturated fat for healthier options is a simple way to reduce your heart disease risk and improve your diabetes management.

Ever wondered which is better: butter or margarine? Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Full-cream or low-fat dairy? We’ve sized up the saturated fat content to reveal which are the healthiest…

Swapping foods high in saturated fat for healthier options is a simple way to reduce your heart disease risk and improve your diabetes management.

You may know that saturated fat in food is the type that raises LDL- cholesterol levels in your blood. This ‘bad’ cholesterol deposits in your arteries, and over time, can lead to a blockage and raise your risk of heart disease.

This is why 24 grams (or less!) is the amount of saturated fat recommended to Aussie adults each day for a healthy heart.

What many people don’t realise, is that saturated fat in your diet makes it harder for insulin to work in your body, affecting your fasting and after-meal blood glucose levels.

Here are some easy ways to get skim your sat fat:

Butter or margarine?

Many prefer butter over margarine because it is considered ‘less processed’ and more ‘natural’. Monounsaturated margarine is much lower in saturated fat and easier to spread than butter, making it a healthier pick to use in small amounts.

Nutritional info per serving (10g)

Butter

Energy (kJ) 304kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 5.0

Margarine

Energy (kJ) 245kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 1.5

Avocado

Energy (kJ) 171kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 1.0

Verdict: With only one gram of saturated fat and the lowest kilojoules for double the amount, a thick spread of mashed avocado offers an even better natural alternative.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Dark chocolate is often sprouted as a healthier choice because of the natural antioxidants in cocoa. The darker the chocolate though, the higher the saturated fat, and row for row comparisons between milk and dark reveal much of a muchness!

Nutritional info per serving (1 row, 25g)

Cadbury Old Gold Original

Energy (kJ) 545kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 4.7
Carb exchanges 1

Cadbury Old Gold 70% Cocoa

Energy (kJ) 570kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 6.5
Carb exchanges 1/2

Cadbury Dairy Milk

Energy (kJ) 560kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 4.7
Carb exchanges 1

Verdict: For heart healthy antioxidants, stick to your daily recommended two serves of fruit and five serves of veg.  Enjoying one row of chocolate every now and then is much healthier than overeating chocolate on most days. Savouring each piece is shown to be more satisfying, so enjoy each square melt in your mouth.

Full-cream or low-fat dairy?

Daily staples like milk, yoghurt and cheese can easily see your daily saturated fat intake creep up, but low-fat has been getting a bad rap in the media for having extra hidden sugars or salt. It is true some low-fat yoghurt, custard, ice cream and cheese contain added sugars or salt to improve their flavour, but what the media don’t point out, is plain milk and natural yoghurt often do not.

Nutritional info per serving (250 ml)

Energy (kJ) 738kJ
Total Fat (g) 8.8
Saturated Fat (g) 6.3
Protein (g) 8.8
Carb exchanges 1
Calcium (mg) 270

250ml low fat milk

Energy (kJ) 538kJ
Total Fat (g) 2.5
Saturated Fat (g) 5.0
Protein (g) 10
Carb exchanges 1
Calcium (mg) 275

250ml skim milk

Energy (kJ) 375kJ
Total Fat (g) 0.3
Saturated Fat (g) 0.3
Protein (g) 9
Carb exchanges 1
Calcium (mg) 300

Verdict: For ice cream, custard and yoghurt, compare brands to find low-fat dairy products with the least added sugar.

Reduced-fat milks and plain yoghurts are a great way to skim your saturated fat intake and kilojoules, without compromising on nutrition. One glass of soy milk has only one gram of saturated fat, and comparable nutrition, making it a heart healthy alternative.

This advice may not suit everyone’s tastes or nutritional needs, so remember to speak with your Accredited Practising Dietitian to work out what is best for you.

To speak with an Accredited Practising Dietitian phone the Infoline:1800 891 480

 

click here

Swap this for that and reduce saturated fat

Ever wondered which is better: butter or margarine? Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Full-cream or low-fat dairy? We’ve sized up the saturated fat content to reveal which are the healthiest…

Swapping foods high in saturated fat for healthier options is a simple way to reduce your heart disease risk and improve your diabetes management.

You may know that saturated fat in food is the type that raises LDL- cholesterol levels in your blood. This ‘bad’ cholesterol deposits in your arteries, and over time, can lead to a blockage and raise your risk of heart disease.

This is why 24 grams (or less!) is the amount of saturated fat recommended to Aussie adults each day for a healthy heart.

What many people don’t realise, is that saturated fat in your diet makes it harder for insulin to work in your body, affecting your fasting and after-meal blood glucose levels.

Here are some easy ways to get skim your sat fat:

Butter or margarine?

Many prefer butter over margarine because it is considered ‘less processed’ and more ‘natural’. Monounsaturated margarine is much lower in saturated fat and easier to spread than butter, making it a healthier pick to use in small amounts.

Nutritional info per serving (10g)

Butter

Energy (kJ) 304kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 5.0

Margarine

Energy (kJ) 245kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 1.5

Avocado

Energy (kJ) 171kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 1.0

Verdict: With only one gram of saturated fat and the lowest kilojoules for double the amount, a thick spread of mashed avocado offers an even better natural alternative.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Dark chocolate is often sprouted as a healthier choice because of the natural antioxidants in cocoa. The darker the chocolate though, the higher the saturated fat, and row for row comparisons between milk and dark reveal much of a muchness!

Nutritional info per serving (1 row, 25g)

Cadbury Old Gold Original

Energy (kJ) 545kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 4.7
Carb exchanges 1

Cadbury Old Gold 70% Cocoa

Energy (kJ) 570kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 6.5
Carb exchanges 1/2

Cadbury Dairy Milk

Energy (kJ) 560kJ
Saturated Fat (g) 4.7
Carb exchanges 1

Verdict: For heart healthy antioxidants, stick to your daily recommended two serves of fruit and five serves of veg.  Enjoying one row of chocolate every now and then is much healthier than overeating chocolate on most days. Savouring each piece is shown to be more satisfying, so enjoy each square melt in your mouth.

Full-cream or low-fat dairy?

Daily staples like milk, yoghurt and cheese can easily see your daily saturated fat intake creep up, but low-fat has been getting a bad rap in the media for having extra hidden sugars or salt. It is true some low-fat yoghurt, custard, ice cream and cheese contain added sugars or salt to improve their flavour, but what the media don’t point out, is plain milk and natural yoghurt often do not.

Nutritional info per serving (250 ml)

Energy (kJ) 738kJ
Total Fat (g) 8.8
Saturated Fat (g) 6.3
Protein (g) 8.8
Carb exchanges 1
Calcium (mg) 270

250ml low fat milk

Energy (kJ) 538kJ
Total Fat (g) 2.5
Saturated Fat (g) 5.0
Protein (g) 10
Carb exchanges 1
Calcium (mg) 275

250ml skim milk

Energy (kJ) 375kJ
Total Fat (g) 0.3
Saturated Fat (g) 0.3
Protein (g) 9
Carb exchanges 1
Calcium (mg) 300

Verdict: For ice cream, custard and yoghurt, compare brands to find low-fat dairy products with the least added sugar.

Reduced-fat milks and plain yoghurts are a great way to skim your saturated fat intake and kilojoules, without compromising on nutrition. One glass of soy milk has only one gram of saturated fat, and comparable nutrition, making it a heart healthy alternative.

This advice may not suit everyone’s tastes or nutritional needs, so remember to speak with your Accredited Practising Dietitian to work out what is best for you.

To speak with an Accredited Practising Dietitian phone the Infoline:1800 891 480

 

Simple substitutions to help lower your risk of stroke

Simple substitutions to help lower your risk of stroke

In Australia one person suffers a stroke every 10 minutes. According to the Stroke Foundation, high blood pressure is the most important known risk factor when it comes to stroke. To help lower your risk of high blood pressure and stroke Read More …

Simple substitutions to help lower your risk of stroke

In Australia one person suffers a stroke every 10 minutes. According to the Stroke Foundation, high blood pressure is the most important known risk factor when it comes to stroke. To help lower your risk of high blood pressure and stroke try these five simple foodie swaps.

1 Swap processed for fresh
A high intake of sodium (salt) has been shown to increase our risk of high blood pressure. Processed and packaged foods are high in sodium and salt is often added as a preservative to foods. Australians consume about 80% of their sodium from processed or packaged foods so stick to fresh food wherever possible. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, fresh meats, poultry, milk and yoghurt are naturally low in sodium. If you swap 50g of chicken deli loaf for 80g cooked chicken breast you would save almost 380mg sodium, that’s one sixth of your upper limit for the day.

2 Swap higher for lower on the label
When selecting packaged foods aim to choose those that are lower in sodium. Not all foods that are high in sodium taste salty so remember to read the label! There are a few ways to do this…

  • Look for products that say ‘low in salt’, ‘reduced salt’ or ‘no added salt’.
  • Familiarise yourself with the per 100g column on the nutrition information panel. This is useful when comparing two similar products. Aim to choose the one that is lower in sodium per 100g.
  • An even better option is to look for products that are lower than or equal to 400mg sodium per 100g or better still low salt foods that are less than 120mg per 100g.

3 Swap salt for spices
The salt we add at the table or during cooking generally makes up 20% of our sodium intake. Instead of using salt or high salt ingredients such as sauces try low sodium flavours like herbs, spices, lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar or garlic. Swapping one tablespoon of soy sauce for a mix of herbs, garlic and lemon juice will save 1370mg sodium – that’s more than half your upper limit for the day.

4 Swap energy dense foods for nutrient dense foods
Eating a good mix of fruit, vegetables, legumes, milk, yoghurt and wholegrains has been shown to help lower blood pressure. The benefits of these foods go beyond the fact that they are lower in sodium. These foods are also nutrient dense, that is they give us more ‘bang for our buck’. They provide us with a wealth of nutrients and when eaten in a usual serving size they don’t overload us with kilojoules. This can assist with weight management. Weight management is often important when it comes to blood pressure and stroke risk. If we are overweight or obese even small weight losses can start to help lower blood pressure.

Aim to limit those foods that are energy dense. They give us more kilojoules and little nutrition. Foods such as cakes, biscuits, pastries, chocolate, soft drink and alcohol are considered energy dense and can make it harder to manage our weight.

5 Swap excessive for moderation
Too much of anything can often cause a problem and this is the case when it comes to alcohol. For those who choose to drink reducing your intake to no more than two standard drinks per day is recommended. Depending on your situation you may need to reduce your intake further.

When it comes to high blood pressure we generally do not experience many signs or symptoms. It is essential to have your blood pressure regularly checked by your doctor. It is also important to discuss with your doctor other important aspects of managing blood pressure such as medication and/or stress management. For further information see the Blood Pressure and Diabetes Information Sheet available for download from http://diabetesnsw.com.au/useful-tools/information-sheets/.

Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs

Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil 2 cloves of garlic 1 brown onion, diced 400g lean beef mince 1 small zucchini, grated 1 small carrot, grated 1 egg 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped 1/4 cup wholegrain breadcrumbs 1/2 Read More …

Italian Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 400g lean beef mince
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup wholegrain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 eggplant, chopped
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g canned diced tomatoes

Method

  1. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a small non-stick frying pan. Add half the onion and stir for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Once onion is cool, add mince, zucchini, egg and breadcrumbs to the bowl. Mix until well combined. Divide mixture into 16 meatballs.
  3. Heat remaining oil in large non-stick frying pan. Add meatballs and cook, turning often, until browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add remaining onion, eggplant and garlic to pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, canned tomatoes and grated capsicum to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add rosemary, cover and cook for 10 minutes,
  6. Return meatballs to a pan and cook in sauce for a further 5-10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Combine with sauce.
  7. Divide meatballs into serving bowls. Serve with a slice of sourdough bread.

Nutritional Information (per serve)

Energy (kJ)  1504.5
Total Fat (g)  9
Saturated Fat (g)  2.6
Carbohydrates (g)  32.04
Dietary Fibre (g)  8.23
Sodium (mg)  430.7

Disclaimer: Please note the serving size listed is to be used as a guide only. Consider your own individual nutrient and carbohydrate requirements and adjust the serving size as needed. If you are unsure of your requirements consult an Accredited Practicing Dietitian for individualised advice.

 

  • 5 Tips For Getting The Kids Active
  • Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) and Exercise
  • 5 Reasons to Exercise You Just Can’t Ignore
  • Five Safety Tips to Reap the Rewards of Exercising Outdoors
  • Top Four Tips For Getting Into Exercise
  • Exercising with a Heart Condition
  • Sit Less, Move More
  • Make a Splash!
  • Exercising the whole body
  • Yes You Can!

Move

The Australian Health survey showed that only 19% of Australian children and young people aged 5–17 years are currently meeting the Australian physical activity requirements of 60 minutes a day. This one of the main risk factors attributed to the 400 new cases of Type 2 diabetes which are identified in 10-24 year olds each year.

With the beautiful beaches, national parks and the recreational spaces our country affords us, you would be inclined to think as Australians were an active bunch, wouldn’t you? Whilst our standard of living is rated one of the highest in the world, we are unfortunately falling behind in an area that is critical for health – physical activity!

Australian Health survey data indicates that nearly 70% of Australian adults (approximately 12 million people) are either sedentary or have low levels of physical activity. Even more concerning is that the activity levels of our children are following a similar trend.

The survey showed that only 19% of Australian children and young people aged 5–17 years are currently meeting the Australian physical activity requirements of 60 minutes a day. This one of the main risk factors attributed to the 400 new cases of Type 2 diabetes which are identified in 10-24 year olds each year.

These statistics are worrying to say the least, especially considering the critical role physical activity plays in children’s growth and development. Regular physical activity is critical during childhood and adolescence for:

  • Maintaining cardiovascular and metabolic health
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Promoting the development of strong bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments
  • Assisting academic achievement and cognitive development
  • Improving self-confidence and social skills
  • Reducing stress, anxiety and improve overall mental health

Childhood and adolescence are critical periods for forming healthy behaviours that we take with us into adulthood. Not getting enough physical activity during childhood and adolescence is a significant risk factor for becoming overweight and obese, as well as developing anxiety, depression and type 2 diabetes later in life.

With the technological age we live in, we know that physical activity isn’t as prevalent in our day-to-day lives. Screen time is the new leisure time favourite. Time spent behind a TV, mobile phone or tablet device is progressively replacing the outdoor recreational activities that a lot of us enjoyed as kids, which in turn is depriving them of physical activity that is necessary for healthy growth and development.

On average, children and young people aged 5–17 years spent one and a half hours (91 minutes) per day on physical activity and over two hours a day (136 minutes) in screen-based activity with physical activity decreasing and screen-based activity increasing as age increased.

So the question is… how much physical activity should our children be doing and how can we encourage them towards these guidelines to ensure healthy growth and development?

Physical activity guidelines

  • For health benefits, young people aged 5–17 years should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
    • Moderate activitiesactivities that make your child “huff and puff” slightly and might include things like riding a bike, brisk walking, dancing, playing ball games at the park and skateboarding.
  • This physical activity should include a variety of aerobic activities, including some vigorous intensity activity.
    • Vigorous activitiesactivities that make you child feel “short of breath” so that they can only speak a few words at a time. It involves running can be considered vigorous and may include sports like soccer, netball, basketball and tennis or less structured activities like chasing games or jumping.
  • On at least three days per week, young people should engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone. Examples include jumping, skipping and running.
  • To achieve additional health benefits, young people should engage in more activity – up to several hours per day

For many children and young people physical activity just doesn’t happen day-to-day. Therefore a plan needs to be in place for it to happen. Below are some simple tips to help increase your child’s physical activity levels now and help lay the foundations for good habits in the future.

Tips to getting children active 

  1. Make a list of all the sports and activities your child might like to try. This could include organised sports like soccer, netball and tennis or more recreational activities like bike riding or walking the dog. Give them the opportunity to try some of these to see what they might like to continue with.
  2. As the parent or caregiver to a child it is important that you are a good role model and lead by example. Why not find activities that you can enjoy together like bush-walking, going to the beach or playing games at the park.
  3. Not all children are interested in organised sport. Therefore it is important to find alternate ways to encourage them to be active. This could include encouraging your child to take on an active hobby or job like umpiring a sport or applying for the local paper delivery. You could also give your child active chores around the house for their pocket money.
  4. Some children may be discouraged from certain sports or activities due to having had a bad experience in the past or negative pressures from peers. Try and provide opportunities for your child to practice these skills and build their confidence away from these social pressures.
  5. Examples might include taking them out to shoot hoops at a local basketball court or practising soccer skills at an oval. You might find your child starts to enjoy the activities and develop the skills and sense of achievement necessary to continue with the sport.
click here

5 Tips For Getting The Kids Active

With the beautiful beaches, national parks and the recreational spaces our country affords us, you would be inclined to think as Australians were an active bunch, wouldn’t you? Whilst our standard of living is rated one of the highest in the world, we are unfortunately falling behind in an area that is critical for health – physical activity!

Australian Health survey data indicates that nearly 70% of Australian adults (approximately 12 million people) are either sedentary or have low levels of physical activity. Even more concerning is that the activity levels of our children are following a similar trend.

The survey showed that only 19% of Australian children and young people aged 5–17 years are currently meeting the Australian physical activity requirements of 60 minutes a day. This one of the main risk factors attributed to the 400 new cases of Type 2 diabetes which are identified in 10-24 year olds each year.

These statistics are worrying to say the least, especially considering the critical role physical activity plays in children’s growth and development. Regular physical activity is critical during childhood and adolescence for:

  • Maintaining cardiovascular and metabolic health
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Promoting the development of strong bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments
  • Assisting academic achievement and cognitive development
  • Improving self-confidence and social skills
  • Reducing stress, anxiety and improve overall mental health

Childhood and adolescence are critical periods for forming healthy behaviours that we take with us into adulthood. Not getting enough physical activity during childhood and adolescence is a significant risk factor for becoming overweight and obese, as well as developing anxiety, depression and type 2 diabetes later in life.

With the technological age we live in, we know that physical activity isn’t as prevalent in our day-to-day lives. Screen time is the new leisure time favourite. Time spent behind a TV, mobile phone or tablet device is progressively replacing the outdoor recreational activities that a lot of us enjoyed as kids, which in turn is depriving them of physical activity that is necessary for healthy growth and development.

On average, children and young people aged 5–17 years spent one and a half hours (91 minutes) per day on physical activity and over two hours a day (136 minutes) in screen-based activity with physical activity decreasing and screen-based activity increasing as age increased.

So the question is… how much physical activity should our children be doing and how can we encourage them towards these guidelines to ensure healthy growth and development?

Physical activity guidelines

  • For health benefits, young people aged 5–17 years should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
    • Moderate activitiesactivities that make your child “huff and puff” slightly and might include things like riding a bike, brisk walking, dancing, playing ball games at the park and skateboarding.
  • This physical activity should include a variety of aerobic activities, including some vigorous intensity activity.
    • Vigorous activitiesactivities that make you child feel “short of breath” so that they can only speak a few words at a time. It involves running can be considered vigorous and may include sports like soccer, netball, basketball and tennis or less structured activities like chasing games or jumping.
  • On at least three days per week, young people should engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone. Examples include jumping, skipping and running.
  • To achieve additional health benefits, young people should engage in more activity – up to several hours per day

For many children and young people physical activity just doesn’t happen day-to-day. Therefore a plan needs to be in place for it to happen. Below are some simple tips to help increase your child’s physical activity levels now and help lay the foundations for good habits in the future.

Tips to getting children active 

  1. Make a list of all the sports and activities your child might like to try. This could include organised sports like soccer, netball and tennis or more recreational activities like bike riding or walking the dog. Give them the opportunity to try some of these to see what they might like to continue with.
  2. As the parent or caregiver to a child it is important that you are a good role model and lead by example. Why not find activities that you can enjoy together like bush-walking, going to the beach or playing games at the park.
  3. Not all children are interested in organised sport. Therefore it is important to find alternate ways to encourage them to be active. This could include encouraging your child to take on an active hobby or job like umpiring a sport or applying for the local paper delivery. You could also give your child active chores around the house for their pocket money.
  4. Some children may be discouraged from certain sports or activities due to having had a bad experience in the past or negative pressures from peers. Try and provide opportunities for your child to practice these skills and build their confidence away from these social pressures.
  5. Examples might include taking them out to shoot hoops at a local basketball court or practising soccer skills at an oval. You might find your child starts to enjoy the activities and develop the skills and sense of achievement necessary to continue with the sport.

Move

Managing blood glucose levels is just one of many key reasons to exercise. But what if you have type 1 diabetes, your levels are erratic and you want to get back into exercise?

BEAT IT Gym: Lori’s Story

Managing blood glucose levels is just one of many key reasons to exercise. But what if you have type 1 diabetes, your levels are erratic and you want to get back into exercise?

The benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks, however it is important understand how your levels respond to different types of exercise to reduce your risk of hypoglycaemic episodes.  As the name suggests, the recent invention of the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) can be of great assistance in this instance. A blood glucose sensor, which is attached to a site on the stomach allows for 24 hour feedback of blood glucose levels to a transmitter. This allows the user to see what their level is at that moment in time, and information on which way their blood glucose level is trending (up or down). It does require daily calibration with two finger prick tests, but this can be considered a blessing if you usually have to prick your finger at least 10 times a day.

Last year, one of our BEAT IT participants with type 1 diabetes was able to trial a CGM for a week. Lori, a 54 year old female with type 1 diabetes had joined the BEAT IT program hoping to get some more skills around how to exercise and to improve her HbA1c. She had been managing the condition for 48 years, so essentially her whole life!  As a result of diabetes, Lori has some long term complications including peripheral neuropathy and retinopathy “I can’t read print, so I use a computer that talks to me, and I can’t see enough to get around without using a white cane”.

Lori was no stranger to physical activity. She spent many years training in Japanese martial arts, walks regularly and kayaks on the ocean a few times a week with friends.

“I like challenging myself, especially through developing new skills in physical activity.”

Lori’s blood glucose levels were constantly fluctuating, with no clear pattern detected from finger prick tests.  She was not getting the full picture. With the help of Rebecca from Animas, Lori trialled the DEXCOM 4 CGM for seven days.

“It was really valuable.  It gave a really clear picture of what my blood glucose levels were doing over the 24 hours. It was great to be able to look at the receiver and see what my levels were at any given time.  For example, if I was in a meeting and I was hungry, was I hungry because my level was low or was I just hungry? It was also great because I didn’t need to do so many finger pricks during the day,” Lori recounted.

With regards to diabetes management, the CGM was able to help Lori’s diabetes team to understand medication adjustments that needed to be made. In this instance, “I was able to increase insulin basal rates, which has improved my levels through the day”. By the end of the 8 week BEAT IT program, Lori’s HbA1c dropped from 10.2% to 8.6%. She also reduced her weight by 1.2kg and waist circumference by 3cm.

The downside to the CGM? “Having to still do two finger prick tests to calibrate the device daily, but that’s hardly anything to complain about”

Speak with your diabetes team for more information around this technology and if it is suitable for you.

click here

Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) and Exercise

BEAT IT Gym: Lori’s Story

Managing blood glucose levels is just one of many key reasons to exercise. But what if you have type 1 diabetes, your levels are erratic and you want to get back into exercise?

The benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks, however it is important understand how your levels respond to different types of exercise to reduce your risk of hypoglycaemic episodes.  As the name suggests, the recent invention of the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) can be of great assistance in this instance. A blood glucose sensor, which is attached to a site on the stomach allows for 24 hour feedback of blood glucose levels to a transmitter. This allows the user to see what their level is at that moment in time, and information on which way their blood glucose level is trending (up or down). It does require daily calibration with two finger prick tests, but this can be considered a blessing if you usually have to prick your finger at least 10 times a day.

Last year, one of our BEAT IT participants with type 1 diabetes was able to trial a CGM for a week. Lori, a 54 year old female with type 1 diabetes had joined the BEAT IT program hoping to get some more skills around how to exercise and to improve her HbA1c. She had been managing the condition for 48 years, so essentially her whole life!  As a result of diabetes, Lori has some long term complications including peripheral neuropathy and retinopathy “I can’t read print, so I use a computer that talks to me, and I can’t see enough to get around without using a white cane”.

Lori was no stranger to physical activity. She spent many years training in Japanese martial arts, walks regularly and kayaks on the ocean a few times a week with friends.

“I like challenging myself, especially through developing new skills in physical activity.”

Lori’s blood glucose levels were constantly fluctuating, with no clear pattern detected from finger prick tests.  She was not getting the full picture. With the help of Rebecca from Animas, Lori trialled the DEXCOM 4 CGM for seven days.

“It was really valuable.  It gave a really clear picture of what my blood glucose levels were doing over the 24 hours. It was great to be able to look at the receiver and see what my levels were at any given time.  For example, if I was in a meeting and I was hungry, was I hungry because my level was low or was I just hungry? It was also great because I didn’t need to do so many finger pricks during the day,” Lori recounted.

With regards to diabetes management, the CGM was able to help Lori’s diabetes team to understand medication adjustments that needed to be made. In this instance, “I was able to increase insulin basal rates, which has improved my levels through the day”. By the end of the 8 week BEAT IT program, Lori’s HbA1c dropped from 10.2% to 8.6%. She also reduced her weight by 1.2kg and waist circumference by 3cm.

The downside to the CGM? “Having to still do two finger prick tests to calibrate the device daily, but that’s hardly anything to complain about”

Speak with your diabetes team for more information around this technology and if it is suitable for you.

Move

Any exercise is good but the more the better! You will not only reduce your risk of a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, but also experience positive short-term impacts such as feeling great mentally, and having more energy during the day. Need further convincing? Read on for more reasons to get yourself moving.

Any exercise is good but the more the better! You will not only reduce your risk of a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, but also experience positive short-term impacts such as feeling great mentally, and having more energy during the day. Need further convincing? Read on for more reasons to get yourself moving.
  1. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, physical inactivity is responsible for 14% of colon cancers and 11% of post-menopausal breast cancers. Experts believe that it may also contribute to many other cancers. So do yourself a favour and join in the fight against developing cancer by being physically active every day.
  2. Exercise can help to normalise blood glucose levels and help you avoid age-related decline in muscle mass or muscle wastage. Add in a healthy eating plan, and you could be losing weight too.
  3. Regular physical activity can reduce dependence on medications by helping improve heart health, insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control.
  4. Your brain loves exercise! Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which helps to boost mental focus, concentration and alertness.
  5. Regular exercise can release feel-good brain chemicals (endorphins) that improve mood and can also reduce immune system chemicals that increase depression.

At least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise a day (3-4 rating out of 10) is recommended to promote good health. Evidence suggests that exercise works on a dose-relationship response, meaning the more you do, the more positive health benefits occur. Aerobic exercise can include activities such as brisk walking, swimming, dancing or aerobics classes. It’s also recommended that you include resistance training at least twice a week. This can include lifting light weights or performing body weight exercises.
If you have any further queries or want information on physical activity feel free to contact one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologists on 1300 342 238.

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5 Reasons to Exercise You Just Can’t Ignore

Any exercise is good but the more the better! You will not only reduce your risk of a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, but also experience positive short-term impacts such as feeling great mentally, and having more energy during the day. Need further convincing? Read on for more reasons to get yourself moving.
  1. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, physical inactivity is responsible for 14% of colon cancers and 11% of post-menopausal breast cancers. Experts believe that it may also contribute to many other cancers. So do yourself a favour and join in the fight against developing cancer by being physically active every day.
  2. Exercise can help to normalise blood glucose levels and help you avoid age-related decline in muscle mass or muscle wastage. Add in a healthy eating plan, and you could be losing weight too.
  3. Regular physical activity can reduce dependence on medications by helping improve heart health, insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control.
  4. Your brain loves exercise! Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which helps to boost mental focus, concentration and alertness.
  5. Regular exercise can release feel-good brain chemicals (endorphins) that improve mood and can also reduce immune system chemicals that increase depression.

At least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise a day (3-4 rating out of 10) is recommended to promote good health. Evidence suggests that exercise works on a dose-relationship response, meaning the more you do, the more positive health benefits occur. Aerobic exercise can include activities such as brisk walking, swimming, dancing or aerobics classes. It’s also recommended that you include resistance training at least twice a week. This can include lifting light weights or performing body weight exercises.
If you have any further queries or want information on physical activity feel free to contact one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologists on 1300 342 238.

Move

If you’re after the feeling of revitalisation, increased energy and positive engagement, try taking your exercise sessions outdoors.

If you’re after the feeling of revitalisation, increased energy and positive engagement, try taking your exercise sessions outdoors.

A systematic review of existing studies has revealed that the benefits of being active outdoors include a decrease in tension, confusion, anger and depression. There are also reports of greater enjoyment, satisfaction and likelihood to repeat exercise when conducted outdoors rather than an indoor environment.

Before you hit the park or beach, here are five helpful tips to make your outdoor exercise experience a safe one.

  1. Exercise with a buddy or in a group. A large part of the enjoyment factor of exercising outdoors involves the social aspect of engaging with others in the green environment. Exercising with a buddy or a group of people is also important in case of an emergency. The most likely emergency scenario for a person with diabetes is hypoglycaemia. Ensure your group or buddy knows you have diabetes, is aware of the signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia (dizziness, blurred vision, shakiness, confusion) and knows how to help in an emergency (ensuring that you consume a fast acting carbohydrate such as jellybeans or a fruit drink).
  1. Make yourself familiar with your surroundings. Being aware of the environment in which you are exercising is extremely important. Before you start exercising check for major hazards such as traffic, dangerous animals, or a cliff edge. Look out for minor hazards such as uneven ground and tripping risks. Research the area before you arrive at the location, or take a slow walk around the area before you start your exercise.
  1. Carry hypo treatment & a BGL meter. For an individual with diabetes who is on insulin or takes medication which can cause hypoglycaemia it is important to carry fast acting glucose. It is also useful to have a meter to check blood glucose levels during activity because exercise can lower your blood glucose levels.
  1. Be sun smart. One of the most overlooked precautions to take while moving outdoors is being sun safe. This involves wearing a hat, wearing sunglasses, applying sunscreen and possibly covering up prior to starting your workout. During the warmer months, it is also recommended to avoid exercise in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest.
  1. Stay hydrated. It is essential to stay hydrated when exercising. Taking a bottle of water while training outdoors or having easy access to water is important, as being exposed to the elements can put you at an increased risk of dehydration.

Summer is a great time to get out in the natural environment and enjoy the positive benefits of outdoor exercise. Whether it is a park, beach, oval or a walking track in a national park, remember the safety precautions to ensure a happy, safe and enjoyable experience.

click here

Five Safety Tips to Reap the Rewards of Exercising Outdoors

If you’re after the feeling of revitalisation, increased energy and positive engagement, try taking your exercise sessions outdoors.

A systematic review of existing studies has revealed that the benefits of being active outdoors include a decrease in tension, confusion, anger and depression. There are also reports of greater enjoyment, satisfaction and likelihood to repeat exercise when conducted outdoors rather than an indoor environment.

Before you hit the park or beach, here are five helpful tips to make your outdoor exercise experience a safe one.

  1. Exercise with a buddy or in a group. A large part of the enjoyment factor of exercising outdoors involves the social aspect of engaging with others in the green environment. Exercising with a buddy or a group of people is also important in case of an emergency. The most likely emergency scenario for a person with diabetes is hypoglycaemia. Ensure your group or buddy knows you have diabetes, is aware of the signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia (dizziness, blurred vision, shakiness, confusion) and knows how to help in an emergency (ensuring that you consume a fast acting carbohydrate such as jellybeans or a fruit drink).
  1. Make yourself familiar with your surroundings. Being aware of the environment in which you are exercising is extremely important. Before you start exercising check for major hazards such as traffic, dangerous animals, or a cliff edge. Look out for minor hazards such as uneven ground and tripping risks. Research the area before you arrive at the location, or take a slow walk around the area before you start your exercise.
  1. Carry hypo treatment & a BGL meter. For an individual with diabetes who is on insulin or takes medication which can cause hypoglycaemia it is important to carry fast acting glucose. It is also useful to have a meter to check blood glucose levels during activity because exercise can lower your blood glucose levels.
  1. Be sun smart. One of the most overlooked precautions to take while moving outdoors is being sun safe. This involves wearing a hat, wearing sunglasses, applying sunscreen and possibly covering up prior to starting your workout. During the warmer months, it is also recommended to avoid exercise in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest.
  1. Stay hydrated. It is essential to stay hydrated when exercising. Taking a bottle of water while training outdoors or having easy access to water is important, as being exposed to the elements can put you at an increased risk of dehydration.

Summer is a great time to get out in the natural environment and enjoy the positive benefits of outdoor exercise. Whether it is a park, beach, oval or a walking track in a national park, remember the safety precautions to ensure a happy, safe and enjoyable experience.

Move

Was your New Year's resolution to 'get fitter' or 'exercise more' but you haven't been able to find the time or motivation? Here are our top four tips for getting into exercise.

Do you keep setting a goal to ‘get fitter’ or ‘exercise more’ but struggle to find the time or motivation? Here are our top four tips for getting into exercise. 

STEP 1: Set yourself a goal to work towards

Setting daily, weekly and monthly goals gives you direction and assists with keeping you on track towards greater fitness and improved health and diabetes management.

The below example will give you some ideas on how to set SMART goals:

S (specific), M (measureable), A (achievable), Realistic (realistic) and T (time-based)

For example:

Daily Goal sit less throughout the day.

  • I will achieve this by getting up in the TV ad breaks, walking around the house while I wait for the jug to boil and by walking to the mail box three times throughout the day, before breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • FACT: This increase in incidental activity reduces your sitting time which is important to lower your blood glucose levels (BGLs) and help reduce the risk of other health-related conditions such as heart disease.

Weekly Goal – exercise five days per week for 30 minutes.

  • I will do this at 9am Monday to Friday.
  • FACT: 30 minutes of exercise will enable you to match the recommended health guidelines for the Australian population to remain healthy and reduce the risk of health complications.

Monthly Goal – Reach a total of 20 exercise sessions over the month which accumulate to 30 minutes duration.

  • Increase my step count by an average extra 500 steps per day from my step count on week 1 of my tracking.
  • FACT: 10,000 steps per day is recommended to reduce health risks.

STEP 2: Build up your fitness

It’s extremely important if you are new to exercise or activity that you gradually build up your fitness levels. The best way to do this is start out with a form of activity you enjoy and is achievable for you to apply into your day to day routine. Walking is a great way to become healthier and more active. Other forms of activity such as cycling, swimming, dancing/zumba are common examples and just as beneficial to build up your fitness levels. An example of how you can build up your fitness progressively is provided below using walking as an example.

step 2

A one hour workout is only 4% of your day

STEP 3: Planing 

Planning your activity will be your key to your success! “Without a plan your goals are just a wish.” A simple tool like this will help you schedule exercise into your day and make it a priority. Plan A may not work so try again and again until you find a plan that works for you and your day to day commitments.

 

Step 4: Keeping motivated

Use technology to help you stay on track with your activity levels and fitness goals. The following free phone apps may be useful:

Rise and Recharge

  • Measures and alerts you to periods of prolonged sitting
  • Provides motivational comments encouraging change and reinforcing positive behaviours
  • Gives feedback on daily sitting time

Argus

  • Measures your steps/activity
  • Can be personalised with a specific target or increments towards goal
  • Easy to read display

Human Activity Tracker

  • Reinforces the National Physical Activity Guidelines
  • Allows you to set goals and gives you feedback throughout the day on your progress towards that goal
  • Helps you track your daily activity
click here

Top Four Tips For Getting Into Exercise

Do you keep setting a goal to ‘get fitter’ or ‘exercise more’ but struggle to find the time or motivation? Here are our top four tips for getting into exercise. 

STEP 1: Set yourself a goal to work towards

Setting daily, weekly and monthly goals gives you direction and assists with keeping you on track towards greater fitness and improved health and diabetes management.

The below example will give you some ideas on how to set SMART goals:

S (specific), M (measureable), A (achievable), Realistic (realistic) and T (time-based)

For example:

Daily Goal sit less throughout the day.

  • I will achieve this by getting up in the TV ad breaks, walking around the house while I wait for the jug to boil and by walking to the mail box three times throughout the day, before breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • FACT: This increase in incidental activity reduces your sitting time which is important to lower your blood glucose levels (BGLs) and help reduce the risk of other health-related conditions such as heart disease.

Weekly Goal – exercise five days per week for 30 minutes.

  • I will do this at 9am Monday to Friday.
  • FACT: 30 minutes of exercise will enable you to match the recommended health guidelines for the Australian population to remain healthy and reduce the risk of health complications.

Monthly Goal – Reach a total of 20 exercise sessions over the month which accumulate to 30 minutes duration.

  • Increase my step count by an average extra 500 steps per day from my step count on week 1 of my tracking.
  • FACT: 10,000 steps per day is recommended to reduce health risks.

STEP 2: Build up your fitness

It’s extremely important if you are new to exercise or activity that you gradually build up your fitness levels. The best way to do this is start out with a form of activity you enjoy and is achievable for you to apply into your day to day routine. Walking is a great way to become healthier and more active. Other forms of activity such as cycling, swimming, dancing/zumba are common examples and just as beneficial to build up your fitness levels. An example of how you can build up your fitness progressively is provided below using walking as an example.

step 2

A one hour workout is only 4% of your day

STEP 3: Planing 

Planning your activity will be your key to your success! “Without a plan your goals are just a wish.” A simple tool like this will help you schedule exercise into your day and make it a priority. Plan A may not work so try again and again until you find a plan that works for you and your day to day commitments.

 

Step 4: Keeping motivated

Use technology to help you stay on track with your activity levels and fitness goals. The following free phone apps may be useful:

Rise and Recharge

  • Measures and alerts you to periods of prolonged sitting
  • Provides motivational comments encouraging change and reinforcing positive behaviours
  • Gives feedback on daily sitting time

Argus

  • Measures your steps/activity
  • Can be personalised with a specific target or increments towards goal
  • Easy to read display

Human Activity Tracker

  • Reinforces the National Physical Activity Guidelines
  • Allows you to set goals and gives you feedback throughout the day on your progress towards that goal
  • Helps you track your daily activity

Move

Physical activity is good for everyone! The good news is that if you speak with your doctor or specialist and they say it is safe for you to be active then there is no reason why you shouldn’t start today. But before you put on your exercise clothes and tie up your shoelaces there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure you're moving safely.

Physical activity is good for everyone! The good news is that if you speak with your doctor or specialist and they say it is safe for you to be active then there is no reason why you shouldn’t start today. But before you put on your exercise clothes and tie up your shoelaces there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure you’re moving safely.

First and foremost you need to get medical clearance to start or change a physical activity program. Make sure you ask your doctor if he/she thinks there are any exercises you should avoid.

Next, if you are wondering where to start, make an appointment with an Exercise Physiologist who can help to make sure you know how much, how often and how hard you need to be exercising.

If you have a known heart condition then there are a few things you may want to consider:

  1. If your medication changes you need to ask your doctor how that might impact on your ability to be physically active. Sometimes medications can change how your body responds to physical activity. Changing medications is not an excuse to stop, but an opportunity to review your program and make sure it is right for you.

2. Avoid heavy lifting, pulling or pushing if possible. These activities can cause increases in blood pressure.

3. Avoid isometric or static exercises where your muscle is contracting against an immovable object for example wall squat, plank or stomach crunches (held).

4. Avoid exercises that involve both your arms being above your head at the same time. These exercises increase blood pressure unnecessarily.

5. Never hold your breath while exercising, ensure you maintain normal breathing throughout all movements. Breath holding can also increase blood pressure.

6. Try to avoid exercising when it is humid, hot or cold. Humidity can cause undue fatigue, hot and cold environments can interfere with the body’s circulation, cause breathing difficulties and sometimes even chest pain. Extreme temperatures increase the workload on the heart. Exercising indoors is the best option if you have a heart condition.

7. Always remain hydrated.

8. Do not ignore pain and follow angina protocols where prescribed.

9. Aerobic and strength training activities that use large muscle groups are great because they strengthen your heart and lungs, improve blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.

10. Walking up hills may be harder when you have a heart condition. Hills can still be included in your workout but you may need to reduce your pace or include rest periods where needed.

11. Be sure to include a warm up and cool down to reduce the stress on the heart and allow the body to prepare for and recover from exercise effectively.

12. Monitor your heart rate and breathing during exercise to ensure you are staying within your limits and not pushing yourself too hard.

13. Stop exercising if you feel unwell, experience breathlessness or have pressure or pain in the chest, neck, arm, jaw, or shoulder. If you experience dizziness or become lightheaded during exercise slow exercise and then rest. Seek medical assistance if needed.

Remember everyone can exercise! Be prepared, know your limitations during exercise and when you should stop in order to be safe.

Most importantly have fun and enjoy a healthier you!

click here

Exercising with a Heart Condition

Physical activity is good for everyone! The good news is that if you speak with your doctor or specialist and they say it is safe for you to be active then there is no reason why you shouldn’t start today. But before you put on your exercise clothes and tie up your shoelaces there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure you’re moving safely.

First and foremost you need to get medical clearance to start or change a physical activity program. Make sure you ask your doctor if he/she thinks there are any exercises you should avoid.

Next, if you are wondering where to start, make an appointment with an Exercise Physiologist who can help to make sure you know how much, how often and how hard you need to be exercising.

If you have a known heart condition then there are a few things you may want to consider:

  1. If your medication changes you need to ask your doctor how that might impact on your ability to be physically active. Sometimes medications can change how your body responds to physical activity. Changing medications is not an excuse to stop, but an opportunity to review your program and make sure it is right for you.

2. Avoid heavy lifting, pulling or pushing if possible. These activities can cause increases in blood pressure.

3. Avoid isometric or static exercises where your muscle is contracting against an immovable object for example wall squat, plank or stomach crunches (held).

4. Avoid exercises that involve both your arms being above your head at the same time. These exercises increase blood pressure unnecessarily.

5. Never hold your breath while exercising, ensure you maintain normal breathing throughout all movements. Breath holding can also increase blood pressure.

6. Try to avoid exercising when it is humid, hot or cold. Humidity can cause undue fatigue, hot and cold environments can interfere with the body’s circulation, cause breathing difficulties and sometimes even chest pain. Extreme temperatures increase the workload on the heart. Exercising indoors is the best option if you have a heart condition.

7. Always remain hydrated.

8. Do not ignore pain and follow angina protocols where prescribed.

9. Aerobic and strength training activities that use large muscle groups are great because they strengthen your heart and lungs, improve blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.

10. Walking up hills may be harder when you have a heart condition. Hills can still be included in your workout but you may need to reduce your pace or include rest periods where needed.

11. Be sure to include a warm up and cool down to reduce the stress on the heart and allow the body to prepare for and recover from exercise effectively.

12. Monitor your heart rate and breathing during exercise to ensure you are staying within your limits and not pushing yourself too hard.

13. Stop exercising if you feel unwell, experience breathlessness or have pressure or pain in the chest, neck, arm, jaw, or shoulder. If you experience dizziness or become lightheaded during exercise slow exercise and then rest. Seek medical assistance if needed.

Remember everyone can exercise! Be prepared, know your limitations during exercise and when you should stop in order to be safe.

Most importantly have fun and enjoy a healthier you!

Move

Sitting less is a great goal to work towards in the new year. Sedentary behaviour can lead to health problems such as type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and coronary heart disease.

Sitting less is a great goal to work towards in the new year. Sedentary behaviour can lead to health problems such as type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and coronary heart disease.

You do the maths: how long have you been sitting for today?

Consider sitting for meals, work, travel, watchingTV, reading, on the computer, waiting for appointments

 

Whether you are young or old, working or at home, ask yourself ‘how can I reduce my sitting time?’. Reducing time in front of the television is a great start, as studies have shown more time spent watching TV results in higher risk of health problems.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP REDUCE YOUR RISK?

  • Limit screen time to 2 hours a day – the magic number studies have shown to reduce risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
  • Break up your sitting time regularly. Just standing up will make a difference!
  • Stand to read the paper or sort through your junk mail.
  • Watch television while doing household chores like folding clothes or ironing.
  • Walk and talk when making phone calls.
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift. If your destination is up too many flights of stairs take the elevator part way and walk the rest.
  • Park further away from the shops or walk instead of driving.
  • Plan regular breaks during long car trips and be active during the breaks.
  • Stand while in meetings at work.

Tracking devices like pedometers and Fitbit’s are great tools to use to get you moving more throughout the day. These devices help you track your steps and allow you to watch them increase as you become more mindful of your sitting time. It may be just the prompt you need to get started!

If you want to make this your goal for 2017 set some targets for yourself and track your progress. Every bit adds up!

Looking for a pedometer? Check out diabetesshop.com 

click here

Sit Less, Move More

Sitting less is a great goal to work towards in the new year. Sedentary behaviour can lead to health problems such as type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and coronary heart disease.

You do the maths: how long have you been sitting for today?

Consider sitting for meals, work, travel, watchingTV, reading, on the computer, waiting for appointments

 

Whether you are young or old, working or at home, ask yourself ‘how can I reduce my sitting time?’. Reducing time in front of the television is a great start, as studies have shown more time spent watching TV results in higher risk of health problems.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP REDUCE YOUR RISK?

  • Limit screen time to 2 hours a day – the magic number studies have shown to reduce risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
  • Break up your sitting time regularly. Just standing up will make a difference!
  • Stand to read the paper or sort through your junk mail.
  • Watch television while doing household chores like folding clothes or ironing.
  • Walk and talk when making phone calls.
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift. If your destination is up too many flights of stairs take the elevator part way and walk the rest.
  • Park further away from the shops or walk instead of driving.
  • Plan regular breaks during long car trips and be active during the breaks.
  • Stand while in meetings at work.

Tracking devices like pedometers and Fitbit’s are great tools to use to get you moving more throughout the day. These devices help you track your steps and allow you to watch them increase as you become more mindful of your sitting time. It may be just the prompt you need to get started!

If you want to make this your goal for 2017 set some targets for yourself and track your progress. Every bit adds up!

Looking for a pedometer? Check out diabetesshop.com 

Move

Whether you are taking a dip in one of the many ocean baths along our amazing coastline, jumping into your local swimming pool or even dancing away in an aqua aerobics class at your local hydrotherapy pool; you are definitely doing yourself a favour by getting in the water.

We are lucky enough to live in a country that has access to arguably some of the best places to go swimming in the world and the good news is that being active in the water is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. Whether you are taking a dip at a beach along our amazing coastline, jumping into your local swimming pool or even dancing away in an aqua aerobics class; you are definitely doing yourself a favour by getting in the water.

What is so good about it?

When we examine what happens to the body during exercise we see activation of muscles, movement of bones and joints and an influx of brain activity triggering systems in the body to work together to accommodate the increased workload.

Swimming is one of those activities that particularly challenges your cardiovascular system. It does this by recruiting many muscle groups simultaneously, which usually results in your body working at a moderate to high level of intensity. Working at this moderate intensity (or between 3-4 on an intensity scale of 1-10) is the recommended level to allow for positive changes to take place in your body such as increasing fitness, stimulating weight loss or improving general heart health.

It is also the recommended go-to activity if you have chronic joint or pain related issues that make it difficult to walk or perform land-based exercise. Being submerged in the water takes the load off joints and can enable someone with restrictions to meet their daily physical activity requirement, without large flare ups of pain symptoms.

So use the opportunity summer offers to improve your health by making a splash in your local swimming hole. To find out more ways to become active, contact our Accredited Exercise Physiologists at Diabetes NSW & ACT on 1300 342 238 or check out more MOVE articles here. 

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Make a Splash!

We are lucky enough to live in a country that has access to arguably some of the best places to go swimming in the world and the good news is that being active in the water is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. Whether you are taking a dip at a beach along our amazing coastline, jumping into your local swimming pool or even dancing away in an aqua aerobics class; you are definitely doing yourself a favour by getting in the water.

What is so good about it?

When we examine what happens to the body during exercise we see activation of muscles, movement of bones and joints and an influx of brain activity triggering systems in the body to work together to accommodate the increased workload.

Swimming is one of those activities that particularly challenges your cardiovascular system. It does this by recruiting many muscle groups simultaneously, which usually results in your body working at a moderate to high level of intensity. Working at this moderate intensity (or between 3-4 on an intensity scale of 1-10) is the recommended level to allow for positive changes to take place in your body such as increasing fitness, stimulating weight loss or improving general heart health.

It is also the recommended go-to activity if you have chronic joint or pain related issues that make it difficult to walk or perform land-based exercise. Being submerged in the water takes the load off joints and can enable someone with restrictions to meet their daily physical activity requirement, without large flare ups of pain symptoms.

So use the opportunity summer offers to improve your health by making a splash in your local swimming hole. To find out more ways to become active, contact our Accredited Exercise Physiologists at Diabetes NSW & ACT on 1300 342 238 or check out more MOVE articles here. 

Move

With regular physical activity or exercise, we can improve the way in which our bodies store and use glucose from the blood, helping to reduce blood glucose levels in the short term and long term. Strength or Resistance training is particularly effective in improving our body’s ability to control blood glucose levels as it focuses on the muscle.

Our body is made up of over 640 different muscles. Muscle tissue essentially forms the engine rooms of our body. It metabolises energy from the food we eat, to enable us to produce movement. Over 30% of our total body weight consists of skeletal muscle and it is here where the majority of our body’s glucose is stored or utilized.

With regular physical activity or exercise, we can improve the way in which our bodies store and use glucose from the blood, helping to reduce blood glucose levels in the short term and long term. Strength or Resistance training is particularly effective in improving our body’s ability to control blood glucose levels as it focuses on the muscle.

Resistance training is particularly effective in enabling our insulin to work better (improved insulin sensitivity), as well as contributing to improvements in body composition, namely an increase in muscle mass. Bigger muscles means we have more cupboard space to store glucose away from the blood.

Performing strength exercises such as lifting weights or using exercise bands as little as 2-3 times per week can be enough to improve the way in which our bodies control blood glucose levels.

With all of this in mind it makes sense to try and incorporate as many major muscle groups into your resistance training as possible to achieve the maximum benefit.

Here are some tips to help you maximise the benefits from your training:

  • Prioritise larger muscle groups over smaller ones – focus on exercises that incorporate the bigger muscles of the body first before moving to the smaller muscles groups. Exercises using the large muscles in the legs such as sit-to-stands or squats are a great place to start. Upper body exercises such as push-ups (or modified wall push-ups) and row variations (eg. Thera-band row) utilize the major muscle groups of the upper body.
  • Aim to include exercises that involve movement across multiple joints – this means more muscles are involved in the exercise. These exercises are also generally more functional and correlate closely with movements we perform day to day (eg. Getting out of a chair, picking an object off the floor). An exercise such as a step-up incorporates the muscles of the hip, thigh and calf. For an added challenge you can add a bicep curl between every repetition to get the upper body involved.
  • Aim to perform 8-10 exercises incorporating major muscle groups from the upper and lower body. Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions for each exercise.

Exercise examples:

Sit-to-stand

  1. Start with feet shoulder width apart and arms crossed over chest or by side.
  2. Lean forward slightly whilst pushing through heels of feet to stand from chair.
  3. Sit back down to chair with controlled timing (approx. 2secs)
  4. Repeat 10-15 times.
exercise1

Thera-band row

  1. Can be performed seated or standing, start with band looped around pole or outstretched feet
  2. Grasp ends of band, sit up tall and pull band towards lower chest. Ensure you don’t lean too far backwards.
  3. Keep shoulders relaxed throughout movement, squeeze shoulder blades together slightly as you pull back
  4. Return band to starting position with controlled timing (approx. 2secs)
  5. Repeat 10-15 times.
exercise2

Wall push-up

  1. Stand facing wall with feet together, roughly one arms-length from the wall.
  2. Place hands on wall slightly wider that shoulder width apart and at shoulder height.
  3. Keep body straight, bend at elbows and move chest slowly towards wall in a push-up movement.
  4. Push through hands to return to starting position.
  5. Repeat 10-15 times.
exercise3
click here

Exercising the whole body

Our body is made up of over 640 different muscles. Muscle tissue essentially forms the engine rooms of our body. It metabolises energy from the food we eat, to enable us to produce movement. Over 30% of our total body weight consists of skeletal muscle and it is here where the majority of our body’s glucose is stored or utilized.

With regular physical activity or exercise, we can improve the way in which our bodies store and use glucose from the blood, helping to reduce blood glucose levels in the short term and long term. Strength or Resistance training is particularly effective in improving our body’s ability to control blood glucose levels as it focuses on the muscle.

Resistance training is particularly effective in enabling our insulin to work better (improved insulin sensitivity), as well as contributing to improvements in body composition, namely an increase in muscle mass. Bigger muscles means we have more cupboard space to store glucose away from the blood.

Performing strength exercises such as lifting weights or using exercise bands as little as 2-3 times per week can be enough to improve the way in which our bodies control blood glucose levels.

With all of this in mind it makes sense to try and incorporate as many major muscle groups into your resistance training as possible to achieve the maximum benefit.

Here are some tips to help you maximise the benefits from your training:

  • Prioritise larger muscle groups over smaller ones – focus on exercises that incorporate the bigger muscles of the body first before moving to the smaller muscles groups. Exercises using the large muscles in the legs such as sit-to-stands or squats are a great place to start. Upper body exercises such as push-ups (or modified wall push-ups) and row variations (eg. Thera-band row) utilize the major muscle groups of the upper body.
  • Aim to include exercises that involve movement across multiple joints – this means more muscles are involved in the exercise. These exercises are also generally more functional and correlate closely with movements we perform day to day (eg. Getting out of a chair, picking an object off the floor). An exercise such as a step-up incorporates the muscles of the hip, thigh and calf. For an added challenge you can add a bicep curl between every repetition to get the upper body involved.
  • Aim to perform 8-10 exercises incorporating major muscle groups from the upper and lower body. Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions for each exercise.

Exercise examples:

Sit-to-stand

  1. Start with feet shoulder width apart and arms crossed over chest or by side.
  2. Lean forward slightly whilst pushing through heels of feet to stand from chair.
  3. Sit back down to chair with controlled timing (approx. 2secs)
  4. Repeat 10-15 times.
exercise1

Thera-band row

  1. Can be performed seated or standing, start with band looped around pole or outstretched feet
  2. Grasp ends of band, sit up tall and pull band towards lower chest. Ensure you don’t lean too far backwards.
  3. Keep shoulders relaxed throughout movement, squeeze shoulder blades together slightly as you pull back
  4. Return band to starting position with controlled timing (approx. 2secs)
  5. Repeat 10-15 times.
exercise2

Wall push-up

  1. Stand facing wall with feet together, roughly one arms-length from the wall.
  2. Place hands on wall slightly wider that shoulder width apart and at shoulder height.
  3. Keep body straight, bend at elbows and move chest slowly towards wall in a push-up movement.
  4. Push through hands to return to starting position.
  5. Repeat 10-15 times.
exercise3

Move

Physical activity is one of those things that everyone thinks about doing, but few people actually do with any regularity. It all starts with changing your mindset about exercise and working on some positive self-talk.

Physical activity is one of those things that everyone thinks about doing, but few people actually do with any regularity. We all know the benefits of regular exercise: it makes us look better, feel better, reduces health risks…the list goes on and on. Yet each time we attempt the journey we’re plagued with a lack of time, energy or motivation. All of these barriers are probably real, however we can also work around them.It all starts with changing your mindset about exercise and working on some positive self-talk.It all starts with changing your mindset about exercise and working on some positive self-talk.

Have these thoughts ever gone through your mind when it comes to exercise?

“I’m too tired.”

“I haven’t had enough sleep.”

“I’ve got so much to do today.”

“I don’t have any energy.”

“I don’t want to go for walk or to the gym, but I should because I’m unfit… but I have no motivation.”

Behavioural psychologists say as much as 77% of self-talk that we do is negative and it takes as many as 20 positive statements about ourselves to counteract just one negative personal statement.

Positive self-talk is important for your mental and physical wellbeing. The reality is if exercise was easy, more people would be doing it.

Our brains are such powerful influencers on our actions that is important to foster some positive messages into our brains. Research indicates that the brain operates like a computer in a way, it will keep repeating what it is pre-programmed into it.

Developing a positive thought pattern takes time, but it can directly influence your actions in a good way. By harnessing a positive inner voice you can allow yourself to recognise but not connect with negative messages.

Start with these tips:

  1. Pay attention to the messages you tell yourself – are they positive or negative? Can you change the negative thoughts for more positive thoughts?
  2. Believe that if you change your self-talk to include positive messages you will, over time, influence your behaviour or actions to reflect positive changes.
  3. Start the day with positive and empowering thoughts: Today is going to be a great day, I am healthy and can go for a walk today so I will.
  4. Remind yourself that most problems have a solution.
  5. You have the choice to keep doing what you are doing or to make a change.

Click here for exercise FAQs.

click here

Yes You Can!

Physical activity is one of those things that everyone thinks about doing, but few people actually do with any regularity. We all know the benefits of regular exercise: it makes us look better, feel better, reduces health risks…the list goes on and on. Yet each time we attempt the journey we’re plagued with a lack of time, energy or motivation. All of these barriers are probably real, however we can also work around them.It all starts with changing your mindset about exercise and working on some positive self-talk.It all starts with changing your mindset about exercise and working on some positive self-talk.

Have these thoughts ever gone through your mind when it comes to exercise?

“I’m too tired.”

“I haven’t had enough sleep.”

“I’ve got so much to do today.”

“I don’t have any energy.”

“I don’t want to go for walk or to the gym, but I should because I’m unfit… but I have no motivation.”

Behavioural psychologists say as much as 77% of self-talk that we do is negative and it takes as many as 20 positive statements about ourselves to counteract just one negative personal statement.

Positive self-talk is important for your mental and physical wellbeing. The reality is if exercise was easy, more people would be doing it.

Our brains are such powerful influencers on our actions that is important to foster some positive messages into our brains. Research indicates that the brain operates like a computer in a way, it will keep repeating what it is pre-programmed into it.

Developing a positive thought pattern takes time, but it can directly influence your actions in a good way. By harnessing a positive inner voice you can allow yourself to recognise but not connect with negative messages.

Start with these tips:

  1. Pay attention to the messages you tell yourself – are they positive or negative? Can you change the negative thoughts for more positive thoughts?
  2. Believe that if you change your self-talk to include positive messages you will, over time, influence your behaviour or actions to reflect positive changes.
  3. Start the day with positive and empowering thoughts: Today is going to be a great day, I am healthy and can go for a walk today so I will.
  4. Remind yourself that most problems have a solution.
  5. You have the choice to keep doing what you are doing or to make a change.

Click here for exercise FAQs.

Exercise and BGLs

Exercise and BGLs

Regular physical activity, including structured exercise, is one of the central strategies in effective diabetes management. It can be a real game changer due to its effectiveness in reducing blood glucose levels (BGLs) both during and for a period of Read More …

Exercise and BGLs

Regular physical activity, including structured exercise, is one of the central strategies in effective diabetes management. It can be a real game changer due to its effectiveness in reducing blood glucose levels (BGLs) both during and for a period of up to 24 hours afterwards. It is the unswallowed pill that you can take every day to help you manage your levels; a form of natural medicine! Staying active on a regular basis will not only mean less frequent highs (known as hyperglycaemia), but it will also reduce the risk of diabetes related complications in the future.

Understanding how our bodies respond to exercise is one of first important steps we should make when undertaking a new regimen. In the case of diabetes, it is vital to understand how BGLs respond to different activities. The way your body responds can differ largely depending on what medications you are taking, your current fitness level, how long you have had diabetes and characteristics of the exercise you are performing (type, duration, intensity). Due to the blood glucose lowering effects of exercise, the recommendations generally emphasise the importance of ensuring BGLs are greater than 6mmol/L prior to undertaking any exercise.

For this reason understanding when BGLs are too low to commence exercise safely is important, but it also raises the question, can BGLs be too high to exercise? The short answer to this question is yes!

How high is too high?

The general BGL guidelines for hyperglycaemia and exercise are:

Type 1 diabetes:

  • Safe to exercise: between 6-15mmol/L
  • Exercise with caution: >15mmol/L, no ketones present and feeling well
  • Delay exercise: >15mmol/L with ketones present

Type 2 diabetes:

  • Safe to exercise: between 6-15mmol/L
  • Exercise with caution: >15mmol/L and feeling well
  • Delay exercise: >15mmol/L and feeling unwell

These recommendations are in place because if BGLs are high prior to exercise, there is potential for exercise to make them go even higher. For more personal guideline please discuss with your healthcare team.

Exercise-induced hyperglycaemia

Certain forms of exercise have the potential to cause an increase in BGLs in the short term, this is known as exercise-induced hyperglycaemia. This includes exercises that are high in intensity such as sprinting, jumping and moderate to heavy resistance training. This is mainly due to the effect this form of activity has on the production of counter regulatory hormones such as adrenaline. Basically, the body sees intense exercise as a type of stressor and there is a subsequent release of stress hormones which signals the body to increase glucose production and block insulin action. It may be a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard or your body is under a significant amount of stress.

This effect is generally temporary with levels returning to pre-exercise levels or lower in the 1-3hrs following exercise cessation. For those with type 1 diabetes, some insulin may be required to assist with bringing BGLs down depending on the reading.  This is a normal response to this type of activity and should only cause concern if BGLs remain elevated for long periods after the activity ceases.

Tips for reducing the risk of exercise-induced hyperglycaemia:

  • Don’t exercise with ketones present – exercise will likely elevate BGLs further when the body is in this state (leading to Ketoacidosis). This is more likely to occur with type 1 diabetes, however people with type 2 diabetes should still be aware.
  • Avoid vigorous activities if BGLs are high – if levels are high but ketones are negative, consider modifying exercise program to make it a light or moderate intensity session. Activities such as walking, cycling on a stationary bike or level ground, light aerobics will generally lead to a reduction in BGLs.
  • Sick days and hydration – avoid exercise when you are feeling unwell as BGLs will likely be elevated during this time. Adequate hydration is vital when you are sick to prevent dehydration.
Move Not Movies- Getting Active With Your Family

Move Not Movies- Getting Active With Your Family

Life is so busy these days and finding quality time to spend with your family is hard. Fitting in the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity can sometimes be a challenge. Why not multitask and get active with your family! Read More …

Move Not Movies- Getting Active With Your Family

Life is so busy these days and finding quality time to spend with your family is hard. Fitting in the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity can sometimes be a challenge. Why not multitask and get active with your family! Being active with your partner, your children or grandchildren might just be the motivation you need, and the key to a healthier you.

Family fitness tips

  • Have a family conference and decide what activities you might like to do together, make a plan and write them on your calendar. Make sure you schedule in active family time every week.
  • When giving presents give ‘active presents’ that can be used by the whole family.
  • Set family activity goals. Giving yourselves something to aim for can help with motivation, for example you might aim to complete the City to Surf or go in a local fun run or walk as a family.
  • Set a good example. Be a role model for your children or grandchildren and be active in as many ways as you can every day.
  • Decide what your family exercise style is and increase the likelihood that your family stays active. Are you interested in individual activities, playing team sports, exercising at home or do you prefer to exercise as part of a class?
  • Have a wet weather plan. Have back up games ready to go when the weather is poor.

Get Outside

  • Get close to nature. Go bushwalking, explore a national park. Check out your local Council website for interesting walks close to where you live.
  • Go for a bike ride together.
  • Take a trip to the beach.
  • Play at the park.

Be a ‘Local’ Tourist

  • Check out your local Council website or visitors centre for free or low cost activities.
  • Take advantage of the walks and cycle paths in your local area.

Focus on Fun

  • Join a local sporting group, enter a family team.
  • Play hide and seek.
  • Throw a Frisbee.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Use a trampoline.

Make activity purposeful and functional

  • Use activity to accomplish a task like walking to the shops or taking the dog for a walk.
  • Start a vegetable patch and get active in your garden.
  • Complete yard work as a family.
  • Ride to the post office or to a picnic spot for lunch.

Active Gaming

  • If your family enjoys playing video games then why not try ‘active gaming’ such as Wii Fit. Technology might just be the solution to getting you active on those rainy/hot days.

Lastly, research shows that people who feel they are supported by their family to be more active and who are surrounded by others interested in physical activity are more likely to participate. Remember that a family who is active together, stays healthy together.

 

Exercise the whole family can enjoy!

Exercise the whole family can enjoy!

We know that exercise plays an important role in our health, but with a family to look after it can often be a difficult thing to find time for. Instead of trying to escape the kids to go the gym Read More …

Exercise the whole family can enjoy!

We know that exercise plays an important role in our health, but with a family to look after it can often be a difficult thing to find time for. Instead of trying to escape the kids to go the gym or for a run, why not include the kids into your routine? They need exercise just as much as you do, and by acting as a role model you’re setting them up with good habits for life.

We’ve found four fun and simple ways to make exercise a family affair.

  1. Music and dance

    Looking for something simple and fun to do at home? It’s as easy as putting on your favourite tracks, turning up the volume and hitting the home grown dancefloor with anyone who is around. Wiggle, shake, bounce and laugh your way to fitness with the family.

  2. Find an activity that everyone enjoys

    Whether it’s as simple as a neighbourhood walk, or as challenging as indoor rock climbing, we’re much more likely to exercise if we enjoy it. Planning exercise with a family can make finding something everyone enjoys more challenging, thankfully there are a lot of different activities, at many different skill and intensity levels to choose from.

    More traditional activities like walking, dance classes, tennis and swimming are available almost anywhere. But why not try something a little different? Learning circus skills can be quite a workout, and places like Skyzone are a great way to get the heart racing.

  3. Schedule the time

    Exercise doesn’t just happen, like most things in life it needs to be planned and scheduled in to the week. Instead of TV on a Wednesday night plan some family exercise time; allow an extra 30 mins for school pick up and park the car a few blocks from the school and walk. For weekend jobs like cleaning, get everyone involved and make it a game, or turn up the volume again and make it a dance. Why not try a competition – get the timer on and see who can clean a floor the quickest?

    The key thing is, if you don’t make the time and build it in to your routine, it will never happen.

    The Australian Physical Activity Guidelines state that adults should get at least 30 mins activity every day, and children 5-12 years at least 60 mins per day. The time spent exercising can be done all at once or even split up throughout the day, which makes it even easier to build in to the day.

  4. Yoga

    Yoga is not only fantastic for flexibility, posture and balance, it’s great for working up a sweat and calming the mind. Over recent years yoga loving parents have been introducing their children to it too, and special kids and family classes have been popping up more and more. Centres like Yoganic offer classes, while others like Gaia offer streaming of classes and tutorials for parents and children to do together.

    Exercise doesn’t have be the stereotyped image of sweating it out in the gym or running until your feet blister. It about deciding what you want to achieve for you and your family, and from little athletics to walking the dog, finding the right activities for everyone.

    Looking for inspiration?
    Pinterest
    and Instagram are great sources of ideas and inspiration. A good place to start is the hashtag #familyfitness.

Staying safe while exercising

It’s always recommended to seek medical advice before starting any new exercise routine or when planning to increase your activity levels.

For your first few sessions, it is a good idea to test your blood glucose level before, during and after exercise, especially if you are on insulin or certain diabetes tablets that can lower blood glucose levels. Always carry quickly absorbed glucose such as jellybeans or glucose tablets in case your blood glucose level drops too low.

If at any time you feel you are experiencing symptoms of a ‘hypo’ (low blood glucose), stop, check your blood glucose levels and treat the hypo. Wait 10 to 15 minutes, test again and follow up with longer acting carbohydrate such as a sandwich, glass of milk or two biscuits. Do not continue to exercise until your symptoms have disappeared and test your blood glucose regularly to watch out for further hypos.

For more information, refer to the Hypoglycaemia and Diabetes (23), Physical Health and Diabetes (27) and Physical Activity ( 39) information sheets.

  • Ask Ange: Using an i-Port Advance
  • What is cardiovascular disease?
  • Caring for your feet
  • Seven Reasons Your BGLs Are High
  • Matters of the heart
  • Play it safe in the heat
  • Is my monitor up to standard?
  • As 1 Diabetes Project Launch
  • Diabetes Myths & Facts
  • Safe Summer Fun
  • Changes to Eligibility for Subsidised Strips Takes Effect
  • Understanding Hypoglycaemia Unawareness
  • Cycle of Care Screening
  • Eye care for Diabetes

Me

Diabetes NSW & ACT Diabetes Educator Ange answers questions about using insulin with an i-Port Advance

Naomi, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes many years ago, asked about using an i-Port Advance as she was fed up with all the injections she needed to manage her diabetes. Naomi takes Novorapid with meals and Lantus at night; she wanted to know if she could use both insulins in the same i-Port.

The i-Port comes with its own inserter that leaves a soft cannula in the skin. You would use the same sites you would for an injection, making sure you continue rotating your injection sites every time you need to replace the i-Port. When using the i- Port your injections are made through the small hole in the centre.

This means for the next 72 hours you will be able to make all of your injections through the i-Port, with no change in normal activity such as showering, swimming and exercising. It is compatible with all pens and syringes and can be used by children and adults. I-Port Advance is a single use device and is suitable for needle length from 5mm to 8mm.

It is recommended that Lantus, a long acting insulin, not be mixed with other insulins as it may change how the insulin works. I contacted Sanofi to check with their research team about injecting Lantus and Novorapid in the same i-Port. The recommendation was to use the i-Port for the Novorapid and inject the Lantus in a separate site. Naomi was happy with the answer and has found the i-Port provides a welcome relief from injecting directly into the skin.

For more information or to order visit diabetesshop.com or call 1300 342 238 and speak to one of our diabetes educators.

click here

Ask Ange: Using an i-Port Advance

Naomi, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes many years ago, asked about using an i-Port Advance as she was fed up with all the injections she needed to manage her diabetes. Naomi takes Novorapid with meals and Lantus at night; she wanted to know if she could use both insulins in the same i-Port.

The i-Port comes with its own inserter that leaves a soft cannula in the skin. You would use the same sites you would for an injection, making sure you continue rotating your injection sites every time you need to replace the i-Port. When using the i- Port your injections are made through the small hole in the centre.

This means for the next 72 hours you will be able to make all of your injections through the i-Port, with no change in normal activity such as showering, swimming and exercising. It is compatible with all pens and syringes and can be used by children and adults. I-Port Advance is a single use device and is suitable for needle length from 5mm to 8mm.

It is recommended that Lantus, a long acting insulin, not be mixed with other insulins as it may change how the insulin works. I contacted Sanofi to check with their research team about injecting Lantus and Novorapid in the same i-Port. The recommendation was to use the i-Port for the Novorapid and inject the Lantus in a separate site. Naomi was happy with the answer and has found the i-Port provides a welcome relief from injecting directly into the skin.

For more information or to order visit diabetesshop.com or call 1300 342 238 and speak to one of our diabetes educators.

Me

Cardiovascular disease refers to a group of disorders that involve the heart and blood vessels (veins and arteries). People with diabetes are three to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those without diabetes.

by Credentialed Diabetes Educator, Sue Leahy

Cardiovascular disease refers to a group of disorders that involve the heart and blood vessels (veins and arteries). People with diabetes are three to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those without diabetes. The most common forms of cardiovascular disease include:

  • Ischaemic heart disease: affecting the vessels in the heart related to heart attack
  • Cerebrovascular disease: affecting the vessels in the brain related to stroke.

Common symptoms of heart attack include:

  • Chest discomfort or pain: this can feel like a tight ache, pressure, fullness or squeezing in the centre or left side of your chest lasting more than a few minutes. It can also feel like heartburn or indigestion. It may come and go.
  • Upper body discomfort: this can feel like pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw or upper part of the stomach.
  • Shortness of breath: either for no reason or greater than expected for the activity being performed. This often occurs before chest discomfort or pain develops if it does at all.
  • Anxiety: feeling a sense of doom or panic for no apparent reason.
  • Light-headedness: in addition to chest pressure, dizziness or fainting.
  • Sweating: sudden sweat with cold, clammy skin
  • Nausea and vomiting

It is important to note that you may experience all, some or none of these symptoms during a heart attack. People with diabetes, especially those who have had it for a long time, are at increased risk of silent ischaemia (a decrease in the blood supply to the heart caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood vessel), where there is no pain or discomfort associated with heart attack due to reduced nerve sensation around the heart.

Common symptoms of stroke include:

  • Trouble with walking: sudden dizziness, stumbling, loss of balance or coordination
  • Trouble with speaking and understanding: confusion or slurring of speech or inability to speak or think of the right words to explain what is happening
  • Paralysis or numbness on one side of your face or body: sudden weakness, numbness or even paralysis on one side of the body
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes: sudden onset of double, blurred or blackened vision
  • Headache: a sudden, severe headache especially combined with any other symptoms
  • Difficulty swallowing

Annual screening will help monitor the risk factors associated with developing cardiovascular disease by checking:

  • Cholesterol levels
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood glucose levels and HbA1c
  • Weight and waist measurement
  • Lifestyle goals: such as physical activity, smoking, healthy eating, alcohol consumption, and emotional well-being

Talk to your GP or health care team if you are concerned or experiencing any symptoms of cardiovascular disease. It is important to get treatment early.

click here

What is cardiovascular disease?

by Credentialed Diabetes Educator, Sue Leahy

Cardiovascular disease refers to a group of disorders that involve the heart and blood vessels (veins and arteries). People with diabetes are three to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those without diabetes. The most common forms of cardiovascular disease include:

  • Ischaemic heart disease: affecting the vessels in the heart related to heart attack
  • Cerebrovascular disease: affecting the vessels in the brain related to stroke.

Common symptoms of heart attack include:

  • Chest discomfort or pain: this can feel like a tight ache, pressure, fullness or squeezing in the centre or left side of your chest lasting more than a few minutes. It can also feel like heartburn or indigestion. It may come and go.
  • Upper body discomfort: this can feel like pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw or upper part of the stomach.
  • Shortness of breath: either for no reason or greater than expected for the activity being performed. This often occurs before chest discomfort or pain develops if it does at all.
  • Anxiety: feeling a sense of doom or panic for no apparent reason.
  • Light-headedness: in addition to chest pressure, dizziness or fainting.
  • Sweating: sudden sweat with cold, clammy skin
  • Nausea and vomiting

It is important to note that you may experience all, some or none of these symptoms during a heart attack. People with diabetes, especially those who have had it for a long time, are at increased risk of silent ischaemia (a decrease in the blood supply to the heart caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood vessel), where there is no pain or discomfort associated with heart attack due to reduced nerve sensation around the heart.

Common symptoms of stroke include:

  • Trouble with walking: sudden dizziness, stumbling, loss of balance or coordination
  • Trouble with speaking and understanding: confusion or slurring of speech or inability to speak or think of the right words to explain what is happening
  • Paralysis or numbness on one side of your face or body: sudden weakness, numbness or even paralysis on one side of the body
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes: sudden onset of double, blurred or blackened vision
  • Headache: a sudden, severe headache especially combined with any other symptoms
  • Difficulty swallowing

Annual screening will help monitor the risk factors associated with developing cardiovascular disease by checking:

  • Cholesterol levels
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood glucose levels and HbA1c
  • Weight and waist measurement
  • Lifestyle goals: such as physical activity, smoking, healthy eating, alcohol consumption, and emotional well-being

Talk to your GP or health care team if you are concerned or experiencing any symptoms of cardiovascular disease. It is important to get treatment early.

Me

Caring for your feet is an important part of looking after your diabetes. Diabetes can increase the risk of problems with your feet therefore regular check-ups with your diabetes team or podiatrist is important.

Caring for your feet is an important part of looking after your diabetes. Diabetes can increase the risk of problems with your feet therefore regular check-ups with your diabetes team or podiatrist is important.

What can I do to look after my feet?

Sometimes we forget about our feet. We need to wash, dry and moisturise our feet every day. Here are some helpful tips that you can practise at home to keep your feet healthy:

  • Wash your feet every day
  • Dry your feet well, paying particular attention to between the toes – moisture trapped in between the toes can lead to skin breakdown and infection
  • Moisturise your feet daily – do not apply creams in between your toes, this area needs to be kept dry
  • Look after your toenails – cut your nails straight across and gently file any rough edges. If your nails have thickened, see a podiatrist
  • Wear the correct foot wear – enclosed shoes are best that have adjustable fastening devices such as laces, Velcro or buckles. Enclosed shoes help prevent dry, cracked heels and protect the whole foot from injury
  • Make sure your shoes fits well, be sure they don’t cause blisters or rubbing and have a small heel height of less than 2cm
  • Wear well-fitting seamless socks or stockings

What are the complications I might see in my feet from diabetes?

Diabetes can affect the blood flow and nerves to your feet.

You have low-risk feet if you:

  • Have pulses in both feet
  • Do not have any nerve damage – burning, tingling or numb areas of the feet
  • Do not have any changes to the shape of your feet or changes to the skin colour – such as bright red or mottled

You have high-risk feet if you:

  • No pulses in your feet
  • Nerve damage: numbness, tingling or burning sensations
  • Changes to the shape or colour of your feet
  • Foot ulcer or amputation

It is important to have your feet checked regularly by a health professional. A podiatrist is a health professional that specialise in looking after feet.

If you have low-risk feet:

  • Have your feet checked at least once per year

If you have high-risk feet:

  • Have your feet checked at least every 6 months

See a health professional sooner if:

  • There is any sign of infection, skin breakdown, ulcer or cracking skin
  • There is new pain, swelling or redness, especially if you have nerve damage

 

For more information contact Diabetes NSW & ACT on 1300 342 238

click here

Caring for your feet

Caring for your feet is an important part of looking after your diabetes. Diabetes can increase the risk of problems with your feet therefore regular check-ups with your diabetes team or podiatrist is important.

What can I do to look after my feet?

Sometimes we forget about our feet. We need to wash, dry and moisturise our feet every day. Here are some helpful tips that you can practise at home to keep your feet healthy:

  • Wash your feet every day
  • Dry your feet well, paying particular attention to between the toes – moisture trapped in between the toes can lead to skin breakdown and infection
  • Moisturise your feet daily – do not apply creams in between your toes, this area needs to be kept dry
  • Look after your toenails – cut your nails straight across and gently file any rough edges. If your nails have thickened, see a podiatrist
  • Wear the correct foot wear – enclosed shoes are best that have adjustable fastening devices such as laces, Velcro or buckles. Enclosed shoes help prevent dry, cracked heels and protect the whole foot from injury
  • Make sure your shoes fits well, be sure they don’t cause blisters or rubbing and have a small heel height of less than 2cm
  • Wear well-fitting seamless socks or stockings

What are the complications I might see in my feet from diabetes?

Diabetes can affect the blood flow and nerves to your feet.

You have low-risk feet if you:

  • Have pulses in both feet
  • Do not have any nerve damage – burning, tingling or numb areas of the feet
  • Do not have any changes to the shape of your feet or changes to the skin colour – such as bright red or mottled

You have high-risk feet if you:

  • No pulses in your feet
  • Nerve damage: numbness, tingling or burning sensations
  • Changes to the shape or colour of your feet
  • Foot ulcer or amputation

It is important to have your feet checked regularly by a health professional. A podiatrist is a health professional that specialise in looking after feet.

If you have low-risk feet:

  • Have your feet checked at least once per year

If you have high-risk feet:

  • Have your feet checked at least every 6 months

See a health professional sooner if:

  • There is any sign of infection, skin breakdown, ulcer or cracking skin
  • There is new pain, swelling or redness, especially if you have nerve damage

 

For more information contact Diabetes NSW & ACT on 1300 342 238

Me

There is a lot of information out there about what to do when blood glucose levels are low, but what about when blood glucose levels are high? Hyperglycaemia, or high blood glucose levels, can affect people with all types of diabetes, making you feel more tired, headachy, irritable or thirsty.

There is a lot of information out there about what to do when blood glucose levels (BGLs) are low, but what about when they are high? Hyperglycaemia, or high blood glucose levels, can affect people with all types of diabetes, making you feel more tired, headachy, irritable or thirsty.

Many different factors can make your blood glucose levels higher than normal. Figuring out the underlying cause is the first step to knowing how to bring them back down. We’ve picked out the top reasons why your blood glucose levels might be high:

  1. Carbohydrates like bread, potato, fruit and milk products are all broken down into glucose and directly raise blood glucose levels. Having a bigger meal or more carbohydrate than usual can push glucose levels up.
  2. Physical activity is great for using up glucose from the blood. Being less active than usual can mean the glucose is stuck in the blood, making glucose higher than normal. Intense exercise can initially make glucose levels higher but the muscles will soon use it up for energy.
  3. Medications for diabetes, including tablets and insulin, are all designed to lower glucose levels, so missing a dose or taking less than usual will usually result in higher blood glucose levels. Some other medications, such as steroids, make the body more insulin resistant and so raise glucose levels.
  4. Stress tells the body to be on high alert and get ready for action. The body responds by making the heart beat faster, the breathing rate speed up and dumping extra glucose in the blood for energy.
  5. Illness or infection causes the body to produce extra hormones to help heal the body. However these hormones temporarily prevent insulin from working effectively and can make blood glucose levels higher than usual.
  6. Hot weather doesn’t directly affect glucose levels but makes us sweat more, making it easier to become dehydrated. Dehydration makes the blood thicker and the glucose concentration rise.
  7. Diabetes is progressive meaning that cells in the pancreas wear out over time and are not able to make as much insulin. This may lead to higher blood glucose levels and signa lthe need for changes to your diabetes management plan.

Having a one-off, high blood glucose level is not going to dramatically increase the risk of diabetes complications.  In people with type 2 diabetes, their body is still able to make some insulin, so the glucose level usually comes back down within a few days once the underlying issue has been resolved.

In the meantime, aim to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and do some light exercise such as a walk around the block, if you’re feeling well enough. If you’re sick or treating an infection, talk to your GP or pharmacist about options to treat the problem and alleviate symptoms. If you’re feeling stressed, depressed or anxious, take some time out for yourself to do something you enjoy – maybe a massage or catch up with a friend. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved – try talking to a friend, family member or professional counsellor or psychologist.

If blood glucose levels are getting very high or becoming symptomatic or have not returned to normal within one to two weeks, talk to your GP or diabetes care team.

click here

Seven Reasons Your BGLs Are High

There is a lot of information out there about what to do when blood glucose levels (BGLs) are low, but what about when they are high? Hyperglycaemia, or high blood glucose levels, can affect people with all types of diabetes, making you feel more tired, headachy, irritable or thirsty.

Many different factors can make your blood glucose levels higher than normal. Figuring out the underlying cause is the first step to knowing how to bring them back down. We’ve picked out the top reasons why your blood glucose levels might be high:

  1. Carbohydrates like bread, potato, fruit and milk products are all broken down into glucose and directly raise blood glucose levels. Having a bigger meal or more carbohydrate than usual can push glucose levels up.
  2. Physical activity is great for using up glucose from the blood. Being less active than usual can mean the glucose is stuck in the blood, making glucose higher than normal. Intense exercise can initially make glucose levels higher but the muscles will soon use it up for energy.
  3. Medications for diabetes, including tablets and insulin, are all designed to lower glucose levels, so missing a dose or taking less than usual will usually result in higher blood glucose levels. Some other medications, such as steroids, make the body more insulin resistant and so raise glucose levels.
  4. Stress tells the body to be on high alert and get ready for action. The body responds by making the heart beat faster, the breathing rate speed up and dumping extra glucose in the blood for energy.
  5. Illness or infection causes the body to produce extra hormones to help heal the body. However these hormones temporarily prevent insulin from working effectively and can make blood glucose levels higher than usual.
  6. Hot weather doesn’t directly affect glucose levels but makes us sweat more, making it easier to become dehydrated. Dehydration makes the blood thicker and the glucose concentration rise.
  7. Diabetes is progressive meaning that cells in the pancreas wear out over time and are not able to make as much insulin. This may lead to higher blood glucose levels and signa lthe need for changes to your diabetes management plan.

Having a one-off, high blood glucose level is not going to dramatically increase the risk of diabetes complications.  In people with type 2 diabetes, their body is still able to make some insulin, so the glucose level usually comes back down within a few days once the underlying issue has been resolved.

In the meantime, aim to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and do some light exercise such as a walk around the block, if you’re feeling well enough. If you’re sick or treating an infection, talk to your GP or pharmacist about options to treat the problem and alleviate symptoms. If you’re feeling stressed, depressed or anxious, take some time out for yourself to do something you enjoy – maybe a massage or catch up with a friend. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved – try talking to a friend, family member or professional counsellor or psychologist.

If blood glucose levels are getting very high or becoming symptomatic or have not returned to normal within one to two weeks, talk to your GP or diabetes care team.

Me

This Valentine’s Day Diabetes NSW & ACT explore the links between your love life and your health.

This Valentine’s Day Diabetes NSW & ACT explore the links between your love life and your health.

Whether you’re single, married, or somewhere in between, you can’t escape February. Love songs take over the airwaves, Valentine’s Day cards fill newsagent stands, and florists are bursting with long-stemmed red roses.

But when it comes to real matters of the heart, there’s nothing romantic about snoring, failure to hold an erection, or your heart skipping a beat.

Snoring (a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea), chest pain, shortness of breath and erectile dysfunction are all warning signs your heart and blood vessels (veins and arteries) aren’t travelling too well.

People who carry a spare tyre around their middle, and people with diabetes are three to four times more at risk of heart attack or stroke than those without. If your blood glucose levels are regularly out of target range you can face complications including damage to the blood vessels in your heart, eyes and penis.

Here are seven things you can do daily to keep your blood vessels pumping.

1. Shift that tyre from your waist. One to three kilos can make a big difference. Look for ways to downsize, and swap high-kilojoule options for less. Over the year, you will weigh less. For more information, visit: http://www.8700.com.au/

2. Family, food and fitness are the recipe for success. Use your loved ones for motivation, and support. Rally up the troops and get them to join you.

3. Enlist in support. A dietitian can help you with food, and an exercise physiologist can help with physical activity. Your GP can arrange referrals and you may be entitled to five Medicare bulk billed sessions.

4. Keep your ABC’s in check (A1c, Blood pressure, Cholesterol). For people with diabetes, the A1c test tells how well your blood glucose levels are controlled. You want it below seven per cent. Blood pressure and cholesterol are risk factors for diabetes and heart disease and should be checked regularly by your doctor.

5. Quit the smokes. The Quitline says a year afterwards, your risk of heart disease will be back to that of a non-smoker. They’re good odds. Calling the Quitline (13 78 48) is also said to double your chances of quitting for good.

6. Sitting is the new smoking. After you’ve ditched the smokes, look for ways to break up your sitting time across the day. Standing burns more kilojoules, and a light to moderate walk will get your blood flowing.

7. Get some superfoods into you. As the saying goes, baked beans really are good for your heart, as are oats and psyllium husks. They help by naturally lowering your cholesterol with the bonus of keeping your bowels regular. Oily fish help your circulation so try and get some salmon or tinned sardines in twice a week.

 

 

click here

Matters of the heart

This Valentine’s Day Diabetes NSW & ACT explore the links between your love life and your health.

Whether you’re single, married, or somewhere in between, you can’t escape February. Love songs take over the airwaves, Valentine’s Day cards fill newsagent stands, and florists are bursting with long-stemmed red roses.

But when it comes to real matters of the heart, there’s nothing romantic about snoring, failure to hold an erection, or your heart skipping a beat.

Snoring (a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea), chest pain, shortness of breath and erectile dysfunction are all warning signs your heart and blood vessels (veins and arteries) aren’t travelling too well.

People who carry a spare tyre around their middle, and people with diabetes are three to four times more at risk of heart attack or stroke than those without. If your blood glucose levels are regularly out of target range you can face complications including damage to the blood vessels in your heart, eyes and penis.

Here are seven things you can do daily to keep your blood vessels pumping.

1. Shift that tyre from your waist. One to three kilos can make a big difference. Look for ways to downsize, and swap high-kilojoule options for less. Over the year, you will weigh less. For more information, visit: http://www.8700.com.au/

2. Family, food and fitness are the recipe for success. Use your loved ones for motivation, and support. Rally up the troops and get them to join you.

3. Enlist in support. A dietitian can help you with food, and an exercise physiologist can help with physical activity. Your GP can arrange referrals and you may be entitled to five Medicare bulk billed sessions.

4. Keep your ABC’s in check (A1c, Blood pressure, Cholesterol). For people with diabetes, the A1c test tells how well your blood glucose levels are controlled. You want it below seven per cent. Blood pressure and cholesterol are risk factors for diabetes and heart disease and should be checked regularly by your doctor.

5. Quit the smokes. The Quitline says a year afterwards, your risk of heart disease will be back to that of a non-smoker. They’re good odds. Calling the Quitline (13 78 48) is also said to double your chances of quitting for good.

6. Sitting is the new smoking. After you’ve ditched the smokes, look for ways to break up your sitting time across the day. Standing burns more kilojoules, and a light to moderate walk will get your blood flowing.

7. Get some superfoods into you. As the saying goes, baked beans really are good for your heart, as are oats and psyllium husks. They help by naturally lowering your cholesterol with the bonus of keeping your bowels regular. Oily fish help your circulation so try and get some salmon or tinned sardines in twice a week.

 

 

Me

With record-breaking temperatures set to continue this weekend, it’s important to keep yourself healthy in the heat, particularly if you live with diabetes. Here are our top 10 tips for staying safe when the temperature rises:

With record-breaking temperatures set to continue this weekend, it’s important to keep yourself healthy in the heat, particularly if you live with diabetes. Here are our top 10 tips for staying safe when the temperature rises:

1. Dehydration can lead to higher blood glucose levels (BGLs) so drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Have a bottle of water with you and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

2. Dehydrated skin absorbs insulin more slowly. Try and keep your injection site close to normal temperature and stay hydrated.

3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they cause dehydration.

4. Sunburn can raise your BGL, so wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat while out in the sun.

5. Warm skin absorbs insulin faster, which can lead to hypos. Remember to carry your hypo treatment with you. Symptoms of heat exhaustion are similar to hypoglycemia (dizziness, fainting, confusion, and for some people, excessive sweating) so test your BGL to be sure.

6. Store your insulin and medications in a cool place as heat can affect how well they work. If away from home, keep your medicines and test strips in a cooler bag.

7. Exercise early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature is cooler.

8. Sandals, thongs or going barefoot can increase your risk of a foot injury. To be safe, always wear shoes and check your feet at the end of each day.

9. Don’t forget the weather can affect your test strips and glucose meter. When exposed to extreme temperatures, they are not as accurate. Keep your testing kit out of the sun and away from hot spots like your car.

10. If you’re wearing an insulin pump, slip it into your pocket to keep it out of direct sunlight. Place less insulin in your reservoir and change your set more often to avoid it being affected by the heat. Sweating can also affect your infusion set, so check regularly to make sure it hasn’t come loose.

If you would like to speak to a Diabetes NSW & ACT Diabetes Educator call our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

click here

Play it safe in the heat

With record-breaking temperatures set to continue this weekend, it’s important to keep yourself healthy in the heat, particularly if you live with diabetes. Here are our top 10 tips for staying safe when the temperature rises:

1. Dehydration can lead to higher blood glucose levels (BGLs) so drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Have a bottle of water with you and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

2. Dehydrated skin absorbs insulin more slowly. Try and keep your injection site close to normal temperature and stay hydrated.

3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they cause dehydration.

4. Sunburn can raise your BGL, so wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat while out in the sun.

5. Warm skin absorbs insulin faster, which can lead to hypos. Remember to carry your hypo treatment with you. Symptoms of heat exhaustion are similar to hypoglycemia (dizziness, fainting, confusion, and for some people, excessive sweating) so test your BGL to be sure.

6. Store your insulin and medications in a cool place as heat can affect how well they work. If away from home, keep your medicines and test strips in a cooler bag.

7. Exercise early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature is cooler.

8. Sandals, thongs or going barefoot can increase your risk of a foot injury. To be safe, always wear shoes and check your feet at the end of each day.

9. Don’t forget the weather can affect your test strips and glucose meter. When exposed to extreme temperatures, they are not as accurate. Keep your testing kit out of the sun and away from hot spots like your car.

10. If you’re wearing an insulin pump, slip it into your pocket to keep it out of direct sunlight. Place less insulin in your reservoir and change your set more often to avoid it being affected by the heat. Sweating can also affect your infusion set, so check regularly to make sure it hasn’t come loose.

If you would like to speak to a Diabetes NSW & ACT Diabetes Educator call our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

Me

When testing your blood glucose levels (BGLs) you want to be sure that your monitor is as accurate as possible. It’s important to make sure it suits your needs, and the best way to find the right one is to chat to your diabetes educator or pharmacist. They can also provide you with additional information, further instruction and support.

When testing your blood glucose levels (BGLs) you want to be sure that your monitor is as accurate as possible.

It’s important to make sure it suits your needs, and the best way to find the right one is to chat to your diabetes educator or pharmacist. They can also provide you with additional information, further instruction and support.

Once you have a monitor take the time to read through the manual. This will tell you how to change the time and date (for day light saving, travel), troubleshoot problems and the correct testing technique to use (eg how to insert the test strip).

Once you’re comfortable with your monitor choice, it’s important to know your testing times, the target range for your results and what you need to do when your BGLs are outside your range. Talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about your times, target levels and what action to take.

Many monitors have inbuilt recording of results, however, if you have a doctor’s visit it’s always a good idea to write down your results for a couple of weeks prior to the appointment. Add in any comments such as sick day, extra activity or carb amounts at meal times.

Why am I getting different results when I test twice?

People sometimes ask why testing the same finger twice may give different results. This can be because the first drop of blood is thicker with more concentrated blood cells so the result may be slightly higher than the second drop. Some educators and monitor companies will recommend wiping away the first drop and using the second.

If you have unpredictable results it may be time for a review of you monitor and testing method with your diabetes educator. If a result is much higher or lower that you usual ones, repeat the test with re-cleaned hands. It may be that your blood glucose level is accurate so compare this with any symptoms you may feel. Many situations effect your levels such as medications like steroids, sickness or stress.

Errors in your results can happen especially if you don’t have clean hands or struggle to obtain a drop of blood. Environmental factors such as temperature can still effected the accuracy of the result as well.

You can check the accuracy of your monitor using control solution, which provides a pre-determined result range. If your monitor doesn’t return the same result as the range listed on the control solution bottle, your monitor is likely to be faulty. Manufacturers will replace faulty monitors if they read outside the range and will also provide you with control solution free of charge.

So how do I know what I am buying?

All monitors sold in Australia for people to test their blood glucose level must meet the international standard called ISO 15197:2013 by May 2016.

This works to ensure reasonable accuracy. BGL results from the monitor are compared to laboratory measurements. These comparison tests also cover whether the accuracy of the result in effected by other interferents (a substance that results in an incorrect result) such as drugs like ibuprofen, the volume of red blood cells (haematocrit level), or cholesterol levels. There are twenty four different interferents tested for. How the monitor is used is also evaluated to ensure user error does not compromise the result.

To achieve the ISO standard, 99% of the results must be within 15% (plus or minus) of the true result. For ISO 2013, for an actual true value of 5.0 mmom/L the result must fall between 6.0 and 4.0 to be accurate.

The previous standard (ISO 2003) was 95% of the results must be within 20% (+/-).

The new standard has meant that more accurate monitors are available in the market.

Figure 1: An example of the standard – the true value is a blood glucose level of 5.0mmol/L

New + 15% True Value -15%
ISO 6.0 5.0 mmom/L 4.0
Old + 20% True Value -20%
ISO 7.0 5.0 mmol/L 3.0
What does this really mean?

Your monitor may be 1 to 2mmol/L higher or lower than your actual BGL depending on your monitor type and if it meets ISO 2013. Health professionals understand this. Remember monitors older than 2013 may only meet the 2003 standard and are therefore are not as accurate.

How do I find out if my monitor meets the standard?

The quickest way is to do a “google” search online for ISO 2013 and your monitor name. This should provide a simple statement such as “meets ISO standard 15197:2013”. It can also often be found on the manufacturer’s information supplied with a monitor or you can contact the manufacturer’s customer support.

We’ve done the research for the monitors that we sell. All monitors listed below are ISO 2013 compliant and available from diabetesshop.com

Dario Smart Meter
Freestyle Optium Neo
CareSens N
Caresens N POP
OneTouch Verio IQ
TrueRESULT
Other brands of monitors we sell meet the current ISO 2003 accuracy standard and more recently manufactured versions of these monitors may also be ISO 2013 compliant.

If you need to update your monitor you can chat to your diabetes educator who can show you the range of monitors currently available or you can call us to speak to one of our diabetes educators or visit diabetesshop.com for more info.

To speak to a Credentialled Diabetes Educator call our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

click here

Is my monitor up to standard?

When testing your blood glucose levels (BGLs) you want to be sure that your monitor is as accurate as possible.

It’s important to make sure it suits your needs, and the best way to find the right one is to chat to your diabetes educator or pharmacist. They can also provide you with additional information, further instruction and support.

Once you have a monitor take the time to read through the manual. This will tell you how to change the time and date (for day light saving, travel), troubleshoot problems and the correct testing technique to use (eg how to insert the test strip).

Once you’re comfortable with your monitor choice, it’s important to know your testing times, the target range for your results and what you need to do when your BGLs are outside your range. Talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about your times, target levels and what action to take.

Many monitors have inbuilt recording of results, however, if you have a doctor’s visit it’s always a good idea to write down your results for a couple of weeks prior to the appointment. Add in any comments such as sick day, extra activity or carb amounts at meal times.

Why am I getting different results when I test twice?

People sometimes ask why testing the same finger twice may give different results. This can be because the first drop of blood is thicker with more concentrated blood cells so the result may be slightly higher than the second drop. Some educators and monitor companies will recommend wiping away the first drop and using the second.

If you have unpredictable results it may be time for a review of you monitor and testing method with your diabetes educator. If a result is much higher or lower that you usual ones, repeat the test with re-cleaned hands. It may be that your blood glucose level is accurate so compare this with any symptoms you may feel. Many situations effect your levels such as medications like steroids, sickness or stress.

Errors in your results can happen especially if you don’t have clean hands or struggle to obtain a drop of blood. Environmental factors such as temperature can still effected the accuracy of the result as well.

You can check the accuracy of your monitor using control solution, which provides a pre-determined result range. If your monitor doesn’t return the same result as the range listed on the control solution bottle, your monitor is likely to be faulty. Manufacturers will replace faulty monitors if they read outside the range and will also provide you with control solution free of charge.

So how do I know what I am buying?

All monitors sold in Australia for people to test their blood glucose level must meet the international standard called ISO 15197:2013 by May 2016.

This works to ensure reasonable accuracy. BGL results from the monitor are compared to laboratory measurements. These comparison tests also cover whether the accuracy of the result in effected by other interferents (a substance that results in an incorrect result) such as drugs like ibuprofen, the volume of red blood cells (haematocrit level), or cholesterol levels. There are twenty four different interferents tested for. How the monitor is used is also evaluated to ensure user error does not compromise the result.

To achieve the ISO standard, 99% of the results must be within 15% (plus or minus) of the true result. For ISO 2013, for an actual true value of 5.0 mmom/L the result must fall between 6.0 and 4.0 to be accurate.

The previous standard (ISO 2003) was 95% of the results must be within 20% (+/-).

The new standard has meant that more accurate monitors are available in the market.

Figure 1: An example of the standard – the true value is a blood glucose level of 5.0mmol/L

New + 15% True Value -15%
ISO 6.0 5.0 mmom/L 4.0
Old + 20% True Value -20%
ISO 7.0 5.0 mmol/L 3.0
What does this really mean?

Your monitor may be 1 to 2mmol/L higher or lower than your actual BGL depending on your monitor type and if it meets ISO 2013. Health professionals understand this. Remember monitors older than 2013 may only meet the 2003 standard and are therefore are not as accurate.

How do I find out if my monitor meets the standard?

The quickest way is to do a “google” search online for ISO 2013 and your monitor name. This should provide a simple statement such as “meets ISO standard 15197:2013”. It can also often be found on the manufacturer’s information supplied with a monitor or you can contact the manufacturer’s customer support.

We’ve done the research for the monitors that we sell. All monitors listed below are ISO 2013 compliant and available from diabetesshop.com

Dario Smart Meter
Freestyle Optium Neo
CareSens N
Caresens N POP
OneTouch Verio IQ
TrueRESULT
Other brands of monitors we sell meet the current ISO 2003 accuracy standard and more recently manufactured versions of these monitors may also be ISO 2013 compliant.

If you need to update your monitor you can chat to your diabetes educator who can show you the range of monitors currently available or you can call us to speak to one of our diabetes educators or visit diabetesshop.com for more info.

To speak to a Credentialled Diabetes Educator call our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

Me

Diabetes NSW & ACT is pleased to officially launch the As1 Diabetes project. In NSW and ACT there are 3,131 school aged individuals living with type 1 diabetes and the As1 Diabetes project aims to help support these children and their families in five main areas.

Diabetes NSW & ACT is pleased to officially launch the As1 Diabetes project.

In NSW and ACT there are 3,131 school aged individuals living with type 1 diabetes and the As1 Diabetes project aims to help support these children and their families in five main areas.
These areas are:

1. Diabetes Teacher Training Seminars

Notify your school today about our 2017 dates:

  • Thursday 16 February 2017 – Club Hurstville, Hurstville NSW
  • Friday 24 February – Wests New Lambton, New Lambton (Newcastle)
  • Wednesday 22 March 2017 – Dee Why RSL, Dee Why NSW
  • Wednesday 29 March 2017 – Mercure Canberra, Braddon ACT
  • Thursday 18 May 2017 – Inner West Sydney Area NSW (venue TBC)

 

2. School Educational Resources (includes school posters, action and management plans)

 

3. As1 Diabetes Website (www.as1diabetes.com.au)

 

4. As1 Kids Magazine

 

5. Diabetes NSW & ACT Position Statement 

Effective early management from the outset of diagnosis minimises or prevents the risk of long term complications associated with diabetes. Accordingly, it is necessary that school staff and those caring for children understand the goals of diabetes management and the student’s individual diabetes management plan to ensure continuity of care.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about the As1 Diabetes project or sharing your story about diabetes management and school, please email us.
If you would like to join us for our official launch on the 21 January at the DiaBuddies Day in Penrith, book here.
click here

As 1 Diabetes Project Launch

Diabetes NSW & ACT is pleased to officially launch the As1 Diabetes project.

In NSW and ACT there are 3,131 school aged individuals living with type 1 diabetes and the As1 Diabetes project aims to help support these children and their families in five main areas.
These areas are:

1. Diabetes Teacher Training Seminars

Notify your school today about our 2017 dates:

  • Thursday 16 February 2017 – Club Hurstville, Hurstville NSW
  • Friday 24 February – Wests New Lambton, New Lambton (Newcastle)
  • Wednesday 22 March 2017 – Dee Why RSL, Dee Why NSW
  • Wednesday 29 March 2017 – Mercure Canberra, Braddon ACT
  • Thursday 18 May 2017 – Inner West Sydney Area NSW (venue TBC)

 

2. School Educational Resources (includes school posters, action and management plans)

 

3. As1 Diabetes Website (www.as1diabetes.com.au)

 

4. As1 Kids Magazine

 

5. Diabetes NSW & ACT Position Statement 

Effective early management from the outset of diagnosis minimises or prevents the risk of long term complications associated with diabetes. Accordingly, it is necessary that school staff and those caring for children understand the goals of diabetes management and the student’s individual diabetes management plan to ensure continuity of care.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about the As1 Diabetes project or sharing your story about diabetes management and school, please email us.
If you would like to join us for our official launch on the 21 January at the DiaBuddies Day in Penrith, book here.

Me

There are many myths about diabetes that are often reported as facts; we debunk the most common myths to give you the true story.

Myths about diabetes; what are the facts?

There are many myths about diabetes that are often reported as facts; we debunk the most common myths to give you the true story.

1. Myth: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar

Fact: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. While sugar doesn’t cause diabetes it can contribute to obesity which is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

2. Myth: You have to lose a lot of weight to improve your diabetes

Fact: Losing around 5% of your total body weight can improve your diabetes control and have great benefits to your overall health.

3. Myth: It is possible to have a ‘touch of diabetes’

Fact: There is no such thing as a ‘touch of diabetes’. You cannot be ‘a touch pregnant’. Everyone with diabetes has a risk of developing long term complications if they have poor control.

4. Myth: People with type 2 diabetes who need to commence on insulin then become a person with type 1 diabetes

Fact: Many people with type 2 diabetes can eventually require insulin injections to control their diabetes. It does not mean you have type 1 diabetes, you still have type 2 diabetes requiring insulin.

5. Myth: People with diabetes need to follow a special diet

Fact: People with diabetes benefit from eating a healthy diet that includes a wide variety of foods. It is not only good for people with diabetes but everyone in the community.

6. Myth: Diabetes is not a serious condition

Fact: Diabetes can have both short-term and long-term complications that can potentially have an impact on your quality of life. Keeping your diabetes in control will reduce the risk of complications.

7. Myth: People with diabetes can’t play sport

Fact: Physical exercise is important for everyone’s health and especially for people with diabetes. Regular exercise helps lower blood glucose levels and benefits overall health.

8. Myth: People with diabetes will be able to control their blood glucose levels all the time

Fact: A person with diabetes may experience high and low blood glucose levels, even if they are doing everything right. Illness, pain, medication, travel, food, exercise and stress can all effect blood glucose levels.

9. Myth: People with diabetes can always feel when their blood glucose levels go too low

Fact: Not always. Some people may not recognize or feel when they are going low and this can be dangerous. It is important to discuss this with your diabetes team if you don’t know when you are having a low or ‘hypo’.

click here

Diabetes Myths & Facts

Myths about diabetes; what are the facts?

There are many myths about diabetes that are often reported as facts; we debunk the most common myths to give you the true story.

1. Myth: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar

Fact: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. While sugar doesn’t cause diabetes it can contribute to obesity which is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

2. Myth: You have to lose a lot of weight to improve your diabetes

Fact: Losing around 5% of your total body weight can improve your diabetes control and have great benefits to your overall health.

3. Myth: It is possible to have a ‘touch of diabetes’

Fact: There is no such thing as a ‘touch of diabetes’. You cannot be ‘a touch pregnant’. Everyone with diabetes has a risk of developing long term complications if they have poor control.

4. Myth: People with type 2 diabetes who need to commence on insulin then become a person with type 1 diabetes

Fact: Many people with type 2 diabetes can eventually require insulin injections to control their diabetes. It does not mean you have type 1 diabetes, you still have type 2 diabetes requiring insulin.

5. Myth: People with diabetes need to follow a special diet

Fact: People with diabetes benefit from eating a healthy diet that includes a wide variety of foods. It is not only good for people with diabetes but everyone in the community.

6. Myth: Diabetes is not a serious condition

Fact: Diabetes can have both short-term and long-term complications that can potentially have an impact on your quality of life. Keeping your diabetes in control will reduce the risk of complications.

7. Myth: People with diabetes can’t play sport

Fact: Physical exercise is important for everyone’s health and especially for people with diabetes. Regular exercise helps lower blood glucose levels and benefits overall health.

8. Myth: People with diabetes will be able to control their blood glucose levels all the time

Fact: A person with diabetes may experience high and low blood glucose levels, even if they are doing everything right. Illness, pain, medication, travel, food, exercise and stress can all effect blood glucose levels.

9. Myth: People with diabetes can always feel when their blood glucose levels go too low

Fact: Not always. Some people may not recognize or feel when they are going low and this can be dangerous. It is important to discuss this with your diabetes team if you don’t know when you are having a low or ‘hypo’.

Me

The holiday period is all about enjoying time with your family and friends, relaxing and having fun. As temperatures rise what better way to cool down than by going to the beach, the pool, a river or a water park?

The holiday period is all about enjoying time with your family and friends, relaxing and having fun. As temperatures rise what better way to cool down than by going to the beach, the pool, a river or a water park?

As well as packing a picnic, drinks and sunscreen, people living with diabetes also need to pack a couple of extra essentials to make sure you enjoy the day.

Tips to consider this summer if you are going to spend some time on the beach, at the pool, river or water park:

  • Wear identification to alert people you have diabetes in case you get into trouble
  • Pack plenty of snacks so you can stay longer if you want to
  • Pack lots of water to drink so you keep well hydrated in the hot weather
  • don’t forget hypo treatment; glucose gel pouches are excellent as you can attach them to your swimmers with a safety pin when in the water
  • Wear protective footwear especially if at the beach or on rocky/rough surfaces. Thongs should be worn at public pools to protect feet from infections such as tinea
  • Make sure you swim in a well patrolled area, never swim alone

It is important to check your blood glucose levels regularly while swimming or being exposed to the hot sun:

  • Make sure your blood glucose levels are above 7mmol/L before starting any exercise, especially swimming
  • In addition to testing your blood glucose levels prior to exercise you should also check every 30 minutes during exercise and within three hours after exercise
  • If you have type 1 diabetes check for ketones if your blood glucose level is over 15mmol/L or the upper limit your healthcare team has set for you

Packing snacks and fluid for your day of fun is important:

  • Aim for 15-30gms of carbohydrate for every 30-60 minutes of mild to moderate intensity exercise
  • Maintain fluid intake whilst swimming, around 150-250mls every 15-20 minutes

You may have to take your insulin with you on a day out so storage is very important while out in the hot sun.

  • Pack a cooler pack preferably with an ice brick to keep your insulin cool but not cold. Don’t put the ice brick directly onto the insulin.
  • Store the cooler pack out of direct sunlight (room temperature for insulin is 25 degrees)
  • Pack a small sharps container to dispose of any sharps that have been used

If you are using an insulin pump it is advisable to store the pump in a cool place out of the direct sunlight:

  • Pack a cooler pack preferably with an ice brick to keep your insulin cool but not cold. Don’t put the ice brick directly onto your pump
  • Some pumps are waterproof, however if swimming in the ocean it is best to disconnect so the pump doesn’t accidently get lost or damaged
  • You can disconnect your pump while swimming but blood glucose levels should be tested every hour during this time to ensure you are safe
  • Pack a small sharps container to dispose of any sharps that have been used
  • Pack an extra cannula set change just in case you need it

Remember:

  • Pack extra hypo supplies/fast acting carbohydrates for the day
  • Remember hypos can occur 12-24 hours post exercise so check your blood glucose levels regularly
  • Keep up your fluids, pack plenty of water
  • Upper body exercise may cause blood glucose levels to drop more, especially swimming

 

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Safe Summer Fun

The holiday period is all about enjoying time with your family and friends, relaxing and having fun. As temperatures rise what better way to cool down than by going to the beach, the pool, a river or a water park?

As well as packing a picnic, drinks and sunscreen, people living with diabetes also need to pack a couple of extra essentials to make sure you enjoy the day.

Tips to consider this summer if you are going to spend some time on the beach, at the pool, river or water park:

  • Wear identification to alert people you have diabetes in case you get into trouble
  • Pack plenty of snacks so you can stay longer if you want to
  • Pack lots of water to drink so you keep well hydrated in the hot weather
  • don’t forget hypo treatment; glucose gel pouches are excellent as you can attach them to your swimmers with a safety pin when in the water
  • Wear protective footwear especially if at the beach or on rocky/rough surfaces. Thongs should be worn at public pools to protect feet from infections such as tinea
  • Make sure you swim in a well patrolled area, never swim alone

It is important to check your blood glucose levels regularly while swimming or being exposed to the hot sun:

  • Make sure your blood glucose levels are above 7mmol/L before starting any exercise, especially swimming
  • In addition to testing your blood glucose levels prior to exercise you should also check every 30 minutes during exercise and within three hours after exercise
  • If you have type 1 diabetes check for ketones if your blood glucose level is over 15mmol/L or the upper limit your healthcare team has set for you

Packing snacks and fluid for your day of fun is important:

  • Aim for 15-30gms of carbohydrate for every 30-60 minutes of mild to moderate intensity exercise
  • Maintain fluid intake whilst swimming, around 150-250mls every 15-20 minutes

You may have to take your insulin with you on a day out so storage is very important while out in the hot sun.

  • Pack a cooler pack preferably with an ice brick to keep your insulin cool but not cold. Don’t put the ice brick directly onto the insulin.
  • Store the cooler pack out of direct sunlight (room temperature for insulin is 25 degrees)
  • Pack a small sharps container to dispose of any sharps that have been used

If you are using an insulin pump it is advisable to store the pump in a cool place out of the direct sunlight:

  • Pack a cooler pack preferably with an ice brick to keep your insulin cool but not cold. Don’t put the ice brick directly onto your pump
  • Some pumps are waterproof, however if swimming in the ocean it is best to disconnect so the pump doesn’t accidently get lost or damaged
  • You can disconnect your pump while swimming but blood glucose levels should be tested every hour during this time to ensure you are safe
  • Pack a small sharps container to dispose of any sharps that have been used
  • Pack an extra cannula set change just in case you need it

Remember:

  • Pack extra hypo supplies/fast acting carbohydrates for the day
  • Remember hypos can occur 12-24 hours post exercise so check your blood glucose levels regularly
  • Keep up your fluids, pack plenty of water
  • Upper body exercise may cause blood glucose levels to drop more, especially swimming

 

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From January 2017 people with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes will need a health professional to confirm their clinical need for subsidised blood glucose test strips if they wish to continue with home testing.

From January 2017 people with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes will need a health professional to confirm their clinical need for subsidised blood glucose test strips if they wish to continue with home testing.
Following the Australian Government’s decision to delist blood glucose test strips from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) people must present a Blood Glucose Test Strip Six Month Approval form to continue to access subsidised strips from the NDSS. If you have type 2 diabetes and do not use insulin, you will be required to present this form, signed by your health professional, to continue your access to subsidised strips. The form will need to be completed every six months.
Please note a six-month supply is equivalent to 900 strips, so is more than adequate for those testing twice a day. If you are concerned please call our Helpline on 1300 342 238 or watch this video for more information. Click here to download a Blood Glucose Test Strip Six Month Approval form.
You can learn more about the NDSS changes here.
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Changes to Eligibility for Subsidised Strips Takes Effect

From January 2017 people with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes will need a health professional to confirm their clinical need for subsidised blood glucose test strips if they wish to continue with home testing.
Following the Australian Government’s decision to delist blood glucose test strips from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) people must present a Blood Glucose Test Strip Six Month Approval form to continue to access subsidised strips from the NDSS. If you have type 2 diabetes and do not use insulin, you will be required to present this form, signed by your health professional, to continue your access to subsidised strips. The form will need to be completed every six months.
Please note a six-month supply is equivalent to 900 strips, so is more than adequate for those testing twice a day. If you are concerned please call our Helpline on 1300 342 238 or watch this video for more information. Click here to download a Blood Glucose Test Strip Six Month Approval form.
You can learn more about the NDSS changes here.

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Hypoglycaemia Unawareness (HU) is a lack of awareness that you are having a ‘hypo’. Also known as ‘Impaired Awareness of Hypoglycaemia’, this state refers to your body no longer sending you early warning signs that your blood glucose level (BGL) is low, or when you are no longer recognising symptoms.

What is ‘hypoglycaemia unawareness’?

Hypoglycaemia Unawareness (HU) is literally a lack of awareness that you are having a hypo. This is not the same as a lack of awareness of what a hypo actually is.

Also known as ‘Impaired Awareness of Hypoglycaemia’, this state refers to your body no longer sending you early warning signs that your blood glucose level (BGL) is low, or when you are no longer recognising symptoms.

Who is at risk of HU?

HU only occurs in people who are on insulin or a medication from the Sulfonylurea family that carries a hypo risk where you need to take action to resolve it (e.g. Diamicron, Gliclazide, Glyade, Nidem, Amaryl).

HU typically occurs in people who:

  • have had type 1 diabetes for a long time,
  • are managing BGLs very tightly (sitting at the lower end of target range more than upper end),
  • are having frequent hypos,
  • have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and declining cognitive function, where they may are no longer capable of realising they have a low BGL.

What are the risks of HU?

It is quicker and easier to treat a mild hypo rather than a severe one, and HU means you miss acting early to treat a hypo. Instead, you may pass through the early stages of hypoglycaemia without noticing and become severely hypoglycaemic. By this point you are unlikely to be able to treat the hypo yourself but may require assistance from others, or could become unconscious.

Why does HU occur?

There are various reasons. In someone with long-standing type 1 diabetes, there may be a degree of autonomic neuropathy, or abnormal nerve responses, impeding the normal early warning system the body triggers to alert you to a hypo. Or, if BGLs are frequently sitting in the lower end of the target range the body becomes used to this and stops reacting when BGLs drop under 4mmol/L. If you are experiencing frequent episodes of hypoglycaemia this starts to dull the body’s warning system, and the messengers might even get switched off.

Can anything be done to improve HU?

The good news is that it may be possible to restore early warning symptoms. By avoiding low BGLs, the early warning system can be woken up and returned to duty. This would be best addressed with the support of an experienced diabetes management team.

For more information contact our Helpline on 1300 342 238 and ask to speak with a Credentialed Diabetes Educator.

 

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Understanding Hypoglycaemia Unawareness

What is ‘hypoglycaemia unawareness’?

Hypoglycaemia Unawareness (HU) is literally a lack of awareness that you are having a hypo. This is not the same as a lack of awareness of what a hypo actually is.

Also known as ‘Impaired Awareness of Hypoglycaemia’, this state refers to your body no longer sending you early warning signs that your blood glucose level (BGL) is low, or when you are no longer recognising symptoms.

Who is at risk of HU?

HU only occurs in people who are on insulin or a medication from the Sulfonylurea family that carries a hypo risk where you need to take action to resolve it (e.g. Diamicron, Gliclazide, Glyade, Nidem, Amaryl).

HU typically occurs in people who:

  • have had type 1 diabetes for a long time,
  • are managing BGLs very tightly (sitting at the lower end of target range more than upper end),
  • are having frequent hypos,
  • have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and declining cognitive function, where they may are no longer capable of realising they have a low BGL.

What are the risks of HU?

It is quicker and easier to treat a mild hypo rather than a severe one, and HU means you miss acting early to treat a hypo. Instead, you may pass through the early stages of hypoglycaemia without noticing and become severely hypoglycaemic. By this point you are unlikely to be able to treat the hypo yourself but may require assistance from others, or could become unconscious.

Why does HU occur?

There are various reasons. In someone with long-standing type 1 diabetes, there may be a degree of autonomic neuropathy, or abnormal nerve responses, impeding the normal early warning system the body triggers to alert you to a hypo. Or, if BGLs are frequently sitting in the lower end of the target range the body becomes used to this and stops reacting when BGLs drop under 4mmol/L. If you are experiencing frequent episodes of hypoglycaemia this starts to dull the body’s warning system, and the messengers might even get switched off.

Can anything be done to improve HU?

The good news is that it may be possible to restore early warning symptoms. By avoiding low BGLs, the early warning system can be woken up and returned to duty. This would be best addressed with the support of an experienced diabetes management team.

For more information contact our Helpline on 1300 342 238 and ask to speak with a Credentialed Diabetes Educator.

 

Me

These checks are recommended to ensure your chassis and motor stay well tuned and in tip top running order are often referred to as your Cycle of Care screening checks. Listed here, they monitor your systems for any sign of early mischief caused by diabetes and are part of a thorough tuning of your machinery.

By Genevieve Biviano, Credentialled Diabetes Educator

These checks are recommended to ensure your chassis and motor stay well tuned and in tip top running order are often referred to as your Cycle of Care screening checks. Listed here, they monitor your systems for any sign of early mischief caused by diabetes and are part of a thorough tuning of your machinery.

These tests can be organised with your GP; some require another health professional to do them, and your GP will guide you as to who to head to. The checks include your HbA1c, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, eyes, kidney function, sensation and blood flow in your feet, teeth and gum health, and more! The target ranges listed are the general targets however your health care team may have provided you with slightly different ranges based on your individual needs. Also, the frequency suggested is the minimum timing; testing will be repeated in shorter time frames if that is wise to keep a closer eye on what is going on.

Additional areas of health your GP is likely to check with you about are how you are tracking with your mental and sexual health. It’s really important to tune in to your state of mental wellbeing, and if it’s not quite as solid as you need it to be your GP needs to know to be able to help. Similarly, if you are experiencing any difficulties with erectile function it is important you discuss this with your GP. There are a number of causes of impotence, but in men with diabetes it may be revealing damage beginning to blood vessels and nerve function. It can be a flag for more investigations, so let your GP know if you have concerns.

We want to help you keep yourself firing on all cylinders, so check in with your GP and give us a call on 1300 342 238 if you’d like any further information.

click here

Cycle of Care Screening

By Genevieve Biviano, Credentialled Diabetes Educator

These checks are recommended to ensure your chassis and motor stay well tuned and in tip top running order are often referred to as your Cycle of Care screening checks. Listed here, they monitor your systems for any sign of early mischief caused by diabetes and are part of a thorough tuning of your machinery.

These tests can be organised with your GP; some require another health professional to do them, and your GP will guide you as to who to head to. The checks include your HbA1c, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, eyes, kidney function, sensation and blood flow in your feet, teeth and gum health, and more! The target ranges listed are the general targets however your health care team may have provided you with slightly different ranges based on your individual needs. Also, the frequency suggested is the minimum timing; testing will be repeated in shorter time frames if that is wise to keep a closer eye on what is going on.

Additional areas of health your GP is likely to check with you about are how you are tracking with your mental and sexual health. It’s really important to tune in to your state of mental wellbeing, and if it’s not quite as solid as you need it to be your GP needs to know to be able to help. Similarly, if you are experiencing any difficulties with erectile function it is important you discuss this with your GP. There are a number of causes of impotence, but in men with diabetes it may be revealing damage beginning to blood vessels and nerve function. It can be a flag for more investigations, so let your GP know if you have concerns.

We want to help you keep yourself firing on all cylinders, so check in with your GP and give us a call on 1300 342 238 if you’d like any further information.

Me

People who live with diabetes are at higher risk of developing eye related conditions such as Diabetes Related Retinopathy, Macular Oedema, Cataracts and Glaucoma. Unfortunately many people don’t notice any changes in their vision until these conditions are well advanced and, if left untreated, can lead to poor vision and eventually blindness. The good news is that with regular eye checks and early treatment 98% of serious vision loss can be prevented.

People who live with diabetes are at higher risk of developing eye related conditions such as Diabetes Related Retinopathy, Macular Oedema, Cataracts and Glaucoma. Unfortunately many people don’t notice any changes in their vision until these conditions are well advanced and, if left untreated, can lead to poor vision and eventually blindness. The good news is that with regular eye checks and early treatment 98% of serious vision loss can be prevented.

If you do experience floaters, flashes, poor night vision, sensitivity to light or glare, halos around lights or you are having changes to your glasses prescription more often, your eyes should be checked by your Dr, Optometrist or your Ophthalmologist.

You might have noticed when you were newly diagnosed, when your diabetes isn’t well managed or your BGL is high, you get blurred vision. This blurriness usually goes away once your BGL is better managed, so a good point to remember is get your eyes checked for new glasses when your BGL is within the recommended range for you.

It is important to have your eyes examined when you are first diagnosed and then at least every 2 years or as recommended by your eye care professional. An eye examination involves having eye drops put into your eyes to dilate your pupils, then having photos taken of the backs of your eyes. This isn’t painful, just a bit uncomfortable for an hour or two until the drops wear off.

The best way to care for your eyes and help avoid diabetes related complications is to keep blood glucose levels and HbA1c as close to your targets as possible. Maintain good blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Have your kidneys checked as recommended by your team and discuss any results that aren’t in the recommended range. It the recommendation for everyone, whether you have diabetes or not, to make healthy lifestyle choices regarding food and exercise and if you smoke it is strongly encouraged that you to stop.

Treatment for eye disease is with laser, surgery and new treatments available. Eye complications can be successfully treated if detected early.  Treatment cannot restore sight once it’s lost, but the progression of eye disease can be slowed down, therefore regular eye checks, early detection and treatments are essential.

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Eye care for Diabetes

People who live with diabetes are at higher risk of developing eye related conditions such as Diabetes Related Retinopathy, Macular Oedema, Cataracts and Glaucoma. Unfortunately many people don’t notice any changes in their vision until these conditions are well advanced and, if left untreated, can lead to poor vision and eventually blindness. The good news is that with regular eye checks and early treatment 98% of serious vision loss can be prevented.

If you do experience floaters, flashes, poor night vision, sensitivity to light or glare, halos around lights or you are having changes to your glasses prescription more often, your eyes should be checked by your Dr, Optometrist or your Ophthalmologist.

You might have noticed when you were newly diagnosed, when your diabetes isn’t well managed or your BGL is high, you get blurred vision. This blurriness usually goes away once your BGL is better managed, so a good point to remember is get your eyes checked for new glasses when your BGL is within the recommended range for you.

It is important to have your eyes examined when you are first diagnosed and then at least every 2 years or as recommended by your eye care professional. An eye examination involves having eye drops put into your eyes to dilate your pupils, then having photos taken of the backs of your eyes. This isn’t painful, just a bit uncomfortable for an hour or two until the drops wear off.

The best way to care for your eyes and help avoid diabetes related complications is to keep blood glucose levels and HbA1c as close to your targets as possible. Maintain good blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Have your kidneys checked as recommended by your team and discuss any results that aren’t in the recommended range. It the recommendation for everyone, whether you have diabetes or not, to make healthy lifestyle choices regarding food and exercise and if you smoke it is strongly encouraged that you to stop.

Treatment for eye disease is with laser, surgery and new treatments available. Eye complications can be successfully treated if detected early.  Treatment cannot restore sight once it’s lost, but the progression of eye disease can be slowed down, therefore regular eye checks, early detection and treatments are essential.

Diabetes & Schools Webinar

Diabetes & Schools Webinar

Diabetes & Schools Webinar is a free online video resource for parents, teachers and carers of kids with type 1 diabetes at schools. Credentialled Diabetes Educator Mark Taylor gives practical advice about type 1 diabetes management and testing devices such as Read More …

Diabetes & Schools Webinar

Diabetes & Schools Webinar is a free online video resource for parents, teachers and carers of kids with type 1 diabetes at schools.

Credentialled Diabetes Educator Mark Taylor gives practical advice about type 1 diabetes management and testing devices such as pumps, signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and their treatment, as well as special considerations.

Jump to a topic by skipping the below timecode:

1:16 What is diabetes?
3:00 Introduction to types of diabetes
5:34 Type 1 Diabetes management and testing (injection devices and insulin pumps)
9:43 Hypoglycemia (“Hypos”) signs/symptoms and common causes
11:56 Treating mild Hypoglycemia
14:40 Managing severe Hypoglycemia
15:31 Hyperglycemia (“Hypers”) signs/symptoms and common causes
17:35 Managing Hyperglycaemia
18:39 Special considerations for changes in routine and medical emergency information
21:17 More information/resources
22:29 Infection control and safety considerations: storage of insulin and sharps
23:26 Rights and responsibilities for all parties
24:25 Diabetes and learning

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The down low on women’s health and nutrition

The down low on women’s health and nutrition

While it’s not unheard of for men to suffer from infections “down below” it is much more common in women, especially those living with diabetes.  Up to 50% of women experience infections like thrush and urinary tract infections (UTIs) which Read More …

The down low on women’s health and nutrition

While it’s not unheard of for men to suffer from infections “down below” it is much more common in women, especially those living with diabetes.  Up to 50% of women experience infections like thrush and urinary tract infections (UTIs) which cause pain and discomfort.

In addition to the medical advice we get from our doctor, there are a couple of nutrition tweaks that can help lower the risk of developing thrush or a UTI.
Firstly, and possibly most importantly, bugs love sugar! If your food choices are causing your Hba1c or daily blood glucose levels (BGLs) to rise above your ideal range, the extra glucose can feed the nasty bugs that cause UTI’s and thrush making infections more likely to occur, and be harder to treat. So, as a starting point, good blood glucose control is key. If you are struggling with this seek the support of your health care team or dietitian, that’s what we’re here for!

Extra nutrition boosters:

  1. Keep your water up – plenty of water and regular bathroom breaks reduce the risk of UTIs by regularly flushing the urinary tract. Drink it plain, chilled, sparkling or hot aiming for 6-8 cups per day and only consume alcohol and caffeinated drinks in moderation.
  2. Improve bacterial balance – probiotics can help restore good gut bacteria and boost the immune system which is especially useful after a course of antibiotics. Include regular probiotic yoghurt or probiotic milk drinks, and if you are taking antibiotics go for an extra boost by getting probiotic capsules from your pharmacy.
  3. Feed your good bacteria – prebiotics feed your good gut bacteria helping them thrive which will boost your natural defences to fight off infections. Prebiotics can be found in things like witlof, onion, garlic and asparagus or anything high in fibre like legumes, lentils, vegetables and whole grains.

Cranberry controversy

When it comes to the evidence, the jury is still out as to whether cranberry products or supplements help prevent UTIs and more research is needed. If you are a recurrent sufferer and would like to give it a try, seek advice from your health care team and pharmacist first to make sure they won’t have any negative impact on your health or BGLs and to re assess the possible causes and treatments available to you.

Note: these nutrition tips do not replace medical advice and are aimed at prevention rather than treatment of existing infections. If you are currently experiencing symptoms please seek medical advice.

Coping with change confidently

Coping with change confidently

Living with diabetes can be challenging at the best of times. Throw in a holiday or a new environment such as a hospital stay, where your routine changes, and your stress levels may increase. During these times your diabetes can Read More …

Coping with change confidently

Living with diabetes can be challenging at the best of times. Throw in a holiday or a new environment such as a hospital stay, where your routine changes, and your stress levels may increase. During these times your diabetes can be more difficult to manage.

To experience all that life has to offer, especially holidays, you just have to make sure that when you are thrown these changes you know how to cope with them and manage your numbers as best you can. Remember time zone changes will have an effect on your BGLs.

As you know, diabetes is a very individual condition so if you know you’re going to travel, have a sleepover, a hospital admission or you are just be out of routine, make sure to take time to have a chat with your diabetes team and get a plan of action ready. The following are just a few things to keep in mind:

Regular BGL checking: You won’t know what your BGL is doing if you don’t check. Stress may affect people differently, BGLs can go up, or may drop. If you are on insulin you will need to get guidelines from your team for dose adjustments. Remember, pain is stress and will affect your numbers.

Physical activity: Exercise, even incidental exercise, can play a big part in what your BGL does. If you are usually active and then find yourself lazing on a beach or confined to bed or alternatively, if you don’t exercise much and are sightseeing and walking more you will notice a difference in your results. You may need to increase or decrease your medication during these times. If you are not sure what do, contact your team for advice that’s best for you. As a rule of thumb, if you are on any blood glucose lowering medication it’s best to err on the side of caution and carry hypo food with you.

Food: Enjoy! New experiences are what life is all about and we all enjoy food. Watch portion sizes as you would at home, carb count as close as possible. Eating out can be challenging, do the best you can. If you are on insulin adjust later with guidelines from your team. It’s unrealistic to expect perfect management of your diabetes during these times. If you are in hospital and have dietary changes for whatever reason you can ask to speak to the dietitian or diet aid for help filling out your menu.

Sick day plan: Even domestic travel and new water sources can have an effect on some people. Make sure you are armed with a sick day plan from your doctor or diabetes educator. If you are travelling overseas talk to your doctor who may give you prescriptions to have filled before you go just in case you get sick. There’s not much worse than having your long-awaited holiday ruined by ‘Bali Belly’.

If you are after more information on overseas travel take a look at the travel information resources on the website. Or you can call our Infoline on 1300 342 238 to speak to a diabetes educator, dietitian or exercise physiologist for general advice and support.

 

Monitoring Your Blood Glucose Level

Monitoring Your Blood Glucose Level

Your blood glucose level (BGL) is affected by a number of things including exercise, physical activity, medications, stress, illness, alcohol and in particular the food you eat. Checking and recording your BGL regularly will help you to see and monitor Read More …

Monitoring Your Blood Glucose Level

Your blood glucose level (BGL) is affected by a number of things including exercise, physical activity, medications, stress, illness, alcohol and in particular the food you eat. Checking and recording your BGL regularly will help you to see and monitor the effect of a healthy diet and lifestyle choices. It will also assist your doctor and your diabetes care team to make decisions when changes to how your diabetes is managed, need to be made.

Checking your BGL will help you develop the confidence needed to look after your diabetes. Monitoring will also let you know immediately if your glucose level is too high (hyperglycaemia) or too low (hypoglycaemia). It is important to know what your glucose level is so you can make decisions about sick day management, exercise and whether you need to treat a low glucose level. Knowing your glucose levels will also be a big help when you ask your team about dose adjustment for insulin, your diabetes tablets, planning your meals and if and when your blood glucose targets aren’t being met.

Your doctor or diabetes educator will advise you of your target BGL and let you know how often you should be checking your level. The number of BGL checks you’ll be asked to do generally depends on your diabetes management and the medications you take. Most glucose monitors have an inbuilt memory that records your BGL as you do them; however, your team may still ask you to keep a manual record. It’s best to take your monitor as well as your record diary with you to your appointments for review.

The ideal times to check your BGL are fasting (before your first meal of the day) and no sooner than two hours after food. These times will give your team a good idea of how your medications are working and where to make adjustments if necessary. Sometimes you may be asked to check your BGL more often. This can be because your level of activity has changed or your routine has changed, for example, when you go travelling or on holiday, or if adjustments have been made to your medications, or if your levels are unpredictably high or low.

For further information on blood glucose monitoring contact your local team or call Diabetes NSW on 1300 342 238 and ask to speak to one of our Credentialed Diabetes Educators.

Diabetes NSW & ACT - Live your life
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