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What is Diabetes

Posted by on July 11, 2014 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (8050)

What is Diabetes?


Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose (or sugar) levels are too high. When we eat food, most of it is turned into glucose which our bodies use for energy. Just like a car uses gasoline for energy, our bodies use glucose. In order for our bodies to use glucose for energy the pancreas must release a hormone called insulin. Insulin allows glucose to move into our cells and be used. With diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and/or the insulin being produced is not being used by the body properly. In either case the end result is high blood sugar or diabetes.

Individuals with Type 1diabetes have a pancreas that does not produce any insulin, so they must take insulin injections every day.

In Type 2 diabetes the pancreas may not be producing enough insulin and/or the insulin being produced is not working with the cells of the body properly. Another issue with Type 2 diabetes is that the liver may be releasing too much sugar into the blood stream. People with Type 2 diabetes might take no medication, oral medications, or insulin as part of their diabetes management.

Is Type 1 diabetes more serious than Type 2?

No, all forms of diabetes are serious. Diabetes can lead to serious complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations. However, if diabetes is controlled, complications can be reduced or avoided.

How can diabetes be controlled?

There are 7 self-care behaviors for good diabetes management:

Healthy eating

Being active


Taking medications

Problem solving

Reducing risks

Healthy coping

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes develops only during pregnancy. It occurs at about the 24th week of pregnancy. It usually goes away after the delivery, but women who have had gestational diabetes have a 20 to 50 percent chance of developing Type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years.

I was told I have borderline diabetes by a doctor a few years ago, what does that mean?

There is no such thing as borderline diabetes. You either have it or you don’t. Diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test:

1. A fasting blood glucose or sugar test measures the sugar in your blood when you have not had anything to eat or drink in the last 8 hours.


2. A non-fasting test can be done when you have had food or drink recently.


3. A blood test to measure your average blood sugar over the past three months called the hemoglobin A1c test can also be used to diagnose diabetes.


If it has been several years since you last had your blood sugar checked, you should visit your doctor and have it checked again. It is recommended that everybody have their blood sugar checked by age 45 and every three years after that.

Does pre-diabetes always develop into Type 2 diabetes?

No, diabetes can be prevented or delayed by making healthy lifestyle changes including:

Weight loss, if you are overweight

Improving nutrition

Increasing physical activity

Are more people being diagnosed with diabetes now than in the past?

Yes, and there are several possible reasons. First, the threshold for diagnosing diabetes was lowered in 1997 by the American Diabetes Association. This was done because research showed that having an even slightly elevated blood sugar can cause damage to both small and large blood vessels. Second, our lifestyles have changed dramatically over the past twenty to thirty years. We are eating larger portions and more processed foods. Also, many Americans do very little physical activity. As a result, there are more overweight and obese people. Being overweight/obese is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

Should people with diabetes avoid carbohydrates?

No, people with diabetes should not avoid carbohydrates. Foods containing carbohydrates including starches, fruits, milk and yogurt are part of a healthy meal plan for people with diabetes. These types of foods provide the body with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Portion control with foods containing carbohydrates is important for people with diabetes because if eaten in large amounts, they can raise the blood sugar.

For several years I was able to manage my type 2 diabetes with a healthy meal plan and regular exercise; now my doctor says I need to take oral medications. What did I do wrong?

Nothing. Diabetes is a progressive disease. That means over time your pancreas may produce less insulin or the insulin being produced may not work as well with the cells of the body. This would require a change in your treatment plan.

I’ve had diabetes for 5 years. When I check my blood sugar it is always in the normal range. Do I really need to check everyday? And do I still have diabetes?

Sounds like you are doing a great job managing your diabetes. You definitely need to check your blood sugar daily. As previously stated, diabetes is a progressive disease so you need to check your sugar at least once a day to make sure it is not creeping up on you. Also you need to check daily to see if your present treatment program is working for you. Your doctor uses your daily blood sugar readings to make any changes in your treatment program. Talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about different times to test.

Yes, you still have diabetes. Diabetes is not curable, but it is controllable. You are in control of your diabetes.

Does exercise help control blood sugar?

Regular physical activity can help to control blood sugar levels. It is recommended that you exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Here are some ways to begin increasing your physical activity:

Take a daily walk. Start slow and increase by 1-2 minutes each time.

Walk during part of your lunch break.

Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.

Park at the back of the parking lot and walk to the building or store.

Walk or bike instead of driving when you can.

Get a pedometer at your local pharmacy or sports store. Set a goal to reach 10,000 steps a day.

Get your whole family involved.

Exercise is not only helpful in lowering blood sugar, it has numerous health benefits including:

Increased strength and endurance

Build healthy bones and muscles

Help with weight control

Prevent heart and circulation problems

5 Powerful Finance Tools

Posted by on July 9, 2014 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (180)

List All of Your Debts


There are not too many consumers who start college with no debt. Americans' college costs make it necessary for many students and their families to borrow money. It is wise to begin keeping a record of all debt owed, payments made and balances outstanding. This is sound money management, and it also helps you keep focused on where you are, financially, in regards to your values and goals.

Listing debt is relatively simple. Items that should or might be noted for each debt are: *

■Name of credit grantor/lender or collection agency

■Telephone and fax numbers of credit grantor/lender or collection agency

■Address of credit grantor/lender or collection agency

■The name of a representative with whom you have established a relationship, if such exists

■Dates of all personal contacts (other than payments) with the credit grantor/lender or collection agency, who was spoken with, and a brief statement regarding the interaction

■The balance owed to each credit grantor

■The interest rate assigned to each debt

■The estimated payoff date

■Any other important and/or pertinent data that may be of interest at some future point in time

Total the debt and also total the monthly obligation for all debts, and keep this information in your Money Management file.

Set Up a Payday-to-Payday Spending Plan


You are now ready to establish a Payday Spending Plan(PDF).

Begin by listing all of your unique monthly expenses (which now should be adjusted based on your adjusted expenses on your Monthly Expense Form) on the Payday Spending Plan. Some categories typical for most consumers are already listed on this form to show you how this works.

Take your own Monthly Expense Form and your Debt Listing and complete the Payday Spending Plan with all of your own expenses and debts listed down the second left hand column. In the far left hand column, list the dates or timeframes that relate to that particular expense or debt payment (i.e.: 1st, 15th, 25th, weekly, monthly, etc).

Across the top of the form, list all of your payday dates for one month only. Under the payday dates in the "Received" line(s) enter your anticipated net income for those paydays. Now you can cross-reference the dates/timeframes that expenses and debts are due with your paydays as they come up. So, as you approach the 15th payday, for instance, you will look to the far left, select all expense/debt payments that will be made between the 15th and the next payday, and write the amount due to be paid in that space under the payday column.

Using the Payday Spending Plan, you can project out for a period of time and begin to see how you can make progress on debts, adjust for periodic expenses or expenses you were not anticipating at all, and also have a comprehensive quick look at your finances at any point in time.

Over the months, you will begin to build a great form of documentation for all of your financial activities that relate to personal spending and planning. Add one more step and you will virtually always feel very in control of YOUR MONEY.

When a bill arrives, write the amount of the payment due on your Payday Spending Plan and then place it in your Money Management file. You will have a quick and ready reference for amounts and dates due for bills rather than continually rummaging through a pile of envelopes and papers.

For expenses and bills for which you do not actually receive a bill, list or estimate those amounts approximately one month ahead of time and you will begin to know what to anticipate as you become intimately involved in the real flow of YOUR MONEY.

What if a totally unexpected expense comes up? Often a car repair or doctor bill can seem to throw you off completely. Never fear... you are now able to look ahead and anticipate the effect that paying for that expense by cash or credit will have on your Payday Spending Plan. As you become more accustomed to relying on this form, you will learn what risks you can and cannot take and still maintain the money flow that works effectively for you.

Good luck with this final step in YOUR MONEY planning! Reaching this step successfully and gaining confidence in using the Payday Spending Plan will make a huge difference in how you feel about YOUR MONEY!

Look at Your Credit Report


Residents of many states are eligible to receive two copies of their credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies every year.

Credit reporting agencies, or credit bureaus as they have been called, are simply repositories for information regarding your credit and how you pay your bills, as well as some additional personal and legal information.

Credit reporting agencies receive information about you, your debts, and your payment history from the various creditors with whom you have done business or who have extended credit to you. Some creditors may report to all three of the major agencies while some may choose to only report to one or two. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep abreast of what information is being reported about you to all three agencies.

Credit reporting agencies DO NOT make or dictate your credit or credit rating or any score that may be assigned to you. Your credit rating or credit score is purely and simply a documented record of your bill paying behavior over time which the credit reporting agencies keep together for the purpose of determining credit worthiness in the future.

There is a lot you can learn from looking at your credit report. If you would like to receive copies of all three credit reports, print the Credit Report Request Form (PDF) and send a copy to all three agencies listed, or call them and order it, or order it online.

Equifax Credit Information Services

PO Box 105496

Atlanta, GA 30348-5496

(770) 612-3200 (GA Residents) 800-997-2493

Establish Realistic Goals


Your values are the things in life that are most important to you. Your goals are the accomplishments or steps you must establish along the way to make your values become realities.

Goal setting is easy. Goal reaching is tough! Use this form(PDF) to sort your goals into three major categories, short-term, mid-term, and long-term.

■Short term - those goals you can accomplish within about a year

■Mid-term - those goals that can be accomplished in about five years.

Begin Saving Now


Now it is time to go to the bookstore, library, and Internet and do research on saving, investing, and wealth building. Also, be sure to sit down with your Human Resources representative at work and learn about how you can take advantage of all the financial opportunities offered to you there. At this point, the sky is the limit when it comes to YOUR MONEY!

Meanwhile, here are a few small - and effective - savings activities that you can begin today.

■Designate a special box, jar or container of some kind where you can keep all of your pocket change. Beginning today, DO NOT EVER spend pocket change that you receive in any transaction! You will be pleasantly surprised to find that you will be "saving" approximately $5 - 8 per week once you begin this simple habit. That adds up to $260 by the end of the year. Want to take a short trip? There you go!

■If you already save your pocket change, accept this challenge. Every time you break a bill larger than $1, place every remaining $1 bill in an envelope in a drawer somewhere out of your sight. Force yourself not to touch this money! It is just amazing how much you will save between your pocket change and these $1 bills over a month's time. If you already save all of your $1's, then the next challenge is to never again break anything smaller than a $10 bill. (In other words, save all your fives.)

Once you are saving in these "little" ways, you will have the itch to save and will be well on your way to investigating savings vehicles with more long-term impact such as those offered through your employer, the stock market, and other financial services.

The pure momentum and empowerment of understanding how money grows itself through compounding interest will motivate you even more to learn about and participate in long-term savings programs that will benefit you and your family for years to come!

All of these exercises and suggestions may seem cumbersome and like they would take forever to accomplish. Not so! Start today and you will be well on your way within a month.

If you need help or would like support as you navigate this process, contact any CCCS by visiting or contact your school's Financial Aid Office for assistance.

■Long-term - those goals that will take more than five years to accomplish.

List about five goals for each of the major categories. Be specific. Perhaps you would like to graduate from college within the next year, go to Hawaii within three years, get married and have a child within five years. Hopefully your goals will be directly tied to the values you determined to be important to you.

Keep your lists of goals along with your most important values cards. Adjust your goals based on those you reach and those you are still working on or determine to abandon or change. Now you have built some of the beginning basics of your resource management!

Congratulations! It's YOUR MONEY and you are well on your way to using it YOUR WAY!

Menopause and Diabetes

Posted by on July 9, 2014 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (12)

It is an idea that has been hinted at for some time, and its answer is important for all middle-aged women. Does menopause influence one's risk for type 2 diabetes? With the latest health news, it's time to don a smile, because researchers found the answer to be "no."

Postmenopausal women had no higher risk for diabetes whether they experienced natural menopause or had their ovaries removed,according to the national clinical trial of 1,237 women at high risk for diabetes, ages 40 to 65.

In other words, menopause had no additional effect on risk for diabetes. Menopause remains one of many small steps in aging and it doesn't mean women's health will be worse after going through this transition. The results are published in the August issue of "Menopause."

The findings also shed light on the impact of diet and exercise and hormone replacement therapy on the health of postmenopausal women. Previous studies had shown that menopause could speed the progression to diabetes because of the higher levels of testosterone. All the women in the study had "glucose intolerance," meaning their bodies struggled to process blood sugar into energy.

The researchers have shown that lifestyle interventions can help prevent diabetes in those with glucose intolerance.These interventions work well in women who have gone through menopause.

According to the new study, for every year 100 women observed, 11.8 premenopausal women developed diabetes, compared to 10.5 among women in natural menopause and 12.9 cases among women who had their ovaries removed.

But for those who had their ovaries removed and engaged in lifestyle changes, the rate of diabetes plummeted to 1.1. Those changes included losing seven percent of their body weight (that would be 12.6 pounds for a 180-pound woman) and exercising for at least 150 minutes a week.

They found these results surprising, as the women had gone on hormone� replacement therapy, which many fear escalates the risk for many health issues. The message to take away from this is that lifestyle changes to shed pounds could reduce your risk of developing diabetes


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