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Qualifying for Social Security Benefits With Diabetes Complications

Guest Post by Disability Benefits Help

If you’re unable to manage your diabetes with lifestyle changes and medication, you may be eligible for assistance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers monthly disability benefits for people who are unable to work due to an illness or injury that will last for at least 12 months. While it is challenging to qualify with diabetes, those with significant complications may be eligible for help.

Medical Eligibility Via the Blue Book

The SSA uses its own medical guidebook of eligibility criteria, known colloquially as the Blue Book, when deeming eligibility status. Diabetes is not listed as a disabling condition in the Blue Book, but some of its complications are. Here are a couple of listings you may be able to qualify under:

Amputation

An amputation alone also will not qualify for disability benefits, but you will be eligible if you can meet any one of the following criteria:

  • You have both hands amputated
  • You have two limbs amputated but you’re unable to walk without use of two crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair
  • You have an amputation at the hip

If your mobility is severely limited, you should be able to qualify under the amputation listing. Keep in mind that this listing is for people who are unable to successfully use artificial limbs. If you’re able to walk with an artificial limb, you will not qualify here.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy will also qualify under the Blue Book. The first listing states that you’ll be eligible if you have neuropathy in at least two limbs and it makes it impossible for you to either stand from a seated position, balance while standing upright, or walk without using crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair.

If you still have some mobility but it’s affecting your ability to work, you will also qualify if you have significant difficulty with any one of the following areas of intellectual function:

  • Understanding, remembering, and applying information
  • Interacting with others in a work setting
  • Concentrating and completing tasks
  • “Adapting oneself,” which means controlling emotions in a work setting

The entire Blue Book can be found online, so you can review it with your doctor to determine if you qualify. There are dozens of listings that may be relevant for people with diabetes, including cardiovascular disorders, additional mobility problems, and more.

Starting Your Application

The easiest way to apply for disability is online on the SSA’s website. If you’d prefer, you can also apply in person with the assistance from a Social Security representative. Call the SSA toll free at 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment to apply in person at your closest SSA office.

It should take three to five months to hear back from the SSA regarding your claim. The more disabilities and complications of diabetes you list on your application, the better your odds of approval.

Resources:

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Insurance Gaps Put Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes at Increased Risk

Over the past few years, health insurance has gone through some major changes. Since type 1 diabetes requires constant monitoring and daily management with insulin, having insurance coverage is essential to help offset costs and promote effective self-care. A recent study found that individuals who experience gaps in private healthcare insurance coverage may be at greater risk for health crises.

The study involved data collected from approximately 169,000 adults with type 1 diabetes between the ages of 19 and 64 during the time period of early 2001 to mid-2015. Researchers evaluated this data and found that visits to the emergency room, hospital, or urgent care were five times more likely when patients regained coverage after a gap in insurance of 30 to 60 days. When the coverage gap expanded to 91 to 120 days, those individuals were seven times more likely to visit the emergency room, hospital, or urgent care.

These visits can be incredibly costly, but risk can be reduced with consistent insurance coverage and self-care under the direction of a physician. The study found that young adults – those in their 20s and 30s – were more likely to experience gaps in coverage than middle-aged and older adults. What part of the country individuals resided in played a role as well, with the north-central and southern parts of the United States seeing higher rates of gaps.

Since type 1 diabetes affects approximately 1.25 million Americans, it is essential that quality care and insurance coverage are available to support improved health and well-being and reduce the risk of preventable health crises.

The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is passionate about exploring various aspects of type 1 diabetes from prevention and treatment to potential cures and improved quality of life. The DRC provides valuable funding to support novel research studies regarding this condition. To learn more about current projects or donate to these efforts, visit Our Projects.

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Breaking Down the Prevalence of Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes affects people of all ages and races throughout the United States, but just how many people are impacted? According to a self-report study of 33,028 adults with a response rate of 54.3%, approximately 21 million adults (8.6%) in the United States were living with type 2 diabetes in 2016, and approximately 1.3 million (0.55%) were living with type 1 diabetes.

The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked participants a variety of questions regarding being diagnosed with diabetes and what methods were used to manage it. Responses were classified as type 1, type 2, or “other” type of diabetes. There were 182 participants who reported having type 1 diabetes but did not claim to take any type of insulin, so they were categorized as type 2 respondents. Out of the 33,028 participants, 3,519 reported having diabetes, and 211 of those reported having type 1 diabetes. The study also found that T1D was more prevalent in men than women (0.64% vs. 0.46%), and as well as in non-Hispanic whites versus Hispanics (0.67% and 0.22% respectively).

Study authors hope that “knowledge about national prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes might facilitate assessment of the long-term cost-effectiveness of public health interventions and policies aimed at improving diabetes management and help to prioritize national plans for future type-specific health services.”

Though it may seem like a small percentage who have T1D, it is still more than a million people who struggle each day with this disease, and more than a million people who would benefit from advanced research and treatment options. The Diabetes Research Connection seeks to further knowledge, research, and interventions regarding type 1 diabetes as well and supports novel research studies focused on this condition. Early career scientists can receive valuable funding through the DRC to support their research projects. Check out the current studies and support these efforts by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Could Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Benefit from Medical Alert Systems?

Patients living with type 1 diabetes do a whole lot of balancing. Aside from having to always keep their blood sugar and insulin levels in check, they also need to make sure that they strike the perfect balance between the medication they take, the food they eat and the exercises they do. The good news, however, is that it’s becoming a lot easier for patients to keep track of their levels thanks to emerging diabetes technologies. Moreover, companies are getting closer to perfecting closed-loop systems that aim to automate as much of the monitoring and treatment processes as possible so the patient can focus on things that they care about. Does this mean, therefore, that there’s no longer any need for patients to invest in medical alert systems? Well, the short answer is not quite.

Consider the possible complications

While the symptoms of type 1 diabetes are quite manageable, the complications can be a bit trickier. Aside from eye, nerve and kidney damage, it can also cause heart and blood vessel issues, which could lead to heart attacks. Needless to say, whenever a heart attack happens, time is always of the essence. The faster the patient is given proper treatment, the bigger their chances of survival. This is where the ability to quickly contact emergency services comes in. Medical alert systems make it possible for patients to easily call for help even if they are alone or, for some reason, incapacitated.

They’re meant to augment the patient’s existing tools

Again, living with type 1 diabetes requires the patient to keep track and balance a lot of things. This means that a simple change in one thing—like the type of exercises they do or the food they eat—could easily change their body’s overall dynamic. This, of course, could lead to all sorts of unforeseen issues—which is another reason why it’s crucial for patients to have some form of medical alert system in their diabetes toolkits at all times.

Readiness is key

It’s definitely becoming so much easier for patients with type 1 diabetes to live with their condition. With modern tools for monitoring and treatment becoming more and more sophisticated, the risk for serious complications has gone down significantly. This, however, does not mean that it’s okay to be complacent. At the end of the day, medical alert systems still give patients a significantly better fighting chance in case something goes wrong, and that’s definitely not an opportunity anyone should pass on.

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42 Factors That Affect Blood Glucose

Adam Brown with diaTribe put together a comprehensive list of 42, yes you read that right, 42 factors that affect blood glucose in Type 1 Diabetes. In his article, Adam states “I know what you’re thinking – 42 factors that affect blood glucose? Are you kidding?!”

“Yes, it is indeed daunting, but I also hope it’s a reminder of what each of us takes on daily: A LOT! Plus, this list reveals many levers we can pull when trying to improve.”

To learn more about this AMAZING list and organization, click here.

 

 

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Stem-Cell Derived Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes Funded to Move Forward

Scientists have been exploring many options for treating and potentially curing type 1 diabetes (T1D) in recent years. From examining the role of gut cells to creating an artificial pancreas, the studies have been diverse. Some challenges that they have faced are undesirable side effects, short-term effects, the need for immune suppression, and continued destruction of insulin-producing cells.

However, Semma Therapeutics recently secured $114 million in Series B financing to move forward with a program using encapsulated stem cell-derived islets to treat and potentially cure T1D. This financing was made possible through investments from multiple partners and investors. It will be used to advance the stem-cell derived therapy through clinical proof-of-concept in patients.

The technology and processes used by Semma have the ability to create billions of insulin-producing beta cells that perform in the same way these cells do when naturally produced by the body. However, these cells are combined with an innovative cell delivery technology that protects them from being destroyed by the body’s immune system. Ideally, this would enable them to continue regulating blood sugar while reducing the risk of complications and the need for constant blood sugar monitoring and insulin injections.

According to Semma Therapeutics Founder and Board Observer Douglas Melton, “Semma’s scientists have very effectively dedicated themselves to systems that reliably generate cells indistinguishable from human pancreatic beta cells and to the invention of novel devices that are immunologically protective and surgically practical. We’re very encouraged and excited about the potential this program has for diabetic patients and their families.”

The Diabetes Research Connection is eager to see how this program could impact the lives of those living with T1D, as well as the progress and direction of treatment options moving forward. The Diabetes Research Connection is not connected to this project, but raises funds to support early career scientists in conducting novel research in preventing, treating, and curing T1D, as well as improving quality of life for individuals with the disease. To learn more, visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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How Technology is Changing Diabetes Care and Treatment

Despite years of research and clinical trials, no cure for type 1 diabetes exists yet. However, how the disease is managed and treated has changed, leading to vast improvements in quality of life. Many individuals are better able to track their blood sugar and administer insulin more effectively to reduce instances of hypoglycemia and other complications. A recent article explores how technology has impacted current research for type 1 diabetes.

For years, researchers were focused on developing immunotherapies to try to treat T1D at its source. With this type of diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells from the pancreas. The goal was to either reverse the disease or stop it from developing in the first place. Today, researchers have shifted their focus. Instead of trying to figure out how to prevent diabetes, some scientists are working to improve how patients live with the disease. This has involved major leaps in medicine including attempts at developing an artificial pancreas system that would function similar to the body’s own pancreas to regulate blood sugar.

Over the years, researchers have experimented with a variety of immune therapies trying to find an approach that could treat diabetes without a host of unpleasant side effects. This has been a difficult process and not yet produced a significantly effective treatment. However, there have continued to be technological advances that have improved how patients manage diabetes. It is easier than ever to quickly test blood sugar, and some patients even have continuous glucose monitors that send information to their smartphone and alert to low blood sugar. There have also been many improvements in more accurate dosing and administering insulin.

In 2016, scientists made progress toward creating an “artificial pancreas” system. It combined a continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump to modulate insulin delivery based on data over time. It is not yet fully automated, however, because patients still must calculate their insulin dosage during meal times. But it did have benefits for reducing hypoglycemia overnight. This technology has opened doors for others to begin testing different approaches for creating a fully automated insulin delivery artificial pancreas system. While not a “cure” for type 1 diabetes, it could help improve management of the disease while decreasing the burden on patients.

There is still a great deal of research and work to be done before this type of treatment comes to fruition. And once it exists, there is no guarantee that every patient would choose to use it, just like not all patients choose to have continuous glucose monitors. But it would be another option that exists and could potentially have a significant impact on people’s lives.

The Diabetes Research Connection recognizes the life-changing impact that a T1D diagnosis has, and supports early career scientists in moving forward with novel research projects focused on preventing, curing, or managing type 1 diabetes. Through donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations, research funding is made possible. To learn more about current projects or make a donation, visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Could There be More than two Types of Diabetes?

and affects their body. Typically type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in childhood and type 2 diabetes develops later in life. However, a team of researchers in Europe and Asia may have identified another form of diabetes: maturity-onset diabetes of the young or MODY.

According to the researchers, MODY is believed to be “caused by a gene mutation and fueled by a lack of the insulin-stimulating hormone GIP.” Individuals with this condition have a mutation of the gene RFX6. Subjects of the study had typically developed MODY by the time they were 25, were not obese, were not insulin-dependent, and had an autosomal dominant inheritance of diabetes.

The researchers believe that the gene mutation results in the pancreas decreasing its insulin secretion, which is common in individuals with diabetes. However, subjects also had lower levels of the GIP hormone which stimulates and regulates insulin secretion. Researchers are hopeful that the creation of GIP analogs may help to treat MODY.

One challenge they have faced is distinguishing between individuals with type 1 or early-onset type 2 diabetes versus those who may have MODY. Improvements in gene testing and sequencing have allowed them to better identify RFX6 mutations.

As scientists and researchers develop a better understanding of diabetes, its forms, and how it impacts the body, it allows for more personalized treatment options. Individuals can find what works best for their specific type of diabetes and their body’s needs. The Diabetes Research Connection encourages and supports novel studies on type 1 diabetes to expand understanding and treatment approaches. Early career scientists receive up to $50,000 in funding for research projects. Learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Could Blood Stem Cells Be Used to Reverse Type 1 Diabetes?

Researchers know that in individuals with type 1 diabetes, the body mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells that are used to regulate blood sugar levels. One of the challenges in treating T1D is finding a way to stop this process, or safely introducing new cells to take their place but protecting them from the body’s autoimmune response. This has proven difficult.

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital may have found a way to overcome these challenges by combining the patient’s own blood cells with a healthy PD-L1 gene or a targeted molecule “cocktail” of interferon beta, interferon gamma, and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid. Both of these approaches had the same effect.

Scientists found that the problem with current treatments involving immunotherapy or injecting patients with their own blood stem cells is that these cells are still defective in producing PD-L1, a protein that helps protect against T1D. By introducing a healthy PD-L1 gene (or the “cocktail”) in mice with diabetes, the disease was reversed. In nearly all of the mice, the diabetes was cured in the short term, and in one-third of the mice, these results were long-term. In addition, there were no adverse effects of the treatment.

The researchers are working on gaining approval for human trials to test this therapy, and partnering with Fate Therapeutics to create a pill that would introduce these healthier blood stem cells. More extensive testing is necessary to determine how long the treatment is effective and how frequently it would need to be re-administered. However, it is encouraging to see the initial reversal of T1D in mice and what that may mean in the future for humans with the disease.

The Diabetes Research Connection strives to help early career scientists continue advancing research and treatment options for type 1 diabetes. With the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations, novel research projects can receive up to $50,000 in funding. Learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Potential Benefits of Incorporating Metformin in Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

Traditionally metformin is a drug used to help control blood sugar in individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, a recent study examined its effects in patients with type 1 diabetes. More specifically, the study looked at the impact on vascular health because individuals with T1D tend to be at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The researchers conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial on 90 children in South Australia between the ages of 8 and 18 who had been diagnosed with T1D for at least six months. Half the of participants received metformin, and the other half received a placebo. A baseline vascular function was determined at the start of the trial and then tested at three, six, and 12 months. In addition, HbA1C, insulin dose, and BMI were also recorded at each visit. Throughout the trial, participants were asked about any side effects they may be experiencing so that therapy could be adjusted accordingly. Treatment compliance was also tracked.

The results showed that over the course of one year, vascular function improved in the metformin group compared to the control group. The difference was most noticeable at the three-month interval, and this is also when there was the greatest improvement in HbA1C levels for those in the metformin group. The difference was lower at the 12-month mark, but still significant. In addition, children in the metformin group also showed a decrease in the amount of insulin required over 12 months. Children with above-average BMIs who were taking metformin also showed improvement in vascular smooth muscle function. Overall, there were positive results for children with T1D taking metformin as compared to those receiving a placebo. However, the study was not continued long enough to determine potential changes in vascular structure, only vascular function.

With further testing, this could lead to more diverse treatment options for individuals with type 1 diabetes to help better control blood sugar and maintain a higher quality of life. It is these types of changes, as well as advancements in the treatment and prevention of T1D, that the Diabetes Research Connection aims to support. By funding novel research projects, the Diabetes Research Connection helps early career scientists to keep their work moving forward. Visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org to learn more.

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Treating Type 1 Diabetes with Synthetic Cells

Treating type 1 diabetes (T1D) takes careful planning and calculation. Individuals must test their blood to determine their blood glucose level, then calculate exactly how much insulin they need to inject. They must pay careful attention to what they eat and how their body responds. This is because, with type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells. In individuals without T1D, these beta cells automatically secrete insulin to keep blood glucose levels in check.

However, researchers from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State are testing synthetic cells that could replace those cells that have been destroyed and automatically release insulin in response to the body’s needs. They have created “artificial beta cells” or AβCs that are packed with insulin-stuffed vesicles. When blood sugar rises, the coating of the artificial cells changes and insulin is released. The cells would need to be injected every few days, or can be delivered by a skin patch that is replaced regularly.

These AβCs are an advancement in potential treatments for T1D. There are some studies regarding transplanting cells – whether donor cells, modified cells, or harvested cells – but the challenge is that they often require some immune suppression, can be very expensive, and the body generally ends up destroying these cells as well. The synthetic cells would be regularly replaced with new AβCs as they distributed their insulin. Studies conducted in mice have found that blood glucose levels returned to normal levels within one hour and were maintained for up to five days.

According to John Buse, MD, PhD, the Verne S. Caviness Distinguished Professor at UNC, chief of the division of endocrinology, and director of the UNC Diabetes Care Center who is a co-author of the study, “There is still much work needed to optimize this artificial-cell approach before human studies are attempted, but these results so far are a remarkable, creative first step to a new way to solve the diabetes problem using chemical engineering as opposed to mechanical pumps or living transplants.”

While this approach is still in development and requires more extensive testing, it is a step in the right direction for improving quality of life for individuals with T1D and improving management of the disease.

The Diabetes Research Connection supports innovative research to prevent or cure type 1 diabetes, reduce complications of the disease, and improve quality of life. Early career scientists can receive up to $50,000 in funding for their research through donations by individuals, corporations, and foundations. To learn more about current projects and support these efforts, visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Comparing Insulin Pumps and Injections for Managing Type 1 Diabetes

Learning how to effectively manage type 1 diabetes can take time. It takes practice and trial-and-error to understand how each person’s body responds to different foods, activities, and insulin doses. A recent study found that children with type 1 diabetes may be able to control blood sugar levels more effectively and reduce risk of complications by using insulin pumps as opposed to manually injecting insulin.

The study was conducted by the University of Metabolic Research Laboratories and analyzed data for 14,460 patients with insulin pumps and 16,460 who injected insulin. All participants had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes for at least one year and were younger than 20 years old. The results for children and adolescents using pumps outperformed those who did not.

According the findings, only 9.55 children per 100 experienced severe hypoglycemia each year when using insulin pumps compared to 14 children per 100 for those who relied on injections. Along the same lines, 3.64 children per 100 were treated each year for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) while on an insulin pump compared to 4.26 children per 100 for those treated with injections. Furthermore, HbA1c levels and daily insulin doses were slightly lower for those with insulin pumps as well.

The results highlight the importance of considering insulin pumps for children living with type 1 diabetes and ensuring that they are educated on their condition and how to properly use the pump for blood sugar control. However, this is only one option available and may not be the best choice for all children. Dr. Simon Heller from the University of Sheffield was not involved in the study but notes, “For adolescents, particularly those who find it difficult to do all the complicated things in managing diabetes, pumps may not be the best option, particularly if insulin is missed.” Parents, children, and medical provider should work together to determine the best option for each individual.

The Diabetes Research Connection supports early career scientists in novel studies regarding type 1 diabetes in an effort to develop more effective treatment options, potential cures, and options for improving quality of life. For more information about current projects and opportunities for funding, visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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New Biomarker May Help with T1D Detection, Prevention, and Treatment

As scientists continue studying type 1 diabetes (T1D), they develop a deeper understanding of changes that occur in the body. It has been known for a while that the body attacks insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas leaving the body unable to regulate blood sugar. Researchers have recently discovered that MAIT cells within the body – cells that are activated by bacteria and associated with mucosae – may also play a role. They are part of the body’s innate immune system and may serve as a biomarker for early detection of T1D.

The study, which was conducted by AP-HP Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris and the Cochin Institute, examined blood sample from patients with and without T1D, as well as animal models. The results showed that MAIT cell levels were lower in the blood of children diagnosed with T1D than those who were not. This could be because the MAIT cells had migrated to the pancreas in children with T1D; they are believed to play a role in the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells. But one interesting point to note was that before T1D had even developed in the animal models, the MAIT cells were already altered. This could serve as an early form of detection and prevention of the disease.

The mutation in MAIT cells may also contribute to gut mucosa being more susceptible to bacteria. This may lead to an increased autoimmune response. When MAIT cells are functioning normally, they help maintain homeostasis in the gut mucosa.

Scientists may be able to use this information to enhance early detection of T1D, develop strategies for prevention, or improve targeted treatment options. More research is needed to explore the link between MAIT cells and gut microbiota, but this is a starting point.

The Diabetes Research Connection actively supports novel research regarding preventing, treating, and potentially curing T1D. The organization raises funds that are provided to early career scientists for innovative research projects. To learn more and support their efforts, visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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A Multitude of Potential Treatment Options for Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a condition that does not discriminate. It affects males and females of all races and ethnicities around the world. Researchers in many countries are striving to develop effective treatment options that help the body to regulate blood glucose on its own and reduce the need for constant monitoring and insulin injections. At the Kyoto Diabetes Mini-Symposium in June 2017, researchers presented various studies and their potential impacts. Here is an overview of some of the treatment options being explored:

Islet Transplantation: Islet transplantation is one option that scientists have been working on for many years. Patients receive infusions of human islet cells to replace the cells their bodies have mistakenly destroyed. Studies have shown that this approach has resulted in improved glycemic control and hypoglycemia awareness, as well as protection from severe hypoglycemic events in some patients. However, there are still challenges regarding the lifespan of the graphs and their prolonged effectiveness.

Cell Sourcing from Large Animals: One challenge that researchers have faced in islet transplantation is generating a sustainable amount of islet cells. Scientists have turned to large animals such as pigs to try to cultivate a new source. Studies have found that porcine islet cells function very similarly to human islet cells. However, there is concern over the potential transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses, so scientists have been experimenting with gene editing to inactivate contributing sections of various genes and reduce risk.

Scientists are also exploring the possibility of generating a human pancreas inside a pig so that it will produce human islet cells. Similar studies have been done with rats and mice where each has developed a pancreas for the other. There are many ethical concerns and regulations to be considered with this approach, however.

Human Stem Cell-Derived Beta Cells: Scientists are exploring the potential of targeting human stem cells and guiding them into developing into pancreatic progenitor cells and eventually mature insulin-producing beta cells. Ideally, this would allow the body to better regulate its own blood glucose levels. Researchers are working on improving differentiation protocols and determining the best host conditions for the cells.

Cell Encapsulation: Current treatment involving transplantation requires patients to take medication that suppresses the immune system to keep it from attacking the transplanted cells or organs. While it protects the transplant, it puts patients at risk for a variety of complications. Scientists are working on a process to encapsulate islet cells in a device that protects them from an immune system attack. They are experimenting with different materials, locations, and processes to determine what may potentially work best.

These are just a few of the strategies scientists are investigating to help treat and potentially cure type 1 diabetes. There is still a lot more research and testing necessary to fully explore these options and their safety and efficacy. It is these types of innovative approaches that continue to advance knowledge and treatment regarding type 1 diabetes. The Diabetes Research Connection supports early career scientists in developing their research by providing essential funding. To learn more about current projects and contribute to these efforts, visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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A Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving

Food-heavy holidays, such as Thanksgiving, can be particularly hard for those with type 1 diabetes. Between carb-heavy foods, meals served at odd times to accommodate everyone’s schedules and perhaps even multiple meals with different sides of the family or groups of friends, keeping your blood sugar in check on Thanksgiving is no easy task.

However, with careful planning and some support from your family and friends, enjoying Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be difficult!

As you’re celebrating, keep the following in mind:

  • Don’t show up hungry.
  • Choose white meat turkey over dark meat, and skip the skin.
  • Opt for steamed vegetables over casseroles. For example, serve seasoned steamed green beans with salt, pepper and garlic powder instead of green bean casserole.

Thanksgiving Recipes

If you’re responsible for preparing a dish for a potluck or an entire Thanksgiving meal, consider these T1D-friendly takes on traditional Thanksgiving favorites.

Cauliflower Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Makes 4 servings.

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon straight chicken base or bullion (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
  2. Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
  3. In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.
  4. Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter.

Nutrition (per serving): 149 calories, 11.5 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 5 g protein

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mock-garlic-mashed-potatoes-recipe-1942447.

Pumpkin Pie (with Crust)

Makes 10 servings.

For the pie crust:

For the filling:

Make the Crust:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  In the bowl of a food processor, pulse all crust ingredients EXCEPT egg to create thick crumbs, then pulse/process in the egg until a dough forms.
  2. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes prior to rolling or pressing into your pie dish.
  3. To get the dough into your pie dish, you can either:
  4. Roll out the dough into a circle between two sheets of parchment. Place your pie dish upside-down over the dough, then using the bottom parchment paper, flip the dough into the dish. Finish by pressing it into the bottom and sides of the pie dish to fit – this dough will break easily since it lacks gluten, however, it also repairs incredibly easily and can withstand a lot of manipulation without affecting the final product! *
  5. If you don’t wish to roll out the dough (or find it tricky) you can simply press evenly into 9-inch pie dish using your hands.  Be patient and refrigerate dough as needed to make it easier to work with**
  6. Once pressed into the pie dish, gently pierce the dough with a fork all over so it doesn’t puff up while baking.
  7. Bake pie crust in 9” pie dish in the 375-degree oven for 12-15 mins until bottom is set, remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before pouring in filling.

Make the Filling:

  1. Whisk all ingredients except eggs, then whisk in eggs and egg yolk 1 at a time, don’t overmix.
  2. Pour filling into partially baked crust, spreading it all around to seal edges. Cover top with aluminum foil and bake (at 375 degrees F) 40-45 minutes or until center is nearly set (still a bit jiggly) and crust is deep golden brown.
  3. Allow to cool completely at room temperature to avoid excessive cracking of the filling. Once cooled, serve, or, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days prior to serving.

Recipe Notes

*Coconut sugar will cause the crust to darken more than maple sugar

**Unlike a traditional gluten-containing crust, you can’t “overwork” the dough, so take your time as needed pressing it into the pie dish

Nutrition (per serving) 302 calories, 21 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 68 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 144 mg sodium

Source: https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/classic-paleo-pumpkin-pie-crust-recipe/.

 

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Gallbladder Cells May Be A Viable Source for Treating Type 1 Diabetes

One of the main focuses of many studies regarding type 1 diabetes is how to generate new cells or reprogram existing cells to function as insulin-producing beta cells. Scientists have been exploring islet transplantation, gene editing, and more. Now, scientists from Oregon Health and Science University led by Professor Markus Grompe and Dr. Feorillo Galivo are evaluating the potential that human gallbladder cells may hold.

In type 1 diabetes, the body mistakenly destroys insulin-producing cells leading to uncontrolled blood glucose levels. The scientists introduced four new genes into harvested gallbladder cells which reprogrammed the cells to act more like the insulin-producing beta cells that the body had destroyed. In laboratory testing, these cells were able to respond to increased blood glucose levels by producing insulin. They also transplanted the cells into mice, but more research is needed to determine whether they are able to effectively control blood glucose levels. One issue that was discovered is that the cells had a very short lifespan, only surviving about four weeks. Some cells were also overly active.

They are still in the earlier stages of research and more testing and adjustment is necessary, but preliminary results show that this technique may hold great potential. This is yet another treatment strategy to explore and see how it can be used to treat and potentially cure type 1 diabetes.

The Diabetes Research Connection supports novel research projects by early career scientists providing up to $50,000 in funding. Projects are all focused on preventing and curing type 1 diabetes or improving quality of life for those living with the disease. To become a donor and support these initiatives, visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Simpler Measuring Technique May Help Identify Partial Clinical Remission in Type 1 Diabetes

One of the major challenges of type 1 diabetes is effectively managing blood glucose levels. It is a careful balancing act and differs for every patient. With type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells. This means that patients require regular insulin injections to compensate. However, this is not a perfect solution and patients may still experience complications or side effects and need to be carefully monitored.

Researchers found that after children are initially diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and begin treatment, some experience partial clinical remission (PCR), also known as a “honeymoon period.” During this period, the pancreas is still producing some insulin on its own, and this can temporarily restore blood glucose levels to near normal. This means that patients require fewer or lower doses of insulin. The honeymoon period may last from three months to one year.

But not all children experience this effect. Those who do not are at a higher risk of developing diabetes-related complications. This makes it even more important for physicians to determine whether or not children go into partial clinical remission so they can develop a more effective treatment plan moving forward.

Traditionally partial clinical remission is determined by calculating daily insulin doses and average blood glucose levels and then analyzing the correlation (known as IDAA1C). This can take some time, and when faced with tight time schedules, physicians may not use this method as often as recommended.

In light of this, UMass Medical School physician-scientist Benjamin Nwosu, MD, began studying the accuracy of a simpler method. This approach involves evaluating the total daily dose of insulin the child receives compared to their body weight. If they receive less than 0.3 units per kilogram of body weight per day, it indicates they are in partial clinical remission. There were no major differences in results between using this method and the more complex IDAA1C technique. It is a faster way for clinicians to determine the same results and is just as reliable.

According to Dr. Nwosu, “Encouraging clinicians to use the total daily dose of insulin guideline will improve monitoring of PCR and, therefore, ensure the prevention of early hyperglycemia in patients who exceed it for better long-term outcomes.”

It is encouraging to see an emphasis on early detection and more effective treatment for type 1 diabetes. The Diabetes Research Connection raises funds for early career scientists who are pursuing novel research projects related to the prevention and cure of type 1 diabetes as well as improving quality of life for those living with the disease. One hundred percent of research funds go directly to scientists. To learn more and support innovative studies, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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HOW TO MAKE RECIPES MORE DIABETIC FRIENDLY

One of the things that we’ll do more of in the future for Sweet Talkers is to discuss how to lower the number of carbohydrates in a recipe. For example, I was reviewing a recipe with that goal in mind just recently and wanted to share some carb lowering information.

First of all, I am always testing sugars in recipes with the goal of using the healthiest, least processed sugar I can find. Obviously, I am also always looking to limit the amount of sugar I use in a recipe as well but still maintain the sweet taste. Thirdly, I’m always going for good taste. Here’s an example of the kind of analysis I do:

  • 1 Tablespoon of organic Honey =  64 Calories, 17gr Carbs, No Fiber
  • 1 Tablespoon of organic Coconut Nectar = 87 Calories, 18gr Carbs, No Fiber
  • 1 Tablespoon of organic Maple Syrup =       52 Calories, 13gr Carbs, 2mg Sodium

You can easily see here that organic Maple Syrup is the lowest in carbs but will the maple taste alter the taste of the recipe too much? That’s the main question: how will changing an ingredient taste within a given recipe? Also, I track calories as well since that’s often a concern re weight gain.

If the recipe I’m working on altering (to be more diabetic friendly) won’t taste good with Maple Syrup, I typically use Coconut Nectar because the coconut taste usually just comes across as sweet; not coconutty, and the taste is subtle and lower carb in general. I also will typically cut the sugar amount in a recipe by two thirds to one half and see if I can still maintain a sweet enough taste.

Another very helpful substance to use to lower sugars in recipes are extracts for flavoring. While we’re all accustomed to using vanilla extract, especially when baking, there are many other flavored extracts that work beautifully to enhance the flavor of a recipe without increasing the sugar amounts.

Medicine flower culinary extracts offer an extensive line of extracts in many different flavors. As an example, you can take plain yogurt and add about (3) drops of liquid Stevia (no carbs) followed by a drop or two of tropical extract and have a delicious and sweet morning yogurt without any spike in your blood sugars.

Here’s the bottom line: When looking to make a typical, favorite recipe more diabetic friendly, find out first which ingredients have the highest carbs. Then look for healthier, lower carb substitutes that will still maintain the taste/flavor of that recipe and swap the lower carb ingredient in.  Consider using culinary extracts to enhance and compensate for high sugar amounts in recipes.

 At first, this seems time-consuming but altering recipes to make them healthier and more diabetic friendly is a habit that forms easily. It all starts with just paying more attention to what you’re really eating and a number of carbohydrates in a given recipe. Remember, look for foods that are organic, Non-GMO and the least processed.

For more information on this topic and Type 1 Diabetic friendly recipes, visit www.sweettalkers.org

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What Gene Editing Could Mean for Type 1 Diabetes

Altering human genetics is a sensitive subject. There are a lot of things that could potentially go wrong, but also many that could go right. CRISPR/Cas9 technology allows scientists to precisely cut out a segment of DNA and replace it with a new segment. By modifying specific genes, they could essentially eliminate certain diseases and remove inherited diseases from the human germline.

This unleashes new opportunities when it comes to treating – and potentially curing – diabetes. Scientists recently implanted skin grafts with a gene (GLP1) to stimulate insulin secretion by the pancreas. They attached these grafts to mice and found that the new genes helped to remove excess glucose from the bloodstream. Using skin grafts is a safe and relatively inexpensive process.

Researchers in Sweden managed to use CRISPR/Cas9 to switch off an enzyme that is involved in regulating the TXNIP gene which affects beta cell death and decreases insulin production. In Australia, the technology was used to try to identify rogue immune cells that attack the pancreas and contribute to the development of type 1 diabetes.

However, there is still more research that needs to be done to fully understand the impact of gene editing and potential effects that it could have. Though highly precise, there is still around a one percent chance of off-target effects occurring. These are changes to other parts of the genome outside of the area targeted by CRISPR/Cas9. There is a lot of risks involved with changing human DNA and many questions that are still unanswered. Furthermore, many of these studies have been conducted on mice and results do not always correlate exactly to humans.

But with more extensive testing and research, scientists may be able to find a safe way to treat or even cure diabetes through gene editing. Studies that exist so far hold potentially promising results. It is these types of cutting-edge, innovative approaches that could change the future of type 1 diabetes. The Diabetes Research Connection proudly supports early career scientists in pursuing novel research for type 1 diabetes. Learn more about current projects and how you can support these efforts by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Stem Cell

Tackling Type 1 Diabetes at a Cellular Level

In individuals with type 1 diabetes, the body mistakenly attacks insulin-producing cells and destroys them. This leaves the body unable to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood or shift the sugar into cells that convert it into energy. Uncontrolled blood sugar can take a toll on the body damaging the kidneys and heart and leading to other complications. Individuals with type 1 diabetes must take care to monitor their own blood sugar and administer the correct amount of insulin to make up for the work that would normally be done by the pancreatic cells.

However, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are looking for a way to overcome these challenges by focusing on change at a cellular level. Since the body destroys insulin-producing cells, they are striving to replace them. The researchers want to use the body’s own pluripotent stem cells and turn them into pancreatic islet cells.

To do this, they must determine exactly how to manipulate the cells to get them to transform into the islet cells needed by the body. They are working in collaboration with other universities to further their studies.

According to Ipsita Banerjee, principal investigator in the study and a professor of chemical and bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, “We should be able to mass produce these islets, and actually, we have another grant where we are primarily looking into how to mass produce pluripotent stem cells.”

Results from early clinical trials show short-term improvement in more than half of participants. They were able to go off of insulin for two-week periods of time during the first year but most eventually had to continue using insulin injections. Further testing and clinical trials could help to improve these results.

This is far from the only study being conducted to improve the lives of individuals with type 1 diabetes. Researchers are continually striving to make innovate breakthroughs and try cutting-edge approaches. The Diabetes Research Connection supports early career scientists with up to $50,000 in funding for research on type 1 diabetes. These are projects that hold potential but may be passed over by more prominent and competitive funding sources. Learn more about the amazing work of these researchers and support their studies by visiting  http://diabetesresearchconnection.org. Every penny counts.

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Could Beta Cell Age and Differentiation Play a Role in the Development of Diabetes?

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is yet unknown. Researchers have a good understanding of how type 1 diabetes works and impacts the body, but not of the cellular intricacies that contribute to the development of the disease. A recent study examined the age and role of beta cells within pancreatic islets to better understand proliferation and function within the organ.

The study examined zebrafish and found that younger beta cells replicate more quickly than older beta cells, but they are less functional in terms of glucose responsiveness. As cells mature, they synchronize their proliferation and function.  In addition, within the pancreas differentiated cells are responsible for both organ growth and function, but it is yet undetermined whether certain cells make specific contributions to one factor or the other.  Organs such as the brain operate differently when it comes to increases in cellular mass and differentiation of cell function.

Through closer examination, researchers found that in the pancreas, beta cells differentiate according to the location in different parts of the embryo. In post-embryonic stages of development, beta cells from these different lineages are all brought together. This may also impact glucose responsiveness and the ability to balance insulin production with the energy necessary to support cell division. More research is necessary to determine exactly how proliferation and function affect heterogeneity in human beta cells and pancreatic islets.

The Diabetes Research Connection supports innovative and cutting-edge research when it comes to type 1 diabetes. Funds are raised for early career scientists to advance their research and contribute to the prevention or cure of type 1 diabetes as well as improving quality of life for those living with the disease. To learn more and support research efforts, visit http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Easing Transitions from Pediatric to Adult Care for Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that often emerges in childhood, and, as of yet, has no cure. Patients must learn to effectively manage their diabetes throughout all stages of their lives and continue following up with their healthcare provider. However, a recent study found that as children progress from adolescence into adulthood, there is often no formal transition process to help them adapt to adult care for diabetes.

In shifting from pediatric to adult care, patients must find a new provider who is skilled in managing diabetes care, transfer their records, adapt to less flexible scheduling options, and familiarize themselves with the changes that come with moving to an adult provider. These can all be challenging adjustments while also dealing with other life events that come with adulthood.

While the United States created a series of recommendations for facilitating this transition, many diabetes centers still did not have a structured program in place. The study interviewed 15 pediatric diabetes centers in Quebec and found that only three had a formal policy on transitions. However, they did not include patients or their families when creating these policies. Some facilities required patients to transition at age 18 while others gave more flexibility depending on the patient’s readiness.

Given that type 1 diabetes is a condition that patients must manage throughout their lives, providing the support and guidance necessary to ease transitions and promote continued good health is essential. It is important to raise awareness and encourage pediatric and adult practices to increase communication and coordination in helping patients with diabetes to transition their care between providers.

The Diabetes Research Connection is doing its part to raise awareness when it comes to type 1 diabetes and the push to find more effective treatments and ways to improve quality of life. The organization provides funding to early career scientists who conduct research focused on type 1 diabetes and are developing innovative approaches. Help support these projects by visiting the Diabetes Research Connection online.

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Islet transplantation requires immunosuppressive drugs be taken for the rest of a person's life, though improving the body's ability to manage glucose levels significantly lowers the risk for adverse health events. islet transportation Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Researchers Target Immune System for Potential Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

The immune system plays an important role in type 1 diabetes; after all, it is the immune system that destroys insulin-producing cells. When cells are damaged or destroyed, it decreases the body’s ability to convert sugar to energy and produce insulin. Instead, individuals must monitor and adjust their insulin on their own through injections or an insulin pump.

In a small study, researchers examined the possibility of retraining the body’s immune system to not attack insulin-producing cells. They did this through the use of peptide immunotherapy. According to Simi Ahmed, senior scientist at JDRF, “The immunotherapy re-educates the immune system and teaches the cells that they shouldn’t attack the beta cells.”

This is done by injecting disease-related antigens to stimulate regulatory T-cells development and/or make them work better.  However, scientists have not yet determined exactly which antigens are responsible for type 1 diabetes. This is an area where more research is needed.

The study divided up 27 participants into three groups.  All participants had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes within 100 days, because scientists wanted to test the immunotherapy before all or most of the T-cells had been destroyed, which is common in individuals who have had diabetes for many years.

One group received a placebo drug, one group received immunotherapy every four weeks, and one group received immunotherapy every two weeks. The results showed that the control group had decreased C-peptide levels at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, but those who received immunotherapy every four weeks had no decline in C-peptide levels. The group that received immunotherapy every two weeks showed a decline in C-peptide levels at 12 months.  When C-peptide levels decrease, it means that less insulin is being produced.

While the test group was too small to determine why these variations occurred, it does show that there is potential in this therapy and more extensive testing is needed with a larger group.  There were no noted side effects, meaning immunotherapy appears to be safe for individuals with type 1 diabetes.

Further research is needed to determine how often immunotherapy would be needed and whether individuals who have had the disease for many years could potentially benefit. Studies have shown that some people who have had diabetes long-term still have detectable C-peptide levels.

This study opens the door for many new trials and areas of research. Immunotherapy is an approach that may hold great potential upon initial diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. The Diabetes Research Connection supports this type of innovative research and funds studies that are often deemed high-risk. Learn more about the projects backed by the Diabetes Research Connection by visiting us online and consider donating to the cause.

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How to Live a Healthy Life with Type 1 Diabetes

About Christel

Christel is a Los Angeles based blogger, certified personal trainer, and diabetes advocate. She has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1997 and at an early stage decided that it wasn’t going to slow her down. Her motto is “There is Nothing You Can’t do With Diabetes”. She writes about Health, Fitness and how to be Fit With Diabetes on TheFitBlog.com. She also trains people with diabetes from across the globe, online and in person, and supports them in meeting their health and fitness goals.

How to Live a Healthy Life with Type 1 Diabetes

Most of the people who approach me for diabetes coaching wants to know the secrets to living a healthy life with diabetes.

Many of their questions are about weight loss, blood sugar management when exercising, and healthy nutrition. There is so much conflicting information online on what we should and should not do to be healthy with type one diabetes that it’s no wonder there’s confusion on the subject!

I love sharing my experience and what works for me. I started my website, TheFitBlog.com, as a solution to what I perceived as an information void when it comes to exercise and health for people living with diabetes. TheFitBlog is a dedicated diabetes website written by people with diabetes for people with diabetes.

You’ll find an abundance of resources on TheFitBlog, but today I want to share my top tips for living a healthy life with #T1D.

1.     Resistance training

While cardio can be great for stress management and strengthening the cardiovascular system, resistance training is literally your golden ticket to better diabetes health – both in terms of body composition and insulin sensitivity.

Think of your muscles as a lot of little “gas tanks” that can store glucose. Because glucose from your food is mainly absorbed by your muscle tissue, resistance training (which builds muscle mass) is particularly good at improving blood sugars after meals. You don’t have to build bodybuilder-sized muscles to achieve this effect or even the amount of muscle mass I have. Any improvement from where you are now will help.

Resistance training, combined with proper nutrition, has also been shown to be the most effective combination for changing body composition and reducing overall body fat.1

If you’re new to resistance training start with body-weight exercises or resistance bands before progressing to using weights.

2.     Gain an understanding of nutrition and know what you eat

Being active is a great step toward a better health, but if you don’t eat according to your goals, you won’t get far. I often say that proper nutrition is 80% of the journey.

When it comes to proper nutrition for people living with type 1 diabetes, I don’t believe there is one approach that is the best for everyone. I always recommend eating a balanced diet, including low/medium glycemic carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats in amounts that support whatever your fitness and health goals are.
However, some foods will affect blood sugars more or less dramatically and I recommend that you spend some time learning how different food affects your blood sugar. Because even if you stick to low glycemic carbs, some might not work for you.

A great example is old-fashioned oats. They are generally considered a great carb source from a blood sugar perspective, but for some people, oats will make their blood sugar skyrocket. You have to learn what works for you through experimentation.

A good way of assessing if your current diet is right for your needs is to keep a food diary for a while. It can be very helpful in understanding your current diet and how they affect your mood, weight, and blood sugars. This includes measuring out portions and thereby (re)learning portion sizes and accurate carb counting.

3.     Track and learn

Aside from tracking your nutrition and potentially making tweaks, I highly recommend spending some time tracking and analyzing how your body reacts to other key variables.

Tracking the key variables in your health journey (such as exercise, food, stress, and sleep) and their impact on your blood sugar is the only way you’ll start seeing trends and learn to be as proactive as possible when it comes to blood sugar management.

For, ultimately, you can’t adjust to what you don’t know or understand, and it’s impossible to look for trends and patterns without data.

What I’ve found, with myself and the many people with T1D I’ve worked with over the years, is that when we start understanding how our bodies react to certain types of exercise and different foods, it becomes easier to reduce the amount of out-of-range blood sugar. It takes time and effort but putting in that work up front sets you up with less blood sugar related frustrations in the future.

4.     Do what you love

Although I just tried (hard) to convince you that resistance training is the way to go, that might not be the right thing for you. If you try it out (give it at least a month) and really don’t like it, do something else. For an exercise routine to be something you can adhere to, you must enjoy it at some level, or at least don’t hate it.

There are so many ways to exercise that you should be able to find something you like. If you prefer dancing, do that. Biking, running, swimming and walking are all great too.

I’ve also found that switching it up, for example, doing yoga one day and resistance training another can be really beneficial for body and mind. However, you’ll have to watch your blood sugar since different types of exercise will impact your blood sugar differently (read more about that here).

Conclusion

Getting your exercise regime and nutrition dialed in to fit your needs and goals is something that can and should take a little time. We can’t expect results overnight, especially since we have a few more variables to take into consideration that people who don’t have T1D do. But if you take your time and learn how your body reacts to exercise and your nutrition, you can start making small tweaks that will lead to better health and diabetes management in the long run.

References

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28871849

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Tips and Tricks for Managing Diabetes

Managing type 1 diabetes can be tricky. Everyone’s body is different and responds differently to certain types of activity and treatment. That is why it is so important to be vigilant about monitoring blood sugar and knowing how to respond quickly and appropriately. If you have a child with diabetes, you want to ensure that they know how to check their blood sugar, what the results mean, and how to respond if it is too low or too high. In addition, those who spend the most time with them – whether family, friends, educators, or coaches – should also know how to assist and provide help when necessary.

Diabetes Forecast asked its readers to share some of their best diabetes hacks, which you may find helpful as well.

Be Prepared. One reader fills plastic pencil boxes with supplies her child may need at school and leaves one in each classroom. The box contains not only snacks and juice, but also glucose tablets and information on managing diabetes. Your child could also carry one in their backpack, or have one in the locker room. This is something that could be done at any age, and that adults can do as well. Consider leaving prepared boxes in your desk at work, the break room, or other places you frequent.

Plastic cases also come in handy for organizing supplies. One reader uses different colored boxes for different times of the day when preparing insulin syringes for the week. Just make sure that everything is clearly labeled as well. This can also be a good way of helping your child learn to manage their diabetes through color-coding.

Find what works for you. Not a fan of orange juice? Keep apple juice or grape juice on hand instead. Looking for a quick way to get your 14 grams of carbohydrates without taking a glucose tablet? Stock up on fun-size packs of Skittles which are perfectly proportioned and easy to grab and go. You could also prepare small baggies with four Starburst, 12 gummy bears, two tablespoons of raisins, or six large jelly beans. A small apple or orange work well too to quickly boost blood sugar.

Other hacks include adapting clothing to accommodate your insulin pump or finding accessories where you can easily store your supplies for quick access while working out or traveling. This way, you can continue carrying about your normal business while also effectively managing your diabetes and being prepared.

While there is not a cure yet for type 1 diabetes, scientists continue to learn more about this condition and develop cutting-edge treatment possibilities. The Diabetes Research Connection provides valuable funding that allows early career scientists to pursue research and trials that may one day change how type 1 diabetes is treated. Learn more by visiting us online and checking out current projects.

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5 Back to School Tips for Families Managing T1D

Going back to school is a time of excitement for parents and children, but it can also be nerve racking for families dealing with T1D. Based on feedback from those with T1D and the leading tips found online, we’ve put together our top five back to school tips for families managing T1D. We hope these tips bring you a little peace of mind as you wave goodbye and send your child(ren) back to school.

  1. Consult with your physician about a Continuous Glucose Monitor1 (CGM) to see if it might be a good option for your child. A CGM will allow the parent(s) or guardian(s) to monitor blood glucose levels in real-time using the share function on your smartphone. For more information about CGM’s, click here.
  2. Schedule a school meeting with the school nurse, principal, and teachers to discuss your child’s diagnosis and their needs. At this meeting, you can work to establish a Diabetes Medical Management Plan2 (DMMP) for your child. This plan will line out the treatment regimen for the caregivers during school time. It is also recommended that you submit a 504 plan to the school district. Creating a 504 plan will make it official that your child, in fact, does have Type 1 diabetes and serves as a guide for school officials that can help ensure your child thrives while in school. For more information on creating a 504 plan, click here.
  3. Make sure your child always has everything on them they need to manage their diabetes while at school and school functions. Keep items together in a bag or container that is easy to identify and labeled with your child’s name, medical ID and emergency contact details. For a list of possible items to include in a T1D school kit3, click here.
  4. In addition to a school kit for your child, you should also consider an ID bracelet or tag4 that indicates that your child has T1D. There are many choices available, for an extensive list of products, click here.
  5. Carbohydrate counting can help keep your child’s blood glucose levels close to normal. There are numerous websites, resources, and smartphone apps available to help make carb tracking more convenient. “Carb Counting with Lenny” is an interactive smartphone app for young children that makes T1D nutrition and carb counting both fun and exciting. For a more comprehensive explanation on T1D nutrition for your child, click here and for a list of smartphone apps, click here.

Sources:
1. “Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 01 June 2017. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes/continuous-glucose-monitoring>.
2. Montgomery, Bridget. “Ultimate Back to School Guide for Type 1 Care.”TheDiabetesCouncil.com. N.p., 15 Aug. 2017. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <https://www.thediabetescouncil.com/ultimate-back-to-school-guide-for-type-1-care/>.
(n.d.): n. pag. Type 1 To Go. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <http://type1togo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/T1D-504-Plan-Process.pdf>.
3. “The On-the-go T1D Kit -.” Beyond Type 1. Beyond Type 1, 19 Nov. 2015. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <https://beyondtype1.org/the-on-the-go-t1d-kit/>.
4. “Medical Identification Products.” Children with DIABETES – Medical Identification Products. N.p., 17 June 2015. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/d_06_700.htm>.

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Could a New Pill Simulate the Effects of Exercise in People with Diabetes?

Staying physically active is essential for good health, especially for those with diabetes. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and can improve heart health. However, those with diabetes must carefully monitor their body’s response to exercise and how it affects their blood sugar. Sometimes maintaining regular physical activity can be difficult – even more so if there are other co-existing health problems.

But a new pill may change all that by enabling people with diabetes to experience the effects of exercise without the physical exertion. The drug works by activating a gene pathway normally stimulated by running resulting in improved stamina and endurance as well as increased fat burning. This is encouraging for those with diabetes because the body typically burns sugar (glucose) before fat because fat-burning takes longer. This new drug activates fat burning and allows sugar to be used to support brain function.

The gene central to the study is PPAR delta, or PPARD. When mice were given the drug for eight weeks to continually activate PPARD, they experienced less weight gain, improved blood sugar control, and increased endurance. Their insulin responsiveness was on par with that of long-distance runners.  Mice given the drug were able to run on a treadmill for 270 minutes before becoming exhausted, compared to just 160 minutes for those mice not given the drug.

According to Weiwei Fan, first author of the research paper and a research associate at the Salk Institute where the study is being carried out, “Exercise actives PPARD, but we’re showing that you can do the same thing without mechanical training. It means you can improve endurance to the equivalent level as someone in training, without all of the physical effort.”

This drug could open the door to new treatment options for people with diabetes by triggering fat burning and supporting improved insulin sensitivity. Currently the only study trials have been on mice, but there is interest in developing clinical trials for humans. Scientists are continuing to study potential therapeutic applications and the effect they have on health.

The Diabetes Research Connection is committed to supporting these types of innovative research efforts by raising funds for early career scientists studying type 1 diabetes. Research funding is essential for leading the way to breakthroughs in treatment, prevention, and potential cures for diabetes. To learn more about how the Diabetes Research Connection is making a difference, visit us online.

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Summer is Coming Up: 5 Outdoor Activities Every T1D Person Can Participate In

The weather is warming up and sunny days are becoming more plentiful. Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy nature and breathe in the fresh air. Living with type 1 diabetes doesn’t have to hold you back from making the most of summer activities and staying active. As long as you know how to effectively manage your diabetes, the possibilities are endless. Here are just a few activities that you can enjoy this summer:

  1. Hiking: Check out local nature preserves, national parks and forests, or walking trails. Lace up your shoes and explore all of the plants, animals, and gorgeous landscapes that surround you. It’s also a great way to get in some cardio exercise.
  2. Biking: Not feeling up to walking? Go for a bike ride around your neighborhood or town. Biking puts less pressure on your joints than other activities, and it can be refreshing to feel the breeze across your face.
  3. Recreational Sports: Gather up some friends and start up a game of basketball, soccer, catch, tennis, or any other sport you enjoy. This is a wonderful way to keep your body moving and enjoy the nice weather while socializing.
  4. Gardening: Spend time planting or tending to your own garden, or visit a local farm to pick strawberries, blueberries, or other produce. Even better – you get to enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables when you’re done, and they can help with blood sugar.
  5. Walking/Jogging/Running: Depending on how active you want to be, you can take a brisk walk or jog or go for a run. Many communities hold 5Ks, 10Ks, and marathons throughout the summer, so consider challenging yourself and supporting a good cause.

Don’t forget that no matter what outdoor activities you choose, it’s important to stay hydrated and monitor your blood sugar level regularly. Make sure you have any necessary supplies with you and that you keep your insulin in a cool place. Having some snacks on hand can be a good idea too. Know your body and how your blood sugar responds to certain types of physical activity so you can be prepared.

Researchers are striving to improve the lives of people with type 1 diabetes every day. The Diabetes Research Connection provides valuable funding to support early career scientists with studies focused on treating, preventing, and curing type 1 diabetes. To support these efforts, please visit us online and read more about what these remarkable researchers are doing.

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Living with Diabetes: Healthy Eating and Exercise

One of the biggest challenges many people face in living with diabetes is diet. You must always be vigilant about what you eat, when you eat, and how it will affect your blood-glucose level. Understanding carb counting and ensuring you balance your meals with protein and healthy fat as well is essential.  The more familiar you become with your body and how it responds to certain types of carbs, the better you can manage your health.

Finding quick, easy recipes that you don’t have to spend much time fussing over yet are still diabetes-friendly and healthy is always a plus. Stocking up your refrigerator with fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, eggs, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean proteins means you’ll have everything you need to try a variety of delicious options. Living with diabetes does not mean that you’re stuck eating the same thing all the time – with a little planning, you can whip up flavorful meals ranging from oatmeal, wraps, and sandwiches to salads, pasta, and chili.

Staying Active in Spring

Now that spring is in full swing, you can take advantage of the great outdoors and beautiful weather to stay active. Exercise is an important component of healthy living with diabetes. Remember to check your blood sugar before you begin so you know whether you should have a snack before you start to keep your blood glucose level up as you exercise. You may also need to adjust your insulin pump accordingly depending on the type and duration of exercise you’re planning.

Some fun spring activities include:

  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Gardening


Don’t forget to add some strength training in addition to aerobic exercise. Try some free weights or calisthenics such as lunges, squats, pupush-upsor sit-ups. Switch up the activities you do so it doesn’t become boring or monotonous. This can keep you more energized and motivated to stay active. Physical activity is a great way to help manage blood sugar, blood pressure, stress, and more.

Diet and exercise are two natural ways to help manage diabetes and live a higher quality life. Researchers are always exploring new possibilities for preventing, treating, and curing type 1 diabetes to give patients different options since everyone’s body is different. The Diabetes Research Connection supports scientific research on type 1 diabetes and the potential that it holds. Learn more about how you can support new discoveries in the fight against diabetes by visiting the Diabetes Research Connection site today.

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Exercising with Type 1 Diabetes can be challenging but not Impossible!

4 tips you didn’t know!

Excercising Blog Image

Exercising with type 1 diabetes (T1D) can be challenging, but not impossible. With T1D, you have to consider low and high blood sugars in the middle of a walk, yoga, spinning class, tai chi, or even strength-training. As I interviewed different people with T1D and asked them how they balance their blood sugar while working out, I noticed the following similarities:

1. Understanding how different workout routines can affect your blood sugar

Not all exercise is the same, it’s important to understand what can make your blood sugar dip. For example, jogging and strength-training will both have very different impacts on your blood sugar, even though your heart rate may rise during both.

Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise uses glucose primarily for fuel. This means that jogging, running, the elliptical, power-walking, cycling, power yoga, and even gardening—anything that raises your heart rate for an extended period of time—will lower your blood sugar.

Anaerobic activity, like strength training, sprinting, interval, or circuit training—during which your heart rate goes up, then down, up, then down, and muscle is being broken down—is going to burn more fat for fuel during the activity, but may increase your sensitivity to insulin later in the day while it works to repair and build those muscles. It’s also very common to see your blood sugar rise during this type of exercise.

2. Repetitiveness will be your best friend

When you’re starting a new form of exercise and want to know how that workout is going to impact your body on a regular day with a “regular” blood sugar, be sure to eat a meal of which you already know the carbohydrate count, and don’t start your workout with an out-of-range blood sugar.

Make sure your workout, in the beginning, is similar, same routine and same time of day. The more variables you can control, the better chances of consistent blood sugar readings.

3. Write it Down!

Once you find your groove and the routine you love, write down the following:

Time of day you exercised
Blood sugar before you worked out
What did you eat before your workout
Did you take insulin
Type of exercises performed
Time for each segment of workout routine
Blood sugar ½ way thru the routine
Blood sugar at the end of your workout

Common Questions you might have

a. What happens if my blood sugar was too high after?
Great question! If your blood sugar is high, then you know you either didn’t need to cut back on your insulin dose for the food you ate, or you didn’t need the extra boost of glucose you purposefully consumed for your workout.

b. My blood sugar was too low, what do I do now?
If you’re low, then you know you can either cut back on your insulin dosing next time (through basal or bolus insulin) or you can consume more carbohydrates uncovered by insulin.

The goal is to perform the exact same experiment again, adjusted based on the information you gained from your first experiment, and keep repeating until you find the right balance!

4. Secret Tip: Try Exercising First Thing in the Morning, on an Empty Stomach

After reading Dealing with Diabetes Burnout, I learned that Bodybuilders are constantly trying to burn as much body fat as possible without burning up muscle. Based on normal human physiology that exercising first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, with an in-range
blood sugar is the easiest time of day to keep your blood sugar from dropping because your body is primed to burn fat for fuel instead of glucose. This is because you have been fasting all night long, and your body’s backup stores of glucose have been used for energy while you were sleeping, and so your body uses fat for fuel instead.

It’s just science. That’s all. Take the time to learn and experiment, remembering that an unexpectedly high or low can simply mean there’s something about exercise and the human body that you haven’t learned quite yet.

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Fun Super Bowl Recipes for those with Type 1 Diabetes

With the Super bowl just around the corner, it can be challenging finding healthier versions of your favorite snack for someone with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). We have taken the guesswork out and found some amazing blood sugar-friendly tailgating recipes from T1 Everyday Magic.

How can you go wrong serving a delicious, protein-rich bowl of chili, or Seven Layer Dip Cups that look too pretty to eat, and that you dip into with …wait for it…bacon chips instead of tortilla chips? If that does not convince you, how would you feel about a big platter of nachos with all your favorite toppings, except instead of tortilla chips, you use roasted cauliflower as the base.

With these three recipes, you will be ready for kickoff and your guests — with T1D or not — are sure to love them as well!

Super Simple Chili

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Cauliflower Nachos

 

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Seven-Layer Dip Cups with Bacon Chips

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pasta e fagioli

Winter Comfort Food Recipes for Those with Type 1 Diabetes

Now that the holidays are over and we’re deep into winter, you’re probably finding yourself craving warm, rich, delicious comfort food. Hearty soups, chili with cornbread, macaroni and cheese, chicken pot pie, pasta, baked potatoes – we all have our favorite foods and meals for when it’s chilly outside.

However, for those of us with type 1 diabetes, indulging in our favorite comfort food can be a bit more complicated, especially when so much of these foods are carb-heavy.

Below we’ve compiled some of our favorite T1D-friendly comfort foods for the colder winter months.

Pasta e Fagioli

Taken from Diabetic Living.

Pasta e Fagioli is a traditional pasta and bean soup that is perfect for warming up on a cold night.

[su_spoiler title=”View recipe”]

Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces prosciutto or turkey bacon, chopped
2 cups chopped onions (2 large)
1/2 cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
1/2 cup chopped carrot (1 medium)
2 tablespoons bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 14 – ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 28 – ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup whole grain medium pasta shells
2 15 – ounce can no-salt-added cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup snipped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer prosciutto to paper towels; let drain. Set aside.
  2. Add onions, celery, carrot, and garlic to the Dutch oven; cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Stir in oregano, anchovy paste (if desired), and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes and pasta shells. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, use a fork to mash one can of the beans. Stir the whole and mashed beans into pasta mixture. Simmer about 5 minutes or until heated through.
  4. Stir in parsley and lemon juice. Immediately ladle into serving bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan and the prosciutto.

Nutrition (per serving): 235 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 490 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 13 g protein

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Classic Beef Stroganoff

Taken from Diabetic Living.

Beef Stroganoff is a hearty, creamy beef dish, and this slow-cooker recipe makes it perfect for enjoying on a busy weeknight!

[su_spoiler title=”View recipe”]

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

1 1/4 pounds beef stew meat
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced green onions (4) or chopped onion (1 medium)
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups 50% less sodium beef broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 8 – ounce carton light sour cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
Sauteed zucchini “noodles” or hot cooked whole wheat pasta
Snipped fresh parsley or basil (optional)

  1. Cut up any large pieces of meat. In a large nonstick skillet, cook half of the meat in hot oil over medium-high heat until brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat from skillet. Repeat with the remaining meat. Drain off fat. Set meat aside.
  2. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine mushrooms, green onions, bay leaf, garlic, oregano, salt, thyme, and pepper. Add meat. Pour broth and sherry over mixture in cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf.
  4. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. In a medium bowl stir together sour cream, flour, and the water until smooth. Gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot broth into sour cream mixture. Return sour cream mixture to cooker; stir to combine. Cover and cook about 30 minutes more or until thickened and bubbly. Serve over sauteed zucchini and, if desired, sprinkle with parsley.

Nutrition (per serving): 257 calories, 10 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 74 mg cholesterol, 312 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 26 g protein

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holiday travel

Holiday Travel Tips for Those With T1D

The holiday season is in full swing, and many of us will be traveling this month to visit friends, family and loved ones. For those with type 1 diabetes (T1D), though, holiday travels may require a bit more planning. Below we’ve outlined a few things to keep in mind when planning a trip if you or a loved one you are traveling with has T1D. Following these tips will help your travels go smoothly, ensuring a joyous time for all.

Packing Your Medication and Supplies

Whether you’re traveling across the state for a long weekend or across the country for a full week, you’ll need to be strategic when packing your medication and other supplies. Make sure you bring enough of your medication so you’re prepared for any situation that may arise; many find that packing twice as much as they think they’ll need is a safe option. If you’ll be checking any luggage, keep your medicine and anything else you will need in your carry-on, so that you have it if your bags get lost.

In your carry-on bag, make sure you have:

  • Insulin and syringes
  • Blood-testing supplies and extra batteries
  • Any other medications you may need
  • An ID, including something that identifies you as having T1D
  • A small snack and candy or some form of sugar to treat hypoglycemia

As you’re packing, be thinking of where you’ll store your supplies upon arrival. In particular, don’t store your insulin somewhere very hot or very cold, such as the trunk of a car.

Preparing for an Emergency if You’re Abroad

Anyone traveling to another country should have a plan in place in case of a medical emergency, but this is especially important for those with T1D.

If you would like to get a list of English-speaking doctors at your destination before you leave, we suggest contacting the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers. If something happens while you’re abroad and you’re unsure of where to go, contact your local embassy for assistance.

Of course, preventing an emergency is better than preparing for one. This goes without saying, but check your blood glucose levels frequently, and be mindful of crossing time zones when you’re planning the timing of your injections.

Keep Your Medical ID With You

It’s always a good idea to be wearing a medical ID identifying you as someone with T1D, but this can become even more important when traveling. In the event of an emergency, your ID will let first responders, doctors and nurses know that you have T1D and provide information about how you manage it, as well as information about allergies and other pieces of your medical history.

Traditionally, these medical IDs are worn as a bracelet or necklace, and usually consist of a piece of metal with information etched into it. However, modern technology has to lead to more detailed medical IDs with QR codes, URLs and more that can help emergency responders and medical personnel access all your necessary health records.

For more tips and insights for living with type 1 diabetes, subscribe to our newsletter.

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pumpkin mashed potatoes

A Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving

Food-heavy holidays, such as Thanksgiving, can be particularly hard for those with type 1 diabetes. Between carb-heavy foods, meals served at odd times to accommodate everyone’s schedules and perhaps even multiple meals with different sides of the family or groups of friends, keeping your blood sugar in check on Thanksgiving day is no easy task.

However, with careful planning and some support from your family and friends, enjoying Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be difficult!

As you’re celebrating, keep the following in mind:

  • Keep fat content of the foods you are eating in mind. For example, make your mashed potatoes with low-fat milk and margarine instead of butter.
  • Choose white meat turkey over dark meat, and skip the skin.
  • Opt for steamed vegetables over casseroles. For example, serve seasoned steamed green beans with salt, pepper and garlic powder instead of green bean casserole.

Thanksgiving Recipes for Diabetes

If you’re responsible for preparing a dish for a potluck or an entire Thanksgiving meal, consider these T1D-friendly takes on traditional Thanksgiving favorites.

Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes

Recipe from Diabetic Living Online.

The addition of pumpkin makes for a flavorful, low-calorie twist on traditional mashed potatoes.

[su_spoiler title=”View recipe.”]

Makes 4 servings.

1 pound medium baking potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)

1 tablespoon butter or tub-style vegetable oil spread

1/8 teaspoon ground sage

1/4 cup fat-free milk

1.In a covered large saucepan, cook potatoes and garlic in enough boiling water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain.

2. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed until nearly smooth.

3. Beat in canned pumpkin, cream cheese, butter, ground sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.

4. Gradually add milk, beating until light and fluffy.

5. Return to saucepan; heat through.

Nutrition (per serving): 159 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 206 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 4 g protein

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Sweet Raisin-Apple Strudel

Recipe from Prevention

Whole-wheat phyllo dough makes this dessert a slightly healthier replacement for apple pie.

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Makes 12 servings.

2 granny smith or golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 3 c)

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons golden raisins

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

12 sheets (17″ x 11″ each) frozen whole wheat phyllo dough, thawed

1/2 cup apricot all-fruit preserves, warmed

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix the apples, brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.

3. Mix the breadcrumbs and granulated sugar in a small bowl.

4. Place the phyllo on a dry kitchen counter and cover with plastic wrap and a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Remove 1 sheet, spread it flat, and mist with butter-flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1 scant tablespoon of the crumb mixture. Repeat layering to use 4 more of the remaining phyllo sheets and about half of the crumb mixture. Top with 1 phyllo sheet and mist with the cooking spray.

5. Spread with 1/4 cup of the preserves to within 1″ of the edges. Spoon half of the apple mixture over the preserves. Fold 1″ of each long edge over the apple mixture. Starting with the short edge, roll up as tightly as possible. Gently place the strudel, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Mist the top with cooking spray.

6. Repeat to make a second strudel.

7. Using a sharp knife, make several slashes in the top of each strudel.

8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.

Nutrition (per serving) 153 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 18 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 121 mg sodium

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Diabetic-Friendly Fall and Halloween Treats

The air is cool and crisp, the leaves are beginning to turn and we’re already halfway into October – fall is in full force!

With fall comes many great seasonal foods and treats – pumpkin pies, apple cider and halloween candy, to name a few. However, we know that with so many delicious treats available, it can be hard to choose the right foods to help manage your T1D, or to decide what to offer to your friends or family member with T1D.

Below we’ve rounded up our favorite diabetes-friendly treats and recipes for this season.

No Tricks, Just Treats for Those with T1D

Struggling to decide what to pass out to the adorable little ghosts and goblins who will be knocking on your door at the end of the month? T1D-friendly candies are a great option – in addition to being ideal for your diabetic neighbors, they tend to be healthier for kids in general, something every parent will appreciate.

Diabetic Living suggests offering some of the following T1D-friendly candy to your trick-or-treaters:

  • Fun-sized candy bars generally contain less sugar. Consider offering Kit Kat bars – these wafer-based chocolates have only 7 g sugar, 70 calories, 4 g fat and 9 g carb.
  • Almond M&Ms are a healthier choice than regular M&Ms, as the heart-healthy nut displaces some of the sugar-dense chocolate. One snack size bag will only set you back 10 g sugar, 110 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat and 12 g carb.
  • Dark Chocolate contains heart-healthy antioxidants, but some dark chocolates are better than others. The nuggets of Hershey’s Special Dark with Almonds Nuggets contains only 12 g sugar, 150 calories and 15 g carb.
  • Strawberry Twizzler Twists are the perfect combination of chewy, fruity and sweet. One twist contains 5 g sugar, 40 calories, 0 g fat and 9 g carb.
  • Jolly Ranchers are a great choice as far as hard candies go. Three pieces of these long-lasting sweet and sour treats will set you back 11 g sugar, 70 calories and 17 g carb.
  • Chocolate and Peanut Butter Treats are a classic at Halloween and year-round. Sugar-Free Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a great option, as four treats contain 145 calories, 22 g carb and no sugar.

Delicious Fall Treats for Those With T1D and Those Without

As you’re gearing up for your next bonfire, football watch party, halloween party or other fall-themed gathering, consider bringing a delicious, diabetes-friendly fall dish.

If you’re responsible for bringing finger-foods, consider these fresh, healthy Touchdown Tortilla Wraps.

Recipe: Touchdown Tortilla Wraps

Taken from Diabetic Living.

touchdown tortilla wrap

[su_spoiler title=”View recipe for Touchdown Tortilla Wraps”]

Ingredients

  • 3 7- or 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1/2 8-ounce tub light cream cheese with chive and onion or roasted garlic
  • 18 – 24 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 7-ounce jar roasted red sweet peppers, well drained and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced cooked roast beef, ham, and/or turkey
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise dressing or light salad dressing

Directions

  1. Spread each tortilla with one-third of the cream cheese. Cover cream cheese with a layer of basil leaves, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange roasted red peppers on basil leaves. Top with sliced meat. Divide mayonnaise among tortillas, spreading over meat.
  2. Roll up each tortilla tightly into a spiral. Cut each tortilla roll in half crosswise. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill for up to 4 hours. Tote in an insulated cooler with ice packs. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 6
Per Serving: 135 cal., 6 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 24 mg chol., 186 mg sodium, 10 g carb. (1 g fiber, 2 g sugars), 8 g pro.
Diabetic Exchanges

Fat (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 0.5

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When it comes time for a T1D-friendly dessert, we suggest this delicious no-bake pumpkin cheesecake.

Recipe: No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Taken from Diabetic Living.

pumpkin cheesecake

[su_spoiler title=”View recipe for No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake”]

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust (see recipe below)
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 8 ounce tub light cream cheese
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 of an 8-ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
  • Frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed (optional)
  • Ground cinnamon, chopped toasted pecans, and/or pomegranate seeds** (optional)

Directions

  1. Prepare graham cracker crust (see below); set aside. In a small saucepan, stir together gelatin and the water; let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves; set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add pumpkin, sugar, the 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and the gelatin mixture; beat until well mixed. Fold in the three-quarters container of dessert topping. Spread mixture into crust in springform pan. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours or until set.
  3. Using a thin metal spatula or table knife, loosen the cheesecake from the side of the springform pan. If desired, use a wide spatula to remove cheesecake from bottom of pan and place on a serving plate. Cut into wedges to serve. If desired, top with additional whipped topping and garnish with additional cinnamon, chopped pecans, and/or pomegranate seeds**. Makes 14 servings.

Tip

  • *Sugar Substitutes: Choose from Splenda® Granular, Equal® Spoonful or packets, or Sweet ‘N Low® bulk or packets. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 2 tablespoons sugar for both crust and filling.
  • *Sugar Substitutes: PER SERVING WITH SUBSTITUTE: same as above, except 136 cal., 11 g carb.
  • **Test Kitchen Tip: To remove the seeds from a pomegranate, cut the pomegranate in half through the skin. Remove the peel and break the fruit into sections. Then separate the seeds from the membrane.
  • Tip: To toast nuts, spread in a shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden, shaking pan once or twice.

Graham Cracker Crust: Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers,
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, canola oil, and sugar. Mix well. Spread evenly in bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan; press firmly onto bottom. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 14
PER SERVING: 150 cal., 8 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 11 mg chol., 144 mg sodium, 14 g carb. (1 g fiber), 5 g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges

Other Carb (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 1.5

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diabetic dog

Type 1 Diabetes and Diabetic Alert Dogs

Dogs are often called a man’s best friend – but for some, this common phrase has a much deeper meaning.

Groups like Canine Hope for Diabetics and Diabetic Alert Dogs of America help type 1 diabetics safely gain independence through training and providing working service dogs. These Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to pick up on low (hypoglycemia) or high (hyperglycemia) blood sugar events and alert their owners before it becomes dangerous. These dogs are able to detect the chemical change produced by blood sugar high and lows and alert their owners so they can take steps to return their blood sugar to normal levels and avoid a diabetic emergency.

How Diabetic Alert Dogs Make Life Easier for Those With T1D

To get a glimpse of just how much of a difference these dogs make for adults and children with T1D, consider Luke’s story. Luke was diagnosed with T1D at just two years old. His mom took him to the doctor after noticing he was tired, thirsty and irritable, and a fingerprick confirmed that he had T1D. The doctor sent Luke straight to the hospital, where his mom began to learn how to take care of him with the new diagnosis: how to prick his finger, how to check his blood sugar and how to administer insulin.

So why did Luke need a Diabetic Alert Dog? He is hypoglycemic unaware, which means that he can’t tell when his blood sugar is getting too low. Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to notice when blood sugar gets too low and notify their owners. Getting a dog would give Luke more independence; he’d be able to play sports, go to friends’ houses and be a “normal” kid again.

Luke received Jedi, a Diabetic Alert Dog who has saved his life many, many times. Jedi knows when Luke’s blood sugar gets too low, and alerts him and his mom so that they can take the necessary steps to correct his blood sugar. Just recently, at a Friends for Life conference, Jedi alerted Luke’s mom twice while he was playing with other children with type 1 diabetes. Luke was too low the first time and too high the second time.

It’s not just Luke benefitting from from having a Diabetic Alert Dog, either. Many children and adults with T1D have dogs that warn them of extreme blood sugar fluctuations, often saving their lives.

If you have T1D and are interested in learning more about Diabetic Alert Dogs, we encourage you to contact Canine Hope for Diabetics, Diabetic Alert Dogs of America or a similar group that trains alert dogs for diabetics.

For more information, news updates and resources for type 1 diabetics, sign up for our newsletter.

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diabetes infographic preview

What Are The Types of Diabetes? [INFOGRAPHIC]

The term “diabetes” refers to a group of diseases that result in problems with blood sugar levels. Each type of diabetes has a different root cause.

View the infographic below to learn more about the different types of diabetes, including who they affect, their cause and typical treatment.

For more information about type 1 diabetes, check out our resource center.

DRC-Infographic

Note: T1D is diagnosed in children, young adults and adults.

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Berries in wooden spoons

Fruity, Diabetic-Friendly Double Berry Pie Squares

There’s something special about eating a cool, sweet treat in the summer.

For those with type 1 diabetes, though, typical “summery” desserts such as ice cream can signal trouble, as they are often full of sugar, fat and artificial ingredients. Opting for a more nutritional option such as fruit is a great way to stay on track and keep your body healthy.

Make this summer just a little sweeter with these diabetic-friendly double berry pie squares. Consider bringing this healthy, fruity summer treat to your next cookout, pool party or family gathering.

Recipe: Double Berry Pie Squares

Taken from Diabetic Living.

Makes: 9 servings

Serving Size: 1 square and 1/2 tablespoon dessert topping
Carb Grams Per Serving: 25

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 1 12 – ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup finely crushed graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup frozen sugar-free whipped dessert topping, thawed

Directions

  1. For filling: In a large saucepan, combine the 1/3 cup sugar and the gelatin; add strawberries and raspberries. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until gelatin is dissolved and mixture is simmering.
  2. Transfer berry mixture to a shallow bowl. Chill about 45 minutes or until mixture begins to set up around the edges, stirring occasionally.
  3. For crust: Lightly coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together finely crushed graham crackers, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the melted butter. Press graham cracker mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place in freezer while chilling filling.
  4. Carefully pour filling over the crust. Chill about 3 hours or until filling is completely set.
  5. Cut into squares to serve. Top with whipped dessert topping. Makes 9 servings (1 square and 1/2 tablespoon dessert topping per serving)

Tips

  • *Sugar Substitute: Choose from Splenda® Granular or Sweet’N Low® bulk or packets. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons sugar.
  • *Sugar Substitute: PER SERVING WITH SUBSTITUTE: same as above, except 103 cal., 16 g carb. Exchanges: 0 other carb. Carb Choices: 1.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 9

PER SERVING: 138 cal., 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 7 mg chol., 80 mg sodium, 25 g carb. (4 g fiber, 15 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges

Fruit (d.e): 1; Other Carb (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 1

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type 1 diabetes type 2 diabetes differences

Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Despite sharing a name, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are quite different. Understanding the key differences in type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is critical for research into finding a way to cure, treat and prevent diabetes, but also for caring for someone with diabetes and managing your own diabetes. How these diseases begin, how they affect the body and how they are treated are all quite different.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is the result of the human immune system mistaking the body’s beta cells, which produce insulin, for foreign cells and causing their destruction. Insulin is a protein that allows the transport of sugar into cells to provide energy. When sugar can’t get from the blood into the cells, the cells have no access to the glucose they need and cannot function correctly. The composition of our blood also gets off balance, with high blood sugar levels leading to detrimental effects on other organs of the body.

Injecting synthetic insulin solves this problem because it keeps blood glucose levels in the right range and helps glucose reach our cells.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Although type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1, the causes for it aren’t fully understood. What doctors and scientists do know is that excess weight, inactivity, age and genetic makeup contribute to development of the disease.

Patients with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but the cells in the body cannot respond to it adequately so they cannot take up glucose. Later on, especially when treatment fails, type 2 diabetes is aggravated by exhausted beta cells, decreasing their insulin production resulting in further increases in blood sugar levels. Since beta cells aren’t killed off in type 2 diabetes, at least initially, blood sugar levels often become elevated at a slower rate than with type 1 diabetes. This means that someone can have high blood sugar for quite sometime without realizing it, and may only find out they have type 2 diabetes when complications of diabetes appear, such as damage to eyes, the kidney and nerves. Additionally, this means that treatment for type 2 diabetes varies from case to case. While insulin therapy is needed for some people with type 2 diabetes, others are able to use alternative medications. Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise have also been known to help type 2 diabetes and are always recommended for those with the disease.

Chart: What are the Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Often diagnosed in children and young adults Usually diagnosed in adults
Caused by an autoimmune response against insulin-producing beta cells Cause is unknown, but related to weight, age, inactivity and genetics
Treatment must include insulin, as the body no longer produces it Treatment usually includes some combination of medications, diet, exercise and insulin

Similarities Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Both the cause and treatment for type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are clearly very different. However, there are some similarities between the two. For example, even though diet and exercise are key parts to managing type 2 diabetes, good diet and adequate exercise are also important for those with type 1 diabetes because lower weight and increased activity can help increase insulin sensitivity, which helps control blood sugar. Long-term complications arising from increased blood sugar levels are common to both forms of disease and include neuropathy (nerve damage), retinopathy (eye damage) and nephropathy (kidney damage). Cardiovascular complications lead to heart attacks while insufficient delivery to blood in the extremities combined with nerve damage and impaired wound healing capacity leads to lower extremity amputations.

Above all, it’s important to keep in mind just how different these two diseases are, and how much we still have to learn about them. To stay up-to- date on type 1 diabetes research and learn more about managing and living with diabetes, sign up for our newsletter.

If you are looking for information regarding Type 2 Diabetes, we highly recommend looking at Type 2 Digest.

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diabetes recipes

Finding the Best Recipes for a Diabetes Diet

Having type 1 diabetes or cooking for someone with type 1 diabetes doesn’t mean you’re stuck with bland, boring or tasteless food. Rather, eating moderate amounts of a variety of healthy, nutritious foods is key to keeping your insulin levels in check. In general, you’ll want to stick with nutrient-rich foods that are low in fat and calories, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Finding Diabetic Friendly Recipes

We’ve compiled some of our favorite resources for finding the best diabetic recipes that fit into a diabetic diet.

Diabetic Foodie

Shelby, the writer behind Diabetic Foodie, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1999. She grew up eating southern food at nearly every meal, but after her diagnosis she quickly learned that eating healthy foods made managing her diabetes much easier. On her blog, Shelby provides recipes that generally follow the American Diabetes Association Guidelines, focusing primarily on lean protein, healthy fats and vegetables.

A Sweet Life

A Sweet Life is a diabetes magazine, and their website is packed full of great recipes for diabetics. Whether you’re looking for diabetic-friendly desserts, something low carb, or something to cook for a holiday, you’re sure to find it in their catalog of recipes. Plus, if you’re looking for a diabetic version of a specific recipe, just use their search feature to look for something diabetes-friendly!

Diabetes Self-Management

Diabetes Self-Management discusses multiple ways to manage your diabetes, but their recipes section is especially valuable. Recipes are diabetes-friendly and are divided into categories such as beverages, breakfast, desserts and sweets, main dishes, salads, sides, snacks and appetizers and soups and stews.

T1 Everyday Magic

T1 Everyday Magic is a special resource from Lilly Diabetes and Disney, and is specifically geared toward parents of children with type 1 diabetes. While the site includes resources for parents of newly-diagnosed children, information about general daily living and a large section devoted to recipes for children with diabetes. These recipes are kid-friendly, and include foods such as waffled eggs, chocolate avocado truffle spoons, peanut butter rice cereal bars and holiday-specific classroom treats.

For more great resources on diabetes-friendly recipes and other aspects of living with type 1 diabetes, sign up for the Diabetes Research Connection newsletter.

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