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Mid-week Diabetes News Round – Up

When you have a chronic illness like type 2 diabetes, it is always wise to keep informed of the latest trends in treatments and new discoveries. Below is a summary of some of the relevant news I picked up from the internet this week. I hope you will find them helpful. This week’s round-up focuses on:

1) Long COVID-19 and how it affects people with diabetes

You may have heard the term “long COVID” used in conjunction with the long-term effects of a COVID-19 infection. These effects may include brain fog, joint pain, and a host of other conditions. Now physicians and scientists are adding diabetes to this list. One study in Germany found that people who had just a mild case of COVID-19 were 28% more likely to have a new diagnosis of diabetes. Here in the United States that number was found to be 40% of those who have had COVID-19. A US-based study found that even people who had low to no risk factors of diabetes could experience a 38% increased risk after COVID. Of course, those who had a severe case of coronavirus suffered an even greater risk , as high as 276%, and among kids it is even higher.

2) Prediabetes and teens

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that nearly 30% of adolescents and teens in the United States meet the criteria for prediabetes. Among this number 40% are obese and those who live in poverty are more likely to have diabetes. This figure increased between 2015 -2018 among adolescents 12 to 19 even before COVID-19. Researchers say that parents need to pay more attention to their children’s diet and exercise.

3) Overtreatment of nursing home diabetes patients and the risk of hypoglycemia.

A report from Endocrinology Network states that an analysis of data from more than 7000 patients in Veterans Affairs nursing homes found that i in 5 met the criteria for overtreatment and an additional 23% met the potential for overtreatment. The study was done on older adults 65 years or over with a nursing home stay of 30 days and a mean HbA1C of 7.1. Overtreatment was defined as an HbA1C of 6.5 with insulin use. Potential overtreatment was defined as an HbA1c less than 7.5% with any insulin use or HbA1c less than 6.5% on any glucose-lowering medication other than metformin alone.

In another report published in Medicine Matters, researchers concluded, “While the use of insulin may be appropriate in older adults in certain settings (e.g. reduced renal function, loss of secretory insulin capacity), clinicians need to use it with caution and aim for higher glycemic targets in these settings.”

While these reports may be cause for concern, they are also meant to make you aware of the need to be vigilant about your health and to make those necessary lifestyle changes that can put you on the path to good health. If you need to learn more about how you can improve or preserve your health, why not sign up in the form below?

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Loneliness Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

A while back, I read that the British Prime Minister had appointed a minister for loneliness to try to reverse the trend in that country. But loneliness is not only prevalent in Britain. Here in the United States where most young people move out of their parents’ home by the age of eighteen, parents soon find themselves with an “empty nest.” Then a few years later, one partner dies, and the other is left all alone. He/she may not see the children or grand-children except at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Loneliness affects not only the elderly, but people across the age spectrum. One AARP source says that loneliness has increased by 5 million among people age 45 and over.

The dangers of loneliness

A former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says loneliness can be worse for you than smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness leads to depression and anxiety and increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, dementia, and death, say the experts. I’m not surprised at these findings, but this one really bowled me over: An English longitudinal study of 264 participants showed that loneliness was a significant predictor of incident type 2 diabetes, independent of age, sex, ethnicity, wealth, smoking status, alcohol consumption, BMI, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Loneliness and social media

One report notes an increase in the number of people who complained of loneliness at the same time that social media became popular, but they don’t know yet what is cause and what is effect. While technology proved invaluable during the pandemic— it helped us stay in touch in ways that would not otherwise be possible— we should not use it as a tool to relieve loneliness. Nothing can replace face-to-face contact, a touch, or a hug.

Ways to fight loneliness

  • Call an old friend
  • Join a walking club or some other group that interests you
  • Volunteer in your community
  • Visit friends and family
  • Get involved in your church

Loneliness affects people of all ages and stages in life. It is a dangerous epidemic that can impair your mental as well as physical health. Spending a lot of time in front of your computer or with your cellphone does not relieve social isolation. Follow the tips above to relieve or prevent yourself becoming socially isolated. Your life may depend on it.

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You Only Fail If You Stop Trying

This week I came across this quote from Tony Robbins: “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.”

Weight loss

What do you think about that? You may be tempted to stop trying when things don’t seem to be moving as fast as you would like them to. You can fill in the blanks with any number of things:

You are not losing weight fast enough;

Your diabetes is still not where you would like it to be

Your blood pressure is still too high

Your cholesterol …

And the list may include things that don’t pertain to health. They may be financial, or job related or other personal goals. Whatever they are, keep trying. Don’t give up.

The reason is simple; every effort you make toward your goal brings you one step closer. You may not be able to see it yet, but you are gaining ground. Your muscles are becoming stronger, your endurance is improving, and your organs are responding in ways you cannot see.

Then one day you go for your checkup, and your doctor greets you with a big smile. Your numbers are better than they were six months ago! Your doctor is happy, and you should be too.

So, keep on trying. Keep setting the alarm to wake up half an hour earlier so you can workout. Keep passing up the sugary juices for water; keep adding a fruit and some green vegetable to your lunch box everyday, and one day when you get on that scale the numbers will surprise you. Try it!

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Five Lessons From Spring

There is something about spring that sends flowers into bloom, energizes young and old, makes poets create masterpieces, and singers burst into song. Spring is regarded as the most beautiful season of the year, but if we examine it closely, we can learn many lessons from spring.

As I read these verses from Song of Songs, several things came to my mind:

See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
    the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
    my beautiful one, co
me with me.” (2: 11-13)

The first line says that winter is past. For those of you who live in colder climes, this past winter was especially harsh. In some places in the US, blizzards destroyed homes and even lives. Thousands were left without electricity for days. I know those folks are glad that winter is past.

  1. The winter is past means more than the snow and cold being over. Winter is a time of short days and long nights. It can be a very lonely time for some people. Limited sunshine hours bring on dark moods, which give rise to depression. Some people suffer from a seasonal type of depression called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder.) Their depression lifts when winter is over and the days are longer.
  2. Winter being past also symbolizes giving up or forgetting the things of the past—past disappointments, failures, broken dreams and broken hearts.
  3. Flowers appear on the earth – What can brighten your home and help you throw aside the winter blues more than a bouquet of flowers? Flowers that had been lying dormant under the ground during winter appear as if by magic. You don’t have to spend a lot of money at the garden store; just take a walk in your neighborhood and you are sure to find some lilies, violets, marigolds, sunflowers, and others for which you may not know their names.
  4. The season of singing has come – Get up early in the morning, take a walk around the block and you will hear the melodious call of our feathered friends as they sing to one another. Another sure blues buster. If you are good at taking pictures, you may be able to capture one or two birds in flight.
  5. My beautiful one, come with me – Is it any wonder that spring is the time when most weddings take place? The sun is out, the days are longer, and the flowers are ready for her bouquet. It’s a time to love, to laugh, to have fun.

Spring is a time to let go of the past and embrace the future. You should not allow past disappointments to cloud your future. The COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020 has plunged the world into darkness. The winter is not quite over, but we can see the sun peeping out from behind the clouds. It’s time to throw off the heavy cloak of depression, lift your head high and walk into a new season. Winter is past.

Spring is also t-shirt season. No more sweaters and coats. Browse this collection of t-shirts at Angie’s Health Coaching. org. I’m sure you’ll find something to greet this new season.

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Lessons From Ukraine

Did you ever expect that 2022 would open with a war, and not just a war but one that has the potential to become World War III, as some are saying? As devastating as the news coming out of Ukraine is, there are some lessons we can learn that will help us in our daily lives.

Pilgrim Whynot, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  1. The first lesson we can learn is to be thankful for what we have. When was the last time you woke up and thought, I am so thankful for all that I have. As you look at the images of people clambering over logs, stumbling over makeshift bridges to escape the ravages of war, hugging each other and crying, aren’t you thankful for what you have?
  2. The second lesson we can learn is that nothing on this earth is promised. Not the next minute, the next hour or the next day. Like the people of Ukraine, you can lose everything, including your family, in a heartbeat. Show love to those you love; do not cling to things.
  3. Fight for what you believe in. The images of heroism displayed by the Ukranians have touched our hearts. Elderly men and women kneel before tanks to protect their freedom. The president continues to hold on and encourage his people, even though things look dim. What in your life is worth fighting for?
  4. Trust in Someone greater than yourself. There are some battles you cannot fight on your own. You need God to help you gain the victory. As I think about the war now raging between Russia and Ukraine, I’m reminded of the Bible story of David and Goliath. David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (You can read the rest of the story in 1 Samuel 17: 45-51).

Some of you reading this may have had to fight your own battles. You may have won some and you may have lost some. Right now you may be fighting a battle against some form of disease—diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic pain—and it may seem like you are losing. Look over the points above. I hope they will encourage and inspire you to be thankful, love others and not things, keep on fighting, and trust in the Lord.

When have you been in a battle? How did you react? Share it in the comment box below.

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T-shirts An Essential Part Of Your Wardrobe

From dropping the kids off to school, going for a walk, shopping, or just relaxing around the house, T-shirts have become a must-have in every woman’s casual wardrobe. T-shirts can make a fashion statement — if you buy designer quality — or you can use them to support a cause, or simply share your beliefs.

Since t-shirts take a lot of wear, they are usually made of cotton, which can be easily laundered and require no ironing. Many are loose fitting for a comfortable wear, or they may be shapely to accentuate your figure, like the Ladies’ Boyfriend T-shirt shown on this page. T-shirts are usually worn with jeans, but they look just as well when paired with a nice midi skirt.

As you can see, the t-shirts shown here have a Christian, inspirational message. They are meant to not only help you share your faith, but also inspire and encourage others who look at them. The t-shirts come in a variety of colors and sizes ranging from XS to 3 XL. If you have not done so yet, please check them out here.

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ICYMI: Bible Verses About Love

Last week we celebrated Valentine’s Day. For many of us, the day passed in a whirl of gift-giving and receiving and visiting our favorite restaurant. All of that is good; after all, Valentine’s Day is especially set aside for showing our love to that special someone in our life.

But true love goes deeper than that. We have to have love in our hearts in order to express it to someone else. You can’t give of what you don’t have. To understand the true meaning of love, I look to the Holy Bible, God’s love letter to us, and I invite you to do the same.

The post below is an infographic of Bible verses about love, which I hope you will read, understand and let it guide you in your relationships with God and your fellow human beings. Just click this link:

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Valentine’s Day -More Than Flowers and Candy

According to one news report, Americans are expected to spend around $24 billion this Valentine’s Day, and the average person will spend approximately $175 on flowers, candy and other popular Valentine’s Day gifts. How much will you spend?

As I reflect on the staggering figures, I wonder how much of this splurging is the result of true love and how much is just, well, ritual? Don’t get me wrong. If a man loves a woman and he can afford to give her a million- dollar diamond, I see nothing wrong with that. But if it’s just because he can afford it and deep down inside he doesn’t really care, why go to such extravagant lengths?

I don’t know what Valentine’s Day spending was like in previous years, but reports suggest that this year, with the pandemic slowly declining, more people will go out on a date to celebrate their love. Which brings me to a touching story I came across in my devotional reading this morning. It goes like this:

An elderly couple met and fell in love. Even though they lived in separate countries, a mere fifteen minutes away, they cooked meals and spent time together every day. Then came the pandemic, and the borders were closed. Still, the couple met at the border every day at a specified time. They stayed in their lane and shared a picnic. Nothing can quench love, not even a pandemic.

Other touching stories emerged about love in action during the pandemic. In Italy, we saw residents opening their windows and singing to cheer each other up. We saw relatives drive by, honk their horns and wave to an elderly man celebrating his birthday. While we were forced to stay in our homes, we kept in touch with friends and loved ones through Zoom hook-ups and telephone calls. That is what love is all about.

Love is more than flushed cheeks, sweaty palms and palpitating hearts. It’s acting on that love. Going out of your way to show others that you care. And the wonderful thing about love is that it benefits the giver as well as the recipient.

The Bible has a lot to say about love. In fact, most of the Bible is God’s love letter to His people. He loves us with an unconditional love. We don’t have to do anything for Him to love us. He loves us because it’s His nature to love. And Jesus commands us, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13: 34-35

So today, if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day and wondering how you can show love, let me leave you with these words from 1 Corinthians 13: 4: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”

How do you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Leave a comment in the box below.

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What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Have you had one of these days? It’s Monday morning, snowing outside (as I’m sure it is for some of you), you have a scratchy throat, and you have to go to work. You stumble out of bed, put on the coffee pot and grab a quick shower. In a few minutes, you are on your way to work, wishing you were still in your nice, warm bed.

Public domain pictures

Everything goes well for the first couple miles, and just when you are beginning to feel glad you made the effort to leave your house, you hear a chug chug chug and your car slows to a halt. You don’t have to get out to see what happened. You have a flat. On your way to work. On a snowy morning.

So what can you do? You can try to change it (if you know how), or you can cry (that sometimes helps), or you can pray (that always helps). And I mean always. A handsome state trooper may not come your way in the next 24 hours, but when you call for Roadside Assistance, a tow truck may be just 5 minutes away. It happens.

I used the example of getting a flat tire on your way to work on a snowy morning, but you can substitute it with any situation where things didn’t go the way you expected: you didn’t get the job; your child’s baby sitter packed up and moved to Africa without informing you; your medical test result was not what you hoped for.

How many times have you been disappointed, or worse, traumatized when things don’t go the way you expected. It happens to all of us. You can indulge in self-pity, tell all your friends how unlucky you are, or you can do one or all of the following:

  1. Face the situation squarely.
  2. Consider your options: pray for wisdom.
  3. Do what you can – try changing the tire yourself, call RA or drive to the nearest tire shop (if it’s a flat tire), follow your doctor’s advice (if it’s a health problem), pray some more and wait it out.
  4. If the situation seems impossible, leave it alone or start afresh.
  5. Don’t take out your misery on others.
  6. Keep a positive attitude.

Life would not be what it is if we didn’t encounter days when things just go wrong. Unfortunate as they may be, those days don’t come to destroy us; they only come to make us stronger. If we ask God’s help and listen to what He is saying to us, we come up with solutions that will equip us to deal with similar situations when they occur. So, the next time something happens that can spoil your day, just look up and say, “With God’s help I’ll get through this.”

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Insufficient Sleep and Type 2 Diabetes

Everyone at some point has endured the effects of a night of insufficient sleep. Some of it may have been through your doing, but for many people with type 2 diabetes, insufficient sleep is another complication of your condition and can even worsen it.

Courtesy morgue file

A dangerous practice

Some people pride themselves on being short sleepers. They go to bed at 2 .00 a.m and are up at 6.00. For those people, energy, as well as their level of concentration, begins to flag by mid-afternoon. When this happens, they may reach for the coffee pot and a donut or some other sugary treat. Do you know this is a dangerous practice?

Snacking can affect glucose levels

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders(NIDDK), some people consume excess calories in addition to their regular meals through snacking during the day and into the night. This, says the NIDDK, reduces the duration of the overnight fast and affects glucose regulation.

A risk factor for diabetes

Now, if you are wondering if insufficient sleep, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep can impact your diabetes, the answer is yes. And if you are young and healthy and not yet diabetic, you can develop prediabetes. In addition, poor sleep can contribute to obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes.

If you are getting insufficient sleep at nights, Medline Plus recommends you do the following:

  1. Write down in your journal the thoughts that keep you awake. This way you transfer your worries from your mind to paper, leaving you free to sleep.
  2. Walk at least 30 minutes a day or include some form of physical activity.
  3. Reduce your caffeine intake. Cut back on smoking and alcohol.
  4. Go to bed around the same time every day, but not more than 8 hours before you expect to start your day.
  5. Avoid eating heavy meals at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  6. Turn off your computer, TV, cellphone near your bedtime.
  7. Ask your doctor about any medications you are taking that may interfere with sleep.
  8. Do not work or eat in bed. Your bed is for sleeping only.

Getting insufficient sleep can sap your energy, make you irritable and unable to perform your duties effectively. Worse yet, it can lead to you developing prediabetes or diabetes. If you are in the habit of not getting enough sleep, speak to your doctor first and follow the tips above to help you make some lifestyle changes.

NL 3900 Ladies’ Boyfriend T-shirt

Check out this inspirational ladies’ t-shirt that comes in several colors and sizes. It’s a good way for you to affirm your faith and inspire yourself and others.

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