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Diabetes and Registered Dieticians

A registered dietician can help you fine-tune your diabetes diet. That can make it easier to lose weight and keep it off -- a key component of diabetes control. Or if you're frequently having symptoms of hyperglycemia -- high blood sugar -- or hypoglycemia -- low blood sugar -- the dietician can help you get better control. Dieticians are well-versed in using "food as medicine." That means using your meal plan as much as possible to help manage your diabetes. When you do, you don't have to overuse insulin or other diabetes medications.

A dietician can evaluate how many calories you need each day given your age, gender, and activity level. Meal planning includes using accurate serving sizes and choosing healthy foods. You may be able to find a dietician teaching diabetes nutrition classes through your local hospital. Or you can ask your endocrinologist to refer you to one for a few appointments.

Diabetes and Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Americans are increasingly turning to acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, and other alternative therapies to manage lifelong chronic conditions like diabetes. For diabetes, acupuncture may help relieve the pain associated with nerve damage (neuropathy) in the feet. Relaxation techniques like biofeedback, guided imagery, yoga, tai chi, and meditation can relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being.

A few supplements, such as ginseng, chromium, and magnesium, have been studied with diabetes. But further research is needed to understand how they interact with insulin and glucose. Be sure to tell your diabetes doctors about any supplements you're taking, including vitamin and mineral supplements. Supplements can boost or block the effects of diabetes medications you may be taking.

Diabetes and Your Dentist

You should see your dentist once a year to evaluate your teeth and gums. Gum problems are common with diabetes. So be sure to tell your dentist and oral hygienist that you have diabetes.

Diabetes and the Counselor or Psychologist

Having diabetes can bring on psychological challenges, from feeling stress to being depressed. Talking with a mental health counselor or psychologist can help you cope with these feelings, manage the stress of having a chronic illness, and stay positive.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by John A. Seibel, MD on July 17, 2012
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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