Low-Carb Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

This content originally appeared on Sugar-Free Mom. Republished with permission.

It may seem like a bit of work, but it’s a pretty simple recipe with 3 easy layers of deliciousness!

The first layer is like a shortbread crust made without almond or other nuts for those who have tree nut allergies like my youngest son. The middle is all cheesecake filling and it’s topped with a crumble of apples and coconut flour mixture to make it have some fabulous texture once baked!

Of course it’s best if chilled, but you could certainly enjoy it straight from the oven. Just be sure to allow it some time to set or it will fall apart when you try cutting into it. Cheesecake and crusts without gluten are known for that, just part of the issue baking low-carb. Wait a bit and this will slice easily. Enjoy it with some of my Sugar-Free Caramel Sauce on top!

Low-Carb Apple Cheesecake Bar

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Keto Low-Carb Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

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Your bite of fall: Shortbread crust filled with creamy cheesecake and topped with a crumble of apples.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, cheesecake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 bars
Calories 229kcal

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Caramel Liquid Stevia or 1/2 cup sweetener of choice

Cheesecake filling

  • 16 ounces cream cheese room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp apple extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Caramel Liquid Stevia

Topping

  • 3/4 cup apples skinless, diced
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp Caramel liquid stevia

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine crust ingredients together in a bowl and stir well until combined. Spread onto a parchment-lined, 8-by-8-inch baking dish.
  • Combine all cheesecake ingredients in a stand mixer, or use an electric mixer on medium speed, until smooth and well incorporated. Taste and adjust stevia if needed. Spread the cheesecake filling over the crust evenly.
  • Mix the topping ingredients together in a small bowl, then sprinkle mixture over the cheesecake. Bake for 30 minutes, then chill 3-4 hours to set or overnight. Top with sugar-free caramel sauce, if desired.

Notes

Recipe Notes

  • Net carbs: 4g

Brenda’s Notes: 

 

Nutrition

Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 723IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Low-Carb Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Baked Cucumber Chips With Salt & Vinegar Flavor

This content originally appeared on Low Carb Yum. Republished with permission.

Although most of our cucumber plants got destroyed by a wild animal, we managed to get a few more cucumbers from the garden. A friend with a productive garden also gave us a couple more.

With all the cucumbers laying around, I figured I better find a good use for them. So, I pulled my Excaliber dehydrator out of storage so I could preserve some. The dehydrator is basically just a low temperature convection oven used to slowly remove moisture from foods. It’s perfect for preserving fruits and vegetables.

I decided make a batch of salt and vinegar baked cucumber chips. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can bake them at a low temperature in a regular oven as well. I prefer using a dehydrator to make vegetable chips because they come out better. And, you don’t have to worry about cooking them too long and burning. However, it is a lot faster to make these baked cucumber chips in the oven. It takes only 3-4 hours compared to the 8-10 hours when using the dehydrator.

It’s best to use a mandoline to get consistently thin slices. I used an old Pampered chef mandoline slicer that isn’t available anymore.

If you don’t like vinegar, you can leave it out for plain salted chips. However, salt and vinegar was always my favorite potato chip so I wanted to have a low-carb version.

Baked Cucumber Chips

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Baked Cucumber Chips

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Baked salt and vinegar baked cucumber chips are a healthier low-carb snack. They are easy to make and low in calories, too.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Cucumbers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 25kcal

Equipment

  • Excaliber dehydrator or oven, mandoline slicer

Ingredients

  • 2 medium cucumbers or 3 small ones
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or vinegar of choice (omit for regular chips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or more if needed

Instructions

  • Slice cucumber very thin. Use a mandoline slicer for best results.
  • Remove excess moisture from slices using a paper towel.
  • Put cucumber slices in a large bowl and toss with oil, vinegar, and salt.
  • For dehydrator: Place slices on trays and dry at 125-135°F for 10-12 hours or until crispy.
  • For oven: Place slices on parchment lined baking tray. Dry at 175°F for 3-4 hours or until crispy.
  • Allow slices to cool before serving.

Notes

If using foil lined pans, don’t cut the cucumbers too thin and be sure to flip half-way so they can be removed easier.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 396mg | Potassium: 51mg | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

 

Baked Cucumber Chips Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Healthy, Low-Carb Flaxseed Hamburger Buns

This content originally appeared on ForGoodMeasure. Republished with permission.

The obvious low-carb bun option is a crispy bed of iceberg lettuce. I’ll admit it has merit —  refreshing, crunchy & guilt-free. But sometimes you want something more — more substantial, more bread-like. Nutrient-rich, high-fiber ground flaxseed ensures this recipe’s low-carb footprint, while apple cider vinegar combines with baking soda to lend these buns the airy lift we expect from a yeast bread. A great base layer for Apple Turkey BurgersSalmon Cakes or for a lighter, vegetarian option, try a Zucchini Latke.

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Healthy, Low-Carb Flaxseed Hamburger Buns

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When a bed of iceberg lettuce as a replacement to a high-carb bun isn't satisfying, this is a great option.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword bread, bun
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 buns
Calories 233kcal

Equipment

  • oven

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  • Mix flax meal, baking soda, salt, caraway seeds & pepper in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, melt butter.
  • Add eggs, apple cider vinegar & maple syrup, whisking until well combined.
  • Add egg mixture to flax mixture, stirring until well combined.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Scoop ¼ cup portions of mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, press to flatten slightly.
  • Top with sesame seeds
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.

Notes

  • Naturally low-carb & gluten-free
  • Net carbs: 2g

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 467mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Healthy, Low-Carb Flaxseed Hamburger Buns Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

REVIEW: Companion Medical’s InPen, A Smart Delivery System

Companion Medical’s smart insulin delivery, the InPen, is a reusable injector pen plus user-friendly mobile device which allows individuals to improve their diabetes management. I choose multiple daily injections (MDI) over a pump for various reasons, but I cannot deny that a pump allows for more precise calculations. With InPen, people on multiple daily injections can achieve the same accuracy plus so much more!

What Is It?

The InPen is a reusable injector pen that not only helps you calculate your doses but also keeps a log of insulin data for up to a year. The InPen connects, via Bluetooth, to the smartphone app, and keeps track of all your insulin deliveries.

InPen is now approved for all ages (7 and over, or under the supervision of an adult), who are insulin-dependent. The pen can deliver between .5 units to 30 units of insulin, dialed in half-unit increments. The pen is compatible with the Lily Humalog, Novo Nordisk Novolog and Fiasp U-100 3.0 ml insulin cartridges.

InPen is compatible with all Apple iOS devices that support iOS 10 or greater. It is also compatible with Android (more info about compatibility here).

What Does It Do?

I made sure to use this pen for about a month before writing my review. I am in awe of how easy this pen makes my management. Up to now, to be quite frank, I am guilty of a lot of “WAGS” (wild a** guesses) and then winding up too high or too low. I also really never kept tabs on when my last insulin dose was, so would find myself stacking quite often. Thanks to InPen, a lot of this carelessness has been eliminated. Here are all the amazing things it can do:

1. Insulin delivery information

The InPen connects to the app via Bluetooth which allows the app to store your insulin delivery information and shows you how much insulin you have taken and how much you have on board. There have been so many times when I would correct a high, not realizing I still had insulin on board, which led to episodes of hypoglycemia. As you can see here, your information appears in real time from your lock screen.

InPen Screenshot 1

Screenshot from Companion Medical

2. Built-in calculator

The InPen has a built-in calculator to help you get the most accurate dose possible. Your physician enters your settings, and it will give a recommendation on how much to dose. It takes into account your previous insulin delivery, your current blood sugar and the number of carbs you are eating. Since I have been using this feature, my blood sugars have improved greatly.

InPen Screenshot 2

Screenshot from Companion Medical

3. Reminders

It also has a reminder to take your long-lasting insulin. There have been so many times when I can’t remember if I took my Tresiba. I know this is a common problem for people on daily injections. This takes the burden off of the individual and has proven to be one of my favorite features.

InPen Screenshot 3

Photo credit: Companion Medical

4. Reports

The InPen generates reports that you can share with your healthcare team. These comprehensive reports will allow for easier decisions regarding changes to your diabetes management.

Screenshot from Companion Medical

5. Temperature alerts

The InPen comes complete with temperature alerts! It will notify you anytime your pen is in temperatures too hot or too cold which could make your insulin ineffective. This will come in handy during my next vacation or even if I leave my bag in the car for too long.

6. Syncing to Dexcom

InPen can sync up to the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor, via the Health app. This allows you to see your continuous glucose monitor graph on your logbook and reporting feature of the app.

Screenshot from Companion Medical

How Can I Get the InPen?

Many commercial insurance companies cover InPen, you can fill out this form and a representative will contact you about your copay. They also have a copay assistance program.  Commercially insured InPen customers will not have to pay more than $35 dollars a year which is a small price for better control.

Conclusion

I think InPen is a game-changer for anyone on multiple daily injections. With all of the capabilities the InPen offers, I can achieve better blood sugar numbers. I feel more in control of my diabetes because now I am confident that I am administering the right doses. I am also avoiding stacking insulin, which means fewer blood sugar roller coasters, and now I also have reminders to take my long-lasting insulin.

InPen can also help empower children to make better choices and manage their own diabetes. You can even sync two different pens if a child wanted to leave one pen at school and one at home.

Using InPen has helped me take back some control of my diabetes. It allows me to feel more in control and allows me to spend less time thinking about my condition. I can’t imagine going back to MDI without InPen in my toolbox and highly recommend this to anyone else who prefers injections over the pump.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Healthiest and Most Efficient Ways to Treat a Low

Everyone who lives with diabetes has been there: you wake up low in the middle of the night, make your way (wobbly) to the kitchen, and completely overeat with sugary snacks, quickly sending your blood sugar onto an endless roller coaster ride of highs and lows. It feels terrible to then wake up the next morning with high blood sugar, and seemingly sends your day into diabetes chaos. So, how can you prevent that? Here are the healthiest and most efficient ways to treat a low blood sugar, without all the negative repercussions.

Time Is Your Friend

It’s generally recommended to treat a low blood sugar with 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates to start, and then to wait 15 minutes, retest your blood sugar, and treat again, if you’re still low. This, of course, depends on your individual circumstances (body weight, hormones, activity level, stress, etc.), so follow your doctor’s recommendations, but that’s the general rule of thumb.

What most people do, though, is to treat with 15 grams, and then keep on eating, because they still feel bad. But just like insulin, carbohydrates take some time to hit your bloodstream, so even if you’re still feeling low, you need to trust the process and wait until the sugar starts to work.

Don’t Overtreat with Sugar

The line between being low and being hungry is sometimes thin, and often one will conflate the other. If you’re low but also feeling the need to snack, try and pair your low treat with something higher in fat and protein: an apple (to treat the low) paired with peanut butter (to fix your hunger pangs) works nicely, and won’t send you into a rebound high. Cereal and milk is another nice pairing, or even cheese and a pear. Make sure to eat the fast-acting carbohydrate first, though, to adequately treat the low blood sugar, before enjoying a higher fat or protein snack thereafter.

Additionally, you may need to actually bolus to cover a snack after you’ve treated your low. Don’t forget to do this, as it’s crucial to preventing a rebound high!

Don’t Treat Lows with Foods You Love

Stopping the treatment of a low blood sugar at 15 grams of carbohydrates is a lot harder when it’s mint chocolate chip ice cream or a brownie sundae. If you’re having trouble with the overtreatment of lows, try to treat it as purely medical: eating only glucose tablets or some other form of fast-acting carbohydrate that you save solely for the treatment of hypoglycemia (and that you won’t be tempted to overtreat with!).

For me, coconut water and glucose gels are perfect for this. It’s measurable and not all that enjoyable to eat, and stopping at 15 grams of carbohydrates is very easy.

Apples, oranges, grapes, and bananas are all great low snacks. Photo credit: Adobe Stock

Eat Fresh and Use a Food Scale

If you’re trying to have a healthier low snack, try avoiding pre-packaged foods: crackers, granola bars and fruit snacks are all processed, and usually contain lots of preservatives, emulsifiers and fillers. Opting for something that doesn’t come prepackaged will be healthier in the long run: apples, oranges, grapes, and bananas are all great low snacks.

This can become tricky when tracking carbohydrates, though, so using a food scale to count the exact amount of carbohydrates you’re getting will be key to not overtreating. Apples, for example, can range anywhere from 15-50 grams of carbohydrate, so make sure you’re weighing your fresh produce! You can even do this ahead of time, and pack baggies of pre-cut and weighed fruit for a quick grab and go options for when you drop low.

Give Yourself Some Grace

At the end of the day, you are a human being trying to function as a vital organ 24 hours a day. It’s hard. You will have high and low blood sugars, and your treatment of them won’t always be perfect. You are allowed to make mistakes and missteps and second guess yourself while figuring your way out of a 50 mg/dL. And if that means eating a little too much of something not entirely healthy one time (or more often than not), it’s okay. Allow yourself some grace to figure out what management style will work best for you. You will make mistakes, so try and learn the best you can, and forgive yourself often.

What’s your favorite and most convenient low snack? What low treatment works best for you? Do you struggle with the “roller-coaster” after treating a low? Share this post and comment below; we love hearing from our readers!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Diabetes Deadliest Mistakes

Whether you are living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you likely take medication that helps keep you alive and functioning properly. We continually measure, count and remind ourselves to take our medication and/or insulin very meticulously to ensure we are taking the proper medication and correct doses.

But we are human, and mistakes do occur. Sometimes these mistakes can be deadly.

Recently, while mid-conversation, I managed to take 18 units of Fiasp instead of my long-lasting insulin, Tresiba. This has happened to me one time before when I was first diagnosed when I took 16 units of Humalog instead of Lantus. My endocrinologist sent me right to the hospital because at the time I was new, nervous and unable to handle it on my own. This time, the moment I released the needle from my skin my stomach dropped to my feet.

Fiasp is even faster-acting than Humalog and I knew I had minutes to ingest a whole lot of carbs to counteract the large amount of insulin I had just taken.

I managed to inhale over 200 g of carbs in 20 minutes in the midst of a mild panic attack. I was nauseous, jittery and scared for what lay ahead. The day wound up being a series of lows but I was lucky I came out of it unscathed. Had I not realized I took the wrong insulin I could have easily passed out, had a seizure or died. My original plan for the day was to kick it off with a walk to a nearby shopping center so had I not realized, my blood sugars could have plummeted and I could have been left for dead on the side of the road.

I got lucky. We all have gotten lucky. Some have not. Many of us, unfortunately, know people who have lost their lives due to a diabetes mistake; and yes, sometimes their own.

I asked our friends in the diabetes online community what their biggest and deadliest diabetes mistakes were and this is what they had to say.

“I forgot a snack after breastfeeding and had my first hypoglycemic seizure. The first reading they could get was 27.”

“I am a type 2 diabetic and sometimes get shaky and I know I need a snack. I grabbed a brownie as I left my house but I wasn’t feeling any better. I realized that I grabbed a low-carb brownie so it wasn’t going to help raise my blood sugar! I wound up having to stop for a soda.”

“I’ve mixed up my insulin before. 27 units of Humalog is much different than 27 units of Levemir!”

“In my last year before I quit drinking, there were 2 distinct times I can remember where I was so low and so drunk I couldn’t figure out how to get food to save my life. One time I had my friend help me. The other time I went back to sleep and miraculously woke up the next morning.”

“I took some expired test strips from someone in the diabetes online community. For days I kept reading really high and couldn’t understand why. Finally, I rage bolused and took a hefty correction dose. I started seeing spots and beads of sweat formulated all over my entire body. My reading was 28. Turns out those test strips were bad and I could have killed myself trying to save a couple of bucks.”

“I forgot to check my blood before I had breakfast and had a banana and shot up to 500!”

“I recently bolused for a snack twice. I was low in the middle of the night but the snack was larger than needed to fix so I did took a partial bolus and went back to sleep. I woke up and didn’t remember taking any insulin so I did it again. Rollecoasting ensued. I’ll mess up worse, I’ve only been at this for 2.5 years.”

“Bolused for 80 carbs instead of 8 before a workout without realizing it. Dexcom alerted and I quickly realized how much IOB I had. Apple juice and gels to the rescue.”

“I’m on Zyloprim for my gout and I fill my pill case once a week. I accidentally put Zolpidem in and was wondering why I kept waking up so damn tired!”

It is safe to say that managing our condition can be risky at times. We are administering medication and insulin, which can be extremely dangerous if the wrong dose is given. We must remain diligent at all times to avoid errors, all the while realizing that we are human and we do make mistakes. Have grace with yourself.

Have you ever made a dangerous mistake? Comment and share below, hopefully, we can help each other to avoid similar occurrences.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

A Letter to My 12 Year Old Self: Diabetes, 20 Years On

Dear Chrissy,

It’s June 20th, 2000, and right now you’re in the emergency department of the King’s Daughters Children’s Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. You were supposed to be on a weeklong vacation with your siblings and parents, frolicking in the salty seawater and eating cotton candy on the boardwalk of Virginia Beach, but instead, on day three of the trip, you’ve been rushed via ambulance to the ER, feeling weak, nauseous, and on the brink of unconsciousness. You’re small. An active cheerleader in your middle school, you’ve lost over 30 lbs in a little under a month, which is striking on your lithe frame. Every nurse notices how underweight you are.

The glucometer at the Urgent Care your parents took you to this morning simply read, “HIGH”. When the nurse looks at your parents and says the words, “your daughter has diabetes”, it’s the first time you’ve ever seen dad cry. You’re completely terrified that the word “diabetes” has “die” as the first syllable. Are you going to die? Thankfully, no. Not today, and not within the next 20 years, either.

The next few years will be hard, actually, they all are. Sadly, even though diabetes is technically “manageable”, it never really gets any easier, but you’ll become tougher. You will try out four different insulin pumps before you find one, at the ripe old age of 30 (and spoiler alert, it’s tubeless). You’ll prick your tiny, fragile fingers literally thousands of times, but in 15 years (the time will fly by, I promise), you’ll use a seemingly magical machine that checks your blood sugar 288 times per day for you, without you having to do A THING, and it’ll transmit the numbers to your telephone (those things are cordless in the future, too). Eventually, but I’m getting ahead of myself now, those numbers will talk to your insulin pump for you, and make dosing decisions while you drive, or work, or makeout, or go running, or read a novel. Science is pretty neat.

Once you start the 7th grade, you won’t tell anyone about your new mystery disease. Honestly? You’re embarrassed. The only other people you’ve ever met with diabetes were your elderly next-door neighbor’s sister and Wilford Brimley, from TV. You make your mom pinky swear that she won’t tell your friends’ moms, and you promise yourself that you just won’t attend sleepovers until you go away for college. Please don’t do this to yourself. Spare yourself the heartache. Diabetes will give you physical battle scars and mental wounds, but it will also develop some of the most beautiful attributes people will love about you: your compassion for others, your enthusiasm to live in the moment, your fearlessness in the face of adversity, your humility, your grace.

You’ll be the only 13-year-old girl drinking Tab at your bestie’s summer birthday party. Don’t be embarrassed. Exotically-flavored seltzer waters will be all the rage in 20 years. You’re just ahead of your time.

You’ll grow up quickly. You were always conscientious, polite, and studious, but having diabetes will make you disciplined, strong-willed, and courageous–you won’t really have a choice in the matter. Diabetes will toughen you where you’re soft; diabetes will break you open.

You’ll become obsessed with counting carbs (trust me, this is good), and dosing correctly (also good), but will become preternaturally focused on food and nutrition. You will deny and deny and deny. You’ll eat an apple when everyone is enjoying an ice cream; you’ll swear that string cheese is more fun than cookies. This can sometimes be good in the name of a better hba1c, but please, let yourself be a child for a little while longer. You’ll cry, because having a chronic disease can be very lonely and sad sometimes, and it’s okay to be sad sometimes, too. Go to therapy. It’ll be worth it.

Your mom will make you go to diabetes camp. You will resist going at every turn. You will cry and scream, and when she drops you off at the loading dock of Camp Setebaid, you swear you’ll never talk to her again. But by night three, you will have forgotten all about the hardships of living amongst “nons”. You’ll meet some of your closest friends at diabetes camp, and they’ll last a lifetime. You’ll have camp crushes, and camp kisses, and still remember campfire songs until your mid-30s. You’ll go waltzing with bears, and do the polar bear swim, and learn how to build a campfire, and get lost in the woods under a velvety night sky, and will learn how to use a cleavus, and will eat two dozen chocolate chip cookies one night when you accidentally replace your dose of Lantus with Humalog (oops). You’ll pee your pants laughing, and cry every summer when camp ends. You’ll make many friends along the way–friends who get it, who get you, for the first time ever. You’ll lose some of them over the years, to diabetes, or depression, or both, and will weep at their funerals. Your best camp friend will be in your wedding party in 17 years.

You’ll become tough. You never asked for this life, but you sure have made a point of living it to the fullest. There will be many doctors who will try and tell you things you can’t or shouldn’t do: join the swim team, play competitive sports, travel abroad, go to college out of state, have children–and you’ll prove most of them wrong. You will learn to not take no for an answer. You’ll develop an iron will. You’ll become gritty as hell.

Diabetes will encourage your interests in health and well-being, and out of college you’ll be a social worker, eventually getting your master of public health (I don’t think this degree exists in 2000, but it’s coming down the pike). You’ll be a vegetarian. You’ll run marathons. You’ll climb something that’s called a 14er (I know you live in Pennsylvania, but someday, when you live in Colorado, this will be a very big deal). You’ll find your dream job of working in diabetes advocacy, that will take your passion and use it to help thousands of other people who struggle with the same issues you do. You’ll change lives for the better.

One day, you’ll meet a man at work, who’s sweet and kind and compassionate. One evening, still in the early days of dating, you’ll notice he bought three containers of glucose tabs and stored them in his pantry without telling you. “Just so you feel safe here,” he says. Three years later, you’ll marry him.

In 20 years, you won’t have everything all figured out, but you’ll know more about who you are, and who you want to be. And diabetes, in large part, has helped to craft that. I know you’re seeing dad cry right now, so why don’t you go give him a hug and let him know everything will be okay. Because, really, in time, it will be.

Love,

Christine

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Keeping Your Immune System Healthy

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.

By Mariana Gomez and T’ara Smith

Perhaps you’ve read about boosting your immune system to protect you from infections and other illnesses, including the Coronavirus. But, there aren’t any magic foods, supplements, or one-size-fits-all solutions to boosting your immune system because it’s a complex network of cells, organs, tissues, and proteins. Still, healthy living provides its benefits, including keeping our immune systems strong, and research is being conducted to study the effects of nutrition, exercise, mental health, and others on our immune response.

How Diabetes Impacts Your Immune System

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. There is not enough evidence to identify the cause but we know that our immune system insulin-producing cells are destroyed. We now know that people with type 1 diabetes are more likely to have a co-occurring autoimmune disorder. The reason that co-occurring autoimmune disorders are so common isn’t yet known. We also know that hyperglycemia can affect our immune system’s response so it would represent a barrier for recovery and fighting virus and bacteria. This does not happen only in type 1 diabetes (T1D) but other types of diabetes as well.

People with type 2 diabetes should be aware of the impact the disease has on their immune system as well. Hyperglycemia in diabetes is a probable cause of the disruption of how the immune system functions. Humans also produce “natural killer” cells that are critical to human immunity. A study showed people with type 2 diabetes have lower counts of these cells compared to those without diabetes and with prediabetes. This makes it harder to defend the body against viruses, diseases, and diabetes-related complications.

Overall, people with diabetes are more susceptible to common infections such as the flu and pneumonia. To protect your immune system, stay up-to-date on your doctor’s visits, get vaccinated against the flu, and get screened for complications.

Essential Nutrients for a Strong Immune System

Another way you can protect your immune system is through nutrition. With a healthy diet, food can help protect you against illnesses and help improve recovery. Different foods contain different quantities and types of nutrients and micronutrients. Therefore it is important to include a variety of food groups in your diet. Vitamins A, B6, C, E, magnesium, and zinc play important roles in our immune function.

How Vitamins + Minerals Help Your Immune System

Vitamins and minerals are known as essential micronutrients. Even though they are needed for our health, our bodies can’t make them on our own or enough of essential micronutrients, therefore, they must be obtained through food. There are nearly 30 vitamins and minerals the human body can’t make on its own. A healthy diet will include different groups of foods that contain some of these nutrients.

Micronutrient malnutrition results in a lack of vitamins and trace minerals that can affect the response of our immune system to fight different health conditions. The NIH lists the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for vitamins and minerals. While this provides general guidelines for different age groups, please talk to a nutritionist or your doctor about recommended intakes for you.

Vitamin A is an anti-inflammation vitamin that helps develop and regulate the immune system and protect against infections. This Vitamin can be found in sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs, and milk. While vitamin A is important, it is possible to consume too much of it. High intake of vitamin A from supplements and some medications can cause headaches, dizziness, coma, and death. According to the NIH, pregnant women shouldn’t consume high doses of vitamin A supplements.

Vitamin B6 helps improve immune response to the increase in the production of antibodies, a protective protein produced by the immune system to fight antigens in the body. Vitamin B6 is found in a variety of foods. Food sources of vitamin B6 include pork, fish, poultry, bread, eggs, cottage cheese, tofu, and wholegrain foods such as oatmeal and brown rice. Getting too much vitamin B6 from food is rare. However, from supplements, long-term use for a year or more can lead to nerve damage.

Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid, helps your immune system by fighting free radicals that cause cancer and other diseases. It’s a popular nutrient to fight or treat the common cold. While focusing on vitamin C consumption may not prevent you from getting sick, it could decrease the length and severity of cold symptoms. It also helps by stimulating the formation of antibodies. This vitamin can be found in oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice, among others. Too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps.

Vitamin E works as an antioxidant, which protects the cells from damage by free radicals and helps the body fight infections. This vitamin can be found in sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils, hazelnuts, and spinach and other green leafy vegetables. There isn’t a risk of consuming too much vitamin E from foods. Precautions should be taken when taking supplements, which could interfere with other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Magnesium is a nutrient that our body needs to regulate the function and work of our muscles and the nervous system. It is involved in the process of forming protein, bone mass and genetic material. It is found in legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, milk, yogurt among others.

Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It helps the immune system fight bacteria and viruses and is needed to produce proteins and DNA. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood, the body requires zinc to grow. Zinc can be found in oysters, red meat, poultry, crab, lobster, cereals, beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products.

Drinks That Help Your Immune System

You can find or create your own drinks to help your immune system. Some beverages you may want to try at home that are high in important immune-friendly vitamins are:

*Juices may be high in carbs and sugar, so if you can, opt for unsweetened teas like green/chamomile teas, or whole fruits.”

Alcoholic beverages are generally fine to consume in moderation. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to a weaker immune system. Heavy drinkers are more likely to get pneumonia and drinking too much alcohol at once can slow your body’s ability to ward off infections.

Should You Use Supplements to Help Your Immune System?

Supplements are used in cases where diet is not able to sufficiently provide micronutrients. While supplements aren’t meant to replace a balanced diet, they’re used to help people with other health conditions and may be prone to nutrient deficiencies. Many vitamin and mineral supplements can be purchased over the counter. But, check with your physician or a registered dietitian nutritionist to see if you actually need them. If you’re taking other medications, talk to your doctor on how vitamin and mineral supplements can interfere with those drugs.

Other Things You Can Do to Stay Healthy

A healthy diet is definitely a big part of remaining healthy. Other things you can do on a regular basis to maintain your health is to practice good hygiene (i.e. washing your hands), see your healthcare provider routinely, keeping an emergency medical plan and your emergency contacts updated. Also, prioritize physical activity and refrain from smoking. From a mental and emotional health perspective, practice stress-relieving techniques and know the signs of diabetes burnout.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara

This content originally appeared on ForGoodMeasure. Republished with permission.

Raw food followers believe heat kills food’s nutrients & natural enzymes. For those of us who like high temperatures, cooking changes a lot of things, most significantly … flavor. This sauce is no exception. A classic marinara with the combination of tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs, however, the addition of sun-dried tomatoes and lack of heat, elevate the intensity to something altogether unexpected.

Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara

This recipe works great as sauce for your homemade pizza, poured over zucchini linguini or as an accompaniment to your morning fried eggs.

  • 4 cups tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (drained if in oil)
  • 1 cup basil
  • ½ cup parsley (chopped)
  • ¼ cup red onion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. Using the processor, combine tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, onion, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, chili flakes, syrup, oregano, salt and pepper, until thick and creamy.

Naturally low-carb and gluten-free.

Net carbs: 6g

Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) at 30,000 Feet

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.

By PK Hrezo

Twist of Fate?

It’s coincidental, if not oddly poetic, that type 1 diabetes presented itself to my family and me for the first time just two weeks before National Diabetes Awareness Month — a time we won’t soon forget.

Until that night, I thought type 1 diabetes (T1D) was something that kids were born with. I never thought it could be presented at any stage of life. I’d participated in JDRF walks before for friends and charity, so I knew the bare minimum. It had never been suggested to me by medical professionals that T1D was something all parents should keep an eye out for. Perhaps I hadn’t consulted the Parent Handbook regularly enough. But face-to-face with T1D for the first time, it was clear, I was on the brink of full-on parental guilt.

T1D did not run in our family, but that was the first question the ER doctor asked me while my thirteen-year-old daughter Abby was lying on the ER stretcher, nearly comatose, during a severe DKA episode in Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 19th, 2019.

DKA

Image source: Beyond Type 1

I was far from home, away from my husband, family and friends, and I was shell-shocked.

The Backstory

Abby and I had been planning a girl’s weekend to Paris for years, just the two of us, and it was to be the weekend of October 18th. Abby was beyond excited, which now, looking back, is probably what propelled her through the symptoms that we ignored as pre-DKA indicators. But we didn’t know. All we knew was that Abby had been under the weather for about a week – not herself, more tired than usual, and her ear had been bothering her just enough to prompt us to see the family doctor before getting on a plane.

We saw a nurse practitioner who checked Abby’s vitals and said her throat was red, but no ear fluid, and that she’d be okay for travel with some Mucinex. That night, Abby didn’t sleep at all. She woke up and stayed up for most of the night with indigestion. When she looked exhausted the next morning, we chalked it up to a bad night’s sleep.

Once we got to our connection at Chicago O’Hare, Abby seemed to be even more exhausted than before. Looking back, I realize the altitude from the plane ride from Tampa to Chicago had an adverse effect on her already gradual decline into DKA. She was uncomfortable in any position, and very thirsty for sweet, juicy-type drinks. She had an apple juice, a smoothie, a sweet tea with honey – all of these, unbeknownst to me, were contributing to the high sugars that would send her into DKA. I thought I was keeping her hydrated to flush out the virus, but sadly, all I was doing was shoveling more sugars into her bloodstream.

When Abby looked at me during our long layover and said she thought Paris would be a bad idea, I was both glad she’d owned up to it and puzzled by her sudden change. Of course, I wanted to do what was best for her. She mentioned one of our backup destinations — somewhere closer where we could still have our mother-daughter weekend but relax without the hustle and bustle of a busy city. We were already part of the way to another place, so we chose a pleasant B&B in Halifax, where it’d be autumn and beautiful. I made our arrangements and we headed to the next gate.

In Hindsight

If I could redo that day, I wouldn’t have put her on a plane to Canada, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have made a different mistake. I might have booked a room in Chicago, so we could rest and she could sleep it off, which could have been fatal, since I still didn’t know she was in near-DKA.

I called my husband and told him how Abby was behaving, and that we’d changed plans. He was surprised, but agreed she likely just needed rest. That was also about the time doubt squirmed its way into my mind. People were beginning to stare at her. She was stumbling to the bathroom, and she just kept saying she was tired and needed to sleep. I was eager to get out of the airport and settle down somewhere so we could get back to normal. Little did I know, that normal had left us for good.

We pressed on and boarded the aircraft, and after about thirty minutes into the flight, my mommy senses went full-on haywire. What had I done? Something was wrong with Abby — I had no idea what, only that something wasn’t right, and it was too late for us to turn around. Tears welled in my eyes and I stared out the window wondering how I could’ve made such a big mistake.

Completely in the Dark

Abby could hardly hold her cup of ice she’d been munching on. She was dropping everything, and I was getting frustrated, because I’d never seen her that way, and I knew something was happening that she wasn’t telling me. “Talk to me,” I kept saying to her. “I don’t understand what’s going on.”

But Abby didn’t understand what was happening to her either. She complained that her lungs were hurting. Her lungs? I didn’t know if she was exaggerating or if she was having an allergy attack. How did all of those symptoms measure up to exhaustion and a virus? It didn’t make any sense.

Abby got up to use the bathroom again and was gone for quite a while — this is what I now know as T1D’s excessive peeing symptom. I was just about to go check on her, when she returned to our seat and laid over me. Her voice was barely audible when she complained again of her lungs hurting.

“Is there a doctor here?” she asked me in hardly a whisper.

“No,” I told her calmly. “But we’ll find one when we land.”

My nerves spiraled. I was, without a doubt, the worst mom ever. I decided that as soon as we landed, I’d call 911. We were halfway there. I held Abby as she laid over me in the row. And then she began to breathe heavily and rapidly.

I rubbed my hand up and down her arm. The stark difference between my hand temperature and hers was so alarming that I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer.

“Wait here,” I told her, and I beelined for the back of the plane where the two flight attendants stood in the galley.

“Can you see if there is a doctor onboard?” I asked. “I think there’s something wrong with my daughter.”

Team Work

Without hesitation, the flight attendants sprung into action and all the lights on the aircraft came on. While everything was moving in a blur for me, I returned to Abby and a passenger seated behind us, Nick Wasser, popped up as the announcement was made and identified himself as a nurse.

I explained Abby’s symptoms and everything up to that point, and a minute later, two more professionals appeared: Dr. Peter Laureijs and his wife, Beth, also a nurse. The flight attendants had oxygen and medical kits and they moved the passenger from the bulkhead row, so that Abby could be laid there on the floor. The doctor and nurses attended to her with great care, administering oxygen and checking her vitals.

I whispered a prayer and asked God for courage to get through whatever was to come, and that He might save my daughter. I remember very well, the moment when the woman in the adjacent row, Nick’s wife, Johanna, reached her hand over and lay it on mine, with tears in her eyes and said, “If you need anything, I’m right here.” The flight attendants checked on me throughout the remainder of the flight and made sure I was okay. They were in communication with the flight deck, and the pilots opted not to divert, but instead speed up the plane to get us to Halifax sooner, where IWK Health Centre would know how to care for whatever was wrong with Abby.

DKA

Image source: Beyond Type 1

They’d administered an IV by then, and that’s what saved Abby’s life, because unbeknownst to me she was dehydrating by the minute, as her bloodstream was filled with all that sugar that couldn’t be processed.

An ambulance waited on the tarmac when we landed. I could see their flashing lights out the window, and an announcement was made for no one to move until the EMTs had boarded and retrieved Abby. We started moving through the airport and Border Patrol gave me temporary paperwork and told me to call later after we knew what was going on. They wanted to make sure Abby wasn’t contagious, rightfully so, and that we weren’t bringing disease into Canada. At that point, we still had no idea what was happening.

On the ambulance, the EMT said her glucose level was 30 mmol/L (540 mg/DL). That didn’t mean anything to me. I said she’d had a lot of sweet drinks and nothing really to eat, so it was no surprise they were high. I was so naïve to the symptoms of T1D.

Learning the Ropes

The EMTs and ER staff that met us at IWK were all top-notch professionals with such warmth about them, that I never once felt alone, nor judged for my epic mom fail. While Abby was transferred to a bed and hooked up to all kinds of tubes, the ER doctor asked me a ton of questions, one of which was if diabetes was in the family.

“No,” I said informatively.

This is diabetes,” he said. “I can smell the ketones from here.”

“Ketones? What the heck are ketones?”

A word I’d later come to be acquainted with on a much deeper level. T1D had just blindsided me in a T-bone collision. Welcome to your new life. How had I not known? How had the doctor back home not identified it? Did this happen to other kids Abby’s age? Why did it wait so long to show up?

I stepped out and called my husband, and he, too, was in denial at first, insisting she’d probably just had a lot of sugar. Then I mentioned what the doctor said about smelling ketones, and it hit Nate like an anvil.

“Holy cow!” he said. “That’s what I smelled yesterday, remember? I said you need to brush your teeth because your breath smelled, and I thought it was you. I can’t believe I didn’t recognize it!”

Nate is a fire chief in Tarpon Springs and has thirteen years of experience in the EMT/first responder profession, and he has run across T1D patients a number of times.

Abby was admitted to PICU a few hours later where she was tended to by sweet, caring nurses for the next forty-eight hours, and where I would begin googling words and terms I’d never known before, in hopes of learning a lifetime worth of information within a couple of days.

Every time an ICU nurse would come in, I’d fire off questions, one of which being: “Does this type of thing happen very often?” One of the nurses said that in the last three months, they’d had eight cases of pediatric DKA where the parents had no idea that their child was T1D. After ICU, we moved to a room on the children’s ward, where we were introduced to managing T1D on our own. I was trained to use a glucometer and give insulin injections, and how to count carbs.

Making Sense of It All

I posted on Facebook when we finally returned home to Tampa. Sharing the signs of DKA with other parents seemed a priority, in hopes others could learn from my mistake. After my Facebook post went viral, I was contacted by so many other T1D parents and patients who have similar stories. So many of whom were turned away from doctors and ERs who also thought nothing was wrong.

I was an anxious ball of nerves when Abby and I finally received the okay to travel home to Tampa, because I’d be in charge of her insulin doses on my own for the first time. Since I learned dosages and glucose readings in Canadian measurements, I had to retrain my brain to switch over.

DKA

Image source: Beyond Type 1

The IWK nurses stayed in close contact with me throughout our journey home and advised me on what dosage to give after each blood reading. We had a doctor’s appointment the following morning with our new Tampa-based pediatric endocrinologist, and after one delayed flight to Newark, and another delayed flight to Tampa, we muddled through our insulin injections, and were able to get home and begin our new normal.

Together, our family is planning healthier food options with fewer carbs. We are making Abby’s lifestyle change our lifestyle change, we’re all watching our sugar intake. Once at home, I realized how fortunate we were to get help when we needed it, and I realized I didn’t know one of the nurse’s names from the flight. I also wanted to find out the flight crew of UA5596 so I could thank them. I made a Facebook post one morning asking others to help me find them, and I received an overwhelming response.

The post received almost 6K shares from people eager to pass on Abby’s story. The T1D community embraced me in a way I’ll forever be grateful for. Instead of feeling alone with this condition, I feel a part of something so much bigger than a crummy auto-immune disease, and I know a wealth of resources and support are waiting online should I need it.

While Abby and my weekend had not been the one of culture and mother-daughter bonding we’d hoped for, we found something else equally important. We learned that we are both stronger than we think, and that love and faith will get us through anything. We gained a new respect for life and its fragility, and humanity proved it’s still full of compassion. Since that fateful October night, Abby and I have been invited into a community of fellow T1Ds we never knew existed, and we’re reminded that there is strength in numbers, and that people truly are eager to help when given the chance. We are not alone.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

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