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Living Healthy with Type 1, 2 diabetes

Type 1, 2 diabetes

Possible Diabetes?

Take the Test. Know the Score

  Million of people do  have diabetes - and nearly one-third of them do not even know it! Take this test to see if you are at risk for having diabetes. Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. If you are a member of one of these ethnic groups, you need to pay special attention to this test.

To find out if you are at risk, write in the points next to each statement that is true for you. If a statement is not true, write a zero. Add your total score.

1. My weight is equal to or above that listed in the chart. YES  5  _____
2. I am under 65 years of age and I get little or no exercise during a usual day. YES   5  _____
3. I am between 45 and 64 years of age. YES  5 _____
4. I am 65 years old or older. YES  9 _____
5. I am a woman who has had a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth. YES  1  _____
6. I have a sister or a brother with diabetes. YES  1  _____
7. I have a parent with diabetes. YES  1  _____
TOTAL _____
Scoring 3-9 points

You are probably at low risk for having diabetes now. But don't just forget about it--especially if you are Hispanic/Latino, African American, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander. You may be at higher risk in the future. New guidelines recommend everyone age 45 and over consider being tested for the disease every three years. However, people at high risk should consider being tested at a younger age.

Scoring 10 or more points

You are at greater risk for having diabetes. Only your health care provider can determine if you have diabetes. See your health care provider soon and find out for sure.

At-risk Weight Chart

Height Weight

without shoes

Without clothing

4' 10"


4' 11"


5' 0"


5' 1"


5' 2"


5' 3"


5' 4"


5' 5"


5' 6"


5' 7"


5' 8"


5' 9"


5' 10"


5' 11"


6' 0"


6' 1"


6' 2"


6' 3"


6' 4"


If you weigh the same or more than the amount listed for your height, you may be at risk for diabetes. This chart is based on a measure called the Body Mass Index (BMI). The chart shows unhealthy weights for men and women age 35 or older at the listed heights. At-risk weights are lower for individuals under age 35.

Blood Glucose Testing

Testing can be done using the tips of the fingers, as well as Alternate Site Testing (AST) on such places as the sides of the hands, the forearm and the leg.  When in doubt or if a low is suspected always use the finger tip for most reliable results.  While most people do not find a time lag when using AST, current research recommends that lows be monitored through finger testing. 

Why is it important to test? 

In order to properly control your diabetes, it is important to know what you blood glucose levels are.  Too high or too low can lead to disastrous complications.

When to test?

This depends on if you have Type 1 Diabetes or not and how active you are. Current Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice guidelines suggest 6 times per day.  Many doctors suggest testing before each meal, before, after and during strenuous  physical activity, and before bed.  It may also be preferable to test at least once throughout the night to ensure that nighttime basal insulins are working properly. Please consult with your diabetes team to see how often you should test your blood glucose levels. 

But what does "blood glucose testing" mean? 

Glucose is a type of sugar.  The body forms glucose when it  breaks down the food we eat into a useable form of energy. Glucose is the body's main source of energy. Measuring the amount of glucose found in your blood helps to show how the body is breaking down food into energy, as well as how the liver is working.

Blood glucose testing may be Fasting--which is done after you have not eaten for 12-14 hours and is often used in a clinical setting to diagnose diabetes.  It may be a 2-hour Postprandial test which is testing done 2 hours after a meal. Finally, Random testing can be done.  This testing that occurs at various times throughout the day. 

Please remember that the above information is simply a guideline and in no way replaces medical advise.  Please speak with your doctor or diabetes care professional to determine what blood glucose levels are optimal for your care.  The above guidelines are based on the Canadian Diabetes Association's 2003 Clinical Practice Guidelines. 

Important information about AST

* Under certain conditions, blood glucose test results obtained using samples taken from your arm may differ significantly from fingertip samples.
* The conditions in which these differences are most likely to occur are when your blood glucose is changing rapidly such as following a meal, an insulin dose or associated with physical exercise.
* When blood glucose is changing rapidly, fingertip samples show these changes more quickly than arm samples.
* When your blood glucose is falling, testing with a fingertip sample may identify a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) level sooner than a test with an arm sample.
* Use arm samples only for testing prior to, or more than 2 hours after, meals, insulin dosing or physical exercise.
* Testing performed within two hours after a meal, an insulin dose or physical exercise, or whenever you feel that your glucose levels may be changing rapidly, should be done from the fingertip.
* You should also use fingertip testing whenever you have a concern about hypoglycemia (insulin reactions) such as when driving a car, particularly if you suffer from hypoglycemic unawareness (lack of symptoms to indicate an insulin reaction), as arm testing may fail to detect hypoglycemia. 

 Please remember all changes in insulin regimens must be discussed with your Doctor first!!!  Below is information to assist you in being more informed when speaking with them.

If You Have Diabetes. . .
A Flu Shot Can Be a Life Saver

The Facts Are. . .

  • People with diabetes are 3 times more likely to die from flu and pneumonia.

  • People with diabetes are 6 times more likely to be hospitalized with flu complications.

  • Death rate among people with diabetes can increase 5 to 15% during flu epidemics

  • Each year nationwide, 10,000 - 30,000 deaths among people with diabetes are associated with flu and pneumonia.

  • Fewer than 1/2 of the people diagnosed with diabetes receive the flu shot each year & only 1/3 report ever receiving the pneumococcal shot.

Take Control . . .

  • A pneumococcal shot can protect you from pneumonia and other infections caused by the same bacteria and should be taken approximately every ten years.

  • A yearly flu shot is safe and easy to administer, and it can be taken along with a pneumococcal shot.

  • Family members and those who care for people with diabetes should also receive the flu shot each year.

  • You can not get the flu from the flu vaccine because it does not contain a live virus.

For More Information About Diabetes and Flu Vaccine, contact:

Your Health Care Provider,

Have diabetes, will travel

Heading out of town? Leaving your troubles behind? Off on an important business trip? Whenever you travel, your diabetes makes the trip with you. While diabetes shouldn't stop you from traveling in style, you will need to do some careful planning. Here are some helpful diabetes travel tips from the National Diabetes Education Program:

Get all your immunizations. Find out what's required for where you're going and make sure you get the right shots on time.

Control your ABCs. See your healthcare provider for a checkup four to six weeks before your trip to make sure your alcohol, blood pressure and cholesterol are under control and in a healthy range before you leave.

Ask your healthcare provider for a prescription and a letter explaining your diabetes medication, supplies and any allergies. Carry this with you at all times on your trip. The prescription should be for insulin or diabetes medications and could help in case of an emergency.

Wear identification that explains you have diabetes. The identification should be written in the languages of the places you are visiting.

Plan for time zone changes. Make sure you'll always know when to take your diabetes medicine, no matter where you are. Remember: eastward travel means a shorter day. If you inject insulin, less might be needed. Westward travel means a longer day, so more insulin might be needed.

Find out how long the flight will be and whether meals will be served. However, you should always carry enough food to cover the entire flight time in case of delays or unexpected schedule changes.


Take twice the amount of diabetes medication and supplies that you'd normally need. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Keep your insulin cool by packing it in an insulated bag with refrigerated gel packs.

If you use insulin, make sure you also pack a glucagon emergency kit.

Make sure you keep your medical insurance card and emergency phone numbers handy.

Don't forget to pack a first-aid kit with all the essentials.


Plan to carry all your diabetes supplies in your carry-on luggage. Don't risk a lost suitcase.

Have all syringes and insulin delivery systems (including vials of insulin) clearly marked with the pharmaceutical preprinted label that identifies the medications. The FAA recommends that patients travel with their original pharmacy labeled packaging.
Keep your diabetes medications and emergency snacks with you at your seat. Don't store them in an overhead bin.

If the airline offers a meal for your flight, call ahead for a diabetic, low-fat or low-cholesterol meal.

Wait until your food is about to be served before you take your insulin. Otherwise, a delay in the meal could lead to low blood glucose.

If no food is offered on your flight, bring a meal on board yourself.

If you plan on using the restroom for insulin injections, ask for an aisle seat for
easier access.

Don't be shy about telling the flight attendant that you have diabetes, especially if you are traveling alone.

When drawing up your dose of insulin, don't inject air into the bottle. The air on your plane will probably be pressurized.

Because prescription laws can be very different in other countries, write for a list of International Diabetes Federation groups: IDF, 1 Reu de Faeqz, B-1000, Belgium, or visit Get a list of English-speaking foreign doctors in case of an emergency. Contact the American Consulate, American Express or local medical schools for a list of doctors.

Insulin in foreign countries comes in different strengths. If you purchase insulin in a foreign country, be sure to use the right syringe for the strength. An incorrect syringe might cause you to take too much or too little insulin.


  Don't leave your medications in the trunk, glove compartment or near a window, where they might overheat. If possible, carry a cooler in the car to keep medications cool.

Bring extra food with you in the car in case you can't find a restaurant.

Stay comfortable and reduce your risk for blood clots by moving around every hour or two.

Always tell at least one person traveling with you about your diabetes.

Protect your feet. Never go barefoot in the shower or pool.

Check your blood glucose often. Changes in diet, activity and time zones can affect your blood glucose in unexpected ways.

You might not be able to leave your diabetes behind, but you can control it and have a relaxing, safe trip. To learn more about controlling your diabetes, visit the National Diabetes Education Program at


 Note: type 2 diabetes is preceded by a condition known as pre-diabetes.
With no usual symptoms and very little hint of what a type 2 diagnosis may mean, many persons fail to take heed, action  and ignore important warning signs of diabetes.