Expert Guidance

4 Steps to Take When You’ve Been Diagnosed with Diabetes

Designer Creative - Sunday, March 19, 2017

Learning that you have diabetes isn’t easy. But the faster you understand your condition and start managing your symptoms, the better. Here are four steps to get you started on the right track.


1. Manage your diet.

Learning to manage what you eat is the most important part of controlling your diabetes. Unfortunately, it can also be the most stressful, and with good reason. You’re likely transitioning from putting little thought into everything you eat, beyond whether you’re hungry for it, to thinking through every bite and what it means for your body. The good news is, you’re not on your own. M Power offers resources, education and classes to those living with diabetes and their loved ones to help you manage your condition and maintain the lifestyle you enjoy.


2. Monitor your blood sugar.

Monitoring your glucose levels is a critical tool in treating your disease. Through the results, you’ll begin to understand how your food choices and activity levels affect your condition, and monitor the effectiveness of your medications. Your healthcare provider will advise you on how often you should check your blood sugar levels. Be sure to record the results each time, to better track results.


3. Cope with symptoms.

Just learning about your disease can be overwhelming and stressful, which is why it’s important to cope with both the physical and emotional symptoms that come with your diagnosis. You don’t have to do that alone. Find resources and education for both you and loved ones to better understand diabetes.

4. Communicate with your healthcare team.

Your treatment will only be as effective as the information your share with your medical provider. That makes it critical to communicate your symptoms, side effects and concerns at your appointments. Be sure to bring your blood sugar test results with you, and it may help to have a list of questions to ask your provider.


Interested in information about diabetes classes and screenings? 


How to Fight This One Powerful Craving

Designer Creative - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

You have most likely heard that consuming too much salt is bad for you, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many Americans are just not taking the advice. In fact, nine out of 10 adults still consume too much salt.


Why is eating too much salt bad?

Ingesting too much salt can lead to many health and performance issues with your mind and body. Salt causes blood pressure to rise, and high blood pressure can lead to type 2 diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke. An overabundance of salt intake can also increase your likelihood of developing stomach cancer, osteoporosis and obesity.


Many believe the best way to combat salt intake is to simply limit the amount of salt you put on food, but limiting yourself at the dinner table is only part of the change you need to make to have a successful diet with lower sodium. Many popular food items have too much salt before you ever have the chance to add your own personal flair.


Do you enjoy any of these foods?

Lunch meat

Soy sauce


Cured meats

Salted nuts

Frozen entrees

Fast food or takeout

Canned soups



Potato chips

Processed foods


Many of the listed favorites have a lot of sodium per serving, and many adults and children do not stick with serving size recommendations. Often, we think something is healthy just because it has few calories. For example, a pickle might have fewer than 10 calories; however, that same pickle most likely has well over 500 milligrams of sodium. That’s one-third of what the American Heart Association recommends of sodium per day.



The American Heart Association recommends adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium on a daily average, but the ideal limit is closer to 1,500 milligrams a day. These numbers vary based on a variety of personal factors. If you’re not sure how this applies to you, contact your local health department for a free consultation with a registered dietitian.


Unfortunately, many favorite foods in America have too much sodium. This does not mean we must cut them out completely, but it does mean as a collective, we need to practice more moderation for processed foods.


Instead of seasoning with salt, try

● Garlic powder

● Pepper

● Lemon zest

● Onion powder

● Red pepper flakes


Instead of chips for snacks, try

● Unsalted nuts

● Apples and peanut butter

● Low-fat yogurt

● Fresh fruit

● Baby carrots


Instead of TV dinners or frozen entrees, try

● Preparing fresh or frozen vegetables without added sauce

● Slow cooking chicken, so it’s ready when you need it

● Cooking in bulk one day a week and freezing your own meals for later

● Steaming lean meats with whole grain brown rice and vegetables


For one to two weeks, keep a journal of your daily salt intake to get a clear picture of just how much salt you’re consuming. Change does not happen immediately, and once you begin cutting down on salt, your cravings for it may skyrocket. Instead of trying an all-or-nothing approach, start cutting out and replacing salt one step at a time.



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