Diabetes Service Dogs

Diabetes affects everyone differently. While some individuals are able to manage their diabetes with relative ease and are in tune to their body’s needs, others may struggle to stay on top of or manage the disease that can be life threatening if not treated properly. When it comes to hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar), some individuals are unaware that their blood sugar is dangerously low. The American Diabetes Association refers to this as hypoglycemia unawareness and it affects people who have had diabetes for a long time and may have frequent low blood glucose episodes (which can make people less likely to sense the early warning signs). If you suffer from frequent bouts of hypoglycemia or have hypoglycemia awareness, have you considered having a dog help you out? Diabetes service dogs are becoming more popular and help to save lives. Here’s some proof:

 

Kristen has Type 1 diabetes and when she was in her early twenties she got a golden retriever puppy, whom she named Montana. One night, when Kristen was sleeping, Montana would not leave her side and was insistent that she wake up. At first, Kristen was annoyed that her dog had disturbed her sleep, but then she thought about checking her blood sugar, which ended up being low. Since the initial incident, Kristen’s four-legged friend wakes her up a few nights a month when he  detects her blood sugar is low and when she tests, he’s always right. Without Montana’s vigilant watch over Kristen, she could easily have an accident, fall into a diabetic coma, or even die.

 

The Job of a Diabetes Service Dog

 

In Kristen’s case, she was fortunate to have Montana by her side. Montana had not been trained to detect low blood sugar, it was just something he picked up on his own, but since the first life saving detection, Kristen does reward him with treats whenever he alerts her that she is hypoglycemic. A dog’s sense of smell is about 100,000 times more accurate than a human’s and even if you find your dog’s keen sense of smell to be annoying at times, it can be a lifesaver.

 

A diabetes service dog is trained to smell the changes in a person’s blood sugar, either too low or too high, through the person’s breath and body odor. Once the dog detects the change, he or she is trained to constantly alert (through pawing, whining, or barking) the individual until the levels return to normal. If the diabetic individual is unresponsive or is not improving, the service dog is trained to seek assistance from someone else.

 

Like other service dogs, a diabetes service dog becomes a constant companion and is always on watch for changes in his or her diabetic companion. Not only can a diabetes service dog save the life of his or her companion, but individuals with diabetes may feel more in control of their diabetes and may feel less afraid to partake in everyday activities such as work, social engagements, and even taking a nap.

Lunch Ideas for Diabetic Children

Being a mom is never easy, but packing lunches for your kids is especially hard. And if your kids have diabetes, things get even more difficult. Kids can be picky in best of circumstances, and most of them don’t have the mental abilities yet to understand their medical condition.

 

But there’s plenty of nutritious food that even kids will love. Not everything is loaded with sugar. And on the other hand, not all foods marketed as healthy will be appropriate for a child with diabetes. Read on for some basic advice on what to seek and what to avoid when putting together your kids’ lunches.

Add Cheese and Fresh Fruit for Lunch

Fresh fruit is a great way to get your children eating nutrient packed foods. Fruits are full of vitamins and minerals, and for most parents, fruit is an easy thing to pack for kids. But if your kids have diabetes, fruit has a catch: it’s often loaded with sugars. Grapes, apples, bananas, and other fruits may lead to blood sugar spikes.

 

One way to counteract this sugar blast is to add some cheese to your kids’ fruits. Cheese is filled with protein, which makes diabetic bodies process carbohydrates more efficiently. Luckily, high protein cheeses are easy to find, and kids love them. Try adding a few cubes of cheese to a small tupperware of grapes to keep your kids happy and healthy.

Avoid a High Sugar Lunch

Not all supposedly healthy food is going to be good for your kids, especially if those kids are diabetic. Yogurts, especially, can pack some seriously absurd degrees of sugar. A little container of yogurt, if you’re not careful, can be as sugary as a can of soda.

 

Yogurt does have plenty of health benefits. If you look at labels, you won’t have too much trouble finding a yogurt that doesn’t overload your kids’ blood with glucose.

Go Nuts!

Another way to add protein to yours kids’ diet—and thus help their bodies process sugars at a safe pace—is to add nuts to their diets. Nuts like almonds and walnuts and loaded with proteins and healthy fats that will give your kids long-lasting and powerful energy. And they’re delicious. Most kids love the crunch and flavor of nuts. Just remember to lay off the salt.

Use Whole Grain Bread for Sandwiches

Kids love sandwiches, and as a mom, you’ve probably already gotten sandwich-making down to a fine art. But did you know that fluffy white bread can be tough on diabetic systems? Processed, white breads are digested quickly and can make blood sugar levels pop up. Stick to whole grain breads, which the body digests more slowly.

Add Some Emergency Sweet Stuff

Diabetes can lead to low blood sugar as well as high. And low blood sugar is scarier. Make sure your child has access to foods that can boost sugars quickly. Send a juice box with them with they leave for school, but remember to tell them to save it for when they need it; a jump in glucose levels is usually not the thing they need.   

Diabetic Diet: Myths and Helpers

diabetic diet

Know what is in your food

Diabetes, without a doubt, makes it challenging for people to plan their diet and make sure they are not putting their health at risk. Among various theories and myths surrounding both types of diabetes, there several scientifically proven points that anyone with diabetes should know about. How to control your blood glucose levels and lead a balanced life? Here are several tips you can follow to avoid glucose crashes and sustain its healthy level.

Choose your Carbohydrates wisely

To control your blood glucose better, try to increase the intake of complex carbohydrates and reduce the intake of simple ones. Simple carbohydrates raise your glucose levels more quickly; however, the effect fades quickly, too. That is why a quick chocolate bar can do the trick for the moment but not for the whole day. To avoid glucose crash that tends to happen after having received an intake of simple carbohydrates, and to ensure more steady levels of glucose in your blood, consume more of complex carbohydrates. They take more time to digest and also contain more nutrients thus they are definitely the way to go.  Foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates are beans, whole-grain products, vegetables, brown rice, etc. Oatmeal for breakfast thus can keep up your blood sugar better than cornflakes with chocolate bits. Meals containing complex carbohydrates will also less likely result in food cravings as your glucose levels will not fluctuate so quickly.

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