Marijuana can get you high. But for people with diabetes the news is better.
One of its components might also help you manage your blood glucose. This is the startling conclusion of a study in the October 2016 issue of Diabetes Care.
British researchers studied 62 people with Type 2 diabetes with high lipid levels at four centers in the United Kingdom. The study met the high standards of being randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled.
Only the abstract of the study is free at the Diabetes Care website. But the full text of the study’s un-copyedited manuscript is online at the University of Westminster, where one of the researchers work.
The best time for people who have Type 2 diabetes to get physical activity is right after eating. But current physical activity guidelines don’t yet reflect this new knowledge.
When people with Type 2 diabetes walk after eating, blood glucose levels averaged a drop of 12 percent more than at any other time of the day. This is the conclusion of a randomized crossover study that the journal Diabetologia first published online in October 2016. The study’s lead author, Andrew Reynolds, Ph.D., of the Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, New Zealand, sent me the full text.
The researchers prescribed walking to 41 people with Type 2 diabetes in two-week blocks, separated by a month. The people in the study were instructed to walk either for 30 minutes a day or to walk for 10 minutes after each main meal, starting within five minutes after they finished eating. When they took their 10-minute walks, their post-meal blood glucose levels averaged 12 percent lower than when they took a 30-minute walk at sometime during the day.
The importance of eating low-carb, especially for diabetes management, but also for reducing weight, still isn’t widely appreciated. Nor do most people follow a vegetarian diet. But some people with diabetes, including the more than 3,700 members of The Vegetarian Low Carb Diabetic Healthy Diet Society, do follow both.
You can manage your diabetes on both a vegetarian and low-carb diet and get the benefits of both. These diets have many advocates and are healthful and satisfying. But I doubt if anyone would say that it’s easy to be a vegetarian and a low-carber at the same time.
You probably haven’t got your flu shot yet, and you may not be planning to get one this year. But skipping the shot could be a deadly mistake for someone who has diabetes.
A large population-based study of 124,503 adults in the UK who have Type 2 diabetes found that those who got a flu vaccine had a 24 percent lower death rate than those who didn’t get vaccinated. Flu vaccinations also resulted in a 30 percent reduction in hospital admissions for stroke and a 22 percent reduction in heart failure admissions.
Researchers from Imperial College London used one of the world’s largest computerized medical databases of primary care records, the Clinical Practice Research Datalink in England. They studied the results for seven flu seasons between 2003 and 2010 and reported their findings in CMAJ in July 2016.
Amelia M.L. Montes is many things: a university professor, a writer, and a person who is successfully managing her diabetes. One thing she is not: a diabetic.
“Diabetes is a chronic disease that I have and that I daily manage,” Dr. Montes says. “It is not who I am.”
Describing herself as a Chicana and a Latina, she was born in Los Angeles and then raised in East Los Angeles, the largest Hispanic community in the country. Dr. Montes’s parents were recent immigrants from Mexico, and she spent her childhood living on both sides of the border. Her publications always use her full name and title, Amelia María de la Luz Montes, Associate Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Professor Montes Works Out
I have known her as Amelia ever since she emailed me six years ago to write that her doctor had told her three days earlier that she had diabetes. “I’m upset, freaked out, depressed, and scared,” Amelia wrote me then. About nine months later when she visited me in Boulder, Colorado, she was doing better. Now, she has become a role model for her success in managing this disease.
You probably have heard about the recent report that the sugar industry paid three Harvard professors to play down sugar’s role as a cause of heart disease and instead to put the blame on saturated fat. But if you have diabetes, you might well have assumed that this scandal, which just now surfaced, doesn’t have anything to do with you.
In fact, the connection between diabetes and the diet that you follow to manage it couldn’t be more direct.