Diabetes -The Medical Perspective
Hypertension is the medical name for high blood pressure.
Blood pressure reflects how much force the blood has as it
is pumped through the arteries (heartbeat) and when it is
resting (between beats). Although it might seem that a lot
of force would be a good thing, like getting stronger, too
much force stresses the artery walls.
Blood pressure readings measure both the heartbeat and between
beat forces. The heartbeat force is called the systolic pressure
and the between heartbeats force is called the diastolic pressure.
In a blood pressure reading, the systolic is the top number
and the diastolic is the bottom number.
A reading of 120/80 or less is considered normal blood pressure.
Pre-hypertension is a blood pressure above normal and below
140/90. Readings equal to or greater than 140/90 are considered
high blood pressure or hypertension.
Those who have diabetes or who are overweight are more likely
to also have hypertension. It is important to check your blood
pressure often. If you check your blood pressure on your own
and it is high, or even pre-hypertension, make an appointment
with your doctor.
Hypertension should not go untreated, because it can lead
to a heart attack or stroke. Hypertension has no symptoms
so it is often called the silent killer. There is no cure
for hypertension, but blood pressure can be controlled to
stay within the normal range with a combination of lifestyle
changes and medication.
Diabetes and Food
“Fast Food Causes Diabetes” is one of those
headlines that is a little true but also not true. Food that
is bought at a “fast food restaurant” doesn’t
cause diabetes. However, many people choose foods that are
higher in calories than they need when they eat at these fast
food restaurants because most food is higher calorie-type
Eating higher calorie food over a period of time causes people
to gain weight, and being overweight often leads to diabetes.
What can you do to keep calories down when eating at a fast
- Avoid the largest sizes of anything – don’t
- Avoid fried foods, including French fries. If these are
the only choices (or you really want them), try sharing
with a friend or taking half a serving home (remember to
- Beverages can add a lot of calories. Order small drinks,
diet drinks, or water.
Remember to make eating at fast food restaurants a “sometimes”
choice and not an “everyday” choice.
Exercise as a Part of Living
Different organizations recommend different amounts or types
of exercise. Once you’ve picked out what you want to
do, and have your doctor’s okay for that, then talk
about how hard you should try that activity and for how long.
How hard you try is often called “intensity.”
To make sure that you are working hard enough to exercise
the heart, many rely on heart rate measures. The most common
way to measure heart rate is by feeling the radial artery
(wrist) or the carotid artery (neck).
Maximum heart rate is the maximal number of beats per minute
when exercising as hard as one can. An estimate of maximum
heart rate is derived from the equation 220 – age in
years = maximum heart rate. To estimate the heart rate that
should be targeted while training, the formula maximum heart
rate x exercise intensity is sometimes used. The intensity
may be 30 to 80 percent intensity, depending on the fitness
and health of the individual. For instance if someone is 65
and just beginning to exercise, the doctor may suggest 30
percent intensity. The heart rate should be 220 – 65=
155. 155 x 0.30 = 46.5 or 47 beats per minute.
Recipes To Try
Quick Raisin Scones 8 servings
2 cups Bisquick® baking mix
3 tablespoons Splenda®
1/3 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup no-fat milk (skim)
Non-fat cooking spray
1. Heat oven to 425°. Spray cookie sheet with non-fat
2. Mix remaining ingredients until soft dough forms. Spread
on cookie sheet in 8-inch circle (you may use wax paper to
mold and spread). Cut into 8 wedges, but not all the way through.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.
Fat 5 grams
Protein 4 grams
Calories from fat 29%
Carbohydrate 25 grams
Cholesterol 27 grams
Fiber 1 grams
Sodium 378 mg
Note: Scones are meant to be dry. To add moisture and soften
the scones, serve with 2 tablespoons lite whipped topping
(20 calories, 2 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fat) or 2 tablespoons
nonfat vanilla yogurt (20 calories, 4 grams carbohydrate,
1 gram protein). Or try the sugar-free glaze:
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup Splenda®
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup boiling water
1. Blend dry ingredients well.
2. Add boiling water and mix thoroughly.
3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons over each scone.
Per 2 tablespoon serving:
Fat 0 grams
Protein 1 gram
Calories from fat 0%
Carbohydrate 6 grams
Cholesterol 0 grams
Fiber 0 grams
Sodium 12 mg
If you will be traveling by plane, here are some tips concerning
your medication and the security check procedures:
- Notify the screener that you have diabetes and are carrying
your supplies with you.
- Clearly identify your insulin.
- Unused syringes should be clearly labeled and kept with
- Request a visual inspection or “pat down”
if you wear an insulin pump and don’t want to walk
through the security systems (pump manufacturers say that
pumps are safe to be worn through the security checks).
- Separate your medication and associated supplies from
your other property in a pouch or bag.
- In order to prevent contamination or damage to medication
and/or fragile medical materials, you will be asked at the
security checkpoint to display, handle and repack your own
medication and associated supplies during the visual inspection
- Any medication and/or supplies that cannot be cleared
visually must be submitted for x-ray screening.
There is a new law that changes the Illinois Income Tax
Act to create the Diabetes Research Checkoff Fund. Taxpayers
may now contribute to the fund by indicating on their income
tax return form the amount they wish to donate. The donation
either increases the amount the taxpayer owes or reduces the
refund. Money collected in the fund will be given to the Illinois
Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide grants for diabetes
From May 23 through August 23, 2005, the Transportation
Security Administration will be conducting a Persons with
Disabilities and Medical Conditions Customer Satisfaction
Survey. This includes those with diabetes. Diabetes is considered
a “hidden disability.” If you would like to participate
in the survey, please go to http://websurveyor.net/wsb.dll/29926/pwd.htm
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