As we welcome this month, I am celebrating my 23rd year living with diabetes. At my diagnosis, I never imagined I would be healthy at this stage, let alone experiencing advances in insulin and technology and being part of social and emotional support systems. While my life with diabetes is a daily roller coaster, I am grateful for the opportunities it has brought me, the relationships I have developed because of it, and the perseverance it has created within me in all aspects of my life.
This month, we are traveling to the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Annual Meeting in San Diego, where our staff and volunteers will represent us in the Exhibit Hall to more than 3,000 professionals. This is an exciting time for DiabetesSisters, as we will also speak on a panel on patient leadership and present a poster on type 1 diabetes and pregnancy.
You will notice this month's e-newsletter focuses on pregnancy and menopause, areas in our lives where sometimes diabetes can pose a challenge.
We have also been working with the Society for Women's Health Research and recently released a report: 10 Relevant Health Topics for Women Living with Diabetes. I urge you to click on the link to the right to read about the most pressing topics concerning us today.
Finally, I continue to ask YOU - our membership - to please help us with a gift to DiabetesSisters through our Sister Strength giving program. Your gift, regardless of amount, can make a HUGE impact in the lives of women with diabetes. And this year, we've received a special gift from a generous donor: they will match every dollar raised up to $30,000. This means that your gift will have DOUBLE the impact to help us continue to grow our programs, both online and in-person.
Until next month,
Anna Norton, MS
23 Triumphant (NOT Perfect!) Years THRIVING with Diabetes
DON'T LET DIABETES HOLD YOU BACK FROM EXERCISING!
By Guest Contributor
Bonnie Goldberg, MA, RD, CDE
This post is sponsored by
Exercise is an important activity that everyone should participate in, not just people with diabetes. Exercise has been proven to have beneficial effects on all systems in the body, such as:
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Help maintain a healthy weight
- Strengthen muscles, bones, and ligaments
- Increase flexibility and coordination
- Improve mental functioning
- Improve emotional wellbeing
However, sometimes diabetes can make it seem difficult or impossible to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine. Sometimes a brisk walk around the neighborhood can cause blood sugar to drop unexpectedly, and other times the same exercise can cause blood sugar to skyrocket. This inconsistency can be frustrating and lead people to give up altogether.
But you don't have to. Exercise might be a little more challenging for people with diabetes, but it's also a little more important for your health. In addition, technology like MiniMed continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGM) provides real-time glucose readings to help you stay in range. By learning what your body does during exercise and being prepared, you can discover physical activities that you enjoy, are convenient and accessible and, most importantly, keep you healthy and safe.
PLANNING A FAMILY? YOUR PREGNANCY TOOLKIT
"While an unexpected or unplanned pregnancy isn't the 'best case scenario' for a woman with diabetes, it does not mean that there will be a negative outcome for the mother or the baby."
Tip 1: When planning your pregnancy, k
now your medications and your insurance plan. The more information you have going into it, the better you will be able to navigate it all during the pregnancy.
Tip 2: Be open to discussing diabetes-related concerns with your partner. It is likely your partner wants to help you have as healthy a pregnancy possible.
YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED: MAKE TWICE THE IMPACT
DiabetesSisters has received a monetary gift from a generous donor but we need YOUR help to acquire the funds. For every dollar raised between now and Spetember 30, 2016, your gift will be matched up to $30,000.
Please help us reach our goal and continue to offer our online and in-person programs for women living with diabetes.
DIABETES AND PREGNANCY:
ONE ADVOCATE'S STORY
Melissa Lee, respected and outspoken patient advocate, has been living with type-1 diabetes for more than 25 years. Melissa has had two beautiful children and lives with her family in the Bay Area, CA.
This month, we interviewed Melissa about her experience(s) with pregnancy and diabetes. Her three tips for women with diabetes who are expecting/planning a pregnancy are:
- Your A1C level is important to your baby at the moment of conception, not the months leading up to it.
- Find a community of women with diabetes and get the support you need.
- Every once in a while you will have an outlier blood glucose reading, it's okay, you're okay, and your baby is okay. Don't beat yourself up, just do what you can to bring it back in range.
MENOPAUSE: WHAT NO ONE EVER TOLD YOU
By Guest Contributor Mache Seibel, MD
About 6000 women enter menopause every day and millions more are in the ten-year window around menopause called perimenopause. During my nearly 20 years at Harvard where I ran the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Harvard's Beth Israel Hospital, and more recently as Director of the Complicated Menopause Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, I've had the opportunity to talk with and treat thousands of women for their menopause issues. Many of my patients came in feeling frustrated and confused.
But I found that when I helped women understand the issues they were facing, it helped them gain clarity over the contradictions, misunderstandings and negative press out there about menopause. I want to help you become more confident about where you are in this transition, more aware of what is possible to achieve, and more certain about how to achieve it.
1. Menopause is defined as one year after your last period. The average age in the United States is 51 years. The range of menopause onset is between ages 40 and 55. Menopause before age 40 is called premature menopause. I have some patients who go into menopause in their early 20s. If both your ovaries are removed by surgery, that is called surgical menopause, no matter what age you are.
2. Perimenopause is the window leading up to menopause. Hormones begin to go out of balance and some symptoms may start. Perimenopause begins up to 10 years before menopause. That means that if you enter menopause at age 51, you may begin experiencing symptoms as early as age 41. So those occasional feelings of warmth, those suddenly whacky periods, those nights of poor sleep, those pangs of anxiety, and that crazy brain fog may all be due to perimenopausal symptoms.
3. If you go through menopause before age 48 and do not go on estrogen, your risk of Alzheimer's disease increases by nearly 70%.
4. If you have had a hysterectomy (your uterus removed) and you go on estrogen without progesterone, your risk of breast cancer goes down by 23%.
5. Women over 50 are at greater risk for diabetes. But women who take hormone therapy (HT) lower their risk of developing diabetes.
YOUR SHOPPING GIVES BACK TO DIABETESSISTERS ALL YEAR LONG
SHOP FROM THIS LINK
DiabetesSisters helps to connect women living with diabetes through peer support, education, and advocacy that improves their health and quality of life. We invite you to be part of expanding that network of sisterhood and strength by joining our new Sister Strength Monthly Giving program.
BECOME A SISTER STRENGTH MONTHLY DONOR
Since 2008, your dollars have allowed us to continue to grow our signature programs such as the PODS Meetup program, which reaches over 1,200 women annually, as well as maintain our online programs such as this e-newsletter and our website, which hosts over 340,000 visitors each year. Programming in 2016 will continue with existing and new programs, but we desperately need your support.
Set up your monthly gift today: Together we will build a stronger future for women with diabetes!
Defying the Odds with Diabetes
Never one to live inside prescribed parameters for life, Jeanie Seashore thrives with diabetes by hiking the longest trails and biking the longest routes. Dexcom gives Jeanie the freedom to be active, adventurous and fiercely independent.
This advertisement is sponsored by
Manuevering Medicare with Diabetes
Wednesday, September 28
Registration link will be available in our September
VISIT OUR NEW EDUCATIONAL LIBRARY
Click HERE to visit our growing library where you can download, print, and share this information.
The creation of many of these educational pieces were a result of the generous support of our partners including AstraZeneca, BI, Center for Hope of the Sierras, Dexcom, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Lilly, Merck, MicroMass Communications, Novo Nordisk, and Regeneron.
Rochester, NY (Westside)
Aug. 1, 6:00pm
Aug. 17, 6:30pm
NY Capital Region
Aug. 23, 6:30pm
Rochester, NY (College Town)
Want to learn more about the PODS Meetup Program? Want to attend one of our locations or start a Meetup where you live? Would you like to find out about the Virtual PODS Meetup?
Designed by a woman living with diabetes, FreeToGo offers clothing, jewelry and accessories for people living with diabetes.
FreeToGo has committed a portion of their sales to DiabetesSisters. Visit them at www.freetogostyle.com
SELF-CARE RETREAT FOR WOMEN WITH DIABETES THIS FALL
WISE WOMEN OF
September 16-18, 2016
Designed to help a woman with diabetes choose healthy self-care strategies that can easily be incorporated into her personal life, this retreat focuses on mind-body awareness through various forms of energizing activities; making balanced nutritional food choices; and practicing mindfulness techniques. The retreat offers dynamic diabetes self-management education and peer support in a unique model that promotes self-discovery, awareness, respect, and empowerment.
For more information, contact: