Show # 98
Karen Graham, RD, CDE
FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES
Running Time: 0:46:35
Karen is the author of the best-selling cookbook Diabetes Meals for Good Health. This book is sold across North America and has been translated into French and Japanese. It has sold over 150,000 copies. Karen’s most recent book The Complete Diabetes Guide brings together her 30 years of working as a Community Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.
Karen has worked for thirty years as a dietitian, most of those years specializing in diabetes education. She works part-time in a busy community diabetes clinic in central Canada. Her clients are her inspiration, she sees their struggles, and understands how small changes can make a difference in improving health.
Karen was born in Africa where she graduated from high school at the Nairobi International School. She recognizes that diabetes is truly an international health crisis. In 2004-2006 she volunteered overseas in The Netherlands and Turkey, assisting a non-profit health organization set up diabetes programming for Turkish people. Karen’s life work is the fighting of diabetes.
Karen lives in a small farming community in central Canada with her husband. They have two grown children, both who have followed career paths that intersect with diabetes (optometry and global health). Her husband owns a tree nursery and farm, which keeps the family connected with the land and the source of our food.
CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER KAREN'S BOOK
7 STEPS TO PREVENT OR REDUCE DIABETES COMPLICATIONS
Karen has many, many tips and practical suggestions in each of her seven steps, here are a few inspirations from each step.
STEP 1: EATING WELL
· Choose portions that fit your hands. For example, choose a meat portion no bigger than the size of your palm. Karen has created a great “Hands-on Food Guide”.
· Use the life-size meal photographs as a guide as to how much to eat at each meal – and try Karen’s delicious recipes!
· Allow yourself a “treat budget” so you can still eat your favourite foods, whether it be chips or a donut.
STEP 2: BEING ACTIVE
· If you do less than 15 minutes a day of walking or other exercise, start with Karen’s fitness plan 1.
· If you have arthritis, warm up your joint before you walk and cool it down with an ice pack after exercise…this helps reduce pain and inflammation.
· To take weight of your ankles, knees and hips, try Nordic walking sticks…check these out on www.youtube.com.
STEP 3: BECOMING A NON-SMOKER
· Control cravings by following Karen’s 3 D’s: Deep breath, drink water and distract yourself: try squeezing a stress ball, massage your fingers, twiddle a key holder or go for a walk.
· Consider quit-smoking aids such as the nicotine patch.
· If you have tried to quit before, good for you, you are one step closer to quitting again and being a non-smoker.
STEP 4: PREVENTING INFECTIONS
· Check your feet every day and wear proper shoes and socks to keep your feet for life!
· A mouth infection can raise your blood sugar: take good care of your teeth and gums.
· Karen lists many important ways to prevent a urinary tract infection such as drinking water, using vaginal lubricants if you are sexually active, and avoiding “over washing”.
STEP 5: TAKING MEDICATIONS AND TESTS
· Use Karen’s handy sheet to record and understand your lab results.
· Learn about how the different diabetes pills and insulin work with easy-to-understand diagrams.
· The 15/15 rule is important when treating a low blood sugar: take 15 grams of carbohydrate such as a tablespoon of honey, and then wait 15 minutes.
STEP 6: STAYING UPBEAT
· Use Karen’s handy tool to assess your stress level.
· Try one of Karen’s many tips to manage stress such as slow down a bit, think in healthy ways, keep learning, have fun, believe in something and exercise.
· Try one of Karen’s three easy ways to relax including deep breathing and short relaxation exercises…they do work!
STEP 7: MANAGING AT OTHER LIFE STAGES
· Teenagers with type 2 diabetes need to limit sweet beverages.
· In pregnancy, walk to help prevent gaining too much weight.
· For a healthy sex life read about steps that can help you talk with your partner about enhancing your sexual health and intimacy. This can help you be open to consider medication, lubrications and erection devices and bedroom alternatives.