August 14, 2015

The TalkDiabetes Support Program and the Diabetes Education Program at St. Anthony’s present:

Catching Z’s Tonight for a Healthy Tomorrow

7 p.m. Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hyland Education & Training Center, Conference Room

10020 Kennerly Road

St. Louis, MO 63128


Join us for a discussion on how blood glucose control and proper diet

affect the quality of sleep you get, and how a good night’s sleep can

 improve your overall diabetes health.

Presented by:  Alison Brinker, RD, LD, and Sue Klick, MSN, RN, CNL

Meetings are FREE to the public.

All are welcome!

 To register, call 314-ANTHONY (268-4669)

or visit

Easy Breezy Summer Recipes

July 20, 2015

By Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL

This blog finds us in the middle of summer – and ready for some new recipes!

Lemon-Cilantro Slaw                        Makes 2 Servings (1 cup each)

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons olive oillemon-cilantro slaw
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
Dash ground black pepper
2 cups packaged coleslaw mix
¼ cup coarsely shredded carrot
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped green onion

In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, sugar, mustard, and pepper.  Add coleslaw mix, carrot, cilantro, and green onion; toss gently to coat.  Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

Nutritional Facts per Serving: Calories: 59, Total Fat: 3gm, Sodium 43 gm, Carbohydrates 6 gm,
Protein 1 gm, Fiber 2 gm


Grilled Turkey Burgers                                 Makes 4 Burgers

grilled turkey burger½ cup finely shredded carrot
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
12 oz. uncooked ground turkey
¼ cup Dijon-style mustard
½ teaspoon curry powder
4 whole wheat hamburger buns (toasted)
Lettuce leaves (optional)
Sliced tomato (optional)
1.  In a medium bowl stir together the carrot, green onion, bread crumbs, milk, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper.  Add ground turkey; mix well.  Form mixture into four 1/2-inch thich patties.

2.  Place patties on a greased rack of an uncovered grill, directly over medium coals.  Grill for 11 to 13 minutes or until patties are done (165 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling time.

3.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir together mustard and curry powder.  Spread buns with mustard      mixture.  Top with burgers and if desired, lettuce and tomato.
Nutritional Facts Per Serving: Calories: 287, Total Fat: 11 gm (3 gm sat. fat), Cholesterol: 68 gm, Sodium: 470 gm, Carbohydrates: 26 gm, Fiber: 3 gm, Protein 21 gm


Sourrce: Diabetic Living Magazine

Summer Fun and Food – Don’t Get Burned!

July 6, 2015

by Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL
You can enjoy all of the fun of a summer fun while staying within your healthy eating goals! Summer barbeques and picnics can offer a tempting range of choices that are high in calories and sugar. Don’t get burned! Here are some summertime tips to help you keep your cool and create a well-balanced meal to keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible:

Choose lean, grilled meats. Pass on the fried chicken and go for grilled chicken,  turkey or fish.

Veg out. Grill up some veggie burgers, veggie kabobs, or sliced vegetables in foil.  Or, have raw veggies with hummus or other low-fat dip.

 Skip the Mayo. Add flavor to your sandwich with tomato slices, lettuce, bell peppers, or mustard. Mayonnaise adds fat and calories so try to avoid mayo-based dips, salads and sauces.

 Pick a Side. Move away from the chips and dips which draw you in for more than you realize. Choose vinegar-based coleslaw, sweet potatoes, greens, and seasonal vegetables instead.

Consider the Recipe. Barbeque sauce and baked beans can throw off your carb intake. Many of these recipes often contain added sugar. Recipes with cream cheese are often high in fat. If you do choose to indulge, try just a taste or opt for a smaller portion.

Drink water.   Stay hydrated. Avoid soda, fruit juices, lemonade and alcoholic beverages that are high in sugar and calories. For extra flavor, add a wedge of lemon, lime, orange or even a cherry.

Stick to your routine. Skipping meals may make it harder to manage your blood sugar, so don’t try to “save” calories and carbs for that summer party.

Have fun.   Make healthy choices and being good to yourself.

Get regular exerciseGo for a walk on the beach, bring a Frisbee to the picnic, take a hike, play volleyball, jump on a bike, grab a baseball glove and play catch, swim like a fish!

Source: American Association of Diabetes Educators

And one more hot tip: Don’t forget a hat and sunscreen!


Take Control: Testing Your Blood Sugar

July 1, 2015

By Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNLDiabetes

Last week we listed the Top Ten Reasons why people avoid testing their blood sugar. You may have identified with one or more of those reasons, or maybe you discovered a few new reasons why not to test your sugar.

BUT WAIT!!!! While never decide that regular monitoring is great fun, it does have its benefits. Research results are overwhelming:   Checking your blood glucose regularly can help you manage your diabetes more effectively.   Taking control will help you to feel physically better. It gives you a wider range of options regarding food, medication, and activity. It leads to a greater sense of freedom. Take steps get that meter out of the drawer and start testing on a regular basis:

  1. Have a serious talk with your meter. Readings are not good or bad. They are high or low. When you have a reading that is out of range focus on problem-solving.
  2. Be reasonable about blood glucose expectations. Ask your healthcare team what your range is.
  3. Learn to make good use of blood glucose information. Know when to change your food intake or your activity level. If it isn’t working, it may be time for a new plan!
  4. Make your environment work for you. Sometimes the biggest barriers to regular monitoring are the little things. Be creative and think about ways to modify your life to make regular monitoring easier.
  5. Get yourself the right equipment. If your finger pricks are painful, you may need a new or different lancing device.
  6. Become a smart shopper. To lower your out-of-pocket expenses, shop around to find the lowest prices on supplies.
  7. Make sure everyone knows that you are in charge. The diabetes police are well-intentioned; they are just trying to be helpful. Tell them about your diabetes care plan, let them know you appreciate their concern, and offer suggestions as to what sort of support you would prefer.
  8. Make peace with your blood glucose meter. Identify the reasons that keep you from monitoring regularly. The good news is that these barriers can be successfully overcome!


Diabetes Self Management


Blood Glucose Monitoring has a Top Ten List

June 22, 2015

by Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL

This is Part One of a two part blog on monitoring blood glucose.  This week we will look at the Top Ten Reasons something so easy….becomes such a big deal. In Part Two, we will look at overcoming these common barriers.   So here we go… The Top Ten Reasons to Avoid Testing Your Blood Glucose:

Reason #1: Your meter makes you feel bad about yourself – Do you judge yourself based on your results? Do you think of blood glucose monitoring as a “test”, and the resulting number a grade? You begin to think of high numbers as a failing grade.   Naturally, the meter ends up in a drawer.

Reason #2: Monitoring seems pointless – Do you ever think to yourself, “why bother testing, how is testing going to change the fact that I have diabetes?” It is frustrating to work hard to manage your blood glucose, and continue to get results that don’t make any sense. And so the meter ends up in a drawer.

Reason #3: Monitoring reminds you that you have diabetes – Who needs to be reminded that they have diabetes?   Testing can be seen as an irritating, annoying reminder that you have a disease that isn’t going away, that you will have to deal with the rest of your life. Back in the drawer with the meter.

Reason #4: Your meter seems to control your life – If you constantly feel you are being pushed around by your meter, and view your meter as a bully; naturally you are going to stop monitoring.   High readings might be telling you not to eat so much, low readings might be telling you to wait before you drive or exercise. The monitor starts to control your life and limit your freedom. Who needs a puny machine telling you what to do – so you put it in a drawer upside down.

Reason #5: Monitoring gives friends and family an opportunity to bother you – “What was your sugar?” “You wouldn’t be that high if you hadn’t eaten that pasta for lunch” “My friend at work who has diabetes never eats….”   Suddenly everyone is an authority on diabetes, and this time the meter goes in the drawer and the drawer is slammed shut.

Reason #6: Your healthcare team is indifferent to the results – You spend hours making a beautiful spreadsheet, with circles and arrows, and a paragraph describing what you ate and how you felt, and what your blood glucose test results were. It’s in color. You make multiple copies. And your doctor gives it a superficial glance and says “let’s just keep observing your sugars over the next few months and see what happens”. You feel like your time was wasted. “Why bother” you say to yourself? Now the glucometer is in the back of the drawer and the pretty spreadsheet is deleted.

Reason #7: It hurts for goodness sakes! Sticking yourself should be relatively painless, but let’s be honest – you are sticking yourself and sometimes you may hit a tender spot. Your fingers get irritated, sore, and sometimes bruised. So you decide to “take a break” from monitoring, and the meter is covered with papers and other stuff in the back of the drawer.

Reason #8: Monitoring can be inconvenient – You are going out to dinner….don’t forget your meter. You are going on a trip….don’t forget your meter. You are going hiking, biking, swimming, fishing…..don’t forget your meter. It takes time, and it interrupts what you are doing. So the meter gets left behind (in a drawer covered with stuff) while you go out and about.

Reason #9 Monitoring can be expensive – If you don’t have good insurance, or if you are uninsured, you know that test strips can be costly, especially if you are testing several times a day. Once again, the meter is tossed aside.

Reason #10 Life is too busy and demanding to take the time for regular monitoring – At first, we start out with good intentions. Testing regularly isn’t a big deal. Until you are running late for work, or having to get dinner on the table before running the kids to practices and getting the grocery shopping done, and don’t forget to get your 30 minutes of exercise in. Testing gets pushed to the bottom of the list and doesn’t get done as frequently as it should, or doesn’t get done at all because life gets in the way.   Before you know it, the meter is completely forgotten in the back of the drawer, covered with stuff. You don’t even remember what drawer it is in!


Stay Calm

Tune in next time for Part Two….Overcoming Avoiding Testing Your Blood Sugar!



Diabetes Self Management

Summer Safety Tip: Diabetes and Dehydration

June 8, 2015

By Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL

We may not want to admit it, but we all know that those hot, humid St. Louis summer days are right around the corner! Summer is a great time to be with friends and family for outside entertainment, but don’t let the heat and humidity cause you to become dehydrated. Diabetics are at a higher risk for becoming dehydrated, so know what it is, what causes it, how to avoid it, and how to treat it.

Man drinking bottle of water after workout uid 1520095


What is Dehydration: When the amount of liquid in your blood is low in relation to the amount of nutrients and waste products in your blood, the body is dehydrated.

When Does Dehydration Occur: Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough fluid to carry out its normal functions. Dehydration can be mild, or it can be severe and life threatening, resulting in coma and death. In addition to heat and humidity, low fluid intake, illness, exercise, excessive sweating, consuming alcoholic beverages and too much sun exposure can all cause dehydration.

Blood glucose levels increase causing fatigue, headache, blurred vision, increased thirst and an increased need to urinate. Since diabetes is characterized by increased thirst and urination anyway, if you are diabetic, dehydration can rapidly become a serious problem. Severe dehydration adds irritability, dry mouth, sunken eyes, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat and fever. Delirium, unconsciousness and death can follow.

Avoiding Dehydration: Exercising in high heat and humid conditions requires a greater fluid intake, as does spending the day at the beach – but avoid beverages containing high sugar or alcohol. When the humidity is high, your sweat cannot evaporate as well. Wear clothing that allows sweat to evaporate easily. Pay attention to your body’s thirst signals.   When you are outside in the heat, test your blood glucose more frequently. Have a plan to prevent or minimize dehydration caused by fever, vomiting or diarrhea.

Taking Action: If you suspect you are mildly dehydrated, check your blood sugar. If it is high, take immediate steps to lower it. Drink water or a beverage with electrolytes and follow your doctor’s instructions about taking insulin or other medications. Do not drink coffee, tea or other liquids which act as diuretics. Focus on rehydrating (providing enough fluid for your body to function properly). While keeping your glucose levels under control is important, you cannot maintain normal glucose levels without reversing the dehydration.

If you have any symptoms of severe dehydration–if you cannot keep fluids down, are disoriented, develop severe diarrhea or vomiting, have blue lips, cold hands or feet, or if you are extremely thirsty and do not urinate for seven to eight hours–seek medical attention immediately. Severe dehydration constitutes a life-threatening emergency.

Remember: Both hot weather and high blood sugar can cause dehydration. This makes it doubly important to drink plenty of fluid. From your friends at the St. Anthony’s Outpatient Diabetes and Nutrition office – have a safe and fun-filled summer.



Mayo Clinic

5 Tips for Travel with Diabetes

May 25, 2015

By: Kristen Rider, BSN, RN, CDE

travel diabetes

As the warmer months approach, many people have trips and vacations planned. Don’t let diabetes ruin your travel plans. Plan ahead and be prepared for any “bumps in the road”.

First, always make a checklist for packing. Whether you will be gone for a day or a month, you need to be sure and pack the necessities.   The excitement of getting ready for a trip can sometimes be distracting, causing you to forget to pack certain things. The focus may be on remembering things like the camera, the hiking boots, the bathing suit, etc. Items that you use every day, like your glucometer or medications may be overlooked.

Second, be prepared for anything! Things do not always go according to plan. Have a back-up plan in case of delayed arrival times, altered meal times and medication times. Always carry snacks, whether traveling by car, plane or boat! Make sure your snacks include fast-acting carbohydrates in case of hypoglycemia. Bring a written prescription along to use for a back-up should you need to fill a prescription while you are out of town. Your glucometer, medications and snacks should be kept nearby when traveling (e.g. in your carry on, not in your checked luggage). Wear or carry a medical ID.

Third, take care of your feet. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well, especially if you will be doing a lot of walking. Don’t forget socks! Do not go barefoot. Wear shoes on the beach or on hot pavement.   If you have a long drive or flight, keep your feet moving to promote good circulation. Point and flex your toes and get up and move around when you can. Inspect your feet frequently for problem areas or abnormalities such as blisters, sores, redness, discoloration.

Fourth, test your blood glucose often. When travelling, blood glucose levels may vary more than they normally do. You may have to test more often than you would at home. Various factors such as altitude, time change, and temperature may affect blood glucose levels.   Try to keep blood glucose levels on target. Bring extra testing supplies if possible.

Finally, enjoy yourself! If you are planning on a relaxing vacation, don’t let diabetes get in the way. Try new foods, just keep in mind moderation. Keep your personal targets in mind at meals, but remember nobody is perfect all the time. Increase your physical activity where possible…take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk the golf course instead of riding in a golf cart. This can help keep blood glucose on target. With proper planning, people with diabetes can travel safely and confidently.



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