About Diabetes

People with diabetes often take medicines to improve and manage their health. Your doctor will decide on the best combination of medicines for you.

Diabetes medicines help manage and improve your blood sugar. They can help avoid or delay the onset of serious health problems known as complications of diabetes. Learn about diabetes medicines here.

Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is a little higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. To lower your blood sugar, eat healthy, exercise, and manage your stress.

Diabetes means your pancreas is not working as it should. Your pancreas is the part of your body that makes insulin, a hormone that takes sugar from your blood (so your cells can use it for energy). Without insulin, the sugar in your blood cannot be stored and it collects in your blood. This leads to high blood sugar.

Active Living

Walking indoors, for example on the track at Toronto Rehab, is walking in perfect conditions – a flat surface, no wind, nothing in your way. When you walk outside, you have weather conditions to deal with, such as walking into wind, or there might be a slight incline (uphill) on the sidewalk. Even if you can’t see it, a very small incline can make the exercise feel more difficult by increasing the intensity of the walk.

This is a very individual question. Every person will have a different resting heart rate and exercise target heart rate range. It can depend on age, medical history, the medicine you take, how fit you are, and your exercise history.

Talk to your doctor or cardiac rehab specialist to find out the appropriate target heart rate for you.

Taking you own pulse (manually) is very accurate, as long as you are confident in feeling your pulse. The hardest part can be trying to coordinate counting the beats at the same time as watching a clock.

Fitbits, Apple watches, and other apps can be a good option if you find it hard to count your own pulse. Sometimes these devices can be less accurate at higher heart rates (over 120 bpm) or if you have an irregular heart rhythm.

Low to moderate exercise is safe and can help you manage your diabetes. Ask your family doctor if you need further testing before you start doing an exercise program. Be sure to check your blood sugar before and after you exercise so you can learn how exercise impacts your blood sugar.

Learn more about how to start doing exercise here.

Choosing Healthy Foods

All forms of added sugar such as honey, juice, white sugar, and raw sugar will be broken down into sugar in your blood. Whichever type of sugar you choose, remember that the daily recommended limit is 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of added sugar each day for females, and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of added sugar each day for males.

Artificial sweeteners can be helpful when trying to reduce your sugar intake. There are different types of sweeteners, some contain some sugar, while others do not. While diet products such as sodas can help you reduce your sugar intake, they do not provide you with beneficial nutrients and should be limited.

Almost half of your daily energy or calorie intake needs to include carbohydrates (for example: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein). The Plate Model is a guide to help you know how much carbohydrate you can eat at each meal. Use the steps of the Plate Model as a guide only.

Learn more about eating the right amount of carbohydrates here.