Diabetes Q and A

By Janis Roszler, MSFT, RD, CDE, LD/N

Q I have just been diagnosed with diabetes. Do I have to tell everyone that I have it?

A Your medical health is a personal issue. Share this information with people you feel need to know and can help support you. If a person will make fun of you or make it more difficult for you to do what you need to do to stay healthy, don’t say a word.

Q I don’t understand my A1C test results. They are confusing.

A The ADA website has posted an online calculator at so you can convert your current A1C to your new eAG.

Q I’m a nursing mother with diabetes. When my blood sugar —–?

A There is a small increase in the sugar content of the milk produced by a mother with a high glucose level.

Q I heard that people shouldn’t eat chocolate to treat low blood sugar. Is that true?

A The fat in chocolate slows down its absorption, so it won’t raise your glucose level as quickly as other foods will. If that’s all you have handy you can use it, but it isn’t the best choice.

When treating a low blood sugar event, use the 15/15 Rule:

  1. Eat 15 grams of fast acting carbohydrate
  2. Wait 15 minutes
  3. Test again
  4. Repeat if needed

The following items contain approximately 15 grams of carbohydrate:

  • ½ cup (4 oz) of orange juice
  • Half a can of regular (not diet) soda
  • 2-5 Glucose tablets (see label)
  • A small tube (0.68 ounces) of Cake Mate decorator gel
  • 6-8 ounces of skim milk
  • Two tablespoons of raisins
  • 5-7 Lifesavers candies

Your blood sugar level will begin to rise before the unpleasant feelings disappear, so don’t keep eating or drinking until the feelings go away. That will cause your glucose level to climb too high and encourage your body to gain weight.

*This article originally appeared in 2008
**please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diabetes regimen.

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