Diabetes Q and A

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

Q Does massage help diabetes?

A Some studies suggest that massage can improve blood sugar levels and lessen the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy (nerve problems). Massaging an injection site may also increase insulin absorption. In addition, a relaxing massage may also reduce stress, which is also a plus.

Q I read that I can buy special diabetes snack bars that will help keep my blood sugar level from dropping while I’m asleep. Money is tight right now. Is there something that I can make myself instead of buying the bars?

A Extend Bars were created by Dr. Francine Kaufman, a top pediatric endocrinologist and former president of the American Diabetes Association as a tasty and effective way to help prevent her patients from experiencing blood sugar lows during the night. They contain a slow-digesting form of carbohydrate. To make your own slow-digesting carbohydrate snack, add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of UNCOOKED cornstarch to milk, a shake or pudding. The cornstarch must be uncooked or the carbohydrate in the cornstarch will be broken down too quickly.

Q Its allergy season, so I started taking my annual doses of allergy medication. I recently noticed that my blood sugar level is running higher than usual. Do allergy medications raise blood sugar levels?

A You didn’t mention which medication you are taking, but if it contains an epinephrine-like drug such as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylephrine, it can raise your blood sugar level. If it does not contain this, the physical stress of living with allergies could be the cause. Your blood sugar level will often climb when your body is stressed in any way, emotionally or physically.

Q I recently read an article on the Internet that recommends eating raw celery as a way to lower blood sugar levels. I’ve never heard this before. Is it true?

A No reliable research shows that raw celery can lower blood sugar levels. Be wary of information that you read on the Internet, especially if it isn’t posted on a reliable website by accepted medical experts. Here are a few health websites I recommend:90269120

*This article originally appeared in 2009
**please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diabetes regimen.

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