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    Texas Diabetes Prevention & Control Program
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    Austin, TX 78756

    Phone: (512) 776-2834              
    Fax: (512) 776-7408


Diabetes News You Can Use

four people in bookclub_iStock-1014480166

Being around other people can help you deal with the stress of managing diabetes. Check

to see if your local library or recreation center has a book club, game night or other activities.

6 Tips for Managing Diabetes Stress

Whether you’re working or going to school, taking care of family, spending time with friends, or participating in community or religious activities, most people lead busy lives. If you have diabetes, your to-do list may be even longer, so it’s not surprising if you feel overwhelmed.

If worry, frustration, anger and burnout make it hard for you to keep up with the daily demands of diabetes, you may have “diabetes distress.” Our diabetes experts have these stress management tips:

  • Tackle one thing at a time. Sometimes, your diabetes management routine may seem overwhelming. Make a list of the tasks you must do to manage your disease each day (check your blood sugar, plan healthy meals, take medicines, get physical activity). Work on one task at a time.
  • Start with small goals. Daily physical activity is important—but you don’t have to do it all at once. Your goal may be to walk for 30 minutes every day. Start by walking 10 minutes once a day and gradually increase to 10 minutes three time a day.
  • Don’t withdraw from life. Don’t let your diabetes keep you from enjoying holidays, family gatherings or parties. Talk to a diabetes educator or health care provider about how to incorporate desserts into your meal plan without derailing diabetes self-management goals. You can participate in activities that involve food by counting carbohydrates. (See the link below.)
  • Find others with diabetes. Many people with diabetes have dealt with similar stress. Asking them for tips can help you learn how to cope and feel less overwhelmed or alone. Your health care provider may be able to tell you about diabetes support groups in your area.
  • Ask about financial assistance. Diabetes management and care is expensive and is a source of worry for many people. Talk to your pharmacist, diabetes educator, health care provider or drug manufacturer to find out if financial assistance is available. Visit the link at the bottom of this page.

  • Try something new. New adventures await! Join a book club, learn to knit or crochet, or host a “game night” with board or card games. Many communities offer inexpensive classes through the public library, recreation center, meetup groups and other community gathering spots.

A Word About Depression

Almost everyone feels stressed from time to time, but having a chronic condition or disease increases your risk for anxiety and depression. If feelings of sadness, worry, frustration, anger or burnout last for longer than two weeks, talk to your health care provider.

There is effective treatment for depression and anxiety, and it can help you enjoy your life again.


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Enjoy Easter, Passover Food Despite Diabetes—by Counting Carbs!

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5 Tips for Adapting Your Diabetes Meal Plan During the Holidays

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10 Tips for Coping with Diabetes Distress


Don’t deprive yourself! You can enjoy holiday feasts and manage your blood sugar.

Enjoy Holiday Foods Despite Diabetes—by Counting Carbs!

Whether it’s chocolate bunnies or sponge cake, potato kugel or baked ham, everyone wants to enjoy traditional Easter and Passover foods. If you have diabetes, learn to “count carbs” and you can enjoy the feast and manage your blood sugar.

What is carbohydrate counting?

Since carbohydrates affect your blood sugar more than nutrients in your food, tracking the amount of carbs you eat helps control your blood sugar. Carbohydrate (or carb) counting is simply keeping track of your carbs as a way of managing your diabetes, and it allows you to occasionally eat higher carb foods.

To count the carbs in your food, you’ll need to:

  • know which foods contain carbohydrates
  • know/estimate the number of grams of carbohydrate in the foods you eat
  • add the grams of carbohydrate from each food you eat to get your daily total

Canned and packaged foods have nutritional values (including carbohydrates) and calories on their labels. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate online tool can also help you manage your diet, and there are cell phone apps that can track your carbohydrate intake.

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the main nutrients in food and drinks. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fiber.

Healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, provide energy, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Unhealthy carbohydrates are food and drinks that often have added sugars; they have little to no nutrients.

Carbohydrates include:

  • grains, such as bread, noodles, pasta, crackers, cereals, and rice
  • fruits, such as apples, bananas, berries, mangoes, melons, and oranges
  • dairy products, such as milk and yogurt
  • legumes, including dried beans, lentils, and peas
  • snack foods and sweets, such as cakes, cookies, candy, and other desserts
  • juices, soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks that contain sugars
  • vegetables, especially “starchy” vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, and peas

Starchy vegetables are high in starch and have more carbohydrates per serving than nonstarchy vegetables. Nonstarchy vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, carrots, celery, green beans, lettuce and other salad greens, peppers, spinach, tomatoes and zucchini.

Foods that do not contain carbohydrates include meat, fish and poultry; most types of cheese; nuts; and oils and other fats.

How many carbohydrates should you eat?

According to the National Institutes of Health, carbohydrates should account for about 45 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates. Since one gram of carbohydrate equals about 4 calories, so you’ll have to divide the number of calories you want to get from carbohydrates by 4 to get the number of grams. For example, if you want to eat 1,800 total calories per day and get 45 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, you would aim for about 200 grams of carbohydrate daily. You would calculate that amount as follows:

  • 45 x 1,800 calories = 810 calories
  • 810 ÷ 4 = 202.5 grams of carbohydrate

However, some experts say carbs should make up fewer than 45 percent of your daily carbohydrate intake.

Ideally, the amount of carbs you eat should depend on how physically active you are and what medicines you take to control your diabetes. Your health care provider, dietitian or diabetes educator can help you create a personal eating plan based on carbohydrate counting.

Texas Department of State Health Services’ Related Content

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Woman's hand gestures "stop" to offer of cigarette held in man's hand

According to the Food and Drug Administration, smokers are 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop

diabetes than nonsmokers.

Stop Smoking, Cut Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Did you know you can eliminate one of the top risk factors for Type 2 diabetes? You can—if you quit smoking. According to the Food and Drug Administration, smokers are 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers.

If you already have diabetes, you could see improvements in your blood sugar levels within eight weeks of quitting smoking. This is because your insulin becomes more efficient at lowering blood sugar. You can also reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke.

How Smoking Affects Type 2 Diabetes

The 2014 Surgeon General’s Report says the chemicals in cigarettes harm your body’s cells and can interfere with their normal function. This can cause inflammation throughout the body, which may decrease the effectiveness of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. 

In addition, when chemicals from cigarette smoke meet oxygen in the body, cell damage can occur. Both the cell damage and inflammation may be related to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Smoking can also make managing the disease and regulating insulin levels more difficult. High levels of nicotine can lessen the effectiveness of insulin, causing smokers to need more insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Without proper management, diabetes can lead to health problems, including but not limited to:

  • heart disease
  • kidney failure
  • nerve and blood vessel damage to the feet and legs—this may lead to amputation in severe cases

Reducing Your Diabetes Risk

Protect your health by stopping smoking to reduce the risk of developing serious diseases like diabetes. If you already have Type 2 diabetes, it’s never too late to stop smoking—and it may help you manage diabetes.

It may be challenging to stop smoking, but other people have done it and so can you! The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can start to heal itself.

If you want to improve blood glucose management, or you’re simply looking to quit, talk to your healthcare provider about your options. You can also call a telephone quit line to get help from an expert, and online resources are available to support you as you try to quit for good.


Texas Department of State Health Services’ Related Content

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Cigarette Smoking: A Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes


Blood and Urine testing tubes; analysis sheet

Figure 1: Blood and urine tests will determine if you have kidney disease.

Could You Have Kidney Disease?

More than 30 million people in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease—and nine out of 10 don’t know they have it. 

Kidney disease may have no symptoms in the early stages, but diabetes is a leading cause. If you have diabetes, get tested and celebrate National Kidney Month.  

Who’s at risk?

People with chronic kidney disease many not feel sick or notice any symptoms. Talk to your doctor about being tested for chronic kidney disease if you have:

  • Diabetes (Type 1 or 2)
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of chronic kidney disease
  • Obesity

What is kidney disease?

Your kidneys—each one about the size of your fist—are among the hardest working organs in your body. Every 30 minutes, the two kidneys remove wastes, toxins and excess fluids from the blood in your body.  They also help control your blood pressure and make hormones that your body needs to stay healthy. 

When your kidneys are damaged, they can’t filter blood the way they should, which causes excess fluids and wastes to build up in your body. According to the National Institutes of Health, one in four adults with diabetes has kidney disease. Kidney damage from diabetes happens when high blood sugar damages the blood vessels in your kidneys. This usually occurs over a period of years. 

Most people with kidney disease do not have symptoms. The only way to find out is through blood and urine tests performed by your doctor.

Chronic kidney disease usually gets worse over time, but treatment can slow it down. If untreated, it can progress to kidney failure and early cardiovascular disease. When the kidneys stop working, patients must go on dialysis or have a kidney transplant. When that happens, it’s called end-stage renal disease.

What can you do?

To help prevent chronic kidney disease and lower your risk for kidney failure:

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • See your health care provider regularly
  • Get tested every year
  • Take medicine as prescribed by your health care provider

Ask your health care provider these questions:

  1. Have I been tested for kidney disease, and how healthy are my kidneys?
  2. How often should my kidneys be checked?
  3. What can I do to keep my kidneys healthy?

Texas Department of State Health Services’ Related Content

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Diabetes Prevention and Control

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Diabetic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease

Preventing Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease Basics

Last updated May 8, 2019