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What's So Funny About Diabetes: Diabetes Awareness Month Starts Today!

An anxious woman called her doctor. "I'm diabetic and I'm afraid I've had too much sugar today," she said.

"Are you light-headed? " the nurse asked.

"No," the caller answered, "I'm a brunette".

Are you ready? November 1st marks the beginning of Diabetes Awareness Month! For the next 30 days, we're going to be featuring jokes, cartoons, and all types of diabetes-themed  humor, designed to make you laugh.  Laughter has a vital role to play in your diabetes management. When you laugh, your body responds in many ways: lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, and minimizing post-meal blood sugar spikes.  Enjoying humor is lots of fun - and it can actually make you feel better!

Humor helps:

  • If you have Type 1 Diabetes
  • If you have Type 2 Diabetes
  • If you have Gestational Diabetes
  • If you don't have diabetes at all - but you love someone who does!

In What's So Funny About Diabetes?: A Creative Approach to Coping with Your Disease you can read about how humor can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar. Here's a quick peek between the covers:

Does your blood sugar spike after suppertime? Humor can help lower the increase in blood sugar you experience after eating a meal. A research study from Japan showed that those who watched a brief comedy show after eating had lower glucose values than those who did not see the program.

Over two days, participants were given identical meals. On one day, they watched a humorless lecture, and the next they watched a Japanese comedy show. The group of 19 people with diabetes and five without had their blood glucose monitored during the study.

While non-diabetics showed no difference in blood glucose following the serious lecture or the comedy show, diabetics showed significantly lower blood glucose levels following the comedy show, but not the boring lecture. (The study was published in Diabetes Care.) The glucose reducing effect of humor was replicated in three additional studies. While the scientists can’t yet put their finger on what’s responsible for the blood-glucose lowering effect in diabetics, the researchers suggest that these findings point to “the importance of daily opportunities for laughter in patients with diabetes.”

Studies show that laughing lowers your levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol increases insulin resistance, while adrenaline tells your liver to pump more glucose into your blood. The combined effect can be a lasting reduction in blood glucose levels. In other words, laughter can probably help lower your blood glucose and keep it down for quite a while!

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