Current Recycling Practices in Texas

Sorters and waste storage in Texas

One category of recyclers corresponds to micro-enterprises, still informal, larger in size than that of collectors: sorting and stock micro-enterprises. They buy recyclable waste that has already been pre-sorted from collectors.

The price per kg of plastic, metal, glass or other waste is set according to the local market price of raw materials. Some sorters sometimes buy their waste directly from municipal garbage collectors. On the road to controlled landfills, municipal trucks stop directly at sorting and stock micro-enterprises to sell the fruit of their collection.

There are several types of sorters, depending on their size and location in the city. A large part of them are located in the pericenter districts, close to the historic center of Houston, the main market and shopping areas, as well as modern districts.

These are neighborhoods that have been used as waste receptors since the founding of the city. These districts have now specialized in the temporary storage of waste, which is then shipped to the outskirts of the city or resold to industries. The recyclers then work in a family room, which also serves as accommodation.

The concentration of recyclers is very important there. They generally perform a precise sorting of waste (differentiating between types of plastics, for example), clean them and store them, until they have a sufficient quantity to resell them to a wholesale waste trader or directly to the industry which will transform it. into a new raw material.

Other sorters are located in the extreme outskirts of the city like The Woodlands, in newer, not yet consolidated neighborhoods, often near rivers. These are companies working on a large family land adjoining the home, which can therefore store larger quantities of waste.

They are usually located on the route of controlled landfills using roll-off dumpsters in order to intercept waste in their path. Micro-enterprises working in an uncontrolled landfill have very similar characteristics. However, they are working on an even larger area, with much greater waste flows.

Other recycling players operate in the same sorting category: pig farmers. In all the popular districts of Houston, a number of residents keep pigs, which they feed with the organic waste (food scraps) of the population. This technique makes it possible to reuse a large part of the waste, since organic waste represents more than 30% of household waste at Houston.

The conditions of rearing and reuse of waste, however, pose a very great health risk to pig farmers and consumers. Local authorities are therefore much more severe with this type of recycling, which is still very widespread among the poorest families.

Marketing and processing of waste

Following the collection and sorting of waste, come the stages of marketing and processing. This is the buyback of waste by wholesalers, generally specialized in a single type of waste.

Sorting and stockpiling micro-enterprises sometimes perform this marketing task. In other cases they are specific companies. It is from this level that formal enterprises grow in number, due to the larger size of such structures.

Marketing companies, formal or not, then resell their waste to industries that transform it into secondary raw materials. Legal waste management companies often only have permission to work with industrial waste. In fact, the differentiation with household waste is more complex.

You don’t have to be a fanatic to live green

grocery waste
Eco-responsible lifestyle recommendations are the main topic of many publications and web pages created in the last years.

The aim of this article is not to cover the whole subject of environmentally conscious living, giving all the tips you’ve probably heard before. Today we would like to consider the three very common things which people from the industrialized countries usually take for granted: food, water and electricity.


Suppose that the majority of people are used to better recycling part of their litter – at least paper, glass and metal, then we can say that most of the remaining household rubbish is comprised of food.

The majority of the groceries that we throw away is in most cases in flawless condition and in some cases even in the original wrapper or box.

The sad reality is that on average most families in Canada throw away 20 to 30% of food bought in shops. If we include all the food that is thrown out in stores and restaurants, we come to the conclusion that some 7 to 14 billion tons of groceries is thrown away every year. Speaking in money language, it means annual waste of $3 to 5 billion in Canadian dollars).

Now you are probably surprised by these societies directed at fighting hunger, and on the other side so much food being wasted right at our homes and neighbourhoods.

But wait before you start packing the groceries you are not going to eat and sending it to places full of hungry people. There are some other methods you might want to try instead of throwing the food away.

1. Do you have any food left from yesterday? Try to incorporate it into today’s lunch. For example you can stuff some peppers with some leftover rice.

2. In your larder or food cabinet, try to stick to a simple habit: the groceries closest to the expiration date is always stored in front of the fresher ones.

3. It may happen that you know beforehand that there is some food you are not going to be able to eat before its expiration date.

Instead of throwing it away, try to find a local charity or soup kitchen and bring your food there when it’s still serviceable. Let some people eat it – hunger isn’t only to Africa. 4. Have you thought about mulching the leftovers instead of dumping them? Maybe you will oppose that you don’t own a garden. But your neighbour might own one and may be able to help you to get rid of your leftovers.


There are plenty of ways to avoid wasting water and you can probably name most of them yourself. One problem that comes to me when thinking about sensible water usage is the way we handle human waste: toilets.

We got used to using toilets so much that we no more think of them – as long as they operate the way the are supposed to. But try to calculate the amount of water your household uses every month just for flushing the toilet.

Big number, isn’t it?

But it doesn’t have to be that much, there are some methods of reducing the amount of water necessary for every flushing.

Basically, we can mention two useful recommendations:

1. Substitute your old toilet by a new type that has been designed to use as little water as possible. Just check out your local store – you might be amazed what choices regarding toilets there are today!

2. Another way of decreasing the amount of water for flushing is to place some plastic bottles filled with water into the tank of your toilet. Keep testing to find how little water is enough for the toilet to work properly.

Electric current

Here the situation is similar to the one with water and wasting it – there are a lot of tips on how to save electric energy to be found in books, magazines and on the Internet.

But one of the machines that needs vast amounts of energy is one that you might be using daily: a tumble dryer. We got used to having anything we like or need immediately, that we no longer care how much superfluous resources are wasted just because we don’t want to wait.

It’s a fact that no one has time today to wash clothes by hands and dishwashers actually save water. But tumble dryer?

Would it be such a great obstacle if we just waited 1 – 2 days for our laundry to get dry? If you really want to “live green”, use your tumble dryer only in crisis situations or get rid of it (sell it) completely. In addition to the environment, you will save some money on your electricity bills as well.

Plastic oceans: laws and action programs

The social and economic impacts of plastic waste at sea amount to millions of dollars, and waste management solutions are difficult to implement (dams on rivers, nets at sea, cleaning trawls, beaches, collection operations, volunteering … ). Zoom on the laws and action programs.

What are the laws and action programs to combat the plastic in our oceans?

Local waste monitoring

Most ports do not yet have the infrastructure to recover waste and some fishing equipment is obsolete. Local waste monitoring programs have been put in place, but monitoring the world’s oceans is complicated and even more costly. Satellite techniques are currently being studied to follow the fate of macro-waste at sea (microplastics cannot be affected by this method).

Plastic waste at sea: laws, conventions and commitments

Much of the waste is in international areas, so the problem needs to be addressed globally. Several laws, conventions and commitments have already been put in place:

  • law on waste in France of July 15, 1975 (completed in 1992);
  • water law of 3 January 1992, policy for implementing the Habitats directive Natura 2000 network;
  • Grenelle of the environment and Grenelle of the sea;
  • the London and Basel Marpol conventions (which prohibit the dumping at sea of ​​any waste, in particular plastic);
  • European Marine Strategy directive (2008);
  • Honolulu and Berlin commitments;
  • Environmental conference of 2013.

The 2011 International Conference on Marine Debris, in Honolulu, Hawaii, helped to understand the problem of plastic waste better.

Plastic manufacturers have organized themselves to react together and are engaged in awareness-raising actions. On the initiative of European industrialists, in March 2011 they signed a global commitment, the Hawaii Declaration, with the aim of better understanding and dealing with the issue.

To date, 58 members, 34 countries have signed up and more than 140 projects are underway. Actions are organized in three zones (Americas, 35%; Europe-Middle East-Africa, 40%; Asia-Pacific, 25%).

Support for research efforts includes the global microplastics research program, GESAMP GT 40, funded to the tune of 320,000 euros by PlasticsEurope and the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

Launched in February 2012, GESAMP GT 40 (working group of the Group of Experts on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection) should allow an assessment of the sources of waste, the behavior and the effects of microplastics in the ocean, with a plan of action carried out in three phases. After the workshops in Paris (2012), London (2013) and Seoul (2014), a report was presented in Barcelona in November 2014 (CIO-Unesco).

Several projects of this type exist around the world, providing precise information on the inventory. According to PlasticsEurope, the current balance sheet is not so catastrophic because despite an increase in production, the quantity of waste does not increase.

Since most of the waste should not arrive at sea, it is therefore essential to collect it on land. Plastic waste, which is practically 100% recoverable, either by recycling or by energy recovery, constitutes a renewable resource that has been poorly exploited to date.

Recall that in Europe, manufacturers in the sector have launched the challenge of achieving “zero plastic waste in landfill in 2020”. The recovery of plastic waste in Europe and France is still a progress in the making.

In France, there is a real political awareness reflected in the roadmap for the 2013 Environmental Conference, which includes:

  • the deployment for household packaging of the collection of all plastics (including films and trays) in order to allow recycling;
  • the possibility for the State to limit landfill only to non-recoverable flows (which amounts to prohibiting the landfilling of plastics);
  • the development of sustainable waste management dumpster chains capable of using recycled plastic materials.

Clean holidays: fighting litter

European plastic manufacturers are also involved in awareness-raising and educational activities, such as “Clean Holidays”, a program created in 1971 on the initiative of companies to combat litter and incivility. It benefits from support from local authorities, and of course from citizens who have adopted their own actions, responding to the slogan: “Our environment is not a dustbin”.

If it is estimated that 4 million people have been sensitized, there are still still more than 33,000 tonnes of litter in France (waste collected by hand). Nearly 20,000 tonnes on the roads (especially just after leaving the stations -service!), 10,000 tonnes in rivers (banks and waterline), 3,000 tonnes on beaches, 350 tonnes in the mountains …

And these figures are probably below reality. Among these wastes: 41% cigarette butts, 12% chewing gum, 9% packaging for beverages (plastic, 3.6%; cans, 3.6%).

Besides, the operation “I sail, I sort”, ie “Nothing overboard, all my waste at the port! ”, sponsored by the navigator Catherine Chabaud, noted in 2013 an increase in sorting by 80% in the 25 ports concerned. In 2014, 100% of the ports registered in the program were motivated to renew the operation.

A final action concerns the fight against the dispersion of plastic granules. Launched in 1992 by the Americans, followed by Canada in 1999 and then by the British in 2009, the Clean Sweep® operation has the objective of “zero loss of granules” at all stages of the chain (production, transport, processing). In Europe, in factories and workshops, the broom is there to replace water cleaning!

Modern Techniques for Metal Recycling

Does the recovery and recycling of metals really constitute an environmental benefit today, and under what conditions?

Modern electronic products can contain up to 60 different elements (in the sense of the elements of the Mendeleev table) and it is precisely the products that are the most demanding of precious metals!

Globally, 80% of indium is intended for electronic products (LCD), more than 80% of ruthenium is used in hard disks. Some of these metals are essential for renewable energy technologies: selenium, tellurium, indium, platinum and ruthenium. For some of these metals (indium, ruthenium, bismut, tin), the market for electronic products has been a driving force in the increase in the prices of these raw materials.

Below is a list of important factors to consider regarding recycling metals.

  • toxic and harmful substances are generally concentrated in electronic circuits
  • the recoverable value of electronic waste is strongly correlated with metal prices
  • mixing different categories of WEEE during collection and pre-treatment processes can have a negative impact on recycling yields
  • legislation (RoHS) impacts the composition of materials (and therefore the equipment necessary for recycling) (for example, the restriction of the use of lead has caused an increase in the use of tin, copper, bismuth and money in solders)
  • miniaturization and technical progress generate changes in the composition of materials. There is a trend towards a decrease in the absolute quantity of the weight of precious metals in the new models, but their relative quantity and diversity are rather increasing.
  • new products or new generations of products introduce technological breakthroughs in recycling processes (ex CRT LCD)

There is another thing to consider, negative impacts related to optimized recycling and metal recovery. The CO2 emissions generated by the incineration of plastics are equivalent to those saved by the recovery of metals. Given the small number of factories, waste must travel a long distance to be treated, which considerably reduces the ecological benefits and in any case would create transfers of pollution or environmental impact.

What are the technologies currently used? Valuable metals can be recovered by various metallurgical processes (pyro, hydro or organic). Pyro-metallurgical processes include incineration of the assembly and extraction by fusion of the target metals.
The hydro-metallurgical processes include the dissolution and then the recovery of the target metals using acids, cyanide, halides, thiourea and thiosulphate.

The effectiveness of these methods depends on technological investments with very high risks of emission of dangerous components into the environment in poor quality installations. Waste management companies have to include heavy metal recycling within the highly regulated hazardous materials category. Services like dumpster rental in Fort Lauderdale or waste management offerings in Dallas may or may not allow you to recycle these metals, and you may need to contact your local government for advice.

In rich countries, bio-organic technologies make it possible to recover certain very specific metals at low cost: gold, lead and copper for example. In fact, although industrialists at the cutting edge of technology for extracting and refining metals can extract up to 95% of precious metals and copper and a good level of non-ferrous metals, the overall recovery rate precious metal never exceeds 50% due to the ineffectiveness of other stages of recycling. The case of mobile phones is particularly emblematic, with a recycling rate that did not exceed 1% in 2008! and which did not exceed 20% in 2012.

Green Clean Technologies of the Future

green energy

Definition and challenges of green technologies

Clean energy or green energy is a source of energy whose exploitation produces only negligible amounts of pollutants compared to other more widespread sources considered to be more polluting. The concept of clean energy is distinct from that of renewable energy: the fact that energy is being reconstituted does not imply that the waste of exploitation of this energy disappears, nor the opposite.

The following energy sources are generally cited as clean energy:

  • Geothermal energy, high or low energy
  • Wind power
  • Hydroelectric power
  • Solar energy
  • Biomass
  • Tidal energy, wave energy, tidal turbines, etc
  • Animal traction (towing, etc.)
  • Human propulsion

A heat pump is sometimes considered as producing clean energy, but depending on their performance and use (air conditioning, swimming pool, …), heat pumps can consume far too much electrical energy (compared to an alternative solution) to be considered a source of clean energy.

The status of nuclear energy as clean energy remains subject to debate. Indeed, if it has one of the lowest greenhouse gas emission rates, it generates nuclear waste whose disposal is not resolved. According to the current definition of waste, it is not a clean energy. But an electric car is considered clean even though the battery recharging can be done with nuclear power.

The cleanest energy being the one that is not consumed, negawatts are clean energy that produces no waste. Negawatt production is made possible through the development of energy efficiency and energy efficiency. That is why waste management services and clean energy goes hand in hand, as we want not just to reduce gas emissions, but also minimize waste creation and the pollution that comes with it.

The need to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energies is written on every site that talks about ecology and in the program of every politician who listens to whistleblowers. The term generally refers to giant wind turbines that sometimes line the roadside, solar panels or for some more knowledgeable people, the use of geothermal energy. But what are renewable energies really, and why are they preferable to fossil fuels?

Renewable energies are virtually inexhaustible energies. They come from natural elements, such as the sun, the wind, waterfalls, the heat of the Earth or even the growth of plants, among others. These renewable energies are qualified as flux energies as opposed to stock energies, those that are in limited quantities, namely fossil energies (oil, natural gas, coal).

Renewable energies are by definition preferable to fossil fuels since they are inexhaustible. They are also preferable since they are mostly clean, or at least cleaner than the combustion of fossil fuels.

The argument most often advanced is the cleanliness of these energies. Indeed, where fossil fuels are extremely polluting and dangerous both for the planet and for the health of its inhabitants, renewable energies often only serve in an almost inexhaustible reservoir of energy. The heat of the sun, the breath of the wind, the natural movement of the rivers …

In itself, these energies would be ideal, if they were properly mastered and already exploited. Today they represent only 20% of global energy consumption worldwide, so we live in a society much more adapted to the use of fossil fuels. As a result, they are much more complicated to exploit for the average citizen, and it has only been a few years since electric cars, to name a few, have their own charging stations. As the world has begun a slow, but safe transition to clean energy use, it will take more time to see them become easier to use.

5 Ways To Beat Burnout And Improve Your Overall Career

Paula helpsHow often do you use the word “busy” in your daily conversations?

Living a hectic schedule and a busy career is often demonized as it may lead to a failed social life, broken relationships, a poor state of your health or sometimes emotional breakdown.

Though stress is also correlated to an imbalance of the hormone cortisol, there are effective and natural ways to face such a modern stress or burnout with a positive approach and beat them to the finish.

According to research from the University of Chicago, people who live busy lives are generally more grateful and happy compared to those who live an idle life. The reason behind this is human beings are wired to crave for purpose. A packed schedule makes us feel more useful and needed than living a live without much commitment.

There is no need to feel bad about yourself if you are stressed out. You just need to manage the situation well and try your best to keep a healthy life. So if you are a real estate broker working in Chicago, a business partner at a waste management company or a trader on the CBOT, chill out. Stress is healthy.

Unchecked stress can lead to burnout, so there is a need for you to quickly manage your busy lifestyle more effectively. Below are stress and burnout preventing hacks that every busy-bee should incorporate into their lives for more enjoyment of your days.

Change The Way You Speak

If you find yourself constantly telling your friends and family how busy your days have been and that you can’t make plans or even cook dinner, you might consider changing the language you use. Research suggests that the words you utter to other people can literally affect your brain pathways and how you understand any given situation.

Neuroscientists Mark Waldman and Andrew Newberg both stated that the fear center of the brain can be stimulated by the mere use of a single negative word. When this happens, your brain could send stress hormones in large quantities. But eliminating the use of negative language helps you reframe your mind set and positively change the way you see your life.

Forget About Time And Focus On Your Energy

Paula Davis-Laack, a resilience and stress expert states that the key to prevent and avoid burnout is to change the way you manage your day. Instead of focusing on time, pay more attention to what kind of energy you bring about on your tasks.

According to Davis-Laack, a day will always be comprised of 24 hours and therefore it is a fixed commodity. She explains that people who allocate their tasks based on time can get a feeling of anxiety. This leads to a rushed work that often doesn’t produce a quality output. On the other hand focusing on the kind of energy you deploy helps you better address the important tasks of that day.

This goes the same for busy professionals who try to keep a healthy and active lifestyle. Often times, they give up on eating healthy or exercising daily because they think that it is too time consuming. But if you have a positive outlook and focus on the positive aspects, you are more likely to stick to a healthy and active lifestyle even if it takes a while to see the kind of results you so desire.

Plan Out A Recovery Ritual

Living a busy career requires you to sustain your energy all throughout the day. Most people will feel most productive when they feel good about themselves. This exudes positive energy which also helps the people around you perform at their best.

Simple recovery rituals such as taking short and constant breaks will help you breathe better. A simple 10 to 15 minutes break after every 2 to 3 hours of work is perfect. With regularity, this process will help reset your mind when too much stress is building up. It will help refresh your mind and encourage you to work more pleasantly later on.

Another recovery ritual you can use is making sure your health is at its top. Stress can sometimes lead to weight gain, poor eating habits, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even coronary diseases.

By simply choosing healthier meal options, you can help your body physically recover from the toll brought about by too much stress. The goal here is to prevent burnout, and you can’t fight that unless you start from within your body.

Set A Reward System

According to Davis-Laack, consistent pressure to stay busy for the sake of being busy rather than intentionally working with a purpose will drive some people crazy. This eventually leads to burnout.

Instead you can set monthly goals and associated rewards to build a framework. A reward system is essentially helpful to most employees including yourself, as it should drive them to provide better quality output. This eliminates the need for you and the rest of your employees to work extra hours.

Free Your Mind Of Clutter

According to Davis-Laack, mental clutter will tether you to the thought of being extremely busy.

Usually individuals with pessimistic thoughts struggle most when dealing with stressful situations. What it does is fill up your head of the “what ifs” and ultimately prevents you from seeing the big picture of your goals. Reframing negative thoughts will help alleviate stress and exude positivity towards your outlook in your work and in life.

5 Foods to Avoid At Bedtime

good fruitsYou look forward to going to sleep as this is the time that you can truly relax and let go of the stress of the day. Getting into a warm bed and settling into sleep is as comforting as it gets. Unfortunately, your relaxing night of sleep can be ruined by indigestion or insomnia if you eat the wrong food before bed. If you want to get a good night’s sleep it is important that you avoid certain foods before you go to sleep and buy a good mattress from Read on to learn the top 5 foods to avoid before bed.


While a hot cup of coffee might seem like just the thing to drink before bed, it is actually one of the worst things to drink at night. The caffeine in the coffee is going to prevent you from sleeping and the effects can last all night. You might find that you can’t sleep at all at night and there is nothing you can do to stop your insomnia. If you have to drink coffee, stick with decaf so you are not awake all night. Coffee is one of the worst things you can drink before bed so just stay away from it.


Pizza tastes amazing and the combination of savory cheese, tomato sauce, and meat is intoxicating. Pizza comes in so many different flavors and it tastes so good that it is hard to stop eating it. Just knowing that you have pizza in the refrigerator can tempt you into having a huge slice before bed. Before you dig into the pizza, stop yourself because you are unlikely to get any sleep if you have that pizza.

Pizza is full of fat and calories and the combination can give you nightmares at night and make it impossible to sleep. The tomato sauce and cheese is hard to digest and you are likely to end up with indigestion. Pizza can also give you acid reflux or heartburn and you are going to wake up in pain.

Spicy Foods

If you are considering having a spicy snack or meal before bed you are going to want to switch to a safer snack if you want to get some sleep. Spicy foods irritate the stomach lining and digestive tract which can leave you running to the bathroom all night long. You might end up with stomach cramps and acid reflux if you consume a big spicy meal before bed. Acid reflux makes it impossible to sleep and it can lead to a lot of problems.


A thick slab of meat sandwiched between a tasty bun sounds like the perfect thing at night. Hamburgers are so filling and each bite fills your taste buds with the rich flavors of the meat and condiments. Eating a juicy hamburger is very satisfying, but the burger is packed with fat that can leave you feeling sick to your stomach. Your body has to work extra hard to process fat and protein and you won’t be able to sleep when your body is working so hard to digest the burger.


Wine seems like it would be relaxing, but alcohol will disrupt your sleep. You will keep waking up when you drink wine. Just one glass of wine can result in a reduced quality of sleep.

The things you put in your body can have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep. It is important to avoid foods that might keep you up at night if you want to feel rested the next day. Think about what you eat at night and only have easy to digest snacks at night.

Several Reasons Why Your Mattress May Be Causing Back Pain

Choosing the right mattress is a bit of an art form. You not only need to find a mattress that is supportive but also comfortable to lay on. If you choose the wrong bed for your sleeping habits or your body type, it could wind up causing back pain. The same goes for old, worn-out mattresses.

If you want to wake up feeling great, it is important to carefully evaluate your sleeping conditions, including the quality of your mattress. The following section highlights several reasons why your bed may be causing back pain. If any of these reasons apply to your situation, it is important to correct them as quickly as possible so that you can start living a pain-free life.

1. Your mattress is too firm

Do you usually sleep on your side? If so, your back pain may be the result of sleeping on a mattress that is too firm. If the bed is extremely firm and doesn’t have a lot of give, it won’t conform to your body when you lay on your side. Not only can this cause uncomfortable pressure points on your shoulders and hips but it can also throw your spine out of alignment, which can result in back pain.

There are a couple of ways that you can tell whether or not your mattress is too firm. First, if you frequently wake up with arms or legs that have fallen asleep, you probably need a softer mattress like

Another sign that your mattress is too firm is if you experience a lot of pain in the areas where your hips and shoulders come in contact with the mattress. Check your spinal alignment when you lay down. Your spine should be straight while you are in a lying position.

2. Your mattress is too soft

If you sleep on your back, a mattress that is too soft can also result in back pain. When you lay on your back on a soft mattress, your hips have a tendency to sink down into the bed. Again, this throws your spine out of alignment, often resulting in lower back pain.

Typically, people who sleep primarily on their backs do best with firm mattresses since they do a better job of keeping the body properly aligned. If you frequently wake up with lower back pain, it is probably because your mattress is too soft. Again, try laying on the mattress and checking the alignment of your body to make sure that your spine is nice and straight.

3. Your mattress is too old

If you have an older mattress that you have been using for a long time, it may start to cause back pain as it begins to break down. Even if you invested in a high-end mattress that provided the right level of support a few years ago, that support can fade over time, resulting in back pain. Typically, mattresses need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years.

These are some of the primary reasons why your mattress may be causing back pain.

How To Monitor Your Blood Sugar At Home

Monitoring your blood sugar is important in controlling diabetes, and keeping a log of it is equally vital. Showing the results of your blood sugar monitoring at home to your physician will help him identify your body’s response to your care plan.

Though diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder, it can be controlled and reversed by changing your lifestyle. The main goal of every care plan is to keep your blood sugar levels under control and checking your blood sugar is one of the best ways to identify if your treatment is working.

Self-blood glucose monitoring (SBGM) helps you determine your sugar levels at any time of the day. It also helps prevent you from hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

SBGM enables you to strictly follow your doctor’s advice which will help decrease the long-term risk of diabetes.

Who Can Check Their Blood Glucose Levels

Not all diabetics are required to check their blood sugar levels. But the people who can benefit from taking this test regularly are the following:

  • Patients taking insulin shots
  • Patients who are experiencing difficulty in controlling blood sugar levels
  • Patients with low blood sugar levels without any visible warning signs
  • Patients who are experiencing low blood sugar levels constantly
  • Patients who are pregnant
  • Patients with ketones caused by high blood sugar levels

How To Test Your Blood Glucose Level Using A Glucose Meter

Here are the steps and general guidelines for testing your blood glucose levels. Make sure that you utilize your blood glucose monitors properly and get specific details from its package insert or from your doctor.

  • Step 1: Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry hands using a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Step 2: Prepare the lancing device by inserting a fresh lancet. Make sure that you only use the lancet ones. A used lancet will not be as sharp and can cause more pain and further skin injury.
  • Step 3: Prepare the test strip and the blood glucose meter. This step will vary depending on the type of glucose meter you have.
  • Step 4: Use the lancing device to prick your fingertip and obtain a small drop of blood. There are alternate sites and one of them is the skin of your forearm. Although these sites are less painful, the blood from the fingertips provide more accurate blood samples.
  • Step 5: Apply the blood drop to the strip in the blood glucose meter and apply pressure on your finger to stop the bleeding. Wait for the results after several seconds.
  • Step 6: Throw away the used lancet in a puncture resistant container.

How To Interpret Blood Sugar Results

The results of your blood sugar testing determines whether your diabetes care plan and treatment are working or not. However, you must remember that physical activity, medication and food can affect the blood sugar results.

You should record the results in detail, including the date, time taken, blood glucose result, dose of medication taken prior to testing, and other notes like physical activity or foods eaten prior to testing.

How To Manage Your Blood Sugar When Ill

When you are ill, your blood sugar levels can become unpredictable and may fluctuate at any time of the day. During these times, it is best to check your blood sugar levels more often than usual. For example, instead of checking it before taking your meals, you can check it every two to four hours. These notes will become helpful especially when you catch the same illness in the future.

If you plan on taking flu medications or any type of over-the counter meds, talk to your pharmacist about your diabetes so that he or she can assist you in choosing sugar-free medicines.

Here are other important guidelines to remember.

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid drinking tea, coffee, sodas or any beverage that contain caffeine. This will make you lose more fluids.
  • Consume 15 grams of healthy, complex carbohydrates every hour.
  • Try to stick to your usual meal schedule to avoid hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
  • If your illness disrupts your usual meal time, replace solid foods with fluids that contain a little bit of sugar. You can also ask your doctor about this.
  • Continue to take your insulin even if you are sick. Check the guidelines your healthcare team have left for you in an event of an illness.
  • If your illness is associated with nausea, diarrhea or vomiting every two or more hours, call your doctor or proceed to the emergency room.

Your doctor and the rest of your diabetes care team are the people who formulated your treatment. Therefore, they are the best sources of information whenever you have questions and concerns about your diabetes.

The Link Between Heart Disease and Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious condition that occurs when your body can no longer produce enough, or it cannot properly use the hormone insulin properly.

Insulin helps your body digest sugars from the food you eat and drink. Without it, sugars can build up in your bloodstream. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage your kidneys, nerves, blood vessels and even your heart.

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes have heart disease and their death rates are about two to four times higher than those without diabetes. They also reported that 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. This means, more people are becoming at risk of developing heart disease.

Factors That Put Diabetics At Risk

As per the Center For Disease Control, about 70% of diabetics are suffering from high blood pressure – a risk factor for heart disease. But what exactly are the factors why diabetics are more likely to develop heart diseases? Here are the answers.

  • Many diabetic patients battle with overweight or obesity problems. The fact that diabetic dyslipidemia is common among patients who are battling with their weight, it only puts them at an even greater risk for heart problems.
  • The fluctuating glucose levels in the bloodstream can damage the interior surfaces of your blood vessels, causing fat deposits in the arteries. Eventually these deposits will calcify and harder the arteries, causing obstruction of the blood flow and stroke.
  • Diabetes affects a wide range of body reactions including throwing off the normal balance of your hormones and cytokines (proteins in the body that are used to communicate and carry out important functions in the body).

Why You Should Lose Weight

Type 2 diabetics usually battle with weight problems. It only makes their situation worse because obesity puts them at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure – a critical factor for heart disease.

Pamela Kontos, Nurse Practitioner at the Outpatient Diabetes Wellness Program at Advocate South Suburban Hospital says that the worst part is, type 1, type 2 and prediabetes have equal risks of developing heart diseases.

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Condition

The signs and symptoms of heart problems are angina (chest pain), vomiting, nausea, left sided pain in the jaw, neck, arm, back or stomach and shortness of breath. Kontos added that in the case of diabetics, they should be more observant about their body.

Because neuropathy or the loss of sensation due to nerve damage is common among this condition, diabetics may not feel any chest pain and the rest of the signs and symptoms, even if it has already started to manifest.

The best way to prevent heart disease or any heart-related condition associated with diabetes altogether is to take good care of your health and keep your blood glucose levels under control. It is important that you also include lifestyle and diet improvements, exercise and stress management.

Prevention And Treatment

Despite the link of heart disease and diabetes, Kontos recommends that the best way to prevent heart disease is to manage your diabetes with an utmost importance. Your diabetes care management will help prevent the risk of heart disease later on.

Keep in mind that diabetes is a detrimental disease. There are ways for you to continue to live comfortably but that does not mean you should rely on taking medications and drugs alone.

There are effective ways to naturally reverse diabetes – by eliminating the underlying causes. This requires you to exercise daily, stay active, and change your diet.

Even if you have been living a completely healthy and clean lifestyle, never alter your medications without your doctor knowing about it first. Instead, continue to live healthily and see your doctor again after several weeks so that he can reassess your condition once more.

Getting diagnosed with diabetes is not the end of the road, but rather a wake up call. By exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet, you can naturally get rid and prevent the recurrence of diabetes, and the health complications (like heart disease) that come along with it.
When you think critically, take informed actions and follow your doctor’s advice, you can take charge of your health.

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