November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and since Diabetes affects a large number of our population, we thought it would be most effective to focus on this particular disease all month. We want to raise awareness, talk about the risks, preventative steps, and increase healthy lifestyle behaviors that can improve this disease.
A few statistics, so you can see the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes:
- Research suggests that 1 out of 3 adults has prediabetes. Of this group, 9 out of 10 don’t know they have it.
- 1 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 8.1 million may be undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.
- About 1.4 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in the United States every year.
- More than one in every 10 adults over the age of 20, has diabetes. For seniors (65 years and older), that figure rises to more than one in four.
Significant Risk Factors to be aware of:
- older age
- excess weight, particularly around the waist
- family history
- certain ethnicities
- physical inactivity
- poor diet
If you are diagnosed with Diabetes, prediabetes, or are at risk for diabetes, below are a few things you can do to help improve your disease or lower your risk for developing diabetes.
- Achieve a healthy weight
- Following a healthy diet, and being physically active at least 30 minutes per day, most days of the week will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Get more physical activity
- Research shows that aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes. The greatest benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.
- Maintain a healthy diet
- A healthy diet includes: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, and lean proteins.
- Limit foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt.
- Drink plenty of water! Studies have shown that water can aid in healthy blood sugar levels.
- Pay attention to portion sizes and familiarize yourself with the food label.
- Take your medications as prescribed by your physician
- Routine doctor visits
- Have your doctor make a referral to a Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian, or an Endocrinologist if you have specific concerns related to your disease
Living with diabetes can be challenging to manage every day. You are the most important member of your diabetes care team, but you don’t have to manage your diabetes alone. Seek support from health care professionals, family, friends, and community to manage your diabetes. Together we can open hearts and minds to the complexity and seriousness of Diabetes, and the demands that people impacted by this disease face every day.