Did you know that November is National Diabetes Month? In communities across the nation this month, awareness is brought to diabetes and all the factors surrounding the disease. According to the CDC in 2020, 34.2 million (every 1 in 10) Americans are diabetic and another 88 million (every 1 in 3) adults have prediabetes. Diabetes is incredibly common in the United States and while those numbers may seem discouraging, some forms such as Type 2 Diabetes, are actually preventable!
So what is diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic condition which affects how the body processes the glucose (sugar) we take in when we eat. Normally, a hormone called insulin breaks down glucose–but in patients with diabetes, insulin is either not being produced or the body is not using the insulin the way it should. This is what causes diabetics to suffer from hyperglycemia and without medications, diabetes can lead to more severe complications such as heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. Thankfully managing your diabetes can be much simpler than you might think! Below are a few tips to keep in mind.
Manage your blood glucose. Make sure that you are taking all of your medications on time and every day as prescribed by your doctor. Medication is very important in making sure that your daily blood sugar is well managed and your A1C (3 month blood glucose average) is within goal. Also, it is important to test your blood sugar daily, especially if you are taking insulin to ensure that your blood sugar is within range.
Build healthy habits. Incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine can really make a difference with your condition. Not only does exercise help to lose weight, it can also improve your mood. Modifying your diet is another great way to manage your diabetes. Regulating the amount of carbohydrates and sugar you take in greatly affects your blood glucose–this means setting down the sugary drinks, cakes and pastries, and other high fat/sugar content foods. Your health is your wealth!
Join a support group. Connecting to others in your similar situation can help you to navigate through the emotional and social. Share recipes, techniques, tips and tricks with your support group. You don’t have to navigate diabetes alone!
Take a class. FHS is offering free diabetes education and diabetes prevention classes during the month November. Our classes focus on understanding diabetes and developing healthy habits to prevent or help manage Type 2 diabetes. To learn more or to enroll in one of our classes, Click here.
Ask questions. Always make sure to keep in communication with your doctor and team of healthcare professionals. Reach out when you have any questions or concerns about your therapy. They are there to help and are always willing to help, especially when you speak up!