Education, simple changes to lifestyle can prevent diabetes
November 19, 2009
- Diabetes affects more than 24 million children in the United States
During the National Diabetes Awareness month in November, the Diabetes Care Center at Madigan Army Medical Center is partnering with the American Diabetes Association's national movement to 'Stop Diabetes.'
The 'Stop Diabetes' promotion will highlight the potentially life-threatening complications of diabetes such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation and what patient can do to prevent and detect these.
This month, consider that 24 million children and adults in the United States live with diabetes, 57 million Americans are at risk for Type 2 diabetes and one out of every three children born today will face a future with diabetes if current trends continue.
According to the ADA, those with diabetes can also be involved in this movement by:
Aca,!Ac Share. Inspire others to join the movement by sharing your personal story. Visit www.stopdiabetes.com to learn about all the exciting ways to be a part of the Stop Diabetes movement.
Aca,!Ac Act. Whether you want to walk, bike or simply tell a friend, there will be many ways to help us build momentum for the Stop Diabetes movement.
Aca,!Ac Learn. The American Diabetes Association has many resources throughout the country to help Stop Diabetes.
Aca,!Ac Give. Sign up with your local American Diabetes Association office to help raise money for diabetes research, federal and state advocacy and public education.
You also can join the movement to Stop Diabetes now.
Text JOIN to 69866.
The American Diabetes Association will text you with simple actions you can take that will make a real difference.
An important role that a patient with diabetes can do is to work with a certified diabetes educator to identify achievable behavioral goals and help guide you through multiple obstacles.
Here are some tips from Madigan's Diabetes Care Center:
1. Diabetes is more manageable if you set goals and make a plan.
Aca,!Ac Set a goal for yourself.
Choose something that is important to you and that you believe you can do.
Then make a plan by choosing the small steps you will take.
Aca,!Ac Pick things you want to do and be realistic.
Aca,!Ac Begin an exercise program: start working towards getting 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
If you have not been very active in the past, start slowly and try adding a few minutes each day.
Aca,!Ac Make better food choices focused on eating fewer calories: your plan may be to skip second helpings, drink water rather than soda or fruit juice, choose fruits or vegetables as a snack, and make an appointment to see a dietitian.
Aca,!Ac Manage your blood glucose (blood sugar) better: your plan could be checking your blood glucose daily, taking your medicines, and making regular appointments and contacting your health care team if you have problems.
2. Learn to manage your blood glucose (blood sugar) to prevent complications.
Aca,!Ac Keep your A1C below 7 in the early years. (If you have had diabetes for a long time, have other health problems or have problems with low blood sugar, your A1C target may be higher than 7).
Aca,!Ac Talk to your health care team about your blood glucose targets.
Aca,!Ac Discuss your A1C goal with your health care team at every visit.
3. Managing diabetes is not just about your blood glucose (blood sugar).
Aca,!Ac Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control can lower your risk for heart attacks and other diabetes complications.
Aca,!Ac Keep taking your medicines that are working to control blood pressure and cholesterol.
Aca,!Ac Talk with your health care team about taking control of your blood pressure and cholesterol.
4. Managing your diabetes may not be easy, but it is worth it.
Aca,!Ac The day-to-day activities needed to manage diabetes can be hard. But if you keep your blood glucose as close to normal as is safe for you - what is called your target range - you can reduce your chance of serious health problems. It is worth the effort.
Aca,!Ac See your health care team for regular diabetes check-ups.