November is National Diabetes Month

American Diabetes Month is a time to raise awareness of diabetes prevention and control. Today, 24 million Americans are living with diabetes and 57 million more are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Health Tradition Health Plan is proud to participate in American Diabetes Month to promote diabetes prevention and control.

People who are overweight, over 45 years old, who don’t get much exercise, or who have high blood pressure are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The good news is that you can take steps to lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Be active.
  • Control your blood pressure and cholesterol.

Most people in this country have seen the facts above. However, the hard part for all of us is actually getting started on any of the suggestions that help us prevent type 2 diabetes or lessen its effects. The purpose of this piece is to offer ways to take small but important steps to a healthier lifestyle.

A.    Tips to help you watch your weight:

  1. Drink a glass of water 10 minutes before your meal to take the edge off your hunger
  2. Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that you’re full.
  3. You don’t have to cut out the foods you love to eat. Just eat smaller portions of them less often

B.    Ways to eat healthier foods:

  1. Cook with a mix of spices instead of salt
  2. Don’t shop for groceries on an empty stomach. Make a list before you go to the store.
  3. Find a water bottle you really like (from a church or club event, favorite sports team, etc.) and drink water from it wherever and whenever you can

C.    How you can start moving a little more:

  1. Park as far away as possible from your favorite store at the mall
  2. Take the stairs to your office. Or take the stairs as far as you can, and then take the elevator the rest of the way.
  3. March in place while you watch TV

D.    Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol:

  1. All the small but important steps listed above will help you with both of these! Your job here is to make sure to have your blood pressure checked regularly and to have your doctor order labs to check your cholesterol level as needed. Try to memorize your values!

For many, many more small but important tips like these go to this web page:

http://www.ndep.nih.gov/publications/PublicationDetail.aspx?PubId=72

For other common sense strategies on how to combat diabetes go to this web page:

 http://ndep.nih.gov/partners-community-organization/national-diabetes-month/index.aspx?redirect=true

If you wish to see more general information on National Diabetes Month you can go to these web pages:

http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/programs/american-diabetes-month/

http://healthfinder.gov/nho/PDFs/NovemberNHOtoolkit.pdf