November marks National Diabetes Month, a month dedicated to increasing awareness and drawing attention to the challenges posed by diabetes. This year, the emphasis is on proactive measures to prevent health complications associated with diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the levels of blood glucose, commonly referred to as blood sugar, become excessively elevated. Approximately 37 million Americans, encompassing both adults and youth, are affected by this condition. Diabetes has the potential to cause harm to various organs, including the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart, and has associations with certain types of cancer.
There are effective measures to help prevent diabetes. It’s crucial to bear in mind that diabetes is controllable when you undertake the necessary steps and precautions, listed below:
Manage your Blood Glucose, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
- Research indicates that taking proactive measures to manage diabetes soon after diagnosis can prevent associated health issues. Initiate the process by addressing your diabetes ABCs:
- A stands for the A1C test, a tool used by healthcare professionals to gauge your average blood glucose levels. Some individuals with diabetes also employ devices to monitor blood glucose levels throughout the day and night.
- B represents blood pressure.
- C represents cholesterol.
- Consult your healthcare team to determine your personalized ABCs goals.
Make Small Steps towards Healthy Lifestyle Habits
- Embark on small, incremental changes to cultivate healthy habits. Lifestyle adjustments, such as planning nutritious meals, engaging in physical activity, ensuring adequate sleep, and abstaining from smoking can contribute to managing your diabetes ABCs. Begin gradually and establish healthier habits over time.
Take Medication on Time
- Take your prescribed medicines, even if you feel healthy, it’s crucial to adhere to your medication schedule. Discuss any challenges with taking your medicines on time or at the correct dosage with your doctor or pharmacist.
Reach or Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Strive to achieve or sustain a healthy weight. If you’re dealing with being overweight or obesity, consult your primary care provider to explore whether adopting healthy eating habits, engaging in physical activity, or other weight-loss interventions could assist in managing your weight.
Prioritize your Mental Health
- Attend to your mental health. Managing diabetes can be challenging, and if you feel sad, distressed, or overwhelmed, explore healthy strategies for coping with stress. Consider seeking support from a mental health counselor or joining a support group.
Collaborate with your Healthcare Team
- Managing diabetes is a collaborative effort. Your healthcare team may include a primary care provider, diabetes specialist, registered dietitian, or certified diabetes educator. Consult your primary care provider to determine if involving other healthcare professionals in your diabetes management is advisable.
Financial Assistance and Community Resources
- Recognize that diabetes medicines, devices, and office visits can incur costs. A social worker or a member of your healthcare team may assist you in identifying community resources or securing financial aid for diabetes care.