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National Diabetes Month Ė What Does It Mean to You?

By Patrice Powers-Barker, OSU Extension, Lucas County
The Truth Contributor

November is National Diabetes Month, a time to raise awareness about diabetes risk factors and encourage people to make healthy changes. The National Institutes of Health explains diabetes as a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. The three main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. People can develop diabetes at any age. Both women and men can develop diabetes.  Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious health problems.

         Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if itís not controlled.

         One in 10 Americans have diabetes ó thatís more than 30 million people. And another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that we can take steps to prevent diabetes or manage it. People who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk if they make healthy changes like eating healthy, getting more physical activity, and losing weight.

In 2019, in partnership with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) the focus this November is on the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes. As mentioned at the beginning, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. The good news is that the steps you take to manage your diabetes can also help lower your chances of having heart disease or a stroke:

  • Stop smoking or using other tobacco products.
  • Manage your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
  • Develop or maintain healthy lifestyle habits - be more physically active and learn ways to manage stress.
  • Take medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

For those with diabetes, check with your doctor, nurse or registered dietician to see if there are classes available to learn more about diabetes. Not only is important for those with a diabetes diagnosis to learn more but it is also important for family members, community members and other supportive individuals to encourage their loved ones who are living with diabetes.

For those who prefer learning at their own pace, on their own time, Ohio State University Extension health professionals offer a free online course titled, Dining With Diabetes: Beyond the Kitchen.  This online class focuses on carbohydrates, fats, sodium, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The easy to follow three-module course includes interactive presentations, videos, activities, and access to trusted resources and apps. The course is designed for those with a diabetes diagnoses as well as those who have a loved one living with diabetes. Sign up is easy and free.  Participants will be asked to create an account with Ohio State CFAES Canvas where they can take advantage of all the course materials. For more details and link to sign up please visit https://fcs.osu.edu/BTK

Bonus! After completion of the online Dining With Diabetes: Beyond the Kitchen course, participants receive a printable certificate. They are also automatically entered in a quarterly drawing for a $100 Amazon.com gift card.

One additional opportunity for learning, support and online encouragement for healthy living is the annual six-week email challenge. Not only is November the awareness month for diabetes, it is also the start of a busy time of year for many people. Does the holiday season find you rushing around trying to accomplish too much? Do you feel overwhelmed with your tasks? Can you use some encouragement and guidance but donít have time to attend classes? Join us for this Get Your Elves in a Row! Email Challenge. This six-week challenge will help you learn ways to simplify your life in a healthy way. You will explore topics such as gratitude, mindfulness, positivity, movement and humor.

How does it work? Adults with an email address can sign up to participate in the program. Once registered for the program, participants will receive two free weekly e-communications, containing wellness tips. Sign up today by following this link to enroll: http://go.osu.edu/ElvesLucas19 . It starts the week of November 25.

Information from American Diabetes Association, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI),  www.ohioline.osu.edu, www.healthfinder.gov




Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/07/19 10:34:10 -0500.

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