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3 Tips to Keep in Mind During Diabetes Awareness Month

Although Type 2 Diabetes is completely preventable, the rate of adults affected by the disease continues to grow. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than 100 million adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes. Nearly one in four adults living with diabetes don’t know they have the condition, which can lead to other negative health complications.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, making it a great time to learn about resources to help you prevent, diagnose and treat type 2 diabetes:   

Tip #1: Asses Your Risk Factors
While anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, some individuals have higher risk factors than others. For example, the elderly and those with a history of high blood pressure are more likely to develop the disease. Your family history can also impact your likelihood of developing diabetes. This quick test, developed by the American Diabetes Association, can help you better predict your risk for prediabetes.

Tip #2: Be Proactive about Prevention
Type 2 diabetes is very preventable, and making small changes in your everyday routine can greatly lower your risk of developing the disease.

  • Glucose Screenings: A simple blood glucose test can provide crucial information to at-risk individuals. The test is designed to help individuals and families identify diabetes risk factors and mitigate the potential medical expenses of diabetes-related health care.
  • Healthy Diet and Exercise: Being overweight or obese greatly increases the risk for health complications in individuals with type 2 diabetes, but making small changes can help you reach your health goals. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases created a comprehensive list of what diabetics should eat and avoid, and they offer tools like the Body Weight Planner and SuperTracker that can help you achieve your healthy eating goals.
  • S.M.A.R.T Action Plan: Create a S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) Action Plan to help you accomplish your healthy lifestyle goals. Questions to ask yourself include: What exactly do you want to accomplish and how will you achieve it? How can you track your progress? Do you have everything you need to reach your goals? What is your deadline? Mapping out this plan will help you track your progress and stay motivated.

Tip #3: Make Treatment a Priority
Your health and wellness should always be a priority. If you think you may be at-risk for diabetes or prediabetes, talk to your doctor. They will work with you to create a prevention or treatment plan tailored to your unique situation.

Diabetes Awareness Month is a great time to make sure you are living the healthy, active lifestyle that can keep your risk of diabetes and prediabetes low. If you’re living with diabetes, understanding your treatment and management options and taking small steps every day can help you lead a happier, healthier life.  

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