Diabetes Care Requires A Plan

For anyone living with a diagnosis of diabetes, at least there is this: You are not alone.

Because diabetes has risen to become such a widespread health concern, there is intense focus on identifying the best practices for prevention and treatment. Pay attention to what the experts say, and your odds for sustained good health rise dramatically.

This is part of the message today, Nov. 14, at the first observance of Diabetes Awareness Day in Missouri. A program at the state capitol will note advances made in health care, including the role of trained peer educators who assist people who want to learn diabetes self-management -writes golifehacks.info

Lots of folks could benefit. Primaris, a health-care consulting firm that works with hospitals and physicians, reports more than 747,000 Missourians deal with diabetes daily. About 27 percent of those affected have not yet been diagnosed by a health-care provider.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention simplifies diabetes in explaining it affects how a body turns food into energy. There isn’t a cure yet, but the CDC says practicing healthy lifestyle habits, taking prescribed medicines, getting self-management education and keeping appointments with your health-care providers can greatly reduce diabetes’ impact on your life.

The alternative? Well, it’s not good. Depending on the progression of the disease, the serious complications can include heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness and death.

The Mayo Clinic offers specific tips for prevention of diabetes, particularly for those who are at increased risk, such as if they are overweight or have a family history of the disease:

Get more physical activity. The greatest benefit comes from an exercise program that includes both aerobic exercise and resistance training.

Get plenty of fiber. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts.

Go for whole grains. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for the word “whole” on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.

Lose extra weight. Participants in one large study who lost a modest amount of weight — around 7 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.

Skip fad diets and just make healthier choices. By excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, make variety and portion control part of your healthy-eating plan.

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