Diabetes Awareness Month

Qualchoice Health Insurance brought Yvette Coleman to inform everyone about this disease 1 out of 8 Arkansans have.

More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes. This disease has a big impact on the entire family, especially when a child is diagnosed. With 1.5 million new diagnoses every year, it is a health concern nationwide. There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but a healthy lifestyle can really reduce its impact on your life. As we take the month of November to focus on diabetes awareness, it is important to understand what diabetes is and how we can manage it in our daily lives as a family.

1. Three main types of diabetes

· Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant, which can put the pregnancy and baby at risk and lead to type 2 diabetes later)

· Type 1 - your body stops making insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar) because the body’s immune system has attacked and destroyed the cells that make insulin.

· Type 2 - your body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels.


2. Health risks for people with diabetes

· For the past several years there has been an increase in the number of children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. For children - the chance of developing by age 18 is about 1 in 300.

· For adults - If you have any of the risk factors below, ask your doctor if you should be tested for diabetes: overweight, 45 years or older, having a relative with type 2 diabetes, physically active less than 3 times a week.

· If left unmanaged, you may develop serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and premature death.

· Having a wellness plan in place can help you manage your disease


3. Healthy-Eating Plan

· Following a meal plan will help you feel better and keep your blood glucose levels in your target range.

· Healthy-eating habits:

o Eat smaller portions, use less salt, eat fewer high in sugar foods

o More fiber from whole-grain foods

o Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables

o Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish can be a good alternative to high-fat meats

o For snacks, try to eat pecans or almonds


4. Family activities

· Engage in moderate-intensity physical activity at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Limit screen time by getting kids to play outside.

· Fun family activities:

o Yard work

o Biking

o Family walk

o Outdoor games: Football, soccer, basketball


If you have been prescribed any medications take them regularly and keep regular appointments with your provider. If you are living with diabetes, it’s important to make choices that keep you and your loved ones healthy.


Find more at Qualchoice.com

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