The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 37 million Americans have diabetes – and more than 7 million of them do not know they have it. So it’s possible that you, a family member or a close friend could be undiagnosed, or one of the 96 million people in the United States with prediabetes, a condition in which your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
When diabetes goes untreated it can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, blindness and foot problems. Also, diabetes is expensive. People with diabetes spend 2.3 times more on medical expenses than those without diabetes.
Every year in November the American Diabetes Association observes American Diabetes Month. For the millions of people in the U.S. who are at risk for diabetes, the American Diabetes Association promotes education, helps connect them to resources, and makes sure our communities are aware of their risk. The organization also encourages those living with diabetes to tell their stories to increase awareness of the disease.
Here are some tips to reduce or reverse diabetes
- Lose weight. Especially around the waist area. Drink a glass of water 5-10 minutes before your meal to take the edge off your hunger.
- Keep the weight off. Did you know that you could prevent or delay diabetes by losing just 5-7% of your weight? For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10 to 14 pounds.
- Move more. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week for a total of 150 minutes per week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional about which activities are best. Take the stairs to your office. Or, take the stairs as far as you can and then take the elevator the rest of the way.
- Eat healthy foods most of the time. Eat smaller portions to reduce the amount of calories you eat each day to help you lose weight. Choosing foods with less fat is another way to reduce calories. Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. Avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Make a list before you go to the store. Read food labels. Choose foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
- Be patient with yourself. Work on adding one new healthy habit until you have mastered your way through to better habits and better results. It takes time, so remain diligent and patient; it will pay off!
Armed with these tips and reminders, you too can take control of your overall health. Feel free to share this information with your family and friends. Learn more about diabetes management programs at Emory Healthcare.
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About Emory Healthcare
At Emory Healthcare, we’re here to help you find the care you need when you need it. With more than 3,400 doctors and over 450 locations, including 11 hospitals, we can cover your health care needs from primary care to more than 70 specialties. We also partner with Peachtree Immediate Care to provide convenient urgent care access when you need it. Find a doctor near you to help you get and stay healthy.