November is National Diabetes Month. Colorado Black Health Collaborative will feature several articles to address diabetes in the month of November. We are also joining the Together2Goal National Day of Action to spread information about diabetes to the community. Be on the lookout for our tips around town.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases( www.niddk.nih.gov), diabetes affects about 30.3 million Americans. It is also estimated that 1 in every 4 Americans with diabetes don’t know they have the disease. If you have a family history of diabetes, there is a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. You are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are African American, over age 45, are not physically active, are overweight or obese.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the blood glucose(“sugar”) is too high. Type 1 and Type 2 are the two most common forms of diabetes. 90-95 % of adults have Type 2 diabetes. If a person has Type 2 diabetes, usually the body is not able to effectively use insulin which leads to high glucoses. Insulin is the hormone made by the pancreas, an organ that is located near the stomach.
National Diabetes Month provides a great opportunity to share information about diabetes. See the sweet tips provided in this article.
General – Diabetes is a very manageable disease and you can live a healthy, satisfying lifestyle.
- Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most serious health problems that the African American community faces today.
- Compared to the general population, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes.
- Type 2 Diabetesis due to lifestyle factors (obesity, eating, exercise) orgenetic susceptibility( runs in the family). Diabetes can be controlled but in general can’t be cured.
- Many people who get Type 2 diabetes don’t feel bad or have any symptoms.
Proper eating can help prevent and manage diabetes. Fix it with food/Eat healthy. Remember there is no such thing as a “diabetic diet”.
- We know you’ve probably heard this before, but the staples of vegetables ( ½ of plate), fruits( 2 per day ), legumes(beans), whole grains, fish— are a good idea, anytime.
- (Diabetics) try to eat about the same amount of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. This helps blood sugar stay smooth. Avoid skipping meals.
- Every can of soda is 30-45 grams of carbohydrate (7.5 – 12 teaspoons of sugar). Drink water instead.
- Reduce red meat- An analysis of the diets of almost 150,000 people found that eating an extra half serving a day of red meat increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 50 percent (can cause certain cancers also).
Proper exercise can help prevent and manage diabetes. Don’t just sit there, MOVE your body.
- An extra two hours a day spent watching television increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetesby 14 percent (JAMA). Exercise while watching, or run around the block between episodes.
- Regular exercise improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity which is important in the everyday lives of diabetics.
- According to Web MD, in a recent study of Hispanic men and women, 16 weeks of strength training produced dramatic improvements in sugar control that are comparable to taking diabetesmedication.
- Exercise is not only appropriate, but highly recommended for people with Type 2 diabetes, so try to fit it in most days of the week!
- Chronic worry and stress not only contribute to insulin resistance (body not responding well) but also make it harder for your pancreas to move glucose out of your bloodstream. Techniques (ways) proven to help you relax and reduce stressinclude biofeedback, meditation, and deep breathing.
Mind your Meds
- If you’re already on medication for diabetes, it’s important to take it as prescribed.
- If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor/pharmacist about the diabetes medications.
Diabetes and the Mind
- Type 2 diabetes can harm the brain.
- Compared to people without diabetes, more people with Type 2 diabetes get dementia.
If you are not currently diabetic be sure to assess your risk for diabetes from the information below by the NIDDK.
Assess Your Risk
- Take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you may be at risk for diabetes or prediabetes.
- Download the PDF here (324.45 KB)
Just for the Health of it!