November is National Diabetes Month, a time to bring attention to diabetes, diabetes prevention and diabetes management. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. It affects about 37 million Americans, including adults and youth. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart, and is linked to some types of cancer. Diabetes management takes a team and working with health care professionals can help you get the diabetes care you need to improve your health.
Here are some tips to help you manage diabetes and build your diabetes health care team:
- Manage you A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Ask your health care team what your goals should be and how you can reach them
- Prepare for visits with your team. Before your appointment, write down a list of questions, review your diabetes self-care plan, and record your blood glucose results.
- Seek additional support for your specific needs. A team of health care professionals can help tailor your diabetes self-care routine.
- Make physical activity part of your routine. Set a fitness goal and encourage your family members to exercise with you.
- Follow a diabetes meal plan. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, beans, nuts or seeds, and dairy or nondairy products.
Take charge of your diabetes this month. While it takes a team to manage diabetes this month, remember that you are the most important participant in your diabetes care.
The Jackson County Department of Public Health offers diabetes self-management education and support. For more information, call: (828) 586-8994.