November is National Diabetes Month. Every November, people promote the awareness of diabetes and recognize those in our communities that live with this chronic condition.
In the United States, 26 million adults have diabetes– nearly 540,000 of those are our fellow Hoosiers. Another 79 million have prediabetes which includes almost 280,000 individuals living in Indiana.
Diabetes is a serious chronic condition that results in high levels of blood glucose, a form of sugar, due to defects in insulin production, insulin use, or both. People with diabetes, their family members and friends realize the daily challenges faced to manage and maintain blood glucose as close to normal as possible. However, control of blood sugar can help reduce risk for problems with eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart later in life.
People with prediabetes and those at risk for diabetes should also take steps to avoid complications and prevent type 2 diabetes. Losing 5 to 7 percent of their weight, if they are overweight and increasing physical activity has been proven to reduce that risk by up to 58 percent.
During National Diabetes Month, make a choice to prevent type 2 diabetes. Choose one step and start slow. You don’t have to change everything all at once to improve your health.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Eat a healthy diet. Choose a variety of foods that are low in fat and calories.
- Exercise regularly. Start slowly and progress to the recommended 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease and other complications.
- Have blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.
In honor of National Diabetes Month, NorthShore Health Centers is offering the community free blood sugar checks the entire day on November 22nd for those unsure of their blood sugar status as well as a free Diabetes Education Group at 1pm that day for our diabetics patients and those interested in learning more about diabetes. Each participant will receive a free pedometer and exercise stretch band while enjoying some healthy snacks.
To find local resources or learn more about the Diabetes Education Group contact NorthShore Health Centers at 219-763-8112 or visit our website at www.NorthShoreHealth.org.