November is Diabetes Awareness Month

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News Release
 
For Immediate Release: 11/24/2021
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CONTACT
Julie Naughton, Office of Communications, (402) 471-1695 (office); (402) 405-7202 (cell);
julie.naughton@nebraska.gov

 

Lincoln – A sobering statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: as many as 1 in 3 Americans (approximately 88 million people) have prediabetes and don't know it. Prediabetes is a serious health condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

According to the Mayo Clinic, in type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin, and the body can't use insulin as well as it should. This means that sugar cannot move into the cells, but instead builds up in the blood. People who have prediabetes are at high risk to develop Type 2 diabetes.

The good news? Unlike type 1 diabetes, where the body does not produce any insulin on its own and thus requires daily injections, lifestyle changes often can reverse prediabetes that leads to type 2 diabetes.

U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease suggests the following actions:

  • Take small steps. Making changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can be hard, but you don't have to change everything at once. It is okay to start small. Remember that setbacks are normal and do not mean you have failed—the key is to get back on track as soon as you can. 
  • Seek support. It is possible to reverse prediabetes. Making a plan, tracking your progress, and getting support from your health care professional and loved ones can help you make the necessary lifestyle changes. 
  • Lose weight, track it, and keep it off. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight. 
  • Move more. Limit the time spent sitting and try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day, 5 days a week. Start slowly by breaking it up throughout the day. 
  • Choose healthier foods and drinks most of the time. Pick foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and sugar, and include vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. Drink water instead of sweetened drinks (including 100% fruit juices) and alcohol. 
  • Stay up to date on vaccinations. The flu and COVID-19 vaccines are especially important for people who are more likely to get very sick from these viruses. People with diabetes are considered high-risk for both the flu and COVID-19.

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