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Research has proven that complications
are less likely to occur if you keep your
blood glucose as near to normal as
possible, yet, as diabetes educators, we
hear many reasons why our clients don’t
make simple changes to better their own
health. Here are a few.
“I’m too young to have
diabetes.”
This is a form of denial.
According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC),
more than 13,000 young people are
diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in
the United States each year. The
number of children and adolescents
diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is
growing at an alarming rate. New
diagnoses for type 2 diabetes in
children accounts for up to half of all
diabetes diagnoses in children and
adolescents.
“I don’t have enough time.”
Whether you work full-time or stay at
home, it’s important to take time to
improve your way of life. Managing
your blood sugar doesn’t require you
to make drastic changes. Break tasks
down into smaller, doable actions.
For example, take a 10-minute walk
twice a day instead of walking for
20 minutes at one time. There are,
however, things you must make
time for. To stay healthy, you must
test your blood sugar and take your
diabetes medications.
“I feel fne
. Maybe high blood sugar
is normal for me.” High blood sugar
is never normal. Normal blood sugar
for people who don’t have diabetes is
70 to 100 mg/dL (3.9 to 5.6 mmol/L).
Diabetes is an insidious disease, often
called a silent killer. You may feel fne,
but damage is being done to your
entire body, from your hearing and
vision, to sexual function, to mental
health and sleep.
Other comments we hear include
everything from “I don’t like vegetables”
to “Lifestyle changes won’t work, so just
give me diabetes pills.”
But no change is too small to ward
off type 2 diabetes or to delay further
progression of diabetes! A large, national
study conducted at 27 sites around the
U.S. found that small lifestyle changes
are far more successful at warding off
diabetes or delaying further progression
of the disease than are medications.
The Diabetes Prevention Program
(DPP) found that participants who lost
a modest amount of weight through
dietary changes and increased physical
activity greatly reduced their chances
of developing diabetes or developing
further complications of diabetes.
Get started today and set a
specifc goal. Choose a lifestyle
change that you’re willing to
work on. Don’t change behaviors
that will make your health care
team happy- change for you.
Ask yourself what you’d like to
change and how you’re going
to do it, for how long, and how
many days of the week. Start
with one specifc, attainable goal,
for example, “I will walk 10 to 15
minutes three days a week for
one month.”
Lifestyle changes take patience, but, with persistence,
you can make them happen.
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