Pay Attention to Your Health during American Diabetes Month
By Megan Morrow
Published November 5, 2019
While many people are planning for hearty meals of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie as Thanksgiving approaches, November is also American Diabetes Month – a time when communities across the country focus on improving health and reducing the risk of diabetes. Diabetes is a leading causes of death and disability in the United States, with one in 10 Americans living with diabetes and another 84 million adults at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Signs of diabetes include excessive thirst, urinating often, extreme fatigue, hunger, blurry vision and cuts/bruises that are slow to deal. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, where the body does not use insulin properly, but the good news is that many people can reverse or manage this condition through healthy eating and exercise.
You should always talk with a doctor if you are concerned about your health, blood sugar or risk for diabetes.
In addition, you can help to reduce your risk with the following tips:
- Keep a food diary and focus on healthy eating. Whole foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, whole grains, lean forms of protein like chicken and fish) are ideal, as is limiting processed foods and sugary treats. If you need to lose weight, create a reasonable plan with a medical professional; losing just 10-15 pounds can have a significant positive impact on your health. Many nutritionists recommend an 80/20 plan where you eat healthy 80 percent of the time, making room for occasional indulgences.
- Move your body. Effective movement can be as simple as walking briskly for 30 minutes a day. In addition, you can try strength training, yoga and Pilates, biking, swimming, group exercise classes or group sports like tennis and volleyball. You can also take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further from your destination and get off the couch during commercials to bolster the number of minutes you move each day.
- Stop smoking or using other tobacco products, if relevant, since adults with diabetes are at much higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Focus on stress management. If you have high blood pressure, your heart has to work harder. Find a form of stress management that works for you, whether it is meditation, movement, therapy, listening to music or writing in a journal.
- Know your family health history. Nine out of 10 people with prediabetes do not even know that they have it. Recognize the warning signs and concerns and talk with your doctor early and often, if you have a family history of diabetes or other diseases.
Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to your health and reducing your risk of diabetes. You can enjoy a full plate of your favorite Thanksgiving foods, but take some time before or after to walk around the neighborhood, stretch and plan for a healthy day to follow on Black Friday.
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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor. The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.