Making a plan to prevent diabetes and its complications
November is National Diabetes Month: a time for people, groups and communities to shine a spotlight on diabetes, including making a plan to manage and prevent the disease and its complications.
Balintfy: During National Diabetes Month, health experts emphasize the importance of setting goals and making a plan to prevent type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications.
Rodgers: People with diabetes canít take a vacation from diabetes.
Balintfy: That's Dr. Griffin Rodgers, an institute director at the NIH.
Rodgers: They need to make decisions to manage their diabetes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To manage diabetes, people with diabetes have to think about making healthy food choices, staying at a healthy weight, being active, working to keep blood glucose (or blood sugar), cholesterol, and blood pressure levels under control, and taking medicine the way the doctor tells you.
Balintfy: Dr. Rodgers understands that many people struggle with making lifestyle changes to prevent or manage diabetes.
Rodgers: When you are trying to make lifestyle changes, it's common to feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry — especially if you are living with a lifelong disease such as diabetes. Even if you know what to do to improve your health, figuring out how to do it and fitting it into your daily routine can be a big challenge.
Balintfy: Dr. Rodgers says that itís easier to meet that challenge by setting goals and making a plan.
Rodgers: Start by setting one goal to work on first. Decide on a goal that is important to you, and is something that you are willing and able to do.
Balintfy: He adds that the goal should be something realistic.
Rodgers: For example, if you know that you work late, it might not be a realistic goal to say that youíre going to go for a walk or run after work. Instead, you might try getting out for a walk or run in the morning, or using some time during your lunch break to fit this in your schedule.
Balintfy: Dr. Rodgers explains that once a goal is set, itís easier to take steps to achieve the goal.
Rodgers: Pick one step to try this week. And once you make that first step, take another step the next week, and then another until you have reached your goal.
Balintfy: He emphasizes the importance of preventing and managing diabetes Ė it is a very common problem with nearly 26 million Americans currently living with the disease and another 7 million who don't know they have it.
Rodgers: And then on a national level, approximately 79 million adults have pre-diabetes. This is a condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Balintfy: Dr. Rodgers offers the website www.YourDiabetesInfo.org/MakeAPlan as a resource to help meet and overcome the challenges of making and sustaining lifestyle changes that can prevent and manage diabetes. Again that website is www.YourDiabetesInfo.org/MakeAPlan. This is Joe Balintfy, at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Dr. Griffin Rodgers
Topic: diabetes, type 2 diabetes, prevent diabetes, manage diabetes, preventing diabetes, managing diabetes, diabetes complications, lifestyle changes, healthy eating, healthy food choices