By Sarah E. Tamayo-Perez
MSN, FNP-C, CEN
The aroma of fresh autumnal pies, homemade cookies, and pumpkin-spiced lattes barrage the senses this time of year.
Most of us welcome such seasonal festivities. Yet, for more than 30 million Americans, the holiday season can be seriously overshadowed by a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. Consider some of these sobering facts from the CDC regarding Type 2 Diabetes:
Over 30 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes
• 1 out of 4 people in the United States don’t even know that they have diabetes or pre-diabetes
• Increasing numbers of children and teens are being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes
In spite of these discouraging facts, Cucamonga Valley Medical Group encourages you to not allow Type 2 Diabetes to dampen your holiday spirits.
So, what is the good news? It truly is possible to live well with diabetes.
Since November is National Diabetes Awareness month, CVMG would like to share some ideas about not letting Type 2 Diabetes get you down.
But I’m Not a Diabetic
Here are some tips on how to observe National Diabetes Awareness Month if you are not actually a diagnosed diabetic:
Get to know your Pancreas
Individuals who are overweight, older than 45 years old, rarely exercise, or have a history of gestational diabetes are at increased risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. Having a close family member who is a diagnosed diabetic also pre-disposes you to developing diabetes.
However, the absence of risk factors doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have Type 2 Diabetes. Going in for your annual physical exam and talking to your provider about diabetes screening is the best way to get to understand your risk and keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels.
Commit to a Healthier Lifestyle
Prevention is truly the best medicine. Take some time to reflect on your current habits. Are you exercising regularly? Are you sleeping and hydrating well? Are you avoiding excessive sugars and carbohydrates? Treat your body well and it will have the fuel to treat you well in return.
Most of us know a family member or friend that has Type 2 Diabetes. Reach out to them this month and ask how you can help support them. Consider them at your next gathering. Take time to research and prepare a diabetes-friendly dish or dessert.
What if I am a Diabetic?
Again, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, do not lose heart! Your CVMG healthcare team is eager to partner with you so that you can enjoy living a full life with diabetes. Here are some important steps that you can take:
Know Your Numbers
It is crucial for you to record your blood sugar levels as directed by your provider. This helps your health care team understand how your medications and lifestyle changes are affecting your day-to-day blood sugar.
Keep a simple notebook or sugar log on hand in order to organize your results.
Be sure to complete the labs that your provider orders. Diabetics need to have their labs checked every 3 to 6 months (depending on the patient), in order to monitor blood sugar levels and kidney function. It is also important that you have annual eye and foot screenings.
Ask your provider about getting connected with a diabetes education class. In fact, CVMG now offers free in-house diabetes education classes that provide in-depth instruction on nutrition, medications and more. Please contact our QI Department for more information.
Go out with a Bang!
Make a commitment to schedule an appointment with your provider before the end of the year. Talk with your provider about your personal diabetes-related goals. This will allow you to enter the new year with some peace of mind and also give you some great ideas about New Year’s resolutions.
Set a new goal as we enter the new year
Speaking of New Year’s resolutions, take the chance to make one or two small, achievable goals for taking control of your diabetes as we enter into 2020.
Perhaps you could make a simple cookbook with diabetic-friendly meals that you enjoy. Or you could find an exercise buddy to help hold you accountable for getting those cardio sessions in. Another great idea would be to commit to coming to one of CVMG’s diabetes education courses.
Remember, your CVMG team is here to support you in all of your diabetic needs.