Washington D.C.,, – Nearly 26 million Americans – or 8.3 percent of the population – are living with diabetes. Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes, putting them at increased risk of the disease. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. But making lifestyle changes to improve your health is not always easy. 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.
Making changes step by step, such as losing a small amount of weight if overweight, and becoming more active, can go a long way toward helping you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds, if you weigh 200 pounds, can make a big difference in helping you prevent type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, making similar types of changes can help you reach your blood sugar (glucose), blood pressure and cholesterol goals to prevent diabetes-related health problems.
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has a “Make A Plan” tool that can help you think about what is important to your health and what you are willing and able to do so you can break down your goals into small, achievable steps. Once you have your plan in place, the NDEP can provide you with a number of tools to help you meet your health goal. Whether you are looking to eat healthier, be more active, manage your weight, cope better with stress and emotions, or stop smoking, you can find tools to help.
The NDEP provides many behavior change resources on their online library – Diabetes HealthSense – that can help people make changes to prevent type 2 diabetes and manage their diabetes so they can prevent complications. This November, make a change to live well. Find out more at www.YourDiabetesInfo.org.