November is National Diabetes Month and here at Champion Home Health Care, we want to share this valuable information with all of the seniors and caregivers that we know. Diabetes affects over 30 million Americans. According to the American Diabetes Association, almost twenty-six percent of those over the age of 65 have already been diagnosed with this condition. That is roughly 11.2 million senior citizens! This number is astounding but it does not have to mean that you or one you love will become a statistic. Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not process blood glucose correctly. In Type 2 diabetes, the body does not effectively create or use the insulin hormone to control sugar levels.
Glucose, otherwise known as sugar, is the body’s top source of energy. It is needed at the cellular level and this is where insulin comes in. This crucial hormone allows glucose to be used by the cells for all manner to things and is essential for health. This health crisis is so important that the ADA, the American Diabetes Association, is supporting the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act of 2015. This legislation allows for Medicare coverage for the National DPP, National Diabetes Prevention Program, for seniors who are at high risk for developing Diabetes. With so much at stake, there are things you can do to prevent this disease or delay its onset. Here are some tips on doing just that.
Prevention is the best course of action if you or someone you love has not been diagnosed with Diabetes. Currently, fifty percent of those over the age of 65 have a condition known as prediabetes, according to Diabetesstopshere.org.
Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are elevated but not enough to be given a Type 2 diagnosis. A prediabetes diagnosis does not mean that Type 2 is inevitable. It is more of a caution signal telling you that if you do not modify your current behaviors you could see a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis in your future. You can take control and modify the outcome. You do not have to become a statistic.
First and foremost, know your numbers. If you are not currently aware of your blood glucose levels, a simple blood test can give you all the answers you need. Knowing where you currently stand will help you and your healthcare provider create a plan of action. Those who are in the prediabetes phase can make dietary and movement changes to increase their probability of never developing Type 2 Diabetes, preventing stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
Another thing to consider is losing excess weight. There is a correlation between being overweight and/or obese and Diabetes, so losing a few pounds can help you. The Centers for Disease Control
recommends losing between five and seven percent of your current body weight and 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. These are powerful changes that you can make a part of your new daily routine. Those 150 minutes of exercise can be broken down into 5 thirty-minute sessions of brisk walking if need be. The key here is to be mindful of your current weight and make necessary modifications to ensure a slow and steady weight loss over time.
Walking is a great way to get your exercise in. Take your pets for a stroll; invite friends for a lovely evening walk and catch up on the day. These changes do not have to be abrupt or painful, make them your new normal and include socialization as well. This will do wonders for not only your body but your mind and soul as well.