By Jordan McCoy, MS, RDN, LD—Outpatient Dietitian, Diabetes Educator at Sheridan Memorial Hospital’s Internal Medicine
November is National Diabetes Month. There are different types of Diabetes; however, the rise in Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and Prediabetes in our community, state and nation continues to exponentially increase. The good news is, this disease can be prevented!
Diabetes affects major organs in the body, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, kidneys and more. Don’t wait till 2022 to take charge of your health. Start by getting an easy blood screen for prediabetes and T2DM and make your health a priority today!
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a disease where a person’s blood glucose or blood sugar is too high. This disease causes a very important hormone in the body called insulin to work incorrectly. As a result, the insulin is unable to bring the blood sugar into the cells properly. Prediabetes is a disease where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but are not yet to the extent of being diagnosed as T2DM. Some individuals who have been diagnosed with T2DM have a genetic predisposition; however, obesity and habitual inactivity are generally the cause.
The first line of defense is always lifestyle changes. Focus on what you can change in your everyday life, such as nutritional choices, physical activity and fitness, better sleep, and decreased alcohol and tobacco use. Here are some tips to help you along:
- Decrease your intake of processed foods that are boxed, bagged, and wrapped. Pick whole foods that are nutrient-dense such as meat, eggs, vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa, nutrient-dense dairy products (Greek yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese, etc.), and healthy fats (Olive oil, nuts, and avocados, etc.). Skip the cold cereal and grab a hardboiled egg.
- Start Moving! Prioritize purposeful activity!
- Get Adequate Sleep!
- Get hydrated with water!
Don’t let prediabetes progress to T2DM. Make those lifestyle changes noted above and take the steps to change your nutrition and get active!
According to the most recent Center for Disease Control Data:
- 2 million people of all ages have diabetes, that is 10.5% of the US population
- 4% of men and 29.2% of women have prediabetes (>18 years)
- Adolescent’s ages 12-18 years, 1 in 6 have prediabetes who are overweight or obese
Ask your health care provider what kind of diabetes screening is best for you or call SMH Diabetes Education Department at 307-675-2640 with your questions.