Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is joining the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Alert Day on March 28, 2017. The event is a one-day, “wake-up call” asking the American public to take a diabetes risk test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million Americans. You are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes if you have a family history of diabetes, are overweight, over the age of 45 are physically inactive, or had developed diabetes during pregnancy.
The good news is there are small steps you can take now to lower your risk of developing this serious disease. Step one is to get tested to see if you have pre-diabetes, or diabetes by visiting the CDC’s website (www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/pdf/prediabetestest). Then look at what you can do to lower your risk. While we can’t change our age or heredity, we can work on becoming more active or losing a modest amount of weight and make healthier food choices.
Identify what you would like to change and then break it down into steps. Karen Cole, RN, BSN, certified diabetes educator at Claxton-Hepburn stated, “Rather than saying I am going to increase my activity, say I am going to start walking for 10 minutes 4 days a week, then each week work on increasing it small increments at a time until you are walking 30 minutes most days of the week.”
Cole continued, “The key to reaching your goal and sticking with it is to set a goal and make a step by step plan. When are you going to walk, where will you walk, how long will you walk. Consider what barriers may get in your way. For example during this time of year (icy sidewalks may be a barrier) you might want to look into walking plans at area schools.”
Cole concluded, “Making changes in how you care for your health is a matter of trying and learning. Think about what is important to you and what kinds of changes you are willing to make.” For more information about diabetes and pre-diabetes, go to the American Association of Diabetes (diabetes.org) or the American Diabetes Education Program (www.YourDiabetesInfo.org).
Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center offers a free “Prevent Type 2” program, which is designed to help you adopt and maintain healthy habits to reduce your risk of diabetes. For more information you can call 315-713-5251. Isn’t your tomorrow worth defending?