(NAPSI) — Diabetes is one of the fastest-growing conditions in the U.S. Today, the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes has skyrocketed to nearly one in 10, compared to one in 100 just 50 years ago. Chances are that you or someone you know is coping with it.
What You Can Do
Hearing from your doctor that you have diabetes can be an overwhelming experience. From that day forward, your “new normal” may involve some lifestyle changes. Managing diabetes is a 24/7 responsibility, and many people don’t know where to turn for help to get started. The good news is that diabetes self-management education classes and resources are widely available. Diabetes education can help you to navigate changes and learn simple ways to improve your overall health.
Diabetes self-management means a number of key behavioral changes, including tweaks to diet and exercise, and learning to manage your medication. And while you can attempt those tweaks by yourself, you don’t need to go it alone. Most insurance plans, Medicaid and Medicare cover diabetes self-management education. Unfortunately, studies show only 6 percent of people take advantage of diabetes classes meant to help them manage their diabetes within the first year of being diagnosed.
You can get a better handle on self-management for your “new norm” with these three tips:
- Attend a diabetes education class. Most health care providers offer classes to help people with diabetes learn how to manage their condition. You’ll learn best practices and tips for meal planning, monitoring blood sugar, medications, stress management and more. In addition, many community organizations offer classes to support continued learning and management of diabetes.
- Discover healthy lifestyle ideas. As diabetes becomes increasingly prevalent, more organizations are offering a variety of classes to help support healthy living. These classes can include healthy eating tips and recipes, or a variety of fitness opportunities such as ballroom dancing or yoga. You can check a nearby community center or fitness center to see what classes they offer. Some health insurers also offer diabetes resources and classes for members and nonmembers alike at brick-and-mortar retail stores. Check with your health insurer for options.
- Get moving with easy-to-use fitness technology. Physical activity offers huge benefits for people with diabetes, including lowering blood glucose levels, helping with weight loss, and controlling blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Fitness trackers and apps for phones and tablets make it easier to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. For example, the Blue Cross “do.” app can help you choose activities and set reminders throughout the day to stand up, stretch, walk and more.
By successfully managing your diabetes, you can improve your quality of life and help prevent complications down the road—including cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, eye damage, hearing impairment and more.
A diabetes diagnosis changes your life, but your new norm can lead to changes that can help you feel better and stay healthier.
For more information about diabetes self-management education and how you can help take control of your diabetes, go to www.bluecrossmn.com/newnorm.
Responsible journalism is hard work!
It is also expensive!
If you enjoy reading The Town Line and the good news we bring you each week, would you consider a donation to help us continue the work we’re doing?
The Town Line is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit private foundation, and all donations are tax deductible under the Internal Revenue Service code.
To help, please visit our online donation page or mail a check payable to The Town Line, PO Box 89, South China, ME 04358. Your contribution is appreciated!
- FOR YOUR HEALTH – Uniformed Services Members: Protect Your Family With The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: The American Dream All Over The World
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Safeguard Your Smile, Wherever You Go
- FOR YOUR HEALTH – Make Health A Family Reunion Affair: Talk With Your Family About Kidney Health
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Five Ways To Help Prevent Veteran Suicide
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Suspect Stroke? Call 911
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Fighting the opioid epidemic
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Support For People With Disabilities On The Journey To Work
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Benefits Of CBD Products
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Pressure ulcers costs healthcare billions each year