World Diabetes Day is November 14th, and the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) created this opportunity to “call on policymakers to increase access to diabetes education to help improve the lives of the more than half a billion people living with diabetes worldwide.” Whether you are someone living with diabetes, or you know someone who is, the following is a list of resources and strategies to learn, prevent, and engage more!
World Diabetes Day
Learn, prevent, and engage!
Are you at risk?
Before continuing, take 60 seconds to get to know your risk based on various lifestyle factors and genetics. Encourage your family, friends, coworkers, peers to make the time, too. Just as you are never alone on your health journey, your journey is not just about you. Those around you are, in some way, impacted! Get to know each other…to learn together, support each other, and journey alongside each other! Here is a short Risk Test you can take and share with others.
Everyone can benefit from the basics. Knowing the difference between the types of diabetes is helpful, as well as blanketed recommendations for everyone diagnosed with diabetes. For example, everyone (including those wishing to PREVENT diabetes) can “eat well and move more,” as nutrition and exercise are two extremely powerful tools to not only help regulate blood sugar but can also make all the difference in energy levels, motivation, and mental clarity!
Design to Thrive.
Now that you know your risk and the most basic of recommendations, create a lifestyle that not only helps reduce your risk for developing diabetes, but it is also the type of lifestyle that is designed to help you THRIVE! And “when it comes to healthy living, knowledge is power!” The everyday basics for diabetes prevention and management are similar to those we at Balanced Wellness recommend for risk reduction, disease management, and living life to the fullest. The “Take 5!” strategy is a perfect template you and your loved ones can use: consume adequate amounts of water, increase your intake of fruits and veggies, focus on whole foods, move your body, and practice mindfulness. Cultivating a lifestyle that provides energy, focus, and balance for your life today AND tomorrow is key with diabetes; it’s key for life!
Have the Talk.
The Morehouse School of Medicine recommends six questions we should all get a bit more comfortable asking of our doctors…
What is diabetes and how can I be tested for it? This is a great question if your results from the risk assessment above indicate you are at risk.
What health problems can it cause? This question is especially relevant for those who are at risk (for various lifestyle and genetic reasons) for other chronic diseases or for those who have already been diagnosed with one or more chronic diseases. Nothing we do to/for our bodies is mutually exclusive… The human body is one large system of systems – all connected, all intertwined. How we treat our bodies goes by the same rule.
What type of diabetes am I at risk for? As we progress through life, it is important to know how our different life phases may impact our risk. For example, if you are considering becoming pregnant, discuss the risks of gestational diabetes and what that could mean for you, your health, and your pregnancy.
How can diabetes be treated? Again, knowledge is power, and understanding that your overall lifestyle can work for you in prevention helps guide the way in how a healthier overall lifestyle can work for you in management and treatment.
What can I do to help prevent diabetes? Wait a second, didn’t we already discuss this? It must be important enough to bring up again. Have an honest, open-minded, proactive conversation with your doctors to discuss prevention!
How can I manage my diabetes better? While this question is relevant for those who have been diagnoses, consider still asking this question if you are close to someone who has diabetes. How can you help and support them day-to-day? It is also a great reminder that our bodies are forever changing. What treatment plan may work today, may not work tomorrow. Be flexible and honest with yourself and with your doctors!
Remember, knowledge is power, especially in regards to your health… in regards to diabetes. YOU are the only one who can truly reflect on any signs, symptoms, etc. YOU are the only one who can make the doctor’s appointment. YOU are the only one who can follow through. But you never have to do any of it alone. Contact Balanced Wellness today to discuss how wellness coaching may be a fit for you and your journey!