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November is National Diabetes Month.
Diabetes remains one of the top chronic diseases in the United States, and West Virginia has one of the highest rates in the country. Lions Clubs International focuses on diabetes as one of its five global causes.
Learning to manage your diabetes through a healthy lifestyle can be challenging. Small changes every day can prevent or delay complications such as chronic kidney disease, heart disease or nerve damage.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a focus on diabetes on their website “Living with Diabetes”.
Here are four steps the CDC recommends to help you manage your diabetes and live a long, productive life.
Step 1: Ask your doctor to refer you to diabetes self-management education and support services;
Step 2: Know your diabetes ABCs: A1C test, blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking;
Step 3: Learn how to live well with diabetes. Learn coping skills. Ask for help when you’re feeling down. You may become depressed – ask for help. Make healthy food choices. Be physically active. Do you know what you need to do every day – take your meds, check your feet for problems, brush and floss your teeth, know how often to measure and keep an eye on your blood sugar, check it blood pressure and do not smoke.
Step 4: Get routine care to stay healthy. See your healthcare team at least twice a year for early detection and treatment of problems.
The Weirton Lions Club has a lot of good information on diabetes – contact Bernice Pitcock for more information.
Weirton Lions Club
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