Diabetes | Health News

A key factor in maintaining good overall health is to know your glucose (blood sugar) numbers and to make sure they remain in a healthy range. If blood sugar levels start to climb and there is no action put in place to halt or reverse this rise, a person is at risk of being pre-diabetic and then progressing into diabetes. However, lifestyle changes can make a significant impact in someone’s ability to keep blood sugar levels in balance, especially for those who have prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes results when a person’s body cannot produce insulin, the hormone needed to regulate blood sugar levels, and you have to receive insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your pancreas works, but not as well as it should. Lack of exercise and eating too many carbohydrates can affect insulin levels and contribute to Type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is a signal to make lifestyle changes before becoming type 2 diabetes.

The best steps to take in your journey to control blood sugar levels include healthier eating, physical activity, stress reduction and coping skills, all of which are important in diabetes prevention, according to Vidant Lifestyle Nurse Specialist Susan Houston.

Houston said, “One of the most important steps or changes someone who is facing diabetes can make is to accept this status and start a plan to embrace a new, healthier lifestyle.” One of the first steps is to monitor your blood sugar levels. Knowing these numbers will help gauge how well a person is maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. Another key step is making changes in diet and exercise. Watching carbohydrate intake and portion size will make an impact on glucose levels as will moving your body more.

Houston said, “Holiday eating can be a tricky time for diabetics, but there are some simple techniques to help with the food temptations this season.”  She suggests using a smaller plate and not going back for seconds and placing a teaspoon in your macaroni and cheese and sweet potato casserole. Use the big serving spoons for the vegetables like green beans, Brussel sprouts and salads; foods that would be lower in carbohydrates. And for dessert, cut the pies and cakes into smaller pieces to help with calorie consumption.

For more information about diabetes prevention information, contact Susan Houston at 252-847-1436.