Diabetes | Health News

While COVID-19 remains at the top of mind for everyone, it is still important to be cautious of the many chronic health conditions we see so often here in the East.

Diabetes is a condition we see often in the communities we serve. Diabetes prevention is one of the ways Vidant Health serves its mission – to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.

Susan Houston, lifestyle nurse specialist at Vidant, joined WITN for Healthy Habits segment Tuesday morning to discuss prevention of Type 2 diabetes and an upcoming Diabetes Prevention Program. She said it comes down to small changes we can makes each day, an improved diet and more exercise.

“The main two things would be moving a little bit more, 150 minutes per week is the bare minimum that we should be aiming for to help prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes,” Houston said. “Paying attention to the foods and drinks that we choose, because it’s all about choice, trying to limit carbohydrates. If there’s one thing with drinks you could avoid, it’s drinks that are heavy in the carbs and calories.”

Houston said another piece to avoiding Type 2 diabetes is taking care of your emotional well-being. During COVID-19, we know that anxiety and other mental health challenges can be exacerbated. These can affect how our bodies deal with sugar. Keeping tabs on your mental health is important in so many ways, including your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Another important health habit is getting enough good sleep, Houston said.

“If we don’t have good sleep hygiene, that also can impact our internal stuff,” Houston said. “The stuff we don’t see is the stuff that’s really sneaky for Type 2 diabetes.”

Vidant Health is offering a free year-long Diabetes Prevention Program, and it is all about lifestyle changes each of us can make to help prevent Type 2 diabetes. The virtual program begins on August 27 and September 10 and is open to eligible participants who are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

If you answer yes to five or more of the below questions, you are eligible for the free program:

  • Are you over 40?
  • Are you male?
  • Are you a female with gestational diabetes?
  • Do you have a parent with diabetes?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Are you physically inactive?
  • Are you overweight?

If you are interested in the program, please call 252-847-5590 to be connected with a wellness navigator or visit TINY.CC/VIDANTDPP for more information and to inquire about the program.