My father had diabetes. He lived with the disease for several years, watching his diet and monitoring his blood sugar. Eventually he died with heart disease, as a result of his diabetes. Because of his struggle, I am always mindful of diabetes and its effect on overall health.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. If it is not controlled, diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems.
One in 12 Americans has diabetes – that is more 25 million people. And another 79 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is people can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes. These changes include: eating healthy, increasing physical activity and losing weight.
Deaconess Nurse Ministry is using this month to raise awareness about diabetes risk factors and encourage people to make healthy changes. Here are few ideas to help:
- Encourage physical activity by developing a walking program or exercise program for people outside and with social distancing.
- Have a faith community nurse provide a blood pressure and blood glucose screening
- Offer a learning opportunity on how to prevent type 2 diabetes through a webinar or zoom meeting.
- Through email or social media, show videos of a cooking demonstration featuring diabetes-friendly recipes. Get a local nutritionist involved.
- Include healthy Thanksgiving recipes in your next newsletter, along with quick tips on how to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Preventing diabetes begins with simple changes in exercise and diet. One small change can make the difference for a lifetime. For that many will be offering thanks in this season.
Rev. Donna Smith-Pupillo