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November is the month our nation brings to light awareness of diabetes. In Kentucky alone, diabetes affects 13.1 percent of our state’s population. Also, it is estimated that 275,000 Kentuckians are diagnosed with prediabetes, a condition in which the blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal but not yet high enough to meet the guidelines for diagnosing diabetes.

By following three simple steps—Know, Assist and Prevent, we can all take a stance against diabetes.

Know: The first step in combating the diabetes epidemic is to know your numbers. Talking to your provider about getting screened for diabetes. It is estimated that 7.2 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and do not know it.

Assist: Even if you don’t have diabetes, you probably know someone who is affected by it. Practice living out and encouraging healthy habits to family, friends and your community. Go for a walk and take your neighbor, bring a healthy dish to the office potluck, and have fruit and other healthy snacks available in your home. These are all behaviors that can add up to big rewards in, collectively, managing our health.

Prevent: Studies have found that with a modest amount of weight loss (7 percent) for those who need to lose weight, along with 150 minutes of physical activity a week has reduced the development of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. To know if you are at high risk for developing diabetes, take a 1-minute risk test today by visiting doihaveprediabetes.org.

To locate a diabetes self- management education and support program, such as the one that we offer through UofL Physicians, or a diabetes prevention program, visit the Kentucky Diabetes Resource Directory.

Sources: 2018 KY Diabetes Fact Sheet and American Diabetes Association

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Article by:

Beth Ackerman, R.D.

Beth Ackerman is a registered dietitian and a certified diabetes educator at the UofL Physicians – Diabetes and Obesity Center. Beth is on the team of educators of the ADA-approved diabetes education team at UofL Physicians. She has counseled people with diabetes for more than 25 years. Ackerman serves as the Diabetes Prevention Program Workgroup co-chair for the Kentucky Diabetes Network and volunteers at Camp Hendon, a diabetes camp for children.

All posts by Beth Ackerman, R.D.
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