Tomorrow is Diabetes Alert Day, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. It is a day to be reminded that almost 30 million people have diabetes, and 86 million are with pre-diabetes.

Be alert to your diabetes risks

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Tomorrow is Diabetes Alert Day, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. It is a day to be reminded that almost 30 million people have diabetes, and 86 million are with pre-diabetes. It is a disease that takes a physical, emotional and financial toll on the person with the diabetes and the people that they live with. The annual cost to this country is $245 billion.

Here are a few reminders about taking care of diabetes so that you can live well with this chronic disease.

Food intake will impact your glucose readings and diabetes control:

  • When to eat –establish a routine for eating three meals a day
  • What to eat – select a variety of less-processed foods
  • How much – moderation in the carbohydrate foods to avoid glucose spikes

Check your glucose on a regular basis to know how you are doing and how meals and certain foods affect your glucose readings:

  • Use a glucometer
  • Check once daily for a while to get an understanding of the glucose spikes
  • Log the readings, and include your food intake before the test

It really pays health-wise to take care of business when you have diabetes.

  • Stay active; include 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, if you can.
  • Keep up with your doctor appointments to be sure that you are not developing any diabetes-related health issues like kidney disease or problems with your feet or eyes.
  • If you have been prescribed diabetes medications, be sure to take them.
  • Weight loss certainly will help everything – you’ll have better control of your diabetes, and hopefully a reduction in your cholesterol and blood pressure also.
  • And then it helps to include your family members in your diabetes care – that support is so important. That is why we have monthly Diabetes Support Group sessions each month – it is not easy living with a chronic disease.
  • And finally, learn all that you can about diabetes because you are in the driver’s seat.

Recipes to try:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.