Care Connection for Aging Services is joining healthcare advocates to increase awareness during National Diabetes Month in November.
According to the National Institutes of Health, diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans or 9.4 percent of the U.S. population; nearly one in four adults living with diabetes doesn’t know it.
According to the institute, another 84 million Americans have prediabetes, with blood glucose levels higher than normal and nine of 10 adults with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
With the theme “Take Diabetes to Heart,” the National Institutes of Health is “linking diabetes to cardiovascular disease.”
Having diabetes means a person is more likely to develop heart disease and to have a greater chance of a heart attack or a stroke.
High blood sugars from diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves that control the heart.
According to a press release from Care Connection, dults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as others.
However, diabetes is preventable and manageable.
Care Connection’s 22 locations will have information on hand all month to emphasize the importance of preventing and managing diabetes.
Individuals may evaluate their risk using a simple questionnaire developed by the American Diabetes Association.
A course called “Living a Healthy Life” is offered periodically in all of Care Connection’s 13 west-central Missouri counties.
Course participants learn to manage conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
The course teaches how to make an action plan and stick with it as a strategy to living a healthier lifestyle.
To find out when and where the next class begins, call 1-800-748-7826 or visit goaging.org.
Here are some basic steps from Care Connection to manage diabetes and lower your chances of having heart disease or a stroke:
- Manage your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Ask your doctor for help.
- Follow a healthy eating plan and exercise.
- Alleviate stress using deep breathing, gardening, walking, yoga or music.
- Take medications as prescribed by your doctor.
- Stop smoking or using other tobacco products.