During National Diabetes Month this November, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) joins the International Diabetes Federation to raise awareness of diabetes throughout the month and specifically on World Diabetes Day – November 14. During the month, the NKFM reminds people that type 2 diabetes can be prevented. It is important to get screened for prediabetes, a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. An early diagnosis of prediabetes gives people a chance to reverse the progression of diabetes.
In Michigan, over 2.7 million adults have prediabetes. Many are unaware of their condition because there are often no symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, without lifestyle changes, 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.
By eating healthier, losing weight, and moving more, you can help prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes. The NKFM offers the national CDC-certified Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) in many Michigan communities. In these evidence-based DPP workshops, participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment filled with people who are facing similar challenges and are trying to make the same changes. Together, participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles. For more information on DPP, visit ReadySetPrevent.org or call 800-482-1455.
“The NKFM is very involved in diabetes prevention because diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S.,” says NKFM President and CEO Linda Smith-Wheelock. “The Diabetes Prevention Program is a safe, proven method to lower the number of Michiganders who are at risk for kidney disease.”
Diabetes is a huge and growing problem. Many people live with type 2 diabetes for a long period of time without being aware of their condition. By the time of diagnosis, diabetes complications may already be present, including kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and vision problems. An early diagnosis of diabetes gives people a chance to prevent serious complications and live a healthier life. These complications can be prevented or delayed by maintaining blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels as close to normal as possible.
Managing your diabetes is a balancing act, but one you can master. Manage your diabetes throughout the day by:
- Following a healthy eating plan, including eating more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and salt.
- Getting physically active—10 to 20 minutes a day is better than only an hour once a week.
- Taking diabetes medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
- Testing your blood sugar regularly to understand and track how food, activity and medicine affect your blood sugar levels.
- For additional information, visit the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan at nkfm.org/DiabetesMonth.
People need to be screened by a doctor to find out if they have prediabetes or diabetes. If you do not have a doctor because you do not have health care coverage, you can enroll or re-enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace, including finding out if you qualify for Medicaid, during the upcoming Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment starts Friday, November 1, 2019 and runs through Sunday, December 15, 2019. To enroll or for more information, visit healthcare.gov or call 800-318-2596.