Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, yet is doesn’t have to be. According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million American’s suffer from diabetes and another 86 million have prediabetes. Additionally, the national cost of diagnosed diabetics is about $245 billion. With more awareness and healthier lifestyles, however, these numbers could be greatly reduced.
As we observe American Diabetes Awareness Month, Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia wants to shine a spotlight on all the agency does to help seniors prevent getting diabetes and help those who are diabetic successfully manage the disease.
WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease. Type 2, however, is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors.
HOW CAN I PREVENT AND MANAGE DIABETES?
Educating yourself and making healthy lifestyle changes can greatly lower your risk for diabetes or help you manage the disease. The American Diabetes Association offers a lot of great resources. Also, Senior Services offers training through our Diabetes Self-Management Program and holds exercise classes EnhanceFitness and the A Matter of Balance Program. The agency also has a registered dietitian on staff, Kirsten Romero, who provides nutrition education at our senior wellness centers and is available to provide one-on-one nutrition coaching to participants in our senior wellness center and Meals on Wheels programs.