That means up to one third of adults could have diabetes by then. The current prevalence in the U.S. is one in 10 adults, or about 24 million people, having mostly type 2 diabetes.
November is American Diabetes Month, and Melissa Joy Dobbins MS, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian and a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Illinois Dietetic Association, visited ABC 7 to share some tips on managing diabetes and living a healthier life.
Have you been diagnosed?
If you are not sure if you have diabetes, ask your doctor to do a fasting blood sugar test or a Hemoglobin A1C. The American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org) now recommends the A1C test as a way to screen for pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Because the A1C test is a simple blood test that does not require fasting, people may be more willing to take this test than others. (Source: Diabetes and You, Walgreens, Spring 2010).
Small changes -- big difference
Small changes in lifestyle habits really can make a big difference when it comes to diabetes. Small reductions in weight, blood glucose and blood pressure can result in significant improvements in health outcomes.
Should you be taking a more active role in your diabetes management? Your doctor can provide you with a roadmap, but you should be the one to take the wheel.
Here are some tips and tools to get you started on your journey:
Make sure you know the rules of the road: Check out the new AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors handouts in English and Spanish: http://www.diabeteseducator.org/DiabetesEducation/Patient_Resources/AADE7_PatientHandouts.html.
Here's how I like to explain it:
For handouts on the above self-care behaviors, visit http://www.diabeteseducator.org/DiabetesEducation/Patient_Resources/AADE7_PatientHandouts.html.
To find a diabetes educator near you: http://www.diabeteseducator.org/DiabetesEducation/Find.html.
To find a registered dietitian near you: http://www.eatright.org/programs/rdfinder/
What should you be eating?
This menu is an example of one day's worth of food for someone who needs approximately 1,800 calories per day. By working with a dietitian and diabetes educator you can learn to make substitutions such as swapping out 1 tablespoon of regular salad dressing for 2 tablespoons of reduced fat dressing, 2 teaspoons of regular mayonnaise for 2 tablespoons of reduced fat mayonnaise, or one-half cup fruit juice instead of 1 piece of fruit.
1800 Calorie Menu
1 slice whole wheat toast
1.5 c bran flakes
1 small banana
1 c fat-free milk
1 tsp margarine
coffee or tea
2 oz tuna (in water)
2 tsp mayonnaise
One-quarter cup chopped celery
2 slices rye bread
1 c low salt chicken noodle soup
1 c carrot sticks
One-half c apple slices
1 oz cheese
6 whole grain crackers
4 oz grilled chicken
1. 5c green beans
Two-thirds cup whole grain rice
1 c low-fat yogurt
1 and one-quarter cup strawberries
1 c fat-free milk
1 Tbsp salad dressing
Try this "hand-y" measuring chart to help you estimate portion sizes:
(Note: These are based on a woman's hand size)
More information about blood sugar testing and other medical tests:
Watching the speed limit: When to check your blood sugar levels
You and your diabetes care team will decide when and how often to check, but here are some suggestions to consider:
It's important to write down your blood sugar results so you can discuss with your healthcare provider and determine what makes them go up or down. Ask your diabetes care team for a logbook, create your own on the computer or in a notebook, or download the http://www.onetouchdiabetes.com/logbook
Ask your doctor or diabetes educator about Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) to see if it is right for you. With CGM you can keep a close eye on your glucose levels and how they change over the course of your day. You may be able to improve your diabetes control and make more informed decisions about your diabetes care plan. For more information go to www.minimed.com/products/guardian/benefits.html
Be sure to get "periodic maintenance" and refer to this suggested schedule of tests if you have diabetes:
Every 3 months:
Every 6 months:
For information, visit:
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r101022.html
American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org
Illinois Dietetic Association: http://www.eatrightillinois.org/
Melissa Joy Dobbins: http://www.eatrightillinois.org/MediaRelations/m_dobbins.asp
Hemoglobin A1C test: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/a1c/.