Resolve to Manage Diabetes in New Year
Posted: January 7, 2013
Below are a few goal suggestions which will help you control your blood glucose levels.
* Know your numbers, specifically A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol. The A1C test is the single most important test for those with diabetes. This lab test, which should be taken at least two times a year, reflects blood glucose levels over a three month period. For most people with diabetes, the A1C goal is less than seven percent. A high A1C increases the risk for serious health problems, such as blindness, kidney disease and nerve damage and the lower the A1C, the greater the chance of a more healthy lifestyle.
Individuals with diabetes should also have their blood pressure checked on a yearly basis. For people with diabetes, their target blood pressure should be 130/80 or lower.
In addition, blood cholesterol levels should be checked annually. The target LDL level for people with diabetes should be less than 80; HDL levels should be 45 or greater; and triglycerides should be less than 150.
* Make regular visits with your health care professionals. See your physician 2 to 4 times a year; your dentist twice a year; and get an eye exam every year.
* Eat a wide variety of foods every day including high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans.
* Eat meals and snacks at regular times every day and eat about the same amount of food each day.
* Examine your feet for cuts and sores every day.
* Check your blood glucose levels and take diabetes medications as directed by your physician.
If you are interested in learning more about managing your type II diabetes, consider attending Penn State Extension’s Dining with Diabetes Program. Classes will provide nutrition education, daily meal plans, interactive cooking demonstrations, food sampling and an opportunity to connect with others who are living with type II diabetes. Two four-week programs will be held on:
Tuesdays starting January 15, 2013 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. with a follow-up class on April 2 at The Wright Center, 5 South Washington Avenue, Jermyn, PA 18433; or on Fridays starting January 11, 2013 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. with a follow-up class on April 5, at The Penn State Extension Meeting Room, 200 Adams Avenue, Lower Level, Scranton, PA 18503.
The cost of the program is $40.00 per person or $55.00 for two family members living in the same household. Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries receive free registration and scholarships are available. A free informational session will be held for anyone wanting to learn more about the program prior to registering on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at The Wright Center.
For questions or to register, please call Penn State Extension in Lackawanna County at 570-963-6842 by Tuesday, January 8, 2013.
Karen Thomas is a family and consumer sciences educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lackawanna County.