There are approximately 30.3 million people in the United States who are living with Type 2 Diabetes. That’s a staggering number and many of them are Baby Boomers. Genetics plays a part, but poor nutrition and our American diet have contributed to making it almost an epidemic.
I spoke to Sally Schwaesdall, who has been living with Type 2 Diabetes for nearly 40 years. She is a 69-year-old retired school bus driver who has become involved with a campaign called #SmallVictories. It was launched by OneTouch to spread education and hope for those who are living with the disease or at risk.
#SmallVictories honors Diabetics who have made lifestyle changes in an effort to manage their disease. Diabetes month is observed in November. Sally attended the “Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) Health Fair. To her surprise, she was recognized for her #SmallVictories and was given a pompom celebration by more than a hundred guests in the audience. She tests her blood glucose levels 3-4 times a day and walks 8-miles, 6-7 days a week. I thought I was rocking it by walking 5 miles a day! Guess I better step it up a notch!
Sally’s also competitive and a “good reading” on her blood glucose monitor motivates her to work harder to keep her disease in check.
If you are living with Type 2 Diabetes there are several steps you can take to improve your health
Find a good doctor – Sally is a patient of Dr. Edelman, who is a Type 2 diabetic himself. She calls him her “hero.” He is able to relate to how his patients feel and keeps Sally motivated. Regular doctor visits and blood tests are critical to managing the disease. If you have it or are even slightly at risk, don’t put off seeing your doctor regularly.
Eat smart, healthy “real” food. Baby Boomers were the first generation to grow up with junk food. As teenagers, we gorged on fast-food burgers, fries, candy, and soft drinks that may have compromised our metabolism in later life. Sally doesn’t restrict her diet but pays attention to the glycemic index. She avoids eating too much bread, pasta, and hi-glycemic foods that spike the sugar level in our bodies.
A good rule of thumb is to stay away from processed and packaged foods. View my Eat Smart, Feel Good, Live Longer Food Pyramid for Vibrant Health.
Exercise regularly – Exercising doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to sweat like a pig to stay healthy. All you have to do is walk out the door and enjoy a brisk daily stroll Make it your goal to walk at least 30 minutes per day.
Monitor your blood glucose level – The OneTouch Verio Flex® meter and OneTouch Reveal® mobile app are tools you can use to track your blood glucose levels and spot spike patterns throughout the day. The app makes it easy to log your blood glucose readings, review your activity timeline in visual snapshots, and then share the results with your physician.
Recognizing #SmallVictories helps patients succeed
OneTouch® did a survey with 1,036 Type 2 Diabetes patients. They found that 48% of them wanted to be recognized for taking steps to manage their Type 2 Diabetes. About a third of them noted that their family and friends were unaware of the hard work they were doing to manage their disease. More than half of those surveyed felt that being recognized for their efforts would motivate them to try harder to live a healthier lifestyle.
LifeScan Inc, the parent company of OneTouch®, is a leader in blood glucose monitoring devices. Their meters and apps are recommended by more endocrinologists and primary care doctors than any other brand. You can download the app here. To view their website and products click here.
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Do you or someone you know have Type 2 Diabetes and what are you (they) doing to manage it? Please leave a comment below.