Sports & Health
Diabetes Education and Support: Everyone Has a Role. What’s Yours?
Submitted by Roberta Johnston
Diabetes Services Program Manager - SRPMIC Health and Human Services

National Diabetes Month is observed every November to draw attention to diabetes and its effects on millions of Americans. The National Diabetes Education Program’s (NDEP) 2015 theme is “Diabetes Education and Support: Everyone Has a Role. What’s Yours?” This theme highlights the need for ongoing diabetes education and support among people with diabetes and those who care for them.

Here are a few of the recent statistics on diabetes:

  • Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 million.
  • At nearly 16 percent, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups.

People Living With Diabetes

If you have just been diagnosed with diabetes or you have been living with diabetes for a while, education and support are important to help you stay healthy. Diabetes education is needed throughout your lifetime, not just at diagnosis. Learning to manage your diabetes from the start can help you have fewer health problems from diabetes later. Having a network of support can help you better cope with the day-to-day demands of living with diabetes.

4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life

  1. Just One Step: Change begins with Just One Step. This tool helps people break down their goals to make modest but important lifestyle changes in small, achievable steps.
  2. Make a Plan: Making changes in your health is a matter of trying and learning. It’s all about choosing a goal that’s right and working toward it. This tool provides some questions to help people get started.
  3. Diabetes HealthSense: Diabetes HealthSense is an online library that provides easy access to more than 160 resources from more than 80 organizations that support people with diabetes, people at risk for the disease and those who care for them in making changes to live well or facilitating behavior change in others.
  4. For People With Diabetes or High Blood Pressure: Diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney disease. Learn more about the kidney connection and how to take steps to keep your kidneys healthy from the National Kidney Disease Education Program.

Know Your Risk for Diabetes and See If It Could Be a Part of Your Story

Everyone has a story, complete with the heritage we’re given and choices that we make, such as having curly hair, being tall or loving the outdoors. Our stories are full of memories.

We watch our parents and grandparents deal with health challenges; we savor familiar family meals and remember playing outside on a summer day. Then we become adults and have many responsibilities, including caring for our own health and the health of our families.

Most people’s story likely includes themselves, or a family member, or a friend dealing with the burden of diabetes. Is diabetes part of your story?

What You Should Know

You are at increased risk for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Are 45 years of age or older.
  • Are overweight.
  • Have a parent with diabetes.
  • Have a sister or brother with diabetes.
  • Have a family background that is American Indian.
  • Had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes), or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
  • Are physically active fewer than three times a week.

Remember family health challenges: learn your risk for type 2 diabetes now.

The SRPMIC Diabetes Services Program

Raising awareness of this ever-growing disease is one of the main efforts of the Diabetes Services Program, which is here to help you learn about the importance of diabetes education and support with these resources:

Diabetes 101 Education Class—The classes offer basic information about type 2 diabetes, diabetes self-care and general healthcare practice. For more information, contact Jennell Reed, Community Health Nurse, at (480) 362-7624.

Group Lifestyle Balance Program (GLB)—Based on the highly successful lifestyle intervention used in the Diabetes Prevention Program, this is a 12-week program that focuses on principles of making healthy food choices and meal planning. For more information, contact Maggie Fisher, Registered Dietitian/Certified Diabetes Educator at (480) 362-6640.

Youth Wellness Program and Support Group Meetings—This is a 10-week program designed for families with children ages 10 to 15. The purpose of the program is to educate families about nutrition and physical fitness in an effort to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles. Contact Maggie Fisher at (480) 362-6640.

Annual Summer Youth Wellness Camp—An intensive one-week residential behavioral intervention camp that provides youth with culturally appropriate education about nutrition, physical activity and diabetes prevention. The camp is held at the Whispering Pines campsite near Prescott. For more information, contact Diabetes Services Program Manager Roberta Johnston at (480) 362-7342.

Fitness Activities—The Diabetes Services Program provides Community fitness activities and education services to encourage family involvement to promote lifetime fitness. The activities and services include Community fun run/walk events, fitness challenges, group exercise classes for adults and youth, in-home exercise for the homebound, weight training and personal training. For more information, contact the Fitness Center staff at (480) 362-7320.

Save the Date for Upcoming Events

Thursday, November 12
Diabetes Health Fair
5:30-8 p.m., Salt River Community Building

Saturday, November 21
Annual Run Against Diabetes 5K, 2-Mile Run/Walk, Mile Walk & Youth Dash
Salt River High School parking lot

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Diabetes Education and Support: Everyone Has a Role. What’s Yours?