Know Your Risk for Diabetes in 60 Seconds

  • November 24, 2020

Five Tips for People Living with Diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and the medical experts at Natividad encourage you to find out your risk of developing the disease by taking the 60-second Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test at 

People with diabetes and other underlying conditions such as heart, lung and kidney disease are at an increased risk of getting very sick or dying from the COVID-19 virus.

“One in two adults has a chronic disease, but changes in lifestyle and behavior — like exercising more or quitting smoking — can prevent or control many conditions,” said Dr. Jacqueline Flores, family doctor at Natividad Medical Group. “The risk of getting sicker from COVID-19 is likely to be lowered when diabetes and other health issues are well-managed.”

Maintaining good diabetes control includes checking blood sugar levels, taking medications as prescribed, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

In Monterey County, 1 in 8 people have diabetes, while nationwide 1 in 11 people suffer from the disease. The numbers are starker for prediabetes. In Monterey County, 45% of adults are estimated to have prediabetes compared to one-third nationally. And 85% of those with prediabetes don’t know they have it, which puts them at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Fortunately, prediabetes is reversible with healthy lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.

“As we enter the holiday season, people are typically less active and tend to overeat at gatherings,” said Juliet Chandler, NP, Diabetes Care and Education Specialist at Natividad. “With more increased time at home, it’s important that people commit every day to live a healthy lifestyle.”

Here are five tips for people living with diabetes:

  1. Increase physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary activities — Exercising can help with weight loss. Make sure you talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
  2. Eat a variety of vegetables — Eat at least two to three cups per day of vegetables — cooked or raw.
  3. Include more whole grains with fiber in your meals — At least half your daily intake of bread, cereal or other grain foods should be 100% whole grain.
  4. Know your carbohydrate foods and limit portions — Limit dessert, candy and ice cream. Most diabetic or sugar-free desserts still contain carbohydrates — eat them in moderation.
  5. Avoid sugary, sweetened beverages — Drinks like sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks and sweetened teas can cause blood glucose spikes.

“Knowledge is key while dealing with diabetes,” said Natividad Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Lupe Bravo, RN. “Natividad’s Diabetes Education Center focuses on teaching people the importance of nutrition planning, problem-solving strategies when it comes to self-managing and enforces how crucial physical activity is to the body.”

Natividad’s Diabetes Education Center offers outpatient services to children and adults with diabetes Type 1, Type 2, gestational diabetes and prediabetes. Video and phone appointments are available. Outpatient services include individual counseling and education, group counseling and education, community presentations and outreach. A certified diabetes care and education specialist and registered dietician provide services. Services are available in English and Spanish.

For more information about Natividad’s Diabetes Education Center, call (831) 755-6292. To make an appointment with a family doctor at Natividad Medical Group, call (831) 759-0674.