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UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Blog

Five Ways You Can Observe Diabetes Awareness Month

Posted On: martes, noviembre 03, 2020 Posted By: Adam Edelstein Tags: A1C, Blood Sugar, Diabetes Education, Glucose Meters, Goal Setting, Healthy Living, Wellness


November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Here are five ways that you can participate this year.

Learn something new about diabetes

World Diabetes Day is observed each year on November 14, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting. He was the first person to isolate the human insulin hormone, which led to a life-saving treatment for people living with diabetes in 1922.  Learn about Banting’s incredible breakthrough research. 

This year (2020) the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence arranged for the Burns Bridge, connecting Worcester and Shrewsbury across Lake Quinsigamond, to illuminate in blue lights on the night of November 14th.

Make a small change to develop a new healthy habit

While healthy eating and exercise are integral for diabetes management, there are other things that you can control to improve your health. These include getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water and increasing the number of steps you take each day. Choose one that you feel can use improvement and set a goal to address it this month.

Most adults require between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water provides additional energy, puts you in a better mood, helps with memory and can also help reduce sugar cravings. Tracking daily steps has never been easier by using a pedometer, fitness tracking watch or smartphone app. Most people aim for 10,000 steps a day, which is about 5 miles.

Schedule an appointment with a Diabetes Educator 

Diabetes education has been shown to lower A1c and blood glucose, similar to adding medication but without the side effects! Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover up to 10 hours of diabetes education the first year of diagnosis. Medicare also pays for two hours of yearly follow-up. Most commercial insurance plans offer similar benefits. The UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence has a team of Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (CDCES) who offer one-on-one or group sessions. Ask your provider for a referral for diabetes education if you’re interested in addressing any of the seven self-care behaviors that are essential for improved health for people living with diabetes. They include healthy eatingphysical activityglucose monitoringmedication, problem-solving, healthy coping and reducing risk of complications.

Inspect your feet

It’s important for anyone living with diabetes to inspect their feet on a regular basis. This way if something changes, you’ll notice it right away. About half of all people with diabetes have some nerve damage, often in the feet and legs. Neuropathy can cause loss of feeling in the feet.  If you don’t feel pain in your feet, you may not notice a cut, blister or sore, which if left untreated, can become serious.

Know Your Numbers

If you’re living with diabetes you should know your target blood sugar range as set by your care team. Checking blood glucose regularly helps to ensure it stays within your healthy target range. It's important to monitor blood glucose levels both over time (A1c testing) as well as specific times throughout the day (meter testing). Learn more about glucose monitoring and how to avoid, recognize and treat both high and low blood sugars.