Diabetes Awareness - November 2019
A Message from Your Hometown Health Manager
Exciting news! How would you like to be eligible win a Fitbit Inspire? We will hold a drawing and 25 participants will win Fitbit devices!

For your chance to win, you just need to do two things by November 30, 2019:

1. Complete your Health Assessment.
2. Complete one WebMD coaching call.

Plus, you’ll be well on your way to earning all of your Hometown Health Gift Card Rewards!
Getting started with a Health Coach is simple!
Connect with a coach by calling 855.667.2546. Our qualified WebMD Health Coaches can help you develop a personalized plan to help you manage stress, improve sleep, lose weight, quit smoking and more. Calls are free and confidential. 

The WebMD Health Coaching Hours of Operation are (all times are Eastern Time Zone):
 
Monday – Thursday, 9:00 am to 11:30 pm 
Friday, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday, 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, 1:00 pm to 11:30 pm

Additionally we will be kicking off our first wellness challenge for the program year! From November 13 to December 10, you can earn credit for gift card reward by taking charge of your stress. All you have to do is take  5 minutes out of your day for at least 14 of 28 days to practice a relaxation activity and record your progress for 21 of the 28 days on your Hometown Health portal.
 
Reducing stress is easier said than done, so throughout the challenge, you will be receiving tips and activities to help you stay on track. 
 
Be sure to register for the Stress-less challenge by November 20 on the Hometown Health website.


All the Best,

Gwen Mahabir
Are You at Risk For Diabetes?
Learn how to reduce your chances of developing this serious disease.

Nearly 29.1 million Americans have diabetes. Two thirds of them have been diagnosed. That leaves one third (or about 8.1 million people) who don't yet know that they have diabetes. Could you be one of them?

Diabetes can lead to serious problems, such as kidney failure, blindness and heart disease. Some of these problems can be prevented, but only if the disease is diagnosed and treated.

Don't wait for symptoms. Type 2 diabetes may not cause any noticeable symptoms for years. All too often, people only learn they have diabetes when they develop a major complication, such as kidney disease, heart attack or stroke.

If you could be at risk, get tested so you can take steps to slow or stop the damage that diabetes can cause.

Am I at risk?
A number of factors increase your risk of developing diabetes. You're more likely to get diabetes if:

  • You are overweight
  • You are 45 or older
  • You have a parent, brother or sister who has diabetes
  • You are African American, Native American, Latino, Asian American or Pacific Islander
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • You don't get much exercise (less than three times a week)
  • You had gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds

The more of these risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing diabetes.

Control Diabetes With Exercise
Regular exercise may help lower your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications.

Do you feel like you're hitting a brick wall? You have been eating well and taking your medicine or insulin as directed. But you can't seem to get your blood sugar levels as low as your doctor wants. A crucial element may be missing from your diabetes management plan: Exercise.

How exercise helps diabetes
If you have diabetes, your body either does not make enough insulin or it can't use the insulin it makes. But when you exercise, your body becomes more responsive to insulin. It takes less insulin to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. Exercise helps the body move sugar to where it's supposed to go – the cells – instead of lingering in the blood.

Better blood sugar control does not end when the treadmill stops. Your body reaps these health benefits during your workout and for several hours after. Over time, exercise may help people with type 2 diabetes reverse their resistance to insulin. This is because physical activity helps the cells better respond to insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes Medications
Oral medications
The American Diabetes Association recommends that most people with type 2 diabetes first try a drug called metformin — provided the person can tolerate it. Metformin causes the liver to make less glucose and therefore release less glucose into the blood. It also helps cells in your muscles use insulin to absorb sugar.

But if changing your lifestyle habits and metformin aren’t enough, your doctor may prescribe another drug or drugs. The classes of diabetes drugs work differently, so they are generally safe to use together. Some of these drugs are prescribed as a combination pill. Or you may take two different pills. The drugs work differently:

  • Some help the body make more insulin.
  • Some help the body use insulin better.
  • Some help your body make more insulin as needed, such as after eating. They also help keep the liver from putting stored sugar in your blood.
  • Some block the kidneys from absorbing sugars.
  • Some help the body make more insulin, less of a hormone that counteracts insulin. They also reduce appetite and slow the emptying of the stomach.

Insulin
For people with type 2 diabetes, oral medication may not be enough to manage blood sugar. Over time, pills may stop working. Your doctor may then prescribe insulin, alone or in addition to diabetes pills. Some people with type 2 diabetes may need insulin therapy when they begin their treatment. Others may need insulin at some point in their diabetes management.

Diabetes Meal Planning
The plate method and counting carbs and are two common tools that can also help you plan meals.

A meal plan is your guide for when, what, and how much to eat to get the nutrition you need while keeping your blood sugar levels in your target range. A good meal plan will take into account your goals, tastes, and lifestyle, as well as any medicines you’re taking.

You’ll want to plan for regular, balanced meals to avoid high or low blood sugar levels. Eating about the same amount of carbs at each meal can help.

Carbs, protein, fat, and fiber in food all affect your blood sugar in different ways. Carbs can raise your blood sugar faster and higher than protein or fat. Fiber can help you manage your blood sugar, so carbs that have fiber in them, like sweet potatoes, won’t raise your blood sugar as fast as carbs with little or no fiber, such as soda.

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