July 2009 Diabetes Notes from Stephanie - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

July 2009 Diabetes Notes from Stephanie

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Hello all,

It seems as though summer arrived not only early, but also with a vengeance!  The sun has been out and warm and it's been just so inviting to get out and about!  I've been riding my bike a lot and love all of the activity!

Aside from my excitement about outdoor activity, I have great info to share in this month's diabetes notes! 

I found a couple of really interesting articles written by the National Diabetes Education Program - check these out:

Help Your Teen Deal with the Ups & Downs of Diabetes
by the National Diabetes Education Program

Teens with diabetes and their families often face unique challenges. Teens may sometimes have feelings of sadness, anger, loneliness, and fear, or they may blame themselves or their family for their diabetes. These feelings are normal every now and then. But in order to feel better, teens need to learn to take charge of their diabetes - and families can help. Parents or guardians can encourage their teens to feel good about themselves, seek support from others, and take action to manage their diabetes one step at a time. Follow these tips from the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) to help your teen deal with the ups and downs of diabetes:

            Get your whole family involved. It's easier to manage diabetes when your whole family gets involved. Serve your family healthy foods, such as a mix of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, and low-fat meats, milk, and cheese. Make healthy snacks, like fruit, highly visible in your home and do not keep a lot of sweets, like cookies, candy, or soda around the house. Encourage your family to be more physically active by planning activities that you can do together, such as riding bikes or going for a walk. Join a community program like the YMCA to enjoy a variety of low-cost or free activities.

            Encourage your teen to take an active role in his or her diabetes care. Help your teen set goals. Start with small goals, such as cutting back on soda, or riding a bike a couple of times a week. Reward your teen when goals are met, and encourage your teen to make every new goal just a little bit harder.

            Help your teen find other teens who have diabetes. Programs and support groups for teens with diabetes can be found in clinics, health centers, and hospitals. Check your local newspaper. Ask your teen's health care team for more information. Visit www.diabetescamps.org to find diabetes or weight loss summer camps for teens with diabetes.

            Encourage your teen to ask for help from their school and health care team. It's important that teens tell their health care team how they feel and what they need help with to manage their diabetes. Make sure you notify your teen's school that your teen has diabetes. Provide the school staff with your teen's diabetes care plan and meet with them to help plan their diabetes care during the school day.

            Help your teen find a counselor if he or she seems depressed. Suggest people your teen can reach out to for help, such as a family member, friend, school counselor, teacher, doctor, diabetes educator, or psychologist. Encourage your teen to let you know when he or she is feeling down.

African Americans: Lose Weight, Lower Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
by the National Diabetes Education Program

If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you are at an increased risk for the disease. If you are overweight, you have an even greater risk for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes affects the lives of nearly 4 million African Americans and their families, but there's hope. Studies show that losing a small amount of weight by being physically active for 30 minutes, five days a week and making healthy food choices can help you reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by more than half. Take your first step today. Talk to your doctor about your family history of type 2 diabetes and other diabetes risk factors. Follow these tips from the National Diabetes Education Program's (NDEP) More Than 50 Ways to Prevent Diabetes tip sheet to lose weight and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes:

  • You can do it, Hewitt. Set a weight loss goal you can reach before starting a weight loss plan. If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, aim to lose 5 to 7 percent of your current weight - that's 10 to 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds. Keep track of your daily food intake and physical activity in a log book and review it every day to see how you are doing. Ask family and friends for support.
  • Have a small meal, Lucille. Teaspoons, salad forks, or child-size utensils may help you take smaller bites and eat less. Eat less high-fat and high-calorie foods less often. Make a small amount of food look like more by serving your meal on a salad or breakfast plate. Keep meat, poultry, and fish portions to about 3 ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards.
  • Eat right, Mike. Make healthy food choices every day. Keep healthy snacks such as a cup of fat-free yogurt, celery sticks, or baby carrots at home and pack them when you're on the go. To get more fiber, add fruits and vegetables to the foods that you love. Add strawberries, blueberries, or bananas to whole grain cereal. Top pizza with pineapples, bell peppers, or mushrooms instead of high-fat meats such as sausage or pepperoni. Choose water to drink.
  • Move more each day, Faye. Try doing activities you enjoy such as playing with your children, tossing a softball, walking the dog, or turning up the music and jamming while doing household chores.
  • Take action, Jackson. Overcome your physical activity roadblocks. If you do not want to be physically active by yourself, form a group of people to walk, jog, or bike together. If you prefer to stay indoors, work out to fitness videos or DVDs in your home or walk around a shopping mall.

If you'd like to see the entire "More than 50 Ways to Prevent Diabetes" tip sheet, click here :

I hope you find these articles as interesting as I did.  There are just so many little things that we can all do to not only take care of ourselves, but also to help support those around us; whether they be taking steps to prevent Diabetes or dealing with those challenges that living with Diabetes can present, it's so important to work together!

Have a fantastic July!

Yours truly,


 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organization.