National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, so the Champaign Health District is asking: Are you in control? Do you know your numbers?  In Champaign County, 47.7% of respondents to the 2010 community health survey reported that they have had their blood sugar checked in the past year which is good news, but over half of the respondents stated that they or a family member have been diagnosed with diabetes.  Yet, according to the Ohio Department of Health 2010 Fact Sheet about diabetes, 268,671 people in Ohio over the age of 18 have diabetes and do not know.

You can take control of your risk for developing diabetes by staying healthy: increasing your activity daily, even with short frequent walks, taking the stairs, and parking farther away from a building entrance are a few ways to get more exercise into your life!  Another way to take control is to limit your dietary intake, which isn’t always easy since portion sizes have grown over the past years.  The good news is that you don’t have to carry a scale with your to make better portion size choices: a fist is about a cup, the palm of your hand is about 3 oz. if you are a women or 5 oz. if you are a man, the tip of your thumb is about 1 teaspoon, and your entire thumb is about 1 tablespoon. 

Knowing your numbers entails a little bit more than just knowing what your blood sugar is, although a fasting blood sugar should be below 109, if it is 110-125 you may be considered pre-diabetic.  Other numbers that are important are: the measurement of your waist, less than 36 for women and less than 40 for a man, blood pressure on or around 120/80, and total cholesterol less than 200 with LDL less than 100 and HDL greater than 40 for men and 50 for women. 

To determine your risk for diabetes the American Diabetes Association offers a Risk Test at www.diabetes.org/risktest.  Your Champaign Health District also offers blood sugar and blood pressure screenings for free as a walk-in clinic services Tuesday through Thursday from 8:00 AM until 4:00PM.  Cholesterol testing is also available for $25.00 on a scheduled basis.  Additionally, the health district offers individualized diabetes counseling for clients for no charge, partners with the Ohio State Extension office for Dining with Diabetes Classes for a $5.00 with the next scheduled classes starting in January, and partners with Mercy Memorial Hospital to provide Diabetes Management classes monthly at no charge.