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FOR RELEASE: November 1, 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Control Your Diabetes For Life
November is Diabetes Month

During November, National Diabetes Month, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Diabetes Prevention and Control Program is urging persons with diabetes to “Control Your Diabetes For Life.” Managing the ABCs of diabetes will help lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes problems, according to OSDH public health officials. The ABCs of diabetes include managing your A1C (blood glucose or sugar), blood pressure and cholesterol.

The problem of diabetes continues to rise both nationally and in Oklahoma, with more than 220,000 Oklahomans identified as having the disease, and many more undiagnosed. Nationally, an estimated 20.8 million Americans have diabetes.

Diabetes is a long-term disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin made is not well used by the body. Out-of-control diabetes can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke, blindness, kidney problems, amputations, nerve damage, and death. Therefore, it is vital that people with diabetes control their diabetes for life.

“Controlling your diabetes involves learning about diabetes, knowing your diabetes ABCs, managing your diabetes, and getting routine care,” said OSDH Chronic Disease Service Chief Adeline Yerkes.

“People with diabetes need to eat right, stay active, and take their medication. They need to keep their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control,” Yerkes emphasized.

Health experts advise that being active in managing your diabetes is crucial to identifying and treating potential problems early. Persons with diabetes should work with their health care team, friends and family for help in controlling their diabetes.

People with diabetes are also urged to:

  • check your blood glucose as often as prescribed,
  • stop smoking,
  • reach and maintain a healthy weight by losing small amounts over time,
  • eat the right portions of healthy foods as prescribed,
  • get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week,
  • take medication as prescribed by your health care professional,
  • see your dentist, and
  • check your feet everyday for cuts and sores.

For more information about the importance of controlling your diabetes for life, visit: http://www.ndep.nih.gov.

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