WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- November is National Diabetes Month, a time to learn more about this medical condition that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), affects one in 11 people in the United States. A quarter of those who have diabetes don't even know it.
It's possible to prevent or slow down the development of complications from diabetes or prediabetes by adopting an active and healthy lifestyle. To achieve this, it's important for people with the condition to get support from friends, family, and the community. These tips from USA.gov and the Diabetes Hands Foundation can help you become more aware of the ways you can help friends and family living with diabetes.
Stay informed. There's a lot of information about diabetes on the Internet, but it's important to choose sources that are trustworthy. Staying informed about new medical advances, tests, medications, treatments, and the emotional aspects of life with diabetes can help you understand the specific needs of your loved one living with the condition.
Share healthy meals. A healthy nutritional plan can reduce the risk of diabetes, and help manage the condition in people who have it. Dietary improvements should not only interest and benefit the person with diabetes, but the entire family as well. Consider trying healthy, balanced dishes from other cultures. It can become an adventure for the whole family.
Include physical activity. Walking, dancing, and bicycle riding are activities the entire family can enjoy. Physical exercise helps reduce glucose concentrations in the blood and it's a good way to reduce or maintain your weight. Plus, physical activity makes the brain produce chemicals that help you feel better.
Join in. When someone in your family is living with diabetes, the support you give them can be critical. You can help your loved one choose doctors or health insurance plans, and go with them to medical appointments.
Celebrate small and big steps alike! The challenges of living with diabetes are great, which is why it's important to create a positive environment at home. Words of encouragement and gifts that motivate good health can make a huge difference. You can surprise your loved one with a pedometer, athletic shoes, or a subscription to a dance or yoga studio when they meet goals.
No one touched by diabetes should ever feel alone. The Diabetes Hands Foundation helps individuals and families who live with diabetes by connecting them to peers who are having similar experiences. You can share stories, questions and information, and have an open dialogue with others who live with diabetes.
See USA.gov's health section to get more official government information. Follow us on Twitter at @USAgov and @GobiernoUSA for more tips and advice for a healthier, active, and positive lifestyle. During this month, ask questions about diabetes and participate in various activities with the hashtag #YesSalud. And learn more in English and in Spanish at http://www.tudiabetes.org/yessalud/.
USAGov is a federal program that guides you to tips and tools in English and in Spanish from hundreds of government agencies, departments, and programs. We make it easier for you to find answers you can trust about government information and services--online, by phone, e-mail or chat, and in print.