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Learn Healthy Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Prevent Diabetes

November is National Diabetes Month. Do you know that you can delay or even prevent diabetes by learning your risk factors and making a few lifestyle changes?

Preventing diabetes has never been easier, and it starts by making a commitment to live a healthier lifestyle. Key actions that can prevent, delay, control, or manage diabetes include the following:

  • Eating nutritious food, including eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Engaging in regular physical activity, at least 30 minutes every day
  • Losing weight
  • Stopping smoking
  • Getting influenza and pneumococcal vaccines as recommended
  • Having regular foot exams, eye exams, and HbA1c tests from your healthcare provider.

These changes are important because uncontrolled diabetes contributes to high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, lower extremity amputations, depression, and other serious complications.

Taking care of yourself and your diabetes can help you feel better both today and in the future. When your blood sugar is close to normal, you will have more energy, be less thirsty, heal better, and have fewer skin or bladder infections.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, please talk with your doctor about being referred to a diabetes self-management education class, where you will learn to check blood sugar levels, make a diabetes meal plan, and get tips to include exercise as part of your daily routine. If you have borderline diabetes, there are diabetes prevention classes available. Even if you do not have diabetes yourself, there is a good chance that a family member or friend does.

A wealth of information about diabetes, ranging from general information to menus and recipes, is available at this website at, and a satellite conference and live webcast will be held November 14, World Diabetes Day.

Over half a million adults in Alabama have diabetes – so take steps to protect your health and live a longer, healthier life.

Scott Harris, M.D.
Acting State Health Officer

(November 2017)

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Page last updated: November 1, 2017