Pre-diabetes and Diabetes

We’ve all heard about diabetes, but according to the CDC, more than 84.1 million adults in the United States have pre-diabetes. That is more than 1 in 3 adults, most of whom have no idea that they are at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke. About 5% of people with diabetes have type 1 and about 90% of them have type 2. According to the CDC “Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.” Although there is no cure for the disease, medical science assures us that losing weight, eating healthy and exercise can help in preventing or controlling diabetes. (About Diabetes, 2019)

What if you are one of the 84.1 million adults in the United States who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes? How do you prevent getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease or a stroke? A person with pre-diabetes should discuss their condition and options with their Primary Care Physician (PCP) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) like the ones available to Florida Health Care Plans members as part of their health care plan. One of the most important things that a person with this disease should do is change their eating habits. According to Medical News Today, “Results of the Diabetes Prevention Program” (DPP) “in the United States have suggested that, in people who are overweight, each 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) they lose in a year can reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 16 percent.” (Huizen, 2018) In fact, if a person attends and completes the DPP while losing only 5% of their body weight they reduce their risk of diabetes by 58%! Participants were encouraged to eat food that is low in fat, low in calories and high in fiber. They should also eat plenty of vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and protein-packed legumes. Another thing a person with pre-diabetes or diabetes should do is exercise, it is an effective tool for improving health. According to Harvard Health, “Regular physical activity can lower your risk of heart disease, aid in losing weight and stabilize your blood glucose levels. (The importance of exercise when you have diabetes, 2019)

So now that you know you must eat better food and be more physically active, what’s next? As a member of Florida Health Care Plans, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. With Preferred Fitness programs, Diabetes Prevention Programs, Diabetes Self-Management Training, including Registered Nurse educators, and Medical Nutrition Therapy that are led by registered dietitians, Florida Health Care Plans provides tools to help you take control of your pre-diabetes or diabetes condition. Florida Health Care Plans education classes are scheduled into groups or individual appointments to enhance behavior change based on individual needs. A weight management class, Eat Right Move Right, is now offered in five locations at various times for the convenience of our members if you cannot attend the DPP. You can start by contacting your PCP and the Diabetes/Health Education Department at (386) 676-7133 or toll-free 1-877-229-4518. To learn more on how Florida Health Care Plans can help with your health, please click here.