Over the past decade, the number of people with type 2 diabetes has more than doubled in New York City. And for every two New Yorkers diagnosed with the condition, another one has it but doesn’t yet know. Do you have diabetes? If you do, do you know what your A1C level is? How about your blood pressure? What about your cholesterol? These are numbers you can use to know how you are taking care of your diabetes. Taking your medicines daily as prescribed is important too.
There is no cure for diabetes, but New Yorkers shouldn’t be discouraged. By making changes in lifestyle, most people can prevent diabetes, or successfully control it. Exercise and a healthy diet are critical – and the exercise doesn’t always have to be strenuous. Even getting off the subway a couple of stops early can do a lot to keep you healthy.
Another easy change is to adjust the proportions on your dinner plate. Try cooking dinner instead of buying takeout tonight. Use a 9-inch plate and fill half of it with vegetables, a quarter with a starch (like bread or potato) and the last quarter with a protein (like meat or fish). Add a glass of water, and you’ve created a healthy, balanced meal.
Diabetes is challenging to manage, but people can live long, productive, happy lives with it. Not taking care of oneself can have disabling and serious consequences. Please send me your questions about diabetes, and your thoughts about how our city can fight this disease.