An estimated 84 million Americans are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes—and someone you love could be among them. However, many people don’t realize that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even prevented with healthy lifestyle changes. This means that even if your loved ones are at risk for diabetes, there’s still time for them to take the steps necessary to turn their health around.
November is American Diabetes Month, an opportunity to encourage the people in your life to learn their risk for type 2 diabetes by taking the one-minute Risk Test.
Not sure how to bring the topic up? Follow these tips to help your friends and family members learn about their risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Bring backup: You may have an understanding of type 2 diabetes, but not everyone does. Make sure to be prepared with information about diabetes symptoms and risk factors. You can review resources on diabetes.org or work with your loved one’s health provider to gather this information.
- Be understanding: Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes has many myths and negative stigmas surrounding it. Diabetes can happen to anyone—but even if you understand this, your loved one may view your concern as an attack. Let your loved one know that you care about his or her health and want to help prevent or delay a type 2 diagnosis.
- Get educated: Consider joining a support group or diabetes education class with your loved one so that you can learn more together. The American Diabetes Association can help you find options for in-person opportunities in your area. You can contact their nearest office here, or search for local recognized education programs here.
- Take things slowly: Your health doesn’t change overnight. If your loved one is living with multiple risk factors, he or she may be overwhelmed by the thought of making long-term lifestyle changes. Let your loved one know that you’re in it for the long haul and will be there for support.
- Build a team: Depending on your loved one’s Risk Test results, you may need to consult with a doctor or other health care professional. You can help your loved one build a diabetes care team, from a PCP, to an endocrinologist, to a mental health counselor. The American Diabetes Association local offices can help with this, as can their new Mental Health Provider Directory.
Nearly half of all American adults live with diabetes or prediabetes, and chances are someone you love is one of them. Encourage them to learn their risk and make a change this month!
If you’d like to learn more about how Henderson Brothers’ health strategy consulting can help your employees, please contact April Ginsburg.
Please note that the information contained in this posting is designed to provide general awareness in regard to the subject matter covered. It is not provided as legal, medical, or tax advice, nor is it intended to address all concerns in your workplace or for public health. No representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This post should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.