November is Diabetes Awareness Month, so we’ve partnered with our friends at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey to pass along helpful tips and information on how to avoid the diabetes trap, and how to manage your disease if you are diagnosed with any form of diabetes.

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First off, diabetes can be deadly in intensity and pervasive, if not epidemic, in proportion.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. The disease is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States. Diabetes is also a major cause of heart disease and stroke.

Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages, or 8.3 percent of the nation’s population.

Diabetes is also a major problem for the nation’s financial health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States spends $218 million on diabetes each year.  That’s projected to rise to $514 billion by 2025 – or more than a 100 percent increase!

So, how do you get diabetes?

People with diabetes have high blood sugar because their body cannot move sugar into fat, liver, and muscle cells to be stored for energy. Over 40 million Americans have pre-diabetes (early type 2 diabetes). Type 2 Diabetes is the most common, occurring mostly in adults, but more and more cases are being reported among teens because of high obesity rates. The condition has heredity tendencies, and people also become at risk due to physical inactivity and poor eating habits.

Here are three things you can do to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes:

  • Improve your eating habits.  A healthy diet is low in fat and calories and high in fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Increase your level of physical activity. Get 30 to 60 minutes a day.  This can be something as simple and easy as going on a brisk walk. It’s also important to speak to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.  A healthy weight can reduce the need for medication as well as the risk of developing diabetes.

Here a few things to do when managing your diabetes:

  • Follow your meal plan
  • Stay active
  • Check your feet every day
  • Monitor your glucose
  • Check out a chronic diabetes care program to get a partner in managing your disease.


Hopefully these great tips will help you avoid or manage diabetes. This post was produced in collaboration with our advertising partner Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey. For further information, you can also refer to the Horizon BCBSNJ’s chronic care program as well.